Saturday, October 5, 2019

Year of an Indie Writer: Week 40

Scott D. Parker

You know you've reached a certain age when some of your favorite network TV shows air on CBS.

Granted, one of them, the Patricia Heaton-led Carol's Second Act, is aimed squarely at middle-aged folks like me. (Wow. I'm not sure I've ever written a sentence like that before.) There's a moment in the pilot episode where Carol thinks she's about to be reamed out by the head doctor for disobeying orders. "I'm good because I'm old. My age is what is going to make me a great doctor."

Right on, I said to myself. As a middle-aged man, I know so much more about life and other things than I did at twenty-five. But when it comes to writing and selling books, I'm still a baby. I started my company in 2015, and it will turn five next year, so I'm constantly learning about the business of selling stories even when I'm mired in a non-creative funk.

I started thinking about the stories I've written to date and tried to imagine the type of reader who'd like them. It got me thinking about the demographics of targeted ads. At my day job as a lead product marketing specialist, buyer personas are one of the factors we consider when developing collateral. Who would buy our products?

Some writers ask that question when they write stories. Nothing wrong with writing to market. I don't do that too often, so I face the question of to whom do I sell these completed stories.

Since I've only been writing professionally for about five years, that means I was around forty-five when I started. Thus, my sensibility is that of a middle-aged person. It doesn't mean folks outside this demographic won't enjoy my tales, but the writer was a middle-aged dude.

Who might want to read the stories I write? How might I spread the word about my yarns? I have a plan to find out via targeted demographic advertising. It'll be trail and error, but I'm willing to try things, analyze results, and make additional decisions based on data.

So, have y'all tried demographic ads?

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