Choosing Your Target Audience: A Must In The Writing Process

What is a Target Audience? And why do you need one? If you have decided to write a non-fiction book, you have expertise in a subject of broad interest or you have lived through a compelling experience and have come out the other side having learned something of great importance to share with the hopes of improving your reader’s lives. Who do you want to reach with your book? That is your Target Audience.

choosing your target audienceAs a non-fiction and memoir coach and editor, I have been blessed to work with some amazing people who became even more amazing writers. Some authors have come to me with a seed of an idea and others have come to me with their first drafts primarily written. But the one truly consistent issue with all of the writers that I have worked with over the years is the importance of identifying their Target Audience. The Target Audience determines the voice and the tone of your book. It is the essence of how you will write your book, your word choices, and how your frame your message.

I know the idea can seem a little abstract, but if you can identify your Target Audience clearly, and early on in the writing process (yes, writing a book is a process), it will help you very much in the actual writing. I am assuming that if you are ready to take the big step of writing your book, you will also want to market it. One of the first questions a marketing specialist will ask you is “who is your Target Audience.” That will help them assess who they can sell your book to, and what the possible market size is.

So, let’s talk about how to go about determining just who your Target Audience is. It is not people from age 25-50. That is much too broad a range. The frame of reference of these two age groups are vastly different. What interests a 25 years old person who is just beginning their adult lives is not the same thing that a 50 year old person would find important. Is your Target Audience male or female? Why? Can your book be of value for both?

A good exercise is to picture in your mind a specific person you would like to read your book. Who is that person, what is it about that person that qualifies them as someone you want as a reader. Then list their attributes and decide which of those attributes you most want your book to connect with.

This is just one of the many ways to determine how to choose that all important Target Audience. I am happy to help you with this process and all of the other steps in the writing of your nonfiction and/or memoir manuscript.

Next time, I will write about the Voice of your book. Once you know who you are writing to, then you have to decide how you want to communicate with your Target Audience. That is your Voice and you will learn all about it in my next blog.

Keep writing!!


  1. Michelle says:

    Thank you. I have started writing a book, and then stopped, due to moving and life just becoming way to crazy to even think. With you showing up in my mail, has moved me again to get my lap top out and get started. My book is real, I am 55, I’ve live the life of most 90 yr olds, must say with very little help if any, raise 3 children, widowed at 44. So thank you

    1. Cynde Christie says:

      Hello Michelle,
      Just checking in to say I look forward to our next email or conversation!
      All my best,

  2. Amber says:

    This is hard for me. I am beginning to write a narrative memoir. The book will
    consist of a few topics and i will not know which will dominate until i am at least
    half way through the book. But maybe working this way is the issue. Loved your
    blog on this and found it beneficial. Thank you much !

  3. Amber says:

    Cynde, i begun the story with a tragic event in my life as to engage the reader,
    but now from reading your Blog, i see there is a way i can begin with an event that
    i can carry out into the end of the story. I remember a writer calling that ” the snake bites its tail ”
    I was over joyed when yours and Sara’s web page popped in my email today. I sent that story to Sara a few hours ago. I really hope to have my book out in one and half or two years. I know, “what am i thinking ?” I am a beginner writer and what the best for this book and i am willing to take what time is necessary to do it.
    I tend to believe that the two of you are the best ! I just think i found a really good team. I have not heard back from Sara yet as it was sent shortly. But in all honesty, for me i would love to work with both of you since the book is going to take a while. Your a professional pair i do believe.

    1. Cynde Christie says:

      Hi again,
      Amber it sounds like you are really committed to your story. That is the first step, and a really important one. Writing a book is not a quick process and your timeline of 1 1/2 -2 years is probably pretty accurate. I will talk to Sarah this weekend and see what she thinks of your story and we will get back to you in a few days about how we can help you in your amazing journey and next steps. We love working with new writers and I am excited to hear your story. Have a great weekend, and write up a list of questions that you would like to ask. It is easy to forget things in the excitement of the moment.

      1. Amber says:

        Thank you 🙂 It is easy to forget in the excitement of the moment. I have done
        just that and beating myself up for it. I know when a good idea or memory hits me –
        and then i go thinking , ” i will write it down later ” When later comes, I forgot.

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