Writing for Your Audience
Updated: Sep 8, 2022
How Audience Impacts Sales
When you’re writing and publishing a book, you want others to be able to read it, experience it, and love it. That’s why you’re publishing in the first place, right? For that to happen, you need to sell copies. You might be a natural salesperson or you may feel self-conscious about selling your work, but wherever you are on that spectrum, marketing and promotion are a necessary part of selling your published work. When you have thought about your audience, you can do a bit of research to get some solid guidelines on how to best approach writing, publishing, and marketing your book.
Considering the audience for your self-published book will help you on four fronts:
Crafting the work to fit your audience’s needs and expectations.
Communicating to your audience that your book is something they will be interested in and want to buy.
Getting your book in front of your audience so they know it exists in the first place.
Building a fanbase of readers that you can nurture and stay in touch with.
Writing with Your Audience in Mind: Crafting Content for Your Audience
It’s never too early to consider your audience. Most of the time, you’ve already thought about your audience a little bit – that's part of what genre is! But it’s helpful to narrow down more than just genre. Narrowing your audience can help you make writing choices so your writing will be more natural or relevant to your audience.
By identifying a narrow audience, you’ll also avoid falling into the trap of trying to please too many people – and by doing so end up pleasing no one. Get specific with your audience and write for them. The more you understand your audience and speak to their specific needs and expectations, the more satisfied they will be with your work. This will lead to more positive reviews, word of mouth, and other free marketing that you don’t need to worry about actively doing!
So while you’re writing, let some of your time be devoted to doing market research. You can talk to your friends or find some beta readers to give you their thoughts on who would enjoy your book the most, and then seek out those people, or you can do your own market research. The people you talk to could be the beginnings of your devoted audience!
Formatting with Your Audience in Mind: Communicating Your Book is For Them
Writing for your audience is only half the battle. As visual consumers, readers will need to be drawn to your book’s design and layout. Once people see the book, they need to know that it’s something they want to read. Everyone knows the old adage: “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” But the truth is, books get judged by their covers. The cover of a book is an efficient way to communicate what the tone of the book is, who and what the book will be about, and what kind of audience would enjoy the book.
When you’ve already determined who your audience is, you can benefit from the market research others have already done to determine a design and layout that will appeal to that specific audience. You can look up what types of covers appeal best to your audience or what color schemes may be the most eye-catching. If you’re publishing a print book, you can identify what size book, what type of paper, and what type of finishing or texture best conveys your book’s message. Also consider: how should the book be distributed? Does your audience tend to prefer print books or e-books? Print books may be more costly, but would you get enough sales to make it worthwhile? Essentially, knowing your audience provides a shortcut to all the decisions that need to be made when publishing your book.
Don’t know where to start? This is where working with a company like Next Page can help! As your one-stop shop for all your self-publishing needs, it’s our job to have our fingers on the pulse of what will be most effective with the design and formatting of your book in your genre.
Marketing with Your Audience in Mind: Getting Seen and Getting Sold
You may have a great book that really speaks to your audience, but if they don’t know it exists, how will they buy it? This is where marketing comes in, and like considering audience, marketing starts earlier than you may expect.
Writers often don’t realize that there is a lot to be gained by starting to market and promote your book before the book is published. You want to create buzz around your book and especially encourage preordering. All preorders will count as sales on the day of publication, so the more preorders you have, the more visible your book will be on launch day, the more your book will be seen without you needing to actively market it, the more sales you’ll get when it’s new and a “hot seller.” (It’s like when you see that “Top 10” banner on Netflix—you'll want to watch it because other people are watching it and talking about it.) From there, the more people who get it on launch day, the more people you have talking about it and introducing others to it by word of mouth, another valuable marketing tool that won’t cost you anything.
Digital vs Physical Marketing
When you know your audience, you can narrow in on their habits using marketing research that in many cases is just a Google search away – or you can do your own research. For example, if your audience is 20-something women entrepreneurs wanting to grow their businesses, some questions you’ll want to ask yourself (or a sample of 20-something women entrepreneurs wanting to grow their businesses) include:
Are they typically on their phones or their laptops more?
What social media platforms do they use?
What types of webpages do they visit? What types of paper media do they tend to use?
What physical places do they tend to frequent (coffee shops, libraries)?
This information will help you narrow down which platforms to focus on when you’re spending money to buy ads so that your money can be most efficiently spent and give you the greatest returns.
Building a Fanbase and Beyond
As you can see, considering your audience is important at all stages of the writing and publishing processes. When you put all this together, you have a blueprint for how to build a small, devoted fanbase that you can nurture and grow for years after the book is launched.
Need help or don’t know where to start? Contact us today!
About Next Page
Next Page Editing & Design produces high-quality books that reflect authors' brands, purpose, and impact. We do this through editing, book design, launch support, author branding, and coaching. Once we finish our job, you keep your rights to print, sell, and promote your work while retaining 100% of your book's profits. We call this a "no-strings attached" model.
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