Indie Epublished Authors: Reach New Readers with New Genres, Story Elements and Categories

Happy Monday, WG2E-Land!

As I’m preparing my 2013 Production Schedule (which I send to my entire team – cover designer, editor, and format guru – in November of each year), I’m taking a look back at my previous plans to see which ideas and strategies have really worked to increase my readership.

What I’m seeing is that there’s one particular strategy that right now is really, REALLY working to increase my readership in new and exciting social circles. (Beyond and above what I’ve given you in 10 Years and 24 Hours to Indie Epublishing Success…) And that is:

Writing in New Genres, including New Story Elements and Categories

Basically, what I’m doing is thinking of my cyber shelf as one of those old pull-out drawer systems that you used to find in libraries, and which are now the heart of any online “search” system:

My goal is to have a book or two in as many “drawers” (which are categories in the online world) as I can, knowing those drawers are now organized by category and story element tags. The more drawers/categories I’m in, the more readers will find/discover me. :-)

Here’s an example from this past week:

I released THE ROYAL DIGS – Cozy Cash Mystery #4. My Cozy Cash Mystery Series is at heart a humorous mystery series. But, that said, as I’ve blogged about before, I include a new social commentary element in each one. Here’s the scoop on that:

Engaging Readers using Social Commentary in Ebooks

For THE ROYAL DIGS,  I asked the story question: What if a Drag Queen determined the U. S. Presidential Election?

Think RuPaul as The Godfather of Wall Street

On Amazon Barnes & Noble Nook Kobo Smashwords

Within five days of The Royal Digs’ release, it hit the Top 20 Amazon books in Political Humor and Elections, where it still remains, as of this writing, and it also hit the Amazon Hot New Releases List in three political categories. WooHooo!!! :-)

What’s significant about this is that this is my first appearance in any of the “Political” Lists…which, ohhh yeahhh, gives me DISCOVERABILITY in entirely new readership bases. I’ve tapped into a whole new crowd of readers.

In the two years that I’ve now been an Indie Epublished Author (since August 2010), I’ve written in the following genres and sub-genres:

Romance

Romantic Comedy

Chick Lit

Humorous Mystery

Action/Adventure

Occult Humor/Paranormal

Holiday-Themed (Winter, Valentines, Spring, Summer, Halloween, Christmas)

Non-Fiction

I’ve also explored the following story elements, which I can then categorize for each book when I upload it:

country line dancing/bootscootin’

pastry chefs and cooking

Ponzi schemes

family and parenting/having twins

the gem trade/blood diamonds and stones

the Italian mob

Wall Street

derivative trading/banking/ hedge funds

politics/elections/political humor

fashion sweat shops in Italy

on-writing (creativity and genius)

on-writing (self-publishing/indie epublishing/internet selling)

witches and spell-casting

Voodoo

women sleuths

single women

royalty

For 2013, I’ll be adding additional categories, such as:

eco-friendly/environmental well-being/living green

occult/pagan and wiccan

escort services

and many more to be announced

I then “search” for peeps who love these kinds of topics and elements in all of my social networks – i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, etc. When you share common interests with a group of people, that’s an immediate “in” to their worlds. It’s a chance for them to get to know you, like you and perhaps find your books.

It’s Your Turn, WG2E-Land: How are you using Genres, Story Elements and Categorization to Reach New Readers? If you haven’t done this yet, will you be trying it in 2013?

The Best of Discoverability and Reaching Readers Wishes — D. D. Scott

D. D. Scott is an Amazon and Barnes and Noble Top 100 Bestselling Romantic Comedy and Humorous Mystery Author. She’s also a Writer’s Go-To-Gal for Muse Therapy and Indie Epublishing, the Co-Founder of The WG2E- The Writer’s Guide to E-Publishing, and the Founder of The RG2E – The Reader’s Guide to E-publishing.  You can get all the scoop on her, her books, her Online Classes and Live Workshops, plus juicy tidbits too from her new cyber home…D. D. Scott-ville.

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Comments

  1. Jeanne says:

    Wow D.D………I think you’ve got everything covered!

  2. Very interesting ideas – they say diversification is always good. It can be a “brand” in itself. It was my initial thought when I came up with “No Rules. No Formulas.” as my motto. It’s good to know there’s something to it. Thanks!

    • D.D. Scott says:

      And diversification helps bring your “brand” to totally new audiences, Natalie.

      I keep my branded humor in each new genre I write and my popular characters too, but once my new readers find me and love my characters, they’re following those characters and those LOLs across all genres! :-)

  3. Sheri says:

    Hi DD,

    Thanks for another fantastic post, and what a great marketing concept/approach to your future work! You go Girl!!!

    Question – I’ve only published one novel on Amazon to-date (in Sept) so I’m still very green on understand (and finding) the Amazon ‘lists’. I did not know Amazon has a ‘bestseller’ list for categories that are created through our tags we put on the books. How do I search those? I thought sales were only tracked by the main genre choices, so this is surprising news to me.

    Any light you can shed on the ‘lists’ will be appreciated. Thanks again for all your fab posts!

  4. Sheri says:

    Hey DD,

    I belong to Critique Circle (on-line group) and I just posted a link to your website on the Indie Publishing forum. Thanks again for all your hard work and time spent in helping the writing community with these great posts!

  5. Your post warms my little heart! My first book is a romantic comedy. The second is a Christmas romance coming out in November. Then I go dark with a romantic suspense in the spring. Now I’m not worried about jumping genres. Thanks for the insight.

  6. Hmmm…

    Important food for thought. And here I was thinking I needed to stick to one genre/sub-genre and ‘brand’ myself? My books are mostly series work, but perhaps the next series will veer off on a slightly different direction? I LOVE the idea of a message being embedded in each book!

    • D.D. Scott says:

      You can “brand” yourself based on some element or tone in your work, Anna…for example, I write humor, but now across all kinds of genres.

      I also use my characters to brand me, because I carry them across the genre lines with me, and my readers get a kick out of seeing the characters they love in totally new worlds.

  7. Sheri says:

    THANK YOU for the great and precise ‘how to’ on the list stuff – it helps me a LOT.

    Please visualize me buying you drinks and dinner at your fav 5-star, cuz you sure deserve it! :)

  8. Julie Day says:

    I write YA fantasy and romance both with magical realism in. My next release is a short story for teens about a self-centred mermaid who finds love by having to find her soulmate. There is an element of fantasy and magic in all that I write. I shall have to think more about tags for my ebooks.

    • D.D. Scott says:

      Tags are very important, Julie, in that they help readers find your book simply by searching for the things that they like. For example, if your books had the following tags – YA Fantasy, magic, mermaids, readers could “find” your book just by entering those search terms on Amazon.

      Once I see that my Amazon Book Page is live for each new book I release, I go in right then on that page and start adding the tags that will help readers find that book.

  9. You always help us think outside the box, D.D.! Thanks for another great, always-helpful post!

    • D.D. Scott says:

      Thinking outside the box is the best way I’ve found to boost my Discoverability, Riley! I’m tickled to hear you’re thinking “outside” that proverbial packaging too! :-)

  10. Adan Lerma says:

    “include a new social commentary element in each one” – yes! ;-)

    am also re-looking at your link to your categories articles

    great info, thanks d.d.!!

    • D.D. Scott says:

      Sure thing, Adan!

      Keep in mind that now you’re only allowed two categories in KDP, not five like they originally offered when I wrote my Category articles here on The WG2E.

      But, you can include your other key elements in your book’s Tags. Always fill-in the Tags in the KDP Upload features, and then type ‘em in on your new book’s Amazon Page too (at the bottom where it calls for tags). The tags you put on your KDP Upload screens do NOT transfer to your book’s Amazon Page.

      • Adan Lerma says:

        “The tags you put on your KDP Upload screens do NOT transfer to your book’s Amazon Page” =

        important to know, thanks! ;-)

        • D.D. Scott says:

          U betchya, Adan!

          They figure into Amazon’s algorithms somehow, but they don’t go live on your Amazon Book’s Page. You have to basically enter them twice – once in KDP and once on your Amazon product page itself.

  11. D.D.,

    I’ve been following the blog for almost a year now and I’m throwing my hat in the indie ring. The real-world self-publishing experiences shared here by you and others are truly appreciated. Thank you.

    My debut novel, “The Greatest Gift” is currently being edited with hopes of a pre-holiday/kindle gift season launch date. I couldn’t agree more with your thoughts on various story elements and multiple genres. I’ve incorporated faith, pro soccer, sports gambling, a hint of romance (just a hint though), San Diego, and Minnesota into one story. All I can do is trust in the idea, continue to improve, and hope the story finds its mark. I enjoyed inserting even minor elements or characters that could potentially be used for future story lines that have little to do w/ this one (e.g. deceased Navy SEAL husband for a future thriller based on insurrection)
    Like most everyone here, I have too many ideas to contain to one genre and that has to be an advantage to self-publishing, no? The only prolific writer I’ve seen unabashedly engage in genre-hopping seems to be James Patterson, although I’m sure I’m missing others…
    Again, thanks for the blog work. Its entertaining and informative – great combo! Best wishes to you for your 2013 production schedule (also a great idea).

    • D.D. Scott says:

      WooHooo, Steven, Welcome to The WG2E and Welcome to your very own Indie Epublishing Journey! We’re right here to cheer you on and help you any way we can!!! :-)

      Trusting in your ideas and writing them is the secret to then being able to go for the gusto and launch your indie epublishing career!

      The next secret, write the next book while you’re getting this one ready to go!!! Then the next one, the one after that, and so on…

  12. Returned just this morning from Hollywood, CA where I attended the Writer’s Digest Conference. One of the presentations spoke about the wisdom of being diversified. You go, Girl!

    • D.D. Scott says:

      Yayyy, Elizabeth!!! Exactly!!! And thanks for sharing that with us!!!

      It used to be – in the TradiPub World, where there’s limited brick and mortar store shelf space – that you had to pick a genre and brand yourself just in that genre so that readers could find you on that one shelf. Or, change your pen name, if you decided to write in another genre and brand yourself for that audience and shelf too.

      Now that our shelves are cyber shelves, and just a “search” away from our readers who know exactly the kind of book they’re looking for, and can subscribe to lists with the best in those categories and genres…we want to be on as many of those lists and cyber shelves as possible!!!