Posted on 2013-Oct-25
Without a doubt, fiction is heralded to be the bankable mode of writing that most authors will consider channeling their expertise into the next project. Dean Wesley Smith breaks down his secret formula how he can make a living writing short fiction. Somehow, writing fiction will take you on a personal quest to find your inner voice and your genres that can further translate your creative energy into a piece of writing suited for your personal goals and target audience.
Passion in Literary Fiction
Founding editor and publisher of the French horror magazine Le Visage Vert, Anne-Sylvie Homassel, shares her deep passion in literary fiction that has led her to find her own voice. Her inspiration comes from many different sources ranging from detective characters to the great French novelist-Jules Verne-whose work includes ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’, ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’, and ‘A Trip to the Moon’. Although the said author had never actually travelled to the setting described in his novel, his imagination leapt further to observe even the tiny details of his subjects. Later, she discovered more authors to be her “companions” as she learns the craft of creating her own dark background.
Self-Publishing Solution for Indies
Despite how she is well aware of her profession, the genre system in France does not quite provide the most accurate picture that she sees herself fit in immediately. The establishment of ‘Le Visage Vert’ can thus be seen as a great effort to strive for excellence and independence in her own right to make her voice heard. Apart from recognizing her interests, assisting authors in publishing their fiction and contributing her language skills to translate authors’ stories are part of her duty to accomplish.
To answer the question how readers respond to genre fiction magazine published by indie press, Anne-Sylvie blankly reports a modest portion of market share. With the help of indie bookshops, these publications still has outlets to be discovered and she acknowledges the hard work that accompanies the process yet new technologies can potentially make things easier for readers to discover the genre-specific books that her press has published.
What are Your Genres?
David Gaughran has something to say about how author can better market their literary fiction by tweaking their keywords on Amazon. Although it might be a little too inconvenient for authors to keep track of all sub-genres that are hidden in the best sellers lists, especially if you are authors of popular genres, it is up to readers to make a decision which books based on their favorite genre they would like to pick and choose while they are wading through the endless shelf.
Genre Fiction Gains Traction
Readers of mainstream genres like romance and erotica decided to pursue digital copy early as Mystery/Thrillers and Sci-Fi/Fantasy started to follow the footsteps of the mentioned genres. Consequently, several successful authors are inducted into the Hall of Fame, trailblazing in other genres to make a digital impact on readers’ purchasing decision. David explains why genre-based fiction gained its traction in the backdrop of large publishers’ weak distribution of mid-list titles.
Potential Growth of Historical/Literary Fiction
Leaving historical/literary fiction out of the equation, the combination of bad digital sales and lack of successful self-publishers are seen to trigger the premature death of the genres. Still, the endangered genres have its own fan base according to David, primarily in the UK, and authors deserve every right to know what needs to be done to get their eBook right on par with other genres. The key to building a fan base is anything is possible. Just the fact that there are scarce details about the genres, you do not need to panic and give up your voice entirely.
The Backlist Strikes Back
With the right promotion tools like BookBub and a Kindle Daily Deal, Iris Murdoch’s ‘A Word Child’ reached #5 in the overall chart last year. Now comes the apex of Amazon-native genre system that introduced more sub-genres to cater to authors’ different writing styles, within these “granular” lists, each has its own promotional lists to boost discoverability (i.e. Top 100 Paid/Free List, Hot New Releases List, Popularity, and Top Rated List). These lists can help authors attract new fans and ascend to the less crowded charts to boost their overall rank. However, to be inducted into Top 100 might require the aforementioned promotion tools.
Addition of Sub-Genres and Time Period Filter
If these lists are not exciting enough, Amazon has added 26 and 16 sub-genres to historical fiction and literary fiction respectively to spice things up. Not only the sub-genres are added, historical fiction readers can choose to filter Time Period to find the specific time and place for their passionate read. Through Literature & Fiction Keywords page in KDP, authors can experiment tweaking their keywords, based on Amazon’s list, to properly categorize their book. David took this opportunity to tweak his own work’s categories and reported an increase in sales. For authors who write in other subgenres, the good news is Amazon is in the process of adding more juice into the system as shown in Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, and even Thrillers. If you were dissatisfied with limited choice in genres, now would be the time to recheck and explore the ones that will best suit and inspire your creative force. You are welcome to share any of the new genres that were not suggested by Amazon.
While mainstream genres receive approval and press coverage because of the success stories, those genres have built a solid base for future authors to learn and craft their audience similarly, diversifying genres also proves to motivate readers to choose their favorite title in digital format based on their interests. David Gaughran and Anne-Sylvie clearly demonstrate how genre fiction can be crucial for indie authors and small press. New genres get green lit by Amazon to become more accessible and operable and open up a new market in order to build a niche audience, who will eventually judge which title will be worth their time. For authors, while you are researching materials for your main genres, you can simultaneously use the same ingredients to branch out your revenue stream in other potential genres through your existing brand or pseudonyms since there are new opportunities in the less crowded market. After all, what matters is the more proficient your storytelling technique is, the higher chance your books will be remembered for years to come.
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