Month: January 2020

Six Tips for Finding Your Audience

by Rick Lite (@stressfreepub)

When some authors begin the writing process, they do so with their target audience in mind and a marketing plan in place. This allows them to focus on creating and promoting the right content in order to build their author platform and sell their books. Even before you begin writing, you should first be aware of what you are trying to accomplish by writing. You should also know what message you are trying to promote, who the message is for, and how the reader will benefit from reading your book. If your goal is to attract as many readers as possible in order to sell your book, here are six tips to help. Take IngramSpark’s FREE Online Self-Publishing Course on How to Build an Author Platform

1. Who is Your Most Likely Book Audience?

Think about who would be interested in the content of your book. Visualize who they are, and what they look like. Your author brand such as your book cover, writing style, font size, title metadata, and other components will help dictate who your audience is by attracting certain people, so you should use these elements to define who your primary audience will be. When your audience feels as if you are speaking to them, you are more likely to convert them into customers. 

2. Expand Your Target Audience

It’s also important to consider secondary markets. Secondary markets are those that are not the most obvious, but who would also be interested in your book. For example, a children’s book written to help kids manage anger would have a primary audience of children, and a secondary audience of parents, educators, therapists, or others working with children. As tempting as it might be to think the parent would be your primary book audience (children don’t usually buy their own books), avoid overthinking this process and focus in on who will be reading the book.

Try to come up with at least five markets for your book—a primary market and four secondary markets. To help you discover other secondary markets, you can start in reverse with a broad audience and then narrow it down.

3. Identify Books That are Similar to Yours

Take the time to research other books that would be in the same category, genre, or niche. Search for ‘established’ and ‘top-selling’ books within the category and make a list of the titles and authors. Once you recognize who your competition is, it may be easier for you to pinpoint your potential readers because chances are, you share the same target audience.

4. Look at Social Media

Now that you have identified the established and top-selling books within your genre, look at who is following them on social media. Don’t be surprised how much information can be gained by looking at the interactions and posts. Keep an eye out for the demographics, trends, and other habits that might not be obvious, but can provide a tremendous amount of useful information.

Another strategy for social media is to connect with groups and online communities that have shared interests. Run a search on Facebook for groups who are interested in books similar to yours. Look for followers for your book’s genre on Twitter by searching for tweets that contain related hashtags. Carve out some time each day to work on these strategies.

5. Find Other Channels

A few simple Google searches will direct you to online communities, blogs, and networks where your target audience is already engaging in information sharing and promotion activities. Look for blogs that are within your genre. Look at the author websites of the established and top-selling book authors to see what their articles are about and who is commenting. Engage in guest posting and guest hosting activities to gain exposure to other audiences.

6. Ask for Help

If you’re having trouble identifying your target audience, ask other authors or industry professionals for help. Most authors would love to help a fellow author identify their target audiences and share knowledge. Make sure you ‘pay it forward’ when an indie author is looking for guidance from you. This keeps the book industry thriving. 

Once you find your target audience, the focus shifts to building a following. There are a couple of ways to do this. First start with creating and sharing well thought-out content appropriate for your audience. Figure out the right times and platforms to post the content. Use software to automate and track your post schedule. Be generous with your time and thoughtful promoting others. Promote your message and book no more than 20% of the time. The other 80% should consist of promoting others along with tips, quotes, and content relevant to your message.

Once you’re posting consistently, reach out and follow others aligned within your target audience. With more activity on your social media platforms you should have more success with others following you back. Connect with like-minded people and promote each other. Go beyond just following or liking their profiles. Retweet or repost relevant content and connect with their followers as well.

Find groups, organizations, and associations to help you be successful. You never know who will help you reach the next level of success.

Visit: Alberta’s Books at

10 Top book marketing articles from Build Buzz in 2020.

Visit Sandra Beckwith at

1. 2020 literary calendar with 122 occasions for book fans

This month-by-month list of occasions that celebrate all things books during the year we’re leaving behind makes it easy to find opportunities you can work into your book marketing plans. It includes information on how to use the 122 special days and holidays for year-round book marketing.

2. Book cover re-designs: A pro offers 7 before and after examples

This guest post by cover designer Alexander von Ness explains the thought process behind makeovers of seven fiction and nonfiction book covers. Each example includes the original cover and Alexander’s redesigned version, along with a link to a more detailed examination on his site.

3. “I wish I had known that before I self-published.” 25 authors share what they’ve learned

I asked self-published authors, “What do you know now about self-publishing that you wish you had known when you started?” This article showcases their responses on everything from where to learn what you need to know to whether you should publish on Amazon exclusively and the importance of a book marketing plan.

4. TikTok demographics for authors

TikTok was the fastest growing social network in 2019. This 2020 article digs into the video platform’s demographics so you can see if it’s a good fit for your target readers.

5. 3 Amazon secrets every author needs to know

In this guest post, book marketer Rob Eagar explains how to use Amazon’s power to your advantage. He presents three little-known Amazon secrets that can make a big difference, including how to use the platform to build your author email list.

6. The shy author’s guide to book promotion

While some authors embrace book marketing and promotion with enthusiasm, many just wish it would go away. In this article, I detail five “I can’t do this” obstacles I see the most from shy authors. It includes ideas for getting around them.

7. 2021 literary calendar with 137 occasions for book lovers

This December update to the popular 2020 list published last January takes things up a notch with more holidays and a “download and save this calendar” option designed to make it even more useful.

8. Trade book reviews: Behind the scenes with a professional reviewer

Rose Fox, director of BookLife Reviews, Publishers Weekly‘s paid review service for indie authors, explains trade reviews (also known as media and literary reviews) and how to get them. She walks us through exactly what happens on the publication review side. She also explains why getting a book reviewed can take a lot longer than you’d think.

9. How to get awesome book cover blurbs

Many self-published authors refer to their book description as a blurb, but the publishing industry uses that word for pre-publication endorsements and testimonials. This article addresses who to approach for endorsements and presents nine steps for snagging blurbs your mother would be proud of.

10. 4 steps to new book marketing habits

This article breaks down the habit-making recommendations of B.J. Fogg, author of Tiny Habits: The Small Changes that Change Everything. It’s a must-read if you’re serious about improving your life by replacing habits that don’t work for you anymore with those that will do the job.

I was happy to see that three of the top 10 book marketing articles here were written by guest bloggers.

It’s a reminder that guest blogging in reverse — bringing top authorities and experts to your site instead of going to theirs — helps provide your readers with useful content that matters to them.

From Alberta Sequeira

What would you like me to look up for you with writing?