It was interesting to hear many authors stumble when asked three simple questions:
- Who is your book for … really for?
- What’s your target market?
- Can you summarize your book in less than 30 seconds? Better yet, how about 15 seconds?
And too many couldn’t respond with clarity, or quickly. Oh, they loved the idea and the art of writing.
But, really, “You want me to tell you who is supposed to be reading, buying my book? Me?”
Why yes, that’s exactly what was being asked … and expected to be able to give a quick and clear response.
The very first step toward Author Success is to be clear and succinct about who, and what, your reading audience is. The kiss of book death is the response: everybody— It is not everybody.
Are you writing about women? For women? It’s a basic category, but it is not just all women (or men or children, etc.)—that’s a huge ding. It may be for women … but which women?
- Young women?
- Women over 50?
- Women who have the child-bearing clock ticking?
- Divorced women? Working women?
- Women who homeschool their children?
- Women who work at nickel and dime jobs?
- Women who have had cancer?
- Women who have had a specific type of cancer?
- Women who are single and loving it?
- Women who are single and hating it?
- Women who are serial lovers?
- Women who have affairs (or want to)?
- Women who work in health care?
- Women who were wild in college?
- Women who were abused?
- Women who have deep secrets?
- Women who are getting married?
- Women who want to get married?
- Women who don’t want to marry?
- Women who want to be kept?
- Women who are addicted … and to what?
- Women who were raised in cults?
- Women who just want to have fun?
- Women who are hoarders?
- Women who hate cooking?
- Women who credit card binge?
- Women who …
You get the picture. Dive down. Drill deeply. Know who you are writing for to the core of his, her, their fiber. What nuances; what hiccups; what the beliefs are. Imagine having your favorite beverage with them. Who are they; what are they; what are they hopes, dreams, fears; what is their background; what brings them to your topic; what will your book do for them?
I’m not a reader of horror, but I am a huge fan of Stephen King. His book, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, is one that I routinely recommend to all of my clients. Some of my favorite words that’s I’ve saved over the years that he wrote:
“If a book is not alive in the writer’s mind, it is as dead as year-old horse-shit.”
Here’s my take:
“If the reader for the book is not alive in the author’s mind, it’s yesterday’s poop.”
With clarity, your writing, and your marketing, is so much easier. And that’s a very good thing.
Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and coach. She empowers authors and is the Founder of Author U, a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 35 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms (ForeWord IndieFab Book of the Year), Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences. Book #35 was published this summer: The How to Avoid 101 Book Publishing Blunders, Bloopers & Boo-Boos. Get your copy now.
Each summer, she holds Judith Briles Book Publishing Unplugged, a three day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. In 2016, the dates are June 23-25th. Her audio and workbook series, Creating Your Book and Author Platform is now available. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for “AuthorU – Your Guide to Book Publishing” on the Toginet Network at bit.ly/PublishingShow .
Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and Judith Briles – TheBookShepherd on Facebook. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact Judith at Judith@Briles.com.
Author U is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the author who wants to be seriously successful. Monthly education programs delivered face-to-face and online, The Author Resource ezine, BookCamps and the annual Author U Extravaganza are tools designed for authors pre, during and post publishing of their books. Join AuthorU.org today.
If you are looking for FREE author and book coaching … call in to Judith’s Author Monday Mornings at NOON Eastern each Monday. The number is 218-632-9854; Access Code 1239874444 … have your questions ready–there’s a full hour to ask and listen
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