Your Book’s Target Market: Every target audience is receptive to different messages so you need to tune your communications to suit

Today I’m going to dive deeper into the Foundation Framework of the book marketing pyramid. To recap, the Foundation Framework is made up of 3 components

  1. Your goals for your book
  2. Target Audience
  3. Avatar

Today I’m going to dive a little deeper into the Foundation Framework and help you to define your target audience.

A big and common mistake I see way to often is Self-Published Authors thinking that everybody is their target audience. Don’t beat yourself up over it as this issue is poorly addressed by 90% of small businesses around the World.

I know you love your book, after all it’s your baby that, for many, has been many years in the making. You honestly believe that your content will be of value to a massive number of people and your probably right.

There is a golden rule when it comes to book marketing, if you attempt to talk to everybody you end up being heard by no one.

Every target audience is receptive to different messages so you need to tune your communications to suit. But remember this:

Your target audience is only one of two factors you need to consider

The other factor is persona or sometimes referred to as Avatar of your ideal client within each target audience. I’ll be exploring this in Saturday Secrets Episode 5 so no need to be concerned with this just yet as it will all come together then.

Before you start to define the target audiences, that’s right, plural, you need to understand that it’s OK to have more than one target audience, it’s just that you need to communicate differently to each audience.

Another thing to remember is that when you’re talking to one audience some people in another audience will hear you and buy from you anyway. This can give you great insight into additional markets, some of which you may not have even thought of.

Understanding buyers

When it comes to book buyers there are three major categories you need to focus on:

  1. Existing Fan Base

Includes family and friends, as well as existing contacts on your database and social media followers

  1. Influencers Fan Base

These are people who already have relationships with your target audience

  1. Your Book Buyers Fan Base

When somebody within your target audience buys your book, there is a high probability that they are connected to others that would benefit from and buy your book.

Each one of these buyer types exist within your target market and each one needs to be communicated with differently. We’ll dive into this more deeply on the next episode when we dive into Personas.

I just wanted to mention this now as way of background as well as it being able to help you define your target market

Ideal Reader / Customer

This can be vastly different depending on your goals for your book. For example, if you’re a business coach and your goal is to get more high paying clients then your ideal coaching client is also your ideal book client.

Start by creating a high-level definition of your ideal client / reader.  You’ll refine this in the next episode.

To follow on from the business coach example your ideal client maybe sales managers of medium sized businesses.

The fastest way to selling your first 1000 books is to sell to existing customers / readers. Think harry Potter series. Now you need to take stock of your existing fan base and customer base. In the coach example, you would identify all the sales managers, and I would even go as far as to identify all sales people as well. Analysis the data and you will probably see a pattern, and in this case, I would expect to see the pattern revolve around Industry and/or geographical location.

List Your Target Markets

Now you have your first target market, in this case it may look like

  • Sales managers in manufacturing business turning over $50million that are in Melbourne

Before locking in on the first target market to focus on you need to create a list. I like to list out at least 5 target markets. These markets may come from your existing fan base or they could be target audiences that you would like to go after.


Simply list your target markets in order of your priority. I prefer to list them in order of speed to make a sale, remembering that it’s easier and faster to sell your book to an existing client / fan than to somebody who has never heard of you.

No Existing or Small Fan Base, No Problem

If you don’t have an existing client or fan base, then you simply do the data analysis after you’ve developed your short list of target markets.

  • Pick one that you would really love to work with. Put this as your number one priority, provided the number stack up.
  • Do some research to find out how many people fit within each target market. For fiction, I have a threshold of 100,000 while non-fiction I drop it to 10,000.
  • Simply list your target markets according to the market potential, job done

Remember This

Start with the number one on your list. Fully focus on this target market until you either get great penetration and it develops a life of its own (often referred to as the tipping point) or you decide to drop it your whatever reason. Chances are that you won’t even need to move to other target audiences.


Write down your prioritized target market list. Put the list were you can see them every day. Share them with others to create a sense of self accountability.

Stay tuned for the next episode when I dive into Personas.

Published On: March 30th, 2020 / Categories: Self-Publishing Tips /

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