Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Should You Market Your Book In Just Four States?

The United States will surpass 320 million legal residents this year. Scattered amongst the 50 states are 117 million households. 71 million households say they are “family households,” and 38 million of them have children under 18 years of age. But what is most interesting is that 30% of America – over 100,000,000 people – live in just four states – California, Texas, New York, and Florida. Should book marketers, publishers, and authors just focus on those states?

Think about it. Why try to sell a book across six million square miles in the continental states – plus Alaska and Hawaii – when you can zero in on four states? Within those states, there are a handful of large metropolitan areas that account for scores of millions of people, including: New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, Houston, Long Island, Orlando, San Francisco, Dallas, Buffalo, San Antonio, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, San Diego, West Palm Beach, and Austin.

Many books don’t have geographic boundaries. A book on relationships, diets, parenting, wealth, or cooking may not be tied to a particular region, state, or city. But maybe the more profitable publisher would do well by just putting out books that appeal to those states. Writers should just focus their content on these states as well. Heck, one in eight Americans live in California. Why look beyond that one state?

When it comes to fiction, characters, and plots should revolve around New Yorkers, Texans, Floridians, and Californians. Your marketing should just zero in on those states as well.

Some publishers, marketers, and writers already think and act this way – focus on a handful of states and forget the rest. Politicians, movie houses, and television shows are also aware of this phenomenon.

Others purposely publish for the rest of America, for the two-thirds of a big pie that have nothing to do with the four biggest states. Why ignore a lucrative market, right?

So you can go either way, but not necessarily both. To be pro-New York or Texas-centric is almost to eliminate places like Montana or to be even anti-Chicago. And to focus on places like Kentucky, South Dakota, and Rhode Island is to purposely not cater to California. But if a book can somehow embrace distinct opposites and rally people of all locations, sizes, and shapes to buy in, you’d have a gold rush.


Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014

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