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Definition: Target Marketing involves breaking a market into segments and then concentrating your marketing efforts on one or a few key segments. That fear is the main reason why so many hold out forever for a traditional contract, then accept lousy ones. Well, let me share a dirty little secret that publishers don’t want newbie authors to know.
That’s right: They save their promotional budgets for King, Evanovich, and Grisham—not for struggling beginners or “mid-listers.” So, if you’ll have to promote your book all by yourself anyway, then why surrender most of your royalties and rights to a publisher? I spent a long time studying the promotional methods of successful self-published authors before I released my debut thriller, HUNTER.
In addition to writing a good book, the next best marketing tactic is to write more good books. Still, stories of books—especially self-published books—succeeding without any marketing, are rare. 2.  Identify your target reader, find out where he is, and think like that reader in every aspect of your marketing.
Face it: Your book is competing with millions of other titles—many by Big Name authors from major publishers—for the attention, consideration, and purchasing dollars of your target reader. Test your final manuscript on “beta readers”: people with writing and editing skills, but especiallymembers of your audience of target readers. After their input, carefully edit, proofread, format, lay out, and design your book—and preferably, have those tasks done by hired, objective pros.
Since my novel is about a mysterious vigilante hero, I decided that my brand would be “The Vigilante Author.”  I use the vigilante concept to distinguish my book from other types of thrillers. Second, use your “brand” in everything you do to promote your work: book covers, author photos, blog designs, promotional copy, business cards, etc. But obviously, it’s not a great tactic to give away your work permanently, not if your long-term goal is to make writing books a paying proposition. For print editions, I think you should try to price your book just a bit lower than comparable hardcovers or paperbacks issued by major publishers—again, until you acquire a good fan base. You must craft compelling product descriptions, with endorsement blurbs (if you have them), for your product pages on Amazon and elsewhere. Study the dust-jacket copy of books issued by major publishers in your genre, just to get a feel for the style, cadence, and layout of riveting promotional copy. Then test some drafts of your blurbs on members of your target audience and see what language grabs them. And remember: Promotional copy is supposed to be only a teaser—not an exhaustive presentation of the story.
7.  Make it easy for your target readers to find your book by categorizing it strategically on Amazon.
This will help your target reader find your title—but only if you’ve categorized it in the places where he most likely will be searching for your kind of book.
You want to choose subcategories that, first of all, are most likely to be searched by your target reader.
There are also some things that you should (and shouldn’t) do in order to build a loyal readership. Many successful self-publishing authors are convinced that paid ads are usually a waste of money. I also think that many self-publishing authors are inept when it comes to using social media.
A trader knows that if you want to get something from someone, you have to give back something in return. The most cost-effective promotion and marketing strategy is to befriend your readers via online social networking. Answer all email and blog comments from your readers, and compile an email contact list of fans. For the foreseeable future, Amazon remains your best bet for attaining self-publishing success.
These tips barely scratch the surface of the many methods you can employ to market your books effectively.
Meanwhile, as you wait for that to happen, let me repeat that the smartest marketing move you can make, bar none, is to start writing your next book.
And if you’re still not convinced that self-publishing is the right route for you, read or reread my earlier post on that topic. Thus when faced with determining just who my potential readers might be, I look for folks that share my background, interests, and outlook. You are the umpteenth author who has told me they’ve gotten great results with BookBub. What I really need to do is follow examples of guys like you, Bob, and get some more books out — and much more regularly. Megan, it warms my heart to hear you say that you’ll spread the info around to other writers. As for Positioning, while the business examples are dated, it remains a classic in terms of the principles it offers. This is a great article and I am tempted to purchase this book should I get past the 1 boundary that has completely stopped me from writing a book I had planned and began outlining!!
At that point, I should have immediately written my next book, BAD DEEDS, and published it later in 2012.
If your fans are indeed clamoring for the second, then that is where to put your time and energy: writing the next books.
All I know is that THE best thing you can do to publicize your work is to put more of it out there. Take the time necessary to develop your unique brand, target market to the groups of people you desire to work with and I can guarantee you that you will watch your business grow by leaps and bounds.
This article is part of our “Business Startup Guide” – a curated list of our articles that will get you up and running in no time! Fortunately, in-between these two approaches is a strategy that actually works: target marketing. Target marketing is the most current method of marketing to consumers based on research into their interests, hobbies, and needs, and it didn’t spring from nothing. Prior to the 1960s and 70s, most American adults—depending on their gender—more or less followed a similar life script. Marketers soon realized that even generational marketing wasn’t going to be enough to keep up with the seismic shifts in American culture and attitudes. Despite coming of age at the same time, lots of people were behaving quite differently. With advances in technology like credit cards and store loyalty programs came a solution: cohort marketing. Today, things are changing faster than ever before, and we have access to more data on our consumers than ever before.
Hopefully you’re here because you’re serious about building and growing your business—this is a good place to start putting your plan for world domination into action.
One of your first steps in starting a business (or growing one) is identifying your market. New technologies can make nailing down your demographics and psychographics much easier (and cheaper) than in the past. If you run social media profiles for your business, most social sites provide a free demographic breakdown of your followers in the admin area.
Do they own their own homes or do they rent? Depending on the answer and what you sell, you may need to tweak your messaging to resonate with your audience.
The key here is to collect information, and then compare it to the assumptions you’ve made about your customers. If you’re opening a bookstore or selling sporting goods, you’ve got some big-time competition.
The wireless industry is a great example of small businesses succeeding with niche markets and target marketing. Small businesses should run after the niche markets whose interests and needs are being ignored by big companies.
Kajeet’s target market is parents who want restricted cell phones for their children. SIM Shalom targets Israeli-American immigrants by offering Hebrew-language support and cheap calls between the U.S. Today, finding out what your competitors are (and aren’t) doing can be as easy as running a Yelp search. If you’re doing things correctly, you’re asking your current customers what they like about doing business with you. The great thing about getting to know your customers is that not only will you be able to track down new customers just like them, but your tried-and-true customers will become more loyal—and spend more money!
By handing out free samples and—even she admitted—pretty-close-to-worthless reward points, Sephora’s gained an extremely loyal customer.

Getting to know your customers, and giving them what they want, is a surefire way to build a loyal customer base—the kind that gives your business 5-star reviews online, and that tells all their friends about how much they love you.
The only thing I learned from my do-nothing plan was to never take marketing advice from a disembodied voice in a Kevin Costner film. Target marketing is going to require some upfront work, but the rewards are huge, and well worth the effort. If you don’t get results in the beginning isn’t that kinda normal for business? We help our clients structure comprehensive business strategies for improved traffic, customer acquisition, retention, sales growth and return on investment. Background: Solara is a nutraceutical company that manufactures dietary supplements and pharmaceutical products for a wide assortment of private label clients. Background: When EZMELTS came to 4p Strategy, their website had e-commerce capabilities and the entire product line on display. Despite all their advance promises to give you lots of promotional support, they mostly will leave the marketing of your book up to you. And, as I have described here, their tips helped HUNTER to become a big bestseller in December 2011.
Each new title will broaden your name recognition and generate more sales for all your previous ones. Most books, even good ones, will languish, invisible among millions of available titles, unless you do something to make them stand out and become visible—discoverable—to some target audience. So, don’t even try to market broadly and generically; that’s a waste of your time and money. Carve out a narrow, distinctive “niche” in the book marketplace based on some catchy concept, theme, or image that will appeal to your target readers, but simultaneously distinguish your work from all others in your genre. But my hero is also distinctive from other fictional vigilante characters, because he’s unusually self-reflective and philosophical about what he’s doing.
That kind of focus and integration will guarantee that your “brand” will become uniquely identified with you, making you and your work memorable for your target readers. But I wouldn’t try doing that until I had an established following and multiple titles. Carefully craft compelling promotional copy on your Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online product pages.
They knock themselves out parsing every sentence inside their book—yet they treat what they say about their book, in its product descriptions and marketing materials, as an afterthought.
Because most prospective buyers eventually will wind up on online product sales pages, your product description will be your book’s final sales pitch. If your description arouses just enough interest and intrigue to prompt a purchase, that’s good enough. To help readers find the books they like, Amazon provides a host of book categories and subcategories, distinguished by genres and subgenres, each with its own bestseller list.
In addition, if you can get your book to show up prominently on some Amazon subcategory bestseller list, it will further boost its visibility to readers. When you first publish your book, Amazon allows you to list it in two separate categories or subcategories. But then, to make it easier for your book to get onto some subcategory bestseller lists, pick appropriate subgenres with the fewest competing titles. Write about interesting stuff related to your book’s subject matter—but not about the book itself all the time.
This is very important: You can use that list to announce and promote your subsequent books to them, and that will give your next title a good crack at the bestseller lists on its publication date.
If you’ve hit some subcategory bestseller list, use that fact in your marketing blurbs and product descriptions. Except for that big November-December 2011 promotion, I’ve never been informed in advance that any promotion is afoot before it happens. I’ve found business cards tend to work quite well for sales, but I was wondering how to make them for more than one work.
I got my first batch of 1,000 business cards — full-color, double-sided, coated, thick, and truly handsome — for under $20!
The copy writer was absolutely ingenious in making every single word count and filled with ominous implications. I particularly liked what you had to say about marketing, starting with mentioning a truly great book, Positioning: The Battle for the Mind. If you look around on this site, and also on the sites I link to in the right-hand margin, you’ll find a mother lode of valuable information on all aspects of writing, publishing, and marketing your work. As an aspiring author, I’ve been caught in the push-and-pull of selecting what type of publishing I will seek out. If your long-term hope is to find a traditional publisher, success as an indie is one way to get their attention. I’m delighted that this blog has encouraged you to pursue a dream, and perhaps has given you some ideas about how to do it. I hope this isn’t a repeat of a question, but at what point did Amazon approach you about special marketing? I finished my first book a year ago and have since published, assuming I would develop a marketing plan to gain necessary visibility. As a happy serendipity for me, many have been exposed to my name and name of my debut novel for the first time, too.
In my case, I knew I would have hated myself if I went to my grave without at least trying to chase my dream. In my case, right after first publishing my debut thriller in 2011, I was trying hard to exploit the unusually strong early sales of HUNTER in order to create a good core base of fans for the subsequent novels in the series.
I assumed that if I opened a business, customers would just show up—no major marketing effort required. After all, you’re not a magnet and this isn’t The Secret—in order to target market effectively, you’ll need to know exactly who purchases your products and exactly how to to reach them. And acquiring that kind of knowledge requires some research and planning on your end. Before we got here, advertisers and marketers were using cohort marketing, and before that they were using generational marketing. For men, it was to join the military or go to school, get married, start a career, have kids and then, after 30 years with the same company, retire with a nice pension and a gold watch. Suddenly it was possible to market to people based on their past purchases and buying patterns, because we could track those purchases and buying patterns. Once you’ve identified your market, you can begin targeting the people who will pay for all of your business’s explosive growth: your customers!
Include basic demographic details such as age, gender, family size, educational level, and occupation here.
This is personality and lifestyle information that will help you figure out your customers’ buying patterns. If you have your customers’ email addresses, services like Rapleaf can pull detailed demographic information for you. Yes, this is the 21st century, but women and men still make very different purchasing decisions for a variety of complex reasons. Knowing what your primary customers do can help you adjust your hours to fit their needs, or help you devise special offers. Whether you’re selling gold-plated sailboats or glow sticks in bulk, it’s a good idea to know how much—or how little—your customers are willing to spend. Mega-retailers like Amazon and REI aren’t just going to give up a piece of their pie to a scrappy upstart.
They run wholesale divisions that sell small businesses the rights to their wireless networks, and those small businesses then run after the niche markets whose interests and needs are ignored by the big wireless companies.
Identifying and focusing on target markets that their competitors aren’t addressing is what makes each of these businesses successful. Studying your competitors’ customer feedback can help you identify blind spots in their businesses that you can exploit for your own gain. Even better, the selection of free samples is always changing, and she gets to choose the samples she wants from a wide selection of options. He built and managed a number of successful businesses before returning to school to indulge his passion for writing. Online business planning software makes it easier than ever before to put together a business plan for your business.
It’s a knowledgable guide combined with a professional designer coupled with a financial wizard. Since their inception, they relied on the founders’ networks and connections to generate new business. With only six months between the launch date and the date of the event, the new venture had very little time to reach its sales and branding goals. However, it failed to demonstrate the unique ingestion method, and had a very outdated design and interface.

Since this was a start up enterprise, it needed to have all of its marketing materials and corporate identity built from scratch.
Better yet, each new book released will attract new fans, prompting them to go back and buy all the prior books in the series. Second, it must consist of simple, bold images, and use big, colorful, contemporary fonts for the title and author name.
My talented young cover designer, Allen Chiu, understood exactly what I was looking for and simply knocked it out of the park. In fact, you might describe him as a kind of “philosophical Zorro.” So that even more tightly defines my market “niche,” setting my work apart.
Applied to one book in an ongoing series, low or free pricing also can attract many readers who’ll then go and buy all the others.
Its only purpose is to “close the sale.” So, make sure it is as colorful and persuasive as possible. I recommend that you pick a single online networking or discussion site, either Facebook, Google +, Goodreads, or Twitter.
As for how to design and use them effectively, check out publisher Robin Sullivan’s excellent advice.
Based on my book’s good reviews and steady sales, Amazon invited me to participate in one such week-long promotion late last November. But if it makes you feel better, my ebook sales have completely fallen off the cliff over the past week. It’s dated in terms of examples used, but I still recommend the book to people for its fundamental insights. A few years ago, Jack Trout issued an updated book, The New Positioning, also extremely valuable. Nothing would make me happier than to see you and the other fine folks commenting here become wildly successful doing something that I know we all love to do: writing. Some terrific self-published authors have been generous with their advice to me, and I’m just passing it along.
Let me emphasize that the best marketing plan is to write more books, ones that some target audience finds appealing. Success in writing shouldn’t be measured in the numbers of eyeballs reading your work, but in the depth of connection you make with any given reader. I think it was the combination of those two factors that brought the book to their attention.
I do think that developing a focused but distinctive online platform that offers something of value to your target readers is the way to go. If you do that, you’ll find that readers will be attracted to you and intrigued by your work.
In one part of the post, I even used my book as an example of an eye-catching, genre-distinctive cover.
Readers have been clamoring for the HUNTER sequel, and the best thing I could have done for promotion is to write the next book for them. Other entrepreneurs take the complete opposite approach, and treat marketing as if it’s the 1916 Battle of the Somme: they throw all of their resources in the general direction of their intended audience and hope something hits its mark. And if your company was big enough, it had only a few marketing options: place an ad in the local newspaper, or in one of a handful of national magazines, or on one of three broadcast TV networks. And as it turns out, this is a highly effective method of grouping consumers for targeted advertising. For example, if you know why your customers buy your product, you can figure out how much of your product they need and how often they need to buy it. If you’re worried about being able to recruit survey participants, offer a free gift or store credit.
Millennials and Boomers are as far apart as Google Glass and those big green sunglasses your grandmother bought to wear over her prescription lenses. As a fundamental part of our services, we have helped a growing group of clients structure strategic business plans to help them launch, grow, or turn-around their businesses. But in every marketing decision and action, ask yourself: How would this be perceived by my target reader? All of this should be visible and legible when reduced to thumbnail size, which is how customers will probably first see it online. And if you have trouble listing your book in the subcategories you want, just email Amazon.
He never had to spell out the central conflict or “story question”: It’s all there, between the lines. I appreciate the example you’ve set in applying it to your books and yourself as author.
Those books, plus Focus by Al Ries, and Marketing Warfare by Trout and Ries, are marketing classics. The book is roughly an autobiographical compilation of ten years of my life–fictionalized to protect the guilty. Simply calling attention to your book doesn’t work well, because these days, everyone is doing that.
The mentions of my own personal story and book link were natural and not intrusive; they illustrated valuable points I was making. Also consider what benefits you can provide over your competitors, and how loyal your customers are to you or your competitor (and why). How much information do they have on this need or how your product fulfills it, and what are their information sources? And third, test potential cover designs on some members of your target audience before you decide which to use.
Also, you might occasionally join in on blogs and discussion forums in your book’s genre or topical area(s) of interest.
Short, fast, easy reads, too, but crammed with insights useful to anyone who must compete in an overcrowded marketplace against formidable, entrenched competitors. Right now, the easy and lazy way for writers to promote is to send out constant Tweets about their books.
When do purchases spike, and when do they fall, and can you develop any hypotheses to explain the fluctuations?
On one faithful day, as I was browsing through the internet, I was searching for a good spell caster that can solve my problems. And about a million writers seem to be doing this, producing billions of Tweets…mostly aimed at each other, rather than at their target audiences. I tried to call it a romantic adventure, which it wasn’t, and one of my Amazon reviewers called it a sexy military thriller. If you notice at the top of the article, it’s been shared repeatedly, all over social media like Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
Of those people, some may have liked it enough to recommend it to friends, or even post customer reviews on Amazon. Don’t just grab some images off the Internet, use PhotoShop on them, then select Times Roman fonts for the title and your name. Hang out in those places mainly to make friends and learn, and you’ll occasionally find natural, unobtrusive ways to mention your book(s) and generate curiosity. Even if they focused on the latter, it wouldn’t take more than a week for their target readers to become annoyed and tune out. I once purchased a coffee shop tucked in a strip mall between an antique store and a Gold’s Gym.
Some people testified that he brought their Ex lover back, some testified that he restores womb, some testified that he can cast a spell to stop divorce and so on. It’s really about a 60s boy who by chance and fate managed to avoid Vietnam, serve his country well, and encounter the most amazing love affair imaginable. On the upside, most of my 12 or so regular customers were either super fit or could fix an old watch.
There was one particular testimony I saw, it was about a woman called grace,she testified about how Dr John brought back her Ex lover in less than 72 hours and at the end of her testimony she gave Dr John e-mail address. I have already written two subsequent novels in the series, but the first book requires the proper branding to get to that target audience you so aptly described.
I am making structural changes now to make it a silver linings happenstance into the military and the sexual revolution.
Dr John is really a talented and gifted man and i will not to stop publishing him because he is a wonderful Dr…If you have a problem and you are looking for a real and genuine spell caster to solve that problem for you.

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