Book Marketing Mondays: Your Book Marketing Plan – Who Should You Be Promoting Your Book To?

Guest Expert: Dana Lynn Smith

As you write your book and develop your book marketing plan, one of the first priorities is to define your target audiences.

The primary target audience for your book is the “ideal reader” that the book was written specifically for. In your book marketing plan, define the characteristics of your ideal reader, asking questions such as these:

• What is their age range, gender, and education level?
• Where do they live?
• What is their family status – single, married with kids, retired couple?
• What is their income level and occupation?
• What are their interests and hobbies?
• What makes this person the ideal reader for your book?
• What are their book buying habits?

In addition to the ideal reader, most books have several secondary audiences. Your book marketing plan should include strategies for reaching audiences such as these:

Readers – people who buy the book to read. This is the most obvious category and it includes your primary audience as well as secondary audiences who have an interest in your topic or genre.

Purchasers – people who buy the book for someone else. For example, people buy books as gifts, parents and grandparents purchase books for children, women buy men’s health books, companies and organizations purchase books to give away as gifts and premiums. Who would be likely to purchase your book for someone else, and how can you reach those folks?

Retailers – companies who buy your book to sell it to others. If you’re selling through physical bookstores or other retailers, you have the task of convincing these resellers that your book will sell in their stores and demonstrating how you can help generate demand.

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

Your book marketing plan should outline specific tactics for reaching influencers, including print, broadcast and online media. You can reach the media through traditional publicity efforts as well as online press releases and article distribution.

Other important influencers include authors, consultants, and bloggers who cater to your target customers. These folks 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 sincerely complimenting the prospect about their site, publication, or organization, and suggesting some specific ways that you might work together to your mutual benefit.

It’s also important to read the top blogs and online forums on your list and look for opportunities to make useful comments about posts. When commenting, include a short signature such as “John Smith, author of How to Grow Roses.” See this article for tips on how you can subtly promote your book by commenting on blogs.

How can you enhance your book marketing plan with strategies for promoting to all of your target audiences?


Dana Lynn Smith is a book marketing coach and author of the Savvy Book Marketer Guides. For more tips, follow @BookMarketer on Twitter, visit Dana’s book marketing blog and get a copy of the ‘Top Book Marketing Tips’ ebook when you sign up for her free book marketing newsletter.

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