Who are you writing for? What do they want? How can you make your book an irresistible purchase?

Before you write another word, it’s time to answer some fundamental questions, like which type of writer are you? Some writers write their book and then think about the marketing. Other writers think about the marketing and then write their book. Still other writers think about the marketing while they write their book.

However, if you want to write a best-selling book, marketing can’t be an afterthought. How you’re going to sell your book should be part of its DNA. That includes finding out who your book’s target audience is and what it is they want.

Today I’d like to show you how you can get to know your book’s target audience better and position your book for greater success.

Know Your Book, Know Your Self

First things first. What is your book going to be about? What do you have to offer readers in this book? Think conscientiously about what makes you and your book unique and worthwhile. Write it all down and refer to it often.

Do Your Research and Create an Audience Persona

You can learn more about your target audience, zero in on their wants and needs, and more effectively capture their attention with some research and creativity, like this:

#1: Look for books that would be most similar to yours. Note how they are presented, what style of language they use and how they gain rapport with the audience.

#2: Tease out the likely characteristics of your forthcoming book’s target audience. Consider questions like:
– How old are they?
– What gender are they?
– Where do they live?
– What is their level of education?
– What is their profession?
– How much money do they make?
– What does their family look like?
– What values are important to them?
– What do they usually like to read?
– Where do they shop?
– How do they usually spend their free time?
– What media, publications, TV channels, websites, blogs, social media sites, forums, etc. do they visit most?

Write down your answers.

#3: Create your audience persona—one meaty paragraph describing the most representative member of your target audience.

Once you’ve put your finger on what exactly makes your audience unique and what makes them tick (as you did in #2 above), you can write an audience persona that will guide you during both the book writing and marketing processes.

Here’s an example:

Brianna is 50 years old and lives in Iowa. She has a master’s degree from a relatively prestigious university and works as a Vice President at a mid-sized, multinational headquartered in the US. She spent her career climbing the corporate ladder and has led several important initiatives at her company, but she doesn’t feel completely satisfied with the level of success she has achieved there. Brianna is respected by her colleagues, but she has twice been passed over for the Senior Vice President role. Brianna quickly leafs through the Wall Street Journal every morning over breakfast and regularly reads the latest leadership books in her free time. She also likes to go to yoga class on Tuesdays and order takeout Thai food on Fridays. She has no children of her own, but she is an amazing aunt to her sister’s children and encourages them to join clubs and take on leadership roles at school.

With your own audience persona in hand, imagine that you are writing your book just for this person; imagine that you will market your book directly to this audience of one. It will keep you laser focused and help you shape your book and your marketing more successfully.

Ask Your Existing Audience (Optional)

Some aspiring writers have yet to build a platform—a reason or a place that makes them visible to others, such as a successful blog, teaching practice or speaking engagements—while other writers have already established this. If you’re one of those writers with a solid platform, then you can use it to your advantage now to gain additional insights.

Survey your existing audience to find out: “Who are they? What do they want?” Learn about your audience directly from the source. However, depending on your book, your intentions and your platform, your existing audience may or may not align perfectly with your future book’s target audience. Keep these differences in mind as you move ahead to the next step.

Immerse Yourself in Your Target Audience’s Community

Do you remember the names of all the media, publications, TV channels, websites, blogs, social media sites, forums, etc. that your target audience and audience persona use? This is where you should be hanging out from now on, immersing yourself in your target audience’s community.

Make friends with your target audience. Help them out. Network with them. See what they see. Comment upon what they care about. Earn more of their respect. Lay the groundwork to understand them better—and to fulfill their needs with your book.

Are you ready to get going?

Dudley Court Press

Dudley Court Press works with writers like you every day. As a full-service, hybrid publishing house, we help thoughtful people write their books and become successful published authors.

For more information, including about DCP’s latest program Aspiring Author to Published Pro, please get in touch at +1-520-329-2729 or publisher@DudleyCourtPress.com.