Who will your readers be? What is their age group? Profession? Interests?
“What kind of reader did you imagine while writing?”
“Which individuals will benefit from reading your book?”
“Who do you think will buy your novel?”
“Can your book attract readers of books from other genres?”
While writing, it is easy to have a specific audience in mind. Since I write middle-grade, I think of upper elementary / lower middle school kids as I create a story. But now that my work is on submission, I need to think beyond this initial audience.
What other people might be interested in your book?
Think about your story. What things about it make it unique? My novel-in-verse, MAY B., takes place in Kansas in the 1870s. May struggles with an unnamed learning disability, most likely dyslexia.
How can these unique aspects interest those beyond your initial audience? Brainstorm a list, however ridiculous, of others who might find your story interesting.
Here’s what I’ve come up with for MAY:
- Readers of Louisiana Literature magazine (a portion of MAY B. was featured in LA Lit’s 2009 spring/summer edition)
- Learning disability organizations
- Learning disability educators
- Blogs/sites for parents with learning disabilities
- Dyslexic organizations
- Dyslexic education
- Dyslexic blogs/sites for parents with dyslexic children
- Kansas Historical Society
- Kansas Historical museums
- Kansas libraries
- Kansas schools, teaching programs, and teachers
- National Council for Teachers of Social Studies
- Adolescent literature professors
- Museum gift shops in the Mid-West
- Kansas newspapers
- Mid-West Magazine? Sunset?
- Kansas public radio
Though some of these groups listed might be a stretch (NCTSS probably won’t take much interest, for example, and I have no idea if Sunset Magazine does book reviews, let alone reviews for children’s books), I’ve expanded my thinking about my audience.
I’m slowly starting to collect addresses, phone numbers, and email for Kansas Museums. Maybe sometime soon I’ll seek out some sites on learning disabilities, not to toot my own horn, but to add to the conversation. Promotion is as much about respecting your audience as it is sharing your book.
What groups beyond your initial audience could be part of your target audience?