Do You Know Your Non-Fiction Book’s Best Target Audience?

Judy Cullins – Guest Blogger, offers this post to Esteem Rising Readers. Enjoy!

One question I ask emerging authors is, “Who is your primary audience (target market)?” They often say, “Everyone needs my message.” They have an idea and just start writing. They don’t think ahead with a marketing point of view, so sadly their books and their services don’t sell well. My answer is, “I know you have something to say, but before you outline those chapters or write one, take some time to make your message strategic.” You can brand yourself in your book and chapter titles, so your primary audience knows you’ll write what they need and want to know. Anyway, how will you contact everyone?

Knowing your target audience is the first step to your business success. People read your book because they want answers for their specific questions. They have concerns and want solutions. When they see general copy, they get turned off and leave. This is a “kiss of death” because, if they don’t finish reading those chapters, they won’t recommend your book. There goes your 24/7 sales team!

Why not take this first step to making your book a business? If you do, you will be pleased with generating more book sales and increasing your business credibility and visibility. If you don’t write for a target audience, your buckshot message will not be effective, and take so much more marketing and promotion time.

When you write your book’s pre-marketing plan that includes writing out your book’s benefits and your specific audience, you tailor your book’s chapters for that audience. They will be happy, engaged, readers who are getting specific information they came for instead of general information they are not interested in. So many new authors think their story will capture attention. Remember, your readers don’t care about you. They want answers. Instead of writing a one size fits all longer book, divide and conquer. Write a series of shorter books, each one written for the audience who really wants it.

One Size Does Not Fit All

From a recent book coaching session, a nutritionist wanted to build her brand with a book about snacks. She has multiple audiences. From checking the best keywords for her new title, we changed the general title of “healthy snacks” to one for a more targeted audience. We created two strong keyword phrases in her evolving title. The first, “diabetic snacks” that is already searched by over 18,000 potential readers a month. Then we added another strong key phrase to “lower your blood sugar.” This benefit and keyword phrase more than doubled her search results. This shorter book aimed at a specific target audience will bring my client bigger results. She plans to build a series of these books for several specific audiences. She can finish this book much faster and start promoting it with blogs right away. And because of her laser focus, her promotions will be much easier and far less time consuming. Write for your audience who will gladly pay for what you have to say.

If You Don’t Laser Focus Your Book’s Audience…

Keep asking yourself, “Who really loves and wants my topic and my tips, and will pay for them to make their lives more productive, healthier, or easier?” “What will they Google when looking for answers?” When you don’t preplan and do marketing research, your best audience will miss out and not get your specific wisdom. You will miss out because of the high competition in your topic niche. Only the already famous or big marketers win with general titles (think of Mark Hansen and the Chicken Soup Series). He actually made more money on his how to market your book seminars.

If you don’t focus your book’s audience, you won’t create happy readers who will spread the word on social media! You will miss out on making yourself highly visible, credible, and branded as a leader in your niche. You’ll miss out on making your book dream happen when you can’t sell many copies. Even more important, you’ll miss out on expanding your business of which your book is just one part of it.

FACT. Quality content is still a top way to market you, your business and your book. Remember, your book is one important way to let your audience know who you are, and what you can do especially for them to lead to much bigger sales in your programs and other packages you offer.

Remember, to help guarantee your book’s financial success, you need to do some marketing research, and actually write out and answer upfront what I call the “9 Essential Hot Selling Points” that in this piece, includes knowing your specific audience, where they hang out online, and what challenges and concerns they have that they want answers for.”Knowing these is one thing, but incorporating them into your book, takes some real strategic thinking on your part.

How can you know what your primary audience wants before you write your book?

This is the key question, isn’t it? You need to know what you deliver is valuable to your audience. Who do you know who is interested in your information? One answer is to survey people you think may want your information. From my experience, and hosting a group on LinkedIn, they do offer this great opportunity. Do a LinkedIn survey. In it, ask your contacts to give you their greatest concern about their life or business. Be sure they share their background with you, so you know what questions to answer in your chapters. Even make each chapter one of their questions. Then, answer it after your opening hook.

While this seems daunting to some of you, it is all important if you really want to get noticed, respected, and appreciated by those you want to help. Knowing your target market is step one to know before you get those sales you want.

Judy Cullins
Book and Blog/LinkedIn Coach Judy Cullins helps you transform your LinkedIn presence into an income stream for life. Author of 14 books for business people authors that include “LinkedIn Marketing: 8 Best Tactics to Build Book and Business Sales,” Judy offers free, up-to-the minute weekly publications on writing and online marketing at



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