How would you define this audience?

These days, writers are advised to know their audience.

Not what they feel they need to express, mind you, but who they might connect with to sell the story.

It’s always bothered me. Sounds too much like pandering.

Still, with news stories back when I was a newspaper editor, we could begin by the places where they lived. Where they worked or sent their kids to school, too. Voted. Paid their taxes. And then work out from there. You could never go wrong with pictures of dogs or children.

Advertisers think in terms of demographics. They might want something like unmarried females age 22½ and then look for a radio station whose programming hits that market.

But books? It gets trickier.

When it comes to my novels, maybe I can define it this way:

  1. New adults trying to get their act together and want inspiration.
  2. People curious about the hippie era and want to be amused by it.
  3. People who were part of a counterculture and want perspective.

This still isn’t quite not where I’d like to be but maybe coming closer.

In fact, Cassia in my novel What’s Left seems to speak for those I hope she can reach out to.

What advice would you have?

2 thoughts on “How would you define this audience?

  1. I think you’ve just defined neatly, for me, why – although many of the things you’re interested in also interest me – I’ve never felt impelled to read your books. I am not in any of the three categories you’ve defined as your target audience.

    It strikes me that your targets fall into two neat generations, but don’t necessarily speak to others outside those generations. (I’m too young to remember the hippie era and too old to look to it for a template; but what I might be interested in is how that counter-cultural expression relates to *other* counter-cultural expressions, which is probably what brings me back to your blog…). But I don’t know whether having a “split” audience like that is seen as a problem for writers?

    1. Thanks for the reactions. Somehow you have me sensing that for many today, religion might be seen as a counter-culture, or a whole spectrum of them, and our attempts to invite others in faces some of the same “split” you bring up.

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