Defining your niche and genre in self-publishing

Defining your niche and genre

What your niche and genre is and why you need it to sell your book

The purpose of a niche in self-publishing

A niche in the market is a specific area of marketing which has its own particular requirements, customers, and products.The Collins Dictionary definition of a niche

A niche is the category and genre you write in, targeting specific topics or themes. A niche is to help readers find your book. A niche tells a reader that your book is specifically written for them.

Yes, we want our book to be bought by every man and his dog, but that’s not reality and it definitely isn’t the best way to make money. Writing romance will not interest people who only like religious texts and writing horror/thrillers won’t be attractive for anyone who prefers a cosy feel-good holiday book.

Defining your niche

Targeting everyone is an easy and fast way to fail making money. Imagine you’re holding an umbrella in amongst a group of people, and it’s absolutely pouring down with rain. Trying to sell to everyone is like trying to keep the umbrella over every single person in that group, when some people like the rain, some people aren’t interested in being beneath the umbrella.

Being in a niche is like when you make the call out into the group of people and you say “Hey, I have an umbrella and I can help you stay dry, would you like to join me?” The people who do want to stay dry come and stand beneath it with you, and those who don’t remain outside. No one is disappointed, and those who stay dry are grateful for what you’ve given them.

Read my interview here at Flaunt My Design about how targeting a niche in my business has helped me grow my business exponentially.


What are the top selling niches in self-publishing?

The top five best-selling genres in self-publishing are:

  • Science Fiction
  • Romance
  • Fantasy
  • Young Adult
  • Mystery/Thriller/Suspense

The most popular of these genres in self-publishing is Science-Fiction, with over half accounting for sales. The least popular genre is Mystery/Thrillers/Suspense, overwhelmingly surpassed by the Big 5.


How do you compete in the main fiction genres?

This is where sub-niches come into play. Remember the keywords we discussed in the last section? When a reader searches for a book, it’s normal for them to start with the main topic, e.g.: Young Adult, and then refine it using further keywords that attract them, e.g.: Vampires, dystopia, love, London, historical.

You can try to promote your book in an enormous ocean of fiction, but sub-niching gives you extra fuel.

You have to pivot from being a small fish in a big pond,
to a big fish in a small pond.

Fifty Shades of Grey is in the Romance genre but is sub-niched by it being erotica, and sub-niching again for being a specific type of erotica.

Defining your niche and genre will make your sales skyrocket, and book much easier to market.


Download our FREE worksheet to help you figure out the best keywords for your book

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