3 Essential Questions for Every Author…

By Judith Briles  on The Book Designer:

How many times have you spoken with authors and asked them about their book … and they go on and on, not really connecting with you or your question? How many times have you met a new author and asked them about their book marketing and receive a blah response? How many times have you asked an author who they are writing for and your sense is that they don’t know?

There are plenty of components that go into a successful book; a successful roll out; and certainly, success as an author.

My three essential questions to authors and writers are:

  1. Who are you writing or did you write your book for? (the target reader)
  2. Where do they hang out on the internet and in person? (book marketing focus)
  3. Can you summarize your book in less than 30 seconds? (your pitch to lure and hook the listener/buyer)

For me, not a day goes by that I don’t get the “deer in the highlight” response. Stumbling with words and descriptions; not being able to respond with clarity, or quickly.

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3 Essential Questions

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One thought on “3 Essential Questions for Every Author…

  1. I’ve seen this advice — to narrowly define your readers or market — many times, and it still makes no sense to me. I don’t think it’s helpful to beginning writers, and may lead to confusion and discouragement. I’ll bet most people who start writing have no idea who they’re writing for. “People who like books like this one” would be about as specific as I can get about my mixed-genre books. Someone who decides to write in a very specific genre might be able to do this — cozy mystery for middle aged women who like cats. Most nonfiction books also have a specific class of persons in mind — young men interested in cheap adventure travel, for example, or women from dysfunctional families. And it’s likely that authors with some degree of success eventually do get a picture of the types of people who buy their books — through social media, possibly. They can then tailor subsequent books accordingly. But I can’t imagine someone who has had a story incubating in the back of their mind for years, and who finally has the time and courage to start writing, having to sit down and figure out that their nascent novel is intended for “women who are single and loving it.” Wouldn’t this writer be pleased if grumpy married men read their book and like it? Maybe there’s something I’m not getting, but this advice doesn’t resonate with me.

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