When you write a query letter and book proposal to an agent or acquisitions editor, there are certain things they want to know before considering your manuscript. They want to hear about you and your book, but what they really care about is the audience.

Heirloom flower, Brooktondale, NY 2012

What audience is your book intended for?

Describe your readers in demographic detail.

Where do your readers live? Work? Learn? Worship?

How and where do they shop and for what?

Where do they vacation? What do they do for entertainment?

Media consumption habits?  What media outlets target your audience?

Beliefs, values, attitudes of your readers?

Describe situations you envision your reader reaching for your book. When would somebody want to read your book and why? What are they going to be looking for?

Describe where and how your readers will find your book.

What expectations will your readers have when they open your book?

Draw up at least a dozen character sketches (100 words each) of your customers.

Are there associations, organizations, clubs, guilds, unions or other groups whose primary focus is of interest to your audience? Government, non-profit, business.

Do you have an audience platform? Website? Blog? Facebook Page? Twitter? LinkedIn? Social media metrics?

What ideas do have for marketing your book?

If you don’t have answers to these questions, you may have more than marketing problems. The writer who does not know to whom they are writing is likely to have manuscript problems, too.

 

 

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Ira Rabois
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