Oh, it’s hard times for literary fiction in general, I know. (People don’t read it any more!)
And for indie publishers, there is the stigma. (Who do you think you are? You need to have someone else decide whether your book should be available to readers…)
But there’s hope! As David Gaughran, guru of marketing indie books on Amazon, points out, one of the problems in the past was that readers of literary and historical fiction couldn’t zero in on what they were looking for:
The problem with historical and literary fiction was that, until recently, there were no sub-categories for those genres. This meant that authors had to be selling 50 or 60 copies a day to even hit the back of the respective Top 100 – which most authors might be able to achieve during a promotion or new release, but would struggle to maintain outside of that on a single title.
The good news is that Amazon’s new subcategories make it easier for readers to find literary and historical fiction that interest them:
Well, Amazon has delivered. Historical fiction now has twenty-five subcategories and literary fiction has sixteen (see the left-hand sidebar)…. This is fantastic news for authors and readers. If you write literary fiction or historical fiction, life just got a hell of a lot easier. And it’s a big boon to readers too, who have sub-categories that reflect their interests, and who will, as a result, see a lot more churn on those lists, introducing them to new books instead of the same old stuff.
This is great. Now I can categorize The Race as contemporary, humorous, and suspense. Not as clear a genre as Sci-Fi, Romance, or Fantasy, but it’s a lot more meaningful than just “literary fiction.”
Jacke’s new credo: managing expectations, one reader at a time.