Find Your Ideal Reader: Market Your Novel & Create Superfans

Your ideal reader is your ultimate superfan, the person who will pick up your book and fall completely in love with your words. Close your eyes for a moment, author. Picture this person in your mind’s eye. Who are they? What kind of books do they enjoy? What do they do when they’re not lost in a good story?

If you’re writing a romance novel, it’s pretty unlikely that your ideal reader is into mechanics or fishing. So, let’s not waste anyone’s time by trying to target those groups. Instead, focus on the folks who are into the themes of your book. Romance readers might also love family tales, gardening, crafting, and cooking. Sci-fi fans could be into video games, board games, mystery shows, and comics. Horror enthusiasts? Think ghosts, legends, horror movies, haunted tours, and Halloween parties.

By figuring out who your ideal readers are, what they’re into, what they dislike, how they spend their time, and what else they’re reading, you can build connections that might lead to them buying your book. Plus, you’ll learn what they want and how to better meet those needs, making lasting friendships and building a loyal fan base along the way.

So, how do you create the strongest connections? By offering your ideal readers something valuable. The more relevant and personalized your content is, the more your ideal readers will want to dive into your writing and keep coming back for more.

Now that you have a clear picture of who your ideal readers are, let’s talk about how to find them. Here are some easy steps to get you started:

1. Imagine Your Ideal Reader Superfan

Every writer dreams of having a superfan. You know, that one person who’s your ultimate fan, buys all your books, rocks your merch, and tells everyone how amazing you are. These ideal reader superfans are gold for building your following.

Make your marketing plan all about these superfans. Sure, it’s great to start planning your strategy while you’re still writing your book, but it’s never too late to start finding those diehard followers, your ideal readers.

To find your ideal readers, grab a piece of paper and jot down your answers to these questions:

What are their demographics? Think about their age, gender, where they live, their ethnic background, education level, and job. Are they a city slicker on the West Coast or someone living the quiet life in the Midwest? Young and energetic or a wise retiree? Bilingual? What are their hobbies? The more specific you get, the better!

In this step, you’re figuring out the who, what, and where. Next, let’s dig into why your ideal readers  think the way they do.

What are their psychographics? This is all about their inner world. How do they see things? Are they bold and adventurous, or more laid-back and cautious? Do they love trying new things, or do they prefer sticking to what they know? Are they calm or anxious? Loud or quiet? Outgoing or reserved? Think about the personal values, interests, ideals, goals, and dreams of your ideal reader. What makes them tick?

What are their personal preferences? Consider their style, where they like to shop, what they love to eat, etc. These details help build a bigger picture about who your ideal reader is.

What’s their budget? Lastly, think about their financial situation. Are they living large or on a tight budget? Are they a busy working mom trying to save money, or a successful but busy professional? Do they love dining out or prefer a cozy home-cooked meal?

By answering these questions, you’ll get a clear picture of your ideal readers and superfans, and be well on your way to building a loyal following.

Still having trouble identifying your ideal reader? Check out these strategies 5 Successful Strategies To Help Identify Your Ideal Reader. Another good rule of thumb is to look at the followings of fellow authors in your genre. Chances are, these are the same people who will be interested in your book too!

 

*Pro Tip: Create An Ideal Reader Inspiration Board*

Once you have these details down, use them to create an inspiration board. Whether you’re old-school and want to use pictures from magazines and physically make a board for above your desk, or you want to use a website like Pinterest to create a vision board, both ways work! 

Having your ideal reader in front of you as a frame of reference can serve as both inspiration and reference point as you create social media content and promotional marketing materials.

 

2. Build Your Interview Profile 

You’ve got your ideal reader in mind, great! Now it’s time to do some digging. You need to chat with real people who fit the image of your ideal reader. It’s all about finding out what they’re passionate about, who they are, and how you can connect with them better.

Think of your ideal reader superfan as the “perfect” reader. They’re out there, but they’re definitely outnumbered by other readers who might not fit your perfect image. These are the folks you need to survey. Talking to them will help you broaden your approach and reach more people who might still be close to your ideal reader.

To set up your ideal reader survey, Google Forms is an excellent option. Quick, easy, and best of all free! It automatically records answers so you don’t have to worry about keeping track of the information you gather. Just make sure to include a question asking for each person’s name.

The best way to do this? Head online to forums and Facebook pages that match your topic. Start making friends, but don’t pitch your book just yet. This is your time to relate to others. Join in on conversations, share tips and tricks, and be helpful. Don’t expect anything in return—just focus on adding value to the discussions.

Once you’ve made some connections and found your place in the group, ask your new friends to take a quick, informational survey. Here’s what you should ask:

  • How many books do you typically read in a month or a year?
  • How active are you online?
  • What’s your biggest struggle with (your topic)?
  • What do you want to learn more about?
  • How do you prefer to learn? Online, through a book, through a course, through discussion, etc.?
  • What would make your life easier when it comes to (your topic)? What would really help you if you found a book on it?

This approach will give you valuable insights and help you connect with your ideal reader even better. By focusing on your ideal reader, you’ll be able to tailor your content to meet their needs and build a loyal fan base.

3. Adjust Your Plan

By now, you should have a pretty good understanding of who your ideal reader is and the types of people who will buy your book on a broader scale. Now it’s time to go back to your book and see what needs tweaking for your ideal reader.

Ideally, doing this kind of research before you start writing is best. But, if you’re like me, you might not have known this was an option or thought that far ahead when you started.

If you do this beforehand, it lets you adjust your outline without having to reshape your whole book. If you decide to do this research in the middle or after, don’t worry! You can still find your ideal readers and make minor changes if you need to.

On a larger scale, if you find that your ideal reader isn’t that interested in your current topic but is keen on another aspect of it, go with that! For example, if you’re writing a book about gardening techniques but discover your ideal reader is more interested in which plants work well together, pivot your focus. This way, you’re answering a specific question that other books might not cover, giving you a super specific niche—bonus!

By focusing on what your ideal readers want, you’ll be able to fine-tune your content and make sure it’s exactly what they’re looking for.

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4. Cater To Your Ideal Reader Niche

It’s better to be specific and focus on your ideal reader rather than cast a broad net. Sure, more people might see your stuff, but it doesn’t mean you’ll get more book buyers or subscribers.

Think about it like fishing. You’re not trying to catch just any fish in the sea; you’re after a specific type that meets your needs. It’s the same with writing. It’s much better to grab and keep the attention of your ideal reader than to try to appeal to everyone.

Pro Tip: It’s even better to become well-known in a small niche than to try and climb to the top in a bigger one. You’ll hit the top of Amazon’s best sellers list by targeting a niche need that’s been ignored, with insights no one else is providing.

You can expand your focus with your next book once you find your niche by making it a related topic that’s a bit broader, then moving into a related field, and so on. You’ll steadily grow your authorship while gaining ideal reader fans as you go. The key is to be intentional and responsive at every stage.

No matter where you are in the book writing process, it’s invaluable to know who your ideal reader is. Unlocking the true potential of your story and marketing it appropriately to your ideal readers is all about how well you connect.

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Alina (1)

Alina Wells is an author, blogger, and development editor based in the Midwest. When she's not helping writers, writing her debut novel, or building her fantasy author empire, she's reading under trees, cooking yummy things, spending time with her husband, or catering to her miniature pinscher overlord. She loves reading fantasy, young adult, and romance and has never met a pumpkin-spice product she didn't like.

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