Who do you write for?

Some people will say they write only for themselves or their family. That’s great. At the other end of the spectrum, people write because they hope the world want their book. If you’re writing for “the world,” you have to understand that not everyone out there is going to read your book. Before they even open the front cover, they will choose not to read for various reasons. Here are a few:

  • They don’t care for the genre.
  • They aren’t in the mood for your premise right now, but may another day or even next year.
  • Maybe they read one of your other books and didn’t care for your writing style, so they won’t choose your current book either.
  • The price of the book was too high for their current budget.

These are things you have no control over. Instead, figure out who you want your audience to be and direct your novel and promotions to those people. Design your cover to be attractive to those people. Make your back cover synopsis interesting to them. Your audience could be one or more of the following, and these are just a few examples:

  • Teen-aged girls.
  • Women in the twenties and thirties.
  • Men and women in their twenties.
  • Women over sixty.

These are broad demographics, which may work for you, but dig deeper to narrow it down to specific niches:

  • Women of all ages who love a steamy romance novel.
  • Men 20 to 30 years of age who like space movies.
  • Women who like to travel
  • Men from Mexico interested in ancient Aztecs
  • Historical mystery readers
  • Women in their thirties or forties looking for a light beach read on vacation
  • Men who like historical fiction, but want to learn about an era that interests them

Some other reader traits that you can take into consideration to define your audience include the following:

  • Education level
  • Job
  • Income
  • Hobbies
  • Reading level
  • Relationship status
  • Residence (country, province/state, city)
  • Animal lover

TIP: Think of one person you know who you would want to read your book. What qualities make them a popular choice for your book? Apply qualities like those listed above, that may apply to your entire audience.

You know you can’t please everyone, so find your audience and write for them.

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