Monday, October 6, 2014

Target Audience, Benefits, and Filling a Need

You have an idea for a book. Now for the tough questions! Ask yourself:

• Who is my target audience?
• What are my book’s benefits?
• Does my book fill a need?

Let’s consider audience first. Create a reader profile sheet. This can guide you when writing the book, but the greatest benefit comes when you’re ready to begin promotions. Write down the following aspects as they relate to your target audience:

• Age
• Gender
• Income bracket
• Location
• What are their hobbies and interests?
• Where do they shop?
• Where do they frequent?
• What magazines, websites, and news sites do they read?
• What are their needs?
• Where do they hang out online?

Fill in as much information as possible. Refer back often to your reader profile and continue to add details. The more you know about your audience, the better you can tailor your book to appeal to them. (Still write the story you want to write but be aware of what your audience likes.) It will be that much easier to reach them when you’re ready to promote.

Now, what are your book’s benefits? How will it enrich your readers’ lives?

Are they reading for entertainment? Will your book amuse them? Will you help them to escape their everyday lives? Will they enjoy the experience?

Are they reading for enrichment? Will your book deliver meaningful and deep views? Will readers be moved by the experience?

Are they reading for information? Will your book expand their knowledge and understanding?

Are they reading to better their lives? Will your book help them save time or money? Will it provide healthier options? Can your book solve their problems?

This is where you really need to place yourself in your reader’s shoes. There are millions of books on the market. Why should they read yours? “They’ll enjoy it” is not enough. You must give people compelling reasons to read your book, appealing to their logic, their emotions, or both.

Finally, does your book fill a need? There are several aspects to consider.

Does your book provide information people are actively seeking? Is it new information or a unique take on a subject? Are changes in the world (technological, political, etc.) making this information necessary or beneficial?

Is your book tied to events, locations, or people? Is there a demand for this information? If other books already exist, will you provide new or more current details?

If a work of fiction, is it part of a new or growing trend? (Current trends will be on the slide by the time your book hits the market.) Is your story unique and fresh? Is there a demand for the storyline?

The more you can answer, and in as much detail as possible, the better equipped your book will be to succeed.

- Adapted from How to Publish and Promote Your Book Now by L. Diane Wolfe


Christine Rains said...

Terrific post. I believe finding the right audience is key. And sometimes it's not as easy as you'd think!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

So important to target our audience, if we're wanting to have any commercial success. And tweak our work as we go, in response to our audience.

Pat Hatt said...

Finding the target audience is key and then they will help spread the word to others, maybe not in that audience, indeed.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I just have to hope I amuse them.

cleemckenzie said...

What I've found is most people reading novels want escape. That opinion is based on a very informal and small survey, but I believe the readers who answered my question told the truth.

Good suggestions. And great marketing help.

Dean K Miller said...

As I begin to work through my first novel's first draft, it will be great to have this post along side so I can consider each point as I read.

Also, with two genre/reader specific books coming out soon, I can certainly make sure I point the product at the right target and hopefully hit the bulls eye.

Thanks L. Diane for a great post.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Thanks! You always give me such great things to think about when marketing.

dolorah said...

Lots to think about. I bookmarked this so I can browse it later.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I have this list highlighted in your book. Those elusive readers should know I'm trying to hunt them down.

Stephen Tremp said...

I have Diane's book and it's very helpful. And like Susan, I'm stalking, errr .... hunting down those elusive readers.

Michelle Wallace said...

I'm not sure who the target audience would be when it comes to a collection of themed flash fiction...will have to investigate...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Diane .. such a great adapted list of information - I've got your book too ... cheers Hilary

Tantra Bensko said...


Karen Lange said...

These are wonderful questions and points. They help take the guesswork out of the process. Glad you shared, thank you!

SittieCates said...

Great info. Taking note of this. Thanks!

Toi Thomas said...

Solid advice I will be sure to take. Thanks for sharing.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I hope this was helpful to everyone!

Sherry Ellis said...

These are all good questions to ask!