Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Audience ID

Know your audience.  Sounds simple enough.  It occurs to me that there are two types of audiences, though—the general audience that's likely to enjoy the book, and the narrower audience that's likely to think the book is the best ever.

At its broadest, my general audience is teenagers.  Throw in adults who like smart YA work, too, and there you go.  To get a little more specific, I think my novel appeals especially to girls who like math or science, and/or have a bit of tomboy in them.

While at Best Buy with my sister yesterday, I found a succinct description of the sub-population who would most enjoy my work:

Girls who bought StarCraft II

That's why we were there—for my sister to buy the brand-new game.  The cashier (female) asked if my sister was buying it for herself.  When we confirmed she was, the cashier said, "Finally! Another girl that plays!"

Those girls (or the ones that play their brother's/boyfriend's copy) are exactly the ones I wrote the story for.  It turns out other groups of people enjoy it, too, which thrills me.  But they're the ones I was aiming for.  That's my Audience ID, the quirk that puts them on just the right wavelength.

What's your Audience ID?  Something that on the surface may seem to have nothing to do with who they are as a "reader" but describes who they are in under five words.  Kind of tricky until you run into the right cashier.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

While Waiting: Part 2

A few months ago, I posted a list of things to do while waiting on an agent.  Agent #1 still has the full, and now two more agents have it as well.  (My latest attempt at a query letter actually has legs!)  So, more waiting.  Here's what I have gotten/am getting done, and it's nice to see some of these are progressions from the first list.

  • Finished Book 2 in the series and Book 3 is well underway.
  • Wrote two "real" short stories that I'm working on submitting.
  • Packed up my classroom to be relocated this fall when they renovate half our building.
  • Helped my dad with yard work, woodworking projects, and whatever else he needed a slave for.
  • Got elevated to Round 3 in WEbook's PageToFame system.
  • Worked with my sister to design two covers, seen here (just for fun, and in case I end up self-pubbing).
  • Hung out with my awesomely awesome friend for a weekend (rare treat since she now lives 2000 miles away).
  • Read a lot of books (Darkest Powers trilogy, Mortal Instruments trilogy, first two books in The Hunger Games trilogy ... is Mockingjay out yet?)

A lot of that looks like work.  Here are some additions for the To Do list:

  • Figure out how and when to get together with the inimitable T.L Tyson (in my country, hers, or another one altogether ... doesn't matter)
  • Possibly find time to visit my cousin in Mississippi (though the humidity might scare me off)
  • Plan a trip to Rochester, NY to visit the friend mentioned above, plus anyone else I knew back in grad school that's still there.

Hmm, all of that involves travel and interacting with humans outside of cyberspace.  That might be a clue.

Anyone else have fun ways of keeping your mind off the waiting game?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Playing with Covers

My siblings are graphically gifted, so when I needed a cover image for Authonomy, I turned to my sister.  After I finished the sequel, she decided to go a different direction for Fingerprints to mesh better with her take on Echoes.  We still have some thoughts about tweaking things.  Enjoy.

Original Fingerprints Cover
New Fingerprints Cover

Echoes Cover