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Book Identification, Discovery & Protection

How to Determine Your Target Audience

Posted on: May 25th, 2017 by Publisher Services

As an author, it is important to determine your target audience otherwise you may waste valuable time and resources marketing to the wrong group of people. Correct targeting will not only help you sell books but to build a solid fan base that will follow you as an author.

First, do not target “everyone” because not only is that unrealistic but it will leave you frustrated when it fails to work. Sure, it would be a dream to knock it out of the park like the “Fifty Shades of Grey” series but it’s impossible to predict what will resonate with the public. Do not waste your energy trying to. Instead, start small and expand from there.

To begin, find one reader who is your ideal reader. To do this, you must first, look in the mirror.

If you have written a book, you are most likely interested in reading it. Therefore, you are your ideal reader. Take some time to think about who you are and who your target audience may be.

For example:

You are a 35-year-old woman – Your target audience is women ages 30 – 45.

You have two kids – Your target audience is those with a family.

You enjoy running – Your target audience enjoys physical activity.

By taking the specific details of who you are and generalizing them, you will begin to see a picture of your target audience emerging.

For an even more detailed look, consider what books you like reading. Your target audience most likely enjoys the same authors you do. By identifying those authors, you can research who is following them. Dig into comparable authors, find out who is following them, what else they are reading, and then, look at your book.

Once you have looked at yourself, turn your attention to your book. Most readers will read a book because the subject matter interests them. Think about your book, what it is about, where it is located, the type of characters in it. From there, you can determine which groups of people may find those subjects interesting.

For example:

If your book takes place during the Civil War, your target audience includes those that are interested in American history.

If one of your characters is in the Navy, your book may interest those serving in the military or veterans.

Once you have an idea of what your target reader looks like, create a reader profile. This can be a list that clearly details the reader or a visual representation of what he or she may look like. For many books, there is more than one target reader so it may make sense to have multiple profiles.

These profiles will be the starting point for your marketing campaign. Use your reader profiles to determine who is in your target audience and focus your marketing on reaching them. From there, you can slowly expand as your audience does.