Spending months writing a book, creating the words, the flow, and the storylines and perfecting it beyond all measures might sound like the hard part. And to an extent it is, but once you have your book ready to print, or even printed and on the shelves, you are by no means finished, and in fact you still have a long way to go. Because, if you haven’t thought about your audience, targeted the right people, and reached out to those who are actually going to buy your book, then your book will sadly sit there, untouched, on the shelves until you do.
So think about these four different questions when you’re looking at marketing your newly printed book, and you should be able to reach out to the right audience which, in turn, will get your book sold.
First of all, remember that your target audience is likely to be the thin end of a funnel, not the wide end. You can’t be targeting every single reader out there, but similarly you can’t be targeting everybody in the young adult category, for example. Narrow down your selection, decide on your age group, your gender, your demographics, what will your readers be interested in? What do they really want to know about, or what do they really want to fantasize about?
Next, make sure that your book speaks to your audience. People want to read about something that related to them or speaks to them in some way, so make your story about your readers. If your book is already written, you might have to rethink your audience based on your characters in your story. If you’ve written about life in a high school, you can’t really go looking for an audience in the 50 plus age range, can you? Make sure that the description of your book both on the back cover and online speaks to your audience as much as the story itself does, because who doesn’t want to read on when they realise that the story is about themselves?
Be where your readers are. If they are on twitter, engage with them on twitter. If they are on football forums, be on the football forums for them to speak to. Wherever your readers are, that’s where you should be, and you should see it as a big virtual (or not) cocktail party.
Think of any contact as networking, whether it is online or face to face. Once you position yourself in the same place as your readers, you can talk to them, but you can talk to them about what they want to hear. You’re not there to sell, you’re there to make friends, be social and network with like-minded people. You can mention your book in your profile or in your signature, and you can ask for people to like your Facebook page or retweet your announcements, but if that is all you do then it will ultimately fall on deaf ears.