Sunday, 7 December 2014

The Best Genre to Write for in Self Publishing: Are Thrillers More Difficult in Self Publishing than Action Adventure or Graphic Novels?

Some book genres have advantages over others in self publishing. Crime thrillers for example comprise a huge number of books including big name authors. Breaking out in fiction thrillers would for this reason be difficult for the self published author. Other fiction genres possess a smaller number of books, making writing in that genre a little easier to hit the top one hundred bestseller of that genre. Comics and graphic novels fall into this category.

The Best Genre to Write for in Self Publishing

What is the Best Book Category for Self Published Writers?
Before exploring why a particular genre might yield a better chance for the self publisher to get noticed, I feel a definition needs to be drawn between favoring a book genre and advantages of a book genre. I do feel that Amazon tends to plug big writers and NYT bestsellers rather than unknowns. Take a look at the Kindle store’s home page and a list of trad pubbed books will be on display. Autobiographies by celebrities may be seen, as well as a bestselling author’s new release. Few is any self published novelists will be seen.

The Best Book Category for Indie Authors

So which genre is opens out the chances of a self published writer to get noticed? Well, some genres have a clear advantage over others when it comes to being self published.

As has been pointed out earlier, the self published writer is lone in the publishing world compared to the trad published writer, who has the support of editors and marketers. There are (at the time of writing this 2014) around 3.25 million ebooks on Amazon, and growing. It is very hard to get noticed.

Selling Non Fiction and Fiction Books on Kindle

But some genres are more competitive than others. Generally, non-fiction such as how-to books and factual books are easier to sell than fiction. This is because there are clear goals to satisfy, such as a need to learn how to fix a car or how to draw Manga. There are also fewer books in certain categories, and therefore smaller competition. Reaching the number one spot in say, recreation and games, is more possible than romantic fiction.

Selling Picture Books on Amazon

A how-to book with images requires a mere glance in preview to see the quality of the book. Good photos, captions and formatting will inform on the professionalism of the book. But a fiction book takes longer to read, comprehend and therefore make the decision to buy. Does the reader have the time to do this on an untried writer when a safe bet can be taken on a brand name author?

Horror Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Dystopian and Teen Fiction

When it comes to fiction, the reader is likely to gravitate towards old favorites, such as Martina Cole, Lee Childs or Stephen King etc. Thrillers is one of the biggest subcategories in fiction. Romance and Sci-fi are also very big, with heavyweights dominating that genre. The self pubbed writer who writes in these genres is going to find it extremely hard to make sales when up against such competition. I believe making an impression is harder now that it was three years ago. I am not sure if Amanda Hocking or Hugh Howey would have found the big time so easily now. So when it comes to self publishing, the advantage lies with non-fiction that satisfy a clear need. Fiction is much harder. Thrillers is the hardest of the fiction genre.

Is Kidnapping Better than Action Adventure for Indie Publishing?

Amazon has subdivided certain genres in to subcategories, meaning there are fewer books to compete with. Crime thrillers & mystery, for instance is a huge category on its own, but has smaller categories within. These are: crime fiction, thrillers, mystery and suspense. These are again, subdivided into subcategories. Crime fiction can be found to be divided into: action adventure, British and Irish, heist, kidnapping, murder, noir, organized crime, Scandinavian, serial killers and vigilante justice.

Which Book Genre will get a Self Pubbed Writer Noticed?

Scandinavian is a smaller subcategory than murder, so the self pubbed writer might be wise to take a punt at writing for this smaller category. That is not to say it is easy. All categories, regardless of how small are going to be competitive. Another factor to consider, is that Amazon’s algorithm changes all the time and not all books that would fit that category are necessarily listed, even if that word (for example, Scandinavian) were used in the keywords.

Getting a Book in the Kidnapping Genre of Amazon’s Self Publishing

One of my thrillers, The Shuttered Room is a story about kidnapping, and I had therefore included the word ‘kidnapped’ and ‘kidnapping’ in my keywords. Yet when I had clicked on Amazon’s subcategory ‘kidnapping’ (which is a subcategory of ‘crime, thrillers & mystery’), my book was not listed. I had to email Amazon to include it within this category.

The Best Genre to Write for in Self Publishing

It would pay the writer to do a little research to see which genre is least competitive when deciding the sort of book to write. Nonfiction books are generally easier to sell than fiction, as the reader’s goal is clear-cut. Fiction is extremely difficult as there are thousands of books in each category, and each possesses heavyweight authors. But each category is subdivided again into smaller categories with fewer books. Careful marketing (and of course a fantastic book) may help the self pubbed writer go that little bit further if the book were listed in a smaller, less competitive category.

Articles about Self Publishing

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