Who do you think of when you’re trying to sell your book? Do you think of the ideal reader?
Strange question? Maybe, but you should ask it.
You want to find readers. But if you don’t know who you are addressing, probably nobody will feel addressed.
“Hey, I wrote a really great book. It’s suitable for anyone who can read, so buy it! “
Although you can read, such an offer will hardly convince you.
You will probably find the following message more interesting.
Hey, do you also love this mystical atmosphere in Iceland? And are you interested in stories with real feelings and mysterious happenings? Then have a look at my book.
Suppose you are interested in just such stories, you would be immediately curious and identify with the author.
I think you realise what I’m getting at.
Before you even start marketing your book, you should consider who your ideal reader is.
In short, an ideal reader is a person who benefits as much as possible from your book and is excited about your work. An ideal reader also buys every other book of yours and recommends it.
The idea comes from the marketing of companies that create an ideal customer avatar for each of their products. So they have a concrete idea to whom they direct their advertising messages.
The ideal reader has the most important characteristics of your target audience. You define a single person with hobbies, family backgrounds, desires, and behaviours. That will make your audience real and responsive, and you can decide in each situation whether or not a sentence, picture or video appeals to your ideal reader.
You can also imagine the ideal reader as your biggest fan.
But why should you use your precious writing time to determine your ideal reader?
You want as many people as possible to read your book, of course. But not some people, right?
You don’t really want anyone who can’t do anything with your topic to read your book and then distribute stupid comments, emails or reviews.
And that’s just one of the reasons why you should know who you are offering your book to beforehand.
Because if you don’t know your ideal reader, it costs you money, time, and above all, energy.
Money because your ad is not efficient and reaches the wrong people, but most of all because the right people are not buying your book. It costs you the profit you could make if you had directly addressed the right readers.
Time, because you are doing promotions that are not reaching the right people, and thus are not generating sales. More time, because you spend hours worrying about what you can do to reach more people. And even more time in which you hesitate, because you don’t know where to start with your advertising.
And energy because your activities don’t bring results. You’ll lose the desire to get your book amongst the readers. You will always wonder why your advertising isn’t working or only the wrong readers come to you.
You can save yourself from the drama by starting at the beginning and defining your ideal reader first. And then find readers. But how do you go about doing that?
The more you know about your ideal reader, the better. Finding him/her, it’s not just about identifying the factors that have to do with your book. You should get to know the reader as a complete person as if he/she were an acquaintance of yours.
Ask yourself the following questions and always keep in mind, that your ideal reader is the one who profits the most from your book and is absolutely passionate about you and your story.
How old is he/she, where and how do they live?
What is he/she working?
Are they married, do they have children?
What kind of hobbies do they have?
What does he/she not like at all?
What sense of humour do they share?
What goals do they have?
What are his/her desires and wishes?
Why does he/she read books?
What feelings does he/she expect from it?
Which books does he/she read?
Which films/series does he/she watch?
How do they spend their vacation?
Where is he/she active? Social networks, blogs, forums, special meetings.
How does he/she speak/write? Which language style do they use?
Be sure to answer these questions in writing, preferably in a profile in which you write down everything you know about your ideal reader.
A real role model may well guide your search if you know someone who could fit. You can also look for a matching photo so that you have an even better picture of your reader in mind. Anything that helps you get to know him/her better is allowed.
If you have defined your ideal reader, it doesn’t mean that only people with their qualities should read your book. It’s just that you know who you’re communicating with when you’re advertising.
So you’ve defined your ideal reader, but how do you use that information?
First, you can find out where you can reach him/her. If you know age, interests and media behaviour, it will be easy for you to find the ideal reader.
Can he/she be found on Facebook groups? Or on Instagram under particular hashtags? Does he/she comment on blogs or forums?
With that information, you can think about how to address the ideal reader and get noticed.
But please don’t say “Hey, I wrote a book that might interest you.”
Say it with contributions that you tailor to what your ideal reader likes. You are responding to the feelings that your reader is getting from reading a book to his/her interests and style of speech. Create the sense of identification; then he/she will automatically become aware of you and your book and follow you, visit your page or register, ideally, to your e-mail list.
And then you have the ideal reader, interested in your work and, ready to buy your book.
Do you already know who your ideal reader is? Share your thoughts in the little box below.
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