How To Get Inside Your Readers Head

By on January 31, 2018

One of the most helpful things you can do as a writer is to identify who your reader is. No matter what we are writing about, figuring out exactly who will want to read your work, and what their reaction will be to it is so important, right from when you start to create your work through to pitching and marketing it.

To help you create a piece of writing that will appeal to your reader you need to be able to ‘get inside their head.’ The more through an understanding you have of who they are and what they want the more easily you will be able to mould and shape your writing so it will appeal to them.

Of course, this might be easier said than done. However by making an effort to get to know your reader, and to truly understand them you will be able to appeal to them more through your writing, to influence them and to turn them into loyal fans!

So what are the things you can do to try and get inside your readers head?

Do your research

Start off by doing some simple research. Think about the genre your writing falls into and the kind of person that might be interested in that type of book. You could even go into bookshops and look at the different people browsing in that section, or join fan clubs and get to know the kind of conversations they might have.

Get feedback all along the way

Make sure you don’t wait until you have already finished your book or piece of writing to get feedback. Ask your readers questions and get feedback throughout the writing process, this will make it so much easier when you go back and begin to edit and reshape your book.

Look at what other writers are doing

One of the most helpful things you can do is follow your fellow writers and look at the different techniques they are using to engage readers and pique their interest. Look at successful writers in genres similar to yours, how does your writing compare? What do their books covers look like? What does the blurb on the back say? Check out their social media accounts, their author profiles, their websites - find all the information you can and see what reoccurring themes are there that you could apply to your writing and marketing plans.

Use actual data

There are plenty of programmes out there which can give you a real insight into your readers, your potential readers and their behaviour. Even just looking at your engagement on social media and trying to get a picture of the types of people that are interested in what you are saying can help you to build up a picture of who your ideal reader might be.

Create a personna

Once you have gathered together as much information as possible, use this to create an ideal reader personna. Write down as much as you can about them and stick up the details near to where you write. You can then always refer to this and always keep them in mind when you are writing. If you are stuck, then you can use them to help you. Simply ask yourself what your reader would want to happen, and if you know them well enough, you should have your answer.

Getting inside your readers head can make a difference when it comes to the popularity and success of your book. So it is well worth trying to get to know your reader and use this knowledge to help shape your writing.

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

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

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