The most important step towards effectively marketing your product – whether it’s a book or a business or a lemonade stand – is understanding your audience.
We knew this was true for Lulu.com as a business, and wanted to see if this basic principle was also true for successful authors. So we posed a question to a large group of our most successful authors: “Why do you think your book was so successful?” Here’s what they said:
The top 3 answers that authors credited for their book’s success are all representative of understanding and providing content for a very specific audience. Again and again the words “niche,” “audience,” and “filled a need” came up in answers to this question.
As one author said, “Make it your overriding passion to learn as much as you can about your audience and then give them what they crave.”
For now, take note of two related answers “Only book of its kind” and “Subject matter / topic.” Many authors stress that successful books require a fresh perspective on a popular topic or that they cover a subject that’s never been written about. One author said their book was successful because “it fills a niche with no competition either for content or quality and clarity of presentation.”
Also, take a second look at the votes for “Author platform.” Later on in the book we’ll look at the different elements of an author platform, and which parts of the platform our best-selling authors think helped them the most.