As I get ready to launch my book, The Joy of Writing Journal, on Sept. 22, I’ve been thinking deeply about my readers—”Who is this journal for?” and “What can it do for them?” Much like you may wonder about the readers of your own book.
In a way, it seems like a simple question. In any business, one asks,
- “Who’s the market for this?”
- “What am I offering?”
- “What can this do for them to meet a need?”
- “What’s unique about what I have to offer?”
At another level, the questions seem to get a little existential:
- “Why am I here?”
- “Who am I here to serve?”
- “How can I serve them in a way that nourishes both of us, me and my people?”
- “How can I make my offerings (whether a social media post, a blog post, a book, a course) the most fun and fulfilling for all of us—you and me and any new people that may be drawn to the book and other offerings?”
And while you or I may have asked these questions before, a new book may initiate a pivot, an expansion to a wider audience or some other shift in the readers and clients we serve.
When & Where To Ask These Questions of Readers
Ideally, before you write a book, especially nonfiction, it’s important to ask the first four questions about your readers. You can ask them in a blog post like this one, in a private facebook group, in a survey (using Survey Monkey or Google Survey) on other social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, Tiktok, not sure about Instagram–what do you think?).
And if you ask on multiple platforms, just seeing where you get answers will help you know where your most engaged readers hang out, perhaps. Or the differences in your readership/market on multiple platforms.
As you write the book, I urge you to get some initial feedback from early beta readers to find out where your book meets your readers’ needs and where it could be more clear, exciting, helpful, potent or engaging.
Reader Research Continues
Once your book is written, your reader research is not necessarily done. It may be time to ask these questions once again, particularly if your book has changed. Or if you were a bit cavalier about reader research earlier in the process.
Even once your book is edited, you have another opportunity to learn more about your readers. As you plan to market the book and spread the word, you need to know where your future readers hang out and which aspects of your book they may find most necessary or enticing.
Making the Most of Your Book and Its Impact on Readers
If your book seems to indicate an evolving sense of whom you are here to serve, it’s especially helpful to do some research about creating offerings that will serve them once the book is published. How can you:
- Assist readers to go deeper with the wisdom and tools or program you’re offering in the book?
- Help readers integrate the material and make it as transformative as possible?
- Ensure the book lives up to its potential for impact?
- Find a way to align the book and new offerings with your current brand and offerings?
Help me Serve You
As I contemplate new and emerging offerings that include supporting your creative process, journaling and other types of writing (in addition to a book), I’d love to hear from you so I can best serve you.
Feel free to share your answers as a comment below, or take this quick 4 minute survey to let me know what you like, what else you want to learn from me, what other kinds of support you’d like, particularly as I create additional free articles and paid services to help you with creativity, journaling, other types of writing and more.
Or just share a little “Who am I?” below:
- Why do you write?
- What creative and writing challenges or goals do you need help with?
- What offerings would you like to see in the future (the 4-minute survey gets into a bit more detail but possiblities include journaling tips, creativity tips, classes to get writing done in a supportive environment conducive to creative flow, writing programs or whatever it is you need.
Thanks for helping me as I navigate this expansive creative landscape!