Can I be a self-published success? Yes you can!

This is the first in a series of blogs in which I’ll share with you the ideas I’ve used to help get my book out there.  I’m not saying my way is THE way, but it’s working for me, so it could work for you, too.
I’m one of goodness-knows how many self-published authors that exist to write and entertain, each trying to get their head (or their book title) just that little bit more visible than all the rest out there, so readers will buy!

There are a few different approaches I’ve personally taken to help to get my book out there to its target audience. What I have done (and continue to do) is not necessarily unique, at all, but there are areas where I’ve had to be just a little creative to get my book noticed.  In this first blog, I’ll talk a little about my target audience.
Who was my target audience?
Seems like an obvious question but actually, I needed to break it down. My debut novel is a comedy that focuses on a wanna-be millionaire who has a great business idea but no money.  She’s offered the money, by an eccentric rich horse rider, but it comes at a price – she has to learn to ride, jump and then win a set competition to show she has the staying power to make the business work.  I wrote the story in such a way that it takes the reader through the journey of learning about horses and riding, with the main character.  This meant that the novel was great for both horsey and non horsey people, alike. BUT, to market a new novel from and unknown writer with a limited budget to a mass market was a very big ask and the danger was that I’d drown under the weight of great books already out there.
To narrow the focus and give me a clear way forward for who, exactly, to target, I homed in on the riding side of the story and used that to spread the word amongst the equestrian community.
Engaging my narrower target audience
With a more focussed target audience, I had a hope of seeking engagement in a more structured way than simply spray and hope.  I sought out groups on Facebook that horse riders and, in particular, eventers (the specific sport in my novel) would frequent. I started to post on those pages – not pushy posts to buy my book but joining in with discussion, expressing views and becoming known as a contributor.  I was then able to offer give-aways to those pages to promote my book.  The winners of the giveaway would email me with their details and I’d post their signed copy out to them.  I’d send an email reply back to each winner and ask that they help me promote the book, too, by spreading the word on their social media accounts.
I don’t intend to ignore my wider audience, but it makes sense for me to target subsets as I build my sales.
In the next blog, I’ll talk about sponsorship and how that has helped me drive more sales of my book.