Author Topic: Targeting Your Story  (Read 2942 times)


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Targeting Your Story
« on: March 07, 2006, 07:01:54 AM »
When I first started writing my novel, one of the things I thought about was am I writing for the interest of the general public?   I mean who really wants to read my book.   I aksed myself the following questions

What is topical at the moment?
What is my story about and who would want to read this topic
Is there enough interest for this topic to spark the Agent/publisher to say YES, I mean he has to sell the book,  so was there enough selling power in there?

Once I had written the story I began to see who would be interested.   As it happened it seems I had done well.   What eventually transpired was a book which had been written for the following reasons

Tourists on holiday    Tourist trade
Birdwatchers             Nature lovers
Nature conservationists
Housewives who enjoy a good romance  Women in general
Those who enjoy an adventure story without too much complication.  General everyday public

I know my husband would hate this book and its more Danielle Steele than Terry Pratchett which he loves.

So with luck just maybe there are enough folks out there who want to buy my book for the reasons stated.

My point is that when you are writing you really do have to ask yourself if your subject matter is in isolation or in demand.

Perhaps you could tell us if you had marketing strategies in your head before you started to write.  I think if you didnt it could make the difference between being chosen and being rejected - what do you think?


« Last Edit: March 24, 2012, 01:57:20 AM by Skip Slocum »


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« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2006, 07:42:43 AM »
That's another good point. I write what I think the world should be interested in because of my background as an Artist. You put it out there and not because they want it but they need it, lol, who knows what they need. Look at the media and sitcoms , some are pretty demeaning but they think we need it. (Simpsons, South Park)  We shape societies values for better or worse like a painting that speaks of life, a photograph that touches the soul. Being driven by the authority of the elite, it doesn't make them right or good. One of the best books I read was by Theodore Drieser,"My sister Carrie," don't know why but twenty years later I still remember it and of course most of the classics that also that touched my soul. It spoke to my fears of falling intio the irreversible traps of uncontrolled passion and it's consequences. I am a very addictive person and without constant contraint I have no idea where I would be now. They speak to the soul and enlarge it. Who can know why, I haven' figured it out yet. I think we find a book that we truly need at a given moment and that is the one, however written that helps us grow. I've grown from little simple children's stories.

Offline Symphony

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« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2006, 07:59:31 AM »
This is so interesting! You see, I can't write like that at all. Give me a market and tell me to write for it and I'm stumped!

I have to write what I want to read and what I like to write about. I think about the markets later, if and when what I've written appears to be even semi-comprehensible - or I think it's worth the trouble of editing.

I know, I know - I'll probably never get published this way and it's completely the wrong way to go about things, but I really struggle writing to prescribed markets. I'd be a crap ghostwriter, eh?

Ah well ...

I definitely admire your 'vision'


Offline zak_wolf

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« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2006, 05:57:37 PM »
See, what is topical anyway? Some random topic we are interested enough in.

If you want to make your story sell, make it topical! Force people to think and favor your way.
Even though I may not like chick flicks, I did enjoy "The Princess Diaries" or "Stepmom", but whatever - they kept me interested.
Your story should attract the reader based on what you feel, not what the readers are interested in right now. That's how a trend starts.
Make your novel a trend. Edgar Allen Poe began the jumpstart of short stories. Men began to wear pink shirts. In the sixties, gasp - the gogo boots.

Back to the point and my suggestion: If the readers aren't LOOKING for your story, make them feel glad that they FOUND yours by mistake.

« Last Edit: March 10, 2006, 12:16:45 PM by zak_wolf »
Just a quote I will always remember from Edgar Allen Poe:



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« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2006, 03:17:05 AM »
A good point but having worked in the public domain for 25 years I know that some people do like change but most are comfortable with what they know and reject change.   Change is something that is feared and I agree if we can get those people over the "fear" by introducing something they fancy trying then we have done a good job

I think my own novel based on conservation and tourism makes ideal reading for those people and as that is topical then perhaps thats ok for me, but for my next novel I may have to think again.


Offline Anitadee

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« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2006, 11:42:26 AM »
Great Topic,
My book was about a children's Home where I worked for 18 years.
A very special place.130 year history before closure in 2002.
I was inspired not only by its fascinating history of a Methodist Minister and his dream of finding a place for all abanbdoned children found on the  streets of London, but the fact that he was the founder of one of our biggest charity organisations NCH - 'The National Childrens Home'  in 1869.
Also the strength of feelling of the ex 'Home' children who return each year travelling many miles to visit 'Their Home'.

I now give slideshows and talks about the Home. ( something I never dreamed of)
I iniitially thought that the book would sell to the Ex Home children and staff but have been amazed at the interest in my book not just in the UK but now in Canada,Australa and the USA.
People who just know of the Home or were in a childen's home somewhere else have written me beautiful letters of thanks for writing the book.
I hope I have a similar experience with my novel,not finished yet.

Offline bainesy

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« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2006, 05:57:43 PM »
I have recently started work on the Writers Bureau course and one of the things it stresses is to target your work. 
Until I started this course it is something I had not thought about.
I have an article, written some time ago, which I did not target.  It is a factual account of a ghost (something I do not really believe in) although my research made me think a lot about it. 
Since starting the course I have realised I should have targeted the article. 
I am pleased with it and decided to use it for my next assignment on the course. I honestly think it is good enough to be published.  Unfortunately, try as I might, I am unable to find a suitable outlet for it.
It is based in Great Manchester (Lancashire in real life). 
Anyone got any ideas for a target magazine or newspaper.



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« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2006, 09:12:00 PM »
You can believe in ghosts, I can attest to the reality of ghosts but how can you write about them if you don't believe in them? What makes it so far fetched to believe in ghosts?
If your story isn't finished, ask me about the subject matter

Offline bainesy

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« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2006, 02:49:35 PM »
Hi Kat,

Thanks for your comments.  The story is finished and has been for some time. I wasn't looking to write a ghost story, it was something that I came across by accident.  It intrigued me and I decided to do some research into it.