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Who Do You Think You’re Writing For, Anyway?
Sometimes we get so caught up and focused on what it is that we want to write that we forget to ask ourselves ‘who is my reader?’

As simple as that question appears to be, it is one of the most significant questions you can ask yourself. Who are you speaking to when you sit down to write your book, article, blog? Simple but significant.

Knowing your audience and what they expect from you will be imperative in setting the rhythm of your manuscript. Are you writing for children? Adults? Youth? Is your audience sophisticated and well that will understand technical terms and five-dollar words or do you need to keep it simple?

What is your reader looking for? If you are writing a mystery or a suspense novel will your audience want blood and guts, or will they simply want to be intrigued and interested enough that they will not want to put the book down?

What is the age of your audience? Are you writing for children? If so, have you looked at children’s books in the same age market that you want yours in to see what it is that makes the book sell? Is it the illustrations? Is it the use of rhymes? Is it a quick, clipped style of writing or is it a lazy, laid-back type of story? Will a three-year-old be interested in the same book a first grader is interested? Is it a book that an adult will enjoy reading to a child?

Have you considered gender for your book? I know, this is the time in society when
‘gender doesn’t matter’, but when it comes to reading it does matter. A story for a little girl will be written quite differently than one for a little boy and that isn’t stereo typing. Or maybe it is. But you do need to respectfully consider the audience and how they will receive the story you are telling.

Is there a lifestyle to consider? Lifestyle? Yes, definitely. For instance, if you are writing a children’s book and your audience is primarily children that live in the city, but you are telling a story about a child that lives in the country, then perhaps your descriptions will have to be a little more definitive and detailed. I’m sure you’ve heard stories about city children thinking we don’t need cows because we can just go to the store to buy the milk! Really? Maybe they need to learn where milk comes from other than stores. Will your book explain that to them?

Are you writing for youth? If so, will you be able to talk about current technology such as iPhones, Tik-Tok, Instagram and other forms of communication that our youth have at their fingers? Or sports are a good example. Who is the team? What is the sport? What equipment will they need to be successful at the game?

Whatever your story, whatever your audience, you need to consider how they will relate to the story you are weaving. Will it hold their attention with enough attention to details and rules-of-the-game that they will be truly invested in it, as though they are one of the players, or are you going to leave them sidelined and sitting on the bleachers.

Either way, you need to make it interesting enough to draw them in and the only way you can do that is by asking yourself questions about who your audience is and what you want them to walk away with when they finally lay down your book.

About the Authors: Daniel J. Mawhinney & Darlene Shortridge

Dan & Darlene have a passion and a heart for helping independent authors to successfully publish and market their stories worth telling and messages worth sharing.
40 Day Media LLC, PO Box 950794, Oklahoma City, OK 73195
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