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Another perspective on your audience

Authors come to Booklab with all sorts of different notions about audience.  The most common early thought is that the book is “for everyone,” when in fact audiences for books are almost always rather specific, and frustratingly challenging to suss out.  Some interesting authors spend creative energy thinking about audience more pointedly (women or men?  under 30 or mostly midlife and older?  various ages but specific life experiences, such as military service or a shared faith?), and we offer specific tools to enhance that, but there can be even more to it than demographics.

The most amazing authors who have taught me much are those who place themselves in different relationships to their audiences.  Everyday authors craft a “me up, you down,” asking “Who will buy and/or read this book and make me famous?”  Rare and wonderful authors sit a little lower and place their readers a bit higher, asking “Whom do I serve?  How will this be used?  Whose needs can I meet and how fully?  Why would a reader come to me versus (or in addition to) all the other choices out there, and how do I fulfill that role?”

A book written purely for promotion, attention, or wealth can succeed.  But a book crafted with a defined audience’s needs in mind and heart is one that also stands a chance of going beyond immediate success into the realm of the essential.

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