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[ecourse] bestseller book launch – day 2 of 8

launch your book to bestseller

– day 2 –


What Every Bestselling Book Has in Common


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Why do people buy books?

The short answer: because they have a problem and your book is the solution.

Maybe they’re looking for ways to start or grow a business.

Maybe they don’t feel comfortable with their bodies and they want to lose weight.

Maybe they’re bored, and they want a great fiction book to entertain them…

Whatever the case, people buy books because they have a problem and they want to solve it.

The problem (for us publishers) is most authors don’t approach the book writing process this way.

They think: I have a great idea for a book and I’m going to write it. If it’s good (which it is because I’m writing it) then people will buy.

Sadly, this is rarely the case.

According to Neilson Bookscan, in 2004 80% of self-published authors sold less than 99 copies of their book.

Take that in for a moment…

Imagine spending months or years writing your book, only to sell a few dozen copies (probably for less than $10 a pop).

After expenses (whether Amazons cut, or the publishers cut, or the bookstores cut), most of these authors probably made much less than $500 publishing their book.

There must be a better way…

What separates the unsuccessful 80% from the successful 20%?

The thing that separates the average majority of authors from the exceptional minority is this:

Successful authors treat their book differently.

Todd Satterston is an author, entrepreneur, and founder of 1-800-CEO-READ.

His take on books is entirely different from the masses.

Instead of treating writing or publishing like an artistic hobby, he does the opposite. According to Satterston, “Every book is a startup.”

If Todd Satterston is right (and I believe he is), then this means we need to treat books like we do startups.

So how do startups work?

Well, before a startup begins building something, they start with a plan.

Specifically, the most successful startups develop some form of business model before they get to work creating whatever it is they create.

They do this because a business model gives startups a measurable objective, clarifies the path to success, and helps the startup know if they’re heading in the right direction.

Authors and publishers need the same thing for their books…

Enter The Book Marketing Canvas.

The Book Marketing Canvas - color coded

The Book Marketing Canvas is a business model for your book.

Get a Free Copy of The Book Marketing Canvas

Note: this document is color coded and marked with a number because I’m going to walk you through each section today.

The Book Marketing Canvas is something I’ve taken from the tech startup scene and adapted to book publishing. Specifically, I borrowed Ash Maurya’s Lean Canvas – a tool that MANY successful startups have used to build successful, million dollar businesses – and modified it to work for books.

The purpose of The Book Marketing Canvas is simple: to guide the development, marketing, and sales of your book.

How The Book Marketing Canvas Works

The Book Marketing Canvas is broken down into 9 major sections:

  1. Administrative information
  2. Target Audience (who this book is for?)
  3. Early Adopters (who will be your first 100 customers?)
  4. Marketing, Sales, and Distribution Channels (how will you reach your early adopters and target audience?)
  5. Problem (what is the problem or pain your reader has?)
  6. Solution (how does your book solve the problem or alleviate the pain?)
  7. Metrics for Success (how do you measure success for your book?)
  8. Unique Sales Proposition (what makes this book unique in a way that matters)?
  9. Price and Expenses (how do you plan to price and sell your book? What type of overhead or expenses are necessary to achieve the desired goal?)

In this lesson, I’m going to walk you through each section.

NOTE: for teaching purposes, I’m using a real life case study as our example: The 7 Day Startup by Dan Norris.

By using The Book Marketing Canvas for Dan Norris’ The 7 Day Startup, we were able to generate 12,000 sales at launch, and over $2,000 USD in the first month (that number has increased since).

Here’s what the launch numbers looked like:

Dan Norris - the 7 day startup after first 2 weeks

30 days on Amazon sales numbers

I find that I learn better through examples, so I hope you find this equally useful.

DOUBLE NOTE: the best way to learn is through application, so please download a copy of The Book Marketing Canvas and fill it out for your book as we go through this less (If you’re starting from scratch, that’s okay – The Book Marketing Canvas is a living document and you can come back to fill in the gaps as you go through this free training series). Let’s get to it.

#1. Administrative Info

canvas - admin

The top section of the “Book Marketing Canvas” is all basic but essential information. This should take you about 57 seconds to fill out:

  1. Author
  2. Editor
  3. Publisher
  4. Marketing / book launch consultant – often, this is the same as a publisher, but if you’re self-publishing, you may want to hire someone for this
  5. Title – if you don’t have a finalized title / subtitle, don’t worry. Just put in a placeholder (the names of my books change up to the time of launch – so just use a working title while you’re creating your book)
  6. Launch date (this is bolded / emphasized because it’s arguably the most important! Everything worthwhile needs a ship date because it will provide the forcing function you need to create, package, and launch your book).
  7. Formats (how do you plan to roll this book out? PDF? Kindle? etc.)

#2. Target Audience

Who is this book for? Who do you expect to read, enjoy, and share your work?

canvas - target readershipThis may be the most important question of the whole “Book Marketing Canvas.”

After all, if you aren’t precise about who you’re writing for, how can you reach them?

How can you determine your book sales page copy or design?

How can you properly market or sell to them?

In this section, you want to get clear on who your target audience. Some questions that will help:

  • Who are you writing your book for?
  • Who is your ideal readership / reader segment / customer segment?
  • How do they refer to themselves (not how do you refer to them)?

Sometimes it helps to think in the context of the genre or type of book you’re writing (or in reference to a specific book that inspired yours, or one that you drew inspiration from).

If I’m writing a fantasy novel, maybe my book is for Game of Thrones readers. If I’m writing a non-fiction self-help book, maybe my target readers are Tony Robbins fans.

The more specific, the better as we’ll come back to this list when we package, price, and launch our book.

#3. Early Adopters

Who are your early adopters? Who will be the first 100  readers to buy or pre-order your book?

Canvas - early adoptersNext, we want to find out who among your target audience (reader segment) will be the first to click “buy.”

Whether you’re giving your book away for free through the Amazon platform, or selling directly to customer using a platform like Gumroad.com, this section can’t be stressed enough.

Early adopters are the most important group of people for a book launch (or any launch, really).

These are the excited readers, the top 3 – 5% of your audience who will buy on proof of concept alone (oftentimes, simply because your name is associated with a project) and spread the word about your book.

You need to identify specifically who these people are.

So if in the last section we decided Game of Thrones readers would love our book, are we part of any GoT book clubs or forums? CAN we join them and be a part of them? Could this be the best venue to seed the book?

One of the easiest places to get early adopters for any new book (or product or service) is from your email list.

If you have one, this group should be on your ‘early adopter’ list and you should lean into them to share and promote your book.

If you DON’T have a list, everything should be focused on how you can begin building a list before your book launches by approaching the appropriate targeted readership and reaching the early adopters of that group.

For Dan’s launch, we knew his blog would include early adopters. But we also knew we could find people passionate about this subject in:

  • Targeted FB groups (on business startups and entrepreneurship)
  • Sites like Reddit.com, Ozbargain.com, Producthunt.com (anything business / tech + deal related)
  • Through similar blog and podcast platforms

The key with this section is to be SPECIFIC and not gloss over it…in fact, if you need to put individual names, do it!

Again, this section needs to be detailed because it’s going to allow us to develop our marketing and promotional campaign initiatives when we eventually launch.

#4. Problem

What problem or pain does your reader have?

Canvas - problemOnce you identify exactly who your ideal reader is, you’ll need to clarify what your book is about and why your readership should care.

This means identifying the main problem your book is solving.

Clarifying the problem helps with sales page copy, newsletter copy, and ultimately: activating your reader segment. When an author articulates a problem the reader has in the language the READER uses himself (often subconsciously), it triggers trust.

For The 7 Day Startup, we were focused on solving the problem of our target demographic or readership (wantrepreneurs), which was this: that aspiring entrepreneurs don’t know how to start a business the right way.

Dan wanted to provide a simpler, more straightforward process aspiring entrepreneurs (wantrepreneurs) could follow to find similar success to his.

For fiction, generally you’re solving the problem of boredom – people read fiction because they love to escape into a new world. The only major consideration is that of genre (sci-fi readers may not care about fantasy, and vice-versa).

#5. Solution

How does your book solve the problem?

Canvas - solutionOnce we understand the problem we’re solving, the next question is: how do we actually solve it with our book?

A book is a medium to exchange an idea. In that respect, it’s a lot like YouTube, or a blog, or Twitter…but with a big difference: a book allows us the space and length to dive deep into a subject. That means the solution to the problem we’ve identified ought to be something that benefits from this, not detracts from it.

Have you ever read reviews on Amazon where people say: could have been summed up in a blog post? If you’re solving the right problem with the right medium (in this case, a book), you’ll never see these comments (except from the outlying haters, but you can safely ignore them).

For The 7 Day Startup, Dan kept his book fluff-free – a short, powerful, and most importantly, ACTIONABLE read, complete with a half dozen bonus materials to help you start a business from scratch in 7 days.

This was due largely to the help of some early reviewers (pro-bono readers read and gave editing feedback to Dan) and having a professional editor on staff.

#6. Marketing, Sales, and Distribution Channels

How will you actually REACH your target audience and early adopters?

Canvas - channelsNext to identifying the target audience for your book, this is the most important part of The Book Marketing Canvas. It doesn’t matter if you write the best book in the world if no one reads it.

Conversely, there are plenty of poorly written books that become bestsellers. The differentiator?  Finding a cost-effective way to get in front of your target market (readers and early adopters).

More technically, we’re talking about sales and marketing channels.

These are the mediums we’ll use to reach people who are interested in our book so we can share it with them.

A few examples of sales and marketing channels:

Amazon.com – the biggest online retailer in the world and also the premiere online marketplace for readers (they dominate the ebook market right now), which means if you put a book on Amazon, Amazon itself will act as a sales and marketing channel (if you can rank high on their platform…more on this in a future lesson)

Guest Blogs / Podcasts – this is the best way to get MAJOR traction for your book. Getting featured on guest blogs, podcasts, or newsletters is the single best driver of new sales outside of your personal platform (see email newsletter below). I’ll talk more about how to setup guest blogs and podcasts for your book launch later in this course.

Email Newsletter – arguably THE most powerful medium. An email list is a list of emails (of course) from people who have given you permission to contact them. If you have 100 or more people who have opted into your email list (signed up / asked to be a part of your newsletter, etc.), then you have enough people to make a difference when your book launches. When I launched my first paid book (well, actually, I offered it as PWYW, but still), I only had 160 subscribers. Yet in the first month of release I made $500 from my book. This would NOT have been possible without having a list of people with whom I had permission to share my book.

Facebook.com – if you have a FB page, this is a great way to reach potential readers.

Twitter.com – like FB, if you have real Twitter followers who want to hear from you, this is a great way to reach them and share your book

Google+ / LinkedIn – like FB or Twitter. Great for reaching your target audience.

Ambassador Group – this is a group of people who have signed up to share and promote your book when it comes out. I’ll show you how to build, assemble, and lead an ambassador group later in this course.

#7 Metrics for Success

What is success to you and how do you measure this?

Canvas - success metricsDon’t skip this step.

No matter what your goal, it’s important to identify which metrics are important so you can measure how well you’re doing. I remember my first phone call with Dan about his book.

I had suggested various ways to turn his book into a massive revenue generator.

Here’s what Dan said: “I’m giving this book away for free and you’re not going to change my mind.”

That was fine.

It helped me identify exactly which metrics we should focus on (reach or impact), and which we should not (revenue).

We ultimately decided that reach would be the number one goal, which dictated the platform and process we’d use to launch the book. We chose to release The 7 Day Startup on Amazon’s platform because it allowed Dan’s book to be consumed by the broadest possible audience.

Had we given his book away for free on wpcurve.com, it wouldn’t have reached quite as broad an audience.

It’s important to note too that Dan’s blog and website – because he had a loyal fan base of readers and supporters – would have been the perfect platform to generate more revenue (more than through Amazon) if he had wanted to, but that wasn’t his goal.

So as you can tell, your goals will dictate the metrics for your success, and therefore the way you measure success.

#8. Unique Selling Proposition

What makes this book unique in a way that matters and why should people care?

Canvas - unique sales propositionTo wrap up the midsection of the The Book Marketing Canvas, you must identify exactly what makes your book unique.

The question you want to ask yourself (because your reader will be asking it subconsciously) is this:

Why should I take time out of my busy life to read this book, when there are thousands of other books I could read (let alone shows I could watch, movies I could rent, concerts I could enjoy, etc….)?

Here you want to figure out what allows your book to stand out in a very noisy crowd. This reason will be different for every book. It could be one of the following:

  • Is it your credentials and positive testimonials you’ve received from big names in your industry?
  • Is your book the only one in a niche that is under-served in the Amazon marketplace?
  • Is your book packaged or designed differently in a way that adds incredible value to the reader?
  • Or is it something else entirely?

Whatever makes this book stand out from the crowd (in a way that matters) gives you your edge.

We want to identify this edge so we can exploit it when it comes to promoting your book.

#9. Pricing and Expenses

Canvas - pricing expenses

Finally, in the bottom section of The Book Marketing Canvas is the more technical side of the book launch:

  • What is your overhead for this book? How about for the book launch itself?
  • What are your individual expenses (you need to get paid, right)?
  • How do you plan to price your book and through what channels (Amazon will take 30 – 65% of your royalties, for example, which can dramatically cut into your bottom line)?

It’s important to note that while these two factors are related, they are entirely independent of one another.

It’s more than possible to sell an entirely digital book, which has close to zero marginal cost and very low overhead, for $300 – it just takes good marketing (and may require you to structure the book less like a book and more like an eCourse or training platform).

On the other hand, a conventional trade paperback can only sell within a narrow price range (around $5 to $20, max), so we better do our due diligence to figure out if this book is even worth writing or selling in the first place.

Dan was adamant about not selling The 7 Day Startup for profit, so we basically just ignored this part.

However, since Dan was planning to purchase paperbacks to hand out at conferences and give as gifts, I collected some basic Createspace print on demand costs for reference.

Your particular situation will depend primarily on goals (see number 6 above), and target audience (number 2).

Wrapping Up + Next Lesson

So this concludes day 2 of “Launch Your Book to Bestseller.” If you haven’t yet, download a copy of The Book Marketing Canvas so you can begin filling out the business plan for your book.

Get a Free Copy of The Book Marketing Canvas

Next lesson, I’m going to cover The Bestseller Book Launch Sequence…a step by step process for turning your book into a bestseller on day 1 of your launch.

Keep an eye out for an email that says: [Day 3] The Bestseller Book Launch Sequence (or how to set your book up for massive success)

Your Turn (Homework!!!)

Still with me?


Leave a comment below and let me know:

  1. Who is your target audience?
  2. What is the PAIN your target audience has?
  3. How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?

This exercise will help you get clarity on your book launch…and I’ll be reading and responding to every entry, so consider this free consulting that I normally charge $3,000 – $12,000 for (true story).


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  • Who is your target audience?
    Community bank CEOs and CFOS (less than $100mm to about $10 billion asset size = about 6,000 banks)
    What is the PAIN your target audience has?
    General theme: Increased regulatory scrutiny and costs as more complex regulation driven by large complex banks is pushed down onto smaller and less complex banks.
    Specific pain point: Regulators forcing smaller banks to quantify and support
    bank specific assumptions related to deposit run off. Requires either a mid-4 figures to low-5 figures outsourcing project or specific quantitative/statistical knowledge that they just don’t have.
    How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?
    I already solve this problem 2 ways…via $7,500 done-for-you consulting project or via a $2,500 online training program that provides templates, tools and detailed instructions to build their own deposit study at their bank.
    I wish to add a book to the mix explaining exactly how to solve this problem. I believe the book will a) help those bankers who will never buy anything from me, b) further cement my authority in this area, c) expose other bankers to my skills/message and d) act as a gateway for some of them to step up to my training and consulting.

    • Howard, this is great!

      You’ve done a great job clarifying the target readership and his / her pains. It’s obviously a very real pain…and one worth a lot of money.

      A book on this topic is the perfect lead generation tool for what you’re proposing. If you’re already actively solving the problem, this book will act as a way to get the attention of new leads and hopefully lead them to your premium offers.

      The secondary benefit is authority. Your book will position you as an authority as all such books do, and will therefore increase your visibility in this niche.

      The tertiary benefit is additional revenue you can make from the book itself (although base d on what you’ve said, this will be minor compared to what you’ll make by using it to onboard new clients).

      Really great stuff Howard. Looking forward to going through the rest of this course with you to see how this pans out!

    • Target audience: Military history buffs. Current military members. Folks who served at the Woomera tracking station.
      Pain: Military repeats same mistakes
      Solution: Tell story to show mistake; readers learn the lesson; pass it on.

  • 1. Very small online businesses, often solopreneurs
    2. They don’t know how to do SEO and want to learn it but can’t afford to/don’t want to outsource it
    3. Teach them an easy system they can do that costs them manageable time and effort rather than money even if they’re not very technically-minded

    • Deborah, I like it.

      A question that may help clarify your target readership…which specific niche in online business are you looking to engage first?

      The question of early adopters is one that requires use to get hyper focused on a small group to get that early traction (first 100 – first 1,000 sales).

      I agree that all small businesses could use SEO…I wonder which niche is most receptive and aware of that, though.


      • Bloggers! Others may be less aware of the need. Bloggers KNOW we need SEO, but don’t always know the best way to go about it.

        (Another really interesting niche would be SEO for LOCAL businesses, as opposed to internet retailers — the ones who want to be found so local patrons will come shop/dine/etc.)

  • Target audience is folks who want to act on their own behalf more often. The umbrella title for a series of eBooks is Permission Granted – with lots of subtitles. The pain is knowing they want more out of life but keep getting stymied for one reason or another. I’ve been there, and still do it at 64. My books take articles I’ve written and immerse the reader into a specific topic/focus. This way they get several tips, techniques, or options to consider and implement.

    • Virginia, great stuff.

      Let me know when the book comes out…I’d love to order a copy because this is a legitimate fear so many people experience.

      Question: who exactly are “folks who want to act on their own behalf”?

      It’s not a trick question.

      You’ve identified a desire, but not necessarily a target audience or readership. Where do these people exist or hangout? Do they go to the same cafe or bookstore or nursery?

      Who will be your first 100 readers / sales?

      Get more specific – it will help you with the rest of your launch, trust me.

  • Hi Tom – thanks for this opportunity! I am trying to market “empathy in action” to the world, it seems… actually, I don’t want to convince people to use this particular practice of empathy as much as empower those who are already aware of the importance and role of empathy and emotional intelligence in peacemaking and general well-being. An analogy might be, who was Martin Luther King Jr.’s audience? I am marketing empathy the way he was “marketing” equality and justice. Or should I choose another path? Very confused…thanks!

    • Alex, good question.

      You’ve identified your target audience using a common human desire (that of peace / empathy).

      This is a nice sentiment, but it won’t help you sell books. Why? Because who needs this book? We all want to be more empathetic…but who is actually seeking out books on this topic? Who WANTS to read books on this topic?

      Keep ‘thrashing’ this out…keep asking yourself: who wants to read a book on this topic (different than who *needs* a book on this topic).

      Let me know what you come up with 😉

  • Who is your target audience?
    *Women who have significant amounts of weight to lose and have no idea where to start
    *Educated women who are emotional eaters and often successful in other areas of their lives

    What is the PAIN your target audience has?
    *Significant amount of weight to lose
    *Tried ‘everything’ and all but given up and feel like a failure
    *Successful in many areas of life but not been able to overcome their weight issue
    *Unhealthy, unable to live a ‘normal’ life but desperately want to
    *No idea where to start – overwhelm of overly complicated information bombards us all daily with regards to health and fitness
    *Desperate for a roadmap for change

    How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?
    *How I did it (lost 40+kg), am still doing it and how they can to
    *A roadmap for getting off the couch and into life

    • Great stuff Emma.

      You are certainly on the right track.

      My advice: dig deeper into the pain / problem, and the *benefits* of your solution.

      So for example, it’s not that these women have a lot of weight to lose…it’s they feel ugly in their bodies (perhaps).

      And for the solution, it’s not that you’ve doneit before…it’s that you can get them results where everything else has failed (because everything else failed for you…for example).

      Good start!

  • 1. Who is your target audience?
    Wannabe freelancers, entrepreneurs, startup owners, people who want to step to their own beat

    2. What is the PAIN your target audience has?
    They are filled with fear when it comes to starting their own business or stepping out as an entrepreneur. It cripples them, stopping them from doing what they love, lacking the confidence to go after their dreams.

    3. How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?
    Our book solves the problem by showing examples of real-life people (not guru’s) who had the same fears and what they did to overcome them. Actionable steps at the end of each section will allow the reader to do this for themselves too. Show and tell.

    • Great stuff Lise…seems like your unfair advantage / unique selling proposition is that you’re providing a nuts-and-bolts / down to earth approach to small biz development.

      Love it!

      • Could be another one is that she is Lise Cartwright, who knows a thing or two about book publishing 🙂 and has some great resources about the “how” of the actual writing process.

  • I’ve cheated, I had a boilerplate.
    1. Who is your target audience?
    All Kindle readers, mostly non-fiction who want to solve specific personal problem (eg. NOT how to cook a dish), but anyone who purchase ebooks on Amazon should benefit from it.
    2. What is the PAIN your target audience has?
    Choosing the right book among the sea of trashy titles produced by money-hungry shoddy figures.
    3. How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?
    I will show how to discern genuine and pro indie authors from their competition. Plus the fact of publishing my book and revealing some mechanisms to public will expose those shoddy figures and make their job harder.

    • Michal, good start. I’m curious though…if the pain is choosing the right book (and avoiding the shoddy stuff), is your book on HOW to navigate the sea of bad content out there?

      I think this needs to be refined a bit as I’m not totally getting it…but you may be onto something!

  • Oh, one more thing. Nielsen is worthless when it comes to tracking ebooks. You could as well ask an old gypsy woman what she envision regarding sales of an average indie book.
    My guess is 80%of self-publishers sold more than 99 copies… but 60% of them less than 300 copies.

    • Maybe. But my gut tells me that the majority of ebooks without an ISBN (the ones that nielson doesn’t track), would probably skew the stats even WORSE for indie authors.

      For every Michal there are a hundred pushers of mediocre, regurgitated content (I bet if you went to the new releases category right now you’d find a dozen pieces just like i’m describing).

      So I like to use this stat because (1) it’s the best metric out there right now (because it’s at least measurable), and (2) I actually think it’s conservative, if anything else.

        • If the stats are skewed slightly higher or lower is much less relevant than the fact that most authors (read – majority) don’t sell many books in a year (read – over 100…unless you’re doing a freebie or a $.99 discount – which means you’re revenue is terrible anyway, and I think we’re back to the same point, that odds aren’t in your favor to make very much money publishing this way).

          Also, the first line of the report you share said this:
          “AuthorEarnings reports analyze detailed title-level data on 33% of all daily ebook sales in the U.S.”

          They don’t analyze everything – nor, would I assume, they’d be able to…

          So whether you’re looking at AE or Neilson, you’re not getting the full picture.

  • I believe people turn to fiction for multiple reasons. Not just for escape, but for resolution. Unlike a non-fiction book that specifically targets precise dilemma, fiction can be interpreted per the reader, providing some type of insight into their own lives, even if it varies from another reader. I write YA and Adult. I start off with a question, then fit the genre around the storyline. What genre would best emphasize this type of plot, would best answer the question? My target audience are not merely those bored or wanting to be entertained, but those who want to experience deeply and personally the shoes of another to broaden their own perspectives, and to learn. The pain of the audience is typically a scenario of feeling lost, amidst an uncontrollable situation, a harsh life, any number of things where they are seeking hope and empowerment. The solution my books offer is to walk them through step-by-step to provide that hope, that empowerment, that strength, or even the acceptance that nothing ever stays the same, and a situation never stays hopeless. (Eg. minorities eventually grow to adult status, adults are always changing, and in any given situation we have this fantastic ability to adapt, making an otherwise intolerable situation tolerable enough to get through it.)

    • Almondie, appreciate the insight, but if I could sit down with you and ask you questions Socrates style, I have no doubt we would end with the original premise – fiction readers read fiction because they want a fiction book to read, usually in a particular genre (so I know people that are SCI-FI nuts for example…and others that wouldn’t touch that stuff and only read popcorn thrillers, or however you might define it).

      The nature of fiction is enjoyment and escape; we read because we’re bored or because we want to be entertained (meaning – perhaps not bored…but bored of our current distraction mechanisms…otherwise why wouldn’t we read a nonfiction book, or watch a documentary, or play a video game?).

      I believe what you’re saying is true…but it’s one level above the point I’m making. At the fundamental level, fiction readers read for enjoyment / escape, and some FIND that through reading books that focus on resolution, that give them insight into their own lives, etc. (although perhaps with some fable-like fiction, it may be more akin to nonfiction how-tos, in this manner….but again, the point is still the same).

      bottom line: I think your books do everything you say, but they root of it is people looking for something they can’t find elsewhere, or in another medium….

      hope that makes sens!

      • I think that your counter-argument kind of proves Almondie’s point. Most fiction readers ARE pretty genre specific. So they are looking for something more than simply being entertained. They are looking for some sort of message. And based on today’s lesson, I think that’s an important thing to realize and work to your advantage.
        Using your example of a fiction book whose target audience is Game of Thrones readers. Well, people read GoT for a variety of reasons. What type of GoT reader is your target audience. People into politics and intrigue? Dragon lovers? The blood and sex? Chances are, you aren’t writing a political intrigue series with dragons and lots of sex and violence. Figure out what makes your story similar to George R. R. Martin’s stories and target the readers interested in THAT. But if you focus on GoT readers, you are targeting people looking for something that you are not – Game of Thrones.

        • Perhaps a better way to say this is:

          The ‘why’ is very much, at the fundamental level, fulfillment or enjoyment. (the same could be said for other types of media, and even nonfiction and educational books).

          So the purpose of a good sci-fi book is the same purpose as a good fantasy novel – to entertain the reader…to be enjoyable to the reader.

          Nobody reads a book because it annoys them or bothers them or is a waste of their time.

          The HOW is different person to person, genre to genre (how the reader is entertained); sci-fi readers like sci-fi, perhaps because space is fascinating…that is entertaining to them (fantasy would not be, for example).

          The HOW for a particular genre, or sub genre, might encapsulate things like feeling emotionally for the character, and stepping into someones shoes…and that’s precisely how some people are entertained.

          “My target audience are…those who want to experience deeply and personally the shoes of another to broaden their own perspectives, and to learn.”

          If you asked “why” to this question 5 times I believe you would find this to be true:

          Those who are drawn to experience deeply and personally the shoes of another because they want to broaden their own perspectives and to learn, do so because this is what entertains them; they enjoy this.

          They are entertained by the idea of experiencing something deeply, personally. They enjoy the idea of broadening their own perspective, through a particular type of fiction book.

          That’s why they’re not buying human geography and sociology textbooks and spending years transplanted into a group of people originally foreign to them. They’d prefer to get the experience through a book. A fiction book, in particular. Why? It’s easier, it feels good…it’s entertaining and enjoyable (while the former is not).

  • Awesome post today!

    My “homework”–
    Who is your target audience?
    –> Amazon Kindle and iBooks readers. My big question, though, is how do I niche down on this? This market is way too big. One thought is that to my knowledge, there are NOT many sites out there (if any) that promote quality non-fiction books, so perhaps I should try to reach people looking for great non-fiction books?

    What is the PAIN your target audience has?
    –> Amazon has a crappy algorithm for their “Recommended Reads” and trying to find a good book (and one that’s not $6.99 or more) takes time. Who wants to start reading a book only to find out that it really sucks?

    How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?
    –> Sort through the best the Kindle store (and iBooks) has to offer and then deliver 5 quality books (4.5 or more stars and at least 10 reviews) to readers each day in their inbox. As it stands now, two fiction, two non-fiction, and one children’s book, and all are 99 cents or less.

    • Yeah, this is a tough one. Bubbooks (sp?) and buckbooks do something similar.

      You can differentiate by specializing (in just the nonfiction market, for example…or just the erotic vampire market, or whatever), or trying to go broad (but i think bubbooks or whatever it is beat you to the punch on that one).

      I am a big fan of specialization, especially for small businesses that are bootstrapping (i feel like it’s the only effective way to break into the market).

      hope that helps (although we’re talking more about platform building than books right now!)

  • OK, let’s see how this works for fiction:

    Who is your target audience?
    25-45, used to read fantasy/sci-fi but got caught up in the “real world.” Appreciating that “fandom” exists, but sort of scared by it. Wanting to rediscover the wonder and curiosity for magic they had as kids reading, but not necessarily dress up in a costume to do so.

    What is the PAIN your target audience has?
    The last answer tips my hand: the pain of squelched imagination, being forced between the rock of reality and the hard place created by the predominant ways fantasy/sci-fi are consumed now.

    How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?
    A novel unfolding the world within our world, where ordinary people cross paths with uncanny embodiments of the basic forces that shape our reality. One step closer to “reality” than The Dresden Files, one step farther into fantasy than Fifty Shades of Grey.

    • Good stuff Jeremy.

      My question would be – where does this target audience hangout online? Are they social / do they hang out in FB groups, forums, etc.? Do they have a favorite website/websites? Do you know of many of these readers (and have you interacted with them)?

      That sound like it will be the biggest challenge for you – figuring out how to reach this type of reader (although you’re very close if you’re able to relate it to current market leading books).

  • 1) Target audience:people who read books like mine, of course. 🙂 But to be serious, readers of sci-fi thrillers. Or more narrowed down: people who read a) in-system sci-fi, b)first contact stories, or c)political sci-fi such as DUNE or The Beam.
    2/3) I’ve always had a bit of a problem of the problem/solution framework for fiction. People really read because they are bored? You touched on escapism briefly which I find closer to the truth, but the simple answer for me is because I enjoy reading good story telling. It certainly isn’t out of boredom because I’ll read when I should be doing other things. Certain genres may even have different motivations for reading. For instance, dystopian YA is so popular because it ties into the angst of adolescents about what the future will bring.
    Anyway, my readers pain would be the angst that many have over how a first contact scenario would play out. And my solution is to show them how humanity can overcome even when facing an alien bent on world domination.

    • Good stuff here Edward. I think I need to look into this framework more deeply for fiction because it seems fiction writers as a whole have a hard time with the problem / solution construct. I’m going to see what I can do to put this into an easier to understand framework for fiction…

      In the meantime, you’re on the right track.

      My question to you – would your target readership say ‘i have angst over how a first contact scenario would play out’?

      If not, you may want to refine how you describe this piece…when it comes to marketing / promotion / getting people to notice your book in a crowded marketplace, you want to use the language they use themselves.

      Good stuff so far!

      • I’m not saying that I disagree that fiction readers aren’t looking to be entertained. I’m just saying that I think there is more to it than that. After all, if it was all just as simple as being bored and wanting to be entertained, then every fiction author in the comments would have had the exact same response.

        Readers (and 90% of writers) aren’t saying out loud “angst over a first contact scenario.” What they are saying is “What if.” In this case, it would be “how would a first contact situation play out?”
        Fear of the unknown is one of the biggest fears of mankind. The best fiction taps into that and gives the reader an answer. When writers write, they ask a question. And readers read because they want to know the answer (and yes, while being entertained).

        • Right, so here’s the thing though…when it comes to publishing (i.e. marketing and sales) you need to be able to use the words your readers use.

          That’s the point of getting to the core…entertainment is the core…the how is the particular type of book, the particular construction.

          So all business books are after the same thing – success (financial or otherwise)…but each business book has a different ‘how’ approach. That’s why it’s important to understand the core, and then your particular ‘how’ to get there (and that’s when you need to speak in the language of your reader).

          Right now, I think you have a great understanding of what you’re offering.

          But does the reader know what you’re offering?

          If I’m into first contact books, how do I know I want to read your book?

          Why would I pick your book over the hundred s (thousands) that are out there?

          What makes it a no brainer YES – I have to read this book (as opposed to a ‘I’ll pass’…)?

          • Well, that’s what the book description & log line are for, aren’t they? Fiction is a different creature than non-fiction. In non-fiction, you beat your readers over the head with what the book is about and why buying it will help them. You ask, “do you need to lose weight?” and they respond, “yes, I need to lose weight.” Then you say, “this book will teach you how to lose weight. If you don’t buy it, you’ll stay fat forever.”
            Over-simplified, yes, but the gist of what a non-fiction sales funnel looks like.
            Fiction is different. Science-fiction especially so. The mortal sin of a book description is being blunt about the topic. In the first contact book list on Amazon, the first time the words “first contact” are even mentioned is #26.
            Readers looking for a first contact story don’t want to be told “this is a first contact story” And frankly, they are probably looking for a certain kind of first contact story without realizing that they are looking for that kind of story. They may say that they are looking for a first-contact story when they are actually looking for a first contact apocalypse story and will pass over a first-contact to the galactic federation story.
            So my description will talk about a long-standing alien war and humans being unwittingly drawn in as pawns, and will humanity survive? There’s that angst I was talking about. Because my target reader wants a book like that – maybe consciously, maybe subconsciously. Can you define “smut?” The Supreme Court can’t. But they know it when they see it. And that’s how fiction readers are. Very few know what they are actually looking for, but they know it when they see it.

      • Tom,

        If I could interject here. To quote you, “I think I need to look into this framework more deeply for fiction because it seems fiction writers as a whole have a hard time with the problem / solution construct” Yes, please do. Your framework makes good sense with “how to,” weather loosing weight or becoming a better husband. I don’t quite see it for fiction, though. You said it yourself, “boredom,” might be the problem. And I think you’re right. So if that is the entire problem than the answer is simple. “Right a better book than the other guy.” As an author reading your stuff that’s not the answer I’m looking for. I would prefer something more concrete. Thank you!

        • but don’t you see – if the goal is weight loss, it’s not as easy as saying “this book will help you lose weight” – that of course is the goal, but just saying it won’t help. You need to create a story around the problem and your unique solution…

          …just like if boredom is the problem for male teens aged 16 – 19 who are into sci-fi, marking your book like “this book is scifi” won’t help either. What they’re looking for is a unique solution their problem – something compelling; something that stands out.

          In hollywood, screenwriters pitch their films using a pretty simple formula. Here it is:

          My film is X meets Y.

          Alien…it’s Jaws in outerspace.

          Why does this work? b/c if you’ve SEEN Jaws and enjoyed it (and it was a blockbuster with good reviews, so it’s probably a good bet a lot of people did)…and you’re into space stuff, this is the perfect sales pitch for a movie

          (note – there’s a lot more that goes into this stuff…but what i’m getting at is too many fiction authors complicate things. Making sure your book is good is a prerequisite…you then have to FIND your ideal audience (define them…figure out what they’re into…figure out how to get in front of them) and then share your book.

          Here’s my challenge to you:

          Use the screenwriting formula above to simplify the process and get to the root of what you’re writing about.

          Next: identify two major demographics from this formula (i.e. “space / scifi” and “people who like Alien”)…and then figure out where they are online.

          Now figure out a way to get in front of them in a way that’s not spammy.

          Trust me when i say – that is the EXACT same challenge for nonfiction as it is for fiction.

          For more detailed formula and help on this, you might want to look into http://www.publishersempire.com

          • Ok, admittedly, I borrowed some of the wording and ideas from Amy, down below.

            Equation: Target audience, address problem, create solution.

            Geek/ fantasy buffs: Harry Potter, Tolkien, The Golden Compass readers, and adults who grew up reading magical fables.

            They’ve run out of they’re favorite book series and are looking for new stories that aren’t a copycat. They are after something in high fantasy genre with a likable protagonist in a world with a distinct magic system and previously unseen mythos.

            A unique fantasy series, written in character, that introduces a previously unseen world. It is a fast paced coming of age adventure with plenty of magic, ghosts and drama. It will be released in conjunction with elements from the story including music and a pirate newsletter in the form of a blog.

            Tom’s Challenge to me:

            1: Harry Potter meets Graveyard Book in the south.

            2: High fantasy, young adult, coming of age.

            3: Create blog interviews featuring other writers, actors and celebrities that have similar interests or involvement in genre.

          • Unfortunately the commenting system won’t let me reply to any more (too many responses to responses).

            This is getting closer.

            Question is – are there a group of people into “graveyard books in the south”?

            And this how they self-identify?

            If yes, then you are on the right track.

            If not…rework it.

        • Also great example: dig into the backstory of 50 Shades of whatever and it’s origins as vampire erotica spin off of the vampire book where the vampires glow a different color in daylight.

          This is a great example of finding your target market and sharing your story with them. It takes work – just like nonfiction publishing (if you want to be a consistently good seller in any nonfiction category that is).

  • My target audience is a husband in a “good” marriage who wants to make his marriage better and is willing to take responsibility for doing so OR a husband who really is in a good/great marriage and wants to keep growing his relationship with his wife. If I dug any deeper maybe I’d say a husband in a “good” marriage who is into personal development who wants to make his marriage better and is willing to take responsibility for doing so. Or I’d say a Christian husband in a “good” marriage who wants to make his marriage better and is willing to take responsibility for doing so. When I say “good” I mean not on the verge of divorce, but it could be more fulfilling.

    His pain could be…
    * a distant and disconnected relationship with his wife
    * an unfulfilled relationship for him or his wife
    * confusion about the way he feels about his marriage
    * knowing his relationship with his wife could be better, but not knowing how to make it happen
    * not believing his relationship with his wife can be better so he feels hopeless
    * an unhappy/unfulfilled wife
    * an at home life having a negative impact on his professional life
    just to name a few…

    I am helping him SOLVE this pain or problem with specific actions, mindset shifts, and a community of people to help him be accountable. Everything he’ll learn was proven to work in psychology and business first and now has been proven to work in marriages so he’ll learn the proven strategies as specifically applied to marriage. He’ll also have the opportunity to be part of a community willing to help him along the journey.

    • Bam!

      Well done…I think you’ve identified your target audience. May need some refining, but I get the gist of it, and this gives you a good indicator of WHERE to share your book (any relationship site, any wedding site, marriage site, and podcasts, etc.).

      Well done Conrad

  • Loving what you have, Tom! Thanks for the great insights;)

    ***My Homework***
    Who is your target audience?
    – People who enjoy preparing and cooking natural healthy foods by themselves.
    What is the PAIN your target audience has?
    – They don’t even know the importance and benefits of consuming fermented vegetables exist and potentially have been suffering health issues that can easily resolved by consuming more fermented foods on a regular basis.
    How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?
    – A comprehensive and logical walk-through to understanding, preparing, serving, and preserving home-made fermented vegetables
    – Easy-to-follow; immediately actionable
    – Access to half a dozen bonus materials and resources
    – A complete list of solvable issues by consuming fermented vegetables recorded by authorities and studies

    ***I’ve got a few questions***
    1. Do you think my niche is too broad?
    2. These pain points are simply what I assume my target audience may have, based on limited research and interactions with my friends. Do you think it is good enough? What else would you suggest as ways to figure out pain points (maybe interviews, focus groups, and what not)? Can I get away with the current pain points I’ve figured out now, and refine them as I become clearer?
    3. This is a technical question: I didn’t get email notice when you replied to my posts. And I have to manually refresh each page from time to time to see if you have replied to me yet. Is there a way to get automatic notification? 😉

    Thanks a LOT!


    • Tracy, good stuff.

      Let me see how I can help –

      1. no, not too broad, but I think you need more precision…

      2. this is what I mean about precision…the pain isn’t very clear. If I’m understanding you correctly, people who cook organic, healthy meals may actually feel really BAD or unhealthy…this is because of X, Y, or Z…your SOLUTION is to help incorporate X / Y / Z into the diet (fermented vegetables, for example). This brings us closer to an appropriate problem / solution fit.

      3. Let me ask my web development team to see what we can do to incorporate that (I also prefer that feature)

      • Tom, thanks for the feedback. Comments from you and homework from other people in the community help me refine my answers!

        I have written my homework again here…

        ***My Homework***
        Who is your target audience?
        – People who enjoy preparing and cooking natural healthy foods by themselves as a way to look good and feel great.

        What is the PAIN your target audience has?
        – They may be suffering from:
        —-Gastrointestinal issues (e.g. poor digestion, constipation, burping, and bloating)
        —-A weak body and lack of energy
        —-Poor immunity
        —-Skin problems (like acne and eczema)
        – And they’ve been seeking answers in foods to improve their conditions to restore health, beauty, and mind.

        How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?
        1) Show why and how fermented vegetables can provide the answer to help them improve health in areas addressed above;
        2) A comprehensive and logical walk-through to understanding, preparing, serving, and preserving home-made fermented vegetables ;
        3) Easy-to-follow; immediately actionable;
        4) Access to half a dozen bonus materials and resources (e.g. FAQs, workshops, exclusive interviews, webinars, guidebooks, checklists, others external resources with personal commentaries, extended reading on a complete list of solvable issues by consuming fermented vegetables recorded by authorities and studies);
        5) Create ongoing support for challenges met along the way, and a community that shares fun moments, experience and lessons learned (using social media like Twitter, FB pages, Instagram) – as a way to improve my book and create my other informational products later on!

        Last but not least it’d be great if your web team can solve the auto notification issue 😉


        • Bam!

          Tracy, this is more like it ;D

          This gives a compelling reason WHY I would need to read your book (if I were the target audience). Well done.

          Sadly, it’s going to take a bit of time to have the reminder feature implemented on the blog…but it has been requested. Will let you know soon (I apologize this feature is lacking).

        • May I add to your target audience description? People who are AFRAID to try fermenting foods at home.

          I’m in your target audience. I’ve been cooking from scratch basically forever, with whole foods. (Not always organic, ’cause I can’t afford it, but leaning that direction.) I’ve been grinding my own grain and baking my own bread products for longer than I’ve been on my own. But I have chronic health issues rooted in my gut, and KNOW I need to incorporate fermented foods…and don’t know what the safety guidelines are.

          What are the essentials? What can or can’t be tweaked in a recipe? If I’m allergic to a spice in a pickle recipe, can I safely leave it out? What are the risks involved, and how do I know beyond what point I don’t have to worry about food poisoning my family because I screwed something up? These are the kinds of questions that keep me from making any fermented foods less familiar than yogurt.

  • Dangit Tom!

    This is brilliant! I love resources like this. I’m a visual learner. A system or form like [the one you provided] helps minimize blindspots and surprises during the book launch process. I’ve created a Google Form out of the document you shared. It’s just easier for me to fill out that way. I’ve sent it to you via email. Others in the community may (or may not) find it useful, but I thought I’d share it.

    I’ll provide an addendum to this comment regarding specs on my book.

    Cheers! Thanks for this!

  • Who is your target audience?
    People with families that have dreams, ideas and desires that are not yet done.

    What is the PAIN your target audience has?
    Living with their dreams and feeling stuck in their lives and not being able to do them.

    How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?
    Providing solutions, ideas, templates, resources, stories and how-to’s to live the out the dreams they have.

  • oops, pressed send before I was done!
    How I solve the problems:

    My book is going to be a modern parable, written as a story, based on truth, of how I overcame these issues and am now in a happy healthy relationship with my partner and my children.
    It outlines the lessons we can learn to become confident, and happy, love and be loved every day, and how the state of mind we are in plays a massive part in how well our relationships with others will go.
    At the end of each chapter I will write a reflection of what I have learned, what that means and how that will help on a go forward basis, what could be the difficulties of implementing what Ive learned, and what might happen if I give up and don’t stay committed to the change I want in my life.

    Thanks for your help Tom this is really helpful, just writing this has given me more clarity than I had before.

    • Debra, good stuff.

      I think it will help your book marketing if you can hone in on one particular audience for the book (divorced wife with kids, for example; or divorced husband with kid, etc.). Why? This will help you refine your marketing (how you position and share the book) going forward.

  • I can’t see the first email in the comments now, so i will re-send the first part of my homework, sorry!

    My Target Market are;
    Forty-something people, who have at least one failed significant relationship/marriage behind them, (usually with children) They can in a new relationship, but they can see the same patterns repeating and feel it’s not working out.

    Their pains are:
    Loneliness; Either from being alone, or even if they are in a relationship it can be a lonely place if you feel it’s not working.
    Sadness; that they can’t make the relationship work and relate to the person they love
    Loss; dealing with a relationship breakdown is similar to dealing with a death, we also loose all our plans and dreams we had for the future as well.
    Guilt; (this is a big one) because the relationship failed, guilt for leaving guilt for staying, guilt for breaking up a home and family.(particularly if children are involved) Women especially can carry a ton of guilt and feel responsible for everyone involved when a relationship goes wrong.
    Fear; that they will be alone forever, fear of opening up to be hurt again, fear of starting again when they are so much older.

  • a) My Target Audience? —> Smart/Gifted Students (ages 15-25) thinking about life after high school or college

    b) What is the PAIN your target audience has? —> There’s so much advice out there about going to college and how the job market has changed. My audience is overwhelmed and concerned about how to navigate it all. Also, they struggle to maintain allegiance to their creative selves, while building up work experience and professional success.

    c) How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem? —> My book helps them focus on their personal development to maximize their marketability and personal success–regardless of what they choose to do after graduation.

    • Great start. I would continue to refine the pain and how you solve the problem. Your solution is good but could be could be even better (as in – focus on the BIG benefits to a student reading your book – like how they could avoid $100,000 in debt and a degree they won’t use, and instead make a killing doing X…or something like that – and of course, not misleading but with real substance and realistic expectations)

  • Who is my target Audience?
    – Self Help enthusiasts
    – People who want to change
    – People who are “Stuck” and want to get out of a rut
    The big bucket are those people who are looking for a spark, a push, a plan to help them live a bigger, better and more authentic and success driven life.

    What is the Pain?
    – Lack of achievement or success.
    – Wanting to live a better life
    – Wanting to Do more/Be More
    – Living with more purpose/passion

    How can I solve the pain?
    -My book breaks success down into bite sized chunks.
    – My book provides a simple framework that allows the reader to build a pattern of success and achievement
    – My book shows how easy it is to live a SUCCESS based lifestyle rather than a FEAR based one
    – My book stays with them for an entire year (What other book do people read everyday for a year – The Bible)

  • My target audience is Christians who feel that the culture is becoming not only scornful of Christians and their convictions. It is becoming positively aggressive in its determination to shut them up and box them inside church buildings — or even jails. The most notable example is a guideline published for a federal agency stating that people must not simply be silent about homosexuality; they must express support for that lifestyle. I am writing for people whose Christian convictions put them at odds with the culture, and at risk even in places of employment, in stores or on public buses. Now that cultural activism is being hardened in legislation and court decision, my readers can no longer rely on the Constitutional protection for conscience shaped by deeply held religious convictions. In fact, my readers do not want to be in a constant political battle.
    My readers feel abraded by public rhetoric that includes scornful, even vulgar, assaults on moral and ethical principles that have been considered normal for millennia. They also feel shocked and disoriented by the fact that while New Age spirituality and Islam are highly respected by the secular culture, Christianity and Christians are accused of exercising privilege rather than fundamental human rights. They do not know any longer how to navigate in the culture. They feel lost at sea in their own home towns.
    My book uses the model of Joseph in the Old Testament, a man thrust into a powerful culture as an alien slave,the least powerful person on the scene, yet the same faith Christians claim guided him to navigate and thrive in the culture, earning respect and admiration without ever sacrificing his faith. My book points to the traits that empowered him and the rewards of his faith that transcend the rewards he received in the culture.

    • Wow, powerful stuff Katherine. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head identifying exactly who this book is for. This will give your book purpose and direction, specifically when it comes to marketing and distribution.

      Great work!

  • Hi Tom–

    My target audience includes liberals, Democrats, progressives, and left-leaning Independents. This book is for anyone who’s afraid of what the 2016 election brings. The problem they share is the Republican and Tea Parties, with some specific leaders emphasized. My book uses a particular Tea Party ex-Governor to humorously explore the secret life of the right, including fantastical elements like the Illuminati, the Reptilians, etc., and brings a laugh to an otherwise tense topic.

  • Who is your target audience?

    Contractors who don’t have home performance training
    DIY renovators who want to improve their comfort and health

    What is the PAIN your target audience has?

    Too Much Conflicting Information. Not a lot of clarity about what measures to take when..

    How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?

    Straightforward descriptions, with 3-d illustrations of what is going on in the house when heat/air/moisture interact (which is always). And some bonus materials, like a model roadmap for energy efficiency measures and an excel sheet that will help make decisions based on how much $ can be saved vs. cost to do work (this will become part of an app).

    I’d like to structure this book similarly to my online training program — any suggestions about platforms to incorporate 3-d animations?

  • Who is your target audience?

    Autism parents, educators, health & therapeutic professionals, service professionals, spectrum adults, autism employers, and decision-makers concerned about autism.

    What is the PAIN your target audience has?

    The rate of increase in autism pathologies is exponential, with numbers doubling roughly every ten years, and reporting lagging actual incidence by 5-7 years. In addition, the degrees of severity are increasing, there are geographical clusters, and most of the readily-available information about autism is outdated at best, with misinformation being the norm.

    My target audiences are looking for the real goods on where autism is coming from, why some treatments help a few individuals (but not most), why it is geographically clustered, how to decrease the chances of having a child with developmental disabilities, how to support autistics in maximizing their capacity to reach potential despite permanent (and some beneficial) changes in function, and how to turn autism challenges around, to some degree, for people of any age or severity of symptoms.

    How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?

    There is historical context for the autistic way of being — brilliant and creative, but quirky — and there are sociological and lifestyle reasons for the gradual increases in autistic challenges starting from the industrial revolution, but becoming much more obvious since the first world war.

    Bringing the experiences autistics and their parents have had in developing coping skills and remedial actions together with the fraction of health research which makes sense of these experiences, I’ll walk people through the causes of the challenges, and the ways to reduce or eliminate these challenges in homes, schools, workplaces, and overall lifestyle choices.

  • Who is your target audience?
    Who is this book for?

    People who want to live the adventure from the comfort of their own home. People who have camped for fun and are thinking about the full time RVing lifestyle.
    People with a five-year plan. When I retire in five years, I’m going RVing.
    People who RV and stay fixed in one campground and are thinking of traveling to Mexico.

    What is the PAIN your target audience has?
    My reader is looking to learn from the trial and tribulations of other people. My husband and I did what most people can only dream about. The biggest pain is the decision and the truth about how to get there.

    How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?

    A reader will decide to either travel Mexico by RV or not after reading our story. Readers travel with us throughout Mexico and live our experience.

  • Assignment for #2 for Broken: A Story of Abuse and Survival. (The story of my sister’s murder as well as my story).

    Who is your target audience?

My target audience is people who have been abused, or who have a friend or family member who has been the victim of abuse.

    What is the PAIN your target audience has?

The pain my target audience has are emotional scars from being abused. Feeling like they are alone in their pain. Needing tools to help navigate life as they try to move on or help someone they care about move on.

    How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?

    My book will let my audience know:

    1) They are not alone in their pain
    2) There is hope for victims of abuse.
    3) They will have tools to help them or someone they know who is being abused.
    5) I use my poetry to soften a difficult topic.

  • Military Millionaire: The Junior Officer’s Guide to Financial Independence.

    My target audience is junior officer’s, cadets and midshipmen.

    Their problem is that while they are all well compensated for their work, they lack guidance on how best to put that money to work. The military pay system is nuanced and the lack of understanding of the nuances results in millions of dollars in unclaimed benefits.

    My book solves that problem by not only explaining the nuances, but by providing and actionable plan to maximize these benefits in order to build wealth while maintaining a high standard of living.

    • Bam! Perfect!

      Please let me know when you get ready to launch this book…I have a lot of marketing channels in the veteran community who could help ;D

      • Thanks! I’m thinking I should launch prior to my departure from the Air Force sometime in mid-2017. I’m working with the CGOs in my squadron to help refine my message and do the market research. I’ll definitely keep you posted.

  • Tom-great info. The marketing canvas is going to be very helpful. Thanks!

    My target audience will be 3rd-6th graders & parents who like to read with their kids.

    Their pain is boredom & spending too much time on social media/phones. This generation of kids does not know what it is like to not have a phone, tablet or computer at their fingertips at any given moment.

    My fiction children’s book is fun (take that, boredom) and it incorporates a lesson about how to correctly use social media by showing what can go wrong if we spend too much time on our phones. I am hoping to make that applicable to both the kids and parents who read the book.

  • 1) Who is your target audience?
    Young adult romance readers (specifically, Indian readers, as my book is set in my country).

    2) What is the PAIN your target audience has?
    They’re tired of clichéd, sappy, poorly-written love stories that are more dramatic than our Indian soap operas.

    3) How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?
    My novel is fresh, crisp, and has an authentic voice that resonates with young adults. With a ton of hilarious, LOL moments, my novel has the entertainment factor that most Indian novels lack.

    This was a fun exercise. Thanks, Tom!

  • #1. My audience-

    The primary audience are adults who grew up without a father that want to achieve fulfillment in life. They are self-help readers, and could be fans of Hal Elrod, Dave Martin or Tony Robbins. The audience could also be non-profit organizations that serve at- risk children or teens who are growing up without a father, or single moms looking for solutions for their children

    #2. The problem-

    They want to fulfill their potential, but can’t seem to overcome the challenges they deal with from growing up fatherless.

    #3. The solution-

    I show the reader how taking action in 3 specific areas of their life can help them to overcome their challenges and start fulfilling their potential right away. I also share additional tools that can enhance their personal action plan for faster results

    Thanks for reading , Tom. Any feedback you have is welcomed.

  • 1. Who is your target audience?
    Aspiring indie authors. These are parents, wives, husbands, etc. – the 80% of people who have a book in them. My audience is familiar with Word, but not book formatting methods.

    2. What is the PAIN your target audience has?
    It is the frustration of not being able to format their book (and ebook) professionally. That is, their inability to format their book holds them back from moving forward with their self-publishing dreams.

    3. How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?
    My book covers all the steps on how to format a Kindle ebook, a Smashwords ebook, and a hard copy (paper) book in Word. Plus I offer the steps to upload their book to the 3 main online publishers.

    Thanks again for making this available, Tom.

  • Hai Tom,
    Good work !. However , my Target audience are those Talents out There Waiting to be discovered. Thier pain is how to Face Thier audience and. what to Tell them. This could be solved by encouraging them to use Thier Talents To fascinate The World.

  • They want to start a Nonprofit.

    They don’t know how.

    This is eCourse or eManual which walks them through the 17 steps necessary to start their own nonprofit.

  • Hi Tom.
    Thanks for this awesome info. I can’t wait to work my way through the rest of the course.
    Who is your target audience?
    My target audience is parents of children who have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s autoimmune hypothyroidism.
    What is the PAIN your target audience has?
    Their pain is that they feel overwhelmed, lost and confused and don’t know what they need to do.
    How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?
    I plan to solve this pain/problem by taking them step-by-step through all the “little things” that make everyday life easier. From how to deal with doctors, to keeping a poo diary, to stress management techniques for both the kids and the parents. Basically everything I wish I had known when my child was diagnosed, but that no-one told me.

  • Audience- geek, fantasy/urban fantasy buffs, Harry Dresden fans, adults who grew up with Harry Potter.

    Problem- they’ve run out of books in their favourite series, looking for something new; after something in the urban fantasy genre with a female protagonist that doesn’t rely on romantic plotline to carry the story.

    Solution- an Urban Fantasy series with a strong female protagonist, fast-paced adventure plot, plenty of magic and only a light romantic element. Books will be released twice a year.

    • Boom. Good stuff Amy, especially getting specific re: Harry Dresden fans…this is the secret weapon for promoting fiction books (figuring out where likeminded readers already exist and the books they are already reading). Look forward to hearing more 🙂

  • Book: re-genius yourself; bring back the brilliance you gave up as you grew up.

    Who is your target audience? Coaches, therapists, teachers clergy who want better tools to help others solve problems and build dreams holistically. Socially responsible lawyers, entrepreneurs and changemakers who want success w/ integrity, purpose and joy. Readers of books by Barbara Sher, Sir Ken Robinson, Eliz. Gilbert’s new book on creativity. Readers of Huffington Post, O Magazine, Ode, zen habits. 50+ people who want the rest of their lives to be the best of their lives. TED talk lovers.

    What is the PAIN your target audience has? They know if they can tap into their best mind, best insights, etc. they can solve their own problems, but something isn’t working right. In spite of years of self-help, consciousness work, etc. they are unable to see clearly who they are, what matters, how to focus and build their best visions for life, work, creative and service projects. They are tired of leaving their visions and values in the parking lot when they work, tired of a polarized, unhealthy society.

    How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem? Stories, tools, tips (many proprietary) that help people remember the natural genius they once had (imagination, intuition, instincts, curiosity, awe etc.), discover how they may have lost it, rediscover and develop their gifts. Loads of resources to receive practical inspiration any time, anywhere, then discern what’s true and work with it well.

    This is way too long — I really need help to focus it. I do a lot of speaking now and will do much more.

    • Very good start Pat. Here’s what you need to do now…REALLY hone in on how to find these people. There are millions of Huff Post readers, for example. How do you reach them? Get more specific. You’re on the right track – keep it up!

      • Huff/Post 50 is for older readers; I often speak about the special genius of people over 50. We tend to let go inner critics and inhibitions, we are more reflective, we have more time and opportunities to try new creative pursuits, for starters.

        Other sections I plan to target are the health living and GPS for the soul sections, with pieces on guidance (the first ancient meaning of genius is about guidance; Elizabeth Gilbert talks about this in her new book; I have a fresh take on how to discern what’s true for you or not. And more!

  • Hi Tom,

    Here are my answers:

    Who is your target audience?
    People wanting to learn spanish, especially beginners and intermediate spanish students.

    What is the PAIN your target audience has?
    People who have problems learning spanish since grammar is different from english and the majority of the books out there are really big with a lot of grammar examples and phrases that are kind of hard to understand if you are a beginner in spanish.

    How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?
    I am going to give them short books, affordable price, easy to follow and understand ebooks and books that can help them a lot to understand how spanish language works and all basic phrases they need to know to survive in a spanish speaking country.

    • Good start…but not compelling enough – yet.

      You’ll need to refine your unique selling proposition to get peoples attention…this could be a matter of packaging and title.

      Something like “Street Spanish” might be a great way to differentiate yourself from the rest (“this book will teach you how to communicate with native Spanish speakers the way they do with one another” – or something like that).

      Keep me posted on your progress.

  • Who is your target audience?
    My target is a kid in his 20-30’s probably living with mom and dad. This kid needs a better opportunity to reach his dream of having a nice car, motorcycle, nice clothes, exc.

    What is the PAIN your target audience has?

    This kid just has no money to be able to have the nice things some of his friends already have because they have a career and he does not. He would like to be able to have some of the luxuries his parents have. To him it is just a dream.
    How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?

    I will solve this because I went through all of this things without having the good fortune of having someone help me out. I wish I could have known what I learned on the way. I guess lots of people struggle for years and years, but it does not have to be that way. When I see so many kids struggling in life I often give a few tips that drastically change their lives. I know I will be able to help so many people. I can’t wait to find the medium to be able to reach thousands to people in need.

    • Good start. One suggestion – you may need something more than “I did it, so you can do it” as your unique selling proposition. A simple way to do this is bundle your unique solution like a framework / blueprint / etc. that makes it almost like proprietary tech / knowledge. Keep up the great work!

  • What exactly am I asking of early adopters, and more specifically, ambassadors? Definitely to buy the book and read it. But when you say “read and share”, how exactly am I asking them to share? Post on their social media? I have a handful of celebs connected to some bigger brands and awards, and many of them have read the early manuscript and giving me a blurb (book endorsement quote), but what else am I asking of them exactly?

  • My target audience is 18-40 year old women looking for excitement and love missing from their everyday lives. They refer to themselves as fun and adventurous. They would be True Blood/Charlaine Harris, Kim Harrison, and Jeaniene Frost readers.

    The pain my target audience has is they are missing that same fun and excitement from their lives. They secretly yearn for thrills and fulfillment in love and/or sexual gratification.

    I plan to solve this by offering a relateabale character who they can step into the shoes of and take them on that journey they have been craving.

  • Target audience: Fantasy readers generally. Those whom I think will love my books most are fond of fairy tales, abuse survivors or they sympathize with them, Catholics, and some non-
    Catholic Christians.

    The pain in my target audience is that the genre of Tolkien and Lewis is filled with books that we view as…icky. Fantasy used to be a rather clean genre, and that is no longer the case. We don’t want to read something where abuse or rape is lauded, either overtly or more subtly. Power and revenge aren’t goals we strive for. My stories don’t preach to people, and the writing style is nothing like Tolkien’s. But I think the same sort of reader who loved Tolkien because his books were about holding up a candle in the darkness will also like mine. I don’t think this will include a lot of fundamentalist readers–they seem to want their message to be more overt.

    I’ll solve this by giving them worthwhile stories that are entertaining. Many are fairy tale based and are about abuse survivors. Many have Catholics and other good people in them struggling to be good people in a world that overwhelms them. Some of my short stories are simply funny, meant mostly to amuse, like the dragon who longs to play the stock market and can’t because he can’t get a credit card or bank account on his own. Others have deeper themes like the pain and value of being faithful.

  • Target audience for my newest book: “Secret Knight”
    1. My target audience is 16+ male & female
    2. My target audience loves medieval history/times, especially tales about King Arthur and similar
    3. I give them an Arthurian Saga/Epic which is based on King Arthur and the Round Table but after the death of Guinevere. So I am using the existing Saga and expand it into a new story.

  • 1. My target audience – readers in South Africa and beyond who had difficulty grasping the fundamentals of the South African criminal justice system, legal professionals locally and abroad and generally all those who are fascinated by the Oscar Pistorius trial.

    2. Pain the target audience has – those who are fans of Oscar Pistorius feel that justice was served. Those who feel Oscar Pistorius is guilty of murder have the pain of thinking that a conviction on culpable homicide and a sentence in terms of 276(1)(I) was a slap on the wrist. They are eager to understand the process on appeal.

    3. How do I plan to solve the pain – by methodologically and entertainingly drawing the reader to the workings of our criminal justice system so that their pain, irrespective of which side of the fence they’re on, is soothed.

    You must have noticed that I’m going backwards from lesson 6. The reason is that I read my emails from latest to oldest but thanks a million. Your advice is appreciated.

  • 1) Who is your target audience?
    – Freelancers and consultants who have or had conflicts with difficult clients.

    2) What is the PAIN your target audience has?
    – Being lowballed, treated disrespectfully, pressured, slow-paid, etc.

    3) How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?
    – By teaching freelancers how to set and hold boundaries, and how to probe, de-escalate and resolve the issues that lead to hard-to-manage clients, up to and including ways to dismiss truly incorrigible clients.

  • Leave a comment below and let me know:
    Who is your target audience?
    -Backpackers, Retirees, International Students, Springbreakers and New Grads.

    What is the PAIN your target audience has?
    -The feeling of being overwhelmed by the thought of planning, preparing and organizing your next trip. Managing it budget wise and maximizing your time on vacation.

    How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?
    Providing the most important, most effective travel tips and tricks.

  • My target audience is working women who are mid-to higher-level managers. Their pain is they either feel stuck or trapped in their climb up the corporate ladder. What I am doing is letting them know they aren’t alone, helping them to celebrate their road traveled and then mapping out their next destination. Overall, trading in their old pair of shoes that are mass manufactured for new ones that are their own strong, beautiful, sexy style that will be them where they want to go in greater comfort and with greater ease than they ever imagined possible.

  • My target audience is anyone who has been affected by a life-changing/threatening diagnosis. The pain and fear when first hearing the words, “It’s cancer,” are all too real to me and my family. So are the questions that come with a diagnosis. I have the experience and the resources to answer the questions that a patient and their loved ones are asking at such a critical point in their journey.

  • Target audience: project managers and similar professionals trying to get basic processes instituted in their organization.
    Their concern: Getting things done efficiently and effectively in a broader culture that either prefers chaos or permits enormous discretion to line executives/managers.
    How I solve it: [The Kindle version of the first book is available via http://www.simmer-system.com] Dispel the need to go to best practices on Day One. Emphasize collaboration over mandates and policies. Provide pragmatic, achievable, non-controversial steps that seem small and slow but end up moving things forward surprisingly quickly with a minimum of resistance and maybe even some support.

  • Who is your target audience?
    My target audience are people who love to escape from reality into a fictional story but into one that combines depth with suspense – basically people who loved books as “The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (Spaniard) or “Nighttrain to Lisbon” by Pascal Mercier (Swiss).
    More specifically, my audience will be interested in topics as history (in my book’s case the historical part tells the story of a Maya girl that gets drawn into the Civil War in Guatemala), but as well the people who will read my book are probably interested in human relationships and different ways of how people are seeking their way through love, life and loss.

    What is the PAIN your target audience has?
    The pain might be boredom and the wish to escape into another world, as you mentioned above, Tom, – but there is another pain, too: the pain of feeling alone with emotions and personal reactions to them if those reactions differ from the ones generally expected in our society.

    How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?
    As an author, I do believe in a common human condition that forms the base our humanity builds upon.
    By identifying and diving into the very basic and often painful feelings (in this book especially the feeling of loss in very different aspects of life: death, break up, betrayal etc.), I help my readers to realize that they are not alone with their needs and emotions and that there are very different ways to handle those emotions – often beyond the “common-sense”-way they are dealt with.

    • I like how you phrased your solution. I agree that that is part of what good fiction is about. Sometimes it is easier to absorb a truth portrayed in a good story. Best of luck with it!

  • Target Audience: People who want to learn about a specific subject (I have four or five in mind).

    Pain/Problem: Can’t make an in-person class; or get the depth of knowledge they want without losing interest.

    Solution: Allow them to learn through a fictionalized story, as if they were getting one-on-one instruction, in an entertaining way – so that their interest is held and they learn in a fashion that will help them remember what they learn because the lesson information is linked to the story events.

  • Who is your target audience?
    -Housewives, students, unemployed, employed, retirees.

    What is the PAIN your target audience has?
    -Lack of money, time, dependency, fear of pink slip, etc.

    How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?
    Providing the easy way to make money (Financial Freedom)trading options.

  • A quick note before I get to my answers: some of you need to revisit your wording in order to connect with your audience. I read a few of those descriptions and thought, “What does that actually MEAN?” That’s way too early to lose me as a potential reader! I think, reading the rest of the answers, that the book ideas are GREAT. But the wording is a bit flowery and not real-life so it’s not connecting.

    Man, that was meant to be constructive; I hope it came across that way. It’s always hardest to know how to describe our OWN stuff, I think.

    My target audience is art journalers, especially those who are relatively new to the hobby, and/or who have run dry on inspiration.

    What is the PAIN your target audience has? They want to create art journals, but lack inspiration or direction.

    How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem? Provide a tool that will walk them through building an art journaling page a week, with one step taken each day.

  • Hi again,
    This is really hard when you’re writing fiction, but I’ll do my best…
    Who is your target audience?
    Mainly young people between twelve and fifteen years old that like exciting stories that makes them reflect
    What is the PAIN your target audience has?
    They are bored reading stories about common day life there everything is plain and nothing to ponder after the read
    How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?
    By exciting fantastic stories with a lot of layers that presents an analogy to everyday life. Stories that stay with them a long time afterwards.

  • TARGET Audience: Lovers of metaphysical fiction, lonely housewives/husbands, men and women of all shapes and sizes who enjoy reading on a lazy afternoon.

    THEIR Pain? They are totally bored. It’s Sunday and it’s too wet and windy to do much else. They’ve run out of reading material and there’s nothing good on TV.

    MY Solution: Give them an exciting afternoon of reading. Take their mind to another level of reality. Help them expand their reading materials, and get enticed to buy more…

  • Who is your target audience?
    Readers of thriller fiction.

    What is the PAIN your target audience has?
    Fear of attack by Muslim extremists.

    How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?
    Show that a middle-aged, retired Marine without help from the government can take care of professional killers.

  • Since my book will be under a pen name, I cannot share, so let me take this space to thank you. What an amazing lesson, chock full of goodies. I wanted to resist answering questions because my first mental response to each question was, “I don’t know.” But your examples helped me think in right directions, and I actually was able to put some words on paper. Wahoo! This book’s presence already feels more sure. Bravo.

  • Who is your target audience? My target audience are romance readers, who like something a little different, whether it is paranormal, science fiction or dark.

    What is the PAIN your target audience has? My audience need something to relieve the stress in their lives. They need to read something to escape from the mundane boredom that their lives have become.

    How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem? I hope that people will read and enjoy my books, and come away feeling a little better about themselves and caring about the characters, seeing a little of themselves in the person they are reading about.

  • Who is your target audience?
    -Upper middle-grade Christian youth & the parents/Christian teachers who buy for them

    What is the PAIN your target audience has?
    -Christian youth are facing an increasingly hostile environment. They may not know how to deal with it. They may be interested in the lives of people during New Testament times but don’t want a re-told Bible story or preaching. They also want something fun to read, but parents may not agree with their choices or are concerned about the content of unknown books.

    How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?
    -I plan to offer Christian youth a clean but down-to-earth series of interesting fiction stories with a core of 3 youth facing a variety of problems in the pagan and anti-Christian environment of first century Asia Minor. The series will strengthen their faith and courage, give them a better background of Bible times, and broaden their understanding of people outside their own culture while giving them some good escape reading.

  • TARGET: Parents of Preschool Children
    PAIN: Can’t find clever, interesting picture book stories to read to their children with a “moral message” ending.
    MY SOLUTION: A Dr Seuss style book with cute illustrations that delivers a worthwhile ending. Our first book is about a farmer who is being bothered by rabbits. In this story the children learn about how plants grow and the importance of respecting natural environments. Our second book is about Mrs. Claus and the importance of being grateful during the holidays.

  • Who is your target audience?
    Readers who like medieval fantasy, alt-history, or apocalyptic tales (it’s a Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse story set in a fictional medieval setting).

    What is the PAIN your target audience has?
    Boredom, need for entertainment, desire to read something different from swords-and-sorcery fantasy, need for escapism.

    How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?
    Provide escapism, avoid generic tropes, tell a good story in less time than George R. R. Martin 😉

  • Hi Tom,

    Target audience- dog lovers, specifically rescue dog lovers who read rescue stories and advocate for animals in need and like books that give back.

    Their pain – they are looking for a heartwarming, touching book to read and enjoy stories about troubled dogs who were rescued as were their people. So perhaps a story that starts sad and has happy turns/ending. Some people have said the book restores their faith in humanity.(YAY) Some find it motivating to take action(YAY). Many like that it is a fundraiser for shelters/ rescues/ animals in need (and creates awareness). (That is the real pain I am trying to solve.)

    How do I solve their pain – 12 stories, a free ecourse/companion guide for helping animals they can get with the book, a page showing our donations from their purchases.

  • I am predominantly a fiction writer. One problem is that I write in a wide range of styles and genres and I’m not quite sure how to deal with that issue.

    My current WIP is a low-fantasy novel, dealing with issues of survivor guilt and growth/rebuilding lives after serious setbacks and devastation.

    Who is your target audience?
    Predominantly women who enjoy a clean read and are interested in character driven novels that take place in a medieval type setting in a realistic but imaginary world.

    What is the PAIN your target audience has?
    I think I prefer NEED or CHALLENGE to PAIN… Nonetheless, my audience’s pain/challenge/need is to find clean books with balanced characters (no one is all good or all bad) that provide some insight into what makes people tick. This particular novel, deals with finding the strength within oneself to overcome problems and rebuild one’s life.

    How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem? Hopefully, by providing a clean, enjoyable read with sympathetic characters that one can relate to and a philosophy/lesson/insight that might impact however mildly on readers leaving them with a feeling that they got something more out of the book than just a good read.

    Where do I find these people and how do I market this, now that’s a good question.

    Thanks for all the great lessons. I’ve heard some of this before, but somehow I find that this lesson and the book marketing canvas you provided makes it all much clearer in my mind, although I’m still not sure how exactly one progresses from here. I guess that’s why there are a few more lessons….

  • 1. My target audience is women who have consistently battled with their weight or been on the weight loss yo-yo and now want to learn why they have not been successful and what they need to do to be successful at losing the weight and keeping it off.

    2. The PAIN they have is not only the excess weight, but the issues that go along with it – lack of esteem self esteem. other health challenges, weight/health issues with their spouse and children.

    3.My book educates them on why what they have done in the past has not worked, introduce them to a system that does work and help them tap into the healthy person they desire to be before they reach their goal.

  • 1. My target audience is leaders of any capacity, including, but not limited to, entrepreneurs, wantrepreneurs, parents, teachers, coaches, etc.
    2. My target audience’s pain revolves around their wanting success for either themselves or people that they are leading but finding it difficult to change their behaviour, their actions and no matter what kind of goals, motivational words and encouragement they give to the people they lead, the change is never permanent.
    3. My solution to the pain of problem is to teach them that all changes start from the inside, however, it’s not only about thinking positive, or having a positive attitude. It’s much deeper than that, it is about having the right believing mind about the who you are, what you think and say about who you are. It’s about deciding to accept who you are and only then will change happen, both voluntarily, and permanently.

  • 1. My target audience is any long distance hiker out long enough to “restart” life when they get back (had to give up a lease, quit a job, etc) Typically, long distance trails take 4-7 months, but some trails could only take 4-6 weeks; that might be long enough for this.
    2. The pain is the overwhelming task of re-starting life (housing, income, less exercise, more possessions, social circles and activities), grieving the loss of the simplicity of the trail, and having to come to terms with not belonging in a place that you once fit well with (home and your community) because you are a changed person.
    3. My solution is to offer hope that they are not alone in this struggle, to give the stories of how many previous hikers coped, and to offer practical advice in emotional self-care as well as decision-making for the “restarting process.”

  • I’ve written a fiction novel.
    Who is your target audience?
    Young adult readers who enjoy fantasy novels such as the mortal instruments series.
    What is the PAIN your target audience has?
    When I began writing the novel I felt there was a lack of diversity in that market. My problem now is that since I wrote the book the market has really expanded. At the time the focus was on vampires whereas now it’s dystopian societies. I specifically wanted my novel to be an escape for young adults who were feeling unimportant and perhaps disillusioned.
    How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?
    I wrote a novel that I felt was different from the usual novels at the time but still held themes that were popular with young adults. The novel is still unique but perhaps doesn’t solve the problem like it once did.

    These are the things I worry about when it comes to marketing my book.

  • Hi,

    my target audience (for my next book) are 50+ divorced women who find themselves in impossible situations. I have been there myself.

    The PAIN my target audience has is that they think it is all over for them and nothing good will ever happen in their lives because they are so over the hill. This is because the world seems to be run by 30+ people who dominate the media and Internet (no offence, Tom : )

    If you have taken care of your family for 30 years, trusting, that the enterprise called the Family will stay there till end of your days keeping you safe, only to suddenly lose it all…I tell you: that is PAIN like no other. I have experienced the pain and know how excruciating it can be.

    There ain´t no cure for love, sings Leonard Cohen but love, on the other hand, is a cure for everything. In my book I will share my story and how I got out of the rut. My approach is tongue-in-cheek spirituality. I weapon is humor and laughter. I maintain than when everything falls apart, it is a good idea to start believing in a higher power. This is not religion – it is brain science. I wrote my 1st book to encourage non-religious, non-spiritual people to consider the third angle in the triangle of which the two other angles are Mind and Body. What is it? Quoting the famous anti theist Sam Harris: I dont know but it is something. And that something will save you when there is nothing else, trust me.

  • Who is your target audience?

    Chief Revenue Officers, Sales Leaders,
    Sales Trainers, and Sales Pros.

    What is the PAIN your target audience has?

    Non performing sales teams – missed
    quotas, high turnover, lost sales to
    competitors, bad forecasts, shrinking

    How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?

    Provide a low cost
    easy to use formula
    that is proven and
    tested to improve
    sales results in
    90 days.

  • People send out a lot of things but this is PRICELESS! I just signed up to Tom’s list and I am so happy I did. This email alone is worth everything to me as an author who just finished by book and wants to publish within the next year this document has helped me to see the whole picture without complicated book marketing lingo and sales talk. I filled out the whole thing just as I got it and I know it will be a great template to continue to build from. It is so well done and well organized that it will be a powerful took in my toolkit when I launch. Thank you…can’t thank you enough!

  • Target Audience
    Food and wine geeks, restaurant service staff, wine distributor staff, wine-store staff, restaurant kitchen staff, time-strapped restaurant managers/trainers

    What is the PAIN your target audience has?
    There are many, many wine books and lots of cookbooks too —but NOT very many putting-the-two-together books. NONE explaining what is actually happening as your wine-and-food combine.

    How do you plan to SOLVE this pain?
    Explain it, and give readers examples/demos they can try for themselves so they can use the concept with confidence. They feel smarter and more in charge of their choices. Love that chemistry thing!

  • Who is your target audience?
    People from Guam, USA, with local pride and an interest in supporting/buying/collecting local art. Children ages 5-15 (not too sure about the age). Parents of children that age. People who enjoy reading fictional stories about my island, Guam. Tourists.

    What is the PAIN your target audience has?
    We (people of Guam) are not represented enough in mainstream forms of arts and entertainment.

    How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?
    I wrote a full-length movie screenplay in the style of a Disney/Pixar/Dreamworks film, and am making it into an illustrated book. It contains various aspect of Guam’s culture and folklore, and some words from the native language. As the success of it grows, so will the merchandising.

  • Homework:
    Book: B.E.S.T.O.W. Your Blessings

    Who is your target audience?
    spiritual readers, church crowd, people interested in giving back as a way to enrich their own lives

    What is the PAIN your target audience has?
    Someone on a tread mill that feels there has to be more to life, and may be asking, “How do I leave my legacy?”

    How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?
    Sharing principles and a guideline on ways to enrich your life through the Laws of Reciprocity

  • My target audience: Mid-level HR executives
    PAIN of target audience: Employee engagement
    Solution: Applying Content Marketing tools and strategies for garnering employee engagement

  • Angels Fall(A Prequel to Velicious)

    My targeted audience:
    18+ (Young Adult, Adult: Women)

    What is the PAIN your target audience has?
    Two brother’s, Dante and Marquis are dealing with the death of their parents, who were murdered because of different species(Humans & Vampyre’s). The brother’s going forward, are living with a family friend and they block out what happened that night and fill the gap with bad habits(Indulging in the dark pleasures of blood, sex and chaotic freedom).

    This story also deals with Lycan’s, and their rivalry with the Vampires. How a war will maybe brew, and Dante who is a friend with a Lycan doesn’t want a war to start.

    How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?
    Dante meets a girl, who reminds him of his humanity and slowly reminds him of his parents as well.

    Indirectly, Marquis gets effected by the relationship his brother has with the human. They begin to see and understand that they haven’t been dealing with the death of their parents properly. They leaned more toward the Vampire side of the family, and separating themselves from other Vampires, might help clear there mind.

    This story is all set in the 1800’s.

  • Who is your target audience?
    Veterans & veteran supporters, readers who want to know what deployment life is like, readers who like humor/satire, readers who’ve worked in a group setting and like reading about the interaction between members of the group.
    What is the PAIN your target audience has?
    Lack of understanding life in a war zone, desire to laugh at the absurdity in life
    How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?
    Present an issue regarding military deployment – compare it to a similar stateside/civilian issue the reader experiences, and comically describe how we dealt with it

  • What is my target audience?

    Christians; Christians who have been wounded in the church.

    What is the Pain of my target audience? The wounds people like these cause others. My book is about Psychopaths in the Church – It reveals the problems people like these caused in Bible times. The same happens today in and out of church.

    How do you plan to solve the pain or problem? Expose the problem. Christians are naive about this and many are wounded by psychopaths in their local churches. My book uses Biblical accounts of people like these. It also alerts the church to be aware of the problem now, how they act and what to look for in those about them. They also find healing for their pain.

  • Very neatly handed. I liked it, and I learned.

    I am working on my first fantasy novel, still halfway through draft 1 – so I’m still a bit hazy on how to publish it, but I’m also a partisan of the ‘blueprint approach’ for any given project. After this course, I’ve decided to take my book as a such, not just a work of art!

    I feel that the jewel of my book is the Uniqueness item. It offers something fresh. On the first hand it’s inspired in a still-unexplored historical setting; and secondly instead of a “magic system” (so very popular these days) I rather opted for something that resembles more a “drug system” (and since I am a pharmacist – on the side – I believe I can exploit this well).

    This course has given me a clear perspective on how and where to break into the genre’s niche. I know what features of my book to use as the spear’s tip.

    What problem does it solve? It gives fantasy readers something fresh and with a clear voice!

  • What is my target audience? Educators, Parents, youth workers and 21st century employers.

    What is the Pain of my target audience? The disconnect between today’s generation (Gen Z) and the adults in their lives. Youth entering the workforce unprepared for the new workplace.

    How do you plan to solve the pain or problem? Awaken and show adults how to understand, connect and communicate with today’s youth.
    For youth put them in touch with their internal assets and how to formulate and execute short, medium and long term goals in reaching their dreams. Guide youth to develop critical thinking, creativity, communication skills and the ability to collaborate; preparing the for 21st century careers and realizing their dreams.

  • As a romance writer my target audience is women 35-70 who are looking for an escape, easy reading and a romantic fantasy. Their pain could be boredom or the need for more romance or the need for more romantic fantasy (not a realistic romance). My solution is to make my heroes larger than life – handsome, powerful, rich – but sensitive. Every woman’s fantasy. To appeal the younger age range, my women are sassy and smart and in the working world, but there is a little “Cinderella” aspect that appeals to older women.

  • 1. Who is your target audience?
    Adult men and women who find reading mysteries and thillers entertaining and enjoyable.
    2. What is the PAIN your target audience has?
    Like Mirel above alluded to, I don’t see a fiction book solving a problem (a matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome) but as something that meets a need or desire for entertainment or diversion.
    3. How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?
    Leverage my unique perspective as a retired police officer to write mysteries that are realistic, suspenseful, technically accurate, and that feature compelling, believable characters.

  • Who is your target audience?

    My target audience is people who are in their second marriage and are struggling with their marriage. From my studies, I have found that these are usually people in the first 1-5 years of marriage. After that time, they are usually divorced or they have worked things out.

    What is the PAIN your target audience has?

    The pain they have are struggling in their marriage and they feel sad and/or angry that they are not happier in the marriage. Common issues are feeling incompatible with their spouse, arguments over stepchildren and not being over the past.

    How do you plan to SOLVE this pain or problem?

    I go through many of these issues chapter by chapter and give my own example, examples from interviews with other couples, as well as suggestions on how to solve these issues. At the end of every chapter, I have a set of reflection questions or an exercise that relates to the content of the book.

  • 1. Who is your target audience ?
    My target audience are adult readers who find reading romantic erotica enticing and enjoyable.

    2. What is your readers pain?
    I think a fiction book doesn’t solve a particular problem. Rather entertains anyone who is bored and is looking for a specific genre (romance erotica) to get entertained.

    3. How does my book solve the pain?
    I rely my expertise on real life situations which readers can relate to. And portray realistic fantasies which many people only dream of.

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