Thursday, May 21, 2009

In The Know: Pt. 2

Once you know why you're writing, and what you're pursuing, then it's time to take a look outward. At your audience.

Know your audience.

If you're writing to be published, then this is essential. What do they expect? Your book will be placed on a shelf someday in a marked aisle/section. Who are the people perusing that aisle? What do they like?

This is similar to knowing your genre and the expectations inherent in it. Even knowing the necessary word count of your genre is important.

As writers seeking publication, we answer to more than just ourselves (as many of you said in last post's comments).

Are you "in the know" when it comes to your audience? Fill in the blank. A satisfied reader equals....?

35 comments:

Kristen Painter said...

A satisfied reader is one who can't wait to buy book 2. lol

Jessica said...

Hahaa! Exactly.

Jody Hedlund said...

I totally agree with Kristen! A satisfied reader falls in love with you as an author and then can't wait for your next book!

BTW, looks like you're making some great progress on your WIP!

Jessica said...

Hi Jody,
Thanks. It actually was a completed category romance that I've decided to lengthen into single title. :-)

Janna Qualman said...

...one who feels something through the words (of mine) they read. That's it for me.

Jessica said...

Hmmmm, that would be a wonderful thing. Very true.

Cindy said...

I totally agree with Kristen! A satisfied reader is one who gets drawn into the story so fully they don't want to put it down. Then they can't wait for book two!

Jennifer Shirk said...

Yup to the satisfied reader anxiously waiting for your next book.:)

Or even better, a writer who thinks, "Why can't I write like that?" LOL!

Jeannie Campbell said...

since you've written a category length and are lengthening it, i wondered if you had ever done the opposite? shortened a single title to a category length? i'm just curious. :)

Jessica said...

Hi Jeannie,
Well, kind of. My historical came out at 85000 words but when I found out that LI Historicals were only supposed to be 70-75K, I had to pare down.
Since it was my first completed manuscript, I found quite a few scenes and sentences that weren't necessary, so it ended up being fairly painless.
However, I've never cut a ST down to 55K. :-)
Have you?

Jessica said...

LOL Jennifer. Other writers admiring my work...hmmm, that tastes a little on the evil/delicious side of things.
:-)

Jessica said...

Cindy,
We can dream!!! I hope that happens with all of us. Maybe ten years from now we'll all be on the bestseller lists. LOL

quixotic said...

I totally agree with Kristen's comment. That's a definite sign we got something right!

Danyelle said...

A satisfied reader equals a good career. ;-)

For me, the most important thing is being honest in the story, so that in turn leads to honesty to the reader.

Jessica said...

Hi Danyelle,
What an interesting way to put it. Honesty in the story. I like that.

Irritable Mother said...

"My" audience just wants a few minutes of quiet in which they actually CAN read! At that point, I'm not sure they'd even care what they're reading - just the peace is often enough to satisfy.

But I think they need to know they are not alone in the struggle of mothering. They are not "failure moms" if they don't do everything perfectly. God still loves them when they fall. And He is present in each moment - available to them if they will only seek Him.
That's what my readers need to know to be satisfied, and that is what I aim to deliver.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Yup, I'm with the early birds. Definitely satisfied when you want to find another right away to read from the same author. I actually love it when I discover an author later in their career, because then there are so many books of theirs to keep me company!

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

I think a satisfied reader is one who will: recommend your book to their friends, buy your next book (and if it is in hardcover, not even wait for the paperback version), and for books that I really love - count the days until that next book comes out!

Proverbs 27:19 said...

...mission accomplished.

smooches,
Larie

Terri Tiffany said...

wants more!!

Marybeth said...

Wouldn't that be entertaining if we all ended up best sellers! I'd love it :D

Kathryn Magendie said...

I wrote what I wanted to read - that's pretty much it. :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

I agree with the other commenters: A satisfied reader equals a repeat reader.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Jessica said...

Good for you Karen! It's so important to know what you're delivering, and why. :-) Esp. in non-fiction, I'd think.

Jessica said...

LOL Eileen! Me too. :-) I'll gather a whole bunch of their books from the library and settle down for some happy reading!

Jessica said...

Kate,
That's more than a satisfied reader. That's a fan! LOL!

Jessica said...

It would be pretty awesome, Mary Beth! :-)

Jessica said...

Kathryn, I've heard many authors do it like that. I guess I do too. I'm looking forward to reading your book!

Jessica said...

Trust you to say it succinctly, Susan. :-)

Jaime said...

A satisfied reader is a satisfied author ;)

Krista Phillips said...

A satisfied reader.... wow, there have been so many good responses, I'm not sure what to add!!

I write romance with a bit of humor, a bit of suspense at times, and a bit of "tug at your heart"

So for MY audience, a satisfied reader would laugh and cry while reading my book and do a bit of soul searching when they're through:-)

Jessica said...

LOL Jaime! True.

Jessica said...

Woohoo Krista! I love it. That's so put together, so well thought out. Nice. :-)

Jeanette Levellie said...

For me, it's someone who says or thinks; "You remind me of Erma Bombeck!" and who gets to know the Father better from reading my books/articles.

Jessica:Thanks for this wonderful post!

I never even considered word count for my auidence...
Happy Weekend,
Jen

Jessica said...

Oooh, my mom had some Erma books lying around. :-)
Do non-fiction writers even need to worry about word count? Hmmmm....
Thanks for stopping by Jen! :-)