Saturday, April 6, 2013

Throwing Target Marketing Out the Window

Lemme tell you a story...actually, lemme tell you a few stories. 

Once upon a time, I had an online marketing coach. I wasn't willing to change a few things just to sell books, so the business partnership came to a standstill, but I've never forgotten what this person said to me one day. We had a conversation that went something like this:

Coach: "What is your target audience?"

Me: "Well, that's obvious. I write for women, about women. I'm targeting WOMEN."

Coach: "That's too broad an audience. You must narrow it down. White, black, Christian, young, old..."

Me: "Hell, no. I don't discriminate."

And there you have it, folks. I DON'T DISCRIMINATE. Is the coach right? Probably. But I'm not changing my goals, I'm not selling myself short, just to top the charts. I have a message I am trying to get out there...for  WOMEN, be they young, old, white, black, purple, Christian, Pagan, or Atheist.

My message is "be strong, be united, be yourself, be women, and be proud".

I've refused to narrow down my target audience. I have white heroines, Hispanic heroines, African-American heroines. I have heroines with blond hair, black hair. I have orphan heroines, young heroines, old heroines. I have heroines in the military. I have heroines that like men and heroines that prefer their own sex. I have white women attracted to African-American men, and vice versa.

I have two more IR romances coming out soon, one in April and one in June. April will see Fine Like Wine, just a sexy tale about a Latina woman and an African-American woman finding love and hope (and some bedtime fun) with each other. Plotting to Win is an African-American woman and a Latino male.

Some fellow authors will glare at me say, "She's intruding on my domain. She just wants my sales." I ask them...please read above.

Story number two:

A fellow author friend of mine wrote an IR romance that released a few months ago. It earned a scathing review, which I read... Now, I'm not against bad reviews. We don't all like the same books and that's not the issue here, but what shocked me was a comment like this: "Why do we have a Hawaiian man and an African-American woman? What is the point?"

Hello? Would you approach an IR couple in the grocery store and ask them something like that?

Does there need to be a point? Two people love each other. They happen to be different on the outside, but they are the same on the inside. 'Nuff said.

Thanks for stopping by today, my readers.


15 comments:

  1. I think I really like just Say it Saturday.....just sayin'! Good for you. I totally agree about the reviewer's comment-it was ridiculous.

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    1. Thank you, Heather! I like that. Say it Saturday...that's catchy.

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  2. That is a ridiculous comment about IR romance. We can see this person is closed minded.

    And I'm with Heather. I like your being so open!

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  3. I was in an IR relationship for a long time and it is becoming much more 'normal' so why wouldn't people want to read and write it!

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  4. Love this article. In this day and age women need to be strong. Everyone has the right to make their own choices in life and in love.

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  5. Don't change what you do. :) It why I love you.

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  6. I don’t get why the online marketing coach suggested that you limit your target audience. I’ve learned that it’s better to have a wider range, and therefore be more appealing to more people.

    Darryl Tay

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    1. Hi, Darryl. Well, they advise us to target specific age groups and sexes. (Some say nationality as well, some don't.) And also we're advised to not write more than one genre, to write the same thing over and over, like western romance, regency, etc. That's called branding. That's a post for another day. LOL

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  7. Even bloggers who are trying to market their blogs are advised to focus on only one type of book. If I did that I'd need to have at least a dozen different blogs to cover all the types of books that I enjoy reading. Forget that. I believe that in the long run I will get a wide variety of new visitors to my blog because I don't exclude any book categories. My blog will just keep on being discovered by different audiences. I think that's what will happen to you as a writer, Tara.

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    1. We can only hope so, Linda. Thanks so much for your support.

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