I've been thinking about an author's audience. In the past this has been a challenging topic for me because I approached it negatively: most of the fantasy I see out there is very different in even sub-genre from what I write, therefore there isn't really an audience for my work. Well, there are a lot of flaws in that assumption, (as in it's just not true,) but even more it is an attitude that defeats me before I even start.
In looking for and responding to my audience I don't have to give up on the subjects or styles that make my work unique. (Thank heavens I don't have to write any vampire stories if I don't want to - which I don't. (Except for the one where someone discovers that there is a group of powerful vampires behind a renewed interest in space exploration because it finally occurred to the bloodsuckers that immortality is going to be a real drag when the sun goes super-nova. Feel free to steal this idea - I'm not going to actually write it, it just amuses me.))
Anyhow, growing an audience:
Here are three areas I have identified as audience research tools:
- Things (themes, characters, styles, etc.) people like about my stories – i.e. what are my draws.
- Things that are draws for me when others' stories - i.e. I am part of my own audience.
- Things people wish they could read or wish there was more of that fall into my purview.
On that note: any of you who have read my work... Questions for you:
- What in particular draws you to it?
- Why would you come back and read more (besides offers of chocolate)?
- What do you wish you could find out there in the fantasy genre that you either find in my work or think I would do a good job with if I included it?
- Any other thoughts on the subject?
- If you haven't read my work... Do you want to? I am unpublished yet, but I have a few sketches up at the Amber Grimoire and I am up for new beta readers...