Marketing Your Book: It’s All About Your Target Audience

Jun 05

Getting a handle on your book's target market can be a challenge. Who specifically were you writing for, as you wrote the book? Who is your book's message  going to connect with? Will your book solve problems for someone? Have you zeroed in on your ideal readers' demographics, lifestyle, worldview? Here are a few thoughts for considering these questions.

Let's say you're a woman author and memoir is your category.  Of course, memoir as a category by itself is too broad. So what is the particular life experience you were compelled to write about? Maybe you navigated the quirky politics of a southern California  town, contributing to preservation of magnificent land and natural resources? Or, yours is the story of an Israeli war widow whose unimaginably brutal wartime experiences resulted in positive transformative life changes?  Or, your book is in the medical category and you wrote the book to help heart patients, as I did, to smooth the way for an easier, quicker and more informed open-heart surgery recovery period? What do your readers need — or want — in order to be drawn to your particular compelling story? Once identified, these are the readers who will make up your target audience.

The challenge is defining your audience narrowly enough so that you turn up readers whose needs you can meet. Figure out where your audience spends their time online — in what forums  are they finding like-minded readers and writers? Imagine a composite person who is looking for answers, guidance, information, or pleasure-reading that your book provides.

There is a book community for every subject category. Of course you can start your own community! To a get a foothold on where your target audience hangs out online for just about any genre or issue, here are six resources to investigate:

  • Try out Google Trends, or,
  • Simply use the Google search tool
  • Cultivate community: post direct questions and communicate about your topic on Twitter,  Yahoo and/or LinkedIn groups.
  • Ezine articles:  check out top article lists by subject area
  • Check out book communities like,,
  • Read reviews at Amazon of books in your now narrowed category;  identify where you see an opening — a thread not yet explored — to market to your readers

The showcase for your target market is your writer's website. All your marketing engagement , online or offline, should be linking back to your website — which serves as the foundation of your book marketing efforts. Once you have a clear idea of who your target audience is, this will help you to plan or tweak the website. After you define and illustrate what you want the site to accomplish (sell books? sell webinars? sell your services? direct readers to Amazon?) the website's central goal — the call to action to buy the book — will be accomplished.


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