In working with authors, I often ask the question: Who are you writing your book for? The answer is invariably “everyone”. At this point, I make myself take a deep breath, and think of the most kind way to respond without rudely blurting out “YOU’RE WRONG!”.
You may be wondering why this is such a hot topic for me. I mean, sure, “everyone” may enjoy reading what you have written. But, more than likely, that will not be the case. Your style, your topic, your genre, your purpose – plus many other factors – all help to narrow down exactly WHO you are writing for.
Why does this matter?
Knowing just who you are writing for will make things so much easier for you down the road. Right now, you are probably excited just to be writing your story. And there’s a possibility that your excitement will stay high. However, there is a higher probability that along the way, you’ll want to stop. Your excitement will dwindle. You will question all things about what you are doing. It is in those moments, that WHO you are writing for becomes so important! Being able to remind yourself that there is someone – even just one person – out there waiting for your book…well, that will give you a renewed sense of purpose each time.
Aside from motivation, knowing WHO you are writing for will also help tremendously when it comes time to market your work. Where does your reader go? What do they enjoy doing? Why would he/she pick up your book? Knowing this information will help you to save time. You won’t be spinning your wheels trying to find “everyone” – you’ll be much more laser focused and getting in front of the RIGHT people. People who you already know would be interested in your book.
Finally, have you ever tried speaking to an incredibly diverse group? One where absolutely no one had anything in common? Trying to use the correct tone, the right words, etc? It’s nearly impossible to please the entire room. The same is true with your book. If you have in your mind that you are trying to entertain, inform or educate “everyone”, you are going to really struggle! If, however, you know exactly who you are writing for, then you can remain consistent in voice and message – relaxing in the knowledge that the right reader is going to fully appreciate all you are doing! And yes – everyone else may pick it up and get something from it as well.
Take some time to think it over. Discover your WHO. Then, hop on over to our Facebook group, From Brainstorming to Book Sales and share with us just who you are writing for!
Until next time…