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Bob -

I enjoy your info and posts!  The hardest things for newbies (I believe) is the sprint vs marathon thing we hear over and over.  It takes time.  And within that time, we can either worry about sales (and waste time) or write the next book (or three). 

Thanks for another great post.

-jb 8)
 

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Some great advice. I don't take the "stick to one genre" part (neither do you as you point out ;) ) but suspect that it would be better if I did.

Tweeted it.
 

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Good stuff, Bob.  But I'm a little confused with your niche is key advice.  First you say to focus on the novel you want to write and become known for that, but then you say you see too many writers trying to do the same old thing.  I dont get it.  It seems contradictory but maybe I just dont understand your meaning.
 

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Lisa Scott said:
Great post. Thank you, from a newly self-published author. I bought Kristen Lamb's social media book, too.
What book is that, if you don't mind me asking?

I really enjoyed the post Bob - especially the part about being consistent. I'd love to see you do a more in-depth post on it.
 

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Adam Pepper said:
Good stuff, Bob. But I'm a little confused with your niche is key advice. First you say to focus on the novel you want to write and become known for that, but then you say you see too many writers trying to do the same old thing. I dont get it. It seems contradictory but maybe I just dont understand your meaning.
I can't speak for Bob (and he's more than capable of speaking for himself) but this makes perfect sense to me.

Find the niche. For me it was "early 50s character driven science fiction." Heinlein is my Yoda. Asimov is my Obi-wan. I wrote the books I want to read but can't find because the market is filled with people who have a very different take on the genre. But in that niche, I can't keep writing the same story over and over. Changing the names and locations isn't enough. I need to tell different stories all the time, explore new themes, play with new ideas.

I've actually branched out into fantasy with the first book in a Quest Fantasy trilogy that - again - takes its impetus from the books I want to read but can't find--the "there has to be a better quest story than THAT" theme. It's a definite niche for people who have given up on quest fantasy because they don't want to read one more story about lil Bobby/Mary fleeing the farm and saving the world. BUT even tho I've branched into a different genre, I've identified the niche I want to operate in and by keeping many of my themes across the genre (everyman, small stories, problems real people relate to), the two audiences have something in common.

This advice works for me.
 

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Sariah Wilson said:
What book is that, if you don't mind me asking?

I really enjoyed the post Bob - especially the part about being consistent. I'd love to see you do a more in-depth post on it.
In his comment section, one of his authors mentioned her social media marketing book "We Are Not Alone: The Writer's Guide to Social Media." It sounded quite helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Nathan covers the niche thing well.  Cherry Adair said something that struck me two years ago at the Emerald City Writers Conference in Seattle.  People ask her:  can I write in multiple genre?  Her answer:  Yes, but if you want a career in writing, pick one specific genre and have that be your money-maker that you can count on.  Then you can branch out into other things.
Sort of the way Chef Ramsey tells restaurant owners that they need one meal on their menu that is their primary money-maker. 

I've got two main genres:  science fiction and thriller.  I can see from sales that there isn't that much crossover among readers between the two (for example, UK Kindle sales are 90% scifi).  If I had to do it all over again, I'd have focused on one thing.  But, now that I have such a huge backlist, it's okay.  The issue now for me, is which genres and series do I project forward? 
 

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BTW, grats on Atlantis getting picked up on that recent mailing, Bob.

Last time I looked that title was WELL up in the charts.
 

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Thanks for the ideas.  Good to know since I'm new with e-books.  Plenty of traditional books to my credit - sixteen true-crime books.  But this is all new territory for me.  Especially since I'm starting to write mysteries as well. 

Robert Scott
 

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I think the part I'm struggling with is your advice to stick to your bread and butter, but you've also advised multiple titles.  My first self pubbed release is going to be a supernatural detective story.  I have a totally reality-based suspense novel ready to go, but I'm hesistant to release it, as I think it's such a departure from my other work and if I put my focus into building a readership within the horror/dark fantasy area they may not take to this other book.
 

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As always Bob, your posts are great and worth reading. I've three additional books in the wind, ready to go and several in process. Marathon was the best way of putting it. Staying with it for the long haul.

Oh, by the way -  Aiming at a similar readership as your's. 8)
 
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