SPA 34: “To Niche Or Not to Niche”

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In today’s episode of The Self-Publishing Answers podcast, Kevin and I answer a great question from Jackie Bolen about “niche” markets, and whether or not she should focus in on a smaller niche or broaden the spectrum and make the niche bigger. We think we did a decent job answering it, even though Nick’s baby whined the entire time and he sounded like he was a late-night radio show host on NPR. Kevin, once again, saved the day.

On this show:

  • TumThack Anticourse: Don’t miss out on this one! We are offering three 2-hour phone calls with yours truly (both of us) and you! Check it out here!
  • Jackie Bolen asks us a question! Woohoo! Niches, what to focus on, and audience!


Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income and how he “niches down:”

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Nick ThackerSPA 34: “To Niche Or Not to Niche”
  • aizjanika

    Thanks for the interesting discussion. I don’t have a strong opinion about niche, but I found your views informative and interesting.

    I think J.K. Rowling is a unique case. She faced a lot of backlash against The Casual Vacancy once it was known it was her (at least in the fandom circles that I was a part of). However, you didn’t mention her other pen name which has been successful: Robert Galbraith. While I think it was generally known that Robert Galbraith was J.K. Rowling fairly early on, I wasn’t a follower of hers, so I had no idea. I noticed and was interested in the second book in that series (The Silkworm) and when I found out it was part of a series and there was another book, I bought that one on Audible during a sale (The Cuckoo’s Calling). By then I knew it was her, but I listened to it with an open mind and quite liked it, so I’ve got the second book now, and if there’s a third, I’ll likely get that one also.

    I’m not entirely sure how successful her Robert Galbraith pen name is or how successful the series is, but my impression is that it is doing pretty well. While many fans know it’s J.K. Rowling now, casual readers might not. I also think using a pen name allowed the first book to come out without all the Harry Potter fan backlash and receive some honest reviews.

    Anyway, I do think her case is unique and not entirely applicable to the average author.

    Thanks again for the great episode. This was my first one and I enjoyed it. :)

    • Nick Thacker

      Hi! Thanks for this comment — GREAT analysis, and thanks for stopping by!