How to Succeed at Self-Publishing Genre Fiction

self-publishingPeople self-publish all kinds of books—cookbooks, genealogy books, children’s books, nonfiction books, religious books, etc. The most popular in self-publishing, however, is genre fiction—specifically romance, mystery/thriller/suspense, science-fiction, and fantasy.

Success in any of these genres depends on how well a story fits in with the well-known (and loved) tropes and motifs of each genre, but also on how well a story innovates the genre. If every Sci-Fi or romance book were the same, we’d obviously get bored. However, when we read a story, we should be able to tell if it’s Sci-Fi or romance based on certain themes, tools, motifs, and tones. Though genres aren’t rigid moulds, all the texts that fall into a specific genre share similarities that bind them together.

The word “genre” dates back to ancient Greece, where literature was divided into three categories: poetry, prose, and drama. Of course those categories were further broken down into sub-genres, and those sub-genres were divided even more. Today, we still use the three genres of ancient Greek literature as a classification system, but when we refer to “genre,” more often than not we’re referring to sub-genres in fiction.

Before you embark on your self-publishing journey, make sure you know what genre you’ve chosen and how you can best fit into it and improve upon it. Being successful in any field requires you know all you can about it. Writing is no different.

Read your genre before self-publishing

Now, naturally, if you’re interested in writing in a specific genre, that interest likely stems from the books you’ve read. It’s good to read anything and everything in your chosen genre, that way you know what readers are looking for. It’s even good to read the unpopular stuff—that way you know what to avoid. You must read old favorites, to know the legacy and pay homage to those who came before you, and new favorites, to know what’s “in.” Genres, like fashion, have trends.

Know what’s popular

Certain topics within genres have their moments in the sun. For example, after the wild success of Twilight, vampire novels flooded YA fantasy. After The Hunger Games stole the show, dystopias took center stage. All it takes is one popular novel for a whole slew of novels to piggyback off its success.

Keep it fresh

It’s okay to write about what’s popular at the moment, just make sure you bring a new take on it. Don’t simply regurgitate stories that have been read before. When writing in a particular genre, always ask yourself this: what’s different about my story? What’s that special something I’m bringing to the genre? How am I improving the genre?

Move forward

Don’t write about the same thing over and over again. You don’t want to get stuck in a rut and be known for only one thing. While it’s okay to stay within the same genre (write what you’re good at), make sure you’re changing it up every time you publish something new. Keep your readers on their toes!

After all is read and written, be sure to choose a publisher that’s right for your book. Genre fiction is easier to market than other books, which means you have ample opportunity to sell a lot of copies. When you choose to publish at DiggyPOD, not only do you get a exceptional book, but you also get to keep 100% of your royalties. Which, if you choose the right genre, and you do it well, should result in a pretty sum of money.

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7 Comments on How to Succeed at Self-Publishing Genre Fiction

  1. Stanley
    December 1, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    I have transferred my memoir from flash drive to pages in a binder. 470 pages including 41 color photos . Tenatively, I may be interested in self publishing.2

    Reply
    • Hannah Gordon
      December 1, 2016 at 9:07 pm

      Congrats, Stanley! Be sure to visit our site for more info on how to self-publish with us. Here at DiggyPOD, we make it easy to publish your book. We’re excited to potentially work with you!

      Reply
  2. Mary Moses
    December 1, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    What genre does an autobiography comes under? Is it easy to self publish an autobiography?

    Reply
    • Hannah Gordon
      December 1, 2016 at 9:08 pm

      Autobiographies fall under nonfiction, as they’re real stories. Typically, autobiographies based on well-known figures do the best – think of celebrity autobiographies and how well they sell. However, even if you’re not a celebrity, if you have an interesting and unique story, your autobiography could do quite well. Be sure to check out our website for more information on self-publishing autobiographies.

      Reply
  3. Don Rhudy
    December 1, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    I am interested in western fiction only, specifically between 1825 and 1925. Does that fit a genre, as you identify it? I have four novels I would have to rewrite once again, but I expect to live long enough to do it.

    Reply
    • Hannah Gordon
      December 1, 2016 at 9:12 pm

      Hi, Don! Western fiction would fall into the Western genre, which is definitely a very popular genre. Let us know when you rewrite those novels. We’d be happy to help you self-publish.

      Reply

1Pingbacks & Trackbacks on How to Succeed at Self-Publishing Genre Fiction

  1. […] Thankfully, the Internet is a great (and cheap!) resource. If you don’t want to spend additional funds on marketing, use traditional social media to market your book. Know your audience, find out where they spend their time online (do they use Twitter more than Facebook? Are they on Tumblr?), and target them. Knowing your audience stems from knowing your genre. […]

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