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

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Interview with author Khaled Talib

This week’s guest post is an interview with the wonderful Khaled Talib, author of Incognito. Enjoy!

KhaledInterview with Khaled Talib
Q01 – When did you decide you wanted to become a writer?

I was fourteen when I tried to write a detective story.  I wrote it on a school notebook.  Halfway into the story I gave up when the person sitting next to me pried into the content when I was not in class.  He laughed at me, but he didn’t seem to understand what I was trying to do.

I’ve been reading detective books, which inspired me to write my own story.  From that day, I stopped writing, but there was a yearning to tell stories.  It took a long time before I listened to the little voice again.

Q02 – Did you find people supportive when they learned you were a writer?

Not at all.  I once told a distant relative who lives overseas that I wanted to write.  He told not to waste my time.  He said a few more things that was disheartening.  There are other stories, of course, but you get the drift.  From that day I kept my dreams to myself.
Continue reading

How questions help your writing

Are you writing a novel?questionsface

Chances are then you will constantly be generating questions for yourself.

You aren’t?

Well you should!

Now I’ve talked about The Power of Questions before but I feel I need to talk about it again!

We all know writing a novel is hard.

You have to build a landscape, create characters, give voices, design conflict, structure a plot… there’s a lot to think about.

As well as all that, you have to be consistent, you have to remember subplots, tie up loose ends, keep characters on track.

Continue reading

Guest post: But for the Grace

This week’s guest post is the lovely Annette Rochelle Aben who has written a short story. Enjoy!

AnnetteBut For The Grace

by Annette Rochelle Aben

Being swallowed by the dark, Caryn felt she’d never live to see the dawn…

Everything was in place. It was only a matter of time. Caryn knew she had made the right decision and there was no turning back.

She settled on the loveseat, glanced at the clock and noted that the hour was fast approaching. Calling to her two companions was unnecessary, her babies hopped up into her lap within moments of her sitting. How funny her male cats were in comparison to the females she had in the past. Her male cats were the most affectionate, always wanting to be on her lap, sleeping next to her in bed and enjoyed being petted. Caryn gently stroked each of the cats pouring as much love as she had into each caress.

Continue reading

Writing a large cast of characters

People sitting in an audienceYes… I am back to writing tutorials and actually getting them out on the right day! Huzzah!

So today I want to talk about large casts! By large casts I am talking about main and secondary characters (not the odd village baker passing through a random scene, never to be heard from again.)

The fantasy novel I have left floundering in a drawer (at 220,000 words… I really should get back to that) had a large cast. It followed several groups of people through numerous subplots (I promise to get to a subplot tutorial soon!) and when I eventually return to it, will have more coming in by the second book.

Continue reading

11 questions writers get asked

WritersLifeWriters often get asked questions when people find out we write. Some questions are okay, some are understandable and some are down right annoying. These are all questions I’ve been asked at one time or another. o.O

You’re a writer? (usually with surprise) What have you written?

It’s an honest question but for many writers there is not an easy answer. If you’re published you can mention your book. If you aren’t then things get more complicated. You can mentioned the genres or state that you’ve written a manuscript or two. Or that you are working on a manuscript.

Continue reading

Guest post: Really Easy to be Overwhelmed

It’s Tuesday so you know that means we are joined by a guest poster and this week’s poster is the wonderful Jaye Marie who discusses being overwhelmed – a topic I can completely understand right now. Enjoy 🙂

jayeReally Easy to be Overwhelmed

by Jaye Marie

I had made the decision to take a break from fiction this year, and already I know I will miss it.

The last few years have been pretty manic, almost destroying my passion for writing. I am 73 years old and half of a writing partnership, which means I am also an editor, proof-reader, promoter, publisher and marketer of our nine books.

Continue reading

Guest Post: Why Writers Should Also Be Readers

That’s right people, we are back with guest posting! More awesome people have agreed to share their thoughts and ideas on this blog. This week’s guest poster is the wonderful Justine Alley Dowsett from Mirror World Publishing. Enjoy.

justineWhy Writers Should Also Be Readers

by Justine

It’s not a coincidence that most people who like to write are also big readers. Besides providing entertainment and that window into lives other than our own, there’s a lot that reading can teach us about how to be better writers. To do this though, we have to learn to read critically even as we read for enjoyment. Here’s a few techniques you can use when reading to improve your writing.   Continue reading