Maximize Book Sales: Three Critical Questions About Your Target

Let’s start with a fact:  Consumers are selfish.  They have one mantra, “What’s in it for me?”  We live in the world of “me” so if you want to sell something, you best cater to the “me” in everyone.  If you want your book sales to be all they can be, you must target your audience effectively. With rising gas prices and cost of living, it’s a tough feat to convince a consumer to give up their hard-earned cash to purchase your book.  You have to present them with a need for your book.  No need, no purchase.

How do you do that?  You start by narrowing down your audience.  Target a specific audience and communicate a specific need to that audience if you want to have any good measure of book sales.  The same messages don’t apply to all.  Different ages, different genders, different geographical locations, different income levels, different education levels, etc., all have to be considered when targeting your audience.  It is very rare that one message can be blanketed across all genres.

Let’s consider the typical consumer shopping for a book.  The three most important elements of your book to a consumer are:

  • Book Cover Designs
  • Book Titles and Subtitles
  • Back Cover Copy of Book Jackets

How do consumers interact with these elements when shopping for a book?  Well typically, a consumer will give your front cover a 2 to 3 second glance.  If you win her interest with your dazzling front cover, she will pick the book up, turn it over and look at the back cover for a 20 to 30 second glance.  If you win her interest again with your ever-so-clever back cover, she may at this point open the book to the table of contents.  This can be third time is a charm and she buys or strike three, you’re out.  She either just put your book in her cart to purchase or she just put your book back on the shelf and moved on with her life. Obviously you want her to put your book in her cart and buy it.  And lots of other consumers as well.  So make it happen!

Ask These Three Critical Questions That Tap Into the Psyche of the Book Buying Consumer:

1. Who is your target audience?  As already stated, few books appeal to every reader. Because we live in an age of specialization and targeted marketing, it is best to have a clear picture of your most likely reader and cater to them. Write your book to this specific audience and you will generate more sales.

2. What is the USP (Unique Selling Proposition) of your book?  With so many messages out there already, what message does your book contain that has not been said before?  What is unique about your book? What makes it stand out above and beyond others like it?  Be able to clearly state the unique message that your book will deliver. Remember, as with any type of sales, you bait the hook to suit the fish, not the fisherman. How are you catching this fish?

3. What are the benefits of your book?  Again, consumers are selfish and reluctant to spend money on a book without knowing what is in it for them. You must convince them that your book is not only worth their money to buy it but also their time to read it. Your book must make a consumer feel that they need to read it because it will influence their life in a positive way.

If your book successfully answers the three questions above, you are one giant step closer to marketing and sales success.

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