Finding Your Niche in a Christian Genre
In both Christian and secular publishing there are different genres. Whether you are an experienced or novice Christian writer, your story will integrate within a particular genre. Therefore, every writer must ask, what is my writing niche and where does it fall in the realms of the various genres?
Your book will be classified under a specific type of category — or genre. A niche takes what you do — your uniqueness, insight, or experience — on a topic one step further, differentiating your writing from other authors within your genre. The journey towards discovering your niche may lead your writing through various avenues but the end result will prove rewarding for you and your writing. Begin by evaluating your own experiences and interests. Then, look inward to evaluate the following writing opportunities:
- My Writing Life What do I want to write? Is there a common theme among my writing topics? Do I hold special knowledge or insight into a particular topic? Do I have to/need to write?
- Nonfiction vs. Fiction Do I prefer the exploration of ideas or specific facts? Would I rather tell stories or research facts? Am I led by imagination or do I need structure and organization? Do I prefer to create my own truth through my story and characters or present the truth from interviews and studies?
- Audience What targeted age group am I most comfortable with? Am I motivated to inspire or to teach? Where do I envision my book in a bookstore? Who do I envision reading an excerpt from my book to?
Defining your niche begins with knowing you. Understand your own writing and style while exploring what it is that makes you different from other Christian writers within your same genre. Recognize the unique positioning in which you can hold an exclusive advantage to. Here is where you will discover your writing voice — your story and your niche.
Once your niche has been defined, study it. Read the works of other writers in your genre and examine the similarities. Your comparison will help you lay out the varying elements of Christian-based works and better understand your position as an author.
Focus your efforts towards enhancing the niche in your book and your writing. Develop your marketing and branding strategy around your niche and create a forte to your writing. Your author blog can supplement your work with active postings regarding your book’s content, helping you to further your own insight into the topics through research.
Writing within a niche allows you to meet the needs of or appeal to a certain segment of readers. As your targeted niche audience grows, your writing profession transforms from writer to niche writer to expert, and, here is where readers, Christians and the Christian publishing industry turns to you for an outlook and inspiration.