Life has really gotten in the way lately and I mean real life...the Erin Ashley Tanner separate from being an author. But I'm here now and I hope things in my author life will soon come together as well. So today's topic: FINDING YOUR NICHE. What does this make you think about? For me it has come to symbolize a struggle with myself and what the world wants me to be. This has been a lifelong struggle for me, but I foolishly thought it would never spill over to the thing I love most: writing. I was wrong. So very wrong.
At this moment I have 6.5 novels under my belt, 3 published, 1 to be published and 2.5 languishing away wondering when the hell they are going to get a home or be revised again. I've written paranormal romance, interracial and multicultural but at this point I have no idea where I belong. What is my niche? I write romance. Beyond that everything else is pretty much up in the air.
To date my best selling novel is Goddess of Legend. I have no idea what it is about that novel, but it's done pretty good. The categories it was placed in: African American Urban, Science Fiction and Fantasy. In those categories GOL was in the top 100 categories for a good 2 to 3 weeks which was absolutely amazing to a first time author. It still is.
My follow up Goddess by Chance shifted to some different categories: African American Romance & Multicultural and Interracial Romance. Let's just say GBC did not enjoy the success of its predecessor. I'm not sure why, but possibly the category switching had something to do with it.
Then there comes Dirty Little Secrets, the novel that garnered me a two book deal with Samhain Publishing. I could tell how much my writing had improved and that I was finally coming into my own as an author. DLS was placed in the categories of: Multicultural and Interracial, Multicultural and Contemporary. Let me be the first to say that those are some tough categories. Really tough and the audience for those holds no punches back if they don't like something.
So what has all of this taught me? I have no idea where in the hell I'm supposed to be. Is Paranormal Romance my strongest suit? Or do I really have a baseline of comparison to draw from either way?
Do I think GBC would've done better if it remained in the same categories as GOL? Yeah I do. Do I think DLS would've done better under Romantic Suspense and Organized Crime? Yes I do. But you know it doesn't really matter now. What does matter is that I find out where I should be going forward.
I love to read pretty much everything and I want to write everything, but there comes a point where you have to play to your strengths. It's time I take some serious time to figure out what mine is because after all how can you build an empire if you haven't figured out what to build on? And that is where I'm at. I'm taking some time to listen to my muse's voice and the longings of my own heart to truly find where is my niche.