Identifying my Readers

DeathtoStock_Clementine9smI was super excited the other day to see that Janice Hardy had posted the next step in developing an author business plan: identifying your readers. This is a part of the process I’ve always struggled to formalize… I know I write for young adults interested in history who also want to be entertained, but what else do I need to know about them?

Gender and Age Range

Janice emphasizes this is the gender and age range most likely to read my books. I think there are a couple men who have read Haunting Miss Trentwood and enjoyed it, but I’ll admit, they weren’t my target audience. I love that they had fun with the book, though!

  1. Primary audience: Girls ages 12 – 17 years
  2. Secondary audience: Women ages 30 – 44 years
    55% of YA purchased by adults; of that, 28% belong to this gender/age group according to Nielson Market Research

What popular authors write similar books to mine?

According to Amazon:

  • Amanda DeWees
  • Cheryl Bolen
  • Cheryl Holt
  • Theresa Greene
  • Jennifer Anne Davis (only YA)
According to myself:

  • Ann Rinaldi (more history-focused)
  • Laurie Halse Anderson (more dramatic)
  • Cheryl Bolen (sexier)
  • Richard Peck (definitively YA)

Somehow my books have been lumped up with far more gothic and sexier books than the ones I believe I’m writing. Hmm… I wonder how I can change that?

What TV shows draw a similar readers?

This is a hard one since there aren’t many historical shows out right now. But the shows which hint at the tone in my books (or the tone I perceive in my books)…

  • Reign
  • Pushing Daisies
  • Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman
  • Anne of Green Gables

What expectations do they bring to the genre?

  • I want to learn a little about historical events.
  • I want to escape from my day-to-day worries and settle into something fun for a little while.

Will I fulfill or break these expectations?
Well, my hope is to meet these expectations, for sure. I think I’ll break expectations by not spending as much time “teaching” the way Ann Rinaldi does. Perhaps this is a way to differentiate so my writing seems more young adult rather than escapist adult fiction…

3 thoughts on “Identifying my Readers

    1. It’s tough, right?? I think there has to be a market out there, because these are the sort of books I want to read myself… I love coming-of-age stories in other eras. We YA historical romance writers need to stick together.


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