Format: Will Availability Limit Your Readership?

A lot of writers are–usually by necessity or natural inclination–up to date on the latest technology. What you have to be careful to remember, though, is not all readers will be as tech-savvy as you. Depending on your genre, your expected readership may prefer one format over another, or may be split evenly down the middle. Whatever the case may be, it’s something to take into consideration, especially if you’re considering self-publishing.

Jody Hedlund, who I’ve quoted a few times on this blog already, recently posted about this very issue. Her personal experience with the question is why I’m posting it here.

the truth is, not everyone is moving at the same technological speed we are.

I’m reminded of this from time to time when I interact with readers. I often get handwritten notes in the mail from readers. And recently I received TWO letters from women who said this:

It was nice to see your P.O. Box included in your book, as we do not have a computer.”

I don’t have a computer (not good at it). Let me know if you write any other books—the titles, etc.

No computer? That may sound archaic to those of us whose fingers are super-glued to a keyboard. But it just shows that not everyone is as bonkers about computers and the internet as we are.

Recently, I was speaking at a library in Bay City, Michigan, to a group of 50-60 people at a lunch program called “Booked for Lunch.” I shared about my writing journey, research process, and had a power point presentation giving some of the background information of my books.

At the end of my talk, I left time for questions and answers. In the course of the conversations, I mentioned that my eBook of The Doctor’s Lady was on sale on Kindle (at that time was a part of Amazon’s ‘What’s the Big Deal’ promotion). I asked for those who had eReaders to raise their hands. And as far as I could tell, NOT ONE person raised his or her hand.

Jody explains this more, breaking it down into three reminders:

1. Know your genre readers and their demographics.

2. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

3. Stay humble and don’t burn bridges. 

 She goes into more detail within each bullet point on the main blog post, but even as simple reminders, they are points all writers should keep in mind. The world, your readership, and the industry are constantly changing. These days, adaptability may be key to long-term success.

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