Audience Definition: Picking Your Target Audience - article

Have you written a book and are unsure who the audience is for that book? It’s important to know the audience as soon as possible. It’s best to know this even before you begin writing. But if you are past that point and still haven’t’ defined your audience, you are not alone. Even if you are done writing, you still need a clear picture of your audience in order to effectively market your book. 

You know that audience definition is important, but you are not sure who will be reading your book. How do you pick a target audience? To begin, reflect on who will seek your book. Keep a list of all your thoughts. Ask your colleagues who they think will seek your book. Consider the demographics of your intended audience. Are you writing for parkour-crazy teens or for travel-crazy seniors? Be as specific as possible. 

Think about your audiences' geographic location, cultural background, hobbies, political leanings, gender, stage of life, education level, needs, passions, problems and pain points, etc. How will your chosen readers react to your book? Personality, attitude, values, lifestyle, behaviors -- go deep when profiling your potential audience. The more specific you are, the more likely you are to find success. 

"Writing a book is an entrepreneurial enterprise as well as a creative one."

After you know who the audience is, begin finding and connecting with them by asking what kind of groups, organizations, or associations they would be a member of, what causes they’d be interested in, what do they do with their time and money? The answers will help you find them.

Next, you need to know why your book stands out in the marketplace, and you also need to know what benefit it brings to your readers. Writing a book is an entrepreneurial enterprise as well as a creative one. Your book needs to meet some need of your readers. Be sure that you understand the benefits that your book provides. 

What is the benefit of reading a cozy mystery? An afternoon to escape from a humdrum life. What is the benefit of reading a memoir about a wounded soldier? A glimpse at the resiliency of the human spirit for those who stayed at home. What is the benefit of your cookbook focused on dairy and gluten free options? The ability of your readers to enjoy great tasting food despite food allergies. Every book has a specific benefit. Define how your book benefits readers. This will help you define your audience. 

Don't forget to look at the competition. Who writes in the same space as you? Who is their audience? Do you have the same audience? Consider how your book stands out in the marketplace. You want readers to spend money on your book. Make sure that your book fills a niche or a need that is not already filled by specifically defining your market. You must do your research.

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