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Finding that Pesky Niche

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#1 Blueberry Tide

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 02:23 PM

(This goes a little into the rant side of the spectrum.)


One of those strings of writing advice that kept coming around to me was to find my "niche" in the market. Honestly, I didn't know what that meant. Not really. I assumed it meant larger pictures, like "romance" or "westerns." 


Well, as it turns out, after writing four novels - I think I've found my niche. It started with a yet unpublished steampunk/fantasy. Once I got into the groove, I couldn't stop writing. I was editing a chapter a day. I snowballed through that novel. And now, I'm snowballing through another novel in the same vein - steampunk/fantasy. 


The worlds come alive to me. I can see it. 


It bothers me when new writers want to write for the market. They want to jump on the vampire bandwagon or whatever trends is going on. It seems that everyone and their sister has a YA fantasy. Then there's the writers who aren't sure if their novel is YA; if you don't know, then you need to go read some YA. If you don't read YA, why are you writing it? It seems to me like there are so many writers out there just trying to write the next big tween hit and make a fortune. 


Has anyone else noticed this? I didn't at first, but now that I've been swimming in Indie-World for a while, I'm seeing the trends. 


I feel like new writers are so concerned with making a smash hit, that they're not writing stories that they enjoy. They're worried about fame and fortune and movie deals. 


This comes back to what might be the most important writing advice I've ever gotten: Write for yourself. 


Write first for yourself, then edit like crazy, then worry about an agent. 

#2 Sassalota


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Posted 25 May 2017 - 04:00 PM

I have been through this journey too. I wrote the book I wanted but when I was trying to learn marketing, I kept getting told to research what sells before you write. That drove me nuts but as I sat back and watched authors who wrote for the market make 50k + on just their book launch, I have accepted that there is an advantage to their research first method. If you want to make money as a writer, you do have to find what makes money. It's a choice of what you want to do. I like to write the books I want to write. Other people have found a great way to make a real living.

#3 Michael Steven

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 08:08 PM

Some people are able to write different genres, or in terms of the thread title they have multiple niches.  I'm one of those with just a few which is fine because those stories I've written are excellent.  Multiple folks have told me that although none of those people have been an agent.  C'est la vie.


I tried writing a different genre once, but halfway through I realized I had drifted back to what I liked writing.  I'll finish that one someday and revise the stuff that I didn't do well.


Remember, people are fickle which means the market is fickle.  What you're writing may not be popular now, but may once again become popular in the future.  Your writing is for yourself first and foremost.  I have also noticed that most of the stories by authors who just write to the market aren't ever as good as the stories by authors who write from the heart.

Let there be light on this planet ... And let it shine through me
Let there be travellers who venture ... Far from the beaten path
And let one of them be me - Jefferson Starship - Champion (unused lyrics)

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