Writers: 5 Tips on How to Identify Your Target Audience | The Creative Penn
How to use your target audience:
1. Identify where your target audience hangs out, then be there.
Look at the users of certain social media sites, the readership of publications in which you advertise, blogs on which you guest post, etc. Then, steer yourself in the direction of those with users compatible with your product. If you write epic fantasy, guest posting on two hundred blogs popular with erotica readers won’t be effective unless your novel’s elves are too randy for the final battle and instead, get hot and heavy in the castle stronghold.
2. Concentrate on the buyers.
While readers are great, more readers beget more word of mouth, and anyone who shares your work is a great help to you, not every avenue of promotion is equal. For example, while there are exceptions like the great Joanna Penn who gain a large following for their writing by building a writing-based blog, most often, other writers are not going to be an audience who becomes an avid fan base for your book (Let’s face it…writers are supportive of each other, but we’re busy focusing on our own books, too!). If you have a limited time to promote, head for spots where your target audience is (refer to number 1).
[Note from Joanna: I would second this point! I also wanted to note that I started this blog back in 2008 when I was only writing non-fiction and just wanted to document my self-publishing process. It has morphed into a completely different business and later I started writing fiction, but my site for that is at www.JFPenn.com where I DON’T talk about writing!]
3. Work the connections you’ve found to popular books in the same vein as yours by appealing to those books’ readers.
Got a psychological thriller you think Dean Koontz fans might like? Check out his aesthetics and marketing techniques. I’m not saying to tie up Koontz’ cover designer, throw him in your trunk, and take him home and force him to create your cover, too (This is my cover before! Do you see?! This is my cover changing. Do you see?!). I’m for putting your own stamp on things and staying original. All I’m saying here is that you can emulate certain style choices without Xeroxing Odd Thomas and pasting your head from last year’s Christmas card over Dean’s face on the back of the book. Or if you’re convinced fans of Eragon would like your fantasy adventure story, make a note of where you can find droves of Christopher Paolini’s fans and head to Dragon Con.
4. Hone in on your target audience when you decide on branding such as cover design.
For example, if you write romantic suspense with a target audience of female consumers of books in the vein of Harlequin novels with a suspenseful twist, a cover design featuring romantic leads in an embrace amongst other elements might enhance your appeal. However, if you’re writing a thriller that contains a love story but might also be heavy in action and adventure and so your target audience might also contain men who are fans of Clancy or Ludlum, a heavy romantic element in your branding may hinder more than help.
Comments are closed