No Niche for Me: Confessions of an Unabashed Independent

March 2005
by Fern Reiss

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“You need to focus on a niche.”

That’s what Jan Nathan, PMA’s executive director, told me seven years ago, during my first year as an independent publisher. I don’t remember exactly what question or comment of mine precipitated her remark, but I distinctly recall her sage advice at that PMA conference about how I should follow up my Infertility Diet book with another book in that niche, about how the people who succeed as independent publishers are those who pick a niche and stick to it.

I wanted to be one of those success stories, and her words sounded like great advice to me.

They still do. And I resolved to follow them.

So I promptly went out and, in the subsequent six years, produced the following:

two more childrena book on 9/11several books on publishingPublishing Game workshops (now given in 12 cities)a dozen audiotapesa handful of videotapesa high-end kit and workshop on how to achieve media attentionseveral e-booksfive separate Web sitestwo email newsletters (aimed at different audiences)two workshop-on-audio packagestote bags, T-shirts, and baseball hatsa novelty muga Literary Agent Kita line of gift baskets for writersa subscription Web site

“You need to focus.” Well, the two kids were sorta in the same genre as The Infertility Diet, but that was about it.

I still believe that the advice I got from Jan was not only well intentioned but totally on target: Sticking to a niche proba…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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