Back when I majored in marketing, I took an entire course called Consumer Behaviour, which is the psychology branch of marketing. It’s the processes an individual or group goes through while making purchasing decisions as well as what they do with those products once they’ve acquired them.
Marketers train their brains to think like their targeted consumers. Here are a few questions to ask yourself in order to get in the mindset of your future book buyers.
Where are your future book buyers? I’ve come across some blanket advice that all new authors need to be on Twitter and have a Facebook author page at a minimum. But there are so many social media sites to choose from and the more you join, the less time you have for writing. If I were writing self-help or business non-fiction, I’d make LinkedIn a priority. If I were writing YA, I’d maybe have a Facebook author page, because agents really seem to want it, but because the kids I’m talking to aren’t that into Facebook, I might make Wattpad a higher priority. If I’m writing something that will fit well with the needs of book clubs, I’m going to get myself on Litsy posthaste (I did, and I am: @raimeygallant.) Bonus tip: actually ask your future book buyers where they are online.
Who are your future book buyers? For instance, if you’re writing a new-adult book, you need to consider the group of readers who will read your book not the day you type the first sentence but rather the day it’s actually published. The reason is real-world reference points/fashions/trends. If your New Adult book won’t be published for three years, then maybe your protagonist shouldn’t be a die-hard fan for a boy band that was only cool when your future book buyers were too young to remember.
What do your future book buyers want from your genre? Let’s say you write YA fantasy. If you’re not reading blogs and book reviews by your target readers and actually asking them, how are you going to know whether vampires are in or out of fashion? Agent wish lists are another resource for what’s off trend and what they want to see more of. You can find agent manuscript wish lists on agency websites, at manuscriptwishlist.com, or by scrolling through the #MSWL hashtag on Twitter.
This post is one of 200+ in the monthly Insecure Writers Support Group blog hop, and this month I’m co-hosting along with Tyrean Martinson, Tara Tyler, and Beverly Stowe McClure. To continue hoping through more posts or to join, click here. (It’s fun!) There’s a big announcement this month, so head over to hop host Alex Cavanaugh’s site for that.
What questions about your future book buyers do you ask yourself before or when writing a book? Hit me up in the comments.