I recently blogged about how my latest advertisement on Amazon totally tanked. (You can read the article here or just pretend I never said that. I’d actually prefer the second option.) In that blog, I concluded my ad failed as I didn’t properly target my audience. The projected audience of the ad was in the hundreds of thousands. Yikes! As much as I’d like to think my books appeal to all one and half billion people who inhabit this planet we call earth and speak English, that’s just not true. Not even close to true. *Sighs*
But how do you find those potential readers who are actually interested in reading what you’ve written? Based on several blogs I’ve read and lectures I’ve attended, I’ve come up with the following system.
Find two or three established writers whose books are similar to the genre in which you write or the book you wish to promote. If you’re feeling lazy, go to your book on Amazon and check out the “customers also bought” section.
Study reader reviews of the writers’ works. I prefer Goodreads for this as finding information about readers is fairly easy. Find a review that resonates with you by a reader with an online presence.
Dig into the reader’s personality. Review her profile to see what other books she’s read. Does she have a website? Check it out! Questions to ask yourself to develop the portrait:
- Where is she located?
- What nationality is she?
- What type of educational level does she have?
- Is she married or single?
- How old is she? To what generation does she belong (millennial, X-gen, etc.)?
- What religion is she, if any?
- What other books has she read?
- What other products does she buy on a regular basis?
Repeat steps two and three with a few readers until you’ve been able to develop a clear picture of your target audience. Based on this portrait, you should now have an understanding as to where your readers hang out, what types of media they consume, and where they shop.
Now you know who you are approaching and where you can reach them. With many platforms (think Amazon and Facebook), you can target specific keywords or specific products. Using the portrait you’ve developed, you should be able to choose keywords or products that are aimed at your target audience.
Disclaimer: I haven’t put this information to use yet, but as soon as I do, I’ll let you know how it turns out.