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Fall in Love With Your Readers 

Fall in Love With Your Readers 

(and have them fall in love with you.)

Daily House Love Your ReadersHook your audience so hard that they know they will be missing out on a great opportunity or a life-changing experience if they don’t read your book.

When you are the ideal audience for a book, you instantly fall in love. It can be eerie how, with each turn of a page, the book speaks to you. This is not magic; it’s by design.

Subtle cues led you to the book in the first place, its cover design, a favorite publication where it was reviewed, or the person who recommended the book to you. The book’s brand was created to capture your attention and the content was written specifically for you. You were the author’s target reader.

Now that YOU are in the role of an author, it’s your responsibility to reach your target audience in the same intimate way. Your job is to know your readers, answer their questions, and to entertain, inspire, and encourage them.

In this new era of publishing, marketing and creative storytelling have merged together. Some of you may mourn the loss of stream of consciousness or experimental writing. You can count me among such mourners. However, with the minds of our readers (and our own) reprogrammed by the digital age, you can’t ignore the audience’s presence, perspective, and needs.

To speak to your readers, create a detailed description of who you are writing for. This sketch of your ideal reader is called a pen portrait, or avatar.

How to Write a Pen Portrait

Give your avatar a name

The first step in bringing your avatar to life is to give it a name. By assigning a name like Ashley or Greg, you begin to visualize a gender and other characteristics. You start to see the portrait as a real person.

You want to be specific, not vague. You can write about several avatars — one male, one female; one younger, one older; one a bus driver, one a taxi driver. The point is each avatar is a distinct individual that can tell you, “This sentence has nothing to do with me,” or “That is exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you!”

Choose demographics

Daily House Love Your ReadersCreate a detailed profile of your avatar including their profession, income and education level, interests, family life, spiritual beliefs, sexual orientation, and more. To borrow from sales and marketing (which this exercise comes from), you can start with the F.O.R.D. guideline by defining their family life, occupation, recreational interests, and dreams.

Create behaviors and habits

Who are your avatar’s friends? Where does he or she hang out? Is he or she a morning person or does he or she get up at noon? Do they drink? Smoke? Do yoga?

Create qualities

Choose four evocative words to describe this person. Here’s an example: diamond stud earrings, handmade paper, Paris, confidence. These words can be objects, places, feelings, or ideas. Now expand each of these words into a sentence or a short paragraph. Perhaps draw a picture or cut out magazine photos that embody this person. Put the image where you can see it while you are working. Adjust your written sketch until becomes as real and as known as a member of your own family.

You might find that your avatar ends up having a lot of your own characteristics. That’s not unusual. Many of us have the tendency to speak to our past selves when we write. If your avatar is nothing like you, writing for this person may require more advanced writing skills. In either case, empathize instead of fix.

What your portraits prevents you from doing is monologuing about yourself (at least, excessively). Instead, you are writing FOR the benefit of your readers. Would you monopolize a conversation with a real person by telling them every single detail of your life story? I hope not.

Fiction or nonfiction, visualizing your ideal reader as you write is a very powerful tool.

Speak to Your Readers

If you love and connect with your avatar, your readers will love you back.

What this means is that I love you because you are my ideal. Yes, YOU. The person I wrote this article for is seeking a greater purpose and a sense of expression. They are witty, hip, earthy, and mindful; a rule breaker, unconventional, collaborative, and of the digital age; and on the way to living out their dreams. More specifically, they are a writer, at least 35-years old or older, and are into self-improvement or personal development.

Is this you? Well, then, you probably like what I’m writing. It’s that simple.

Want to write a bestseller? I will show you each step of the process through blogs and videos. Follow along by connecting with me on Medium, on LinkedIn, or by joining the group Your Path to the Bestseller List for Nonfiction Writers on Facebook.

Get the #1 Bestseller Book Launch Recipe: How to Run a Free Book Promotion on Amazon. To download, click the link below.

I am a Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) specialist, book creator, online course designer, and book marketing genius who is committed to the financial success of authors and aspiring authors. Follow me on LinkedIn, by joining the group Your Path to the Bestseller List on Facebook, or subscribe to my YouTube Channel for weekly videos on writing and publishing.

Your Path to the Bestseller List


Your Path to the Bestseller List


Best Seller Nonfiction WriterHere is where my rubber meets my road. I started a business training aspiring authors to build digital marketing platforms and, in the process, to come out the other side with published self-help books and hungry audiences to sell the books to. I called it my Zero to Best Seller Method.

As a successful freelance writer with decades of marketing experience, I was able to convince paying clients to try the method. You know what? It works brilliantly!

The method is not magic or foolproof. (If you are a fool, sorry, it ain’t gonna work for you.) It is, however, simple. The method applies today’s best digital marketing practices to the business of helping people succeed. The difference? I create the marketing platform BEFORE word one of a book is written. The amazing part is, the book practically writes itself as you build your content.

Reverse Engineering the Best Seller

Instead of writing a book and then finding an audience to sell it to, I advocate the opposite. I’m not saying throw a dart at Wikipedia and write about whatever topic you hit. Your book will be about what you know and what you are passionate about. (My niche is personal development.) However, the process of platform building teaches you how to deliver your message and to whom.

It’s Not About You!

Best Seller for Nonfiction WritersMany first books are rambling memoirs and internal reveries that only the author cares about. A lot of writers, myself included, need to vomit out this mash of life experience (sometimes many volumes of it) before they can proceed to create a book that informs and entertains.

You can avoid this heartbreaking step of spending months or years writing a book that only your mother and close friends buy (and don’t read) by defining your audience first and discovering what makes them laugh, what engages them, and what they need.

Start with these questions. Whom do you want to help? What do these people want? Get very, very specific. Get so specific that you create a portrait of this audience personified—their profession, sex, income; what they do in their spare time; their favorite food; and most importantly, what they lack, what they want to improve, and where they are dissatisfied in life.

Write a love letter to this personification. Get very intimate and speak to this audience directly. However, DO NOT get so intimate that you believe that your audience knows you or can read your mind. Assume nothing. If you find yourself writing “of course” or “you know,” STOP! Everything you write should be explained as though you are speaking to a visitor from outer space.

Once you have identified the needs of your niche audience, it’s time to give away your free sample. You marketers out there will identify this as the lead magnet. Create a website to trade your giveaway (lead magnet) for access to your audience, probably through email subscription, and then build, build, build your community. When you have a large audience that is engaged and likes you, write your book to them and for them.

In future blogs, I will go over all the steps of platform building. It’s a book’s worth of information. I have seventeen articles planned so far, so stay tuned.

Succeed at What You Are Selling

Best Seller Nonfiction WriterHere is my confession. I have supported myself as a digital content writer for years. I have written several books, and I have published other authors’ book for them, but I have not published any of my own books yet.

So, I propose an experiment. I am going to use my own method from start to finish.

Have you seen the movie Little Miss Sunshine? If not, go rent it! Anyway, in this wonderful movie, Greg Kinnear plays an aspiring motivational speaker and self-help author who has pitched his 9-Step Refuse-to-Lose book to an agent. Throughout the movie, he is convinced that his big break is just around the corner. The irony and the dark comedy of this character’s predicament is that his method obviously doesn’t work. His overworked wife struggles to pay the bills while he writes, and his family is chock full of dysfunction. (It doesn’t sound funny, but it really, really is.) In the end, the agent turns down his book because, in the parlance of the publishing industry, he doesn’t have a platform and is not an example of his own work.

Don’t be Greg Kinnear!

Join Me on the Path to Success

Join me as I illustrate every step of the Zero to Bestseller Method for Nonfiction Writers by walking my own talk. I will guide you step-by-step through the platform creation process. We will define an audience; create a sales funnel, a giveaway, and an online course; utilize conversion email marketing and social media branding; and then, based on my market discoveries, I will write, produce, and self-publish a book.

Get the #1 Bestseller Book Launch Recipe: How to Run a Free Book Promotion on Amazon. To download, click the link below.

Do you have a great idea for a book or a manuscript in development, but you don’t know the best way to turn it into a bestseller?

Daily House’s team of editorial, production, and marketing experts will evaluate your project, send you a complimentary custom assessment, and a next-steps plan. To get started, fill out our short questionnaire

Follow us on LinkedIn, join our group Your Path to the Bestseller List on Facebook, or subscribe to The Bestseller List on YouTube for weekly videos on writing and publishing.