Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Guest Post: Target Marketing with Joseph Young

Save Your Story from Obscurity
By Joseph Young

So, you wrote a book, got it proofread and edited, and published it to Kindle. That's awesome! Now what? Perhaps, you are sitting back and waiting for the sales to come rushing in now that you are an accomplished self-published author, right? Well, you may be sitting there for a long time.

One of the biggest downfalls a product creator can make is creating a product without knowing who it is for. The same problem exists with authors too because they write books, which are products, without knowing who their audience is. I did.

You may be thinking, "I am writing for young adults!" But, the question is, "Who are these young adults and what do you know about them?"

1. Are they male or female?
2. How old are they?
3. Where do they live in the world?
4. What kind of books do they read?
5. What format do they like to read these books in: audio, digital or paperback?
6. What colors do they like? Yes, that is a valid question because people still judge books by their cover. Everyone has a favorite color. Do authors know what those colors are and are they able to use them in their cover in order to attract the reader?

In a recent webinar, book marketing experts Karen Risch and Vicki St. George shared some invaluable information every author needs to think about. One thing they discussed was knowing your target audience. 

An Author's Target Audience 

Every author needs to get clear on their message and the audience to whom the message is for. Without clarity, the author may lose the race before they get out of the gate. Authors are encouraged to boil down their book's message into one sentence. In fact, try boiling it down into one word! 

Knowing who your target audience is shapes the message of the book, or should. How many authors even consider their target readers before writing their novels? Most, without thought, just write without any target audience research.

Who are the competitors? Who is already reaching your target reader and what are those readers saying about their books? Searching Amazon and looking at reviews is one way to answer this question.

How will authors get their books into the hands of their readers? This point is where multitudes of online authors miss the mark completely and go astray. Without an online platform an author will gain no EXPOSURE. Every author needs exposure. No exposure means no readership and no readership means no sales; the author is living in obscurity. 

The only escape to this tragic disposition is for authors to rescue their own story from obscurity by stopping the non-beneficial marketing practices and establishing an online platform. The platform begins with a center stage called a website, a must have in today's world. The key to establishing this successful platform is wrapped up in one word -- story. 

An author's platform is like the front page of a newspaper. The front page is where the most important news is placed. In the old days, the paper boy shouted, "Extra, extra, Read All About It!" Afterwards, they spoke the headline in order to attract curious readers to buy the paper. 

So, you wrote a book, got it proofread, edited, and published to Kindle, but have you created a story that will attract the right audience, convert them to subscribers, and create an opportunity for a book sale? The story is your paperboy shouting, "Extra, Extra!"

Joseph Young
Author of Upcoming Book
Story Above the Fold
Combine Storytelling & Website Design to Capture Your target Audience

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