An Easy Guide for Aspiring Authors in Identifying Your Audience

If you don’t know who you are writing for, you’re essentially writing for yourself. Having a thorough understanding of your target audience is essential in creating meaningful connections with potential customers. Yes, you may well have readers from beyond your inner circle but you cannot cater for everyone in your writing. 

What is a target audience?

Let’s start with the whole population. Whatever book you are writing, there is no way it will be appealing to the whole population. So narrowing it down from there, you have people who like reading books, not all of those are interested in your genre. 

Narrowing it down again, you get to those people who buy books and ARE interested in your genre but aren’t might not be ready to buy your book. You can build awareness with these people to transfer them into the next category. Those who know, like and trust you and are ready to buy your book. Those who will be entertained and or helped by your book.


Define Your Target Audience

The first step in understanding your target audience is to define who they are. Consider demographic questions such as age, gender, location, income, and family size. What kind of activities do they enjoy, what values and beliefs drive their decisions, and how do they perceive your brand? Where so they hang out, both in person and online? Create an image of this person, give them a name and focus on them as you write. Focusing on your target audience doesn’t mean other people won’t find and buy your book. It just helps ensure your writing is focused on those who will relate to and get the most from your book.


Analyse Your Current Database

Analysing your current database gives you valuable insights into who might make good prospects for your target market, whether these are personal connections or those from an existing business. Examine how many customers purchased from you in the last six months, what types of products they bought, and how much they spent. You can also look at how long customers have been with your company and their social media activities to get an idea of which customers are most engaged. Finally, review any surveys or customer feedback collected while they were interacting with your brand.

On a personal level, who are the people who are always there for you, supporting you, interested in what you have to say and will potentially buy your book. Do any of these people fall into your target audience? Will they go above and beyond to help you promote your work to your target audience?


Market Research for book readers

Surveys and questionnaires are one of the most effective methods for understanding your audience. They allow you to find out what consumers think about your existing products or services, what they would like to see improved in the future, and even new product ideas. Be sure to craft questions that will give you useful feedback from customers – open-ended questions are the most effective for gaining insights into customer preferences and opinions. 


Why not ask your existing customers and/ or personal connections what three things they associate with you. These will likely be the things that resonate with your potential readers and give you a starting point to narrow your audience down. 


Market research can help you find out what consumers think about your products or services, what they would like to see improved, and even new product ideas.


Why is it important to know your target audience?

To write for an audience, you need to know how that audience speak. You would not write a book for 10 and 11-year-olds the same as you would for an adult, or for a 3-year-old. 


If you’re writing fiction, is the age group you have in mind going to be interested in your characters and plot. If it’s non-fiction is the content relevant and appropriate for your target audience. In 2022, I wrote Becoming the GOAT*, it was a book for teenagers. I started off with a different title but after doing some market research of my target audience it became apparent I needed to change the title. It’s a personal development book and while adults have bought, read and loved it, some of the content is not aimed at adult readers. After requests I am planning on re-writing it as an adult version. 


Knowing your target audience is also key in knowing where to market your book . . . TikTok, Facebook, LinkedIn, they all have different demographics of users and you’ll be more likely to reach your ideal reader on the right platform. 


Knowing your target audience is key in knowing where to market your book.


Market research and identifying your reader is something I dive deeper into in my Aspiring Author’s Programme.