5 Tips for Building & Engaging with a North American Audience
As a publisher, it’s natural to want your titles to reach as wide of an audience as possible, as it creates more opportunities for both your company and your authors. While sales are often the main force behind global expansion, other reasons a publisher may want to expand overseas include:
- To spread the culture and customs of their homeland to a wider audience;
- To meet a growing demand for your titles in other countries (existing demand);
- To create possible media and publicity opportunities for your company and authors;
… and more!
As you expand into North America, along with the possible translation of your title list, there are a number of factors that you’ll need to consider to both build and engage with your new audience. Here are 5 tips to establish and build a relationship with a North American audience:
1) Review Your Titles for Hard-to-Translate and Easily Misunderstood Words
If you need to translate your title list into English, ensure you are working closely with your authors and are using a credible editor who has a great working knowledge of your native language and English. This is to ensure the translation is completed without losing meaning in the words. For example, there may be certain expressions in Italian that do not translate well into English; however, there may be an equivalent that can be used. Another, more famous example, is Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone being changed to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for a North American audience who did not understand the connotations of a “philosopher.”
2) Build a List of North American Book Reviewers and Media
To ensure that your titles are as successful as possible in North America, take the time to establish and grow a list of book reviewers and media. This group can make a huge difference, as they will help get the word out about your titles. To establish your list of reviewers, we recommend listing your books on a website such as NetGalley, which predominantly features North American reviewers and media. To save money and time, list your titles with DigiWriting on NetGalley and let our experienced book marketing experts take care of the hard work for you.
3) Create Social Media Channels for a North American Audience
Rather than attempting to post in both your native language and English on your existing social media channels (this can become confusing and cumbersome), create channels dedicated to a North American audience. Again, if you do not have anyone who is fluent in English, you may want to consider contacting us and leveraging our social media start up service for publishers. We’ll get your company up and running on channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and more!
4) Promote Your North American Channels on Your Existing Channels
If you have fans in North America who are anxiously waiting for your titles to launch at their local bookstore, they will want to know about the latest developments. Once all your new channels are set up, be sure to promote them on your existing channels to get any North American followers who may be following your native-language channels to follow your new, North American specific ones.
5) Tailor Your Content for a North American Audience
The same type of posts that lead to engagement on your existing channels may not do the same for your North American channels. For example, if you frequently post pop culture references or reviews from prominent local celebrities, these will not have the same weight in North America, and may not lead to engagement or sales. When possible, try to tailor your content towards a North American audience.
Have you launched your book(s) in another country before? Did you have to change anything to ensure it was a success?