Three is a Magic Number: Using UBR to Find More Readers.

See full issue for 2016 02-08
by Brian Braden

“Three is a magic number. Yes it is, its a magic number. Somewhere in the ancient mystic trinity, you get three as a magic number…”

If you’re old enough, you might remember an old Saturday morning cartoon called School House Rock. In the 1970s it educated young minds full of mush in between doses of Looney Tunes and Scooby Doo. One particular episode taught kids how to divide and multiply by threes. I like the number three, because for indie authors it really is a magical number. By exploring the unique opportunities Underground Book Reviews gives authors, you can take three marketing platforms and three readers and turn then into potential seed corn for a much wider audience

Some authors come to us with hordes of devoted readers. Some come with none. On average, indie authors usually bring about three readers with them to Underground Book Reviews (as measured by our highly secret proprietary and completely unscientific method). For argument’s sake, let’s suppose one of those readers is the author’s mom (Go Mom!) Let’s also assume the second reader is a personal friend. Optimistically, the last reader is a devoted fan who actually discovered the author’s book on their own and fell in love with it. Mom, Buddy and Number One Fan - this is your cash to start the “Indie Publishing” version of Monopoly.

Most indies don’t have publishers, nor do they have agents, publicists or money. What they do have is the internet. If they are really lucky, they have the internet and Underground Book Reviews. Using the same proprietary and unscientific method, we can determine most UBR authors come to us with three marketing platforms. These often include author or book websites, Facebook and Twitter. There are others, of course, but those are the Big-3 (get it, “Big-3”? See a trend here?).

Take your three readers, your three marketing platforms and combine them with the UBR three-step process to find more readers.

Step 1: Make sure your novel’s showcase is as accurate and polished as possible. Use the most correct genres as possible to describe your novel. Tighten up the synopsis, short description and catchphrase. (You can go back and edit at any time, even after you’ve been certified). Put your best foot forward, because you’re about to step out into a spotlight.

Step 2: Find comparable novels. UBR has made it easy for you. Look down at the bottom of your novel’s showcase page, there you’ll see the heading “You Might Also Like…” These are books with overlapping genres. Find three that would fit nicely on the bookshelf beside yours. If you can’t find three, explore “Authors” under our “Community” tab to find more. Now ask yourself, “Will these novels’ readers like mine?” To answer that question, explore each comparable novel’s showcase page. Here are a few things to look for.

Is it certified? Has it been reviewed and, if so, did it get a good review? Is it a UBR Badge Winner or, better yet, an award winner? Read the synopsis and the Amazon sample. Is it good? Does it have a lot of Amazon reviews? Once you’ve determine whether or not the novel in question is close enough to yours, and is high quality enough to make cross-pollination attractive, take the next step. Caution! Make sure the comparable novels are similar enough to yours to make the effort worth it. Remember, this is targeted marketing.

Step 3: Finally, reach out. On every book’s showcase page there is a link to the author’s page. Click on that and begin the process, which begins with interfacing with their marketing platforms. Like them, Follow them and subscribe to them. If the social media outlet supports it, it might not hurt to message them saying you are a fellow UBR author. If you’re the one getting liked/followed/subscribed, be kind and reciprocate. It also helps to share/post each other’s UBR showcase page on your social media. Remember, the key is mutual support. In business, its called networking.

If you’re lucky, Moms, Buddies and Number One Fans might migrate across internet membranes. Three becomes four, or five or, if you’re lucky, six. Who knows? After all, three is a magic number.


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See full issue for 2016 02-08
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