Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Indie Publishers: Find Your Niche!

Indie publishers have to find their niche. Your readers are out there and your job is to find them and interact with them. One of the biggest problems with indie publishing is you are unknown – the potential readers don’t know your book exists.

Think small and specialized. You don’t need a lot of readers to do well. Your niche does not have to be millions of people. If you had 2,000 devoted readers you could do all right if you write enough books!

Spend the time to figure out who your reader is and where, online, they might reside. For example, one of my clients writes cozy mysteries and the titles are all based on food. In fact, the author includes a recipe in the back of each book! So, I went on to Google and searched “cozy mystery and baking.” In less than a minute I found two websites, both with lists of cozy mystery series related to baking and culinary topics. Obviously, she should be on those lists. Sometimes it’s not hard to find potential groups of readers. More often it is difficult and takes time. Once you find a group, participate! Contact the website owners; comment on posts – get involved. How else will your name, and eventually your books, get known? Here are some articles on the topic:
"Thus, before we hop onto the latest marketing/promotion fad we’re wise to understand why traditional marketing doesn’t sell books. Books are not like cups of coffee or breakfast cereal, and thus require a different approach.

Yes, ads, marketing and promotion campaigns sell toilet paper, soap, and toothpaste because seriously…who is NOT USING this stuff? When it comes to influencing what folks do with their free time, however, it’s a whole other game.

Reading for pleasure has been steadily declining since the 1980s, and now that our culture is firmly entrenched in the new digital paradigm, this number is dropping off…a cliff. Back in 2004, roughly 28% of Americans over the age of 15 read for pleasure. As of 2017, that number was down to 19%, and for good reasons.

There’s Netflix, Fortnite, YouTube, Instagram, Tinder, and Candy Crush. Also, the final season of Game of Thrones in April—Spring is Coming—and we need to refresh our memories and who exactly all three hundred four characters are. Right?

Alas, what frustrates so many authors (and traditional marketing/advertising/PR people who still think it’s 1997) is that social media is the modern version of ‘word of mouth.’ Unlike direct marketing, social media efficacy can’t be precisely measured or controlled.

The more niche we can become, the less competition we have to outmaneuver and outdo."
Read the entire article.

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