Five Ways to Identify Your Target Audience

As a writer, you’re always on the move to get readers. But have you thought of attracting your target audience? Yes? good for you. No? Then we’re here for you.

What is a Target Audience: A specific group of people that read the books you (want to) write, or prefer a particular genre of fiction.  ‘It’s the group of people who would be the most helped or entertained by your book. Your readership might extend past your intended target audience, but the target audience is who you intentionally aim for.’ (self-publishing

Why You Need a Target Audience

Your need for a target audience is just like a bookseller’s need for a book buyer. Because only your audience can read, enjoy, and give your work the praise it deserves. Anyone else will just read and walk away. If you’re a Wattpad writer, then surely, you can relate to the tons of reads and few votes you get for your work. 

Other factors to consider are Adult content: know how much adult content your target audience can handle

Story conflict: make sure your audience can relate to the struggle of the main character 

Language: Know the latest lingo and slangs the audience is familiar with.

Finding an agent, publisher, or editor will be easier if you know just which ones work for your book.

Note: Knowing the target audience of your fiction book will help you craft everything from the plot, dialogue, and even the setting.

Here are a few examples of a target audience for fictional works:

Young Adult Fantasy: your target audience will be teenagers between 13-18 years old and enjoy the magic.

Adult Contemporary: your target audience will be people over the age of 18 who like stories set in today’s world featuring uncommon but possible challenges.

Middle-grade Science Fiction: your target audience will be children aged 8-12 years who enjoy advanced technology set in a futuristic world.

If you’re writing young-adult, the challenges faced in your story’s plot will involve more conflicts that are common in young adults’ lives, like finding or discovering who they are and coming to terms with becoming their person.

Nonfiction Target audience

In nonfiction, your target audience is who the book would help the most. Where a lot of new writers go wrong with this is when they write the book for themselves instead of for their audience.

For example, if you’re writing a book about motherhood–a book with YOU in mind might just be a diary documenting your personal experiences being a mother. Unless you’re already a celebrity, the audience for a book like that is likely you, your parents, and maybe your book club if you guilt into it.

A book by the same writer with the AUDIENCE in mind might be something like Best Habits for Nursing Mothers–people who are struggling to nurse are now interested in your book. Now you’ve got a niche target demographic–new mothers.

Narrowing your target audience before you write the book can help you aim for the content your readers will be most interested in. It also makes your book easier to sell. Let’s get into a few more reasons you should define your target audience. 

How to identify/Attract Your Target Audience

  • First, know the kind of book you want to write: There is no way you can write a good mystery novel for mystery lovers without knowing what the genre is all about. Basic information like word count, tropes, and authors, etc, can give you the foundation you need to attract the right audience.
  • Engage with Your Readers, Know What They Like: Your readers aren’t just tools to your success, but your companions too. And how can you give them what they want if you don’t engage with them? Ask for their opinions and perspectives on your plot. You can even pick your most trusted ones as beta readers. In the end, you can’t please them all. But you can please the right ones.
  • Follow Authors with Similar Works as Yours: Surely you have authors you admire or whose works inspired you to follow a certain genre of fiction. So just like you follow your favourite celebrities, so should you follow authors. Don’t let anyone give you the gist of what they have been up to. Follow to always stay ahead.
  • Join Diverse Writing Platforms/Book clubs: Where else would you get readers? Don’t allow your shyness to stop you from exploring platforms that would help you grow your fan base. But be sure to join only groups where your target audience hangs out the most.
  • Expand Your Scope: Don’t ever think you were made for only one genre of writing. Try, at least once in a while, try to delve into another class of writing, another style, from another narrative voice. Not only does this help hone your skills, but it also enables you to invite a diverse audience, thus, expanding your base.

Writing is hard, but writing for the wrong audience is harder. So get on track, write, write, write for the right minds. Good luck.


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