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WHO ARE YOU WRITING TO?

May 22, 2019

This may sound like an obvious question, but you have to stop and think about it, especially when it comes to marketing.

I just attended a writer’s conference and focused on marketing classes.

Let’s face it. My books aren’t exactly setting the world on fire, as far as sales.

That’s not to say I’m groveling in misery, by any stretch. Sure, I’d love to be selling like crazy, but I’m quite satisfied with what I’ve put down on paper and in the ether.

The catch is, finding those that like to read this stuff.

Since I write in multiple genres, I have a potentially wide audience to choose from.

However, it’s not that simple.

Same for you.

Whatever you write, who you think you’re writing for, may not be who is actually reading your books.

FIRST AND FOREMOST

Many of us, unless we take the mercenary approach, start out writing for ourselves. We get fired up, inspired, and decide on a genre or subject and go all out and dream up our “masterpiece.”

After the fact, we strive to get it published and then we come across this little roadblock called finding an audience. While we may have what we think is a popular genre (I pick that generality for simplicity), because there are so many categories of genres and sub-genres, that isn’t as simple as it sounds.

First and foremost, we write the story for ourselves and hope the audience goes along with us. In other words, we market the book to people like ourselves.

RUH ROH…

While there may be others like us that read such and such books, by doing targeted research, you may find some surprising results.

You may find that who you expected to read your specific genre is not who you thought.

Say you’re a thirty year old single female that writes historical romance. You expect your target audience of other single thirty year old single females to also read historical romance.

So, you target that group by hammering them through marketing on social media and with whatever else you use.

The book doesn’t sell.

You wonder why.

By using refined research techniques, you find out that your actual audience is married/divorced/single women from forty to seventy.

Not exactly what you expected.

THE POINT

My exaggerated example is something I learned from the marketing classes I attended at the conference. I’m still just sticking my foot in the water on that one. It takes a good bit of research to figure out how to find who your actual readers are. You need to find those that read the same and similar books to yours. There are a lot more steps. It involves an Excel spreadsheet and multiple web sites.

It seems to be worth it in the long run, but it is time consuming.

I’m going to work it, but I won’t know the results for a while.

This is a long-term project.

I guess it’s a lot better than the spray and pray method of marketing.

SUMMARY

Though it takes work, it’s a lot better to target your audience and know you’re hitting the right people, than to think you are.

We can assume we know our audience because we write fantasy or romance or westerns or whatever. However, you have to consider all the sub-genres within each of those categories. They can get very specific and things are not as simple. That’s where you need to find the same or similar authors and find your true audience.

Then you can truly target your readers.

Happy writing!

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