Thursday, September 25, 2008

Finding Your Cyber-Niche

We all agree that the internet is a terrific tool for promoting connecting with readers about your book. The problem is, every other writer on the planet has had the same epiphany.

One of the things that you can do is to create a web presence that is more than just a cyber ad for you and your book by including something different and unique to you. Now, the truth is with websites, just like plots, everything’s already been done. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for you to create your own cyber-niche. It might not take the entire internet by storm, but you will slowly and steadily build a community or a group of readers with whom you connect, which to our way of thinking, is the whole point.

But how do you find or create a cyber niche? Well, by using some of the tools we’ve talked about here on SVP. Like Mary talked about in her last post, reframe the question, look for new ways to look at old things. In earlier posts we’ve talked about bringing the power and passion of your creativity to the marketing process, and this would be a great place to start.

The thing is, Cyber Niches can be based on so many different things:
Genres (mystery, humor, fantasy, poetry, historical, non fiction, magazine)
Writing Processes
The Industry
Situational (ie: Stay-at-home-moms, writers who are actual teens, etc.)
School Visits
Personal Quirks (say, introversion, for example ;-)

The list is truly endless. The question you should probably ask yourself is, what part of writing and/or the industry are you passionate about?
Or conversely, what parts are very uncomfortable with?
Which areas do obsess over?
These are probably the most fertile ground for you to find your own, unique element to bring to your presence on the web. Also ask yourself:
What sort of blogs and cyber content are you drawn to?
What can you simply not find enough of?
What are you most comfortable talking about?

If you play with these questions, I’d be willing to bet you’d have a handful of ideas for some fairly unique angles for your website or blog.

Some examples of cyber niches, some actually being used by people some I just brainstormed off the cuff as examples:

One writer features “The Call” stories on her website, tales of what authors did when they got that first call
Rejection letters
Industry rants
Blog tours
Interviews – yes there are lots of blogs with author interviews, but how about one that showcases booksellers or librarians?
New publishing deals
Six Degrees of Separation in publishing
Historical time period – the old west, say or Victorian England
Pitches that worked
Query letters that worked
A “Celebrity” round up question such as : What made you feel you’d made it as a writer?

The trick here is to have it be something you feel strongly and passionately about, something that is authentically you.


Barbara Shoup said...

Funny how the idea of "connecting" people to your book seems so completely different from the idea of "promoting" it. Thanks for that cross-out!

AR said...

It seems obvious but I wonder if anyone has mentioned it...if you blog, like I do, it's very important to read other people's blog and thoughtfully interact with what they have to say. If they like your comments, they will pop on over and visit yours. You get links that way, and links move you up in Google. You'll get to know people and they'll get to know you. You'll be creating links to THEIR blog just by commenting, because your name turns into a link. Long and short - everyone wins.

And talking to people this way is so one need ever see thine entire face!

waldenwriter said...

Thanks for posting this! These questions will definitely help me as I try to revamp my writing site both for my final project for my Internet Presence class and this summer for real (since I think we have to post the project at a different URL). I also am still trying to figure out my brand, so these questions will help me there too.

I really like this blog, it has so many good posts!

From A Fellow Shrinking Violet
ReneƩ Le Vine