Publish Your Book

tips and tools for writing, publishing, and marketing your book from Pete Nikolai (Publisher of Elm Hill and WestBow Press at HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Market Potential – Traditional Versus Self Publishing

One of the key determinations each author should make is their initial target market. While many authors would like to think that every reader would be interested enough in their book to purchase it, few have enough money to make every reader aware of their book via marketing.

series title of Traditional Versus Self-PublishingDetermining your initial target market should be a ruthlessly honest evaluation of the group that is both likely to buy the book in the first 90 days and of appropriate size so that it can be reached via your marketing efforts and budget.

If your book is really only intended for a relatively small group of people (family, company, local organization, etc.) then some form of self-publishing may be your best if not your only option. If you have a substantial platform and are regularly engaging with thousands of potential readers then trying to hire an agent to be traditionally published is probably a good option. Many authors are somewhere in the middle where the decision is more nuanced.

How would you describe your initial target market and how big is that group? How big is your marketing budget and what is your initial marketing plan for reaching your target market?

Do you have any questions or concerns? Shoot me a message via the About/Contact page and I’ll do my best to help.


The previous post in this series discusses the benefit of having your book sold and distributed to bookstores by a traditional publisher or by a self-publishing service provider that is affiliated with a traditional publisher. The next post points out the expertise needed to publish a book and compares DIY and assisted self-publishing with traditional publishing.


1 Comment

  1. You really need to be realistic about your target market. Yes, we’d like to think that “everybody” would like our book. But that’s not the case. Establishing a defined target will help you market the book properly and increase sales.

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