Thursday, August 26, 2010

With a new book that just released, I'm like many authors, I worry that my book promotion efforts will end up being a waste of time. This is probably a valid concern for most authors, especially when considering how many more options we have today because of the increase in social media.

One of the ways to make sure you're not wasting your time is to have a clear understanding of your book's target audience, because the more you know about the people who should be reading your book, the more likely it is you will be able to help them discover it.

Some authors tend to think of the audiences in very broad terms e.g. "All married people" or Everyone who likes paranormal. Getting your book title in front of all those people is a huge challenge--especially if you don't know what they read, watch on television, or go see at the movies. In fact, it's such a daunting task that many of us prefer to stop the process there, paralyzed by the overwhelming prospect of marketing to such a diverse audience. In reality, though, your true target audience is actually a smaller subset of the broader catergories.

So the question is--how do you figure out what the subset is? Start by remembering who your target group was that you were writing for. To get a clear sense of the person who is most likely to want your book, ask yourself these following questions:

* What is your target reader's gender?

* What is the age range?

* What is the typical income level? (would readers be turned off by a millionaire hero?)

* Education level?

*Where is your target audiences geographic locations: urban -vs- suburban -vs- rule?

*What about relationships -- is your target reader more likely to be married or single, gay or straight, widowed or divorced, a parent or not?

* What is the ethnicity/race of your reader?

*Are people who believe in a specific religion more likely to be interested in your book and if so, which religion(s)?

*How would you describe the person you wrote the book for?

Next, do some research on the demographics of those who use various media categories -- online and social media plus newspapers, magazines, radio and even television promotion.

Match what you know about your target reader with what you've learned about where and how they get their news and information, and focus your efforts on those outlets. While this methodical approach does require thought and effort, it may keep you from wasting your precious time and energy on tactics that cost more money than authors have to give.
BANNON'S BRIDES now available at The Wild Rose Press, and B&N on-line store.


Joselyn Vaughn said...

Book promotion is daunting, especially when you are just starting out. I think this is the best explanation I've seen for how to find your audience. Thanks!

Carolyn Hughey said...

Very sensible approach to marketing, Loretta. Thanks for the advice.

Loretta C. Rogers said...

Glad to be of help. Good luck with all your promoting.