How can you tell if your book marketing niche is the right one?
There are three signs to look for.
But first, let’s review what we’re talking about.
What is a Book Marketing Niche?
Your books appeal to a certain type of reader. As the author, you have to not only determine who those readers are but then fashion your author platform to help attract and retain those readers.
Finding your “niche”—your unique place on the market—helps you do that.
But that’s easier said than done.
Let’s take Ruby, for example. She writes paranormal romance books, so she needs to appeal to readers who are interested in paranormal circumstances and characters.
She could simply blog about paranormal romance. But she’s up against a lot of competition in that category, so she’s likely to disappear in the vast wilderness that is the Internet.
She needs to find a way to stand out.
How Authors Can Find Their Unique Niche
After I got my first novel publishing contract, I struggled to find a marketing niche.
When I got my second publishing contract, I knew I had to step it up. I did a lot of thinking and finally decided to try combining my professional skills as a health writer with my passion for creativity.
It was that decision that helped me create Writing and Wellness, my motivational website and blog. Once I did that, my career took off simply because I was talking about something (wellness for writers) that no one else was.
Today, I recommend that you combine your personal strengths (are you funny? romantic? organized?) with your writing genre to come up with a unique niche that sets you apart from others.
Examples of How to Create Your Perfect Book Marketing Niche
Let’s go back to Ruby. She sits down and takes inventory of her skills. Maybe she asks her friends and family what they find exceptional about her.
She zeroes in on two special skills/passions:
- She’s a fierce researcher. She knows and loves the details.
- She’s got a wicked sense of humor her friends love.
Considering these strengths and her genre, Ruby tries a few combinations in a potential author site tagline:
- Paranormal romance for smart readers who know their spirits.
- Ghost stories that answer the questions you were too terrified to ask.
- Romantic ghost stories that will tickle your funny bone.
She continues playing around with the ideas, and finally lands on:
Ruby Lovett’s Romance: Where paranormal love is fun!
Now I’m just playing around here—I’m sure you could come up with something better if you wanted to. But you get the point.
Now when readers visit Ruby’s site, they’re going to get a good idea of what she writes about. If that topic appeals to them, they’ll stick around to read more.
Already, Ruby is on her way to establishing a powerful niche in her genre.
How to Tell if You Have the Right Book Marketing Niche
Now that Ruby has a niche—as communicated in her tagline—she needs to test it out to see if it’s going to help her attract readers, build her subscriber list, and eventually sell more books.
Ruby starts blogging about fun paranormal love. Maybe she publishes a blog post on where ghosts like to go for dates. Or she creates a video about the three most important questions ghosts should ask their partners. She may interview a relationship expert on her podcast and ask about the unique challenges ghost couples face.
As she works on these things, she can ask herself the following questions to see if this niche is working for her:
1. Are we bored yet?
Authors who find the right niche never get bored with what they’re talking about.
If this is the right niche for Ruby, she’ll never tire of exploring this whole idea of how paranormal love can be fun. She will have no trouble coming up with new ideas for posts or podcasts, and she’ll find that the more she does it, the more she loves it.
If, however, this is the wrong niche for Ruby, she’ll get bored with it rather quickly—say, in about 3-6 months. She’ll run out of ideas and will start to stress about what to blog about. Her posts will get hum-drum and dry, and the fun will drain out of her work.
Question for you: Are you bored with your book marketing niche?
2. Are the readers coming?
The second sign that Ruby has found the right book marketing niche is that her readership is growing.
She’s getting more visits to her website, more “likes” and shares on her social media posts, and ultimately, more newsletter subscribers. People are commenting on her content and sharing it with their friends. She’s building a reputation for herself as the queen of fun paranormal love.
If, on the other hand, Ruby has been working this niche for 3-6 months and nothing is changing—no one is reading the blogs, her number of subscribers has stayed pretty static, and her social media posts are going unnoticed—it may be time for a change.
Question for you: Is your book marketing niche attracting readers?
3. Are my opportunities expanding or shrinking?
Once you find your best marketing niche, your opportunities will start to expand.
As Ruby becomes the “expert” in fun paranormal love, her reputation for hosting hilarious podcasts about ghost dating challenges spreads.
Soon the coordinator of a writing conference emails and asks if Ruby might be willing to do a workshop on why authors should consider starting a podcast. Or a fellow writer contacts her to find out if she’d like to collaborate on a paranormal dating cookbook.
Ruby may want to self-publish a coffee table book filled with photographs of spooky haunted dating spots or use her research skills to investigate stories of supernatural lover’s revenge.
If your opportunities are, on the contrary, shrinking—no one’s calling, no one’s stopping by, and no grand ideas for future projects are popping—it’s time to re-evaluate your niche.
Be Flexible When Figuring Out Your Book Marketing Niche
Keep in mind too that once you’ve established yourself in one niche, you can easily do it again if you want to branch out into another genre. Several authors have more than one niche to help them market different types of books and related products.
The process is the same: Identify who your reader is, combine your genre with your skills/passions, and create something unique that will allow your creative nature to soar.
Note: For more help on finding your unique book marketing niche, see Colleen’s award-winning book, Writer Get Noticed: A Strengths-Based Approach to Creating a Standout Author Platform (affiliate link). Get your free chapter here!
Colleen M. Story is a novelist, freelance writer, writing coach, and speaker with over 20 years in the creative writing industry. Her latest novel, The Beached Ones, released from CamCat Books on July 26, 2022. Her previous novel, Loreena’s Gift, was a Foreword Reviews’ INDIES Book of the Year Awards winner, among others.
Colleen has written three books to help writers succeed. Your Writing Matters is the most recent, and was a bronze medal winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards (2022). Writer Get Noticed! was a gold-medal winner in the Reader’s Favorite Book Awards and a first-place winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards (2019). Overwhelmed Writer Rescue was named Book by Book Publicity’s Best Writing/Publishing Book in 2018.
Colleen frequently serves as a workshop leader and motivational speaker, where she helps attendees remove mental and emotional blocks and tap into their unique creative powers.