Finding Your Ideal Audience: A Step-by-Step Guide
“Readers of this site already know the biggest secret in publishing: writing your book is only the start.
It’s an amazing start—you’ve done something most people only dream about!—and it’s essential to creating a career as a writer, but it really is only the beginning.
Once you’ve written the book, you need to find readers for it. And as tough as the writing process may have been, figuring out how to attract, connect with, and convert potential readers into adoring fans can seem intimidating.
Take a deep breath.
We’re here to help.
Finding your ideal reader and turning them into a loyal fan isn’t as hard as you think. It takes some solid research, dedication, persistence, and a willingness to experiment, but once you get the hang of a few simple strategies, it’ll stop being a chore and become part of your daily routine as a working writer.
In part 1 of this book marketing series, we’ll explore how you can build your audience step-by-step, starting with figuring out who that ideal audience is in the first place!
Let’s get started.
How to Identify Your Ideal Reader
The first step in building an audience is to figure out what you want that audience to look like.
It doesn’t do you a heck of a lot of good to build an audience that doesn’t actually want your book. If you’ve spent your time and effort assembling a loyal base of readers who absolutely love gardening, then go and write a how-to guide on car maintenance, you’re not going to make the best use of your connections! Sure, a few might buy the book, but you’re not going to see the results you wanted.
Instead, it’s best to concentrate on figuring out who you’d love to have reading your book—who’s your imaginary dream reader, the one you had in mind while you were writing?
If you know exactly who would benefit from your book, what they like and dislike, how they spend their time, and what their other interests are, you can find them more easily, make deeper connections, and serve their needs better.
And in the end, that’s what makes the biggest difference: providing the most value possible to your specific readers.
So how do you identify your ideal reader?
Follow these simple steps:
1. Create an Imaginary Superfan
Every author wants superfans. Not the kind that kidnap you into a shack in the woods and force you to write for them, a la Misery, but the kind who will buy everything you ever write and recommend your books to everyone around them.
Those are the fans that create a following.
When you’re starting your marketing plans for a new book (preferably in the pre-planning phase, before you ever put a word on paper!), think about who your perfect reader is.”