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Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday Musing Demographics

I've had some fascinating conversations with Hollywood producer Chuck Williams lately. He's caused me to rethink my marketing and promotional efforts regarding my books. Since he talks about ten times faster than I can think, I've spent many an hour digesting everything he said so you'll probably find several more posts here with his advice.

One thing he asked me: who are my demographics?

My books are generally read by the same audience that would read John Grisham. Meaning: equally divided between men and women aged 18 to 92.

Wrong answer, Chuck said.

Hollywood is very specific. A lot of authors have no plans to have their books made into movies or television series. But I do.

And when you're dealing with Hollywood, they want specific demographics.

As we continued our conversation, I realized that while I hadn't sat down and crunched numbers, I did make a very big change in my audience when I began the Black Swamp Mysteries series (Exit 22, Vicki's Key, Secrets of a Dangerous Woman and Dylan's Song.)

My target is a younger audience aged 20 to 35. Though I've had people read these books and love them who are 50 to 92, I added two elements that appeal more to a younger crowd.

First is the paranormal. Vicki Boyd is a psychic spy. The paranormal is a huge market right now and growing-among younger audiences.

Second is romance. There is more romance in the Black Swamp Mysteries series, thanks in large part to Irishman Dylan Maguire. Younger audiences like more romance and they tend toward more detail in lieu of the shadowy scenes of the oldest audiences.

The changes paid off. I am reaching the same audience as I did previously but broadened it substantially with the addition of these two elements.

And it turns out, Hollywood would regard it as a good move, also. Their target market is the younger crowd - 35 or below. I love James Bond movies and Daniel Craig but I am not their target audience. It's probably the reason Sean Connery isn't still playing the famous spy.

Have you thought of your books in terms of demographics?

(And thank you, Chuck Williams. No wonder everyone loves you!!)


Bonnie Watson said...

It's a valid point. I keep in mind that my book starts off with a ten-year-old who matures early and ends the book at age twenty. Then for the rest of the series he stays at that age. I originally wrote it for young adults. Even though I'm quickly surpassing that age, I will still continue to write for it. (Keeps me feeling young!) I think if Hollywood were to pick something like this up, there might need to be some changes to keep the character at a specific age for the majority of the movie. Unless a TV series were in order, that might be more flexible with characters.

p.m.terrell said...

Thanks for popping in and leaving a comment, Bonnie! I would think your books would be very popular in Hollywood, especially given the interest in the paranormal and fantasy genres in the younger generations! I'd be the first in line!