Yes, you read that title right. Stephenie Meyer is a genius. I’ve come out and said it publically, and I can’t take it back. I think that Stephenie Meyer, author of Twilight, New Moon and all that other emo-Vampire stuff is a bona-fide, certified genius.
I also think her work is vapid, dull and derivative. I’m not the only one. Millions of people think the same. In fact, I’d go out on a limb and say that unless you’re a teenage girl (or a 24 year old woman who I won’t be accompanying to the pictures on Wednesday), you’ll think that Twighlight is, quite frankly, cobblers.
And that is why Stephanie Meyer is a genius.
Why is Stephanie Meyer a Genius?
Because she knows that it doesn’t matter what you think. Her books are aimed at teenage girls (and my 24 year old girlfriend, apparently) and they lap it up. Her characters, style and settings speak to her audience. And it’s made her a very wealthy woman indeed.
She’ll probably never appeal to the broad audience that JK Rowling has, but that’s not stopped her Twilight series becoming a huge success. And all because she knows her audience.
What you should learn from Stephenie Meyer
If your audience wants Emo Vampires, give them Emo Vampires: If you’re writing copy for a stairlift manufacturer, you should make sure that it appeals to the elderly, and middle-aged people with elderly parents. They want calm reassurance, so give it to them.
Ignore the cynical young men – the naysayers always sound louder: You hear that feedback? The sound of the internet laughing at you? Block it out. Focus on what your target audience want to hear – if you’re giving it to them, then it doesn’t matter what other people think. The hecklers were never going to buy the product anyway, so their views on the copy don’t matter.
Team Edward or Team Whatever-the-wolf-boy’s-called: Remember that your audience aren’t a homogenous mass, no matter how niche you think your market is. Identify the different needs of your audience, and make sure you’re catering to them.
You don’t have to read Twilight to appreciate that Meyer’s gone and found herself a goose that lays golden eggs, and thankfully you won’t have to go see New Moon to learn how to emulate that success.