I had a great time participating in the Power Marketing Panel at the Love is Murder Conference in early February. One item we discussed was niche markets. Joanna Campbell Slan's is scrapbooking. She rattled off some pretty impressive figures about the surprising number of people involved in scrapbooking, as she is. Being a clever marketer as well as a great author, she capitalizes by writing a mystery series featuring scrapbooking and follows up by making appearances at scrapbooking venues. From all accounts, there are quite a few.
Another panelist, Rosemary Harris, specializes in gardening, as does her series book character. I heard she used seed packets to advertise one of her books.
In my first book, Two Wrongs, since I went to DePaul University, that became the college my main character attended. By including Depaul, I obtained a booksigning at Barnes & Noble DePaul Center.
Also, the climax of Two Wrongs occurs at what was then called Marshall Field's in Chicago's Loop. That's how I got a booksigning at Barbara's Bookstore at Field's.
When you're writing a book or have already written one, pay attention to opportunities in niche markets. In today's economic climate, you can be sure agents and publishers are doing the same. With all things being equal, if one book references or is based on a popular market, while another just as well written doesn't, the sale may very well go to the largest possible audience.
Can you think of any standalone or series books which target niche markets? Please share.