READERS are the new gatekeepers in publishing

As we all know, publishing houses have always been the gatekeeper of the author. They were the ones who stood at the GATE OF WHAT READERS WANTED TO READ with their spears pointed to the outside world and only let you in if and ONLY IF they thought the reader was going to read you.

Obviously the game has changed. Writers complain. Plain and simple. They complain about their muse. They complain about the plot of their story. They complain about Amazon. They complain about the GATEKEEPER...whoa....

The days are over where the publishing house GATEKEEPER stopped your book from reaching the hands of the reader. If those GATEKEEPERS don't like your novel, you have options to self-publish your novel and get it in the hands of the real GATEKEEPER. . .THE READER!

And if you can't reach the new GATEKEEPER, then you have no one to blame but YOU. You are now responsible for getting pass the GATEKEEPER.

Here are a few ways to connect with your readers:

1) Be sure to know your target reader.
If you write about assassin soccer moms, your tweets and facebook groups should be centered around soccer moms. Gently nudge them toward your facebook page and how you offer giveaways. With Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble having a "gift this item" program, it's easier than ever to gift your novel to a potential reader.

2) Connect with readers on targeted reader blogs. Send a quick request to targeted blog owners and offer a giveaway of your novel.

3) Start a STREET TEAM! I can not stress this enough. I have connected in a way that most authors never dreamed possible! Once a month I will pick random STREET TEAM members and send them a small note or postcard in the mail thanking them that I appreciate them.
Having my STREET TEAM has helped me connect with readers that I never knew possible.


  1. Tonya, I love this blog--I read a great article about how today's indie publishing model allows authors to take greater risks than ever before. It still takes time, love and sweat--but the upsides are tremendous. Keep doing what you do!!

  2. It's taken me a while, but I'm finally starting to narrow down and get a finger on my brand. Figuring out my target market, other than "romance readers" is taking me a bit longer, but I think I'm starting to get a handle on that too. One cool thing about self-publishing, the books are going to be there forever, so I can just keep tweeking until I finally figure it out and get it right. :-)

    1. Putting your finger on your brand is key, Alannah! Feeling like you are getting a handle on it will really keep you going to really get it figured out.

  3. Thanks, Tanya. I love your idea.

  4. Thanks again Tonya. My book comes out in 47 days. Is it too soon to start a street team?

    1. NO! Gerri, I started my street team before my last book came out. AND that was the best release I have ever had.

  5. LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!! Will be sharing, especially those I cross promote with in the Christian genre! Thanks Tonya!