Tag Archive - Targeting Genre

The Secret to a Successful Book Publishing Career

Yes, I know there is more than one “secret.” But what is the most important aspect to garnering success as an author? Growing your audience or readership. And readers can’t glomp onto your books if they can’t find them online.

I’ve addressed this discoverability issue head on in my blog posts, my free Amazon success email course (click on the widget on the right), and in my Targeting Genre for Big Sales course.

This is a very personal issue for me because, once I got published, I thought my novels would jettison to the top of the best-seller lists. From all the great reviews and comments from agents and publishers and readers, I was confident I would see sales of millions of copies of my novels. Silly me.

I didn’t know then what I know now. Continue Reading…

Considerations When Choosing Your Niche Genre

Amazon has many categories and subcategories for fiction, and if you upload your book into the Kindle store and choose general categories, you’re going to be competing with hundreds of thousands of books.

What you want for best discoverability is to have your book in categories that sell well yet don’t have tremendous competition.

All novels can fit in a multitude of subgenres, which we’ll see in just a moment. So while you might have in mind to write fantasy or mystery, which are popular genres that sell well, notching down to a couple of smaller niche genres will help your book have a better chance of coming up high in the search engines.

You need to be willing to adjust the type of novel you write or want to write. You may already be writing in a popular genre, such as romance. But this objective of finding a niche subgenre might mean you have to consider writing something a bit different from what you currently write or want to write. It may mean choosing an entirely different genre altogether.

What’s most important when considering a genre to write in is this: You should feel competent or comfortable with the thought of writing in that genre. Continue Reading…

The Key to a Successful Novel Lies in Genre

If you asked me what is the most important thing an author needs to know to ensure they will have the best chance of success with their novel, I could sum it up in one word: genre.

You have to know what genre you are writing in. And, on top of that, you have to do your homework to be completely “fluent” in that genre. That means learning to identify the markers for that genre.

Readers have specific expectations that they bring to a genre. So that means you, the author, must identify your niche genre, write to those expectations, and be sure that all marketing materials, including cover design, perfectly reflect that genre.

That might seem like a no-brainer, but, sadly, I see a lot of writers clueless about the genre they are writing in and haven’t done their homework.

Let me give you an example.

Here are the elements of Southern Gothic stories:

  • Voodoo and spirituality
  • An air of mystery, and/or the supernatural
  • Grotesque history, especially focusing on the South’s history of slavery
  • Social anxieties represented in racial tension
  • Deeply flawed, disturbing or eccentric characters
  • isolation and marginalization
  • violence and crime
  • sense of place
  • freakishness and the grotesque
  • destitution and decay
  • oppression and discriminat

Some Southern Gothic authors include Flannery O’Connor, Harper Lee, Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, Carson McCullers. You have to know not just the markers of a genre but the great authors who’ve mastered the genre. Then you need to study those authors. Continue Reading…

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