Friday, January 16, 2009

Who Should You Be Marketing Your Book To?

Your book marketing plan should include strategies for reaching several different target audiences:

• Readers -- people who buy the book to read. This is the most obvious category and it includes your primary audience (the "ideal customer" that the book was specifically written for) as well as secondary audiences who have an interest in your topic.

• Purchasers -- people who buy the book for someone else. For example, people buy books as gifts, parents purchase books for children, and women buy men's health books. Who would be likely to purchase your book for someone else, and how can you reach those folks?

• Influencers -- people who communicate with your target customers and can let them know about your book. In online book marketing, the influencers may be the most important category of all. Think about how much you can multiply your marketing efforts when other people spread the word to their own readers and customers.

Traditional and online media are important influencers. You can reach them through traditional publicity efforts as well as online press releases and article distribution.

Other authors, coaches, and bloggers who cater to your target customers can mention you, your website, and/or your book in several ways, including blog posts, links, Twittering, ezine articles, and media sharing tools like Digg. Here are some tips on working with influencers:

• Search the internet to compile a list of the top websites, blogs, ezines, magazines, newsletters, online forums, books, ebooks, clubs, and association that cater to your target market or cover your topic.

• Study each site to get a good understanding of what they do and how it relates to your book, and look for possible promotional opportunities

• Write a thoughtful, customized email or letter complimenting the prospect about their site, publication, or organization, and suggesting some specific ways that you might work together to your mutual benefit.

• Read the top blogs and online forums on your list and look for opportunities to make useful comments about posts. When responding to posts, use a short promotional signature (name, author of xxx, URL).

How can you expand your marketing reach by promoting to all of your target audiences?

Dana Lynn Smith, the Book Marketing Maven, specializes in writing book marketing plans for nonfiction books. For more book marketing tips, visit her blog at and subscribe to The Savvy Book Marketer ezine.

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