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Hey Authors, Who Is Your Target Market? Do You Know?


Hey Authors, Who Is Your Target Market? Do You Know?

Many authors don’t have the slightest idea who their target market is when writing a book. Frankly, I wonder whether they even know what a target market is. This is sad.

I recently spoke with an author who had written a novel. I asked him who his target market was. “Damn good question,” he replied. “I like to think it’s anybody who can read English.”

Are you kidding me?!!!

Do you know who your target market is for your book – or prospective book? Does your book speak to those people?

If you haven’t started writing your book yet, what better time to think this through than before putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard.

Who would most likely read the book? Who do you WANT to read the book?

Write to their educational level

Just as you don’t talk to a brain surgeon the same way you would talk to a four year-old, you should use the language and tone of your market. That way you connect with them where they are.

Do you mean I have to have someone in mind (besides myself) when I’m writing? Yes, it is always good to visualize someone reading your work before you write it.

It would behoove you to consider whether they had the disposable income to purchase your materials.

Hopefully, you’re not just selling a book. I would hope you are selling your thought leadership instead. A book is transactional. Thought leadership is transformational.

Who is, or could be, your target?

What problems do they have? What solutions do they seek?

My advice would be to “Delight the few that attract the many.” In other words, get laser focused as to who your target audience is. You may find out that it is not as specific as you thought it was. But if your market is influencers, they have a “fan base,” who very well can be persuaded.


Demographics are the hard data. They are the statistical data relating to the population and the particular groups within it. Things like age, income, political affiliation, zip code. Objective information.


Psychographics is soft data. It is more subjective. Things like whether they are price sensitive or brand loyal. How do they feel about certain things?

In determining a target market for your book and ancillary materials, here are some things to consider:

How many people buy the kinds of books (or other products) you are producing? What benefits are they buying?

Where are these books purchased? Online? A bricks-and-mortar bookstore? Do they read them at the beach? At home? On the train or plane?

When do they buy the majority of them? Primarily in the summer as beach reading material? If so, you may have a seasonal market, in which case, sales could be slower as the weather gets colder.

Who buys them? Women more than men? What age group? 18-24? 25-34? 35-49? 50-64? Older? Do they live in the Northeast, North Central, Pacific Northwest, West or South? Are they suburban or city dwellers? College graduates or not? Advanced degrees? Who is the heaviest buying segment? Are they employed? Are they married? Do they have 3.2 children?

Perhaps your target market is housewives. Or businessmen. Do you know? Most authors don’t even consider these things before (or after) writing away. You editor should be aware of this audience, too.

It is important for you to determine WHO, then WHY. The WHAT comes last.

Finally, keep In mind that the person who makes the buying decision and the one who reads the book may be two separate individuals.

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