Monday, October 5, 2009

Target Market vs. Extended Market: Artists and their Audience

I'm back in America!

While I was out of town, I started thinking about foreign markets and promotion in general. The last few decades of business have moved us toward a global economy. It is becoming easier to get almost anything, anywhere in the world (thank you, Internet).
I started thinking about all the places that I would eventually like my books to be sold ... and all the places that I'd like to go to promote the books. Music artists and movie people travel all around promoting their work. They visit small venues in different states and countries and play for small audiences, building fans one by one. This takes patience, determination and belief in the excellence of their project.

Depending on your project (and your pre-existing level of fame) I think that the one by one approach is the best way to establish supporters. It builds lasting connections and REAL fans.

We must define our target market and our extended market for our finished products. For example: a women's fiction writer who just wrote a certain "chick lit" novel may establish her target market as women from age 25-40, who make a mid-range salary, love fashion, and have had a few tough relationships. She then may further define her extended market as all women (and some men) under 60 who may find a few things to relate to in her story.

If she scores an interview with a news radio station that is most listened to by men and women 35+, then she is participating in marketing to her extended audience. If she lands a booth at a "Thirty & Flirty: Single Women Unite" conference she is promoting herself to her target audience. She may get sales as a result of both promotional techniques, but she'll probably sell more to her target audience, and (if her work is good) build fans that will jump to get her next project as well.

What places would you like to promote your work; and who is your target sales audience (not your ideal reader who you wrote the book for)?

Photo: fiskfisk


  1. I'm almost 30 & Flirty, do the single women who are uniting need any guest speakers?

  2. This is a wonderful topic!

    I am writing Women's Fiction and I would like my audience to be women between the ages of 25 and up.

    My fear is that my race will link my target audience to African Americans only, which is not my goal. I want to draw all women of every heritage.

    This is a major issue for me and one I plan to communicate heavily when the publishing ball gets rolling.

    Blessings to you...

  3. Savvy post! Love it! Good tips on broadening our books' appeal to a wider audience.

  4. Good post, Regina - and something we should be thinking about as we write.

    As for my ideal reader (according to Jennifer Bennett), it's me. Is that wrong?

    As for my target audience, I'm having trouble with that. I wrote the book for adult females, early 20s and up, but there's a bedtime story within the novel that has made some beta readers wonder if I should be writing for a YA audience instead... which freaks me out.

    So, when I've figured all this out, I'll be back to answer your questions. ;-)

  5. Wes- I have a few things to say, but I'll refrain from doing so on this blog space ... but I will say I cracked up for a long time after your CIA writing inspiration comment. Dah.

    Tamika- I've thought about that too. Have you thought of ideas to ensure that doesn't happen? I think your voice speaks for itself and have really enjoyed your blog.

    Laura- I don't think that's wrong; I think it is funny. I feel that way sometimes too.