I heard a few things this week that tweaked my ears. Listening to one of my favorite podcasts, the host interviewed an author that used to have her own podcast. They talked about writing and if anything will change in 2023. The author didn’t think much would change for her this year. She described herself as a “factory.” Not that she does a rapid release, but her writing process is such that she always has one story she’s working on while another is at the editor or with beta readers. Then she edits that when the other is out. Before they return it, she’s already working on a third project. Yes, she’s a full-time author with no family to juggle with her writing time, but it had me thinking.
Twice this week, I heard or read a phrase that is new to me: market fit. This doesn’t just apply to books, but to anything someone produces or a service offered. No matter how much research goes into providing what we think will serve an audience, if it doesn’t succeed, we didn’t fail. It was a “market fit” issue. The cure? Go on to the next thing. This has been the advice of book coaches and successful indie publishers for a long time.
Then I read an answer to the question: If you’ve promoted your book and a few thousand people have downloaded it, but you only receive a handful of reviews, that is an indication that readers didn’t finish your book. There was a “market fit” error. Some advice is to pull the book or series, do research to better fit the market (which is always changing), or find another creative outlet. The other suggestion is to write another book. Maybe in a different series or a different genre.
I understand the author’s ability to be a “factory” and publish a lot of titles. She also happens to have quite a following, so advertising or promoting a big book launch isn’t something she needs to do. Does she have a book or series that isn’t “market fit”? Yes. What has she chosen to do? Wrap up the series and move on to her next project. Those books that have “market fit” get reviews because not only do the readers finish her books but like them enough to take 30 seconds to give a star review and/or write a few sentences, essentially contributing to the “word of mouth” that has always been the best marketing for anything. Do you leave a review or give a star rating to books you read? Why or why not?