How To Find Your Ideal READER - Part One

When I was a kid we had a cabin on a lake in Minnesota that we would vacation at during the summer months. My dad loves to fish, so this was a slice of heaven for him. Sometimes we would sweet-talk him into taking us kids out on the boat with him to fish, which would last all of 30 minutes. We would get board and impatient...we just wanted to catch the fish!   

Because my dad had been fishing that lake for years, he knew the ideal fishing holes, where the fish liked to hang out because there was ample food available, and the ideal time to take the boat to cast a line out. He didn't discover this the first summer there or even the second - it took time. But over the years, he could read that lake like a book and know where he needed to go to catch fish. 

As a writer, you're very much like a fisherman trying to figure out the ideal spot to find your readers. There are several key places, but there are also other pockets - some big and some small - where readers can be found. But there is a strategic approach to finding your ideal audience...

The key is knowing who you are looking for.  

You have a unique voice and audience for your style and genre of book. Your audience isn't going to be exactly like the next guy's - what works for him might not work for you. So narrowing down who you want to reach and speak to is key within finding your audience. 

This is the difficult and rather mundane work that many authors (and marketers, for that matter) overlook because it's time-consuming. But it's what separates the pros from the amateurs - I promise you that. 

This is a big topic and one that I want you to absorb so you can apply it. So I'll be breaking this up into several posts over the next few weeks. 


The first step to finding your ideal READER: 

Create An Ideal READER Profile  

When you think about the person that you are writing for, who is it? If you could identify the traits of the ideal person that would read your book, what would they include? Write down answers to the following information: 

What is your ideal reader's...

  • Age
  • Gender 
  • Location
  • Occupation 
  • Marital Status
  • Beliefs 
  • Values 
  • Favorite books
  • Favorite authors 
  • Interests 
  • What does he/she do in their free time? 
  • Guilty pleasures

When you can step into the shoes of your ideal reader, you can identify where they will be, where they hang out online, what they are interested in, what they want to know, etc. Really push yourself and think through who you are talking to. 

If anything, start with yourself. If you are interested in the topic you're writing about, you share certain traits and interests that others might have as well. 

I strongly encourage you to take your time in thinking through this. When you have a clear picture of who you are talking to, you'll know how best to communicate with them and where you should communicate with them. 


TAKE ACTION NOW: In the comments below, share with us what you discovered about your ideal reader. What traits or characteristics did you discover? What didn't you know about them that you might not have know about before? 


Photo by bluegreenblog