“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:
- God can speak to anyone he chooses to through your written words.
- Stereotypes are generalizations. They don’t apply to everyone.
- The person may be considering purchasing the book as a gift for someone.
- 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.
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Photo courtesy of Oscar Keys