Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Know Your Audience!

Alter Ego has a large online presence through Facebook and Twitter. (Don't ask me why. She hasn't actively pursued the attention.) As a result, she belongs to a couple of private FB groups involving erotica and its subgenres.

A couple of weeks ago, a writer posted about their new religious thriller in one of these private groups. No sex. This is in a group that regularly discusses the pros and cons of buttplugs and vibrators. This is a place where we post steamy pictures and off color jokes. This is a group that discusses the worldwide legal implications of writing in our favorite genre.

This is not a place that discusses current politics, much less WWIII, the End Times and the Rapture.

I can name a dozen websites and FB groups where this book would be welcomed with open arms. I can also name a dozen where the writer shoots themselves in the foot. This was one of those times.

This is probably the most extreme example I've seen of misdirected marketing efforts.

Writers need to know their potential audience. What is the age? What is the primary gender? What are the audience's secondary interests that can be tied to the writer's book?

Let's stay with Alter Ego. Her audience is primarily female, ages in the twenties to the seventies. A majority of her audience, regardless of age and gender, have been in long-term relationships. By long-term, I mean twenty-plus years. These readers are looking to keep things fresh in their relationships, whether it be new things to try in bed or simply reading to each other.

How do I know all this? They tell AE these things.

However, AE already knew she was shooting for a primarily female audience with an interest in very hot romance. That's why she didn't market at hunting websites or weightlifting FB pages. While some folks at these sites might be interested in her books, the majority of people at these sites would not be. Those subjects are simply not naturals fits to erotic books.

So what am I really trying to say?

1) Don't spam places on the web.
2) Don't spam with books that have no relation to a particular place on the web.
3) If you're hard up for advertising money, check out places that are free and receptive to your pitch.
4) The hard sell doesn't work these days, especially if it's books and more especially if the writer is targeting the wrong audience.

That doesn't mean you can't experiment. But if you can get a Hell's Angels chapter to read a knitting-themed cozy mystery, I REALLY want to know how you did it!

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