Yesterday we talked a bit about the best way to get people genuinely interested in your book. Today, we’re going to talk more about a different side of that coin–using social media to interest people in your writing by identifying your target audience.
Okay, first off let’s talk about your ‘target audience’. These are the people who would be most likely to buy, read, and enjoy your book. Sometimes it’s obvious, like if you’re writing a children’s book or maybe a horror novel. Only certain people will read those books.
But, sometimes the area gets a little gray and hard to figure out, especially when your book doesn’t truly fit just one genre. And, sometimes you may think you know your target audience, only to discover that it’s not what you expected.
So now, we’re going to discover just who your target audience is. Think about all the people who’ve read your book. Do you notice any patterns, like a certain group of people being the ones who really enjoy it? Do you get more enthusiastic reviews from, say, teenaged boys rather than adults?
Now, if you aren’t seeing a possible ‘target’ audience emerging yet, that’s okay. It may also be that it’s a combination of two types of people that for some reason really love your book, like teenaged boys and very nerdy people. Often there’ll be a correlation between the two groups, but that’s not always the case.
When I wrote The Dragon Within, I tried to write it like Harry Potter or Chronicles of Narnia; simple enough that children can enjoy it if they understand it, but interesting enough that adults can enjoy it too. I went for a very wide range, so I didn’t really think I had a specific ‘target audience’. But once I published the book and got reviews on it, I realized I was wrong.
Yes, I’ve had pretty much people of all ages read my book, but I did notice that it seemed to appeal more to teenagers than adults. So, with that knowledge in hand, Dragons’ Bane has sort of developed into a more teen-based novel. It’s kind of hard to explain…let me see if I can find an analogy here.
Okay, say you’re decorating a room, maybe for a party. Ever had those big family parties where multiple people have birthdays in the same month, so you celebrate them at the same time you celebrate one specific person, even though the other birthdays either haven’t happened or are already past? It’s kind of like that. So, back to the decorating part. The main person whose birthday is actually on or very near that day loves the color blue, so you specifically go out of your way to add some blue to the decorations, while still keeping them enjoyable to the other birthday people. Is this making sense?
So, you’re still appealing to the entire group, but sort of giving more of a specific interest to what the main birthday person likes, because they are really the main reason for the party.
See where I’m going? The ‘party’ is your book, and the ‘main birthday person’ is your target audience. Since they are the majority of who you’re appealing to, adding in little things that would make them happy will pay off more than just adding in a general thing.
For example, Percy Jackson. The author, Rick Riordan, has definitely learned to add in little things like this to his books, and boy have they paid off! In the finale of the Heroes of Olympus series, he had a little reference to Doctor Who, as well as some ‘fangirl language’ (feels, OTP, etc *). And his audience is probably about 30% normal teenage girl fans, 20% normal teenage boy fans, and 50% crazy diehard fangirls. So adding in little ‘nods’ to his target audience, diehard fangirls, just made them love his books even more. 🙂
Ah, seems I’ve gone a bit long again. Hmm, well, since it is the weekend and I normally don’t post until Monday…we’re just going to split this into three parts now. Tomorrow, to wrap it all up, I’m going to explain how best to use everything you’ve already learned to generate interest for your book on social media, as well as my thoughts on which social media outlets work best for book marketing.
So, I feel it’s only fitting now I end this blog post the same way I did yesterday. 😉
Until next time (tomorrow), friends! 🙂
*obligatory end credits rolling*
BLOG POST AGAIN BY
SECOND TIME EDITING BY
IMAGINARY END MUSIC BY
RIDICULOUS END CREDITS ALSO BY
(There were still no books harmed in the making of this blog.)
*If you don’t know what fangirl language is….well…it’s just some words and phrases that diehard book fans (fangirls) use. OTP means One True Pairing and is a fictional couple that fangirls ‘ship’, or really love to see together. ‘Feels’ is a general term for feelings, often used to describe just how sad or happy they are about something. There’s more to the fangirl language, but it starts to get a little out of hand when we get to the button mashing and extreme caps lock fever. Let’s just say, fangirls have their own language, haha. 😉