Every writer writes with an intended audience in mind (or at least they should). By knowing your audience, you can write to their likes, their sensitivities, their passions, and give them what they're craving for.
"I want to write for EVERYONE! I want you and you and you to love me! The world is my oyster!" some writers might say. To that I respond with a hearty, "Good freakin' luck!" It's impossible. How can a writer even do that? How can anyone do that? That's why it's easier to narrow it in on a certain group. If you can please them, then fantastic. You did a good job. If by some miracle others outside that group like what you've accomplished, all the better.
For me, when anyone outside my teen girl/fun woman audience picks up one of my books to read, especially the zombie western, I get nervous. I write with women and girls in mind. Not men.
Women are emotional (that's what makes us awesome, not crazy. Okay... maybe a little crazy, but would you really want us any different?). Women love romance and love and connection and relationships. My zombie books especially are all about that. Big time.
Men are visual. Men are tough. Men are an ARRGGGGHHH kind of a thing. Not that they don't love relationships and love as well, but when it comes to zombie books directed to a more male audience there seems to be a pattern of "Kill that freakin' zombie! Toss him in the wood chipper! Where's my bazooka! Looky there! Fred's a zombie! Get him! Arrrgggghhh!" (Disclaimer: Not all men behave like that. Mostly it's just men from the south. Disclaimer Disclaimer: Not all men from the south behave like this. Disclaimer Disclaimer Disclaimer: I'm being funny. Not serious. No need for pitchforks and torches).
Men and women are well...different. Both good and wonderful, but different none-the-less. We all know this.
So whenever a man picks up my zombie western I always preface it with one of two things: "Tap into your teenage girl side before reading" or "Be forewarned: There's a lot of gross stuff in this book like decapitations, brain munching, and kissing."
But the thing that has surprised me is that men (so far anyway) seem to dig my zombie book. Which is pretty dang awesome.There has been a HUGE shift in the kinds of emails, facebook messages, and tweets I've received lately. They have all been coming from men. Yeah, men. And it's super cool and something I would've never expected. To know I've written something that can appeal to both sexes feels pretty good. Don't get me wrong, there's been a couple of men who want more terror, more brains, and less romance. But to those fellas I say, "Sorry, I write for girls. And...I'm not sure I'd know how to write for men anyway."
Now, the only audience left to tap into is toddlers. If I can get babies and toddlers to hop on board the zombie train, I'd be golden. But so far, no go :)
Seriously though, a writer has to pick its audience and write for them and them only. Otherwise it would just get too crazy and upset the balance of the world. Okay maybe it wouldn't upset the balance of the world, but you get my drift.
Stop worrying about trying to please everyone and just write for the one group you really hope will like your book.
If others outside your intended audience enjoy what you've written, then that's just sprinkles on the cupcake.