Niche Publishing: A Well-Defined System for Producing Profits

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March 2012
by Gordon Burgett

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When we in niche publishing claim that the smaller our market, the higher our profits (all virtually risk-free after a quick pretest), we suspect that other publishers think we are either spouting or smoking hocus-pocus. Selling for a lifetime to the same eager buyers may strike them as utterly incomprehensible—or blindly shortsighted.

But when niche publishing is carefully defined, with attention to its advantages and disadvantages, a puff of collegial understanding might emerge.

Hallmarks

While niche publishing and conventional publishing differ hardly at all in the writing, editing, and production phases, the marketing could hardly be more different, especially when it comes to the when and the how. Conventional publishers seriously warm up their selling machine when a book is in the editing stage; niche publishers have finished their most important marketing before the book is even written.

In fact, niche publishers won’t research or write the book at all unless a big enough testing slice of their market has agreed beforehand that they want to buy that exact title at a very profitable price.

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