Book Sales Success Secret #1: Who Is Your Target Audience?
How can you reach more people with your book? If you’ve wondered this, you’re definitely not alone. Most authors want as many people as possible to read their books and benefit from them. But if you really want to increase your book sales, the first question you should be asking isn’t “How?” but “Who?” In this first part of the Books Sales Success Secrets series, Coach Tam shares the importance of knowing all about your target audience – and how this crucial first step will take you one step closer to more book sales and growing your business or ministry.
In this episode, you’ll also hear:
- Why trying to convince as many people as possible to read your book isn’t the best strategy
- Why publishing a well-written book – while important – isn’t a guarantee of success
- How understanding psychographics plays a huge role in determining your book’s sales
- How to identify your target audience and focus your efforts on marketing to them
You know that book promotion is the key to your success, but at the same time you’re wondering: How can I get the best and the fastest results?
Maybe you’ve put tons of time and effort into promoting your book, but only made a few $100. Or maybe you’ve made back your investment and then some, but now you’re not sure how to go about growing your audience, your impact, and your income. Or maybe you are somewhere in between.
If any of those statements describe you, no matter where you are on the spectrum, know that you are in the right place. There are more people who want to buy your book.
That’s right: it’s not that there are people you can convince to buy your book – no, there are more people who want to buy your book.
The next question, then, is “How?” How do you reach those people? That’s a perfectly natural question to ask, but let’s press pause for a moment, because there’s actually another question that you need to answer first. And it’s not “How?” but “Who?”
Focus on Your Target Audience
There’s a saying in the business world that it’s important to focus on your core customers – also known as your ideal audience or your target audience – and that applies to Christian authors, too. It’s important to grasp, because family and friends may be supportive, but they’re not likely to be your biggest fans or your best customers.
So instead of focusing on family and friends, you need to identify the people who are most likely to be interested in your book and make an effort to be where they are. This means creating a plan that puts you in front of people that are already interested in your type of book.
Now, if you’re like most authors, you want as many people as possible to read and buy your book. And the truth is, a lot of people could benefit from your book. But this is not an instance in which you want to play the “shoulda, coulda, woulda” game.
Think of it this way: if you’re trying to convince someone who has been buying Mercedes-Benz cars for 20+ years to check out the latest Lexus, you’re going to have an uphill battle – not because Lexus isn’t a quality car, but because you’re asking this person to part with their belief system and their biases. They’ve bought this type of car for over two decades, because they’re convinced that it’s the best. And there is nothing that you – or I – could do to change that belief. They have experience and evidence that supports their position.
In the same way, if someone primarily reads nonfiction Christian self-help, trying to convince them that your latest fiction novel is a worthwhile read probably isn’t going to fly, no matter how well it’s written. And if your book is a western, there really isn’t a point in beating your head against the wall trying to convince an avid sci-fi reader that they should check out your book.
It’s Not Just About Quality
The bottom line is not everyone is a potential customer. Even if the message in your book is universal, your audience is not. You’ll always be better off marketing to those who are most likely to buy your book because they’ve already bought a book similar to yours. By doing this, you save time and money, while increasing your chances of success.
We tend to think that our book success depends on just quality, but the truth is that it depends on more than that. To really succeed, the book has to be marketed to the right target audience. That’s why you need to explore who is already interested in your book and target that group of people.
It all has to do with psychographics. Psychographics are the study of people’s attitudes, values, and lifestyle choices. In other words, these are things that help to identify what people think, feel and do. And this information is crucial for book marketing! Knowing your audience’s psychographics can help you determine where to advertise, what type of book a person is likely to buy, and even what time of year they’re most likely to make a purchase.
In short, understanding psychographics can have a big impact on your book sales.
Offer More, but Different
If you’re serious about selling more copies of your book, you have to think beyond who could benefit from your book to who already has a book like yours and is looking for more, but different. Those people are your target audience.
Which of these people would it be easier to sell an iPhone to:
- Someone who already has an iPhone and upgrades every chance they get
- Someone who has been Team Android since 2012
It’s a no-brainer, right? So make sure you’re putting yourself – and your book – in a no-brainer situation like this.
If you’re selling a self-help book, target people who already buy self-help books. If you’re selling a book about American history, target people who are interested in that era of American history. If you’re selling books about parenting, target parents who want to read about effective parenting techniques. And if you’re selling books about business, target entrepreneurs who are always looking for new business ideas.
The key is to identify the group that is already interested in and looking for your type of book, and then creating a strategy that targets that group specifically. This will ensure that your book reaches the right audience and then sells as many copies as it can.
Don’t Waste Your Time
Who is already looking for your type of book?
Sit with that question as long as you need to, because it is one of the keys to your success. Your time is valuable – don’t spend it trying to sell to people who are not interested. People who aren’t in your target audience aren’t likely to buy from you; you’re more likely to close a sale with someone who is already interested in what you have to offer, because it’s already important to them.
Focusing on your core customers or your target audience will help you attract the right customers and increase your sales. In fact, just by implementing this one secret, you’ll already be ahead of 99% of the authors out there.
But, of course, there’s still more work to be done if you want to achieve true book sales success. So take some time to really think about and identify your target audience, and then come back here next week for Book Sales Success Secret #2!
My name is Tamara “Coach Tam” Jackson and I am a published author, Facebook© Certified Digital Marketer, host of the Top 100 Publishing Secrets podcast, and founder of The Christian Authors Network (C.A.N.) Facebook© community. I specialize in helping mission-driven authors, coaches, and entrepreneurs increase their exposure, impact, and income through strategic self-publishing and digital media appearances. Just say yes and we will work together to attract a tribe of loyal followers that 1) “get you”, 2) love what you do, and 3) are happy to invest in your book, business, cause, or movement. Plus, we will accomplish all of this without fake, salesy, sleazy, or manipulative tactics. Yes you CAN write, publish, and profit in a way that honors God; join the community today at https://christianauthors.net/fbgroup.
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