Sunday, December 21, 2014

Where Are You Finding Your Audience?

By Kimberly Johnson

Unearthing viewers for my creative compositions can be like a looking for water in the Kalahari Desert—I continue digging until I hit pay dirt. At times, I feel like using a dragnet formula — writing some topic that will appeal to all readers. I convince myself by saying stuff like “They understand my work.” or “I don’t have to explain it.” One day I pondered: Who really is my audience?

Janalyn Voigt, author of DawnSinger makes a startling confession. Maybe you have had the same one.
I confess: at first I wrote DawnSinger for its story without giving much thought to its readers. This showed in my inability to articulate who they might be. In my biased opinion, my novel’s target audience incorporated everyone. I soon discovered editors’ opinions of such a grandiose claim, especially from an emerging author. It’s not really true anyway. No book in existence appeals to all readers.

Here’s my confession: I’ve done that. Here’s my resolution: I produce an audience profile. The profile is not extensive; it is an outline of a few concepts (gender, locale, age). From there, I spend time on creating another outline that details aforementioned concepts, plus scouring the Internet on ways to market to my audience. I also read feedback from prior news articles, blogs and feature stories. Overall, I think keeping in touch with my existing audience in various formats will help me truly discover my intended one.

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