Who is my audience?
As per the question of my publisher, voicecollective.press, a Boston | Austin start-up seeking to brand a new artistic channel. It brought to light and very intricate question which eventually—and realistically—all authors must face. For me, it was a question which I knew the answer to, but it was hard to define. Of course, any business entity knows every element in the marketing, and subsequent publishing process, has to be measurable. A requirement, or a goal, cannot exist if it cannot be measured. So, to this question I attempted to transform the qualitative into the quantifiable.
Who is my audience?
Millennials. People who understand a 9-5 job is not all there is to life.
People who are tired of reading cookie-cutter novels that may or may not include: lackluster mystery fiction (another murder suicide?), minority memoirs and the struggle growing up in 1960’s-70s-80s white and fascist America, heart-wrenching disease stories, and kinky portraits of motherhood with unsatisfied sexual appetites. I believe the lack of tangible, profoundly written books has contributed to the alienation of the general reading audience.
Nobody reads because all they see are novels which can be better portrayed in movies. Hell, most of what I read is from the early 20th century. Where is our Fitzgerald? Where is our new Hemingway? We were promised a new Charles Dickens, another Mark Twain, or even an Isaac Asimov! But no, they are too busy writing the next cancerous love story, or the next Nicholas Sparks-Stephen King combo of a gay werewolf who can’t find love in a town full of pretentious sparkle spitting vampires. Let’s add a haunted house. And a murder suicide. Boom. We have Michael Bay’s next blockbuster.
The sad thing is society eats it all up. But really, deep inside of us, what we truly want are thought-provoking plots and engaging characters that don't always require a sex scene or an explosion. We want to feel intrigued and curious. I want to be entertained too, but goddamn it stop making stupid people famous. And so the question is, can we dress depth and the extense of human glamour in a way the masses enjoy entertainment? Perhaps.
My audiences are people who are looking for something different, unconstrained to the life of just one character, something bigger. A novel that is easy to read and is engaging, but that will get them thinking. Wondering. Because look at you, you bright young bastard. After everything you've been through, you're still standing. After all the shit you’ve dealt with in your life, you’re still alive and breathing. You are a champion. You deserve better. You deserve beautiful things and stories that bring magic to the sometimes-dull reality we live in every day.
I want people to know they have another choice when considering the purchase of a new book, and hopefully, if they are seeking something else, they can find it.
And when they do, SOCIÉTÉ will deliver.
—Alexander Helas •