Breathe. Write. Breathe. - 18 Energizing practices to spark your writing and free your voice by Lisa Tener

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18 Energizing Practices to Spark Your Writing & Free Your Voice

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Book Writing Tips: 9 Keys to Clarifying Target Market

book proposal coach lisa tener
Here to answer your questions about tarket market, clarifying your book concept and how to write a winning book proposal!

Clarifying target market will help you write a book that resonates for your readers—from the title and subtitle to the tone, content, features and structure. With this clarity, your readers can realize, “This book is for me! It’s just what I’m looking for.”

Without such clarity, your book is more likely to get lost in the general noise of publishing, or just not resonate for book buyers (think, too general and not targeted).

Clarifying a target market also makes it much easier to market your book. Without a clear market (or markets) it’s hard to know where to reach your readers—what social media platforms, what radio or TV shows to target, what blogs, etc.

5 Questions to Help You in Clarifying Target Market

questions about target marketTo clarify target market, ask yourself:

1) Who am I most drawn to help or work with?

2) Who is most drawn to me (if you have a business) or who would most likely benefit from what I want to write about?

3) What are my goals and vision for this project?

4) Is there a niche group that is under-served by the books currently out on my topic?

5) Is there a demographic or sub-group that is particularly in need—or desperate—for the information I have to offer?

These questions will start to help you determine target market.

4 Additional Tips for Clarifying a Book’s Tarket Market

6) Blogging can help you get clearer on target market, especially if you invite comments from readers and get to know more about them.

7) Researching market size will help you determine the potential for book sales—numbers that are especially important to agents and publishers. Try census data, professional associations and internet searches as a starting point.

8) Solid demographic and psychographic research will also help you better clarify and understand your market(s).

9) Send out a survey to the people on your mailing list or blog. Ask them more about themselves and what they are looking for in a book on your topic. I use Survey Monkey (it’s free!) but there are lots of good options out there.

Get More Info and Support to Write a Stand Out Book or Book Proposal

For additional information on clarifying target market, read this post where I share whether to target a niche market or a broad market for a book.

clarify book target market and book conceptGet Clear On Your Book Concept: If you are looking for guidance on clarifying your book concept—vision, goals, markets, features, tone and structure for your book—I highly recommend my $97 self-study program, Quick Start to Kick Start Your Book, as an excellent starting place. I continue to hear from authors who felt they ended up with a much better book—and easier, quicker process, because of this course.

Write a Winning Book Proposal: If you’re working on a book proposal, email me for access to the course materials and recordings from Fast Track Your Book Proposal at a substantially reduced rate from the once-a-year course. My insider tips can make your book proposal stand out and much more convincing to busy—and picky—agents and publishers.

questions about target marketGet Answers to Your Questions! Have a question on target markets, book proposals, book concepts or anything publishing and writing related? Ask below and I’ll answer!

Lisa Tener

Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.

Reader Interactions


  1. Sharon Turnoy says

    Hi Lisa,

    I love your website. What a goldmine of information! Thank you for providing it.

    As a ghostwriter, I wanted to ask you two things:

    1. How would I get on your list of ghostwriters you use for referrals?

    2. On your page entitled “Book Writing Tips: 9 Keys to Clarifying Target Market,” you invite people to contact you to get “access to the course materials and recordings from Fast Track Your Book Proposal at a substantially reduced rate from the once-a-year course.” Being a new freelancer, but a long-standing ghostwriter, I would love to take your course because I want to add book proposal writing to the list of services I offer. However, i need to get more revenue coming in first. In the meantime, I’d like to take you up on your offer of access to the materials at a “substantially reduced” price, as it sounds like the perfect resource for me right now.

    Thanks very much,


    • Lisa Tener says

      Thanks, Sharon. You can email me here and we can explore. I have a questionnaire about your skills, interests and experience, and I also ask for samples of your writing/ghostwriting.

  2. Christine says

    Is sharing an experience be a good reason to write a book? I was reading Day 2 on what do my readers want and thought what if i have a story and just want to throw it out there?

    • Lisa Tener says

      Yes, Christine, it’s certainly a powerful reason to write a book. In addition, you may want to think about what you want your readers to experience (entertainment? Humor? To know they are not alone in a difficult or challenging circumstance? Inspiration? Motivation to make a change?).


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