Market Worksheet: Who Needs You and Your Book?

Identify the Market for Your Book

When I ask authors who exactly their books are for, sometimes the response I get is very clear and specific and I know the plan for publicizing and marketing the book is well thought out.

Then there are times when the response I hear is, “My book is for everyone,” and I know the plan is not clear. It’s a jarring response because the truth is there is not a book on the planet that is for everyone.

I understand the response though. Usually, it means there are multiple markets for the book but the author hasn’t sat down to specifically identify and prioritize them yet, nor has he or she identified who the number one market is. We’re going to take a crack at that today.

Step one: Let’s explore who makes up your number one market.

Your number one market is made up of the people who are right now waiting for you to deliver your work. In fact, they may be actively looking for you and your book right now. Your job is to identify who they are and figure out how you’re going to reach them.

Step two: Here are some questions to get you to think about this.

1.  What are the first things you notice about your top market? Who are they? What do they do? What are they interested in? What is their problem that you are the answer to? We played with this a little bit in last week’s Savvy Sunday News here.

2.  When you think of them, what state are they currently in without your book and your help? This could be an emotional state, a set of life circumstances, an idea they have about where they think they should be. What stands out as relevant to you?

3.  Pick the words that accurately describe their state of being. Circle or highlight as many as you need to.

They may be: Depressed, Anxious, Concerned, Worried about money, Frozen with fear, Uncertain what to do next, Paralyzed by too many options, Unaware of their situation – it’s worse than they think, Bored, Depleted/tired/exhausted, Just can’t do it anymore, Trapped, Desperate to make a change, All fired up but not sure what to do next.

Or they may be: Newly inspired, They saw the light, Needing to go to ‘the next level’, I’ve been awakened…now what? Who am I REALLY? I’m yearning for something but don’t know what it is.

They may be: Oblivious to their power, Afraid of their power, Aware of their power but not sure what to do with it, Unable to articulate what the problems is…but something is wrong,  Out of alignment and aware of it, Stuck and unsure why, Burned out, Fed up with current circumstance, Inclined to self-sabotage and sick of it, Life has become empty, Overwhelmed.  Too many projects going all the time – nothing gets done!

The kids are driving me crazy! My spouse is driving me crazy! My mother/father is driving me crazy! My boss is driving me crazy! My coworkers are driving me crazy! My neighbors are driving me crazy! I’m no longer in love

This list is certainly not exhaustive and you are the one who knows best what your market is dealing with, so what else? Add those issues to your list.

4.  What circumstances best describe what your market is currently dealing with.

Are they: Empty nesters, People who need to improve health/weight/fitness and know it, People who need to improve health/weight/fitness and deny it, Baby Boomers having a  crisis/uncovering a big truth/radical awakening, Gen Z having a crisis/uncovering a big truth/radical awakening…but heading there fast, Parents of troubled teens, Parents of troubled children, Mother or father of small kids, Children of aging elders, Recently fired, Recently retired, Facing a life transition in work.

Are they: Facing a life transition in relationship/love, Newly divorced, 1-3 years post divorce, Having a spiritual awakening, Recently changed careers, Recently got trained in a holistic discipline like coaching, therapy, bodywork, etc., Have built an entrepreneurial business that is at least one year old, Just starting an entrepreneurial business, Own an entrepreneurial business more than one year old, Selling consulting, products, programs online, Recently hired, Looking for a job, Quit corporate job to start own business/after feeling trapped…

Again, this list is just a beginning. Write down any other circumstances that apply to your market.

5.  If you could pick a genre that describes your people, it would be…(pick all that apply).

Millennials–men and women between the ages of 24 and 40 years, Cultural Creatives — those who have creative pursuits, possibly self employed, artists, practitioners, have creative or esoteric hobbies, care about the environment, actively work for justice, community outreach.

Corporate employees who meld happily into corporate culture (may have families to support; may have had big success and want more; may have commitment to traditional life values; tend to participate in organized religion; may be involved in community work), Corporate mid-level managers who meld happily into corporate culture (may have families to support; may have had big success and want more; may have commitment to traditional life values), Entrepreneurs and small business leaders, Corporate executives and C-Level directors who are happy in their work; may have some stress but are generally OK; know they need to live a healthier lifestyle, Corporate employees or executives who are tired of their jobs/trying to find a way out (actively looking for alternatives to corporate life; may be mid life; may be under 30), Mid-life women (35-65) who recently left their husbands, Mid-life women whose husbands have left them, People who identify as “spiritual” and not “religious.” Often members of Unitarian/Unity/New Thought churches, or have their own beliefs and practices, Women drawn to healthy lifestyle choices (Whole Foods shoppers; yoga attendees; might be into competitive sports; may or may not be married), Women who know they need something but aren’t yet aware of what or how to find it (more likely to consume unhealthy foods; read about diets but not do them; may have heart disease; avid users of social media/ TV; may be active readers; involved in traditional community activities; may have older children), Artists, or other creative or solo professionals looking for help and support – Know they are on the cusp of something but not sure how to break through and go bigger, Women under 35 who have small children and need more time for themselves, their relationships, or who crave work and life balance. Could be working moms or full-time moms, New Age devotees who attend many spiritually oriented events, programs, trainings, and use related materials…

Now write any other genre that applies to your people…

6.  Where does your market hang out? Online, on the ground. Where?  

7.  What sort of profession is your market in, in any?

8.  What social media platforms do they prefer?  Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn, TikTok, or ???

9.  What groups and networks are they a part of?  

Pulling It All Together

Now write up a brief paragraph that summarizes what you have learned about your market and where they hang out. Add any specifics that pop out at you that will help you find these people. If you have identified more than one market, list them in order of importance.

Bottom Line

Play with this worksheet for a while and give yourself some time with it. Then, next time you’re asked “Who is your book for?” I’m hopeful you’ll have a very precise answer to that question. Feel free to hit “reply” and tell me about it. I’m always interested.

To your success!


P.S. All right boys, your musical education continues right here.  (And for those of you with no patience whatsoever for introductions, the magic begins at :46.)






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