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Old 09-12-2012, 12:38 AM   #31
frahse
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I do not! My books sell. I really enjoy writing my books. The lion share of reviewers like my books. I am not in the 100, and no where near living off my books, but maybe one day I will be. I am getting a steady check form Amazon and Smashwords.

That being said... I almost never hear form my readers. I have no idea what demographic I am hitting. Women? Men? Young Adults? Dogs who are closet cat lovers?

How the heck would you know? How do you see behind the next tick up on your sales count to know who it represents?

So far I have gotten a few emails, one form a college kid, and one from a 50 something woman. One a 20 something female, and another form a 50 something man. You get the idea, a wide scattering. Less then 10 readers have contacted me, and they only thing they have in common is that they read my book and have an email account.
I have said it elsewhere, but again get yourself a website. If you can't build it yourself, pay a kid at the local college a few hundred to do it. Or let your web hosting service set it up.

Then you can have feedback. Sometimes too much, so you have to set it up to "monitor" what is put on the site from others. i.e. pre screen it.

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Old 09-12-2012, 12:55 AM   #32
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On the other hand, I have added to one of my lines what I would call a mild (implied) "multi-sexual," theme in a non-abuse situation. I wasn't making any kind of statement, but I had noticed that one of my old favorites had something similar and I just popped it in discretely as a side issue/complication one night after I had seen something in a park. I didn't know if it would even be noticed. Sure enough it was, and I got quite a good many comments on it.

It put me in a kind of embarrassing position because I don't want to personally engage in conversation about that, but I have continued the theme and noticed an uptick in that line.

Put another way. It is mild enough that the real straights don't seem to mind, but the mixed folks appreciated the thought, the inclusiveness.

Everyone has itches.
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:14 AM   #33
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I have said it elsewhere, but again get yourself a website. If you can't build it yourself, pay a kid at the local college a few hundred to do it. Or let your web hosting service set it up.

Then you can have feedback. Sometimes too much, so you have to set it up to "monitor" what is put on the site from others. i.e. pre screen it.
Prehaps, you're confusing me with someone else who does not have a web site listed in his autosig and has helped people here get started with theirs.
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:26 AM   #34
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Prehaps, you're confusing me with someone else who does not have a web site listed in his autosig and has helped people here get started with theirs.
I thought that was the case. Perhaps you should showcase it a bit. Even some comments in your book from "your site' from readers along with reviews or comments from writers or publications. Just be careful about names in a book, digital or otherwise.
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Old 09-12-2012, 04:00 AM   #35
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I'm going to jump in and be the voice of dissent, here. I believe there is great value in keeping the reader in mind even though you are following your muse and writing the book that tugs at your heart.

Printed words do not exist in superposition. They are not like electrons, able to be two different things at once. During the process of writing, the author inevitably comes to points when he or she must decide (a) whether or not to include exposition, (b) how explicitly to render a character's thoughts, (c) which cliches to build off of, and (d) which cliches to defy.

Different groups of readers come to a book with different backgrounds, assumptions, and ambient knowledge about the genre. Hard-core science fiction readers will get bored if you spend three pages explaining the vagaries of superluminal travel. Mainstream readers may be confused if you don't. Older readers are more likely to pick up on references to politics. Younger readers are more likely to laugh at pop culture jokes, and so forth.

So, while you don't want to constrain yourself to writing a book that will appeal only to a narrowly-defined target audience, it can be very helpful to maintain a mental image of your book's typical reader. That way, when you come to those decision-making crossroads, you be consistent in terms of how much exposition to include and which assumptions you make about your reader's mental state. The alternative is to bumble about at random, and that can result in books that are haphazardly tailored to multiple audiences and end up pleasing none.
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:16 PM   #36
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I still say that the writer and the reader can't really be separated. I doubt any writer writes a book and then remarks "who are these people who read my work? I don't know them."
In reference to what I posted earlier,

Quote:
I'd have to say, when it comes to writing longer pieces, I always go with writing that interests/inspires me the most. After it's done, I sit down and ask myself: well, who is going to read this? And another: who is going to enjoy it?
I should clarify what I meant here, and it is closer to what Nancy has touched on above:

If it's a children's story with fairy elves and Mother Milgrim that I've written, then I'm not going to try to pitch it to a hardcore sword and sorcery group of readers looking for half-clothed barbarians wielding bloody poleaxes; likewise if it's YA, it may not jive with an older crowd, nor would a literary fiction type novel appeal to a YA audience typically. So, I take a good close look at the writing and ask myself, who does it apply to? Where would be the best place to try and get some interest for it? (thinking in terms of using Twitter, FB, book blogging platforms, etc)
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:42 AM   #37
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"poleaxes?" eeek!
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:15 PM   #38
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Yeah, nasty stuff, which is why we don't want to mix them with Mother Milgrim ... unless, of course, we want to inject some Monty Python.
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:40 AM   #39
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Surely it depends on what you're writing for. Are you writing for your own enjoyment and fulfilment, or do you want to make a living at it. If it's the latter, you've got to know and understand your readers and write for them, not for your self.
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:37 PM   #40
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A poleaxe is generally in polite society a "Halberd"
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:56 PM   #41
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A poleaxe is generally in polite society a "Halberd"
Depends on your source material. A pole axe was different from a halberd, which was different from a fouchard-fork, bill-guisarme, guisarme, glaive-guisarme, bill, glaive, fourchard, trident, military fork... and hopefully you get the idea.

Each of them had a separate stat line in 1e and 2e D&D, although you needed a separate chart in a supplemental book to actually tell what they looked like.
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Old 09-29-2012, 04:02 PM   #42
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teh603, my browser (right now) keeps me from using the quote function, but I address your comment.

I am not a gamer. Never the time. I am a student of weapons technology and history though.
I like to think of poleaxes (only primitive axe head on a long shaft) as being wielded by great brutes of barbarian men (Visigoths and the like) as they besieged Rome and waited for the river to freeze to cross over in mass. A pole axe could have a chipped stone axe head and be tied to the long shaft, or later it was a crudely forged metal axe head with a shaft hole or at least a groove or slot or bumps on it that kept it fixed on the long shaft and prevented twisting. I keep saying "long shaft" to differentiate it from regular battle axes or even war hammers.
Halberds on the other hand were later for more stately genteel Swiss Guards and the like. There are still ceremonial halberds wielded today in matters of state. The halberd has fine metal work and combines ornate axe heads with spear or pike heads.

Anyway, poleaxe goes with rough barbarians.
Halberd used by very well uniformed Swiss Guardsman and the like and still today used in traditional ceremony.
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:17 PM   #43
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I am not a gamer. Never the time. I am a student of weapons technology and history though.
I like to think of poleaxes (only primitive axe head on a long shaft) as being wielded by great brutes of barbarian men (Visigoths and the like) as they besieged Rome and waited for the river to freeze to cross over in mass. A pole axe could have a chipped stone axe head and be tied to the long shaft, or later it was a crudely forged metal axe head with a shaft hole or at least a groove or slot or bumps on it that kept it fixed on the long shaft and prevented twisting. I keep saying "long shaft" to differentiate it from regular battle axes or even war hammers.
Halberds on the other hand were later for more stately genteel Swiss Guards and the like. There are still ceremonial halberds wielded today in matters of state. The halberd has fine metal work and combines ornate axe heads with spear or pike heads.

Anyway, poleaxe goes with rough barbarians.
Halberd used by very well uniformed Swiss Guardsman and the like and still today used in traditional ceremony.
Fair enough.

The guys who wrote 1e D&D based the equipment listings on actual medieval equipment, because it was written by historical wargamers. They did their research because they figured their readers would be able to tell the difference between the various polearms, as well as the different types of armor across history. Never mind the fact that most of them had identical stats.

Later iterations of the game which were actually written by gamers simplified things a lot, as did other games as well. For example, World of Warcraft just has "Polearms," which includes a variety of spear and halberd-like weapons including a few that're unique to that game.
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Old 09-29-2012, 11:56 PM   #44
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I have lived in some of those places where the "barbarians" that threw down Rome roamed. There are a lot of old weapons and also farm equipment that were used for weapons still displayed usually in eating and drinking places as well as in museums.

I have my fathers old pole saw and branch lopper. Two 6 foot poles of wood that fit together in a metal socket and have a deadly looking 40cm saw blade and a 2 inch cut capacity, uniquely designed anvil lopper on 1 end. The lopper is operated with a pull rope.

It might be considered a "pole arm."

My collection of my fathers old picks, mattocks, axes, and bush axes is also impressive. The great wear on these impressive pieces of steel tell a story of long labor and tremendous effort.
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:10 PM   #45
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I wouldn't say "I write for myself," nor "I write for my readers." I write because I enjoy writing. I place it online and share it with others to receive feedback. I place it on B&N, Amazon, etc so that I might make some small amount of money from it, and others may enjoy my work.

Money and readership are hardly my goals in writing. They are nice, certainly. It's always enjoyable to be paid for something you love, and sharing your work with others is always enjoyable.

But, my primary motivation in writing is enjoyment. My primary motivation in showing it to others is constructive feedback, so that I may improve. I perform because I like it and want to improve at it. Money is just icing on the cake.

Have I ever considered a "target audience?" No. Do I know when something is not appropriate for a certain age range? Yes. Do I edit my work a little when publishing to a site that doesn't allow cuss words? Yes. When works are not appropriate at all, I simply do not post them. But that is the extent of "thinking for the audience" that I do.
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