Book Marketing, Author Publicity, Branding

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Magic of Niche Marketing

I have spent a lot of time on this blog talking about why niche marketing is so important to authors.  The publishing industry is awash in new books.  Last year, more than one million titles were released.  It's not enough anymore for an author to hope their book gets carried in every bookstore nationwide or that they will get a book review in Publisher's Weekly.  Authors need to reach out directly to the specific audience that would be interested in reading their book, and niche marketing is the key to making that happen.

Earlier today, I was meeting with one of the authors I work with, and he mentioned that he was a bit disappointed in the results of his book signing events, which have mainly been held at bookstores.  He sells anywhere from 4-6 copies of his book at each event, which is actually the number of books that the average bookstore signing sells.  His book is for a very specific niche audience, and I mentioned that speaking engagements and events at local public libraries might actually be more productive.  He could either do five bookstore events and sell 25 books, or do one niche event and sell the same number of books.  A light went on in the room, and he immediately saw the value of niche marketing.

More well-known authors are also jumping on the niche marketing bandwagon.  Forbes.com featured their work in an article called The Magic of Niche Marketing for Authors.

* Erica Bauermeister posted recipes to her blog as if they were written by the characters from her novel, The School of Essential Ingredients.

* Garth Stein reaches out to fans at NASCAR events to promote his book, The Art of Racing in the Rain.

* Abby Stokes, author of Is This Thing On? attends computer user conferences to promote her book for the computer illiterate.

These are some great examples, but I thought I would also add a couple my own, using some of my authors as examples:

* Nancy Dane, author of the Civil War-era novels Where the Road Begins and A Difference of Opinion, sells copies of her books at Civil War re-enactment events and museums.

*  J.A. Sanderlin, author of Europa:  Book One of The Black Chronicles, has found a receptive audience for his Sci-Fi book at comic book shops.  He will be participating in the Austin Comic Con this Fall at the Austin Convention Center.

What is the target audience for your book?  Where would you find members of this audience outside of the bookstores? 
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