Define your target audienceBefore you begin to write your book, it is important to know WHO you’re writing for. Identifying your audience will help you not only develop your manuscript, but you will be better able to choose marketing methods for your book.

Are you writing a book for:

 Single moms with young kids?
 Single moms with teenagers?
 Teenage girls with self-esteem issues?
 Men who love baseball?
 Realtors who are new to the business?
 Corporate executives from large companies?
 Corporate executives from startup companies?
 Business owners with 10 to 50 employees?
 Business owners with no employees?
 Rock band managers?
 Dog owners?
 Amateur athletes who want to go pro?
 30-something men who want to lose weight?
 Single women in their 20s?
 Single women in their 40s?
 Married women who are unhappy?
 Married women who are happy?
 Mid-life men who want new careers?
 Retirees seeking a new mission in life?

The more specific you can be about your audience, the better you will be able to appeal to their interests. Here are some examples.

 A financial planning guide could be written for single moms, ages 30 to 49.
 A book about the history of the San Francisco Giants could be written for male baseball enthusiasts, ages 30 to 65 who are from California or grew up there.
 A book about living with food allergies could be written for moms, ages 20 to 35, who have kids with food allergies.
 A book about time management could be written specifically for upper management in large corporations.
 A book about healthy living strategies could be written for women, ages 35 to 65+, recovering from cancer.

While it can be tempting to cast a large net and try to reach a larger audience, your book has a better chance of standing out when you can carve out a niche audience with little competition! Once you’re clear about who your audience is, you can target your writing and your marketing toward their unique challenges and interests.

To gain a better understanding of your audience, answer the following questions, even if you don’t believe they all apply or are relevant. Developing a profile for your ideal reader can help you make all kinds of decisions when writing and promoting your book.

  • What gender do you want to reach?
  • What is their age range?
  • What kinds of occupations do they commonly have?
  • What hobbies or interests do they engage in regularly?
  • What questions do you find yourself answering repeatedly by people in your target audience?
  • What trade associations do they belong to?
  • Where do they spend their time outside of the office?
  • Do they have children? And if so, what age range?
  • What blogs, news sources and magazines do they read?
  • What books would they be likely to read?
  • What do you want readers to gain/learn from your book?
  • What are some potential secondary audiences for your book?
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