Are you Writing to Reach a Particular Kind of Reader?

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I am the reader I was writing for. There were stories I wanted to read and couldn’t find, so I wrote them. The dichotomy of this is that I always wanted to reach a large readership and make a living by writing, so it would have been more practical to write books that a large number of people would like.

To be honest, though, I don’t like what the majority of readers like, so it would be impossible for me to write such a book. At least, if I write for myself, I know that one person will like the book. But I’m lucky — I’ve found others who like my books.

Here are some responses from other authors about the particular kind of reader they are trying to reach. The comments are taken from interviews posted at Pat Bertram Introduces . . .

writing-benchFrom an interview with Alan Place, Author of “Pat Canella: The Dockland Murders”

I am not writing to any particular readers as my works cross genres. I think if you write to a type of reader you raise the chance of missing your target. Take Pat Canella, is she for the Mike Hammer fans, is she a ghost story or is she ladies who want a strong female lead?. OR is she all to everybody?

From an interview with Chuck Barrett, Author of “The Toymaker”

Absolutely. I like to write what I like to read—thrillers, with a touch of mystery thrown in just to keep the reader off balance…but enthralled. I like when a writer throws me a curve ball, so in like fashion, I throw a few myself.

From an interview with J. Conrad Guest, Author of One Hot January

The reader I wish to reach seeks something a little different—something that combines or mixes genres. A reader who enjoys the turn of a phrase, who believes how a story is told is as important as the story itself. I hope my readers remember the stories I tell long after they’ve closed the cover for the last time.

From an interview with Sandy Nathan, Author of Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could

Yes. I write for readers who are interested in making a difference and growing personally and spiritually. My readers also want a well written, fast paced, and extraordinary read that takes them to places they never imagined.

What about you? Are you writing to reach a particular kind of reader?

(If you’d like me to interview you, please check out my author questionnaire and follow the instruction.)

1 Comment
  1. MalcolmCampbell says

    While I read a lot, every once in a while I come across a novel and think, “The world needs more books like this.” One year it was Shadow of the Wind, another year it was The Night Circus, and many years ago, it was The Killer Angels.

    In such books, I find a wondrous combination of story, truth and magic. Those are the same goals I have for my own writing.

    Malcolm

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