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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Reverse Marketing

If you could know exactly who your perfect reader was what would you really do with the information?

Countless book marketing gurus proclaim that authors should know who their perfect reader is. That we should know them almost as well as we know ourselves and that we should write and blog about subjects that appeal to them. We could conduct surveys to find the answer, spend our time haunting the social media sites like Goodreads to interact.

As a reader you know what you want. As an author, I haven’t a clue until you tell me.

However, I am also a reader. I love many romance books and their authors, too, but I’m not really the type to do surveys or do the raving fan thing. But in the interests of fair play, I’m willing to share my ‘reader profile’

:: My age is between 40 - 45
:: I went to work as soon as I left school and enjoy working
:: I have a degree, which I studied for whilst working
:: I have a family that keeps me busy
:: I work from home full time
:: I read romance: Regency England settings, Contemporary Romance set anywhere, and Paranormal (vamps most often), Erotic romance any subgenre
:: I only keep the romance stories I love and will reread them often
:: I autobuy (and preorder) certain author books as soon as I hear about them
:: I am willing to try ‘new to me’ and ‘debut authors’ if the story intrigues me
:: However, ‘buy my book’ marketing tweets and posts on social media sites or emails do not make me take a closer look at your book.
:: I have reluctantly given up reading recent releases from a few established authors although I still have their older books on my keeper shelf and adore them
:: I mostly buy digital editions now because I like to grab the story as soon as I see it (postage takes too long and there are few bricks and mortar bookstores in my area)
:: I read on my iPad and iPhone because of file sharing, but iPad is more comfortable for longer stories

That’s me - now your turn. What would your reader profile look like? Have you ever tried writing up one before? What suggestions would you have for interacting with a reader like me?


  1. Hi Heather, well here's how my profile would read:

    *My age is between 30-35
    *I'm currently a stay at home mom
    *I read romance: Regency (mainly), Victorian England, Contemporary Romance (just starting to get into it), Paranormal, and occasionally young adult
    *I just started blogging about the books I'm reading. Mainly to keep my friend up to date on what I'm reading and what she might like.
    *I avoid pre-ordering books, because I tend to get into trouble with that.
    *My TBR list is always growing. Sometimes I will move another book to the top of the list I really want to read it.
    *I love re-reading the books I LOVE.
    *I prefer getting my books on Kindle, but I have splurge on buying real books.
    *I read my books in book form, kindle, or on my iPad. Pending on where I have the book stored on. I prefer to read on my kindle.

    This would be the first time I wrote my reader profile.
    I have no clue on how to interact with a reader like you.
    I hope more people comment today. Have a great day.

  2. That's a tough one... I've never thought of myself as having a reader profile before, but of course I do. Lacking creativity, I'll follow your format. :)

    Age: 30-35
    Employment: I've been employed since age 15 and am currently in my cushiest job yet as an executive assistant (sounds very Devil Wears Prada, I know, but it's not.). I work full-time.
    Education: B.S. in Political Science
    Family: I have a stay-at-home husband and two young kids.
    Reading prefences: I read romance (strong preference for historicals set in Georgian to Victorian England; some contemporaries, some erotica) and classics (preference for epic poetry and European literature written approx. 1850-1940) and Joan Didion (she's got her own shelf in my mind and collection).
    I keep all the books I buy, even the ones I disliked. I really need to clean out my bookshelves...
    I reread constantly because I have a terrible memory.
    I love finding new (to me) authors to read, and these are usually recommended to me by a friend or by reviewers whose opinion I trust.
    Over the last few years, I've noticed myself becoming more and more of a feminist (probably a consequence both of maturity and having daughters), and I can no longer abide stories with weak-sauce heroines paired with jerkhole heroes who have no redeeming qualities. It's a problem.
    I mostly buy digital editions because my 18-month-old eats my books. I read on my Nook.

    I'm not sure I quite understand the purpose of reverse marketing. Given the overlap between your reader profile and mine, I would interact with a reader like you simply by being myself (convenient, that) and trying not to be too creepy. If there were no overlap in our reader profiles, I might decide that there was no value in attempting to interact with you, but that decision would imply that I thought there was nothing more to either of us than our reader profiles (so not the case) and that our reader profiles were marked in stone (also not the case, I'm guessing). I suppose my ending advice is the ever-helpful (not really) just be yourself.

    As an aside, I love this post! It is fascinating that you have written this discussion post (and it's an interesting discussion topic) and have shared your own information to get the ball rolling. Oh, and I'm totally with you on Twitter as a marketing tool being kind of a turnoff.

    Cheers-- Kelly

    1. I'm 100% on board with hating Twitter marketing. When I get a DM asking me, or telling in some cases, to check out the author's book, it will never happen.

    2. I've only had the DM 'buy my book!' thing once, and it really annoyed me, especially since nothing about my Twitter profile proclaimed me a likely reader for what that dude was selling...

  3. -My age is between 30-35
    -I've been a stay at home mom for 15 years
    -I have a high school education, though I've got years of life edu.
    -I am happily married and with older children, I have more time to read
    -I keep and re-read books I love, and have a few authors that I have all of their books
    -I will grab a book off the shelves by an Author's name only, but will also grab a beautiful historical cover
    -I have a kindle, though I prefer having a paperback book in my hand and I think kindle books should be cheaper than a bound book..not a extreme amount, just some. (my husband used to print and bind books so I know cost)
    -My favorite genre is Historical, particularly Regency and I read these more than any other book
    -I read YA books often, contemporaries some though usually I don't buy them.
    -Most book marketing is beyond me, reading a ad, seeing a bookmark or getting a free book does not guarantee that I will buy your books again...but I will if its good and especially if its good AND a series!

    I am not sure I understand what all this info would tell an author or publisher that would be beneficial to them, I am sure there are many women out there with many of the same details. But also many with completely different ones...but we all read books and so that seems to me to be what is important.

    1. Hmm, when I said grabbing by Author's name only I meant that when I know an Author's name then I will grab that book..not that I only buy certain Author's books. That didn't read right! :(

    2. Great point, Rhi! Sometimes I think the best marketing is just writing a good book. :)

  4. Great post, Heather! I doubt my info is all that fascinating, but here ya go. :)
    :: My age is between 30-35 (if you don't mind pushing the outer limits)
    :: Went to college for psychology
    :: Stay at home mom without a moment to scratch my bum in peace.
    :: I read horror and romance (nice combo, huh?) Contemporary and all paranormal. Friend recently put me on to YA.
    :: I too keep the romance stories I love and will reread them often
    :: I love when I find a new author I really enjoy.
    :: I read mostly digital editions though I adore browsing a book store.
    :: My Nook is one of my top 5 treasured possessions.

    Oh and agree completely with not using Twitter to sell me! I HATE that!