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 🙂

Advertisements

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!

Continue reading

Who’s your Narrator?

Talk in colors speech bubbles social mediaRecently, while driving, I got to thinking about perspectives within stories.

(I do a lot of thinking while I drive…I do a lot of swearing to myself at the idiots on the road too…yup, I’m one of those drivers).

Now by ‘perspective’ I mean in reference to the narrator’s voice. As in the perspective of the narrator. If you are writing a book in 3rd person your narrator will probably change (unless you’re writing 3rd person limited).

Continue reading

How to deal with invading story ideas

invadingstoryideasI’ve talked about ideas before – you may remember my Song of the Muses post. However I want to discuss the invasion of stories.

I don’t know about you, but my muse doesn’t wait until I’ve finished a novel before she bashes me over the head with another idea.

☆ Muse Attack ☆

Case in point, while driving to work this week, I was suddenly accosted by a whole new story. The protagonist was fully formed and named (thought I wasn’t keen on the character’s surname…every attempt to rename her failed and so I have kept it as it came to me).

Continue reading

Guest Post: Book Reviewing

This week’s guest poster is my dear friend C from HappyMeerkatReviews who not only writes but also produces awesome book reviews and is one of the nicest people I’ve met in internet land!

CatBook Reviewing by C

Being a book reviewer is something far more rewarding than I ever imagined.  Being able to read books and talk/write about how great they are is something I’ve only been doing for a short time but it’s so rewarding, especially when you find a gem from a new and unheard of author.

For me reviewing starts with reading.  I can never read more than two books at a time, one fiction and one non-fiction (memoirs are like fiction for me).  This is because I’m one of those people who loves to get completely absorbed by a book and I couldn’t do it if I had several going at once.

Continue reading

Guest Post: The One Thing Every Writer Needs To Succeed

And we continue with our awesome mid-week Guest Posts. I invited Robert Evenhouse from PartTimeNovel.com to share some wisdom. Enjoy!

The One Thing Every Writer Needs to Succeed

By Robert Evenhouse

Robert

Behind every good writer is a group of individuals that have helped them get to where they are. I firmly believe this. Consider the Inklings or the group of writers that Hemingway wrote about in A Moveable Feast, writers are born not out of solitude, but community.
Continue reading

Beating procrastination

Proverb "Procrastination is the thief of time" written on a blacApologies if you came here hoping today’s post would be back on World Building, I will be starting that up again shortly.

However today I thought I would discuss Procrastination and losing time in general. In my post Dealing with Distraction Syndrome I mainly covered the affect the internet has on our lives and our writing. Yet there is much more than just the internet that causes procrastination.

Continue reading