Are You Limiting Yourself?

“This book is for men,” the author said to my daughter as she stood at the book display looking at his book.

“This book caught my eye because I like to travel,” my daughter responded.

“But it’s really for men,” the author countered. “It would make a great dad gift. It’s really for men.”

At that point, my daughter, feeling embarrassed for showing interest in a book “for men” walked off.

Later, she related this story to me. She told me that the book was a travel book with maps and a journal written by a male author. She stated that the author was actively discouraging her from reading his book, even though she was showing interest.

Clearly, this author knew his target audience—men who enjoyed travel. However, he was so tuned to his target audience, that he was limiting himself to “men only”.

Maybe he was not aware that women read books geared for men and that men read books geared for women. While this author may not want to spend his marketing efforts and advertising dollars on women, he could sell more books by keeping in mind that some women might be interested in his book. This mindset would help him keep from shutting out females who show an interest in his book.

One author at CBA Unite shared that she had written a book for young adult females ages 13 to 18. She, too, knew her target audience. However, she went on to say that many moms and dads also read the book. She stated that one of her best reviews was from a dad who read the book.

Knowing your target audience is important. It helps you hone your marketing message and efforts. However, don’t limit yourself to your target audience. After all, a target is just a place to aim.

You should encourage anyone showing interest in your book to read it because:

  1. God can speak to anyone he chooses to through your written words.
  2. Stereotypes are generalizations. They don’t apply to everyone.
  3. The person may be considering purchasing the book as a gift for someone.
  4. Even if your message is not for the person reading the book, they might recommend the book to someone they know will enjoy it.

Whatever you do, never discourage interest in your book. Don’t limit yourself. Keep an open mind when considering who might be interested in reading your book.

Related Posts:
Get to Know Your Target Audience
Are You Developing an Audience?
Which Mindset Do You Have?

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Photo courtesy of Oscar Keys

2 thoughts on “Are You Limiting Yourself?

  1. Dear Sarah Bolme,

    Your blog post Are You Limiting Yourself? had value for me.

    It’s nice with the reminder about who our target audience is because as you say, we should avoid limiting ourselves to a small niche.

    It’s interesting that you’re the Director the Christian Small Publishers Association, sounds like the association is working for an important purpose helping small publishers and independently published authors to market their books in the Christian marketplace.

    I’ve read the first part of Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace.
    I’m not an author, but I work with some of them.

    Your example with your daughter is spot on, I believe many of us who work with this at a more systematic level can learn from it as I said earlier.

    Having said this, I find it important to define an audience and actually also to plan how to reach that audience.

    For the Christian writers who haven’t read your Christian market guide yet, I would encourage them to buy it. I can see it contains a lot of value.

    I’ll give your post a Twitter-share so my audience can see it also 🙂

    God bless!
    Edna Davidsen

    Like

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