The inventory at Kindle Unlimited continues to grow and I’m glad I splurged at the beginning and paid for a discounted bulk annual price. Chris Fox is a new favorite of mine and this book is no exception. He has a direct informative style that I really appreciate. I’ve got a dayjob, I’ve got kids, I don’t have time for a lot of jibber jabber. (I listen to my podcasts at 1.5x speed too!) So Chris delivers short how-tos in this book with relevant exercises.
First, what does he mean? He defines it this way:
“Writing to market is picking an underserved genre that you know has a voracious appetite, and then giving that market exactly what it wants.”
This is what normal business people would call market research. The premise is pretty straightforward. Before you write 100k word novel, consider whether there is an audience for that particular type of novel.
So he walks the reader through how to examine Amazon’s top selling categories and rankings to explain what is a crowded space, versus what is an underserved space.
I did this and it was fascinating. I have a dear friend who writes historical fiction. And she asked me what I thought about the market for Tudor era historical fiction mysteries. Using the explanation from Chris Fox’s book, I immediately looked for what categories that could fall under.
Books >> Literature & Fiction >> Historical Fiction >> Thrillers
There are just over 10k books in that that subcategory. Even better, Amazon lets you sort by what century. When you continue to drill down, you find the top sellers have older and older publication dates. This tells you a little about how much inventory is in that category. Chris Fox’s book then explains the relationship between the sub category’s ranking and the overall sales rank. This is how you determine if there is an underserved market for that type of book.
But the book isn’t only about hacking Amazon’s rankings in order to do market research. He offers a number of exercises to determine your suitability for writing in that desired category.
Though he isn’t much for anecdotes, I very much appreciated what he shared about the first two series he wrote (one was a big hit and the other a flop) and what he learned from that experience.
A quick and helpful read. Well worth the time and money to get this knowledge into your box of writing tools.