Saturday, January 25, 2014

Who Will Read My Book?


by Janice Hermsen

When an author first starts to write, they often feel "everyone is my reader". To some degree, that is probably true or, at the very least, could be true. Once that same author puts their book on the market, reality begins to sink in as they see their book swallowed up into the Amazon/Barnes and Noble volumes of books.

So, how does a writer determine their audience? A writer must ask, “Does my audience focus on the genre I write? What do people that read that genre do for a living? What places do they frequent? Do they go to bookstores? Do they share interests the writer has? Are they wine drinkers? Networkers? Entrepreneurs? Salespeople? Clerks? Health Care Workers? Bankers? Techies? Teachers? Retired? Do they eat out often? Magazine readers? Online only? Outdoor lovers? Hiking, biking?

Are they people who use social media? If so, which one? Facebook? StumbleUpon? Tumblr? Pinterest? There are over 280 social media websites to connect with your reader. Do you belong to Goodreads? If your readers are on Linked In, do they belong to groups where you might interact with them?

Marketing a book, especially for a new author, is about building relationships and a profile of who might read their book, much the same as a writer develops profiles for fiction characters. A writer’s friends and family usually buy the author’s book. Why? Because they want to support the writer or they know the person well enough to find value in what was written. It is important to develop relationships with potential readers so they might find value in what you have written too.

No matter how a writer connects with an audience, they must have an idea of what a ‘typical’ reader looks like so they can find them. Writers with a following have done their homework and develop events and promotions that draw an audience to them. Of course, they must also have a book worth reading.