How to Define a Niche Market for your Books
If you’re just starting out as an author, you have to understand that the appeal of your name will be practically nil, so your books will have to sell on their own merits. Unfortunately, your first few books probably won’t have much in the way of mass market appeal. In order to gain readership, you need to find a niche market for your books. If you don’t know where to start, here are a few tips on how to define a niche market for your books:
Build a profile of your book’s target reader
There’s an old adage among writers that goes “write only for yourself”. The adage is fine if you want to take your time building a reader base, but if you want to make a living writing, you need to write for a specific group of people. Think of what kind of person you want as your readers. As a writer, this part shouldn’t be hard for you. You create and shape characters as part of your profession, after all. The only difference here is that you’re basing it on real life models.
Identify what topics your target reader is interested in
Do you want to target people in the military? Find out if they’re interested in war strategies or military histories. Do you want to target cyber spies? Find out if they’re interested in convicted cybercriminals or just plain IT security. Visit the websites and forums that your target reader visits and see if there’s a book to be written on the subject of said sites.
Check out the competition
Now that you have an idea of your target readers, do some more research and find out which books they have read. Social media has made this easier as people wear their media consumption on their sleeves these days. They brandish the books that they have read on their social network accounts, they talk about them on their blogs, they write reviews of these books, etc. This step is important because it will show you if the market you found is lucrative. If your target readers aren’t reading or buying that many books, chances are you’re wasting your time targeting them. Go back to the drawing board and find another target group. If it is lucrative, then proceed to the next step:
Write the book
After you have surveyed the map and have seen that there’s a demand for a product, you need to go ahead and produce the said product. Write the book designed to cater to your target readers. This is the part that doesn’t need much exposition because you’re a writer and writing books is what you do best.
Finally, promote your book
So, you have a target market and a product. The last thing needed is to bring your book to the attention of readers. Since you’ve done your research on your market in the earlier steps, this step should be much easier as you will also know where to market your books and the methods that the readers will be more receptive to. There are more specific steps to marketing your book to a niche market, but that’s a subject for another article.
Editor’s Note: This article was first published on e-Books India (the former name of Writing Tips Oasis) in January 2015.