The final post in this series is all about how knowing your reader will help you sell, relate to, and reach other readers out there. If you'd like to check out the first three posts in this series, you can find one on genre, one on setting, and one on characters.
Knowing specifically who your reader is, as we discovered in the first post, gives us great insight into what our readers want to see in our novels.
And now that we know what they want to see, we have to know how to reach them. This is where knowing specifics - like age group, hobbies, etc. - about your reader will help.
So how do you reach your readers?
Know where they hang out on the Internet.
Where are your readers? On Twitter, on Facebook, blogging? Find a few places they frequent and frequent those, too. Make relationships.
Know where they hang out in real life.
Nearby bookstores are great places for signings or to leave bookmarks once your published. Do your readers spend time at church or other activities? See how you might be able to reach readers where they are.
What are their hobbies?
Try to think outside the box and come up with a variety of places. If it's book clubs, then offer to visit, chat via Skype, or even provide a free copy to the host of the book club and ask additional questions or be willing to answer additional questions via e-mail.
As far as thinking outside of the box...
If you blog, don't only blog about writing, blog about what your readers would be interested in. If your book is about a chef, then blog about recipes your chef might make or recipes that would appeal to people who would read what you write. If your readers are also writers, offer a giveaway with journals and pens and other writing stuff they'd enjoy.
Know what your readers are reading.
If your book is similar to someone else's out there, see readers of those books are into. If they like Denise Hunter or Jenny B. Jones, see what websites or author sites they're frequenting and try to make relationships. Or blog about those same authors and let readers know your writing is similar.
So much about this is building relationships. If you know who your reader is specifically, it will go a long way in helping you reach them and hopefully, in the long run, sell your books to them. And if you aren't published yet, it's never too early to appeal to those who might read your books by blogging about or seeking out the same interests they have.
How does knowing your reader help you reach them and make them interested in your writing? If you aren't published yet, are there any steps your taking or any ideas you have to garner readers for the future?