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Who is the typical reader for your book?
Lucy Silag
Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 10:20 AM
Joined: 6/7/2013
Posts: 1359

For our Book Country Author Q&A today I asked a writer I admire this question:


Who is the typical reader for your book?


I know lots of people don't love this question, but I wanted to dare Book Country members to think about it. Share what you come up with below.



Book Country Community and Engagement Manager

Mimi Speike
Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 5:03 PM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 1014

No time now, I've got to go to work. You bet I'll be answering this one.
Posted: Friday, December 6, 2013 1:44 PM
Joined: 9/17/2013
Posts: 104

My typical reader is a middle aged to older male outdoor enthusiast with $20 in his pocket.


I've had short fiction and creative non-fiction published in a range of small circulation periodicals. The stories cover a range of experiences.


I was fortunate to find a small but growing traditional publisher who specializes in books about the outdoors, especially fishing. He was willing to work with me, and my first published collection of short stories is about people, coming of age stories or escaping from modern life stress stories, and because this is the publisher's stock in trade, fishing breaks out in most of the stories. The stories appeal to middle aged and older male outdoor enthusiasts, though I've had good reviews from female readers as well.


I add "$20 in his pocket" because my readers are at least middle class, and $20 will cover the cost of a print copy and maybe a good cup of coffee.


My second collection of short stories, just arrived by fed ex today, working with the same publisher, has the same target audience. Readers of the first collection asked for another, and I was happy to put together another.

My first novel is in the works. When it's finished, I will describe the typical reader for this book differently.




Nevena Georgieva
Posted: Friday, December 6, 2013 2:09 PM
Joined: 2/9/2012
Posts: 438

Awesome Q&A, Lucy!


This is, I think, such an important question for every writer, and has a direct impact on how the book will be positioned and marketed later. 


I wanted to offer up an awesome quote from an interview with Mike Underwood (a BC writer who got acquired by Simon and Schuster, for those of you who don't know him). 

I think all books have “ideal readers” who are positioned to best connect with a work. Books can connect with many other people, but the ideal readers are probably the people who will most love the work. I inadvertently gave myself the advantage of knowing quite specifically who the ideal readers for Geekomancy were—they were the people who had grown up loving many of the same things I did, who could see themselves in Ree Reyes and her friends. What started as a fear has turned out to be the work’s great strength for the ideal readers.

--edited by Nevena Georgieva on 12/6/2013, 2:09 PM--

Posted: Saturday, December 21, 2013 9:17 PM
Joined: 11/15/2013
Posts: 10

As for my work's facebook page (Link: mostly my family reads it (I'm that much of a dork), my book's target audience is female teenagers from what my research tells me.
Gene J. Parola
Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 6:02 PM
Joined: 3/18/2014
Posts: 2

My reader is a breaking out wahine (woman) of late teens who is excited about becoming an adult with adult responsibilities amid a society that is giving many confusing signals about what is expected of that adult.
Elizabeth Moon
Posted: Saturday, July 5, 2014 9:53 PM
Joined: 6/14/2012
Posts: 195

The typical reader for my books...there's a broad range, from what I can figure, but the median is probably 40+, male and female roughly equal, educated above HS level, serious readers and book buyers,  read not just SF/F, but across genres, and always looking for the more complex books in those genres.  But I also have young readers (sometimes getting into my books because their parents are fans)  and military readers (M & F, US and foreign,  all ages)  so it's gotten harder to tell.   The ones who show up in my various places-to-talk-about-stuff (SFFnet newsgroup, LiveJournal, and the Paksworld blog) do not overlap much.   The ones who show up at signings at conventions are usually under 40 (but not always) and more into my SF than my fantasy (but not always.)   The readership for the SF skews somewhat more male, and the two readerships do not entirely overlap.
Posted: Saturday, July 26, 2014 9:43 PM
Joined: 3/14/2011
Posts: 46

Based on sales reports and reviews, my sales are mostly in the US and Canada, with notable sales in the UK and Germany. That's probably limited by publisher distribution. I'd guess my readers are around 75% female and 25-50 years old. They tend to be voracious readers of romance, fantasy and sci fi. Seriously. I consider myself a big reader, but the number of books they power through is impressive.