As an author not thinking about who your reader is, can be a major issue. This is not only Author-ship 101, it’s Marketing 101.
Up until only a decade or so ago, in terms of author marketing, it was OK to focus on going wide … targeting the general market. For example – women aged 25-45, who live in suburbia and work full time. Now, it’s a much better idea to niche down to really understand who exactly your reader(s) is likely to be. For example – 40-55-year-old women who take holidays overseas at least once a year, most likely drive a blue Ford Taurus, work an average of 35 hours per week, have two, but no more than three children aged 15 or over, and a dog. Maybe also a cat or a budgie.
Why is it so important to know your market to this level?
Because you want to know how much time they are likely to have for reading, how many books they purchase, are they likely to read fiction or non-fiction, what other authors are they into, and do they prefer Kindle or printed books? Where do they hang out online? What is their preferred social media; Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, or Facebook? Single, dating, independent, gay, straight, belong to women’s groups, drink chardonnay or merlot? Building a picture of your reader helps you define a marketing profile.
The more you know about your intended readers, the more easily you can pinpoint a marketing strategy aimed at exactly these people – not all the maybe readers. Because the ‘maybe market’ are less likely to finish reading your book – and finishers are more likely to review and post feedback. The maybe market may be easy to grab their attention, but their conversion rates are lower, meaning that it costs you a lot more to advertise your book to them.
This therefore, all comes back to the first rule of writing a book – decide why you are writing it, for whom, and what you want to have happen when they read it.
Why are you writing a book – and why now?
What made you get up one day and say – I’m going to write a book about leadership, or customer service, or dog grooming for poodles?
Who is going to read that book – and why do they care what you have to say on the matter, vs the same subject covered by literally thousands of authors over the last decade? In the case of Leadership, there are actually 10s of thousands of authors.
What do you want to have happen when someone reads your book?
Will they grab your details and book you for coaching, training, or to speak at their convention in the spring? Do you want to elicit a lot of fan mail for your ego? Or do you want your readers to form a political party and start campaigning about something?
Again – in each of these instances, the first thing to note is – who is your reader?
When you’ve worked that part out – you might be ready to write and promote your book.