We’ve talked about genre, and finding the readers you’ll want to reach, as they’ll be most likely to purchase your book. Sometimes the research can be exceedingly difficult. Many target demographic research costs money, resulting in your inability as many do not have hundreds of dollars to spend just figuring out where to find the ideal reader for your book. Below are five methods to find your demographic.
1) Look at yourself. If you’re doing this write, you’re writing the books you want to read. So, people like you should be one of the target demographics, if not the key target. Fill out the ten identifiers discussed a while back and fill it in. Then you’ll have an idea of at least one type you’re aiming for, right?
2) Look at social media. In theory, you’re already on GoodReads, the social network for bookworms and aficionados. As a result, find people reading the books you’re looking at currently, since you’re already reading what’s hot in your genre to understand the present state of the market and can speak to the industry influencers with confidence, right? Look at who’s reading the books that were your inspiration for what you’re writing. Odds are, they’ll be interested too if they’re sharing the book via social media and giving it high ratings. It means it’s worth their time, so that means yours will be too.
3) The Census gathers information on citizens and compiles it. It’s technically illegal not to fill out the census. Therefore, it’s a pretty comprehensive overview of the people in the country right now. So put in the zip code of your favorite bookstore, find out what age/income/education levels in the area. Be careful you don’t pigeonhole yourself into thinking that one zip code will be enough data, though.
4) Talk to published authors in your genre. If they’ve done any publicity work, find out who attended their book signings. Who engages the most on social media with them? What has worked for those writing similar works? The writing community is a very nurturing one with little, to no, sense of rivalry among authors. Most will be very kind and share. If you find out some good information, be sure to pay it forward.
5) Earlier there was a discussion regarding the habits of your readers outside of the written word. What activities do your readers engage in beyond writing? Are they gamers? Outdoor enthusiasts? Food and wine nuts? By seeing what readers do beyond, you can begin to understand their lifestyle, and therefore dissect what it will take to reach them through non-traditional avenues.
Have you found your demographic? Help out others in your genre and post in the comment section. The conversation is always live on Twitter @ThomasAFowler. Use the hash-tag #WritersConquest. As always, kick some ass and be proud of what you do.