So you've written a book, that is awesome. Now, who will buy your book? If you answered that question with, I don't know, women over 50, people who read romance, or everyone, you need to think on my friend.
By the end of this post, you will know why you need to be able to answer the question “Who will buy your book?” with something specific. And you'll know how to start answering it.
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Who is your target reader?
Sometimes it's obvious who your book is for. This is most often the case for non-fiction authors as they set out to solve a particular problem for a particular group of people. Or they set out to teach something to a certain group.
But sometimes fiction authors also know exactly who they're trying to reach. Maybe you set out to be the next John Grisham, for example, and you know that you want to reach his readers.
But what if you didn't set out to write for a particular market or reader? Maybe you just sat down to write, and now you find yourself with this brilliant book, but no idea who it is perfect for. Or you have a little bit of an idea, but you have no idea how to reach them.
Well, this is not uncommon, and what it usually results in is an author adopting some kind of ‘push' marketing strategy.
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What this means is they try to push their message out to anyone and everyone who's passing by, in the hope that they net some sales in the process.
It might mean throwing some money at ads, doing some book promos, doing social media blasts, or going on a book blog tour. They try all sorts of different tactics to reach as many people as possible.
There is a time and a place for each of these tactics, but they should be part of a bigger book marketing plan. And that bigger marketing plan should always have your target readers at its center.
When you come up with a marketing plan with your target readers at its center, you can devise the best strategy for getting in front of them.
You'll know which marketing messages to use and you'll know the best ways to reach your readers and how to speak to them. But you can't do this if you don't know who will buy your book.
Push marketing is often unsustainable. You have to keep throwing money at ads, you have to keep going on blog tours and you have to keep blasting social media. But if you are nurturing your readers on a daily basis, then it takes less time, less money, and less energy, and those readers will always be there for you.
They'll still be loyal and by your side when your next book comes out and when you need them to support you.
3 Ways To Identify Target Readers
If you're thinking this is great, I would love to get started with finding my target readers, but I don't know where to begin, don't panic. I have three things for you to think about.
1. What Makes You Special?
What makes you special and what makes your book special and who would resonate with that?
Think about everything that your books and your writing have to offer. Think about what sets them apart from everybody else.
What is your unique selling point? What's that USP that you offer that nobody else does? And who's going to relate to that and find it appealing? If you can figure this out you will know exactly who will buy your book.
2. Comparable Titles
The second thing to think about is comparable titles. What other books are your readers currently reading and what books would they read after your book? When you know about the other books that are in your space, and you can look at those readers, then they're your readers. So get clear on your comps and you'll have a shortcut to finding your own readers.
3. Typical Readers
And, finally, who is the typical reader of your genre? If you know the genre you write in, which you should, then who is the typical reader of that genre?
Some genres are easier to figure that out for than others. If you Google ‘typical romance readers', for example, you can find a lot of information online.
There's less information available for some other genres, so you may have to do a bit more research.
But if you can identify the typical reader of your genre, that will give you some good clues about who your reader is too and who will buy your book.
If you can answer these three questions: What makes your book special? Who are your comps? Who is a typical reader of your genre? then you'll be making good progress towards knowing who your target readers are and who will buy your book.