Have you written a romance…about space aliens? Or did you put together a collection of ancient Viking dress sewing patterns? While these niche topics won’t interest traditional publishers or literary agents—it’s still possible there’s an audience waiting for you to publish that unique book!
Traditional publishers typically shy away from projects considered to have unpredictable returns. But with the rise of self-publishing, authors now have more freedom to blend genres and write on obscure topics. And with the larger cut of the royalties you would receive by self-publishing, it might pay to get your unconventional niche novel into the hands of appreciative readers.
4 Benefits Of Self-Publishing In A Niche Genre
1. Less competition. Writing in a niche genre makes it easier for potential readers to find you. For example: If you release a mystery book on Kindle right now, your book will be going up against 178,000 titles. But—good news—some mystery subcategories dip to as low as 600 titles! So if you write supernatural vampire mystery novels, you’ll be competing with fewer books for your targeted readership’s hard-earned cash.
When uploading your book to Amazon, you can choose from a broad range of subcategories for your book. However, not all categories on the upload page show up on Kindle’s retail page. If your category does not exist on either the retail site or on the uploading page, email Kindle Direct Publishing (or whichever other retailer you’re using) and request that they add a new category. To find out more about self-published mainstream book genres, check out our article.
2. You can tap into an undiscovered market with obscure topics or a new genre. E-book retailers have self-published titles you can’t find anywhere else. Where else can you find books about neuromarketology (huh?), and even (ew!) roadkill recipes?
Abby McDonald is one example of a self-published author who created a new subgenre in adult romance. Surprisingly, there were few titles that targeted the Millennial demographic. Her stories feature post-college 20-somethings trying to figure life out. Since traditional publishers were slow to consider this demographic, self-published e-books filled the void—and readers devoured the books. McDonald’s self-published book Unbroken reached #1 on the Barnes & Noble’s Bestseller list.
3. You might get noticed by traditional publishers! Amazon is one e-book retailer that knows its customers very well—the company tracks an incredible amount of data. They know which e-books are top sellers—and which books are abandoned halfway through. Another indicator is Amazon’s 5-star review system. If your self-published book is selling well and is getting good reviews, one of Amazon’s 15 publishing imprints may put a publishing deal on the table.
You might have heard about E L James a hundred times—but she is a sterling example of how publishers use Internet data to find authors. Amazon execs noticed that her story was pouring into Kindle readers. As a result, they approached her with a book deal, but lost out to Random House.
4. You might actually make some money. Take Michael Bunker, the “‘father’ of the Amish/Sci-Fi” genre. His self-published novel Pennsylvania Omnibus hit the Top 20 on Amazon’s best-seller list in less than three months. Literary agents and publishers were knocking at his virtual door; however, he turned down a $5,000 advance payment publishing deal because his daily profits already exceeded that amount.
How Do You Find Your Niche?
That depends on you. What do you know about? What piques your interest? What audience do you feel comfortable writing for?
If your novel is finished, take a scroll through Amazon’s Kindle store and its categories for novels. There might be an opportunity for your book to fit into one of the narrower, less competitive categories.
Once you determine your niche—research it online. Muster up the courage and write to a genre author for advice. Read other novels in the genre. If there are few or none at all, you may have the opportunity to be the genre’s next—or even first—best seller.
If you’re ready to self-publish your niche genre book, but the process seems daunting, Self-Publishing Relief is here to help! We’ll guide you through every step of the process, turning your completed manuscript into a published print book and e-book you can be proud of!
Learn more about how our self-publishing services can work for you—schedule a free consultation today: Click HERE.
QUESTION: What niche genre categories have you read? Do you write in one?