Friday, April 24, 2009

What is your reader doing right now?

Recently I've encountered a large number of aspiring writers who have a target market like this:

Men and women 18-65

I can pretty well guarantee you that will not impress book publishers. In fact, it looks downright unprofessional!!

Of course we want everyone to like our books but take the time to think of WHO specifically your reader is.

What are they doing right now?

There are numerous sheets that you can download that ask you to think about the various characteristics of your hero/heroine. They'll ask eye color, face shape, favorite childhood experience, greatest fear.

We need to have these questions so that we can get inside the head of our character...

And that is the exact reason you need to know this about your reader too.

Unless you take the time to get inside their head and find out what interests them your platform will be worthless.

I am only in my early 30s but I am finding an increasing gap between me and people in their early 20s. When I was a senior in high school you were not allowed to wear a pager in school. [we were told the only people who wore pagers were drug dealers...which still seems pretty dumb to me!!] Now I have a 10 year old child that I homeschool who INSISTS that she needs a cell phone! Why? I drive her to dance, her clubs and camps!! When does she need to reach me?

Here is an assignment for the weekend: Think about your current WIP [Work in Progress]. What is the most effective way to reach this target reader? Are they more likely to want bonus content on your website or a Tweet when you post a blog?

Is your target reader more likely to read an article on the latest fashions or the latest scientific discovery? Are they more interested in current events or cutting coupons?

These are the questions I ask myself as I prepare to write blogs. I consider where each of you likely are in your writing and I think about what would most benefit you to read. Right now there aren't large sales at publishing houses so people need to think about creative marketing. We need to try to get beyond what "has always been done" and focus on "what will bring results."

So that is the exercise. I hope you're up to the challenge.

Tiffany Colter is a writer, speaker and writing career coach who works with beginner to published writers. She can be reached through her website at
Learn more about Tiffany's Marketing techniques on her main blog.
Common-sense money management is free at The Balanced Life website.
Read Tiffany's award winning manuscript "A Face in the Shadow" on her fiction blog.
She writes a blog for the Christian writer Tuesdays at Writer's Rest.

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