This is a guest post by Gail Z. Martin, author of the Thrifty Author’s Guide to Launching Your Book Without Losing Your Mind. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here. I asked Gail to write this post because many of the self-published authors I interview on the Medical Author Chat ask me for ideas to publicize their books about their EMS career.
There’s no such thing as writing for “the general public.” No book is perfect for everyone. That’s why it’s so important to really know your target audience.
- How old is your ideal reader?
- Is the reader male or female?
- What’s the level of education?
- Does your ideal reader work in a specific industry?
- What other hobbies and interests does that ideal reader have?
- Other than bookstores, where does the reader shop?
- What types of events does the reader attend?
- What publications does the reader read?
- How does the reader use the Internet?
- Which social media platforms does your reader use?
- What professional or hobby organizations does the reader belong to?
The better you know your reader, the more ideas you’ll find for marketing to that reader outside of traditional bookstores. Bookstores are important, but they’re not the only place to buy books. People also buy books in gift shops, museums, and specialty stores. They buy at conferences, festivals and workshops. They read blogs dedicated to their hobbies and interests, and if a book is mentioned that catches their interest, they’re likely to go look for it online or in stores.
If you know where your reader spends his/her time and money, you’ll know where to have your book. Sports enthusiasts go to sporting events, read sporting publications and shop in sports-related stores. People who fly model airplanes hang out in hobby stores, go to airplane-related events, and read blogs, social media and magazines about model airplanes.
So focus on getting your book where your readers already go. Ask specialty stores to carry your book on consignment. Submit articles and blogs and ask for book reviews with the online and offline publications your audience reads. Get a table and sell books at the events, festivals, conferences and workshops they already attend. This is so much easier than trying to get them to come to your website.
By Gail Z. Martin, author of The Thrifty Authors Guide to Launching Your Books Without Losing Your Mind. Available on Amazon.com and other online retailers, and in select bookstores.