You write to be read. And to be read, you have to write for a specific audience. You must be ready to tell a publisher the type of person you believe your ideal reader is. No agent/publisher will take you seriously if you say, ‘I am writing this for everyone.’ Trust me, say that, and they will not turn one page of your manuscript. Make sure you have a specific target audience in mind. Although, it is not your job to sell your book; it is your job to write a book that will sell. If publishing is the goal. Sometimes it is not. In that case, this post is not for you. The topic of your audience will be part of the first conversation you have with an agent/publisher. Get yourself ready for it.
How does a writer determine their audience?
Well, for one thing, start with genre. Are you writing science fiction? If so, that genre’s interests varies exponentially. Are you targeting young adults, boomers, or someone in between? Does gender play a part? Etcetera. Basically, where do you imagine seeing this book stored on a retailer’s bookshelf? I know, I know; at the front door. But again, the agent/publishers in your future want a practical answer. Think about this a great deal, before throwing too much time into wrestling syntax. This does not mean you have to handcuff yourself. Write whatever you want. But know whom it is, you think, that would read your novel.
I know this is a short post, and I am sorry about that. The last couple weeks in my Inspirational Writing class, led by Karen Kingsbury, we have focused on who our audiences are. She and my adjunct professor are doing everything they can to drive the point home. As always, I share what I learn with you. Classes are going well. I am still holding onto my 4.0. Which is no small feat for a guy who returned to school at thirty (humble brag). Again, I wish this week’s post was longer and more in depth, but it has been crazy busy.
Please let me know what you think. Share your ideas with me. And if you have not already, please subscribe to my blog. Thanks.
A blog written for writers by a writer—twice published.
Derry, New Hampshire was the longtime home of Robert Frost. This poem is in dedication to my favorite poetry book: North of Boston, and his poem October.
Trust me…, stopping and noticing the details around you is life’s most generative experience, not only will your writing improve, but so will your mental health.