How Authors Can Find Readers
When promoting your book, it’s important to know and understand who your ideal reader is.
Yes, that is often decided by genre to a point. It’s not like you’re going to try to target men 20-30 who play video games to sell your romance novel too. I mean you could, but I doubt it would sell you a lot of books.
But when creating a successful marketing campaign, you need to have a very specific target market.
As an author that target is your IDEAL READER.
You want to be more specific than all women who read.
Determining that right market is based on you the author and of course your book. You want to relate to your audience in some way. Whether it is demographic, topical, location, or interests.
Find where your genre demographic and your own personal demographic intersect and use that as a starting point.
For example, I’m a 40 something mom; I like yoga, coffee, and wine. When I’m not writing my novels or writing about writing, I write about those things, which interest me. This helps me connect on a more personal level with readers who have similar interests. It allows me to narrow my target to people who share those interests as well as who love to read cozy mysteries. It gives me a way to connect with readers on many levels.
When I’m thinking about my author platform as a whole, I take that into consideration. There are enough readers out there for everyone. I want to target those who are most like me and write my blog posts and social media posts with them in mind. It’s hard enough to connect with people in the virtual world without an idea of who you want to connect with.
When you are working on defining your target audience, it helps to paint a mental picture. Even better a real picture. That’s what I do.
Not literally paint, because I can’t paint to save my life. I picture in my head that that ideal person is who would be interested in reading my books and I write out a very vivid description of her.
I then go a step further and look in one of my many magazines (I have an addiction) and do the old-fashioned thing of cutting out images. Those I paste to blank paper to give me that visual, which I put on my office wall.
I do realize there are many high tech ways of doing this exercise nowadays but sometimes nothing beats the tactical process of cutting and pasting. At least in my opinion.
I’m then able to keep this visual of my ideal audience front of mind as I write my novels, my blog, and my social media.
I treat my ideal reader as a friend because she is. A really good friend who wants to read what I have to say as long as I keep it interesting. Keeping her in my head when writing makes sure that I don’t stray too far from my target audience. Which can be easy to do if you’re like me and have a million “great” ideas floating around in your head at all times. It can be hard to stay focused.
Which can be easy to do if you’re like me and have a million “great” ideas floating around in your head at all times. It can be hard to stay focused.
Most of us have a general idea who our target is but how can you narrow it down further and figure out exactly who your target market is?
You can start by stating the premise statement (if you want more info on what a book premise statement is you can read my blog post here) of your book and then asking yourself some questions. Be as specific as possible.
How Authors Can Find Readers
Be as specific as possible.
- What’s your genre?
- What subjects do your books cover? This could be the main characters profession, or the setting, or the general theme. For example, my main character of my Presley series loves coffee and wine. Surprise, so do I. I weave that into a lot that I do.
- Who would those subjects appeal too?
- Who are the audiences of similar books?
- What elements are in your main story that would appeal to someone?
One of my fav authors, Heather Wardell, has several books set in Toronto. I haven’t been since I was a child but often went with my parents and loved reading about the city. Even though it’s a very small aspect of her novels.
- What’s the age demographic based on your characters?
- Same question as above but use gender.
Now, look at your mission and the answers to the questions. See what kind of patterns you can see. You should have a list of traits your books have potential readers have in common. Using the information you’ve gathered start to write out the description of your ideal reader. It doesn’t have to include every single element, but you want to hit on a few. These are the threads that will connect you to your readers.
When you think you have solidified your target audience, you can execute your marketing plan and see if it sticks. If people don’t seem interested in what you have to say then you might need to revisit who you are zoning in on and make adjustments.
Don’t be frustrated if your first attempt doesn’t give you the results you were hoping for. It can take a lot of trial and error to get that perfect target audience and see results of your marketing efforts.
This will be an ever-evolving process for as long as your an author.
Let me know below in the comments if you have any questions!