If you are a fiction writer in Kenya and you decide to become an authorpreneur, you might wonder how to get started. The best thing to do when you decide to become one, is to think exactly how you would if you were starting a business – because technically, that’s what you’re doing. Therefore; it would make sense to select a target market for your book. The reason why you should select a target market for your writing is because, no business or brand can be able to cater for the needs of everyone at the same time; therefore, it makes sense to select a specific group of readers in whom you can concentrate on and produce material which will interest and attract them. This will in turn lead them to purchase more of your books. As a writer, the way to select a target audience is by selecting a genre to write in; maybe you already write in a specific genre already – that’s wonderful. However if you don’t really have any one genre you write in, you need to select one in which you will be writing the fiction material you intend to market. This will help you in focusing your marketing and sales activities which will in turn, save you costs and resources which you will allocate effectively in the right platforms.
Here are some genres you can choose to write in and can even be focused to a specific geographical location if you wish to focus your target audience.
This is the highest selling genre in fiction writing (Romance Writer’s of America Association’s reported figures of Simba Information Estimates) and a lot of self-published writers in Kenya basically write in this genre. You can choose to write in this genre and focus on your target audience more by choosing to write Romantic Comedy; which is a light-hearted story detailing a romantic story and complications that arise in relationships. You can also choose to write a Historical Romance, which is a romantic story in a historical setting. You can also choose to focus on geographical setting, such as Romance in Nairobi, where you write a romantic story detailing a relationship that is based mainly in Nairobi where the characters meet. A great example of a fiction writer in Kenya who writes in this genre is Elly Kamari on her blog. This is a great audience to target since most romance readers are loyal fans; if they read from a talented author who satisfies them, they stay loyal to the author and constantly buy their books when published. Great examples of international authors with loyal readers in this genre are Danielle Steel and Nora Roberts.
This is another top selling genre in fiction writing as international authors such as John Grisham can attest to with also a large loyal following (myself included – I have read all his books but one; and it was because it was not in his usual genre). This is usually a story detailing a crime that is commissioned or the investigation of a crime and the solution. For those readers who are not fans of romance, you will find that a majority of those audiences will choose to read mystery novels. There is quite a large following of mystery novel readers in Kenya and it’s another genre that would do well. You can choose to focus it once again by choosing a geographical location such as East Africa or Africa itself to create a niche for yourself as an authorpreneur in Kenya.
This is also in the top five selling genres in the world, the fifth to be specific (Romance Writer’s of America Association’s reported figures of Simba Information Estimates). It also has quite a following not only internationally but in the Kenyan audience as well. I was a die-hard Stephen King fan in my teenage years and read most of his books; I was fascinated by the genre. It has a particularly loyal audience that search out authors who become popular or are great writers; you would not lack for a market in this genre. If you don’t already know, Horror Fiction is about a story that incorporates supernatural and/or inexplicable elements and is intended to arouse fear and dread. A Kenyan who writes in this genre is Peter Nena on his Demogorgon Fiction Blog, he has very detailed stories that evoke dread and horror to his readers; his stories keep you at the edge of your seat.
4. Fantasy Fiction
This is a rather broad genre that can be focused into other specific genres due to its popularity and diversity. Fantasy fiction often details a story involving imaginary beings in the real world or in an alternate reality and assuming suspension of disbelief about magic and/or supernatural powers. This is an appropriate description for the book series – Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling. There are readers who like a fantastical twist to fiction and it’s a large audience out there as well; therefore, you can pick this genre, write in it and make it your own.
5. Science Fiction
Science Fiction is about stories that feature how science and technological advances affect individuals and civilizations. This is another genre that has a loyal audience internationally and even in Kenya. I also went through a science fiction phase myself and was an avid Arthur C. Clarke reader for about two years. If you like writing in this genre, you most definitely have an audience out there and you can once again, focus your niche in Africa if you wish to create your own niche.
Now that you know five target audiences you can write for, go out there and start connecting with them. Start your journey on becoming a successful authorpreneur in Kenya.
This post was originally published on the Storymoja Hay Festival Blog.