Knowing Your Target Audience is Everything, Period

One day you want to be sitting at a table in a bookstore signing copies of your book while a long line of your fans wait their turn. There are so many that you can’t look up. You just have to keep signing and signing in order to get all of them because the line is going out the door. You can’t even see the end of it. Your book sales are way up. It’s great!

But I do need you to look up for a minute. In this imaginary scenario, you need to look up at those waiting in that line. Who are they? What age are they? What gender? What economic background? What are their main areas of interest? Why did they buy your book and why are they standing in this line for your autograph?

You must be able to answer these questions BEFORE you begin writing your book. If you don’t know who your target audience is before you start writing, your book will never make it, nor will you have a book signing. No book. No book sales.

I fast-forwarded you to the signing to get you to understand how important it is to target your audience when creating your masterpiece. If you don’t, again, there will never even be a book, more-less a signing. Now rewind back to where you are now and get an understanding of what you must do going forward to make that book signing happen.

Your target audience determines how your book is written. You have to narrow your audience down as much as possible. Let’s look at children’s books. Those authors can’t just target children. They have to also target ages, for one. There is a huge difference in a “read-to-me” book and a “first-time reader” book. They are written and presented for completely different developmental stages of children. And that is just scratching the surface.

The more specific you are in addressing your audience, the more book sales you will generate. Because we live in an age of specialization and target marketing, it is best to have a very clear picture of your most likely reader. There are very few books that appeal to everyone, so you have to write to a specific audience.

Consider these issues about your readers when determining your audience:

  • What gender is your reader?
  • What age is your reader?
  • What income bracket is your average reader?
  • What is your reader’s main area of interest?

Memorize this important statistic about book sales: 82% of all books are bought by women. Knowing your target audience will help you develop a powerful message, streamline your marketing and distribution, and guarantee the book’s success.

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