Let me rephrase the title of this blog: “Do you know who your target audience is?”
The simple answer, of course, is YA, but… it’s not so simple. From doing social networking in YA for over a year now, I can tell you that the interaction I have with actual young adults is far less common than the interaction I have with folks much, much closer to my own age.
From agents to editors, from bloggers to reviewers, from family members to “fans,” most of my daily, online interaction is with non-young adults. And that’s… awesome! I love it, because while very few of us are still young adults, we’re almost all still active in the YA culture.
Maybe we’re “fabulous” YA authors, like my colleagues here. Or maybe we review YA, or blog about it, or just plain dig it for a variety of reasons. It’s so refreshing to find so many talented, active and passionate individuals revolving around such a sophisticated and worthwhile genre.
Which isn’t to say that I don’t actively court actual young adults as well. It’s just, as much as I write in their world, I no longer really “live” in it. As a former public school teacher, I studied it voraciously for nearly a decade, but I’m no longer teaching so that avenue is closed to me.
I communicate often with young adult bloggers who are, themselves, young adults but I tend to keep that fairly professional – on Facebook, Twitter and via email – kind of the same way I always treated my students when I saw them out in public.
I often wonder how “appropriate” I’m being when interacting with real, live kids and want to keep things safe and sound for all parties involved. But I love their enthusiasm, their passion, their pure joy about talking to authors and sharing ideas and working together when I do a guest post or answer interview questions for them.
And then there is that whole, other audience of “strangers” – adult and young adult alike – who you never quite communicate with, but wish you could. The random folks who buy and read and review your book and then move onto the next.
I often wonder, “Am I communicating with them? Am I reaching them?” I must be, if they read one book, but… how can I get them to stick around and read the second, or the third? Or my blog or this other blog I’m guest posting or my tweets or Facebook postings?
Lately, to reach a slightly – and I do mean slightly – “bigger” audience, I’ve been dabbling in something I never thought I’d do: making videos. First with a video blog and, later, with two book trailers and, now, a short film based on one of my free zombie poems, Zombies Don’t Trick or Treat.
Yes, it’s to promote my paperbacks and EBooks, but also, I think, it’s to reach yet another audience. Take my wife, for example. She knows about my books, has read a lot of them but she’s really, really gotten excited about watching and, later, helping me make these four short videos.
It’s been neat because I kind of see her as a neglected audience that I never really reached before, and it makes me wonder how many others I haven’t met because, frankly, they’d rather watch a short video clip than read an entire book.
So, as I wind down, I’ll ask again: “Are you reaching your target audience?”
Would a video, or a poem, or a short story, or even an audio version of your book or poem or short story open up a broader audience that you might not be tapping now?
I think the answer is fairly obvious, but I ask because if you’re like me, you kind of need that extra motivation to make the leap to all this “multimedia” stuff. I know I did!
Yours in YA,
PS: If you want to check out the video, I’ve included it because, well, it’s kind of cool but it also goes to the point of this blog: some folks who won’t read the Ebooks will check out the video, and I’m happy for both!
So here it is, the short film for Zombies Don’t Trick or Treat:
Yours in YA,