Pen, notebooks, coffee,

Writers: Identify your Target Audience

Writers are busy creatures, apart from writing and editing, we’re continuously developing our brand and building our platform. We’re constantly striving to reach out and connect with our audience. But have you ever stopped to consider who they are? Unfortunately, your story will not appeal to everyone, so ask yourself – who is going to read your book?

We shouldn’t waste precious time on social media, slogging away at the wrong audience. We want to target the readers who will find our story irresistible, those who will take delight in snatching it off the shelf to devour the secrets within. It’s time to stop the busy work and work smart.

So how do we find them? With a little bit of reseach, that should be easy right?? Queue – internal groan!! But there’s no need to worry, relax, we’re writers, and we’ve got this.

First of all, we need to take a closer look at the readers preferences: what do they like to see in the stories they read. And then do a little more research into the reader demographic: those who enjoy, relate to, and connect with the story.

background-books-business-flowers-review

Genre and sub-genre- Readers tend to gravitate to towards a preferred genre. My favourite genre is Fantasy, and within that my sub-genres I love epic/high fantasy, fantasy- romance, and paranormal romance. But I tend to avoid Romance Fiction, or plot driven Fantasy about war.

Plot vs Character- Some readers want a slow-paced story, driven by mysterious events. Others want to enjoy the journey of the characters, taking pleasure from their deep development. My novels are character based, with a fast-paced plot full of adventure and tension.

Period settings and worldbuilding– Some readers might be drawn to a specific time period, a particular setting, whilst others are drawn to the escapism of a whole new world.

Art, pink, birds

Writing style– Perhaps your reader desires the luscious, poetic prose of literary fiction. Or the easy flow of commercial writing with its straight-forward style.

Age- Fiction is divided into different categories; Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult. It’s important to determine who your writing for because your character’s age, and their experiences should be relatable to the age group your writing for. Also this will have an impact on the size of your novel, as the industry tends to expect novels to stay within a certain range. For example, YA novels are usually between 60,000 – 80,000 words.

Gender- This won’t necessarily have a huge impact on your audience, after all, everyone has individual taste that isn’t gender dependant. However, it’s worthwhile noting that some genres tend to have a larger demographic following. Romance maybe appeal to a wider female audience, whereas gritty war stories may be preferred by a male audience. It goes without saying, of course both of these types of stories can be enjoyed by any gender.

Notepad-coffee-flowers-writer

And we can go further, refining our target audience with themes such as, culture and race, sexual preferences, disability, mental health, religion, and personal traumatic experiences. Do any of these themes play an important role in your novel? Perhaps they’ll tap into a specific audience who will emotionally connect with the heart of your story.

Once you’ve built up a picture of who your audience is, ask yourself these questions. What do you like to read? What do you like to write? Who are you writing for? What writers are similar to work? Where would your novel sit in a bookshop or library?

You may not be able to identify your target audience right away, it might become more apparent once your story develops. When I first started writing I thought my target audience was Young Adult, but after a few meetings with editors and agents I realised my novel was more suited to the Adult genre. So don’t stress if you get it wrong, it’s all experience.

Author Lorraine Ambers - fantasy romance writer

What challenges do you encounter when trying to identify your audience? Please share your experiences, you know I love hearing from you.

Thanks for stopping by, until next time, Much Love.

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2019.
universe, night sky, stars

Guest post – From Whispers to Roars by Kristy Nicolle

Please welcome indie author Kristy Nicolle. She has published a fantasy romance series, The Tidal Kiss Trilogy and is due to release her new dystopian novel Something Blue next week. 

Author Kristy Nicolle
Today, Kristy is sharing her experience on self branding and platform building on social media. 

Author Lorraine Ambers
When I was asked to write this guest blog post I didn’t really know what to say. Lorraine informed me that I’m quite the social media guru, which I guess until recently I never really noticed. So I’m here to talk to all you authors, those of you who are new, old, considering publishing your first book or looking to learn something new.The thing is, marketing via social media, or any other platform for that matter, isn’t awfully difficult. I’ll tell you one thing though, you must have one key quality to succeed. That quality is BELIEF. It sounds sappy and dramatic, but the biggest way to fail at the first hurdle in publishing is to believe that nobody cares. Nobody wants to hear what you have to say, that it’s all been said before.

 

Here’s the thing.

It has all been said before.

 

But not by you.

 Book Tea writing

If you’re a new author you go out there with a freaking megaphone and you tell anyone who will listen about your book. I know it’s scary, I know it’s hard to know if people will want to hear it, but the truth is if you don’t start shouting about your book, nobody else will. Being an author isn’t the kind of profession for those who are shy anymore. Writers used to be thought of as raving introverts, incapable of communicating in any other way than by the pages of their novels, but times have changed, and with indie publishing, you are your own marketing campaign, you are a part of the product. You have to be the one to sell it, to tell people how amazing your book is. To SHOW them what you’re capable of. But to do that, and do it well, you have to believe you have something worth selling. It’s true, vampires and werewolves aren’t a new concept, but how is YOUR vampire novel different? Why should a reader pick it up? If Picasso and Van Gogh both sat down to the same scene, they would paint entirely different pictures. The same goes for writing. Every author is different, and though we walk in the same genres, and among the same types of stories, our experiences and the way in which we write them are nothing less than one of a kind. That’s what you have to realise to market well. Nobody else can be you. Only you can do that. Only you can tell your stories. So, the most important thing is to put your embarrassment and fear aside and start selling yourself. Take a long hard look at who you are as an author and what makes your stories special. Why should a reader pick them up? Pay for them? If you can’t answer these questions- neither can your readers.

Never give up 

The second thing to know about marketing online is simple- image is everything. Often authors say to me – well my graphics don’t matter, they’re paying for my words, not my artistic skills. WRONG. Putting up crappy graphics puts doubt in people’s minds that you know what a quality product looks like before they’ve even checked out the blurb/excerpt. Looks do matter, now more than ever because the market is particularly competitive. You can write the world’s next great novel, but if it looks like crap nobody will buy it. People are shallow, and they say that seven seconds in the length of time it takes someone to decide whether to one click or not. This isn’t just for covers, it’s for everything. Website, teasers, banners. If your author persona doesn’t look professional, people will automatically assume your writing is of a similar quality, even if that’s not the case. If you’re not good with graphics, hire someone!

Writer desk author
My final piece of advice is persistence. Doing one round of spamming facebook groups with your ads isn’t going to see overnight results. Facebook platforms, like anything truly effective take a while to grow and evolve into what you want them to be. Being an indie author these days truly is a marathon, not a sprint. Never be afraid to change it up, to try what’s new and HONESTLY, don’t take every single person’s advice. What works for some authors won’t work for everyone, and marketing trends are just that, trends. They change quickly and often burn out as so many people jump on them they quickly lose their effectiveness.

 If you can dream it you can do it

At the end of the day, there is no one way to market yourself, there is only what you think is right for you. The most important thing is that you’re happy with your approach and open minded enough to make changes when you need to. Trust your gut, believe your product is worth buying and persist. Good things will happen! 

Kristy Nicolle xx