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Friday, 19 July 2013

Rod Dearing on Target Markets

Last week I received my first royalty cheque from my publishers. It was a pittance of course but that didn’t matter. It represented tangible reward for my work and the size of the cheque really didn’t matter to me. (Well, that’s not quite true of course!) Everybody needs encouragement and writers probably more than most. But the arrival of this first cheque got me thinking about how I could make the next cheque a little larger.

My books are published in both hard cover and ebook formats and available through and So they are readily available to the world-wide market. But so are millions of competing books. What was it, I wondered, that attracted readers to purchase my books and who were these purchasers anyway? What were they looking for and did my books satisfy their needs?

Whether we like it or not the answers to these questions goes back to our market appraisals that should have been completed before we started writing. It’s so much easier writing stories with a target market in mind particularly if one’s lifetime experience resonates with that market, its needs and expectations.

I have an Army and civil defence background and my principal target market is the UK Cadet Forces. There are about 100,000 cadets, aged 13-18 years, and volunteer adults organised in roughly 2500 units and schools throughout the UK. I’m also very interested in the wellbeing of badgers in UK, so I have a secondary target market of badger supporters numbering about 250,000. (This number derived from the number of signatures petitioning the UK Parliament to stop a planned cull of badgers.) To satisfy the needs of these two target markets I’ve created two streams of stories – one for cadets and the second for junior cadets.

Have a look at my websites, for the adventures of Cadet Willie McBride and for the adventures of Mr Badger of the North Head Cadet (Engineers) Unit and let me know what you think at

What’s your target market?

Rod Dearing 




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