I have trouble both starting and finishing books these days. It’s entirely correlated with the time that I started using computers and smartphones. There’s just a big amount of competition for your time out there and I don’t really need to tell someone reading this blog that.
It’s tricky to find demand for your work and to tailor supply to that as well. Traditional books, if there is still such a thing, are ultra-longform content. But they are also designed to be consumed in various formats – paper, electronic, audio, apps, books-to-movies, books-to-plays. Each of those formats will appeal to a certain segment of your potential audience:
- paper: the more traditional folk (sorry, traditional folk);
- electronic: slightly less traditional, but still not very progressive;
- audio: niche;
- apps: hipster or youngster;
- books-to-movies: mainstream;
- books-to-play: wealthier or better educated segment.
None of these are scientifically studied. Some or most of these are also segments of segments – the scifi crowd, the classic literature crowd, the vampire crowd, the magic crowd, etc.
For a creator or a creative enterprise, the question is: for my invention, what is the path that the market development needs to take to maximise the sales potential? What is going to attract the most eyeballs and generate the highest cash flow of the choices that I make?
As with any invention for commercial purpose, you start with a napkin of an idea, which develops into version 01, and so on, each time manifesting itself into something more tangible and more tailored. I have an idea for a story, I jot it down, I start writing, it turns into a book, and then comes the decision of how to publish it.
Most writers see their market test as either a publisher or a publishing platform (self-publishing on Amazon or elsewhere). I am more and more of the opinion that this is wrong or at least an assumption (and you know what they say about those…), based on “what others are doing.” It says absolutely nothing about your invention if no one reads it on paper or as an ebook, if your product is placed amongst 100,000 other similar products or if your actual target audience is not targeted specifically.
I know I need to expand on that last sentence more, but unfortunately I’m out of time and also I don’t yet know the perfect answer for it. Tbc…