Ask this simple question: Who is going to like my book?

As a publicist, I often read about building audiences . . . targeting audiences . . .  growing audiences.

There’s a lot written about this subject (see links below).

But as any experienced author or publicist will tell you, it all really boils down to one simple question:

“Who is going to like my book?”

This sounds a bit obvious, but by answering this question– and a few related ones– it’s possible to build a pretty effective book publicity campaign.

For example, here are a list of questions I ask before promoting a new book:

  1. What kind of person is going to like this book?
  2. How old is this person?
  3. Does this person use social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to get his news and information?
  4. What type of print publications (newspapers, magazines, etc.) does this person read?
  5. What type of radio and TV stations do they watch and listen to?
  6. Does this person prefer reading print books or eBooks?
  7. Has this person signed up for book-related social media sites like Goodreads, Library Thing, or Shelfari? Does he/she actively use these sites?
  8. What other type of books does this person like to read?

By answering these questions, I’m basically building a profile of the typical reader for the book I’m promoting. I use this profile to determine how and where I want to spend my energy and refer to it often when I get overwhelmed with too many ideas or tasks.

Building a large-scale social media campaign makes no sense, for example, if your typical reader doesn’t use Facebook or Twitter. It’s easy to jump on the bandwagon of trendy PR methods, but if your typical reader doesn’t post or tweet, you’re wasting valuable time relying on these tools.

Knowing what newspapers, magazines, and radio stations your typical reader enjoys will help you narrow your efforts when pitching to media. Why spend valuable time lining up interviews on public radio, for example, if your typical reader listens to a different format (i.e rock, oldies, sports or AM talk).

As you’re planning your book PR campaign, I hope you’ll keep the simple question of “Who is going to like my book?” in mind. I’ve been doing this for many years with excellent results.

Related links


About janelassar

I am a publicist with Gray & Company, Publishers. We publish books about Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.
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