Helping Business Owners, Entrepreneurs and Specialists to Become Published Authors

Your Ideal Reader’s Profile


First, you need to determine the type of reader that would find your book topic interesting enough to buy it.

Here are some great things for you to consider. Use them to define the general type of reader that you want your book to attract.

a) Demographic Profile

A demographic profile, sometimes referred to as ‘a demographic’, provides enough information about the typical members of a group to create a mental picture of them (see Wikipedia for more details).

For example, an author might want to write a book for a specific type of reader, such as one who is single, female, middle-class, aged 18 to 24, with a university education. Note that these are characteristics that can be verified. Once this reader profile is constructed, authors can use it to develop a marketing strategy.

Consider the following list of attributes about your ideal readership.

•           Age

•           Gender

•           Annual income

•           Nationality/ethnicity

•           Standard of education

•           Geographic location

•           Working/unemployed

•           Value of mortgage debt

•           Monthly outgoings

•           Own home/rented

•           Lives alone/shares with family/shares with friends

•           Married/separated/divorced/single

•           Other factors.

b) Psychographic Profile

Marketers also combine several other variables to define a psychographic profile of a group of people in which they’re interested. Psychographics is the study of personality, values, beliefs, attitudes, interests, lifestyle activities, opinions, behaviours, etc. This tells us WHY people do things.

These variables can be difficult to measure or verify directly, because they can sometimes be inferred only from a person’s resulting behaviour.

Consider the following list of attributes about your ideal readership.

•           Personality

•           Values

•           Beliefs

•           Attitudes

•           Interests

•           Lifestyle activity

•           Opinions

•           Behaviours

•           Dreams and goals

•           Other factors.


Demographic and psychographic profiles are often combined and used together. For example, the people referred to as the ‘baby boom generation’ are defined by both their demographic variables (classifying individuals based on age) and their psychographic variables, such as their attitudes and behaviours [according to Wikipedia].

Now select a real person, who meets most of the criteria you selected from the two types of profile you’ve created, to represent your book’s ideal readership. This should be a specific person, who fits your reader profile, in order for them to represent the ideal person you would want to buy your products or services.

You’ll need to make a note of the following factors:

•           Name

•           Situation

•           Specific problems and challenges

Obviously, it’s a good idea to select someone who is not only the type of reader you want, but preferably someone you already know very well. That means you can ‘get into their head’, or ‘step into their shoes’, as you begin to design your book specifically for them. Select your best client or customer!

So let’s go through all these factors one by one. Try to use each of them to define your ideal reader more precisely. Write your answers on a piece of paper.

a) Reader’s name

•           Select a specific person to represent the ideal reader of your book (or make up a composite person from those you know).

•           Stick a photo of them to your computer screen. It’s important to place it so that you can see it while you’re writing your book.

b) Reader’s situation

•           How do they feel about their life and the world in general?

•           What’s important to them?

•           What’s their day like?

c) Reader’s problems and challenges

•           What’s bothering them, in the context of your book’s topic?

•           What gives them sleepless nights – and why?

•           List their main problems.

•           Which of these is their biggest problem?

Remember, when you write a strategic business book your ideal reader is actually your ideal customer or client!