Ashton Rice

How I Define my Target Reader and Why

By Ashton Rice

Something all writers should seriously consider and put time into is developing and
getting to know target readers. Target readers will grow your career and should be seen as one of
the most essential components of the writing profession. These people are the ones who will take interest in your books/writing and need to be considered every step of the way.

How I define a target reader:

Defining a target reader can take a while, as these populations can and do tend to fluctuate. There are many ways to go about this though. Social media is a great way to see potential target readers. Active social media use is often rewarded with an increased following.

Show samples of work on Twitter to see who likes the content or retweets it. Twitter is definitely where the online writing world resides. LinkedIn is also another great way to analyze a target audience whilst writing a book or project.

The beauty of being able to follow publishers and see the content they post can be used for even an independent writer. See what kind of people like publishers who inspire you and conduct research on the label’s books. You’ll be able to take an educated guess at who may enjoy your content by doing so. Asking friends and family to participate as beta readers is also a great way to determine what kind of people may take interest in your work.

Beta Readers  are individuals you most likely know very well, and it is an easy way to project who may be a future fan of your work. There is no one way to define how to find a target readership, but it simply takes time and engagement with supporters and potential readers.

Why it matters:

Some of you may ask why finding a target reader is important. Well, to keep selling books successfully, it would help to have solidified a following. A writer can’t continue creating new material if they are still in the hole from previous unsuccessful projects. Establishing a target reader means a writer can focus on catering to these individuals and make the read at least worth their while.

Not to say you write fanfictions for all of your supporters, but rather you include what your target reader responds to for repeat appeal. Remember, for a writer, the reader is what stands between a job and unemployment. A target reader is to a writer what an investor is to the stock market.

These readers should be regarded as one of the most important aspects of any writer’s career. Next time you begin to write or get ready to tap the keyboard, think about who you write for and why. Think about what you can offer them through your writing. Make sure you invest time into figuring out who your work clicks with and who it potentially can reach. A target readership is a collective that will keep a writer paid and employed, so nurturing this group should be treated as delicately as the craft of writing itself.

About Ashton Rice:

As a sequential art major out of SCAD, Ashton began writing as an intern editing for The Borgen Project. He learned valuable experience as an editor and writer while taking on this role, and discovered a passion for writing and sharing information and ideas through written language.

Ashton now writes for SOLRAD Magazine and Write-On e-Publishing. His passion for comics still persists, and he continues to write and illustrate his own comics while studying up and coming alternative artists for reviews and interviews for the SOLRAD Magazine. Ashton favors writing science fiction as well as contemporary fiction in his personal work.

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