The Importance of Finding Your Niche

I recently spoke with a new Member of Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) who has produced a book on forgiveness. We were speaking of the importance of knowing who the target audience is for his book.

This gentleman told me that all Christians were his audience. After all, every Christian needs to forgive since it is commanded in the Bible.

I wholeheartedly agree. Every Christian does need to forgive. However, not every Christian currently needs information or help with forgiveness and some are not yet ready to entertain the idea of forgiving. Additionally, this author’s voice will not resonate with everyone.

As more and more books are published, competition escalates. For example, doing a search of “forgiveness” in books on Amazon reveals 31,399 results. That is a lot of books on forgiveness that Christians have to choose from.

How does this author compete with 31,399 other titles on forgiveness? He competes by targeting a niche audience. Through channeling his message to a very targeted audience that his book speaks to—and not broadly to all Christians—this author can gain some attention for his book.

How can this author funnel his message to a more niche market? I encouraged him to consider the following:

  1. What is his backstory? In other words, what did he need to forgive that prompted him to write the book. Maybe it was a spousal affair or a senseless random act of violence. Whatever the reason, targeting Christians who have had a similar experience is one way to reach a niche audience.
  2. How is the message in his book different from other books on forgiveness? One thing this gentleman included in his book was 21 ways to forgive. I suggested that he use this to find a niche audience. He could speak to Christians who know they need to forgive, but don’t know how. After all, he provides the how in his book.

With any book that has a broad topic appeal such as prayer, parenting, forgiveness, etc., targeting the niche audience is done through the marketing messaging. A generic message on forgiveness is not going to attract much attention, but a message targeted toward those who have experienced a senseless act of violence or who need help on practical ways they can work on forgiveness will resonate with the niche audience and draw them in.

I encourage you to identify niche audiences for your books. Then target your messages to these groups of people to maximize your marketing efforts.

Related Posts:
Micro-Target to Get Results
Get to Know Your Target Audience
What Your Readers Want

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Photo courtesy of Masha Danilova

Branding: It’s More Important Than You Think

My daughter is a senior in high school. This means that we are in the process of visiting colleges and taking tours in an effort to find a good school match. Recently, at one college we were touring, we sat in a seminar conducted by the university’s Career Center.

As I listened to the Director of the Career Center talk to prospective students, I heard phrases like:

  • “Brand yourself”
  • “Branded candidate”

These statements caught my attention. Branding is no longer just a term that is applied to companies and products. It is now a term that is also used for anyone seeking to secure a position, whether that be in the job world, being admitted to a university, in politics, or on social media.

branding

The Director of the Career Center went on to talk about how employers are not necessarily concerned about a student’s major; they are more concerned about motivated candidates. He stated that motivated candidates give prospective employers and graduate schools the following two messages:

  1. This is who I am.
  2. This is what I can do for you.

Sound familiar? It should. This is the same message that you, an author, should be sending.

Just like college graduates, authors must also brand themselves. You must tell your prospective readers:

  1. This is who I am.
  2. This is what my book can do for you.

Just as employers want to know what they will get from a college graduate if they hire him or her, readers want to know what they will get from you, the author, in your book if they purchase and read it.

The Director of this university’s Career Center went on to talk about how a student’s brand is the image they present to prospective employers and schools. If they want to be seen as a serious student, then their social media posts should not show them partying and skipping classes.

The same is true for authors. Your brand or image needs to be consistent. For example, if you have written a book on prayer, then the image you present on social media to the public and your potential readers should be one of someone who believes in and is involved in prayer on a regular basis. If you were to begin talking about “luck” or “fate” in your social media posts, you would not be representing your brand—instead you would be confusing people.

When releasing a new book, be sure that you have branded your book and answered the two questions above. If you want to learn more about Branding a Book, check out my on-demand seminar on “Branding Your Book.”

This and my other on-demand seminars are free for Members of Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA), but I have also made them available for a reasonable fee for everyone to view.

Related Posts:
What’s Your Promise?
What Are You Promising?
A Branding Lesson from a Radio Station

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What’s Your Promise?

Integrity. It’s about keeping your promises—doing the right thing in a reliable way.

Branding Thumbnail for Web

Are you reliable? Can people trust you?

If you are an author, readers need to trust you to buy your book. Readers need to trust that you will keep your promise.

What is your promise? Your promise is what you tell readers they will get from your book. This promise is extremely important. It is what draws the reader into purchasing the book.

Yes, your book meets a need, but if all you tell your potential reader about is the need, you are not hooking them. You need to not only identify the need your book fills, but also to let the reader know how your book will fulfill that need. This is your promise.

I recently met with co-authors of a book that was just released. They wanted me to look over their sell sheet and tell me how they could improve it. The authors had done a great job of leading with a need and making it bold and big on their sell sheet—“Do you need comfort in the midst of trouble?

However, their promise was buried in the text. It was not bold and attention grabbing. I encouraged these authors to make sure that they made their promise as big and bold and arresting as identifying the need their book met—“Find comfort and hope in these stories from those who have suffered.

What does your book promise? If you are struggling with this concept, or just want to learn more about creating a brand—also known as a promise—for your book, I encourage you to watch my new online, on-demand seminar Branding Your Book.

This 30-minute seminar covers how your book is like a business, what a brand is, how to craft a brand for your book, and how to create a book title that reflects a brand. You can access Branding Your Book by clicking here. The cost is just $20 to watch the video. Members of Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) have free access to this on-demand seminar on CSPA’s website.

Learn how to make a promise to your reader. When your book keeps your promise, your readers trust you and keep coming back for more.

Related Posts:
Can I Trust You?
What Are You Promising?
A Branding Lesson from a Radio Station

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