Book Marketing 101 – How to Find Your Audience When You Think Your Book Appeals to Everyone

If there’s one thing I hear a lot from writers it’s that some folks think their books are meant for eeeeverryyooone.

And that’s just not true!

Some people just don’t like long books, or short books, or books with romance plots that can be described in a Euclidean form.

Triangles are SO last decade!

So you need to find your audience. Find your readers, find your fans.

And here’s how:

Find Your Comps (And Not Just Books)

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Discovering your comps, or “comparable titles”, is a major step forward when it comes to defining your audience. Not only is it required for most query letters (yeah, that’s what those book titles at the bottom of those things are for) but it also helps you find your people and figure out how to appeal best to them.For queries, you generally want your comps to be books, but for marketing exercises and brainstorms they can be anything you want!

If you’re writing something fun, inoffensive, kid-friendly, and friendship-themed, you could put down Avatar: The Last Airbender, Steven Universe, or Gravity Falls. Fairy Tale-inspired works can be compared to books like Gail Carson Levine’s and Three Dark Crowns, but you can also think about Once Upon a Time or Shrek films, or The Stinky Cheese Man.


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Many big brands like Lululemon have created “personas” for their ideal customer and detail their whole lifestyles from their average income to their relationships and hobbies. While it may seem a little silly – and no, you don’t have to give them goofy names like “Ocean” and “Duke” – it can be helpful to get into the mindset of your future readers to find out how to catch their eye. 

Mine are named Aurora and Apollo (Because Space) and they are twentysomethings who like media that makes them think and like to dream about the future.

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Because Space

Yours may be older or younger depending on who you’re looking to appeal to and while their salary might not matter a whole lot, they’re exactly the kind of people who’s days your looking to brighten with your wonderful stories.

Look to Your Current Fans

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Everyone remembers who their first real “fan” was. Maybe it was a parent or a sibling, maybe it’s a friend from college, maybe it’s someone you met on Twitter who was just REALLY into it. Even though you’re just starting out, you’re bound to have a few who are already watching your career with great interest and can’t wait to hear more from you.

So look closer. Who are they, what ages and genders? What things do they like and what do they watch and read? What made them so interested in your work in the first place (and being related to you carries less weight than you think – ask any author you know if their relatives read their stuff)?Finding the answers to these questions can help build your roadmap to audience success!

How are you going to reach out to your audience?
Mention it below in the comments!

If you’ve made it this far, you’re already a welcome member of my audience! Come join me!

inter_linked The Series is the fun, sarcastic story of a girl and her android.

Follow the adventures of Anny and WISR as they try to help every robot they can, while the hardest part of the journey is putting up with each other.

Absolutely free to read:

Book Marketing 101 – Notebook And You!: Your New Best Friend

Ahh, the humble notebook. This is a strategy I’ve employed for both of my recent projects and it has yet to fail me. The idea is taking down notes, ideas, and strategies for your writing project but keeping them separate from the creative flow of your writing. Or outlines, if you’re that kind of person.

In this handy journal you can keep:

  • Notes from books and articles you’ve read about marketing
  • Random promotional ideas that pop into your brilliant brain
  • Contacts and information about book bloggers and ‘tubers you’d like to work with
  • Strategies for making the most of social media

While mine is literally a composition notebook with glitter on it, yours can be a binder or even an exceptionally long word document. Whatever you choose – make sure it’s A. Something you really like using and makes you happy and B. Something you have easy access to all the time – a document saved on your home computer isn’t much help when you suddenly have the best. Idea! EVER! when you’re out and about

Here are some tips for the care and keeping of your new bestest friend:

Looks Don’t Matter

Some people REALLY like the very beautiful layouts and templates and spend a lot of time making them and organizing them. Some people write theirs with the careless scrawl of Winona Ryder on a murderous rampage.

My writing angst #&#^@it has a body count. I’m killing off more characters than George R. R. Martin here.

Me, personally, I like to go somewhere between. I like doing the lettering because it helps me calm down and get my thoughts all in line before I write them down. But I don’t go crazy with ~ fancy borders ~ or even stickers, for that matter. So whether you like a more utilitarian approach or something pretty and designed, it’s all up to you. This is your book so do what makes you happy.

Have the Tape and Scissors (or Ctrl+X and Ctrl+V) Handy

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The one downside of analog notekeeping – aside from having to lug it around everywhere, leaving it behind in coffeeshops, and the sheer and utter panic that comes from writing at that park when sudden rainshowers and/or pigeon swarms descend upon you – is that editing is all by hand. Actual copy-and-pasting. Mine are all kinds of cut up, taped up, and scribbled up. Be ready to edit, be ready to go back and change and change your mind. And have good scotch tape around.

Look At It As Often As You Can

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It’s a simple fact that if you don’t use something, it can’t be useful to you. Easy, right? So make sure you’re taking a look at your notebook at least a few times a week if not every day. Treat it like a to-do list of marketing savvy, a TBR of book bloggers you so want to be friends with. You might not have anything new to add or change, but taking a look over your plans and making sure you have the ideas fresh in your brain, just all the time.


Is it a “”stupid idea”” based on a PSA you saw on PBS once and no one else?Put it down. 
Is it from a book you’re pretty sure outdates the internet to begin with and you’re pretty sure modern audiences “”won’t care about””?
Put it down.
Is it definitely derivative of an ad you saw for a split second whooshing by a local subway station when you were going express and in hindsight looked mighty vandalized so you weren’t sure what it was actually supposed to be?Put it down.
Is it an idea for a book trailer that will definitely require a multi-million dollar Hollywood studio and the prettiest, most British actors money can buy?
Keep dreaming.
And also put it down.

What To Do If You Have Nothing to Add

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  • Read a book about social media marketing, book publishing, book marketing, or community building. Take notes.
  • Look up articles or videos about a platform you’d like to work with (Twitter, Wattpad, Patreon, etc.)
  • Google “[genre] book blogger” and take down all of the info of that person – even if they say they’re closed to submissions, you never know if they’ll be open again when you’re closer to launch time or if you can convince them to take a look anyway.
  • You want at least 50 entries to start your marketing impact.
  • Find book trailers and websites of your favorite books, famous books, or books in your genre. Take notes on what they did and whether or not you think it was successful.

Keep fighting the good fight, writers, and I’m sure you’ll see it through!

Have a cool marketing idea or strategy you’d like to share? Leave it in the comments to help your fellow writers out!

I’m putting my shameless marketing savvy to work right now – read my book!

inter_linked The Series is the fun, sarcastic story of a girl and her android.

Follow the adventures of Anny and WISR as they try to help every robot they can, while the hardest part of the journey is putting up with each other.

Absolutely free to read: