Dec 31

Take Aim: Finding your Target Audience

Mass marketing is not always the best idea for most products and that is especially true in the case of books.  Not everyone will like what you have to sell and to market to groups that are not interested in your product is hard work that produces absolutely nothing for your efforts.    Trying to sell cosmetics to men is not going to produce a lot of sales.  Sure you might get the occasional dude who buys your product as a gift or perhaps for other reasons, not to say that there is anything wrong about that.  However, you would be better off marketing cosmetics to women as they are your target audience.

When you write a book, you generally write in a specific genre such as horror, sci-fi, mystery, romance, western, or many other fine genres.  In my case, The Daughter of Man would be considered horror/paranormal thriller and this very much determines my target audience.  If I were to market my book to die hard romance fans, they will probably not buy it.  My marketing efforts need to be focused towards fans of the genre with some bleed over into mainstream.

So how do I market to that target audience, how do I single them out?  One of the first mistakes many marketers make is to build a huge Twitter following and then spam them with their products.  This may gain you a few sales but it is not very productive as your twitter audience will most likely be a smorgasbord of good people who in many cases are not your target audience.  Don’t get me wrong, Twitter is a valuable tool for cross marketing and for looking for your target audience.

In the case of The Daughter of Man, I use Twitter hash tags to find people who would be interested in the book.  Basically I dissected my book first and looked for some of the common elements of the story.  The novel has ghosts, religious themes, good vs. evil, science, destruction, extreme weather, intense action/violence, and is very strongly plot driven.  These are just a few of the major themes and from them I instantly remembered that I had a ghost encounter and wrote a blog post on it called ‘The Cork Street Ghost.’

I shared the blog post with my followers but did not spend a lot of time marketing to them.  Instead I searched hash tags such as #ghosts, #paranormal, and #coasttocoastam.  These people are my target audience and they are people interested in the paranormal and thus a very good group to market to.  Also because they are interested in the material I presented, they began to Retweet my blog post which becomes cross marketing if you think about it.  It brings the right sort of traffic to my blog and these are people who may very well be interested in my book.

Twitter is just one tool and there are many other ways to reach your target audience.  For instance, you can find specific forums on goodreads.com that are genre specific and the folks that visit them are readers or writers that love the genre.  Writers are in your target audience too.  Stephen King once said that the best writers are the ones that read a lot.  It is true and I can testify that I have read some of my Twitter follower’s books and also books from people I have met in Goodreads.    Keep in mind, if you read someone’s book and you like it, make sure you review it.

Hopefully, you have a better idea about your target audience after reading this blog post and I encourage you add your comments below.  This dialogue is meant to be two way and I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas.  Perhaps you have a few secrets to marketing that we would all love to hear about.  Let’s take this to the comments field!


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  1. N.V. Binder

    This is a really useful blog post. I wrote about some similar lessons that I learned trying to market my book in 2011. I believe it’s easier to find your audience now than it has ever been before, and now that I have more than 50,000 words under my belt (for my two short novels), I feel like I’ll have time to work on reaching out to readers in my genre. I’ll be referring back to this blog post as I expand my marketing campaign this year.

  2. camountain

    I am glad to hear that my post is useful for you. I will definitely be adding more great information as the year goes on and as I learn more myself often through trial and error. I may have to eventually expand on it all and throw it into a book lol.

  3. Perry Martin

    Funnily enough, when I woke this morning I had already decided that one of the things on my daily “To Do” list would be further research on who my target audience should be. Finding the link to this article on Twitter was very timely indeed. Thanks for the very useful info and tips, much appreciated.

  4. camountain

    Thank you Perry. It is sometimes funny how we find things like that. You may also like my previous post on cross marketing. Anyway, I am open always for comments and I hopefully will be helpful in your marketing endeavors.

  5. Mary

    If I come across any marketing secrets, I will let you know. Great article, Candace. :)

  6. camountain

    I would really appreciate that Mary ;-)

  7. Yoeran

    Great blogpost, thanks for the tweet! What you describe is exactly where Whai is going to make some incredible tools for. I will surely stay on track with your blog, great conversations ahead.

  8. David W Anderson

    Targeting the right market with the right offer is always a key to success. Great blog!

    1. camountain

      Thank you David and you are absolutely correct!

  9. SS Bazinet

    Thanks again! This is the second of your blogs that I’ve read today. Both are very informative. I keep hearing about a target audience. Finally, your article gives exact ways of finding that audience :)

    1. camountain

      Thank you again. You may also be interested on my article on cross marketing which is at: http://blog.candacemountain.com/?p=52

  10. LK Watts

    Hi Candace,

    The paragraph about how to use Twitter for marketing I found especially interesting. I have recently started to do the very same things.

    1. camountain

      Thank you for your comment. If you are interested in more depth about the Twitter component you should take a look at my two Twitter marketing posts:


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