After a two-month hiatus, I’m finally back! What happened? In short…vacation, a missions trip to the Dominican Republic, designing an engagement ring, and proposing to my girlfriend (who said, “yes,” and is now my fiancée).
Continuing where I left off, let’s apply another business principle to our writing lives…
You’ve defined your goals, strategies, and maybe even worked in a few tactics. For example, let’s say you’re primarily writing to entertain, but you also want to provoke thought. You’ve also chosen to write science fiction adventure stories (which is a tactic that we’ll get to in a future post). That’s your brand. Think about a brand as the answer to this question, “What do you think about (writer’s name)?” In the example listed above, we’re hoping that the answer is: “He writes fast-paced, action-oriented science fiction that will make you think along the way.”
With your core strategy and value proposition settled, it’s time for market research. How do you do market research?
- Look at what your competitors are doing. Try to define what their strategy is.
- See what publishers are releasing to the marketplace.
- Determine a target audience (one that would respond favorably to your strategy and tactics).
- Match audience demographics to published works.
What are some ways to do market research?
- Read. Books, magazines (The Writer, Writer’s Digest, etc.), websites, and everything else you have available to you.
- Talk to other writers. Collaborate.
- Visit publishers’ websites. Talk to editors and agents. Ask them what they like and dislike. Ask them what they’re looking for. Ask them what the market is demanding.