Start with regional appeal to your core audience and watch your readership grow!

Start with regional appeal to your core audience and watch your readership expand!

Our thanks to publicist Lynda Bouchard for this guest contribution!

I was in a Barnes & Noble recently near Charleston, SC. and while perusing the fiction section for my next great read, someone at an author signing table bellowed:

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Ah, the clarion call of an unknown author. Don’t let it be yours.

As an author publicist for over 20 years, I’ve seen how rapidly the publishing landscape has changed. It changes every day. Content is created at warp speed. It’s difficult to keep up with it and authors are fighting for media attention and for readers – who can pick and choose and ignore the rest.

Avoid the mistake of most authors who believe that being nationally known is the goal. Here’s a secret…regional authors rock. Becoming an award-winning regional author is possible and profitable. By being a solid regional author you will garner greater readership. Here’s how:


The good news is that by thinking small, you will increase your visibility. It may sound counter-intuitive, but by creating a unique message, specific to your region, and then leveraging that uniqueness, your voice will stand out in a noisy book world.

Small is agile. Only 2% of writers will become ‘NY Times best-selling‘ authors. You can more easily become an award-winning regional author and become a super-star in your own back yard.


By scheduling book tours and events with geography in mind, you automatically increase your chances of media. Every region of the country is known for their annual, seasonal events and festivals.

Scheduled signings or offer to speak at an event and I promise they will love you! Event planners are typically local volunteers who handle multiple duties. When an author offers to speak and sell books about their ‘region’ it offers value for the author and the event. Pitch the press the fact that you will be sharing thoughts, tips, advice and why it is important to the area you are in and watch the media mentions flow.

Ken Burger, who passed away in October 2015, was an immensely popular regional author in the southeast.

Ken Burger, who passed away in October 2015, was an immensely popular regional author in the southeast.

A perfect example: American Cruise Lines has an itinerary that hugs the Southeast coast during Spring and Summer. I pitched the cruise director the idea of having Ken Burger, author of Baptized in Sweet Tea, speak about Southern Culture while they were docked in Charleston Harbor. They loved the idea!

The media covered this in the local paper and on television because it was a local author tied to a nationally recognized cruise line. He spoke to a sold out room, was paid an honorarium and sold over 100 books. The bonus? They docked there every week. You guessed it. They asked him back.


There is gold in your own back yard. Writing a book suddenly makes you an expert. On everything. Let your regional press, bloggers and news outlets know that you have written a book about your area of the country or that it in some way relates to your particular region.

Most importantly, give them reasons to interview you. Think about the cultural and historical significance of your book (fiction or non). Tie it to current events or cultural events. Use your authorship wisely.

Remember, in the end, it isn’t about you but about what you can offer your audience. By thinking about the end user of your book – your readers – you show respect for them and create value that will be mentioned again and again. There is no better marketing than that.

Check back here for Part 2 – ‘3 Reasons to Begin Marketing before You Write a Single Word’

Bouchard- PUBLICITY PHOTO -1Lynda Bouchard is Founder of Booking Authors Ink, a boutique marketing firm dedicated to Southern authors. www.bookingauthor

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5 thoughts on “3 Reasons Being a Regional Author Rocks: Develop Regional Appeal for Greater Readership

  • June 7, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Shari. My second fictional novel in a locally based (Main Line society in PA) series was published earlier this month. I would like to kick-off an aggressive campaign within my county. Can you suggest a reasonable “game plan”? For example, is it best to do signings in libraries first or at a book store? At what point do I advertise in the local paper? If my local Costco refers me to the main office in Oregon, will any local appeal get lost in the crowd? Thanks, Paul.

  • June 2, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Loved this. My first novel, TREE SOLDIER, tells the story of a young man from Pennsylvania who ends up in a Civilian Conservation Corps in the North Cascades of Washington State. The CCCs is one of the most popular programs of the FDR’s New Deal in the 1930s. It put nearly 3 million young men back to work. They also planted 3 million (billion?) trees and built up our state and national parks even in Alaska and Hawaii. TREE SOLDIER struck a chord in my local community. I became a Washington Humanities speaker, going all over the state to talk about the CCC camps in all corners of the state. The novel was chosen as a regional read. Since its publication I’ve been invited to book clubs as the novel has the children and grandchildren of “CC boys” wondering about how it worked and how to find out more about their relatives. When TIMBER ROSE, its prequel came out, I had a ready audience. Did a library tour with it a year ago. My following is growing with my latest novel,The Jøssing Affair, set in Norway during WW II. Not a regional story, but again we have a huge Norwegian population in my state. I’m booked for 3 book clubs this month. I love being a successful regional author.

    • June 2, 2016 at 12:50 pm

      Way to illustrate the point, Janet! Building from a regional base is so important, especially nowadays. Recently heard some book store owners speak on this subject at IBPA Publishing University – Even if a major chain won’t take the book or do events nationally, they’ll almost always give a local author a spot… Keep up the great work!

    • June 2, 2016 at 8:00 pm

      Janet –
      Glad you enjoyed the post. Yours is the perfect example of how much fun being a regional author can be. (shhhh don’t tell James Patterson…) It’s better than being a globally known more widely known author because you connect on a more personal level with your readers. Keep it up…..
      You rock!

      • June 5, 2016 at 8:07 pm


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