DEMOGRAPHICA Lesson by Domenic Luciani
Who are you selling to?
This question has been relevant since the dawn of literature, from the ancient Egyptians to Thoreau to J.K. Rowling. It may not be a big deal to someone sketching out a poem that will never see the light of day, but for the vast majority of those reading this who hope to one day have a legitimate writing career, it is essential.
For those still coping with a middle school-level education, a demographic is basically your target audience. Like the description says, who are you selling to? Are you calling your novel something along the lines of a young adult fiction, yet the storyline caters primarily to middle-aged single women, congratulations you have missed your demographic by a very wide margin. Hitting your demographic is like a gun duel. You hit it just right, and everybody's happy and you live to fight another day. Miss, and hope that the only repercussion is that you get kicked out of town.
So what do you do? First off, don't start writing until you know who you're writing for. Are you going to give to your friends? Your parents? Your little cousin? Teenagers like action, a storyline they can follow, and characters they can understand. That's why books like Pendragon, Harry Potter, and the Percy Jackson books are so popular with teens, and ones like Wicked and Da Vinci Code go largely unappreciated. Adults like more intelligent books with more details and facts. Even adult fiction usually has some sort of realistic foundation, whereas teen fiction can basically do whatever it hell it wants and be widely accepted. Middle-aged women are usually into cheesy romance novels. I mean come on, who's mother or grandmother doesn't have a stash of romance novels somewhere in their house. obviously this isn't a universal truth; some kids are walking around with a Dan Brown book under their arms and some adults have the complete Harry Potter series hidden away in their wardrobe or on their nightstand. It's just not enough of a population to have any serious impact.
Publishers and agents want to know that you have taken serious consideration to who your selling to because it's more or less their job to know, so if you have any intention to sell your book, you had better have a better answer than "anybody willing to pay". It's unprofessional and any agent not working out of the back alley of a burger king will see you as an amateur.
Take your time and consider every aspect of your work from beginning to end, post and pre-published. Know your audience. Have fun.
Added on November 26, 2011
Last Updated on February 17, 2012
AboutThat is my real name, and that is really me in the picture. Like Patrick says, I'm not in the witness protection program. I mostly write books and stories. I like fantasy, or fiction, but if..