From Sarah, With Joy

Writer of all things kid lit.

Here there be kid poems.

Monday, April 16, 2012

N is for Niche Market

This ones a bit hard for me. I am, and I believe most people are, interested in a wide, eclectic variety of things, so it's hard for me to narrow down my target audience to a specific type of person. Of course we all hope for a wide and varied readership, transcending this kind of stereotyping. But publishers don't like that kind of talk, and for good reason; you need a narrow focus for a successful marketing campaign.

So, niche readership. Once you've found yours, you can go from there. Find out where your target audience spends its time and focus your resources on those areas. For example, if your target audience is women in their 30's and 40's, you're probably going to want to go for ads more in Elle than in Petersen's Hunting. You can use sites like to find out what sites your demographic is visiting and spend your time there. Find the Facebook pages and groups that cater to your type of reader and spend time there too. Once you find your niche, it's easier to be creative and spread the word.

The hard part, for me at least, is figuring out your particular niche market. Sometimes it's fairly clear. For example if you're writing a high school romance, then your target audience is teenage girls, and if it's a political thriller, then probably men age 30-50. Maybe I'm just too close to my own book and can't get objective, but I'm having a bit of trouble defining my target audience.

See, okay. My MC is a 40 year old man named George who takes care of his teenage niece, which makes basing my target audience on my MC sort of confusing. But there is a romance strain throughout the book as well, which might narrow the audience down to women age 30-50, as well as a paranormal thread as well, which might narrow it down even further. Does that sound about right? Even thought my main character is a middle-aged man, my target audience is probably 25-50 year old women who like a bit of fantasy. I'm hoping to be able to chat about this with my beta readers pretty soon which is probably be the most helpful thing one can do in terms of determining target audience, but again, that sound right?

That means, even though my book is absolutely nothing like Twilight, I might do well to spend a bit of time talking to the readers of TwilightMoms. Find sites where moms spend a lot of time.

What about you? What is the target audience for your book, and what are some ideas for finding it?

Sarah Allen


  1. My target audience is women, probably between the ages of 25 - 35, but that can probably widened a little. I usually find my audience through Twitter and blogs. :)

  2. I try to appeal to a wide range of genres, even though I'm classified as action thriller. I even have a small but saucy sex scene in my first book. Can't believe I did that, but I did.

  3. Yeah I try to go around to all genres as I write just letting it takes me where it takes me, defining it would be kind of tough, publishers would find that rough..haha

  4. I definitely have a niche market - mostly women over 40 who love strong female characters who also have a sense of fun. People who love it, love it. And those who don't, don't. And somehow they find me. I never really know what it is I'm doing that works.

  5. My target audiences? Baby boomers whose parents lived through the Great Depression and WW2; young adults who dream about small town life; and teachers who want a readable book for middle school classes that discusses the hidden prejudices and hates that preceded the Civil Rights of the 1960s.

  6. I have the same problem. I've come round to considering my work romance, even though in some cases either one or both of the couple may not be alive at the end of the story - or even at the beginning.

    I hope this doesn't scar those people who are after proper romance, with - you know - everyone alive at the end.

  7. It depends on which piece you are talking about. I sometimes write for children 3-8 years old, or 12-16, or Women 16-35... or... or... or... yep, not nailed down to a particular crowd, unless you first nail down... which piece. :-)

  8. Not being a writer myself I am continually educating myself with posts like these. I know about niche marketing pretty thoroughly but it never dawned on me that you have to apply that to writing a book...even though it makes perfect sense to consider your target reader before you layout your story. Good post.

  9. I write mostly young adult fiction so my target audience is teens but I hope that it will also appeal to adults like me who read YA. :)

  10. I'm going straight for the teen market, and their moms who are hooked on romance.

  11. I love exploring different genres so it's hard to tie down into one market. There came a time when I had to so I ended up deciding on the teen market. Occasionally I'll branch out in short stories because I can't help myself ;)

  12. Excellent question.

    Not sure who or what my target audience might be, since the book I wrote (adult fantasy) is definitely niche market material.

    About the only genre I can really lump my writing into is one that I call "quirky".

  13. This is definitely the hardest part: finding out who would be interested in our books. Because what if there are multiple groups or people who don't normally share interests who would like your book?

    Discovering that target group is super-hard...


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