Markets, Styles, and Genres

Writers who want to publish books often overlook a critical step of the publishing process.

Everyone is familiar with books, but the actual process of becoming a published author is not as simple as just writing a book and sitting on it.

It is necessary to identify a market for the book so they can sell it.

I’m trying out YouTube, so you can watch my long-form thoughts below.

Key take-aways:

Styles are the often overlooked counterpart to genre. You need to make sure that your genre is one that you feel comfortable in, but you should also be thinking a bout your style; if you’re writing upmarket or literary fiction, you will pitch the book to an agent or publisher in a much different way.

Likewise, your style may be at the forefront or background of your presentation depending on where you’re aiming at publishing. Sci-fi can have some great literary classics, but getting published in a predominantly science fiction oriented publisher without a specific literary focus may drive more sales.

Another consideration is whether you’re going to be marketing your book to people who won’t want to read it; byzantine literary fiction has limited mass market appeal because it’s difficult and obtuse, which puts off many readers. However, you might aim for different publicity venues if you’re going for a literary audience. Having an interview on NPR attracts a different audience than doing the rounds at ComicCon.

Marketing to someone who isn’t in your target reader base is wasted time and effort.

To review:

  1. Know what your market is in terms of how you present your book (e.g. mass market series vs. highly sophisticated upmarket or literary work)
  2. Put your best foot forward by honestly presenting your book in a light that shows its strengths
  3. Be thinking about what success looks like based on the market you’re entering
  4. After figuring out what success looks like, think about the steps to take to get there

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