Sally is a stay at home mom. She has two kids and does the school drop off and pick up every morning. She works hard to create a great home life for her family. When she puts the kids to bed she’ll read her book for a couple of hours. She cares about keeping in shape and cooking good food. She wants to read more but doesn’t feel like she has the time so prefers books that are easy to read with simple language. She goes on holiday twice a year where she loves to lie by the pool and read a book that will transport her to another world. She likes gentle romance, stories that make her laugh and have happy endings. She resonates with strong, healthy women who are great examples to their children and always put their family first.
Sally isn’t a real person. She’s a persona. She’s a writer's imagining of what their ideal reader would look like, act like, and what interests and motivates them.
Sally is important because she gives focus, she creates a tangible person to write for, she helps writers understand who they are writing for, and keeps them focused.
When writers create their stories they obviously want as many people to buy their finished work as possible. But writing to please large groups of people can be challenging. It’s not focused enough and could easily miss the mark if you try too hard to please the masses.
Instead creating a ‘real’ ideal reader to focus on can help writers get a picture of what their readers want and can use that to inspire their writing. The more focused you are on your reader, the easier it will be to sell to them when your book is finished and ready to share with the world.
A buyer persona creates a human face, it creates a particular personality that you, the writer, are trying to appeal to. It paints a picture of the individual and their likes, not only when it comes to the type of fiction they might buy, but also the kinds of things that appeal to them. If a person identifies themselves as a strong woman, for example, they will enjoy reading fiction featuring a strong female lead. If they are particularly interested in art, setting your story in an art gallery may intrigue and excite them. People like to read stories that resonate with them, so the more you can precisely include characters, worlds, and plots that include specific details that your ideal reader would be interested in or grabbed by, the more likely they will buy your book.
Of course, a buyer persona for your book is also incredibly helpful when it comes to marketing it. If you know your exact audience, you know when they are going to be online, what is going to persuade them, how they like to be communicated with, and so on. This knowledge arms you with immense power. You can create content and advertisements and communications and social posts and competitions and all sorts of other promotional work that’s tailored to appeal to them. You’ll also have a much better idea of where to find those readers so you can make sure that they see that your book is for sale.
Creating a buyer persona for your book just makes good sense. Spend time on this. Be precise and then use it to ensure that when you are ready to sell your book, you know exactly who you are going to sell it to and how.
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