Conducting Market Research for Aspiring Authors and Book Writing Success

For authors seeking to make their mark in the publishing world, conducting thorough market research is crucial in understanding their target audience and positioning their books for success. By asking the right questions, authors can uncover invaluable insights that will inform their writing, marketing, and publishing strategies. In this blog post, we will explore some essential market research questions that authors should consider to better understand their readers and the market they are entering.


1. Unravelling the Demographics:

Understanding the demographics of your target audience is vital in tailoring your book to their preferences. You need to consider their age range, gender distribution, geographic location, and educational background. This will help you create characters, themes, content and writing styles that resonate with your intended audience.


Understanding the demographics of your target audience is vital in tailoring your book to their preferences.


2. Delving into Reading Habits and Preferences:

Knowing the reading habits and preferences of your target audience allows you to align your book with their interests. Enquire about the frequency of their reading, preferred genres, and what they like to read whether it’s fiction, non-fiction or a mixture of the two. Additionally, ask about their favourite authors or books within your genre to identify influential trends and gain insights into what and who captivates your potential readers. It's important to understand their general likes and dislikes. If you’re carrying out Market Research questions, ask about their interests, what they like to do in their free time and where they hang out.


3. Understanding Book Buying Behaviour:

To effectively market and sell your book, it's crucial to understand how your target audience discovers and purchases books. Ask questions about their preferred channels for discovering new books, the factors that influence their purchasing decisions, and their preferred platforms for buying books. This information will guide your marketing efforts and help you make informed decisions about pricing and distribution.


It's crucial to understand how your target audience discovers and purchases books.


4. Assessing Marketing and Promotion Preferences:

Enquire about the marketing messages that resonate with your target audience, the social media platforms they use the most, and their participation in book clubs or online communities. Additionally, ask if they rely on book reviews and recommendations when making reading choices. Understanding their preferences will allow you to develop effective marketing strategies and reach your potential readers in the most impactful ways.


5. Unveiling Author Branding and Platform Importance:

To build a loyal following of readers, it's essential to understand how readers perceive authors and their online presence. Ask questions about the qualities they associate with their favourite authors, the importance they place on an author's online engagement, and whether they follow authors on social media or subscribe to author newsletters. This insight will help you establish an authentic author brand and connect with your audience on a deeper level.


Find out the importance readers place on an author's online engagement.


6. Analysing Competition:

Take the time to analyse successful authors in your genre. Ask questions about what makes their books successful and identify any gaps in the market that you can fill. Understanding your competition will help you differentiate yourself and position your book uniquely to capture the attention of your target audience.


Market research is an indispensable tool for aspiring authors seeking to thrive in the competitive publishing world. By understanding and considering demographics, reading habits, content preferences, buying behaviour, marketing strategies, author branding, and competition, authors can gather valuable insights that will shape their writing, marketing, and publishing decisions. Embrace the power of market research to understand your readers, cater to their needs, and increase your chances of success as an author. The answers to these market research questions will guide you on your journey to captivating your target audience and achieving your writing goals.


Market research and understanding your audience are some of the areas covered in our Aspiring Author Programme. Book a call to find out more and see how we can help you on your journey.

A Triad of Writing Tools: Hemingway App, Grammarly, and Chat GPT

When it comes to writing and editing a book, the journey from an initial draft to a polished end result can be both challenging and rewarding. Fortunately, the digital era has given you a multitude of writing tools to assist you along the way. In this blog post, we will explore three prominent writing tools - Hemingway App, Grammarly Check, and Chat GPT - highlighting their unique features, benefits, and how they can aid authors in crafting their books whether book publishing on Amazon, a cost-effective route for self-publishing services or otherwise.


1. Hemingway App: Embrace Simplicity and Clarity

The Hemingway App takes its inspiration from the legendary writer Ernest Hemingway, known for his concise and straightforward writing style. This tool focuses on enhancing readability by identifying and highlighting complex sentences, excessive adverbs, passive voice, and hard-to-read phrases. By pointing out areas that need improvement, Hemingway App empowers you to refine your writing, making it more accessible and engaging for your readers. Its key benefits include:

a. Sentence Structure Analysis: Hemingway App provides a colour-coded analysis that visually categorises sentences based on complexity. This enables you to identify and simplify convoluted sentences, resulting in more straightforward writing. It highlights the sentences throughout the work that you paste in, you can then edit it and the colours update so you can see how your work is changing and becoming more readable in real-time.

b. Adverb and Passive Voice Identification: It’s not uncommon for aspiring authors to use more adverbs than necessary and sometimes it can be hard to remain writing in an active voice, slipping into passive voice. Hemingway App highlights adverbs and passive voice instances, allowing you to eliminate unnecessary modifiers and rephrase sentences for more active and dynamic writing. 

c. Readability and Grade Level Score: The app assigns a readability score based on the grade level required to understand the text. This feature helps authors ensure their work is accessible to their target audience. Ernest Hemingway’s writing scores at Grade 5. Even if you are writing for an older audience, you want to keep your work below a Grade 9, anything above can mean your work is confusing or tedious for the reader. The grading system works by identifying the lowest level of education needed to read your work.


2. Grammarly: Master Grammar and Style

Grammarly is a versatile writing assistant that goes beyond simple grammar checking. It provides comprehensive proofreading, style suggestions, and real-time writing assistance. It has a pro paid-for option but the free option is sufficient for most people. Here are some benefits of using Grammarly for book writing and editing:

a. Grammar and Spelling: Grammarly's advanced algorithm detects grammatical errors, misspellings, and punctuation mistakes. It offers detailed explanations and suggested corrections, enabling you to enhance the overall quality of your writing.

b. Style and Tone Analysis: Grammarly analyses the style and tone of the text, providing suggestions to achieve consistency and coherence throughout the book. It helps you to maintain a consistent voice, ensuring a seamless reading experience.

c. Plagiarism Detection: For authors concerned about originality, Grammarly offers a plagiarism checker that scans millions of web pages to identify potential instances of copied content. This feature is particularly useful when referencing external sources or conducting research for your book.


3. Chat GPT: A Conversational Writing Companion

Chat GPT, like other iterations of the OpenAI language model, is designed to assist writers in generating creative and coherent text. While primarily known for its conversational abilities, Chat GPT can also be a valuable tool for you as an author. Here's how Chat GPT can support your writing journey:


Chat GPT can help authors with idea generation, developing writing and editing.


a. Idea Generation: Stuck with writer's block? Chat GPT can spark creativity by generating ideas, plot twists, character names, or even entire storylines. Engaging in a conversation with Chat GPT can inspire you and help you overcome creative blocks. You need to be clear with the question you ask but the great thing is you can refine the provided result by giving additional prompts until you get close to what you want. I can’t say it enough, make sure anything produced is edited to sound like you and put your spin on it. 

b. Developing Writing: Crafting engaging and authentic dialogue is crucial for any book. Chat GPT can serve as a dialogue partner, helping authors refine their characters' voices and interactions. It can simulate conversations, offering suggestions for realistic and captivating dialogue exchanges. Chat GPT excels at understanding context and can provide answers to specific questions or clarifications on complex topics. This can be particularly useful for authors who need quick references or research assistance during the writing process.

c. Editing: While it’s not a replacement for a human editor, Chat GPT can be used to offer suggestions to improve your writing. I tested this out recently with a piece of unedited writing. I asked Chat GPT for some editing suggestions and compared the two pieces in Hemingway. It brought the writing from Grade 9 to 5 and improved many of the sentences that were identified as being hard to read. It produced the editing suggestions within seconds, saving lots of time compared to reading it through and editing myself.


In the digital age, as a writer, you have a variety of tools at your disposal to refine your work and streamline the writing and editing process. Hemingway App emphasises simplicity and readability, Grammarly provides comprehensive proofreading and style suggestions, while Chat GPT assists with idea generation, developing writing, and speedy editing. Each tool brings its own strengths to the table, offering you different avenues to enhance your work. By leveraging the benefits of the Hemingway App, Grammarly, and Chat GPT, you can navigate writing and editing with confidence, ultimately producing your best work that readers want to engage with.


Read more about using AI for writing and publishing in my previous blog.

If you’re looking for further support and accountability to write or publish, book a call to ask me how.

A Book Inside You

The saying goes, “There’s a book inside all of us.”

I recently attended a local primary school's Career Fair for 10- and 11-year-olds. The students were all fabulous and asked lots of questions about being an author, including many questions I had not actually thought about myself.

Here are a few that got me thinking…


1. What skills and/or qualifications do you need, to be an author?

I hadn’t considered this before this session, which I find strange given my background in teaching. I didn’t want to discourage any budding authors in the group and it made me wonder just what skills and qualifications you did need. 

To embark on your author’s journey, the most crucial prerequisites are a burning passion and a vivid imagination. While a solid understanding of the English language is important, editors can assist in refining your work. Remember, it's your passion and commitment that will drive you to excel. If you're unsure about the book hidden within you, I encourage you to identify your passions and let them guide your creative process. Everything else can be learned along the way or through collaboration with others.


The most crucial prerequisites to start your author's journey are a burning passion and a vivid imagination.


2. What inspired you to be an author?

For me, my inspiration stemmed from my experiences as a teacher and my desire to help young people. My own children, as well as the countless students I had the privilege of teaching, played a significant role in sparking my creativity. 

I was a secondary teacher, working on a project with a friend to help students to identify what they wanted to do when they were older, including acknowledging their strengths. Something that many teens struggle with. After a session on that project, my first picture book flew out of my fingers onto the paper. I wanted a way to help others to be their best selves and belief that they can achieve what they desire.

If you're seeking inspiration, reflect on what drives you and evokes strong emotions. Look at the world around you and consider how your unique perspective can contribute to positive change. Your book idea has the power to make a lasting impact, so join me on my quest to change the world one book at a time, whether on an individual level or a global scale.


3. What do you enjoy about being an author?

As an author, I love the freedom to express myself, share my stories, and impart knowledge to readers worldwide. The ability to make a difference in someone's life through my words brings immeasurable joy. Whether it's through entertaining fiction or empowering non-fiction, the opportunity to touch hearts and inspire minds is an extraordinary privilege. The fulfilment derived from seeing your book resonate with readers and knowing you've made a positive impact is incomparable.


4. What do you dislike most about being an author?

While being an author is immensely rewarding, it's important to acknowledge the challenges. Negative reviews may be disheartening, but they provide an opportunity for growth. Embrace constructive criticism as a chance to refine your craft and connect with your audience on a deeper level. 


Negative reviews may be disheartening, but they provide an opportunity for growth.


They also asked which was my favourite book. When most of your books are named after and inspired by your family, that is literally like asking you to choose your favourite child. Each book, like each child, brings something special to the mix and they are all a favourite of mine for different reasons.

If you've reached this point in the blog, it's evident that the desire to write resides within you. Don't let anything hold you back! Take the first step toward fulfilling your writing dreams by booking a call with me. As an author and book coach, I am dedicated to helping you translate your passion onto paper and sharing it with readers around the world. Together, we can make a difference—one book at a time.


A one-on-one session with a book coach can help translate your passion onto paper.


Remember, the world is waiting to hear your story. Start your journey as an author today!

The Differences Between Editing Books and Proofreading: Understanding the Benefits

When it comes to refining your written work, editing and proofreading are essential. While these terms are often used interchangeably, they refer to different stages in the writing process. In this blog post, we'll explore these differences and highlight the benefits of both editing and proofreading.


1. The Role of a Book Editor

Editing is the process of revising and improving the quality and clarity of your writing. It focuses on the content, structure, and organisation of your work.

Book editors play a vital role in the publishing process. They are responsible for reviewing manuscripts and providing feedback to authors on how to improve their work. This includes editing for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and other elements of writing style. Additionally, book editors may provide advice on structure and content, as well as suggest ways to make your work more engaging.

Book editors also work with authors to keep them informed of industry standards for length, format, and content. If you’re self-publishing, it’s up to you whether you conform to these but they are there for a reason. 


Editors review manuscripts and provide feedback to authors on how to improve their work.


2. ‘Editing’ Software

If you’ve read some of my previous blogs you’ll have seen me mention software like Grammarly and Hemmingway. I would recommend running your work through one of these tools before working with an editor. These are not a substitute for an editor, hence the inverted commas, but using them can help with the editing process.


3. The Types of Editing

Book editors typically specialise in one or more types of editing. The most common types are developmental editing, copyediting, and proofreading.


3.1 Developmental editing focuses on improving the structure and content of a manuscript. This type of editor will review a manuscript from start to finish and provide feedback on how to make it more engaging or marketable. They may suggest changes to plot points or characters as well as recommend ways to improve pacing or clarity.

Content Refinement: Editors analyse your writing to ensure that it effectively communicates your ideas. They identify inconsistencies, gaps in information, and areas where the content can be expanded or improved. Editing involves rephrasing sentences, adding or deleting paragraphs, and re-organising the flow of information.

Structural Enhancement: Editors pay attention to the structure and organisation of your work. They ensure that your ideas are logically presented and that there is a smooth progression from one point to another. They may suggest restructuring chapters, rearranging sections, or providing clearer transitions between paragraphs.

Style and Tone: Editors help you maintain a consistent style and tone throughout your writing. They ensure that your language is appropriate for your target audience and purpose. They may suggest revisions to improve readability, cut jargon, or enhance the tone of your work.


3.2 Copyediting focuses on improving grammar, spelling, punctuation, syntax, and other elements of writing style. This type of editor reviews line by line and makes corrections where necessary. They may also suggest changes to word choice or sentence structure to improve clarity or flow. A copyeditor’s primary focus is on the overall quality of your content.


3.3 Proofreading focuses on catching any errors that have been missed when editing. It is the final step in the writing process, focusing on the finer details of your work to ensure accuracy and consistency throughout the text.


Formatting and Layout: Proofreaders pay attention to the visual presentation of your work. They check for consistency in formatting, font styles, headings, and paragraph alignment. They ensure that your document doesn’t have new paragraphs beginning on the last line of a page or ending at the top of a page.

Clarity and Readability: Proofreaders focus on making your writing clear and readable. They identify awkward phrasing, convoluted sentences, or ambiguities that may confuse readers. They suggest improvements to enhance the overall clarity and coherence of your work.


Proofreading focuses on making your writing clear and readable.


4. The Benefits of Working With a Book Editor

Collaborating with a book editor can greatly benefit authors who wish to achieve success with their books. A skilled editor can assist you in refining your work to meet industry standards, while still preserving your distinct voice and vision. Moreover, working with an editor can help you spot possible issues with your manuscript, thereby saving you both time and money during the publication process.


Working with an editor can provide:

Enhanced Clarity: Both editing and proofreading help ensure that your ideas are clearly communicated. By refining the content and correcting errors, you improve the overall clarity of your writing, making it easier for readers to understand your message.


Professionalism and Credibility: A well-edited and proofread document demonstrates professionalism and attention to detail. It shows that you value quality and take pride in your work. This enhances your credibility as a writer and leaves a positive impression on your readers.


Error-Free Writing: By thoroughly editing and proofreading your work, you minimise the chances of errors slipping through. This applies to grammatical mistakes, spelling errors, and other typographical issues. An error-free document ensures that your message is not overshadowed by avoidable mistakes.


Improved Structure and Flow: Editing helps improve the structure and flow of your writing, ensuring a logical progression of ideas. It eliminates inconsistencies and ensures that your work is well-organised. This makes it easier for readers to follow your arguments or story.


Polished Presentation: Proofreading focuses on the visual aspects of your writing, including formatting, layout, and typography. A well-proofread document appears polished and professional, making it more engaging for readers.


Editing and proofreading are distinct yet complementary stages in the writing process on either side of typesetting. By utilising both, you can improve the quality of your writing, enhance clarity, and ensure a professional presentation. These processes are essential for producing content that captivates your readers and leaves a lasting impression.