Yup, I said “apparently.” How to get your books noticed in an apparently saturated market. BOOM.
Today’s internet marketing and ecommerce has been so, so successful because it has allowed us to do some laser focused, targeted marketing. Traditional marketing would be considered a scattershot approach, but niche marketing allows a very, very precise message. You get into the minds of your readers and offer them exactly what they want. How do you know? Because readers are already looking for you.
Yup, your ideal reader is already on the lookout for you when they do a Google search, check out social media, or peek at Amazon. They’re looking for books in their favorite niche. (Which is where you are, right?) If you really research your niche well, it’s easy to give them the kinds of books they’re searching for.
But, but, but… What if you’re coming in late to the game and the reader market is saturated? Or you’ve been writing in the niche for a while but you haven’t had the success you wanted? How can you rise above the “noise” of a very competitive niche?
There’s no such thing as a saturated market. For reals. I want to help you market more effectively—even in a competitive niche—but let’s first understand that there’s no such thing as a saturated niche.
Is there any such thing as a saturated market?
If you’re just starting out, you might be worried about how much competition you’ll face. You might think that there’s absolutely no way for you to catch up to the “big boys” who have been in your niche for months and even years.
If you’ve done your research before you begin writing, you should already know if there’s a market for your books. Go onto Amazon and do some searching! What books can you find that are related to your niche? Go to the Amazon Bestsellers Lists for your niche. What are the top-selling books? Are yours similar? Or are yours better in some way?
A healthy level of competition shows that there truly is money to be made and books you should be writing. In that case, the market is not saturated. Readers will be hunting for all new books to buy. Think of beginners, intermediates, and advanced readers. What do they need to progress successfully to each new level in relation to their niche?
You don’t need to find an all-new niche that no one has tested in the past. You just have to market yourself within your chosen niche which is something you can do in several ways.
Let’s start with the importance of knowing your niche. (Am I saying “niche” enough? Oy.)
Knowing your niche
I mentioned that Amazon is an awesome research tool to find the top books in your niche as well as to figure out what readers are willing to pay for the books they want. A lot of new authors fail because they don’t know their main competitors. Sometimes they work in a niche without a large enough market or the market has too many freebie hunters.
So, once you’ve checked Amazon, go search for popular niche-related sites where your readers hang out. Build relationships with those readers. You want to give them what they want so you need to get to know them! Head to their favorite groups, forums, discussion boards, popular blogs, and websites. Meet, mingle, and get to know the main issues they have in reference to your niche.
Niche marketing is the equivalent of fishing in a well-stocked pond. You want to give readers what they want (the right “bait”) so they can gobble up your books like candy. Offer the books they want at reasonable prices and watch them snare your books off the virtual shelves.
Put your readers’ needs first! If you’re rocking non-fiction, what are the most important things a beginner needs to know so they don’t waste a ton of time or money? Brainstorm topics and write a special report or do an e-course for a couple of the topics. Take note of who registers for them and consider each new subscriber as a vote for that topic.
Create paid books (or courses) related to the most popular freebies.
Do you write fiction? Write a couple short stories and publish them for free as lead magnets on Amazon and on your own site. Which gets the best reviews and most downloads? Write something that appeals to those readers.
Your email list is a captive audience but don’t just send promo after promo of your own books. Blend in interesting content from other authors along with spotlight promos from you.
Link to your freebies from your social media accounts. Once your list is filled with some of your followers on Facebook, Twitter, etc., figure out what will attract those readers using surveys and polls. Offer some options related to your niche and see which is most popular. The results may surprise you!
By doing this, you’ll create exactly what they want from the outset and won’t have to struggle with sales.
Keeping up with the latest trends in your niche
One of the reasons so many authors struggle in what they think is a saturated market is that they really only focus on what they want to do and what they think will work. However, they could just as easily be wrong as they could be right.
Make a list of the hottest books in your niche (and what readers are willing to pay) by tracking bestsellers at Amazon, reading forums and groups, and visiting some of the top blogs. Surveys can also help a lot. You can also let niche readers ask you questions. If the same questions keep coming up over and over, there’s a good chance it’s a good topic for an eBook or course.
What are the top websites, groups, or forums in your niche? Do they allow visitor comments? Check out these sites regularly to read news and join conversations. Blogging, guest blogging, and just being helpful in groups can help position you as an “in the know” person in your niche.
One of the main reasons I want you to keep up-to-date with your niche is because your chosen niche isn’t stationary—it is always changing. What’s hot today might be hated tomorrow.
Positioning your brand within your niche
Here, the word “brand” refers to you as an individual who is trying to make a name for yourself. (Think Oprah or Jerry Springer.)
When you market your brand, you show that you’re an expert worth doing business with. You’re catering to the needs and desires of your readers.
Think about it: when you’re super hungry, any burger will do. A hungry niche audience will buy if a good deal is in front of them and is easy to grab. But for those readers that aren’t starving and have time to weigh their choices, there are things that tell them which brands are worth taking a chance on and which should be avoided.
This is described as the “zero moment of truth,” the point a prospective reader discovers you through a link, ad, etc., and goes on the hunt to learn more about you and your books.
What will they find if they Google you? In a competitive niche, the saying “you never get a second chance to make a good first impression” is 100% a thing. I already mentioned becoming an expert in your niche through research and keeping up-to-date with trends. Now, if a potential reader clicks on your URL, what will they find?
You need a professional-looking site with interesting content (your books) and compelling language that will lead readers to buy, not click away. Your pages should have clear calls to action: buy now for sales or learn more for freebies. Free should never equal shoddy. Freebies should show your readers the quality they can expect if they buy your books.
A happy reader can make your books go viral. Your readers will pass along info about your great books and other offers. This kind of marketing can help you reach readers you might not have connected with otherwise.
How can you offer extra value to your readers that will get them so excited they’ll be eager to tell others about you? Let’s take a glance at that next.
Offering Additional Value to Your Readers
Think about how you can differentiate your books from other authors. In non-fiction, is it the most up-to-date? Does it showcase the most recent changes to market wants? Think benefits, not features.
Another way is to have regular releases. This will create buzz on your site, in your emails, and on the various social networks. What makes you so great? The fact that you have a regular, predictable schedule.
Another way is to add value to your books while offering more competitive pricing. Add little extras or bonuses that won’t cost you a ton of time. Non-fiction authors can include worksheets, templates, checklists, etc. Fiction authors can offer free epilogues (roughly 2,000 words) to readers who have read the whole book. Sweeten the deal a little.
Another way to give extra value is to create bundles. Put together a few of your best books for one low price. Make the offer so good that they’d be foolish to miss out on the sale.
Keep writing great books and creating offers related to your niche and you’ll be seen as a brand worth buying over and over again. Even in a “saturated” market. 😉
Marketing seems so easy that anyone can do it. And yet, on the other hand, it might seem impossible to make money in what appears to be a saturated market. The truth exists somewhere in between. If you research your niche—and keep up to date on trends—you can position yourself as someone worth paying attention to. You’ll know exactly what your readers want and be aware of what’s going on with other authors.
If you do your research and stay involved with your readers, you’ll seem like a mind-reader. You’ll give them exactly what they want most. By tracking and testing your sales materials, you can spend more of your time on what works and less on what doesn’t.
Track the trends related to your niche and keep an eye on other authors. Keep this in mind when you’re writing and always try to do a little better. Offer good books at the right price and great bundles that readers will love.
Use all you learn about your niche to write books that your readers will eagerly grab the moment they’re released.
*high five* and good luck in making your niche a knockout success!