This post, by James Moushon, originally appeared on The Self-Publishing Review on 9/28/12.
One of the first questions a new indie author must ask is what audience will buy my book? The second question is how will I market to this audience? Both questions should be asked way before you get to the publishing stage of your book.
In the old days, there was a very standard set of rules and procedures. If you were fortunate enough to get picked up by a publisher, you got the finished product to the editors and off your book went into the market place.
On the other side, if you had to do the publishing yourself that added a lot of extra action points to get your book to the reader and getting your book into bookstores was a major component in determining whether your book was a success or not.
Well the whole process has turned upside down. Now the marketing targets are all different and the bookstore is no longer the primary focus in marketing your book. It is a turkey shoot, as they say.
Marketing using social media and the Internet are becoming the top choices for marketing for self-publishing authors.
The author must determine their audience, what they read and where to find them all online.
Knowing your audience will be the key in how you approach the marketing of your book.
Multiple Reader Audiences
The first thing you must realize is that there are multiple audiences to address and each will require a different approach. I view audiences in three distinct groups, all separated by experience with online media.
1. Mature (55+)
Most of this group is new to electronics. Ebook readers and tablets are all new to them. They are accustomed to paper reading. Some have adapted but still fall back to paper. They look for the Deal of the Day or a low priced ebook. Their first selection maybe by genre or an author they like. They have no real online community involvement. Reaching them will take a more direct approach.
2. Working/Family Group (30-55)
These are readers that are established adults. They grew up reading traditional books but they are more computer-savvy than the mature group. They have adapted to ebooks because of the time and convenience factor. An online approach could work with this group but they will seek advice from more than online sources.
3. Mobile, On-the-Move Youth
They make quicker decisions. They can’t go anywhere and do anything without their cell phone or their iPad or some electronic device at the ready. They would rely almost entirely on online communications to make their buying decision.
They won’t read a book on their iPad but they may use the ebook for an information source. You see this in the resistance to accept e-textbooks. About 60% of this group does all their communication via cell phones exclusively.
In contrast, only 25% of the mature group use cell phones exclusively (No landline phone). (34% overall)
It’s like being in the right place at the right time to be successful. In this case, you need to be in the right genre and target the right audience.
Shooting at the wrong target
Read the rest of the post on The Self-Publishing Review.