Who's reading what you write?

You're browsing in a bookshop. All those titles, a profusion of attractive covers, hard covers, paperbacks, coffee-table sized, pocket-sized. One book engages your interest. The blurb entices you to buy. You take it home, unwrap it with glee, handle it with tenderness, smell it with relish, and begin to read.

After a hundred pages or so, you put it down, never to pick it up again. Was it boring, was it patronising, was it annoying? All readers have responded this way from time to time. The cover, title and blurb promised more than they delivered. One reason why this happens is that the author and promoter of the book didn't accurately market to the right audience. They didn't know their reader.

They don't read what I write!

Imagine if this happened to you: you have crafted a great marketing plan, spent your only free weekend in months on a company report, laboured for days over a magazine article - only to have it rejected, misunderstood, or not even read. After sobbing into your pillow and consuming an entire box of chocolates, what do you do? Put yourself in your reader's mind. You don't even have to know who they are as individuals. But you must have an idea what demographic you are aiming at. This will dictate the style, format and content of what you write. For instance...

Christmas can come in lots of ways

The Christmas story, as all good stories, is able to be adapted to people of different ages and backgrounds. A scholar would read it in the original 1st century Greek, an adult church-goer would go to the Bible, The adaptable Christmas story The other adults may prefer to see it as a play or on TV, children appreciate window displays in shops or a simplified version with lots of pictures in a book. It's the same story but marketed with a defined readership in mind. The sad fact is that many of us have ideas and thoughts we think need to be expressed, but no one will be interested in reading anything we write unless we think of our reader first.

Creative Text Solutions' workshop, Make Your Writing ZING! will cover this topic and more to enable you to write with impact and influence. 10 March, 9.30 - 11 am. Book at http://clearlytalking.com/event-registration/?regevent_action=register&event_id=25

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