Recently I was interviewed by the Author Learning Center, so I went to their site to check out some of the interviews there. I discovered a video by one of my favorite authors, Seth Godin, who is a marketing guru. I highly recommend you watch it. Then consider what he says. He has an important lesson for nonfiction writers about finding your niche and following your own unique path. Here’s my take on it:
If you have a passion about a certain topic, stop worrying so much about whether or not a traditional publisher is going to publish your book on that topic. Begin writing about it–blogging about it, for instance. Start publishing short books about it–ebooks, for instance. Direct your work at an audience who also has an interest, a passion for this subject.
Don’t worry what anyone else thinks of your idea. I suggest you do the work to evaluate your idea, just like you might if you were going to write a proposal, but go online and start test marketing your idea. Blog about it. Tweet about it. Publish short books about it, etc. Produce enough content to become the expert on it. In this way, by developing a niche and owning it, you will succeed.
Everyone talks about creating a bestseller. And authors will tell you they have done so. Right. Their book may have made it to the Amazon bestseller list for a few moments on one day. Maybe a bit longer. But few if any, like Godin says, make it to the New York Times bestseller list.
So, aim for an achievable goal. Claim a niche that means something to you.
What are you passionate about? Do you feel you have a purpose in life? Go out and pursue your passion and fulfill your purpose with your writing. You are more likely to achieve success this way. You may even land a traditional publishing deal in the process because you probably will build a nice fan base without hardly trying. And it surely won’t feel like work.
Like Seth says, don’t worry about being weird. It’s okay. Weird is good. You need to stand out from the pack. Books need to be unique. So do authors.
Have you had success by following your passion or your purpose or by following a niche in your own unique way?