I’m an indie author, (with a marketing background) and keep finding posts on writer’s forums like…
If, when I asked this question you answered “everyone!” then let me give it to you straight, prepare yourself as I break the news – your story, your book it is not for everyone. It couldn’t possibly be, now this isn’t me being negative, or saying your work isn’t good enough, because I am sure it is fabulous – this is a stone-cold fact. And one that as a writer who wants to be an author you need to get your head around, so that you don’t waste time, energy and money pointing your book in the writing direction.
How can I possibly know that your book is the one that will appeal to everyone? Because there isn’t a book that’s been printed, not one single one that you can name that is aimed at every reader – go on I challenge you to try and think of one!
What’s that? You want to me to prove my point? Okey dokey, Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James, who probably wouldn’t want to buy a copy? homosexual men, lesbians, those with a highly active alternative sex life, people with strong religious beliefs, feminists, readers who don’t like to buy into a book craze, children, some women who have experienced certain times of sexual abuse, those who only read non-fiction or certain genres. Those who have heard it isn’t written very well, those who prefer literary fiction. I sure that you can think of other readers this book would not appeal to.
What about a classic? Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, who wouldn’t want to buy a copy? A reader who is ‘scared’ or uncomfortable with the classics, one who doesn’t connect with old fashioned language, those forced to read the book for school examinations, a lot of male readers, young children, those who only enjoy certain genres, those who only read non- fiction, readers who don’t like large books, those who think that the classics are overrated, the list goes on.
What about IT by Stephen King? Who wouldn’t enjoy, or is unlikely to buy this book? Obviously, young children, people with coulrophobia (a phobia of clowns), those whose child has been kidnapped and or murdered, those of a nervous disposition, those with issues around young girl’s sexual behaviour, those who don’t like Stephen King as a person, those who have seen the film and don’t think they need to read the book.
So, with just three examples I have shown that even books that sell many, many, many copies have people who wouldn’t want to read them; and most importantly for your purposes who wouldn’t buy them.
Now you know the truth you can start to think about who your book really will appeal to, this information will make your marketing strategy easier to work out,
making it clear who you are aiming your cover, all your marketing and advertising at. Ultimately making your efforts significantly more successful.
If you would like to know even more about Ideal Readers, and work with me to find out who yours is then check out Who is Your Ideal Reader? one of the Out of Your Head and Onto The Page Master Classes.