How To Find Out What Your Readers Want

By on July 14, 2017
How To Find Out What Your Readers Want - Writer's

Why are some books so successful and others simply fail? Well, there are plenty of complex reasons for that, but one of the most obvious is that some books appeal to their readers, while others miss the mark entirely.

If you want your book to do well, one of the most important things you can do is have an audience in mind. Once you do, you should take them on your writing journey every single step of the way, and always ask yourself, ‘is this what my reader would want to happen?’

If you don’t bother thinking about your reader, you run the risk of writing a book that doesn’t really appeal to anyone. Even if you are writing a mainstream fiction novel, you still need to ask yourself the questions: who would buy this book, and why?

If you understand what your readers want, not only will you write a book that appeals to them, you’ll also stand a better chance of persuading a publisher exactly why readers would want to read this kind of book, and when it comes to devising a marketing strategy, you’ll have a much clearer idea of what you have to do.

So how can you get to know your reader better, and find out exactly what they want?

Research your genre

By having a clear idea of which genre(s) your book sits in you can begin your research. Understanding the rules of the genre you are writing in is important. That’s because readers of that genre will expect certain things. If you fail to deliver these things, you’ll leave them feeling misled - they will struggle to enjoy your book, and no longer trust you as a writer.

Become one

To really get to know your readers you need to step into their shoes. Create a profile of what your ideal reader would be. Don’t scrimp on the details. Ask them all sorts of questions until you feel as though you know them inside out, in fact, until you feel as though you could morph into them yourself! If you can instinctively know what your reader would choose, what they would want, and how they would act, it will make writing for them so much easier.

Ask them!

Of course, the easiest way to find out what your readers want is to ask them. Create a survey, get in touch with them on social media, or use your contacts lists to communicate. Think of clever, insightful questions that will really help you make decisions about your writing and use their answers to guide you.

Learn from the successes and failures of others

Look at which books and writers are the most successful in your genre, what do they consistently do? Also look at the mistakes others have made and try not to follow them!

Study the trends

Stay ahead of the game by looking at what kind of literature is popular right now, and what seems to be gaining momentum. Tailor your book to fit then trends and you just might have a bestseller on your hands!

Know what has been done to death

If a book has become immensely popular - think Harry Potter, 50 Shades of Grey, The Da Vinci Code etc, it’s best to steer clear of going down a similar story path with your own book. Readers aren’t stupid - if they can see that your story is just a poor imitation of a bestseller, they’ll be less than impressed. Always try to be unique, fresh and original when it comes to your work.

By following the above tips you can really connect with your readers, understand them and use this knowledge to write a book that they simply cannot resist!

How do you get to know your readers better? Share with us here!

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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