In my last post, I posed the question “Do writers need an audience?” Since writers agree that an audience is necessary not only for monetary subsistence but also for their work to be fully realized as a story. The question becomes how do writers find their audience?
As any writer knows, an audience for one’s work can be allusive. Even though we are assured (by family and friends, of course) that everyone will love our book, every writer repeatedly finds this to be untrue. Why?
It’s untrue because it’s unrealistic. Not everyone loves the same thing. There is a reason that there are a variety of genres, styles, and storylines. It’s impossible for your book to catch the attention of all readers.
Here’s the good news…you don’t have to!
You only have to find those individuals who connect to and love your story, which again raises the question of how?
The following are the two steps necessary for writers to find their audience.
Figure out WHO is your audience— You can’t begin to market your book to readers if you don’t know who would want to read your book. Remember not everyone will! So, WHO are these readers?
You can only know and understand your readers by first knowing your book. In outrage, you cry, “But I already know my book. I wrote it!” Yes, but you don’t know your book from the perspective of a reader.
You may have easily slipped your book into a particular genre, but it isn’t enough to call it a romance and move forward. Even within genres, there are sub-genres, stylistic differences, and story arcs that appeal to different demographics.
It’s helpful to draw comparisons between your book and other known novels. Is your romance novel more Daniel Steele or EL James? It is important to make these determinations because even nuanced differences can create entirely different audiences. Expanding the scope, you can include the examination of character and story line to get an even clearer and more precise understanding of your audience.
Remember this information is not meant to limit your audience, but rather to give you an understanding of who is your audience.
Once you know who are your readers the next question is how do you find them?
Finding anyone or anything starts with knowing where to look. If the readers of your book are millennial women who love romance and mystery then you it won’t do you much good to frequent or guest post for sites geared towards steam punk novels. Unless, of course, there is a Venn diagram overlap that could draw in those readers.
Again, see where books that compare to yours are being read and discussed. Find the forums, blog sites, and social media outlets that attract your type of reader. Your audience doesn’t just exist in one place.
If you have written a book about a tragic love affair undone by the woman suffering from dementia, you are not limited to romance lovers. Your book could also capture the attention of those who have felt the ramifications of disease.
Remember, it is NOT about limiting your audience and therefore your book but rather it is about accuracy and precise execution.
Thank you for reading. I look forward to your comments.