When I wrote The Legend of the Swamp Witch I never gave demographics and marketing a thought. I didn’t think about sales at all. I just wanted to write something, have it published, and hold a book with my name on the cover. It wasn’t until after I published it that I began looking into marketing.
I was a newbie! I’ve since joined the Meetup group dealing with marketing and learned a lot. Marketing books is so very different than marketing the costuming I did for years. I’m different now, as well. My physical handicaps make it difficult for me to do well at Book signings because I can’t stand for long periods of time to greet prospective buyer. Simply sitting behind a table does not engage the prospective buyer. I did sales at Renaissance and Medieval Faires for years. The merchant needs to be up and active to attract customers and interact with them. I’m a talkative person, but sitting behind a table is not conducive to sales.
After attending my critique group for a few months, I came to realize my target audience is women, probably in the 35-60 range who appreciate historical aspects of my work. When I present chapters with lots of descriptions of clothing, furnishings, and household items of the period the women love it. The men in the group tend to roll their eyes and ask ‘Does the fact that the curtains are velvet with gold tassels do anything to promote the plot? Is someone going to get strangled with the tassels later in the book?’. Women tell me they love the descriptions of the clothes and furnishings. It puts them easily into the scene. A writer likes to hear that. The men say that too, but they don’t seem to appreciate it as much as the women. Men enjoy the erotic scenes, but I don’t think they’d buy my books for three or four erotic scenes.
My Erotic Romances appeal to both men and women, but I really couldn’t place a specific demographic. I think that changes with the plot of each book. Promises is written with characters in their mid to late fifties and early sixties. I think that would appeal to an audience of that age range while my other books are written with characters much younger. I was very comfortable writing Promises because I was writing about someone my own age during this time period. Writing in a historic setting is different. I’m comfortable writing about characters younger than me.
I would classify my work as Women’s Historical Fiction, appealing to adult women with an interest in history. My Erotic Romances appeal to the adult Romance reader, both male and female. One of my Romances, Sweet Rewards, is written in a historic setting and would appeal to that reader who appreciates the history. Promises is a Contemporary Romance and would appeal to the reader of Contemporary. I’m now playing with a Paranormal and that has a following all of its own.
I’m learning as I go. Marketing, like the writing, is a learning process and I’m learning.
Until tomorrow; Write On!