Kids. Who doesn’t love them? They can be some of the most loving, funny, forgiving, and brutally honest little human beings. But they can also be quick to ignore a request if it’s not something they want to hear. Let me explain. My first husband and I raised two amazing daughters. When they were first born, I stayed home with them before creating The Book Professor and our book marketing division. Any parent can recall that feeling when your precious, darling little angel, first decided to ignore you. Argh! If it’s something they don’t want to hear and have determined in their little mind that your message is most certainly NOT for them, you’ll know it when they ignore you.
I laugh at those early days because my daughters are now grown and have children of their own. But it reminds me of some writers I’ve met who tried to write a book for the wrong people. Of course, as parents, our kids aren’t always going to like what we say or ask them to do (even if they need to hear it). But if you’re writing a book and it’s for the wrong audience then the response will be the same: they will ignore you. In the case of writing, that “ignore” translates into zero book sales. Not the book marketing goal most writers have in mind.
Research First, Then Write
All too many authors write their book without defining the target audience, and defining your audience is particularly important when writing nonfiction. And yet, if you narrow in on something too niche, you might discover that your audience is simply too small. For example, you might write a riveting book about how to maintain antique farm equipment, but will enough people be interested in that topic? It’s possible, but you want to be confident that you have solid book marketing plans before you start to write. You must think about your target audience when planning your book, as well as throughout the writing process.
Here are some questions to ask yourself regarding your target audience:
- How old are they?
- What is their gender?
- What’s their education level?
- What concerns/problems do they have?
- Do they live in one specific geographic area?
- What shared interests will they have?
Self-published authors, especially those who write memoirs or biographies, may think that their target audience are people like themselves, when in reality, your audience may be quite different from you. It’s important to identify what your audience actually wants and needs, not what you think they do.
Book Audience vs. Market
For example, if you are writing a book for children, children are your audience, but they’re not your market. Your market is the person with the pocketbook—the parents.
Be specific when defining your primary market. Picture the person who will buy your book. Is it a woman between the ages of 30 and 50 who is unhappy with the signs of aging? A target audience of all women between the ages of 30 and 50 is too broad, so it’s important to consider what subset of that group you want to attract. Ask yourself what will draw them in. How do you hope to influence and/or interest these women?
It’s also important to consider secondary markets. Secondary markets are those are the people/organizations/institutions who will also purchase your book, like educators who might be writing or teaching about your topic, or mental health practitioners if you’re writing about a topic like depression. Think hard about all the different groups that might benefit from your book. Try to come up with at least six markets for your boo—a primary market and five secondary markets. You’re going to use this information when you start reaching out to customers, so be thorough.
Define Your Goal
It’s important to know what you hope to accomplish with your book. You should know what message you are trying to send, and whom that message is supposed to reach. Book marketing is about knowing who will benefit from your book, and then focusing your marketing efforts on that audience.
When it comes to marketing your book, choosing your target market and audience is essential to your book’s success. Consider all the possibilities to ensure that a proper audience and market exist for your book, and then create your plan to grab their attention.
If you or someone you know is ready to write your book for the right audience, please contact us today. We can help you take the next step and market your book to the right people when it’s complete!