Know Your Reader's Personality Type

17 Mar

The lotus is the symbol of enlightenment.

The lotus is the symbol of enlightenment.

I‘m pleased to present our first guest blogger, Irene Watson of ReaderViews. Irene brings an broad and deep background to all phases of writing and book publicity. You may be familiar with the services provided to authors by ReaderViews, but did you know that Irene has a Master’s degree in psychology and was a psychotherapist for ten years?

Please join me in welcoming Irene to Your Shelf Life. She will be a guest blogger several times a month.

Sandy Nathan

Effective writing, whether it be for a novel, memoir, or a blog, depends much on the writing skills of the author. We know it must be clear and complete, as well as interesting, captivating and have good character or content development. Yet, most writers spend very little time determining the reading styles of their target audience.

From the eight dimensions of personality typing originated by Jung and Myers and Briggs, writers can identify the four basic personality types.  I do stress that personality type doesn’t explain the reason why people read or assimilate information the way they do, however I do insist on the importance of understanding individual reading personalities.

The first step is to determine which of the four basic writing types the author himself or herself belongs to.  More information on the Myers-Briggs Type Indication may be found here: Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Test.

As a writer, once we determine our own personality type we can then concentrate on learning how other personalities function.  Writing to all four personality types may be crucial and determines whether or not your potential readers can get their interest spiked.

For example, Intuitive people can relate to stories.  The more fluff, descriptive scenes, and full character development, the better they can relate to and enjoy the story.  They are emotional and empathetic.  On the other hand, the Thinkers are usually devoid of emotion and sentimentality and all the fluff in a story is boring and they skip over it.  The more they have to skip over the fluff, the less interested they will become in your book.

As you can see, researching this aspect is very important before you even begin to write your book.  I encourage you to study personality types – it will not only help you write to your target audience but it will also help you develop the characters for your book.



Irene Watson is the Managing Editor of Reader Views, an author support service based in Austin, Texas.  They successfully collaborate with diverse authors and publishers to drive sales of their books by providing book reviews and author publicity.  For more information go to

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