When you’re writing the first draft of your book or story, it’s not really too important that you have a target demographic or audience in mind. The most important thing at this stage is to actually get the story out of your head and onto a page. Once your first draft is finished, however, you should really start to think about who you writing for – after all, you’ll probably want to sell your hard work, and moreover, you’ll want the right people buying it.
For example, if your story is told from the perspective of a twelve-year-old boy or girl, then you are effectively writing a children’s book (although there will be exceptions – as there so often are in this, the wonderfully contradictory world of writing). Conversely, you wouldn’t want a child to pick up and read a book about an alcoholic psychopath who derives joy from murdering unsuspecting college students.
My point is that it really does matter who you target your book towards, and with that in mind, here’s a little guide to help you find the right readers for your work.
Ages 0-5: Picture Books. These books are for children – and occasionally adults – who are just learning to read. More often than not, picture books are read to a child by an adult, then as the child starts to develop their own reading skills, they begin to read the book with less and less help.
Ages 9-12: Middle-grade Children’s Fiction. These books are often less complex than those targeted to an older reader, and they often explore simpler themes and use plain – though not altogether basic – language.
Ages 13-18: Young Adult Fiction. For fiction targeted towards the young adult market think ‘coming of age’ stories wherein the main characters are beginning to discover who they are as people, and are starting to come to terms with what life is all about.
Ages 18-24: New Adult Fiction. Many stories targeted towards this market involve the main characters exploring and dealing with the challenges of adult life, such as going to college, moving out of the family home or falling in love. Often themes are a little more on the ‘adult’ side though not explicitly so.
Ages 25+ : Adult Fiction. Adult fiction explores more mature themes, and writers can be a lot more explicit when it comes to scenes involving sex, language and violence.
The above is just a guide and as I’ve already said, there are always exceptions to every rule; the trick is to know what the rules are, and – if not break them – bend them slightly.
As always, thank you for spending your time reading my words, it means a lot.
Until next time,
© 2019 GLT