When asking authors: “Who are the ideal buyers of your book?” I sometimes get the answer: “Everyone between 20 and 70 years of age.” Well… no comment. Every book has its own niche, and a certain demographic who looks out for just the type of book you are writing. The question is, how to find them and let them know about your book. The means to market your book, and where and how to do it, should be tailored to these readers.
The First Step: Research Your Competition.
Nothing easier than going to their social media sites, including Goodreads, and their blog or website. It will reveal their followers and readers and you will find all the comments to their posts including the avatar of the commenters. You in turn can follow these readers and fans as well, and learn more about them – to answer this important question: Who are your ideal readers in terms of age, gender, education, location, etc.? It will also answer this question: In what ways, places, or media are your target buyers easiest to reach?
Potential Book Purchasers.
Non-Fiction Writers: Are there other groups of potential buyers that might be interesting for you? You as a travel writer could approach travel agencies, event planners, hotels, golf club shops, gourmet shops, sporting goods stores, gift stores or museums in the area you are writing about – rather than just trying to appeal to single travellers as readers.
If you write in the business field, your books could be well suited as corporate gifts. Research people on LinkedIn. Or google the reader demographics for magazines, publications or newsletters that are similar to the topics of your book.
The “Search” function on top of each social media site,
at online retailers sites and on blogs is your best helper.
Do some brainstorming or google for the best keywords
in addition to those, you have already chosen for your own book. Using these keywords, you will be surprised how much you find out about potential readers and your book markets.
Post Surveys to Learn About Your Readers.
People love to take surveys. Think about interesting questions / answers for your poll or survey to learn about your future readers. A great way for new writers to make connections too. It will build community engagement, real relationships with potential buyers, and interest in your work if you do it right. It will also leave readers more receptive to your next book promotion. Best of all: Many surveys or poll sites are free to use. With simple online surveys, you can take your social-media networking success to an entirely new level.
Ask for Feedback.
Invite your networks to provide honest and immediate feedback. Let your potential readers choose the name of your protagonist. Again give them at least three options. Also, explain in what time or century the story unfolds and provide them with a hint of what kind of novel you have written. You can also create a survey about which online retailers should carry your book beside Amazon, and give at least five additional company names. Include an incentive to encourage your peers to complete your survey. For example, draw a winner of the most popular book cover, name, or online retailer. Offer a Kindle or a small digital camera as the first prize.
SurveyMonkey has a free, basic poll version, same with SodaHead. TWTPoll offers a pay-as-you-go version for $7 per survey. Get lots of practical tips on how to incorporate your poll at a variety of social media sites in an article at the SocialMediaExaminer.
What do Your Readers Want?
How does your book satisfy the needs of your readers, is one more question (easier to answer for non-fiction!). Finding and narrowing your niche will help you to reach–and appeal to–more of the people that will ultimately buy your book. For example: Why do mystery or thriller readers choose this category? Or why do romance readers grab these books? Here too, a poll or survey will help you to get answers, maybe even in-person interviews at bookstores, book fairs or libraries. Check out reviews of similar books you are writing will help too. And again comments on your competitors blog / website or your own.
Use also these suggestions by Jane Friedman:
- What groups or organizations are involved in this special area?
- What businesses tie into this element?
- What blogs exist that tackle this interest or idea?
- Who is talking about this concept or thing online?
- What movies or TV shows focus on this element?
Remember: Not only you as an author, but also literary agents and traditional publishers also want you to know who your audience is, your allure to that particular group, and how you plan on connecting with them. It might be one of the first questions when you pitch your book to them.
Small excerpt from the upcoming book:
111 Tips on How to Market Your Book for Free
If you would like to get a mentor and our support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer for three months all this and more for only $179 – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting / Book Marketing for your success: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
To learn more about professional book marketing and publishing, please read also “Book Marketing on a Shoestring”
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