I am a veterinarian and author in California. I am also a member of Sisters In Crime and Sisters In Crime Guppies. (GOOD!! All crime writers should be members of SiC)I am getting ready to query agents for my debut cozy/traditional/whodunit mystery titled Murder At Lake Tahoe. One of the agents that I am going to query requests that authors submit their Target Audience information.
I have searched everywhere online looking for the demographics of readers of cozy mysteries. All I have been able to find out is that cozy mystery readers are largely women over 40. I would like more specifics and more detail than this.
Do you know where I can find current information detailing the demographics of cozy mystery readers?
I could, but that's not what the agent is asking for.
She's asking what kinds of READERS want to read your book, and the best way to find them is to tell her about other books your target audience has read and loved.
In other words, comps.
But remember, most readers like many kinds of books.
So cast the widest net possible. (If you have horses in your book, I'm in!)
The target audience for my book are readers who love books with horses. They've read all of Dick Francis and have strong opinions about books published after Mary Francis ascended to the Great Library in the Sky.Additionally, the setting is almost a character in my book, so readers who enjoy reading about California and Nevada, and even the Great West will resonate with my book.
Spend some time on this, and craft carefully so you don't make the mistake of "everyone will love this book" because everyone won't. I know you think they should, but sadly, it doesn't work that way.
Even I, the paragon of great taste in all things book, had to stop reading Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. Skim the comments section of that blog post for some eye-opening info about what other readers of taste and discernment (they read this blog!) have also not finished/liked/resonated with.
All this to say, be restrained but not self-effacing.
If you were going to write a shelf talker saying "If you like this, you'll love Murder at Lake Tahoe" which five books would you put those shelf talkers on? And what would you say that would draw in the reader of those books?
Don't know what a shelf-talker is?
Don't feel dumb, we hear terms for the first time.
|Shelf talkers are comments about book content on the shelf