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

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: How to keep writing when all hell breaks loose

This week’s guest poster is the lovely Elke Feuer who shares some great tips for how to keep writing when things become difficult. Enjoy!

Elke

How to keep writing when all hell breaks loose

by Elke Feuer

Writing is difficult enough, but when life rears its ugly head with unexpected events and emergencies, sitting down to write can seem impossible. Whether it’s a nasty cold, a class project your child mentions the day before it’s due, or a notice from your boss about working later or on the weekend, you can still write.

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

How do I find time to write?

Manage your time, organise your time, organize your time, get organisedI thought I’d write about it finding time! I have done articles on time-management before, but there’s always more to say.

Finding Time sounds so strange, as if rooting between the sofa cushions may yield a few extra scraps of time we didn’t know we had. 🙂

Someone recently asked whether they could make money from writing full time. In truth almost all writers want to write full time. Who doesn’t want to get paid doing what they love?

Continue reading

Fine tune your writing with detail

cal-0814-va4-detect_07I thought I would do a quick article about ‘detail’ in writing. I think it can be one of those things that gets overlooked.

While we can wax lyrical in our descriptions we can still end up missing something and that can often be extra detail.

But why is detail so important?

Simply because detail adds an extra layer to the writing to help draw the reader deeper into your world.

Maybe you’re sat there thinking “well I add detail, I fill my writing with description.” Great, you should make sure there is strong description. But too often writers can end up using notion rather than detail.

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

Guest post: Playing to Win: Writing, Odds, and the Academy Awards

This week’s guest poster is the lovely Laura Smith who discusses writing, odds and Academy Awards! 🙂 Apologies to Laura, this should have been up last Tuesday. Oh well, better late then never.

Laura smith.jpgPlaying to Win: Writing, Odds, and the Academy Awards by Laura Smith

As a movie lover, the Academy Awards are my Super Bowl. As a writer, the awards given out for best screenplays are always especially exciting. My ultimate dream is to have all of my books made into movies from scripts that I have written so that I can be given the chance to stand on that stage one day.

This isn’t so much because I want a gold statue and to have my picture taken with celebrities. Instead, it’s because I want to know that my stories matter and that my work is accepted in both literary and cinematic circles, two imaginary places where I spend most of my waking hours.

Continue reading