Why You Need To Know Your Audience

Audience in the cinema. Silhouette.

Picture from StoryBlocks.com

Do you know who your audience is?

If I asked you who your book was aimed at, could you tell me? 

These may not seem important to some writers, but I can tell you knowing your audience is extremely important.

Knowing who is your audience is needed for things like choosing a Beta Reader or asking for ARC (Advance Reader Copy) reviews.

THE AUDIENCE

Who our audience is should be defined early on.  It would be great if your book would appeal to everyone.  But that’s unlikely.  So you need to know who you are going to be focusing on.

So take some time and figure out what your book is about.  There is usually an over-arching genre, but go deeper than that.  Do you write Apocolyptic Sci-Fi?  How about Tragic Romance?

WHY?

You want people to read your work.  You want them to buy your work.  To share your work and become a fan.

If you don’t know who you are aiming at, you are going to struggle to do those things.  This information is needed for when you are marketing your book.

BE CLEAR

Before you even finish your book decide who it’s for.  This should be broken down into sections.  Figure out exactly what your book is and who it’s for.

Basic: Romance, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Second Level (Further genre specific): Comedy, dystopia, mystery

Third level: Young Adult / Adult / New Adult / Children

You want people to know exactly what you write.  For example, say you want a review and ask someone “Please review my book”

Reviewer says “What genre is it?”

You reply: “Thriller”

Reviewer: “I love thrillers, send it over”

Now maybe your thriller is more of a comedy thriller, or maybe it’s a dark noir thriller.  Say that reviewer really loves dark gritty thrillers and assumed that’s what you wrote.  But instead it’s more comedy, tongue-in-cheek thriller.

They aren’t going to be as interested.

The clearer we are, the more likely we can find the right people for our books.

So know what genre you write, what age range your readers are likely to be, what elements are within your books.

DOES IT REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

Oh yes.  I personally have been sent books that were described as one type of genre (that I liked) only to find out that while, yes it technically IS that genre, it was also more for kids.  So I was truly not the target audience and couldn’t get through the books since I had zero interest.

All that does it a) waste the person’s time b) waste’s your time c) possibly end up with a bad review that didn’t need to happen.

TARGETING YOUR AUDIENCE

If you’re a writer then you should at least be wearing a Marketing Hat every now and then.  Whether traditionally or self-published, all writers have to market their stuff and marketing takes time.

Don’t waste it marketing to people who won’t be interested in the first place.

Go after those who will be more likely to want to read your book, who may become life-long fans and who can then tell their friends, who like the same sort of thing, about your work.

Also, don’t wait to be published to start learning about how to market and develop a marketing plan.  If you do you are losing valuable time and have to work harder to build up interest.

WHAT DO I DO?

Be clear in your book blurb / description.  If there’s comedy, let people know, if it’s a dystopia, spell it out.  Is your protagonist 13?  State it.  Make sure people are aware of key aspects that might be important to whether that book is for them.

When you market your book on Social Media, don’t just blast out to everyone “Hey, Read My Book” and add a link.  Tell people about it.

eg: “Do you like fast-action spy stories with a hint of mystery?  Then you’ll love my new Young Adult book ‘Joey McSpy, the Spy Who Spies’, here’s a link.” (feel free to write that book people, I give you that awful title for free!) 😀

See?  These two lines tell me it’s action, spy, little bit of mystery and it’s a Young Adult book.

SUMMARY

Think about your book/story, decide what it covers re: genre, elements, age ranges etc (And yes you don’t have to be limited to this.  Harry Potter was for kids but adults love it.)  But it’s marketing was aimed at kids, and adults jumped on board afterwards.

If you’re starting out, you want to give yourself a good head-start with your marketing.  This is especially important if you are using Paid Advertising.  Because then you’re wasting money as well.

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy my Think About The Readers that covers things to think when writing your novel.

☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~

What the heck?  This isn’t Friday??

That’s very true.  I decided to (test) out the idea of an amended posting schedule (which may fall apart if I can’t manage it):

Mondays – Marketing and maybe some Product Reviews

Wednesday – Guest Posts

Fridays – Regular posts by me

Your feedback is important to me.  What do you think?  Too much?  Just enough?  (please don’t say not enough because this is probably all I can manage)

Drop it in the comments section or check out the Contacts Page

Happy writing

Ari

NB: Picture was purchased from StoryBlocks.com (supporting other creatives)

About Ari Meghlen

I’ve been a writer since I was given unsupervised access to pens and am unable to write anything shorter than a trilogy. I (now) live in sprawling Northern Ireland which is greener than the green parts of England with my awesome boyfriend and 3 demon cats.

I spend my time lost in imaginary worlds,running my online jewellery shop, taking nature photos or watching bad movies.

Visit me on Facebook or just leave me a comment on this blog. I love comments 🙂

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Fracture by Ari Meghlen

I wanted to do something different today.  So decided to share a small scene I wrote.  You may have noticed I don’t often share my work… but I am trying to get over that aversion.  (seems important if I want to be a writer!) 

I wrote this about a month ago.  Just a random thought turned into a vague concept.  It’s only had one pass over it, so apologies for any mistakes or if it reads a little off.  If I read it a few times I might just panic and not share it at all. 

I would love to hear your thoughts (really?)  Yes I would.  Positive or negative, I promise not to freak out at you.  My partner will make sure I keep my crazy to myself 🙂  Seriously, I would like your thoughts on this.

broken-glass_GkfeGPtOTITLE

Only the sharp click of my heels could be heard.  The two men who flanking me moved with graceful silence, though their presence was a a crushing pressure at my back.  The very fact they were accompanying me at all betrayed my thoughts.  I had not wished to come, had planned to slip away rather than face this hell again.

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GP: “When I am a rich man (writer)” by Isla Dennes

It’s Tuesday, so that means Guest post time.  This week’s poster is the lovely Isla Dennes, Author of Sex, Spoons & Salsa.  Enjoy!

s“When I am a rich man (writer)”

by Isla Dennes

Fiddler on the Roof has a lot to answer to!  As a ten year old sitting in the school hall listening to my brother’s debut musical performance as Tevye, I had no illusions of grandeur, no grand plans for world domination.  Life was simple.

Now a writer, note the omission of “rich”, my ambitions have matured along with my age.  I have finally succeeded in securing my second publishing contract.  Yes, I am thrilled, delighted, my fragile ego and struggling self-esteem have finally been publicly acknowledged, that yes I am a bona-fide author and not just a wannabe scribbler!

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Why you should Embrace your Mistakes

 

Oops warning sign

Image purchased from Storyblocks.com

Do you embrace your mistakes?

 

I think there is a part in all of us that loves the idea of holding ourselves accountable to mistakes me make.  But that’s not always the case, is it?

So why don’t we embrace our mistakes?

Maybe you blame schools… or parents… or bosses!  Because they are easy to blame.  Though maybe the real culprit is society.

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ReBlog: How To Handle The Slow Burn Story

Since I had no guest poster set up for this week, I thought I would share someone else’s wisdom with a reblog instead! Check out this great article from BlondeWriteMore Blog.

BlondeWriteMore

This is something I have experienced lately, writing the slow burn story.

These tales are unique because they take AGES to come out of you.

They are normally written in dribs and drabs which can be very frustrating for an impatient blonde writer, like myself.

A slow burn story is a form of creative torture as your naughty muse gives you a little titbit of the story (equating to a few pages) and that’s it for a few days, weeks or even months.

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Does your story fail the Bechdel Test?

 

Two Business women enjoying a cup of coffee and smiling

Image purchased from Storyblocks.co

What the heck is the Bechdel Test? 

For those who don’t know, the Bechdel Test (also known as the Bechdel–Wallace test) was popularised by American cartoonist Alison Bechdel.

It first appeared in Bechdel’s comic “Dykes to Watch out for”.

The strip in question was titled The Rule.  To pass the Bechdel tests, a work of fiction must have:

a) at least 2 women (preferably named)

b) who talk to each other

c) about something other than a man

While the Bechdel test is used to rate movies, it can be used when studying other forms for fiction too.  Such as novels!

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Writing, You’ll Be the Death of Me by Cass Alexander

Annndddd she’s back! The absolutely awesomely, amusing Cass Alexander has given up yet more of her time to guest post again.  Check out this post and if you missed her last one, shame on you! Go read it here. (after you finish THIS post!)

CA authorWriting, You’ll Be the Death of Me

by Cass Alexander

In June of 2016, I made the decision I was finally going to write “that book” I’d wanted to write for the past few years.

My family had just moved from Charleston, S.C. to the Midwest, and I decided I would not look for a teaching job. I had the luxury of time and it was a now or never feeling I was experiencing.

Little did I know, that decision could have had catastrophic consequences—and I’m not talking about the mockery and ridicule I could get from writing a piece of crap. I’m talking a Cass-is-no-longer-with-us euphemism being thrown out because she’s dead.

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The Pros and Cons of Beta Readers for Indie Authors

A great article regarding the subject of Beta Readers

Author Don Massenzio

When I finished my first novel, the only people who read it before it was published were my wife and my editor. I was nervous in anticipation of their reactions, but the suggestions they gave me made the book that much better. Luckily my editor looked at the content and quality of the story along with the punctuation and grammar issues.

My second novel went to a couple of additional readers. I had heard of the concept of beta readers and my editor participated as a beta reader for various authors. A beta reader is someone who reads your book before the final edit. They look for things like the quality of the story, continuity (if your book is part of a series) and the overall appeal of the book.

At first, as I looked at the concept of beta readers, I was hesitant to give away free copies of…

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Guest post: Cass Alexander

Once again I have been harassing other writers to guest post on this blog. This week’s guester is the lovely Cass Alexander, who talks about whether to use a Pen Name. Enjoy!

Cass1My Name’s Not Cass, But You Can Call Me Cass

by Cass Alexander

Prior to publishing my first romance novel, my husband and I debated whether I should publish under my real name or use a pen name. Marketing, in the short term, would be easier if I used my legit name, because I know lots of people. And, let’s face it, it’s pretty damn cool to see your name slapped on the cover of a book.

But, in the end, I didn’t have the balls to use my real name. Like all healthy, well-adjusted citizens of the world, I blame societal pressures.

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Avoiding a Meltdown: Backup your writing!

If you follow me on facebook you will know that I managed to kill my laptop this week when I spilt a whole cup of hot tea on it.

That was followed by a stress worrying whether my cloud had completed its last backup

So, for anyone who might be a clumsy as me, I am reposting this about backups to remind you all to keep your shit safe!!

Happy writing
Ari

eternal scribbler

3d objectsEarly on in my writing, when I was just a young teenager I wrote a sci-fi novel. It was probably the most I’d ever written by that age and was spread over 2 floppy disks (ahhh showing my age now!)

As I shared a computer with the family I couldn’t save my work on the computer itself and so the only copy of the story was on floppy disks.

To my horror, one of them became corrupted. I lost over half the novel and was never able to retrieve it. There are no words to describe the feeling of loss when you lose your writing.

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