When you’re setting out to launch your book into the world, you will be faced with a lot of competition. There are millions of book titles available today, which means that book categories are jam packed. Before you begin to formulate your marketing plan, you should first define who it is you want to reach.
How to Find Your Niche Audience
Let’s say you’re writing a memoir about living with Diabetes. Guess who makes up your target audience? Other people living with Diabetes—which adds up to millions of people around the world! So, you could move forward and publish yet another general memoir, or you could focus your efforts on connecting with the Diabetes community.
And guess how many books are in the “General Diabetes” category on Amazon? Just 3,600, which is incredibly small compared to the memoir category with 507k titles! And there is a category for Type 2 Diabetes that has a paltry 355 titles!
The same rules apply for other genres. If you’re writing a self-help guide about how to live a happier life, you need to find a way to stand out. Could your target audience be single moms? (There are more than 9 million single moms in the U.S.!) Could your audience be people who suffer from depression (a whopping 350 million people!)? Or perhaps you could focus on people who work in a specific industry, such as dentists or lawyers?
On Amazon, a sub-category called “Happiness Self-Help” has 23k titles. But if you wrote a book on happiness for lawyers, it could be placed in the category “Legal Profession,” which has just over 1,000 titles.
Choose Your Niche to Stand Out
Your niche is more than a category on Amazon, it’s about defining your audience. Ask yourself some important questions (which also include business considerations since so many nonfiction authors are also entrepreneurs):
- Who can relate to my story/the information I have to share?
- Who else has been through similar experiences?
- How can I help or inspire others?
- Who do I WANT to inspire/help/entertain?
- What audience can I find from my personal background? (Are you ex-military or a kid’s sports coach? Did you work in high tech or health care? Are you a school teacher, dog walker or a federal employee? All of these can be niches all their own.)
- Are there clients I’ve worked with in the past that could form a solid niche?
- Are there people/clients I DON’T want to work with?
- Where do I want my books to be sold? (For example, if you’re aiming at colleges, your audience might be young finance professionals or people starting out in <insert name here> industry.)
Once you have a clearly defined niche, everything you do—from the blog posts you write to the tone of your website and book marketing materials—should appeal to your audience.
If you like this blog post, you’ll love our Author Toolkit with templates, worksheets and checklists for writing nonfiction. Check it out!