Everyone's heard the saying, "no publicity is bad publicity." In my case, that may not be true. In business, owners are always looking for a way to find their niche, because a niche provides a market where no others (or few others) can compete.
As an author, having my book fall into a niche would seem great. I have been very fortunate to find progressing sales on several websites where my book is for sale. Looking at my sales rank on Amazon, my ranking has been steady over the last few months it's been available.
Amazon is great because it has lots of information that potential buyers can use to determine whether it is right for them. One of the resources available is a 'Customers Who Purchased This Book also Bought' section. In looking at the In My Shoes for Kindle page, there are plenty of pages of 'other' books customers purchased. The problem is, most of the books are adult themed transgender books.
Though I can see how In My Shoes loosely fits into this category, it really is a book that can be more compared to a cross-gender Freaky Friday than anything else. My book is intended to be appropriate for a teenage as well as adult audience, where many of the 'other' books seem definitely geared towards adults only. The little feedback I have received from this niche market tells me that though it's a little more "Puritanical" than what they are used to, they still seem to enjoy the story.
So, you may be wondering why I would turn away a market that is eager to buy my book. It's not so much that I am trying to turn away any market...it's more that I want people to understand what they are looking at. I don't want my targeted market to turn away before they even read it, because they think it's not appropriate for them or their teenage son or daughter. I'm sure as time goes on, there will be a better variety of books displayed on Amazon's page. Until that time, I can only hope that people read the synopsis, read the reviews and make their decision on that basis.In My Shoes
When you last tuned in, we were discussing the importance of giving NBC the opportunity to have a do over with Heroes.
Though nothing could be as important as that topic, we must leave it behind for something of almost as great importance...authors crossing genres.
My first novel, In My Shoes, is a teen fiction novel. Though it has appealed to men and women of all ages, it was written specifically with the teenage audience in mind. I am very proud of this novel.
Since I completed In My Shoes, I have continually walked around with three stories in my brain. Truthfully, I have about seven stories that I am working on. Four of them have been saved for later, but the three are always with me. The thing is, they are all in vastly different genres. Of the three, one is another teen fiction novel. Another is science fiction.
I started the third novel around the same time as I started In My Shoes. The story came to me out of a really bad dream. After a few weeks, I had two chapters of each story. I gave the chapters to several of my closest friends and family, who I thought would be interested in providing me thoughtful feedback. After reading both, they told me they liked In My Shoes, but they overwhelmingly agreed that I should finish the other story first.
As much as I thought they may be right, I wanted to finish In My Shoes first because the story was light and fun. I really wanted my first novel to be a fun story that all of my family could enjoy. The other story is not light and fun. It is dark and serious (and I believe meaningful) but is targeted to a non-teen audience.
So, here's my problem...what would happen if a fifteen year old finished In My Shoes, and looking for other books I've written, picked up this much darker, adult fiction novel, thinking it would be equally light and fun? That thought concerns me. Don't get me wrong, I am truly proud of how the book is developing, and I feel it has a quality message to it. It's also not to say that a teenage reader is not capable or ready to read such a book, but I still feel every person should read it when they are ready for such a story. I certainly don't want any reader to be blindsided.
What I would like to know is, what do you the reader expect from an author? Do you expect an author to stay within a genre? Now, I'm not talking about writing style either. Just genres. What do you expect from your favorite authors? I am sure there are widely varying opinions on this. I'd like to know yours.