Your target audience matters! Follow along as we go into the reasons why.
Book Marketing Tips - Genre Types

Why Your Target Audience Matters

Your target audience matters! Follow along as we go into the reasons why.

You’ve done it! You’ve written your book and have committed to publishing it. You’re probably excited to share the final product with the whole world. Well, maybe not the entire world, but your target audience is definitely all Christian readers, right? Think again.

Believe it or not, many authors enter the publishing process with their target audience focused on Christian readers of all ages. In other words, people ranging from elementary school to the nursing home. This wide range of potential readers doesn’t help when crafting the book’s content and marketing efforts to the right readers.

Limitation is actually a good thing.

One important step is defining the target readership. Your book’s content, packaging, and marketing efforts should be crafted with a particular audience in mind. Authors are often afraid to limit their marketing reach and miss out on potential readers. Crafting a primary target audience will actually help you reach more readers who are right for your book.

A set target audience doesn’t mean that you won’t find readers across the whole spectrum of ages, races, and level of spiritual maturity. Instead, the idea of having a primary target audience simply means that your book will resonate the most deeply with—and be purchased by—a certain type of reader.

In the end, a primary target audience will help make the finished product of the book as cohesive as possible. Once you have your target audience in mind, you can make wise and efficient decisions about everything from word choice and phrasing in your book’s introduction to the design you choose for your book cover.

Still not sure what your book’s primary target audience should be?

Approach readers. Commission a group of beta readers who you think might be your primary audience and ask them to review the manuscript. Use their feedback to see which parts of the book are most appealing and which could use some tweaking. If those readers don’t connect with the book, you’ll have a better idea of who to focus on—and who not to spend much time on—during your marketing efforts.

Before you know it, you’ll be one step closer to publishing your book and getting it into the hands of readers who will love it most: your primary target audience!


Amy brings experience from her work with the Minnesota Book Awards, Milkweed Editions, the University of Minnesota Press, Ivory Tower Magazine, and the University of Minnesota’s Center for Writing. Before joining Xulon Press in 2016, she marketed academic religion textbooks and reference resources with Fortress Press in Minneapolis. Amy’s love for books began at an early age, and she went on to graduate from the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities with a BA in English literature with studies in technical writing. She enjoys creative nonfiction, poetry, contemporary fiction, and literary classics.

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