Common Mistakes Authors Make: Not thinking about who their readers are

Authors not thinking about who their readers are is a major issue.  This is not only Author-ship 101, it’s Marketing 101.

Up until only a dozen or so years ago, in terms of author marketing it was OK to focus on going wide… who’s the general target market.  For example – women aged 25-45, who lived in suburbia and worked full time. Now, it’s a much better idea to niche it down to understand who exactly your reader(s) are likely to be.  For example – 40-55 year old women who take holidays overseas at least once a year, most likely drive a blue Ford Taurus, work an average of 35 hour per week, have two, but no more than three children aged 15 or over, and  a dog.   Maybe also a cat or a budgie.

Why is it so important to know your market to this level?

Because you want to know how much time they are likely to have for reading, how many books a year, are they likely to read fiction or non-fiction, what other authors are they into, and do they prefer Kindle or printed books? Where do they hang out on line? Are they more into Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Linked In, or Facebook?   Single, dating, independent, gay,straight, belong to women’s groups, drink chardonnay or merlot?

The more you know about your intended readers, the more easily you can pinpoint a marketing strategy aimed at exactly those people – not all the maybe readers.  Because the ‘maybe market’ are less likely to finish reading your book  – and finishers are more likely to review and post feedback. And the maybe market are easy to get the attention of through your target marketing, but their conversion rates are lower, meaning that it costs you a lot more to advertise your book to them.

This therefore, all comes back to the first rule of writing a book – decide why you are writing it, for whom, and what you want to have happen when they read it.

Why are you writing a book – and why now?

What made you get up one day and say – I’m going to write a book about leadership, or customer service, or dog grooming for poodles.

Who is going to read that book – and why do they care what you have to say on the matter, vs the same subject covered by literally thousands of authors over the last decade.  In the case of Leadership, there are actually 10s of thousands of authors.

What do you want to have happen when someone reads your book? 

Will they grab your details and book you for coaching, training, to speak at their convention in the spring?  Do you want to elicit a lot of fan mail for your ego?  Or do you want your readers to form a political party and start campaigning about something?

Again – in each of these instances, the first thing to note is – who is your reader?

When you’ve worked that part out – you might be ready to write and promote your book. 



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