Monday, June 17, 2019

Marketing to Your Reader

by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

Marketing to the reader should begin before typing the first word of your book or article. To reach that reader you need to understand the person’s real desires and needs. Your words will be a gift to that reader. Consider what your reader really wants and write to meet those desires. What’s the question you can answer that is on their mind or heart? What’s the challenge in their life that I causing struggles? What emotion do the struggles cause? Those are the felt needs. Keep them uppermost in your writing and then showcase them in the marketing.

Market the book to make readers aware that you have solutions for their specific needs as they struggle to do life. Reach out and assure the reader that your book will meet the needs. You need to help them trust you and your words by sharing how it changed you and is changing others.

Market by appealing to those needs and showing results. Show that the book will meet basic needs of acceptance, affirmation, adventure, assurance, and approval. This is done in fiction through characters overcoming the struggle. In nonfiction, it’s done when we help the reader overcome and embrace something new. Either way, we serve to meet their needs.

Show the reader they are accepted by you. That means you show them compassion, show you understand their heart and struggles, and show you care. This can be done by questions and even surveys or a few anecdotes. Sandra Felton launched her success on writing about getting organized with a few questions in a newspaper want ad: Messy? Want help?  She gave a meeting time and place. That started a support group and later the editor of the want ad followed up to see what happened. The follow up article went nationwide and started a ministry. A mom writing about mothering shared those chaotic moments of grape juice spilling, a child bleeding, and more that let her readers see she understood and walked beside them in the struggle to parent well.

Affirmation of Encouragement
Let the reader know that overcoming the struggle is doable. That can be anecdotes of I reached rock bottom when a light bulb went off and I found a way to cope and even thrive. They assure the reader you can do it to with a few steps, a change of attitude, or some method. You share how in doing life a little better every day it can make a lifestyle change. Invite them to join a wall of success in your Pinterest or other social media, newsletter, or blog. 

People do what something new and fresh, Readers want excitement and adventure, either in a small or big way. This can be done even in a parenting book by asking readers to share the little and big successes on social media or in responding to your newsletter. It’ done through inviting the reader to pause and make a memory of what he or she accomplished. Share stories from readers to market the book and remind them that they can join the journey and follow the quest.

Readers want to believe that your ideas work and are doable and effective. Let them know they can do it because others have done it. Assure them it is easy. Reassure them they will get through, they will grow, they will gain something valuable, or they will live with more peace, joy, or contentment. Do this by sharing testimonies of people who can gush with enthusiasm and endorse the book because it changed him or her in some way.

People want approval. They want to know their life matters and their actions make a difference. They want to know you listen and approve of their achievement, their moving forward, or their decisions. Invite readers to let you know how they feel when they have finished your book and applied the ideas. Share their reactions.

Marketing with these ideas in mind is what builds a tribe. People feel they belong when you show you care and applaud their efforts.

 Marketing to Your Reader - tips from @KarenHWhiting on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

5 Things to keep in mind when marketing to you reader - @KarenHWhiting on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

JOIN Karen in New Jersey June 21st

Karen will hold at a one-day seminar. The morning will be workshops on writing craft. afternoon will be a group critique where she will give time to each attendees’ piece or need  in writing or marketing. $50.

Karen Whiting ( is an international speaker, former television host of Puppets on Parade, certified writing and marketing coach, and award-winning author of twenty-five books for women, children, and families. Her newest book, The Gift of Bread: Recipes for the Heart and the Table reflects her passion for bread and growing up helping at her grandparent’s restaurant. 

She has a heart to grow tomorrow’s wholesome families today. She has written more than seven hundred articles for more than sixty publications and loves to let creativity splash over the pages of what she writes. She writes for Leading Hearts, The Kid’s Ark, and BCM International. Connect with Karen on Twitter @KarenHWhiting Pinterest KarenWhiting FB KarenHWhiting


  1. Karen,

    What a terrific emphasis in this piece--the reader. Especially new writers forget to focus on their readers and what they need. You have helped many with this article.

    Straight Talk From the Editor