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Your Little Piece of the Reader Pie?

March 14, 2014

Are there only fixed numbers of readers per genre? Is the reader pie really something us writers have to slice up into tiny morsels to share or fight over? I don’t think so.

Is there only one big reader pie in all the world, or can we bake new pies to fill the bakery more and more? Yes, I do believe that writers can bake more pies. Particularly sub-genres for example. And with more pie wishes being filled, there will be hungry pie readers eating them up.

People will buy more pies, even in a down economy. During the great depression, entertainment was craved all the more. In this prolonged recession (or whatever it is at this point), cupcake and other dessert shops have thrived. People feel the need for comfort foods more than ever in down times.

With e-books and e-translators, our potential readers are only going to expand. For writers, I tend to think that it’s going to be more and more a world market. If you write that which speaks to the human spirit and condition, people will respond. People are people, the world over.

Writers are readers too. Writers were readers, first. As a writer who is inspired by my favorite novelists (who happen to have written classic Regency and Victorian novels), I read and reread what I love: when I’m not writing. It’s one key fuel that gets me going. Comfort food. Choose your fuel. Write your faves.

As an avid reader of Austen, Bronte and other eighteen hundreds novelists, I’ve long been hungry for more of that kind of fare. Just because I’ve only bought and read a fixed number of Austen books (all of them), doesn’t mean I wouldn’t buy more if there were some to be had. Indeed, I’ve so many times wished, like other ardent Jane Austen fans, that she had lived much longer and written far more. This is why the Austen-related sub-genre is feeding so many current writers’ incomes as they fill the Austen reader pie void with their own slices of pie. Inspired-bys, sequels, spin-offs, rip-offs, you name it. Austen-oholics are drinking them in.

The reader pie slice hunger might be more limitless than limited. Read what you love, get inspired and then write what you love. I write the stories I would love to read: that which interests me. Women like me who love similar things, may relate to my writing. Build your brand, bake your pies, show your style, help your future readers find your works.

Now, sometimes you think you are going to read something you love, and you wind up annoyed by the ending or anything else within the story threads. Those unpleasant surprises, that which you didn’t expect nor like, are the lemons that you can squeeze into your own personal lemonade. Frustrated reading is a springboard to your new story pies.

So, keep thinking up your own personalized pie slice ideas. Once you find your readers or they find your writing, they will always have room for another slice of pie. Right? And you can’t write your novels as fast as they can read them, that’s for sure. So, writers, don’t worry about that supposed ‘one and only’ elusive fixed-size world pie, just keep making your pies. There is like-minded hunger out there. Go warm your ovens and get baking. Today! Because, its Pie Day.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 14, 2014 3:12 pm

    As a writer and literary blogger, I am always interested in the “reader pie.” It is important to know who will be reading your work and who you can expect to read it in the future. Great and insightful post!

    • March 14, 2014 3:36 pm

      Thanks! Yes, know your audience & look ahead to your future readership.

      The way I currently look at it is thusly: I am my audience, therefore I know them – women like me who like what I like. I love (especially femininely inclined) classics and so aspire to write that general fare: timeless kinds of works. Being immersed in it, makes it more intuitive. Theoretically. 🙂

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