One of the hardest things for anyone to hear is, “You’re not everyone’s cup of tea.”
Yeah it sucks. Not everyone wants to read your work.
BUT, someone does. That someone is your Ideal Reader.
I mean if you think about your own reading habits, you gravitate toward certain genres and writers too, right? You don’t read everything and that’s ok. It’s ok because it’s what makes us unique and frankly, human.
Part of your author brand is identifying your ideal reader because everything you do in marketing is geared toward that person.
Who is your Ideal Reader?
Identify demographics: age, race, gender, income, career choice. Identify reading habits and personal habits, shopping, likes, dislikes. Put a face to this person and name him/her.
From here on out, everything you do, say, write, marketing, publish is geared toward your ideal reader.
Because that’s the person you want to read your work. Once you understand who that is, creating an experience for that person is 1000% easier, which is what you’re doing when you’re building a brand.
My reader is Bailey, a male or female author with a day job, probably over thirty-five and finally taking the time to write the novel or novels s/he’s always had in her/his head. When s/he was a kid, s/he played make-believe and always had her/his nose in a book. These days, Bailey attends at least one writers’ workshop or conference a year, belongs to the local writers’ organization, and tries to write when everyone else is asleep.
S/he might have a subscription to Writer’s Digest magazine and has probably finished the first novel but isn’t quite sure what to do next. Bailey might actually have two or three novels written and has decided to hire an editor and really give this writing life a go. S/he still isn’t sure what to do about marketing but is willing to learn. S/he’s on Facebook and Twitter, but may or may not have branched out to Instagram yet.
Where can you find your Ideal Reader online?
This tells me I can find Bailey on mainstream social media and in writers’ groups on Facebook.
- YouTube – generally male under 50
- Instagram – female or male under 50
- Facebook – 35-50 male and female
- Pinterest – female over 35, affluent, crafty
- Twitter – African American, Japanese, millennials, affluent
Where can you find your Ideal Reader in town?
I can also find him/her in certain locations around town that make for perfect book launches or author events.
I don’t advocate book signings at bookstores unless they are small, homegrown stores where you can throw a party and have a good time.
I advocate talking to groups who would be interested in your topic and therefore in your book.
- If your novel was a romance novel involving artists, then seek out art groups.
- If it’s about a woman who gardens, then seek out gardening clubs.
- If it’s a spy thriller with a main character from the CIA, seek out intelligence alumni or professional associations.
There is a group for absolutely everything and they are ripe for your picking.
How to plan a group event
Call the group leader and ask for 30 minutes. Tell them you’ll bring snacks, and take enough books for everyone because:
- Groups have meetings that need agenda fillers
- Groups want to be involved with the issues affecting them
- Smaller groups are more likely to talk about your book with you
- People are more likely to buy your books when they know you or have met you
Writers sometimes miss opportunities to reach their readership because the cookie cutter marketing plan doesn’t involve much speaking.
You wrote a book because you have something to say.
Say it to the appropriate audience and they’ll be more inclined to talk about your book.
And everyone knows word of mouth is the best seller of any book in any market.
Bottom line with your Ideal Reader is to fully understand who they are and think about them every time you create a piece of content. Talk directly to them. Arrange your ads around them.
You’ll find more readers and appeal to the right reader when you do this exercise.