Target Audience

I’m not going to lie, I do get really nervous about how well my first book will do when it finally comes out. Why? Trying to figure out the target audience and such.

When I started writing it a few years back, I was under the impression that I’d be able to market it as a Young Adult book. However, a while later, I realized that the ages of my characters didn’t fit with that. Young Adult books have the cut off age at 18. My main characters are 19 and 25, just passed the cut off. It’s silly, in my opinion, since most people through their 20s are considered “young adults,” and yet the YA genre is more for teens. Can I have a vote please to change the YA age range, and include a “tween/teen” range instead for the ones they are considering young adult right now? Apparently there is a new genre they are calling New Adult fiction for the age range of 18-30, but it focuses on leaving home, developing sexuality, and negotiating career choice and college. Still, I do not feel that this really fits my novel.

The next hard part is the word count. My novel stands around 53k words. Of what I’m finding online, I have a bit of a problem… It’s too short.

  • Crime Fiction: 90k-100k
  • Mysteries: 70k-90k
  • Fantasy/Sci-Fi: 90k-100k/100k-115k
  • Historical: 100k-120k
  • Young Adult: 50k-80k/55k-80k/~65k
  • New Adult: 60k-85k

Why do I list all of these? Because there’s a little bit of each theme in my books. Crime fiction because it’s a little bit of a detective story, mystery because we don’t know who is committing the crimes, fantasy/sci-fi because steampunk, historical because it takes place in 1888 London (though based off an actual historical event, is slightly twisted from the real thing), and the young/new adult because of the ages of characters. The only one my novel fits under for length is Young Adult, depending on who you talk to.

I also, when writing it, wrote it with the intent of it being easy to read, which most YA novels do. As my age range doesn’t allow that, I would have to go back and do some editing on my word choices throughout the novel. I would have to try to elaborate (even though in the first couple editing processes I actually cut out a lot of unnecessary details). I could try to add some more details here and there, but I’m not sure if it’s really doable without it making it sound like it’s being forced in. Even then, that’s a lot of writing to add in to make it fit into another category.

I know self-publishing doesn’t really care about the word count, but I’ve always felt that my story was too short for publishing to begin with. And after looking at the numbers, now I’m even more so sure. How can I fix these issues before I actually get this out to publish? I guess time and a lot of thinking is all that will tell.

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