Figuring out how to sell self-published books can be challenging, but reader profiles, or demographics, are an author’s version of market research.
And what develops from your market research should help determine what book promotion strategies you’re implementing in order to sell more books!
Okay that sounds a little technical and perhaps easier said than done, but if you haven’t developed your reader profiles yet, I really need you to take this post seriously.
It will help you tremendously when determining how to sell self-published books NOW, and for the life of your title.
I can’t tell you how many authors I chat with about book promotion who say their book “is for everyone,” or something like, “all women between with hopes and dreams.” Another scary comment I get is, “I’m not sure.”
While I 100% respect inspiration and a vision, and I personally know what it’s like to have an idea percolating for months or even years, you have to be realistic.
If your only goal is to get your ideas on paper and see it published – then skip the reader profiles, you don’t need them to create a book.
But if you want people to buy your book and read it, reader profiles will show you how to find the right people, and through which channels.
So unless you have endless hours to market your book and hope some of it eventually works, read on to understand the primary benefits of creating reader profiles and why it plays into figuring out how to sell self-published books!
You’re recognizing people are complex.
Our free time is limited and there aren’t enough hours in the day. Same goes for your potential buyers.
The reality is most people don’t venture outside of their preferred genres, and for those of you who write in genres that have more sub-genres than Elizabeth Taylor’s had marriages, you really need to up your game.
Reading is personal, so book discovery needs to be personal as well.
Reader profiles can help you sell more books by really personalizing the experience a potential buyer has with your brand – and this is what makes you stand out from the 4,500+ other books being published every single day.
You’re figuring out where to promote your book.
I’m a big proponent of you don’t have to be everywhere, you just have to be everywhere that matters, and that’s especially true when determining how to sell self-published books, and specifically, how to do it in a way that works for the genre you write in.
If you’ve been a bit perplexed about which social media platforms to use, or whether or not you’re reaching the right people, reader profiles can help with that.
Social media, news media, and pretty much anywhere that caters to consumers and brands alike have demographics available for the public.
Compare your reader profiles with the demographics for the most popular channels for book promotion and book discovery to see where you should really bother spending your time, and where you might be able to cut loose some wasted effort.
You’re learning from your competition.
Reader profiles can help you sell more books by mimicking what seems to be working for other, more successful authors in your genre.
Part of learning about your potential buyers includes understanding their current reading preferences. This is huge.
I say this a lot because it’s true, success leaves clues, especially when sleuthing out how to sell self-published books in today’s market.
So if you start tracking the book promotion and branding activities of other authors who are already selling books to your target market, you’ll pick up a lot of solid techniques that you know resonate with the right people.
You’re highlighting what makes your book unique.
Detailed reader profiles also push you to examine your own work, not just those who are most likely to buy it.
If you want to sell more books you’ll have to get better at convincing potential buyers that you have something special to offer them.
And while for non-fiction authors that usually means your book itself has to have a unique take and perspective on your topic, it gets a bit more complicated for genre fiction authors to find things in their story line that makes them unique – because let’s face it, your readers often choose books because they pretty much know what to expect, and they like it that way.
So if you’re writing fiction and struggling to find ways to stand out, look more toward your brand and your online persona to carry that weight.
Properly done reader profiles also help you brainstorm ways you can be different, not just your books.
You’re fine-tuning your platform.
Building off what makes you and your book unique is the ability to fine-tune your author platform.
Reader profiles are like a sneak peek at who’s going to show up to a party you’re attending, and for argument’s sake, let’s say they need to like you in order to buy your book – well, with reader profiles you should have no problem wowing the crowd.
Now it’s time to get to work.
Because I’ve done all this preaching on the importance of developing reader profiles I figured I should develop one to help you hit the ground running!
Please understand you don’t have to fill out every single section in order to make some headway on figuring out how to sell more books, but the more you complete the better understanding you’ll have of your buyer market and your competition.
Releasing a book is like starting a business, and realistically none of us would start a business without the proper market research.
So if you’re committed to your long-term success and you want your platform and brand to continue to grow, put the time in now so you feel ahead of the curve, not constantly chasing it.