Today's challenge is defining your target market.
I've seen a lot of hit-and-miss marketing and yes, sometimes if you try enough things, luck kicks in - but not often. So let's use a planned approach, which begins with knowing your audience. When you know who is already looking for a book like yours, you can narrow down which of the thousands of marketing methods will be most worth your time and effort, and focus on those. Not only will you know which to use, you'll know how to use them to attract YOUR readers.
Categories like 'science fiction', 'mystery' or 'romance are too broad. Narrow it down. There's steamy romance and YA romance and historical fiction romance - and the readers for each of these are very different. Be as specific as you can be about the type of book you write.
What is it in your books that makes people get excited about them? These are called "emotional triggers". Look at your themes, type of conflicts, characters, values, emotional/intellectual tone. What kind of readers would get interested in these? In other words, what emotional needs in your readers do your books meet? Now, build a picture of the type of readers who would enjoy a book with the emotional triggers you write about.
- How old are they?
- What gender are they? What do they look like?
- Do they like sentiment or intellectual puzzles?
- What are their interests?
- What level of education are they likely to have?
- What are their other hobbies(besides reading)?
- Are they popular, social, or loners?
- What are their values? What matters to them?
Example: Catherine Cookson's readers are mostly female, middle-aged or older, sentimental rather than intellectual, and social. They value family and relationships and probably have homey interests and hobbies, like knitting, gardening, cooking, crafts.
Where will you find them? In churches and library reading groups, through magazines, clubs and websites about knitting, crafts, cooking and gardening, and in stores that sell knitting, quilting and gardening supplies. Probably not on newer social media, though they likely have email and may be on facebook.
Now you have the outline for a marketing strategy.