Thursday, April 08, 2010

The Right Audience

By Nichole Giles

I have a friend who is feeling under-appreciated for their work. This person feels like certain reviewers just don’t “get” the point of a newly released book. My first response to my friend is, “What? How could anyone not get it?”

But then I glanced at the book currently on my nightstand—one which I need to finish, but which I’m really, really struggling to get through for a similar reason to the thing for which the critic didn't like my friend's book. I don’t get it, and because of that, I’m not really enjoying it. And because of that, I don’t like it.

At this point, I could list all the reasons why I’m not loving this book. I could pick it apart, point out that it’s more of a thinly veiled lesson for XYZ rather than an interesting story, and that it’s not appropriately age-targeted, or whatever. But instead, I’m going to boil it down to one lesson. The only one that really matters.

Clearly, I am not the target market for this book. Nor was my friend’s book targeted at the reviewer who didn’t “get” it. And that’s okay, because not all books are targeted at everyone.

When an author finds a specific audience, and manages to write his or her book specifically with that definitive audience in mind, that is when a potential hit is born. But it doesn’t mean everyone will love the book. Every NYT Bestseller on the market has critics. Look at Twilight, Hunger Games, The DaVinci Code, and all other books that ever made that elusive list.

Today’s lesson: Not everyone will love your book. And if you do it right, you’ll have as many critics as fans. That is the nature of success.

And that is all I’m going to say about that.

At least for today. Until next week, write on!


L.T. Elliot said...

Such an important thing to remember. It's all subjective. Different strokes and all that. Great post, Nichole.

Nichole Giles said...

Thanks, L.T.

And as an afterthought--I did finish that book, and though it was a slow read, it turned out okay. Not spectacular, but okay. *shrugs*