5 Target Audiences that Authorpreneurs in Kenya Can Select for Their Books

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.

1. Romance
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.

Danielle Steel is one of the top Romance authors internationally

Danielle Steel is one of the top Romance authors internationally

2. Crime/Mystery
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.

3. Horror
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.

The 'Harry Potter' book series by J.K.Rowling is a very popular Fantasy fiction genre

The ‘Harry Potter’ book series by J.K.Rowling is a very popular Fantasy fiction genre

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.

6 Important Steps to Take Before Starting a Business in Kenya

Becoming an entrepreneur in Kenya, especially a female entrepreneur in Kenya is never an easy decision to make. When one makes the decision however, it’s important not to rush into a business without taking a few steps in preparation. Business plans don’t always work as planned, but they are a great guideline to follow. Make sure to take these six steps when starting your small business in Kenya.

1. Research the industry well

Whatever industry you’re in, you should ensure to research it thoroughly. This is so that you find out who your future competitors are and what they are doing specifically, in terms of marketing and what products or services they are offering. You should find out how the market is doing whether it’s profitable or declining; is it a fad that has run its course? It’s also good to find out if it’s too saturated a market; if everyone is doing it. Before starting my bakery, I read many bakery blogs for recipes to try our for my menu, I researched what cake and bread products were being sold at the time, the bakeries that were popular in Nairobi and what they were selling in their menus as well. I checked the price lists of about ten bakeries and their websites to see the kind of online marketing they were utilizing.

Research is necessary in your business (Courtesy: iserotope.com)

Research is necessary in your business (Courtesy: iserotope.com)

2. Decide what your niche in the industry will be for your business

Every successful business in Kenya has a certain need it addresses in its industry. Finding a niche in an industry is important since it helps a business focus on solving that particular problem. An example; Citizen TV in Kenya focuses on regional shows and audiences. Therefore their shows are mainly African show such as Afrosinema and many other Kenyan shows that local Kenyans relate to. Another example is my baking business; one service we’re offering is teaching people how to bake with a charcoal oven. Many people offer baking classes; but since more individuals who want to start small baking businesses are baking with charcoal ovens because they are economical, our focus is on those who want to learn how to bake with it. Choose a niche in which you are certain you will solve a specific problem and that will set you apart from your competition.

3. Find out the necessary requirements to run your business legally in your location

After you’ve decided what your business will be, you need to find out all the legal requirements to run that kind of business in Kenya. Whether it’s registering the business name or a company; to city council permits and certificates for the business premise. Find out all the necessary documents and start working towards getting them before starting the business. When I started my bakery, I first started by registering a business name for the business, then I went to the nearest city council office in my location and inquired on the necessary permits and health certificates needed to get started. If you’re able to, you can approach a person who has a business in your industry and inquire about the requirements. Get started on it.

Visit your local city council office to inquire about requirements

Visit your local city council office to inquire about requirements

4. Find out the equipment required in your business

It’s necessary to know the basic resources required in your business to get started with. For example if you’re starting a cyber cafe business; you should know the least number of computers you’ll need to get started, printers, chairs and tables and any shelves required. You should also have money for expenses for at least three months; however if you can get money to cover expenses for six months – it’s preferred. If you’ll need to hire anyone to help you run your business, decide the kind of skills you require them to have and then start looking for someone to hire. Find out what all your operational requirements will be and plan accordingly.

5. Write a business plan

This is a must for any entrepreneur in Kenya who wants to start a business. Make sure you write a business plan; this will not only help set down your plan in paper in an organized manner; it will give you a guideline for the direction of your business in the future. I will be writing a post soon on how to write a business plan for you to use. To get a free business plan template, sign up via email by clicking on this link.

Start writing a business plan

Start writing a business plan

6. Get the capital required to start up your business

After you have written down a business plan, you will be able to know the exact amount you require to start your business. You need to get that capital; maybe start with the amount you have saved, then find out how much you need to fund-raise to get started.

Get start-up capital

Get start-up capital

if you follow the above steps to getting your business started in Kenya, you will be more prepared as an entrepreneur.

If you have any other suggestions on steps to take before starting a business, please feel free to comment below.

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