Audience Definition: Why it Matters - article


"It's impossible to make everyone happy. Understanding who will have interest in your book will help you gauge their reaction to your work."

Perhaps you have written a book that you believe is for everyone. Here you'll learn why it's important to target an audience to increase sales.

You have written you book, and you are sure it is for everyone. All you have to do is deliver your book to the marketplace and watch the profits roll in. This naïve position will ensure you won't succeed. Sure, some books do appeal to many readers, but in almost every case these books appealed to a select audience first before gaining wide appeal.

Audience definition is an idea borrowed from marketing. The best marketing efforts are highly targeted. This is true for any product, including books. Additionally, knowing your audience is critical to building your overall brand. To do this you must find your audience and obtain their devotion... and you can't find them if you don't know who you are targeting. Writing a book is not a self-activity but is for the express purpose of connecting with readers. If you have written a book, you are on a journey to interact with readers. Ask yourself: Who will read a historical romance novel? Who will read a sci-fi epic with plenty of gore? Who will read self-help book about weight loss? Now ask yourself this question: Who will read my book?

"If your...book is for "newbies," you will offer limited technical information with plenty of explanatory material. Even the length of your book will be affected by the intended readers."

Defining your audience will help you in so many ways. Your book must meet the desires and needs of your readers to find true success. It's impossible to make everyone happy. Understanding who will have interest in your book will help you gauge their reaction to your work. Knowing your audience will dictate the amount of technical/explanatory information you must provide. If you are writing a book about orchids and your audience is expert growers, you will provide complex technical information. If your orchid book is for "newbies," you will offer limited technical information with plenty of explanatory material. Even the length of your book will be affected by the intended readers.

A defined audience will shape every aspect of a book. At the end of day, your creative endeavor is a product. There is no need to create a product unless you have a buyer in mind. Take time to define your audience to achieve success.

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