Knowing who your audience is

Years ago, one advice given to aspiring writers was to know who your audience is. It went into one ear and out the other. I was questioning that piece of advice since how can I know who my audience is? If I happen to finish a book, I know at least a few people that likes it, other than me.

So that piece of advice was ignored by me for the most part.

Until last week.

I reblogged a post from Larry Corriea’s Monster Hunter Nation a few days ago here. A book bomb to help out a fellow writer in need. Anyways, I looked at who the writer was. His name is David Wolverton. He also goes by the pen name of David Farland for when he writes fantasy as to not to confuse his audience. I have read a few of his books over the years.

The thing is that he has trained other writers and they have done well. Names like Brandon Sanderson (Wheel of Time), Stephanie Meyers (Twilight) and quite a few others. Say what you want about Twilight. Even though I haven’t read the series, it apparently made Stephanie some money.

Anyways, David Wolverton/Farland put out a few ebooks on writing. One was Million Dollar Outlines for $6.99. I picked it up for my nook.

When I started reading it, my mind was blown. There were things that I have heard before, but never explained. The part of knowing who your audience is a very important factor when planning out your book. Example is age groups. A young boy is looking for something different in a book than, say, a grandmother. Each are looking for a different emotional impact the story gives out. A teenage boy is looking for sexual stuff and adventure. Teenage girls are looking for romance (Twilight). When you read in a genre, what do expect to get out of it? THAT is what you look for when writing. Emotional payoffs. There is more to it than that, but hopefully you get a glimmer of what is needed in a story.

I came across an example of this today:

Why is Elizabeth a Sex Object (Bioshock Infinite video game)

The poster, self-proclaimed female, complained about the obvious sexual references to character Elizabeth. Big boobs and big eyes. Mostly big boobs.

Why? The answer is simple. They are marketing towards teenage boys and men. A big part of their customer base. Another case is Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider games. Check out her polygons.

Another example is J.K. Rowling: Just take a look at the different ages and ethnicity of her characters across her books. She catered to everyone. She put out a wider net for her audience. She just didn’t focus entirely on young children for her audience. Something to think about.

So I do recommend getting Million Dollar Outlines. I also picked up David’s ebook Write that Novel only found on his website davidfarland.net. It is $20. Upon reading Write that Novel, I thought I bought the same book as Million Dollar Outlines. Bringing up both books on my computer, it was then I noticed the differences. The Write that Novel goes deeper than Million Dollar Outlines. I haven’t fully gone through the book yet, but I expect more gold to come. I also plan on getting his other book on Resonance writing.

When funding permits, I plan on getting some of the Superstars Writing Seminars mp3s  here.

Work and the future

I currently work at a grocery store. My dream is to eventually write and also eventually publish a novel. Which in turn should help me with my retirement plans in the far future.

At least live comfortably for a while.

Enough dreaming. Currently Walmart is building two stores in my city. Both in close proximity to my store. Naturally this has me and some of my coworkers a little bit concerned for our futures.

Several years ago and up to earlier this year I tried to find ways to start a business and make money online to supplement and eventually, should it happen, replace my usual income. This was really hard and I didn’t even make a penny. Everyone seems to want your money though.

I gave up.

Resigned, I stopped reading, looking and educating myself and told myself it was a fool’s errand to even try anymore.

A few months pass. One day I come home I turn my computer on and check out Facebook, then when I have dinner, watch some documentaries on youtube. On Facebook, while checking out funny pics, I see a comment. I can’t remember what it said, but something made me click the link. It took me to a capture page and after I watched the video, I decided to try it out. I put my information and clicked enter.

Immediately or nearly so, I got a friend request on FB from the person who wrote the comment with the link. I went through the process of getting signed up and doing the requirements most of which were free, but some I chose cost a little bit like $1.99 and so on. I was in.

Then I learned what I got myself into.

At first I was devastated.

Then I thought about it. Anything worth getting should take some work.

So I buckled in and got going. To tell you the truth, I haven’t made any money yet. From reading all the posts on the FB groups, many people are having success. I just need to work on it.

Just keep a positive mindset and keep moving. Keep doing. Nothing ever makes itself.

Blood, sweat and tears go into businesses, and it is no different online. At least that is what I am telling myself.

There are no free rides but this is as close I have seen it come.

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I am interested in any comments you may have 🙂