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Testing Stage 4: Finding Your Audience

Finding the AudienceIn the last stage of Testing Your Book Idea, you were encouraged to find a unique selling position. Today, it’s time to find your audience. You need to figure out the specific group of people who will want to buy what you have to sell them.

The Person Making the Purchase

A book written for children, in all likelihood, is not being purchased by children. It is being purchased for children by their parents, their educators, or their family members. Why are the people buying this book buying it? Is it being bought as an aide for themselves or for someone else?

The Intended Recipient

If the purpose of the purchase is encouragement, who needs to be encouraged? If the purpose of the purchase is education, who needs to be educated? If the purpose of the purchase is to learn a skill, who is the person most likely to need to learn that skill? Thinking about the intended recipient first makes it easier to take the next step.

The Hoped-for Result

What was it that the purchaser was hoping your book would do for the intended recipient? This hoped-for result may be to improve relationship skills, or to boost self-esteem, or to help them heal from a wound. This is the reason they chose your book above all other books available to them, and it helps to further refine the audience will find your book appealing.

The Audience That Needs Your Work

Who needs the result your book can deliver most? If you’re writing a career guide, it’s not as likely to appeal to people who already have successful careers unless they are buying it for someone in their life who needs to find one. However, it is likely to be very appealing to someone who is losing hope in their job search and needs to turn things around very quickly.

Fiction Writers

What is the big challenge that is faced by your hero or heroine? The challenge they must overcome to achieve success in your book or book series is what determines the audience more than any other factor. For example, if it’s a paranormal threat – your audience is someone who is fascinated by the paranormal and seeking to immerse themselves in that world.


If it’s a futuristic world, your audience are people who are interested in the future of humanity and its potential, either good or bad. If it’s breast cancer that’s the big threat, your work will appeal to those who are cancer patients fighting for survival. The conflict determines the audience.

Your Homework

Today’s homework is to go out and figure out who your audience is. Then come back and share your insights in the comments.

Questions? Comments? Challenges?

Did we answer all your questions? Did you have any questions that you need answered? What did you find challenging about this assignment? Leave your comments below.

The Final Test: Market Feedback

In the final post in this series, we’ll talk about how to gather market feedback on your book idea, how to use that feedback to tweak your book concept, and then use it to start building an email list for your book idea that you can use to launch your marketing campaign when the book is finally ready.

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