Marketing Plan Part 2:
AKA Selecting Your Target Market
This week we are going to continue on with the second of the five part series on your book marketing plan. This week’s focus is on market segmentation or selecting your target market. Now, this may appear easy for a book. It’s simple because genres usually easily fit into a “target market”, unfortunately with all things book marketing related, it’s not really as easy as it sounds. The great part about this is the fact that your genre isn’t restrictive based on who you’ve written it for because there are a lot of, say, adults who love Young Adult literature; this expands your market share! Yes, that means more profits–we hope!
Selecting your target market means you need to consider whom you wrote your book for and what marketing strategies appeal to that particular target. You are taking a homogeneous market and dividing it up into more reasonable target areas. There are several simple ways that regular marketers concentrate on market segmentation:
- Geographic Segmentation: Your market will be divided up by the areas in which your clientele live such as states, countries, regions, etc.
- Demographic Segmentation: Your market will be divided up by socioeconomic factors such as age, sex, education, income, occupation, etc.
- Psychographic Segmentation: Your market will be divided up by lifestyle, personalities, attitudes, values, interests, etc.
- Behavioral Segmentation: Your market will be divided up by the buying behaviors that a certain group exhibits consumption, usage, desired benefits, etc.
Now, how do each of these segments apply to you and your book marketing plan:
- Geographic Segmentation– I can tell you that this is something that I do not focus on. It is something that you should be aware of. You need to look at your publishing platforms and who they will help you reach. The publishing platforms that I use currently are Nook, Kindle, Kobo and Google Play. Each of these platforms is fighting for their market share and is able to reach different geographical areas. I can tell you from experience that Kobo hits the largest geographical range. I’ve had my books purchased in Estonia, Austria, and other countries that it amazed me I could reach. I say that you shouldn’t focus on this, is because you don’t have much control over what each of your chosen platforms hits. It either is going to be available in that country, or it isn’t. It’s not something I focus on because I want to reach as many people as possible. When I’m on Goodreads I except friends from every country–and I LOVE meeting people from new countries. I’ve never been to another country, so it’s stunning to me that I’ve met so many different people. I love the diversity of my readers and learning new things from them about their countries and cultures. This is an excellent opportunity for you to grow as not only an author, but as a human being. Please, take the opportunity and run with it–don’t limit your reach just to the US because you live there, or Canada because you live there. Broaden your horizons by geographically allowing any one and everyone to love your writing. I now have amazing readers and friends from Canada, the UK, and India to name a few.
- Demographic Segmentation– This is where your genre will come into play. You will need to look at the ages that you are looking to generally attract. The reason I say generally is because you will want to attract others, and undoubtedly will (adults love Young Adult). One of the easiest ways to determine your genre and demographic age segmentation is by looking at the age of your characters. You will also want to look at the sex you want to attract to your novel (again generally) because the marketing strategy that you choose will be different for males over females and vice versa. Depending on the way your book is written you may also have to look at income and education, but this would be getting very specific. In marketing there are two different evils in segmentation: be too general and you won’t attract the clientele you are looking for; be too specific and you will attract limited customers, and you will miss other great opportunities.
- Psychographic Segmentation- You can also choose to focus on these factors. Your sub-genre will also play a large role in this. The different sub-genres often directly interact with a readers personality, attitudes and values. For example, you won’t want to target very proper people to read your erotic romance.
- Behavioral Segmentation- How this might affect you may seem a bit unclear, but buying behaviors of your market will affect you. This has to do with the availability of your novel, will it be an e-book or a paperback or both? Where will the book be available websites, brick and mortar or both? You will want to know the buying behavior of your target market to help you learn how to best advertise. You will also want to think about the profitability of each option.
Now, onto the example with my newest novel, Just One Cup:
I will use demographic, pyschographic and behavioral segmentation to obtain a select market of readers:
My demographic is New Adults in the age range of 17+. The market is mainly 17-35, but there will be others attracted. The novel is a Contemporary romance so I will be looking to attract a mostly female demographic, and as far as pyschographic, the sub-genre will attract those with a personality that has an interest in love stories, stories of rising above your past, and becoming a better person. The buying behavior of those reading New Adults seems to be e-books, so the novel should be available on as many e-book platforms as possible. I do not want to miss out on the portion of the population that still craves the smell and feel of paper–so I will also have a paperback available. The paperback will also act as a good incentive for giveaways and promotions.
Now that we know our market segmentation we can concentrate on the ways that we will attract these important readers in Part 3.
- Marketing Plan Creation (Part 1): Defining Objectives (cgiovanniwrites.wordpress.com)
- Market segmentation (oasis500blog.wordpress.com)
- How to Find Your Target Market (questionpro.com)
- The Book Marketing Essentials (cgiovanniwrites.wordpress.com)