Monday, December 4, 2017

Knowing Your Audience #AmWriting #WritingTips

As an editor, I've discovered one of the biggest problems with an aspiring author's manuscript is that they really don't understand the reader demographic of their chosen genre. Even though they claim to be an avid reader of young adult, for example, they write as if they are targeting the literary elite with words no thirteen year-old would understand.

Knowing your audience sounds like a no-brainer, but have you really thought of your work from a reader's perspective? This is why it's so important to put your manuscript aside for a month or more after finishing the first draft. Coming back to it with a fresh perspective--from a reader's mindset--will  help revisions go much better. Too many people want to rush the process. Once they have a manuscript completed, they start querying or, worse, want to self-publish it without doing the necessary revisions.

Stop. Put it away, out-of-sight. Wait a month or so. Then before even trying to revise, simply read it from beginning to end as a reader would. Make notes where the plot feels slow or a character isn't jiving with how he/she was in the beginning to how you intended he/she to be in the end. Readers will pick up on this.

What about your words? Who are you trying to impress? Other authors? Your mom? Your co-workers from the day job? If you're trying to impress anyone other than your reader demographic, then you are moving in the wrong direction.

Publishing is a business. The sooner you realize this as an author, the more successful your career will be. No, I'm not suggesting you sell-out your vision or compromise your creative integrity. You can be true to you while still thinking big-picture and understanding words like "demographic."

Finding readers for your story should be your ultimate goal. Your characters deserve to be seen and experienced. But, if you're clogging up your manuscript with unnecessary--or dare I say pretentious--scenes and words, you will fail.

I'm an editor. It's my job to tell you how it is based on twenty-years in the business where I have worked as both editor and author. Because of this, I'm asking you to be hard on yourself and read your manuscript while asking yourself, "Who am I communicating with here? Am I on target?"

Agents will ask themselves this question when they read your sample chapters. Acquisition editors will ask themselves these questions when they read your manuscript. Readers may not ask those specific questions, but they'll react when they read your first few pages by knowing whether this story appeals to them or not.

Get ahead of the game by revising with a laser-like focus. Know your audience. If you write for everyone, you connect with no one.

Write on!
Amber Lea Easton

Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published author of nonfiction, thrillers, and romantic suspense. A professional editor and freelance journalist for nearly two decades, she created Mountain Moxie Creative Services to assist authors in mastering the writing craft. As both an editor and a creativity coach, she strives to work as a partner with her authors so that they achieve success in their creative endeavors. Her memoir, Free Fall, has topped international best selling charts, and has been named by Dr. Prem as fourth on the "Ten Most Inspiring True Stories Everyone Must Read" list. With clients across North America and the Caribbean, she has a proven record of success. To discover more about Mountain Moxie Publishing Services, please go to

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