Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Monday, December 10, 2007

Finding Your Potential Audience 2

Before we proceed, two things...

First, the survey you send out as outlined in the previous post is meant for those who don't normally buy comics. This is important, because you'd want to find out if there are people outside of the comics buying set who might be interested in your story. Again, send out as many as you possibly can.

If you want to be more specific, here's an alternative. Check you main character. Since your main character is the one through whom your reader experiences your story, this character would be your template for possible survey respondents. If your story is about a woman in her 30s, send email to women between 26 and 40, with a few men thrown in there of around the same age range. If your story is about a young male superhero, go for the 14 to 24 male group, with some females included to widen the field.

Secondly, and this is a lengthy one, let's look at some figures:

Let's assume that you're situated in California.

According to the US Census Bureau, California has a population of 33.8 million as of the year 2000. For the same year, the population count of those from 20 to 34 years old is about 7.6 million. A lot of people. We've isolated the 20 to 34 year old bracket because we're assuming that it would be this age range who might be interested in your graphic novel offering. (Something a bit on the mature side, maybe a PG-rating).

It's safe to assume that by this time, the population numbers have gone up a bit.

Now, as of October 2007, the highest selling comic book issue through Diamond is New Avengers #35, with orders of over 111,000. Only. Normally, this doesn't translate to actual retail store sales. How much of these have gone to California? We don't know, but it's a safe bet that it's far, far less.

If the USA has a population of 303 million, California would have 11.15% of the US population. A loose assumption would be that the number of New Avengers #35 issues that reach California would be a little over 12,300 copies. Only. And that's already California, and note again that not all copies will reach the hands of buyers. What more a smaller state?

Why am I telling you this? For superhero books, the market is small, and the market is crowded.

For the aspiring superhero graphic novelist who wants to release a comic book, he needs to look beyond the superhero market and look for secondary markets. Markets that might be interested in what the creator has to offer but wouldn't normally pick up a comic book.

Hence the exercise of the previous post.

To tabulate the results of your survey, you would need a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel of OpenOffice Calc. If you don't know how to use these programs, pen and paper would do well, though the results would take longer to reach.

Focus on those who answered YES to the first question. Isolate their ages and their gender. Find a trend. What are the common ages? The common gender? If the results aren't clear cut, try and send out more email requests until you get a "data trend" or results that seem to point at a specific market.

When you're done with that, check the answers to the fourth question, and set aside those who answered more negatively. Focus on those who have more positive answers and see if the trend has changed. Again, this is why you ned a lot of respondents to your questionnaire. You'll have an easier time finding a trend.

The results of question number five will tell you if the respondents comprising your isolated results have the financial capacity to buy books on a semi-regular basis. The more books they've bought, the better the chances that they'll have room for your book.

Here comes the nice part. Check again the results of your isolated group for the first question. See what they liked about your story. Is there something common about their statements? Is there a general sentiment about what they liked? Bingo! Now you have information that can help you put together a press release with your story's unique selling point.

How about the results of questions six and seven? Find out the common websites they visit, or those sites you can assume would have high traffic. They can be venues where you can send a press release or post information about your book.

And the establishments? Well, since your potential market goes to those places, you think you can get some copies of your books in there? Or maybe free previews with an email address where readers can write you?

But before you send out press releases and visit commercial establishments, the last thing you should do is verify the information you've discovered. How? Find other people who match your isolated potential market. Get in touch with as many as you can and make a friendly request for them to read your story. You can include in your email some of the responses you've received from your original survey to possibly get them interested.

If you get at least 50% positive responses from this "verification stage," you may just have found your other market, as well as some leads on how to get your book to them.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home