The Purpose of IWSG is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
To join IWSG visit Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh here.
As mentioned last month, I usually come out on the support side of the IWSG equation. Not because my insecurities make me feel foolish or weak, but because I’m afraid if I dwell, I will become so mired in the muck, I won’t be able to free myself to write.
Still, I have vowed to air some of my insecurities, and air them I will.
Many writers fret about how to grow their audience. Me? I worry about how to find my audience. I’ve been advised to start building a core audience as soon as possible. Sounds reasonable. The problem is, I don’t write one of those genres with a built-in clique of avid readers like cozy mystery or Regency romance. There is no visible group of fans crying out for more, more, more when it comes to psychological thrillers. How could there be when each book is so different from the last? While this reasoning makes complete sense, it doesn’t help with my problem.
I write crime, but I don’t care how the crime was committed or how it gets solved. Nor do I really care who is responsible. In fact, the perpetrator may very well be my protagonist. I write about the whys of crime. Why individuals commit heinous acts and the repercussions on the hearts and minds of those affected.
Initially, I tried worming my way into several major genre groups (mystery, thriller, and romance) in hopes of catching some audience fallout. Unfortunately, my stories didn’t fit. And if other writers weren’t fooled, readers won’t be fooled either.
On the upside (?), I came away with a LONG list of readers who likely won’t read my books. A psychological approach, no guaranteed happy ending, occasional profanity, sex, and violence, unreliable narrators, cynical humor, and mostly male protagonists have narrowed my potential audience considerably.
Truth: I don’t suffer under the delusion my books will appeal to everyone. However, I do know there are readers out there. How do I find them?
If you have tips on targeting an audience,