Thanks to all of you for your thoughtful comments on my last post! It's interesting how people handle this issue...I no longer feel as I did when I first began Wolfmoon Trilogy six (could it really be that long?) years ago. I feel as Mike mentioned (last post) that my own voice does now shine through. But at the beginning I was very nervous about writing in such a narrow genre. Which brings me to the topic of this post.
Is it easier to market genre fiction? When I was still banging my head against the wall trying to get an agent, I was told that it is. At the time YA fiction was HOT, especially fantasy. I tried to market my books in that niche but then realized that it wouldn't work--according to the agents I spoke with my protagonist was too old. For a while I thought about changing her age but for the purposes of the story it just wouldn't work. Being older and wiser now I've determined that there can be several niches for a book to fall into. Mine is suitable for young adults, just not VERY young adults. When my ten year old granddaughter wanted a copy of The Moonstone my answer to her was, 'you won't like it'. And she wouldn't. My books could be categorized as part fantasy, part myth, part romance, part adventure and part mystery with a sprinkling of Celtic spirituality mixed in for good measure. Trying to go too narrow can be a problem as well.
Logically it would seem that as authors we would want our book to have as wide an appeal as possible, but a Celtic fantasy should not be pitted against a work of literature, such as, (first one that came to mind) 'The Great Fire' by Shirley Hazard. And so we try to find our readers in various ways, targeting different groups on Facebook, tweeting to #___ and/or placing them in bookstores, Celtic stores or metaphysical stores--places our readers tend to frequent. We roam the internet searching for blogs and other places where we might collaborate or interest a blogger in our books--we exchange blog urls, we do interviews and ask strangers to review our books. All of this seems pretty obvious but there seems to be a lot of flailing around out there in the cyber world, and I'm one of the flailers!
So how do we narrow our focus without turning our niche into a knife edge? I know there are search engines that can help with this--I've done the searches, but haven't gotten much out of it. Blog tours are the big thing that everyone does, but do these tours work? I was told by a well-respected editor/marketing consultant, (Christine Myers), that I would need to find 100 blogs and contact them all. If anyone has an answer, please write a comment below.
We all get stuck in trying everything when we first bring out a book, but in order to have time to write we need to cut out the chaff. The trouble with social media is that everyone is in the same boat! Well, maybe not everyone, but enough to fill the thing to capacity so that it might be in danger of sinking. I guess the best idea would be to interview all the successful self-published authors and find out what worked for them--I'm sure there's lots of information on this topic floating around out there. Which brings me to another subject that I plan to explore very soon--gatekeepers for self-published books. Any thoughts?
Thanks for reading and I appreciate any and ALL comments!