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Targeting a niche book audience

I’ve known prolific author Brette Sember for years. When she posted in a private Facebook group that she’s published a guide to eating gluten-free while traveling, The Gluten-Free Guide to Travel, I asked her to guest blog for us on how she’s zeroing in on the niche audience that will be interested in the book. Sember is the author of more than 40 books about food, health, business, education, and legal issues. In addition to writing, ghostwriting, and writing online content, she’s a professional indexer and a social media manager for national brands. Learn more on her website and blog.  

Targeting a niche book audience

By Brette Sember

I’ve written niche books before, but The Gluten-Free Guide to Travel might just target the smallest one so far! Writing an e-book for such a small audience actually makes promoting it easier, because my audience is so small and so very targeted.

Think in circles

It helps me to organize my promotion by thinking about circles of people and organizations. I start at the center, with those closest to me, and work my way outward. My first order of business was to write a blog post for my own blog and to post on my personal and blog Facebook pages. I paid to boost the post from my blog Facebook page, increasing the number of people who would see the post. I tweeted, pinned and Google+ed about the book myself. I posted on LinkedIn.

Next I moved to my friends. I asked them to share my book on Facebook. I asked them if they wanted review copies for Amazon reviews and if they would do blog posts on their blogs. I’m fortunate to know so many wonderful writers who believe in supporting other writers because I received a lot of publicity this way.

Use your organizations

Next I looked to organizations I belong to. Because this book is about travel, I updated my profile with both the North American Travel Journalists Association and the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association and submitted the publication as member news with one of the organizations (the other does not have a member news section). I updated my bio on GoGirlfriend, one of the travel sites where my work appears. I belong to a large group of women writers on Facebook and I posted there asking if anyone would like a review copy and several members invited me to do guest blogs or interviews for their sites. Still on my to-do list is to update my American Society of Journalists and Authors profile and post on the forums there about it. I will send a press release to my hometown paper about the book and I’ve already sent a review copy to my alumni association’s magazine, which has promoted several of my other books in the past.

Target pubs and groups

The Gluten-Free Guide to Travel borderAlthough all of the work I had done so far got the word out, I still needed to hone in on my very targeted audience, so I sent press releases to Living Without’s Gluten Free and More magazine and Gluten Free Living magazine. I contacted my local celiac association branch and asked if they would list the book as a resource. I plan to spend some time contacting national celiac and gluten-free support groups. I will then move to contacting bloggers in this area, offering them review copies and guest posts.

Although a niche audience makes it easy to know who will want to read your book, I believe it is still important to start with the people closest to you and work your way out as you consider getting the word out.

What tactic works best for you when trying to reach a specific niche audience?

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