DIY Blog Tour: Who is your audience?

So you want to plan a blog tour. Or maybe you don't really want to, but you know it's good for you (like spinach and broccoli without butter) so you're going to do it anyway. Great! But before you start thinking about contest swag and interview questions, you need to get the important details nailed down first.

At the top of the list of important details is Identify Your Audience.

This may seem basic, but your audience will drive every other decision you make about your blog tour. Anytime you need to choose between this or that, the answer is always 'which one will my reader like better'.

Ideally you know your audience already since you wrote a whole book for them, but I've found that a lot of authors confuse genre/age group with audience. When asked 'Who is your audience?', they reply 'Kids age 11-13 who like mystery'. This isn't an audience. This tells me you wrote a MG mystery novel.

I've written other post on knowing who is your reader and where to find your reader, so I won't go into it here. If you haven't ever stopped to really focus in on who your reader is, you need to do it now. Otherwise, how will you know if you're building a blog tour your reader will like.

Now, for those of us who write YA, we are special little sparkly stars. We like to think that our audience is everyone, because YA isn't just for teens anymore.

Your sparkly star is great when you need a pat on the back, but it has no place in this blog tour. You might have a more diverse audience than Neil Diamond, but you can't market your book to everyone or you'll be marketing to no one.

Forget about the bored housewives (ha, like they exist) and the cool school librarians. Focus on the teens your book was really written for. This concludes this special YA author service announcement.

Take some time before you work on any other part of your blog tour to identify your target audience, the holy grail of readers, your future biggest fan. Write down everything you know about him/her. Pin a picture of them. Draw their face on a volleyball and give them a spot of honor on your desk. It doesn't matter how you do it. Just make sure that you have a visual reminder to check in with your audience through the planning process to make sure you are on the right track to making a splash with your tour.