Resources and tips for the self-published author.

How Book Marketing is Like Online Dating

by Auburn Seal •  August 25, 2016  •   Follow

Published in Publishing Tips  •  No comments

Finding your target audience in a sea of readers is much like trying to find a life partner in an ocean of single people.


How can you find just the right match for your book? We are going to use the dating analogy to have some fun with this literary matchmaking project.

  1. When you fill out your profile on a dating site, you begin the process of whittling down the candidates that are likely to be a good fit for you, right? Understanding how to categorize your book is similar. If your book is mostly thriller with some romantic overtones, but you describe it as romance, you might run into some trouble. First, romance readers are expecting a very specific formula. Guy meets girl, there’s some sexual tension, for some reason they can’t get together right away. There’s some will they, won’t they tension, but they always get together in the end. In order to keep your rabid romance readers happy, you must have a happy ending. So if your thriller has two people falling in love, but you kill one of them in the end, the book you sold as a romance will make the happy, loyal romance readers very angry. Just like if you presented yourself on a dating site as someone who loves going out to eat, but fail to mention you are a vegan. Full disclosure is what it’s about. Know your book, present your book correctly, and you’ll go a long way towards creating happy readers.
  2. So, you’ve written a romance with a solid happily-ever-after situation. You’ve clearly identified it that way in your book description, even the back of the book summary. But. Are your pictures updated? Stay with me for a second. In the world of online dating, a picture is worth a thousand words. If you are in your 40’s and the only picture you put up to represent yourself is from your wild 21st birthday party, your dates will not be very happy when you finally meet them in person. So it is with book covers. Thousands of words. Maybe more! Does the style and imagery on your cover represent your genre that you worked so hard to define? Does the typography say horror when the guts of the story are sappy romance? It matters. Use the right pictures!
  3. If you are still with me, you’ve got a banging book description and a super sexy cover. Your reader has invited your book back to their place for after-dinner drinks. What will they find between the sheets? Analogies all over the place. Is your book professionally edited? Formatted well. Do the links work? You can have a pretty face, but if there’s no substance when the lights go down…well, good luck to you. Readers, as with those on the dating scene, are looking for the whole package. Give it to them. It’ll be a mutually satisfying experience. Trust me.

If you aren’t sure how to market your book, or even how to find an editor, Bibliocrunch can hook you up. Free webinars to help you with your website SEO, classes to help you market using social media, and even a marketplace to connect you with industry professionals like graphic designers and editors. Go forth and make a match!

About Auburn Seal

Auburn Seal enjoys zipping through life in the lovely Pacific Northwest where she finds herself surrounded by a great family—one super-cool husband and three awesome children—and gorgeous scenery. She is a fair-weather blogger (it’s possible she has commitment issues), and has a unique ability to weave the dead into her stories. Auburn graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science in Student Loans. Oops, Justice Studies. Note the irony. Still, Go Sun Devils!