I recently had a query from a potential client about a picture book series.
As we spoke on the phone, he said he already created the first book with the help of a graphic designer. He said the book is kind of a coffee table book. People would buy it because it looks good and they’d want to have it visible.
The first book is a basic learning book with only one or two sentences per page.
But as he explained the story to me, I told him it sounded like the book should be geared toward four to six-year-olds. Yet he kept mentioning that it’s a coffee table book that adults would like to show off.
I then explained to him that the first step in book marketing, book marketing 101, is to know your audience.
You need to know your target market.
This author was having difficulty figuring out exactly where his book would fit.
If he didn’t know where it’d fit and I couldn’t figure out what he was talking about, how on earth would an audience figure it out.
Who would buy a book with NO specific target audience?
Okay, now this isn’t to say it couldn’t find an audience as I haven’t seen the actual book, but who would he market to?
A child? An adult? Both?
My other question would be, if he wants to attract adults with a cool-looking graphic book, why make it a children’s book? Why not make it specific to adults?
It’s one of the most perplexing queries I’ve ever received.
In regard to marketing goals, if you don’t know where you want to go, it’s pretty hard to get there.
That’s why I’m emphasizing the point that you MUST know your audience and target market if you intend to sell books.
So, how do you figure out who your audience and target market are?
Let’s first go over who your audience is and who your target market is.
Your audience is the children who will read your book.
Your target market are the people who will actually buy the book.
To determine who’ll be reading your book and who’ll be buying it, it’s a good idea to answer some questions.
- Who do you want to reach with your book?
In the case of a children’s books, the children are the audience.
- If you’ve written a children’s book, the genre will also help determine your target market.
Picture books are generally for four-eight-year-olds.
Chapter books are in the 7-10 age group range.
Middle grade books in the ten-twelve age group range.
Young adult is thirteen and up.
Then there’s the genre within the genre.
Maybe you’ve written a fantasy or a sci-fi. Maybe you’ve written a mystery or an action-packed adventure. Maybe you’ve written a historical fiction or a nonfiction book.
It’s also possible that you’ve written a textbook or educational resource for a specific grade.
- Did you write a book with a boy as the protagonist, or a girl?
While some books can cross genders, your audience will usually be boys or girls. Not both.
- Who will actually be buying the book?
With children’s books, it’s parents who usually buy the books for their children.
It’s also possible your target market will be libraries and schools. You might also be aiming for bulk purchases from wholesalers.
Maybe you’ll be targeting all of the above.
But, even if you sell in bulk to wholesalers, the parents will be the end purchaser.
- Does it meet the standard publishing guidelines?
Whether you’re traditionally publishing or self-publishing, you want a quality and professional product. This means knowing the rules to create a book that’s publishing worthy.
Answering these five questions will help you get a handle on your audience and market.
Going back to the query who wrote a young children’s book for an adult’s coffee table, he might consider rethinking his strategy.
Let me take a look at your notes, outline, or draft. I’m a working children’s ghostwriter and rewriter. I can turn your story into a book that you’ll be proud to be author of.
Shoot me an email at: email@example.com (please put Children’s Ghostwriter in the Subject line). Or, you can give me a call at 834—347—6700
Let’s get your story in publishable shape today!
MORE ON WRITING FOR CHILDREN