Do you want to write a book that attracts more opportunities for your business or career?
Are you focused on simply finishing the book and getting it up on Amazon? Are you assuming that once you start telling your friends and colleagues, it will automatically sell like wildfire?
If that is the extent of your marketing plan, you’ll be in for a rude awakening.
Without a proper plan for consistently letting people know about your book, you will have disappointing sales. Book sales do not magically happen. You must have an intentional strategy for selling it.
It’s not enough to focus all your energy on the writing and physical production of your book. If you hope to attract more notoriety in your field, more leads, clients, speaking opportunities, and business collaborations, you must be prepared to treat your book as a business.
There are many components of treating your book like a business, but in this article, I want to touch on just two foundational elements: Your target market and your plan for reaching them.
Book Business Key #1 – Define Your Target Market
Every book (whether fiction or nonfiction) will appeal to a specific audience. The moment you say your book is for “everyone,” you are setting your book up for disappointing sales. Just like every business solves a particular problem for a specific group of people, your book must do the same.
To uncover your book’s target market, consider asking yourself (and giving thoughtful, in-depth answers to) the following questions.
Who is your book best suited for?
What problem(s) does your book solve?
What groups of people are looking for the type of solution(s) I provide in my book?
It is critical that you have the answer to this question before you start writing. It will help you to remember to ensure your content fulfills the desires and meets the needs of those in that demographic. Not knowing your target market it makes it more challenging to market and sell your book. While “everybody” could buy and read your book, the reality is everybody won’t.
Figure out what problem your book solves. That will give you a hint as to which groups of people (what characteristics they share) will be the most likely to enjoy your book, receive the most benefit, become raving fans and enthusiastically share it with their family, friends, and colleagues.
To further help you define your target market, think through demographical questions.
Will mostly women or mostly men appreciate your book?
Does your book appeal to heterosexuals or someone in the LGBTQ+ community?
Does ethnicity or economics play a role in who will be best served by your book?
Are people in a particular age group going to gravitate towards your book?
Are you teaching about a specific topic? Who’s interested in it?
Book Business Key #2 – Develop a Plan for Promoting Your Book
Once you know who you is most likely to read your book, you can then put marketing and PR plans together which are designed to get messages about your book in front of those groups. When you know who your book is intended to help, you are in a better position to understand where to find those groups of people and what kind of message they will respond to.
To find out where your target readers are hiding out, ask yourself these questions:
Where do your target readers hang out online and offline?
What websites do they visit?
What associations or groups are they a part of?
What blogs or magazines do they read?
What TV shows or web series they watch? Which podcasts do they listen to?
What are their top 5 apps they use on their phones?
Which social media platform are they active on?
What restaurants do they visit?
What types of activities do they like to participate in?
The answers to questions like these are the foundation of putting your book’s marketing strategy together. I just hinted at about 10 potential marketing channels you could use to find potential buyers and readers of your book. If you don’t target your efforts, you could wast a lot of time and money marketing in the wrong places.
For example, let’s say you are a judge and you write a book giving advice to lawyers who want to transition their skillset so they too can become judges. Naturally, you will want to get your book in the hands of lawyers or students in law school, right? You wouldn’t waste your time putting out messages about your book in front of fitness instructors, would you?
That is the power and benefit of having a clearly defined target market. You can send targeted messages and efficiently invest your time and money for better returns. This is a fundamental operational principle you’ll see at work in the biggest multinational and most successful small business operations. Nailing these two questions down will set you on the right path for successful sales and resulting opportunities.
What do you think about these two keys to treating your book like a business? Is this a new concept to you? Do you have other keys to share? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll respond.
Do you need help thinking through the business aspects of your book? Not only do I work with people concerning the content of their book, but I also leverage my digital and direct response marketing experience to provide advice and/or strategy plans. If you’d like to talk, feel free to book a complimentary “Needs Assessment” appointment with me to learn more.
Not ready for a conversation with me? No worries. I’d like to invite you to take a small but crucial first step towards completing your manuscript by writing a killer title for your book. Having a strong title already written will help keep you motivated and focused through the writing process.