How to think like your future book buyers (#IWSG Blog Hop)

How to think like your future book buyers #writing #publishing #bookmarketing

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.

How to think like your future book buyers #bookmarketing #marketing #pubtipWho 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, 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.

Thank you to Freepik for the image I used in this post.

105 thoughts on “How to think like your future book buyers (#IWSG Blog Hop)

  1. Great post. I usually find my book buyers on Wattpad. But I also have a FB writer page and am on Twitter. On FB I get more likes and follows from other writers. Twitter is more for engagement and promotion of reading and writing hashtags. Often check manuscript wish list. I’m also on Pinterest but mostly to collect images and create storyboards.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The “Who are your future book buyers” paragraph is particularly interesting. I’m a slow writer, so keeping track of what the my audience will be like when I finally finish is an important consideration. Thanks for the post and thanks for co-hosting this month’s IWSG bloghop.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I receive gobs of sales pitches. Recently, a presenter confessed very few signed up for her program so she now she’s offering it for free. In the next breath she writes, “But if you want the upgraded version that’s going to cost you.” Right then and there she lost me. My mind interpreted her statement this way, “The free version will be a tease.” Of course, “free” courses offer paid upgrades. As a consumer, I suggest save the free upgrade pitch be part of the actual presentation.

    You’ve asked some insightful questions that offers food for thought. Great ideas for a positive marketing effort. Thank you for co-hosting Sept IWSG.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I 100% agree about reconsidering topical references! Even if you have a guarantee your book will be published on a very short timetable, or the things referenced are still popular by the time it’s published, that still doesn’t mean readers in a future generation will get it. That’s a surefire way to quickly date a book to the era it was published in.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I am awful at marketing. It’s like numbers; nothing about numbers (or marketing) settles in my mind? This is a fabulous post, therefore, and I’ve just returned from around an hour detour to the links you provided! Huge thanks! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. As always, thanks Raimey for sharing your knowledge with your followers. I learned lots and visited the manuscript page. I agree with Christine. I’m never sure where my audience is online for my memoir about attending college as a mother of 5.

    Thanks so much for co-hosting the IWSG September question. All best to you.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Very interesting question! Thank you for sharing this 🙂 And thank you for co-hosting this month. My struggle with social media isn’t wondering where my future audience may be but finding the time to do all the social-media-y stuff AND actually write the books those people out there will hopefully read. For me, the book writing is more important. I wander along the social media pathways to the best of my ability but I find with my current situation, I can’t throw myself into both. I admire people who do!


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  8. “the day it’s actually published” Truly something to consider if your novel happens to take a few years to write. So many changes come with the passage of time, such as trends and tastes in general. It does pay to pay attention 😉
    Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. There’s some really interesting advice here, particularly as I’m looking at the possibility of self-publishing and marketing the novel I’m currently working on.

    I’d not heard of Litsy before but I have an account on Goodreads, how would you say the two compare?

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I absolutely agree. If you write for yourself, write a diary and keep it in your drawer. If we write for our readers, and we should, we have to be in tune with what they want. Thanks for reminding us. Helpful post.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Excellent advice. And social media is so fluid – today’s hot, tomorrow’s not. I particularly relate to your point that too much time spent on social media is less time to write. I really ratcheted back time on Facebook and Twitter because it was not helping get the book written. All things in their time. Thanks for co-hosting today.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Thanks for co-hosting this month!! And for the great post! I must have taken the same class in college and learned the rest in the school of life. NY pubbing and self-pubbing are a world apart because of the time frame. Anticipating what readers will want in the 2 YEARS it takes for your book to come out is a lot different than the 2- 4 months to self-pub. Knowing your market is the key to finding readers.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Very interesting. I never heard of Manuscript Wish List before. I have the tab open and ready to read later today. Of course my genre probably won’t be in there, but hey, you never know. Right? Right. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Your post reminds me of the Vance Packard books I read in high school. (Back in the Dark Ages) “Hidden Persuasion” was about the psychology marketers use to sell their products, which is, in essence, what we all need to understand and utilize if we want to optimize book sales. (NOT my strong suit!)

    Thanks for the food for thought, and thanks for serving as co-host this month.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. These are good points. I”m still struggling with writing my memoir the way I want it to be, or using one or two main ideas that readers might like to have included. I’ll shoot for a mix – at least in the first draft. 🙂 Thanks for co-hosting!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Social media is a powerful tool and a huge distraction. I stared an author Twitter page, and found that outside of a few oddities, everyone I connect with is, yep, you guessed it, an author. I’m not sure how this will help me with readers as it often feels like an echo chamber of free book retweets and random writer quotes. Now it has helped me network with some great people, and I find it invaluable for that reason, but as for connecting with potential readers, book buyers, the jury is still out.

    Excellent post. Thanks for co-hosting.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Thank you for the tips! I never thought of not using pop culture because it may be out of style for potential book buyers. That makes sense. Curious about Litsy–never heard of it.

    Keep smiling,

    Liked by 2 people

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