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YOU CAN WRITE FOR NICHE MARKETS: Dreaming Ideas and Writing Information that Sells

Introduction

In the busy, fast paced world, people want solutions. It's like, as the story goes, that everyone is walking around with a radio tuned to WII-FM. Their whole focus is on WII-FM - "What's In It For Me." People want answers to their problems. They are looking for the missing puzzle piece. That's where you come in. You can write to those niche markets.

The markets today have become very specialized. Go to the bookstore and look on the magazine racks to see how specific magazines have become. There are more magazine today then ever before. As fast as some disappear, others take their place. There are already five magazines devoted to scrapbooking. Creating Keepsakes, a magazine for scrapbookers, has grown to a circulation of 500,000 since 1996. Most sports have magazines devoted to their unique niches. Parenting magazine abound. Crafts, health markets, business, technology—whatever the topic, there are magazines for their eager readers. Is there room for your articles?

For each of these magazine markets, there is a matching market for books. Books abound on all of these topics and the shelves seen to overflow with new titles every month. The numbers vary depending on whom you talk to, but R.R. Bowker, the leading provider of bibliographic information in North America, listed more than 135,000 new books in 2001. That figure is up 10% from 2000. The numbers for 2002 were projected to be even higher. So is there room for more books? Or even more specifically is there room for your book?

Going beyond books one can find other information products that readers buy. Booklets are always in demand if the topic is timely and right for the market. Then there is the whole huge market of information sold over the Internet that never sees ink on paper--electronic documents read on computer screens and occasionally printed out on paper. Some of these are e-books while others are reports and documents. Is there room for your information products?

If your articles, books and information products are the same as everyone else's, the answer is "No." But, IF you can find a niche market, research it, verify the numbers exist to make the writing worthwhile, and write specifically for it--then the answer is "Yes."
Virtually every market for writers is a niche market. Whatever your topic, whatever your medium and genre, everything today is a niche market. Gone are the days of general publications. We live in a market that has become highly specialized. That specialization is needed to survive as a magazine and book publisher, and subsequently for us as writers for these markets. And so the challenge before us is to dream big and write information that sells--for niche markets.

At every writing conference I attend, I see people who come back year after year--without taking even one writing project to completion. When writing for niche markets, it is important to spend less time talking about the project and more time getting it done. Wait to long, spend too much time dreaming, and someone will beat you to market. Now is the time. Tomorrow may be too late.