Reader-First Book Marketing & What You’ll Find in a Reader Insights Report

July 6, 2022
Reader-First Book Marketing & What You’ll Find in a Reader Insights Report

Own Your Audience – Whew it’s Tough!


How well do you know your target audience?

You’re trying to reach people who read Mystery / Sci-fi / Romance / LGBTQ+ / Spirituality / Biography / (insert Genre) content. As you add new frontlist authors, your backlist continues to expand, but are your sales expanding simultaneously?

You may want to ask yourself: how are readers finding my books, or how am I finding the right audiences and quality readers?

The first critical step in developing a marketing strategy of any scale is identifying who your target reader or target demographic is. The better you know your audience, the faster you will grow your audience, and the greater likelihood there is of developing a relationship with them. Investing a modest amount of time in this step will yield long-term benefits and quality results.

Where to begin though.  

Researching and determining your readers who/what/where can be tackled in many ways. However, there is an investment of time required no matter the method you choose.  

Monitoring incoming data to your CRM, analyzing digital and social media campaign results (correctly), researching demographics on Facebook, Google, Instagram, and other ad platforms, and then triangulating back your titles into subsequent campaigns—while wondering how accurate it is—can feel like a full-time job. Scratch that. It is a full-time job.  

But no matter the process, developing a marketing strategy grounded in data is time well spent.  

Big Data Runs the World but it’s Hard to Catch

Roughly twenty years ago, we went about our digital lives without being tracked. In book marketing, print advertising in targeted publications reigned supreme, while billboards on buses, tv, and radio spots were cutting edge. Book Review sections were de rigueur, and digital marketing was just getting started! It’s sometimes hard to believe that Facebook was founded a relatively short time ago, back in 2004.

Fast-forward to 2022. Data is king, and not a click, swipe, or send, goes unnoticed, unanalyzed, or left off a spreadsheet. But unless you embrace data and know how to harness its power for your marketing strategies, its value is left floating in the cloud.  


Your readers are unique beings, like yourself. Demographics, online engagement, beliefs, interests, and lifestyles are data points that are captured, analyzed, and then grouped into different audiences or reader types.  

The world’s largest businesses have been built upon the mountains of data collected daily. When used correctly, think of data as the road map to reaching any reader or audience you want.  But knowing where to find timely, accurate data, how to read and organize it, and then translate it into a bestselling strategy takes time and knowledge.

Reader Insights Reports – Actionable Data on Book-Specific Audiences

If you ever wished there existed a trustworthy and accessible source for book-related audience data that didn’t require a code book to decipher, then keep reading.

Each downloadable PDF was developed by book publishing professionals for book publishing professionals. Whether you’re a publisher with years of experience, a marketing specialist serving the needs of publishers and their authors, or a self-published author with your first novel recently off-press—these reports will make you a better book marketer.

Where is the Audience data in these reports sourced from?

  1. This research in these reports uses data from online sources such as Google, Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social networks, along with practical, industry-leading consumer research tools like Sparktoro.

  1. Data on millions of engaged readers, or Verified Readers, as we call them, is collected and organized into reader types through these Ingram brands: Page & Pairing, Her Promotion, shelfsavvy, Bookfinity, and little infinite. Each reader type provides a holistic view of active and engaged readers. Each reader is someone who has recently engaged with the content and expressed interest in a specific genre.

You need consumer data, but it’s complex, often confusing, and contradictory, and hard to make sense of – because that’s how consumers are.

Think of a Reader Insight Report as a microscope that magnifies your target readers — who they are, what they like, where they’re active, who they follow, and how they talk about the books that interest them.  

Find out which accounts to target in ads, and which hashtags to include in your content, or which media outlets to pitch, or keywords to include in your copy. A Reader Insight Report will help you guide your publicity, marketing, and sales approach for each audience, saving you guesswork.

Each 60+ page report drills down into granular detail providing information about your reader audience that you didn’t realize you needed!  


Within each report, you’ll find 4 main sections:

Audience Overview – Identify your target readers demographics. Discover your audiences' gender and age breakdown, where they live, and what devices and social media platforms they use most.

Brands & Influencers – Track your readers' source of influence. Find the top brands, media personalities, and social profiles your readers connect with online.

Press & Websites – Know where your readers hang out online. Locate the top websites and media outlets your readers browse and engage with online.

Consumer Semantics – Monitor the keywords your readers searched. Your readers are active participants in conversations and content online. See the common terms, phrases, and topics your readers talk about and search for online.

How to Build your Reader or Audience Persona

How can this valuable information make you a better book marketer?  

Knowing your audience better means figuring out what content and even what messages they care about. You don’t need to be able to read minds to do this. The Reader Insights Reports reveal your reader’s habits, interests, and likes—all of which is valuable information that can be channeled into a marketing strategy. From determining the best platform or website to run ads on to reach your readers (media strategy), to what messaging and type of ad placement your reader responds best to (creative strategy).  

The Reader Insights Reports contain the building blocks you’ll need to begin mapping out a basic marketing strategy no matter your level of experience.

First, consider the basics:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Geographic location

Then, pinpoint some behavioral traits, such as:

  • What are their interests?
  • What types of activities are they engaged in regularly?
  • Do they have any hobbies?

Other questions you can ask to help round out your reader’s persona might be:

  • What other kinds of books or other authors are they reading?
  • What keyword searches do they use?
  • What influences them?
  • Who else do they follow?
  • What hashtags do they use?

Once you have a picture of your reader in mind, you’re ready to start thinking about how you’re going to reach them.

  • Determine the best platform to reach them on. Are they more active on Facebook or Instagram?
  • Do they spend most of their time reading news, or shopping on retail sites?
  • What sites do they frequent most?
  • What types of content do they engage with most frequently? Blogs? Reviews? Articles?

You’ll find the answers to all these questions in a Reader Insights Report!

See the Reader Audience we put together for Holly Black’s new book, Book of Night using the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Reader Insights Report.  

Reader-First Book Marketing & What You’ll Find in a Reader Insights Report

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