By Sage Cohen
Last month you clarified your book's key audiences -- both the general readership and niche groups within that audience. This month, we're going to explore how to best reach these folks and help them see why your book is a fit for their needs.
You can start by answering these questions:
- What emotion/reaction do I want to evoke when people think about my book?
- What barriers do I need to overcome to get people to purchase my book?
- What is my strategy for overcoming these barriers?
For example, following are my answers to these questions for my book, Writing the Life Poetic:
1. I want people who read Writing the Life Poetic to feel inspired, excited and energized about writing poems.
2. Writing the Life Poetic will have to overcome the following barriers for each audience:
People already writing poetry: Belief that they know enough already and/or don't need a creative companion.
People who want to write poetry: Fear that they don't have what it takes to write poetry.
Teachers of writing: Concern that they'd need to be poetry experts themselves to teach poetry. Resistance to using a resource that is time-consuming or cumbersome to learn and/or prepare lessons.
Active creatives: Don't see the link between their current craft/art and poetry.
Individuals using the book on their own and students of all ages: Lack of tools, knowledge and support to dive into a poetry practice.
3. Writing the Life Poetic will overcome these barriers as follows:
People already writing poetry: Offer them information and inspiration that presents a new way of approaching their poetry practice.
People who want to write poetry: Send a blast of optimism and fun through people's fear blinders. It will need to penetrate their beliefs that poetry is not for them and invite them into the adventure.
Teachers of writing: Provide a plug-and-play instructional resource. In other words, all a teacher needs to do is assign a chapter; students can easily follow the lessons on their own.
Active creatives: Remind them that anyone who is excited about creating art, crafts, music or theatre can also enjoy creating poems.
Individuals using the book on their own and students of all ages: Give them everything they need to tune into the poetry of their lives -- and get it down on the page.
Your turn! Start with your audience list from last month, and try to get inside of the needs, desires, fears and aspiration of each group. The more clearly you can envision who they are, the better you'll be able to articulate how your book makes a meaningful connection to each segment of your audience.