Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Who are my Readers?

Authors nowadays are being bombarded with the idea of an author brand, and targeting their core readers.

The first part I have no problem with. I write high-stakes romantic adventure and paranormal romance, and with a little help from a professional, I came up with "Love with a Shot of Adrenaline" as a catchy tagline.

But the concept of my core reader is difficult for me. I think I balk at defining my core reader because *I* don't want to be defined. I asked once if identifying my CR means "a 30-something married mother of two with a day job" or more like "someone who loves Suzanne Brockmann, Firefly, and the idea of jumping out of an airplane." The answer I got? Both. *sigh*

I feel like saying "my core readers are X" is exclusionary, even though branding experts insist it's not. I would be annoyed if someone said the most die-hard Suz Brockmann fans are 30-something, because I'm 40. I like Falling Skies and Modern Family, and those are diametrical opposites. Hence my resistance to defining you, my readers.

But in addition to being a rebel, I'm also pretty obedient to the people in authority over me, so I want to try to understand my readership better. (Honest, it's only PARTLY so I can say "neener neener, they're undefinable!")

So yay, fun survey time! :) Completely anonymous, of course. Also of course, you have to have read and liked at least one of my books. Please tweet and post on Facebook or link on your blog or send an e-mail to friends or whatever, so I can get more than, like, three responses. :)

I'm at the RWA National conference this week, probably with no Internet access (expensive hotels mean no free wifi, how dumb is that?), so I'll post about the results in two weeks. The poll will remain open indefinitely, so if you want to go buy one of my books now and THEN take the survey, that would be awesomeness. :)

Thank you!

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.


Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Have fun at RWA. I know I couldn't be categorized as a reader for certain type of books so I wouldn't worry about not understanding exactly who reads your books. So many people read wide varities of genres.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

So far, the results are bearing that out, Sue. So I do feel vindicated. :) But I still have to do what I'm told! :)

Cindy Procter-King said...

Are you sure this thing is working? I can't check any of the boxes.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

It must be a browser thing, Cindy. I can't check the boxes in AOL (which runs off Internet Explorer), but I can do it in Firefox.