Question 33)

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11 February 2009

AUTHOR QUESTIONNAIRE — Question # 33) For what audience is your book primarily written?

What a question. What I mean is, that’s quite a question. For one thing, it assumes there exists an answer.

From the writer’s perspective, it is not unlike–is in fact related to–the question of why we write. And the answer, I confess, is not so noble or generous as one might hope…

I write for myself. In other words, I am the audience for which my book is primarily written.  “The only reader [the writer] can know anything about is himself,” wrote Flannery O’Connor.  

But so as not to upset my publisher, I give it another go.  I think less in terms of demographics, and more in terms of bookshelves:  if you have these books on your bookshelf, then my book is, generally speaking, written for you.  What would those books be?  Here is where I need an Amazon.com mathematician, the guys (or gals) who create the algorithms for “Your Recommendations”–if you liked Attack of the Disco Rice, you’ll also like… 

The question, I suspect, is formulated for an answer that looks something more like this: women, professional, 30-65; gay men, 25-45; possessors of a passport; HBO subscribers.

Seriously, though, let’s go at it straight:  Long For This World is written for people who read literature for both pleasure and meaning.  I think I could slap that on the product label and feel pretty good about it.

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