Writing for a Niche Market
Every book has a number of niche markets that a successful marketing campaign can target, although the author may not realize it at first. Sometimes it’s not until the work is done that an obvious market emerges, but when it does, take advantage of it! John Grisham is one of the finest and most successful authors of our time. He writes about lawyers, a subject he knows well after practicing law himself. He has practically manufactured his own “lawyer” niche, but there are plenty of other groups his publisher markets to.
Stephen King admits to loving horror pictures, having been drawn to them at a local theatre during his youth. He too, knows and loves his subject. That love is what sends those novels into the sales stratosphere. Well, that and great stories told in the best possible manner, but again, although his books are in the horror and fiction genre’, other reading groups are attracted to his work.
For mere mortal authors, an audience can still be found by figuring out who benefits or wants the kind of book you have produced. As I mentioned at Author Book Marketing, identifying your niche is the key, and it’s not that tough to do.
Just as blogs appeal to certain readers, so do books, obviously, but targeting your work to the right group not only focuses your marketing dollars, but uses your valuable time in a productive manner.
My book, “Nevada’s Golden Age of Gambling,” is about the first 50 years of legalized gambling in Nevada (1931 to 1981). So, who’s interested in that subject? Well, your first thought might be gamblers. People that go and play blackjack might be my best bet (sorry for the pun). I wish that was true because my audience would be much larger.
However, I’ve found that gamblers are only a small part of my audience. Most slot players don’t care that “Bugsy” Siegel was the front man for the Mob in Las Vegas and built the Flamingo casino. They do seem more interested in the fact that he was gunned down at his girlfriend’s (Virginia Hill) house in Beverly Hills in 1947.
That’s a clue.
So what niches do I target? Sure, Las Vegas, casinos and gambling – but how about Hollywood, and gangsters. Let’s add The Mob to that list, and people interested in Nevada, history, casino chips, dice collectors, post card collectors (specializing in Nevada, Las Vegas, Hollywood, and casinos). Add the 1940’s now we’re cooking. With those dozen niches I’ve got plenty to start with. The internet connects me with plenty of blogs about every single one of those groups.
What’s Your Niche?
So, think about your latest book. Say it’s a novel, set in a US submarine during the 1970s. What are your niches? To start with, submarines, and the ‘70’s, and the Navy. Let’s add where the submarine was deployed – did it leave San Diego? Now add California, and the genre’, action adventure perhaps. Is there a murder, a physician on board (yes), are US Seals attached to this sub, and what about the sonar equipment and some sub history? Can you think of a few other niches to round out a dozen avenues to market? Yes, you can.
By using niche marketing you help target your dollars and solidify your audience, but you also do something a novelist must always do to be successful: differentiate their work from the 4.5 million other novels that were published in the last year. Yes, the odds are that steep!
If you start with a great story, tell it well, edit your words, and have a great cover, you are already ahead of 90% of your competition. Then, keep up with the remaining authors by making sure your words get seen by your niche market. Do that and you can eventually attract the masses. Don’t believe me? Just ask John Grisham and Stephen King!
Before "Bugsy" Siegel" opened the Flamingo casino and created the Las Vegas Strip, the Mob was hard at work stealing Downtown casinos like the Las Vegas Club and the El Cortez from their original owners. Reno casino owners resorted to arson and murder to keep their money flowing, and they had Lake Tahoe casinos in their pocket too!
Nevada's Golden Age of Gambling is a photo-rich history of the casinos from 1931 to 1981. All about the building of empires from Reno and Lake Tahoe to Las Vegas and a dozen other Nevada casino towns.
Stories detail how the casinos were built, who the major gaming pioneers were, and how they managed to build Nevada from a agriculture and mining based economy into the greatest gaming empire in the world.
Chapters include the history of casinos and their founders from Bill Harrah and "Pappy" Smith, to Moe Dalitz, "Bugsy" Siegel, and dozens of others.
I'm a lucky guy. My family traveled through Nevada most summers and I got to see the towns and casinos changing like the color of the leaves in the trees. Casinos came and went. So did we.
I started taking pictures of the casinos and researching their owners and name changes in the 1980's. I collected chips and dice, and since then I've had a great time working at properties like Harrah's and Harold's Club, and writing about everything I've learned.
I also write a Nevada Casino History blog and discuss Casino Gambling at About.com Please drop by and leave me a note - I'll respond.
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