Writer's Digest

Identifying Your Book’s Target Audience

For about two years before I became an editor, I was an English composition instructor for first-year college students. (I was not good at it.) During that time, one of the most important things I tried to drive home to the students was: Know your audience. Whenever, wherever, and whatever you are writing, knowing who your audience actually is vs. who you want it to be is crucial.

And that means, unfortunately, your book is not for everyone. But instead of fixating on that disappointing fact, let’s focus on identifying your audience and what that means as you write your nonfiction book and the corresponding book proposal. (Meta lesson one: By saying “your nonfiction book,” I’m identifying part of my audience as people

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