Building Reader Personas for Authors

Imagine for a moment that you’ve written a military science fiction adventure book. You have a chance to tell one of three people about it:

  1. A busy, female, mid-30s executive with a six-figure income
  2. A male eco-activist in his 20s who works part-time at Hot Topic
  3. A 30-year-old male web designer who is also president of a Dungeons & Dragon meetup group

Although you can’t judge a book by its cover, the smart money would bet on Choice #3 as the person most likely to be excited about military science fiction. In a nutshell, that’s what a reader persona is. It’s a general description of the sorts of facts you know about your most avid reader pools, to help you target your promotional efforts as effectively as possible. 

Going back to the example above, are you 100% certain that every 30-something geeky male will want to buy your military sci fi book? No! Is there a 0% chance that the exec or activist will want a copy? No! Outliers exist everywhere. 

But if you build a careful profile of the core readers for your book, you’ll start to aim your promotions at the people most likely to want to buy that book. Here’s how. 

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