Know Your Ideal Reader

Before you dive headfirst into book marketing, it’s important you understand your ideal reader. You may think everyone will love your book (and maybe they will), but it is much more difficult to market to all readers than it is to a defined group.  

J.K. Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series for middle grade readers. She did not write it with adult readers in mind. The fact that readers of all ages ended up liking the books definitely worked out for her, but that was not her initial intention.  

By taking the time to narrow down your ideal reader before you begin marketing your book, you will save time and money in the long run. Having a clear picture of this reader allows you to understand where to direct your efforts.  

Let’s say you wrote a cozy mystery with a 50-year-old female protagonist that takes place in a small town in Vermont. Your ideal readers will be women between the ages of 40-60 who enjoy clean, amateur sleuth stories set in small towns. This is good information, but you want to go even deeper. Maybe these readers enjoy gardening, playing pickleball, shopping at antique stores and farmers markets and they enjoy staying connected with their friends on Facebook.  

The more details you can come up with, the easier it will be when it comes to marketing. You can even take this a step further and create an idea reader profile of an imaginary super fan.  

  • Name 
  • Gender 
  • Age 
  • Occupation 
  • Marital status 
  • Favorite hobby 
  • Favorite music 
  • Where do they hang out to relax? 
  • What do they do for fun? 
  • Favorite movie 
  • Quirks and habits 
  • Places they’ve traveled 

You get the idea. So, when it’s time to market your book, have this idea reader in mind. If we go back to our cozy mystery reader, the first idea that comes to mind is running pay per click Facebook ads. Since this reader spends time on Facebook, it makes sense to reach her there. It wouldn’t make sense to put time and money into twitter or Instagram.  

Other ideas include: 

  • Getting a booth at a farmer’s market to sell your books 
  • Host an event at an antique shop 
  • If you talk about gardening in your book, reach out to your local nursery to see if they will sell your book at their store.  
  • Find podcasts that target women in their 40s-60s, then reach out to them about being a guest on their show. 
  • Research blogs that target this age group and write a guest post. It doesn’t have to be all about your book but be sure to include your book information at the end (with a link).  

The bottom line is that once you identify your ideal reader, it allows you to narrow your focus and be more effective with your marketing efforts, which will ultimately lead to more book sales. 


BookFunnel is the premier software service for authors. Whether it’s delivering your reader or ARCs, finding great ways to promote and swap with other authors, or doing direct sales and Kickstarter fulfillment, BookFunnel is the essential tool for your author business.

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