03 Who's Out There: Identifying Your Audience
Who will read your book(s)?
If you're working on a series, you might have a core group. Single title books may appeal to divergent groups. For example, if your first book is a Regency historical, your second is a contemporary vampire romance, and your third is romantic suspense, those are three different audiences. I happen to enjoy and buy all three, but not all readers do.
It's time to take an introspective look at your writing.
Brainstorm Warning!Who are your readers? Let's say your next book is a vampire romance. The first thing that pops to mind is that readers are people who like vampire stories. While that seems like a "duh!" answer, it's only the surface answer. The deeper answer is "What kind of people like vampire romance?" You've seen this word: demographic. Wordweb says demographic is "a statistic characterizing human populations (or segments of human populations broken down by age or sex or income etc.).
Demographics are a key aspect of marketing. If you don't know who your readers are, how can you market toward them?
I Googled: demographics vampire
Check out these wonderful sites that came up.
Do this with the genre(s) in which you write. Use various search terms such as "who reads ___", "___ readers", and/or the term in quotes "I like to read ___" substituting the genre in the blanks.
Also, beyond genre, what specific items about your heroes and heroines are searchable concepts? Are they firefighters? Navy SEALs? Secret agents? Immortals? Google these terms by themselves. What support groups do you find? Fan groups? Other writers of these topics? Don't be afraid to search another author's website to learn how he or she is marketing similar books. Research is looking, studying, understanding, and noting. We're not advocating theft of ideas here, simply figuring out what the other person does well and learning how to adapt the concept to ourselves.
Look for things in common between people on these sites. You can gain a bit from reader comments. Consider the following items:
You will be using these items to put together an idea of who your market actually is. Tomorrow, we'll work on targeting promotions toward one of those groups.
- general interests beyond the specific genre (vampire fans who also like books about werewolves, fairies...)
- note other relationships in common
Here's another way to target your market.
Writing is a business. Do everything you can to make it a success.
Connect with groups, forums, or associations within your genre. Do you write paranormal? Western? Mystery? Chick lit? Scifi Romance? Find one that fits you and join it. If you are an epublished author, consider joining EPIC www.epicauthors.com -- Romance authors could join Romance Writers of America www.rwa.org -- SF authors have Science Fiction Writers of America www.sfwa.org and Mystery authors have Mystery Writers of America www.mysterywriters.org Use those links in a profitable manner. What's that mean? Get involved. Write a blog, an article, host a chat, invite author members to your blog, make a mark on the genre by being active within a group that supports it.
Does that work? Wanting to help other authors and become known in the industry was part of what prompted me to create this group. Part of *my* marketing plan states: I want to establish my name in the eBook community as a leader and innovator, and create long-term relationships to enhance my career and life by inspiring others.
Take a moment to brainstorm at least one or two ideas about how you can connect your name online with the genre. Share them with the group.