Target audience.

I am in a critique group with the Burlington Writer's Workshops. Yesterday, after critiquing a piece with one of our members, I asked her who her target audience was. Her reply was she didn't have one and didn't think she needed one because she was writing her book for everyone. The whole table (10 people) agreed with her. I pointed out that editors and publishers would want to know. She assured me she wanted to published, but stuck to her assertion about writing for everyone.

Is this a good idea???

  • By the way, you've inspired me. Let's blog about writer's workshops. I wonder if people will speak honestly about their experiences? How to handle tough personalities, how to find one that match your ability, how to develop the ability to know when the critique makes no sense, and how to keep your mouth shut when the critique makes no sense. 

    I'll post something in the morning, [email protected], and here on She writes, under Sakki Selznick. 

  • Hey, Nancy,

    What it sounds like here is not a problem with your suggestion, but a problem with the group. Ten people at the table were all unwilling or unable to do the research to understand that your question was an intelligent and helpful one. 

    Sounds like they're not the right group for you. Good luck finding a better one. It's worth the search. 

  • Since I only write, edit and proofread nonfiction (e.g., business, technical, academic), this observation might not apply to fiction.  Nonetheless, I’m sharing anyway…(smile)


    Identifying the target audience helps the writer prepare a piece that’s truly focused on the reader. It eliminates 5-D readers: Distracted, Disinterested, Disengaged, Disenchanted and Discouraged.  It also determines style, word choice, sentence structure, etc.  So in my area of writing, not knowing the purpose and target audience is like traveling to an unknown location without a road map…


    Ok – that’s my two cents (smile).


    Connected by the written word,

    Marcía/USA-Atlanta, GA


  • You know the answer. I can hear it in your tone. 

    Of course we all want everyone to read our books, but that's not realistic. Publishers and agents want to know who your target audience it is so they'll know where to put the book in a bookstore and who to reach out to. Or so I've heard.Even Harper Lee's new book has a target audience.