Who is the Reader?

The hard part about writing is trying to decide who your writing appeals to.  Or, at least that is the hard part for me.  Every agent wants to know where the market is for your book.  My response (silently and here) is “Um, I don’t know.  Aren’t you supposed to know?  I’ve written the book.  I think everyone should read the book.  Kinda like To Kill a Mockingbird.  Simple, really, Mr./Ms. Agent.”

Unfortunately for me, agents actually want a writer (me) to know about the market.  This leads to me second guessing myself.  Not that the second guessing wasn’t already happening.  Now I am trying to figure out where my book fits.  I’ve got the genre down.  Well, I think I have the genre down.  I’m pretty sure it is a family saga.  Now, I have to think about who will actually read the novels.  I mean, in-depth who the heck is gonna pick this book off the shelf.

I’m shocked agents don’t want to know what color of hair is most likely to pick up the novel.  Are blondes gonna read this book?  Brunettes?  Um, I’m not sure.  Agents really want to know what age the person who reads the novel is.  I understand the whole children/young adult/adult thing.  But seriously, I’m kinda hoping my novels appeal to a wide age range.  I’m not sure that 45-65 year old divorced women who have three kids in college while trying to take care of elderly parents and deal with becoming a grandmother herself who lives in Nebraska in town is accurate.  Seriously, how exactly am I supposed to figure this out?

Anyone think an agent will know I’m lying if I claim my book will be read by women ages 45-65?  (The biggest group of readers.)  Actually, do you think I could get my book club to read Sweet Sixteen?  (Anyone with Blue Frog Legs Book Club, I promise that my book won’t be my choice when I get to choose the monthly selection.)  I do need to figure this out before the next round of query letters.  After all, the query letter needs a paragraph about who will read the novel.  And I will get this figured out.  I hope.

-Amanda Nicole

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6 thoughts on “Who is the Reader?

  1. Yes, Amanda, something all of us writers must think about–and know. Not so easy. Hearing from fellow writers like you makes me feel less lonely in all these decisions we have to make. Good luck. And may your query knock em dead!

    • Thanks, Margaret. Sometimes it does feel rather lonely as I am trying to figure out who to query and how to rewrite the query letter. Luckily, or unluckily, there are a lot of us out here trying to get our ideas out. As soon as I rewrite the query letter I should get nibbles instead of rejections.

  2. I’m a 45 – 65 year old woman and I would read it. The title puts me off, though. I don’t think I would even pick it up off the shelf to look at if I didn’t know the author. I would either need to be related to the author or have read other books by her.

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