This video is about niche writing and how to write with your audience in mind.
Many writers of memoir do not write keep their audience in mind.
It is perhaps inevitable that writers indulge time in a certain fantasy that their book will appeal to a large audience and be popular. Unless you are already famous—like Michelle Obama or Harry Windsor—or writing about an experience that was in itself very well known—a major flood or a nuclear disaster, for instance, your book is not likely to interest a large audience that would propel it into a best seller status.
Look for your Niche: Write with Your Audience in Mind
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You can increase your chances of success if you accept your book can become a good seller by addressing a specific niche audience.
Harry Windsor will find a huge audience, but you probably will not outside of a niche that is waiting for your book.
I don’t mean to be a downer. In fact, I am hoping to create the opposite effect. I believe my advice for your book will open up an appreciative and responsive audience for you. I am about to offer how you can help your memoir to find as large an audience as is possible.
Before you start writing—or as you are writing, if that’s the case—your memoir, ask yourself who is likely to read this book you have in mind to spend months and even possibly years to write.
Let’s do this process with a fictitious book. Let’s say you raised a Down syndrome child and are now writing about how it was so transformative for you in a very positive way.
Who will be the audience in mind for such a book? Will it be everyone who are curious about Harry Windsor and Meghan Markle? Probably a few of them but not many.
Your audience is likely to be made up of people who themselves have a Down syndrome child or who are employed in social services and spend their time assisting families and individuals with Down syndrome or perhaps they are teachers of exceptionality.
The fact is your Down syndrome audience is likely to be limited but it is also likely to be very deep. Your book can answer many questions that people have about the particular topic of your memoir.
An exercise to focus your book on the needs of your audience:
Write down a list of questions and concerns that your audience is likely to have. Don’t let yourself off the hook. Write at least 20 questions your readers will have. These questions and your answers to them will make your book a useful tool for its readers.
As you are writing your memoir, you are, of course, being true to your own experience but you are also attentive to answering your audience’s questions and concerns as you have identified them. The experiences you choose to write about will be selected in part as answers to your readers’ questions—so keep your audience in mind.
Let’s take one topic
If a concern you have identified as important to your readers is choosing an early childhood education program for your Down syndrome child, you will pay some attention to your own experience of finding such a program and how you made it work for your child and for your family. You will not be quick about it and write, “After an extensive search, I found the right school for my Jonathan and then everything was fine.” No, you will offer us criteria for selecting a school. You will talk about what to look for in school visits. You will help us to understand how you were able to help your child make the best of the school experience. You may also write about how you dealt with any naysayers in your environment. Writing about dead ends you went down can also be helpful to the reader.
So it’s easy to see how identifying your audience and answering their questions and concerns will help you to write a book that will speak to that audience.
This, of course, is not a textbook that you are writing. It is a memoir, and as all memoirs, it will be based on vignettes and stories. As a piece of writing, it needs to nurture character, action, setting, theme, point of view, and many other elements that I speak about throughout this blog and throughout the Better Memoir Writing Master Class Channel.
Check below for a link to this week’s FREE video e-course.
And remember: “inch by inch, it’s a cinch; yard by yard it’s hard.”
Good luck writing your stories!
Here is this week’s FREE video course:
~ Larger Audience than Family and Friends
~ 2 Reasons I’ll Read Your Memoir
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