Or what if I entered a writing contest and the genre was horror, but I sent in an inspirational piece?
Guess what? My readers would probably scratch their heads and not finish reading my wonderful story. Gulp. I hate to admit this, but I fell into that trap. When I started writing, I thought I could just write the story and anyone who read it would fall in love with it. But I hadn’t defined my target audience. Knowing my audience does five things:
- If my novel is for everyone, it’s for no one. So I need to ensure I have a clear picture of who my readers are. My readers are between the ages of twelve and eighteen.
- Do my readers know a lot about my subject or will they depend on me to inform them? My novel takes place in the Philippines. So I’d better know everything I can or an older teen reader will be sure to scoff if I’m wrong about the details. But the twelve year-old may be like a sponge and just soak up every word I write. I hope.
- What is my reader’s belief system? An atheist probably won’t read my inspirational novel.
- Will I save time? You bet. I won’t have to rewrite my novel.
- Will my writing get rejected? That’s a given. If I pitch my novel aimed at the right readers I may nab a great agent or a publisher
So before you start writing your next novel or article, you’d better know who your target audience is.
I would love to know what tips you have to offer in order to define your target audience.