Current Project: Group blog Romancing the Genres
Status: Launches May 1st
Barbara’s post yesterday got me thinking about finding niche audiences. In her how-to book, Get Known Before the Book Deal, author Christina Katz advises writers to get involved with some niche audiences before you sell in order to build a platform of contacts who will be interested in your books when you do sell. Since I haven’t sold yet, I’ve taken this advice to heart.
But what’s an aspiring author to do? I’ve wrestled with this for months. I blend genres and genre hop. Maybe I’ll eventually settle into one genre, or maybe I never will. Who knows? So who are my potential niche audiences?
Keeping in mind that genre is only one aspect of a writer’s brand, I’ve tried to pinpoint the features of my stories and my voice that run through all my books. This process didn't happen over night.
Some were obvious: Dogs are characters in all my books, not walk-on characters or ‘furniture’, but true secondary characters who fulfill vital functions in the story and whose actions affect the plot. Chances are dog lovers will like my books.
My books are funny and scary. One writing instructor told me I write dark comedies. Humor is part of my brand. People who like funny books will probably like mine. People who enjoy action-adventure stories or comedy/horror stories will probably like mine.
Some are not as obvious: Many themes that run through my stories have a special appeal to young adults: belonging, secrets, self-acceptance, and empowerment. Young adults will probably like my stories.
Now I have identified several niche markets. Time to get to work!
Can you identify a niche audience for your stories?