In this series I have been (and will continue to) compare the process of constructing buildings and creating books.

Today, I’m talking about the first step in the process: finding your niche.

When a construction company decides to create a building they first decide what kind of building they want to erect:

Commercial or Residential?

Single or multiple structures?

Number of floors?

Building material?

These and other general questions must be answered before they choose a location or create blueprints.

The same is true for writers. Basic questions have to be answered:

Fiction or non-fiction?

Stand alone novel, novel series, collection of short stories or poetry, memoir?

Hard back, paper back and/or ebook?

Word count?

Plot or character driven?


The last question is always the hardest for the writer but basically effects all the others. Choosing a genre is the most difficult and (I believe) the most essential decision for a novelist.

Each genre has certain requirements and limitations (word count, language, violence, pacing, plot features and development), and each has an established audience.

To find out more about various genre specifications, requirements and limitations, I suggest you visit the following site:

Genres and Subgenres Defined

When deciding on their genre, writers should think about the books they enjoy reading–romance, young adult, mystery, thriller, science fiction, fantasy, literary, true crime–then decide if  the idea for the book their wanting to write fits in the same category. For most writers, their best work is in the same category they enjoy reading.

What do you think your niche is? I’d love to hear from you.

Also remember that there is a free ebook promotion for my first novel Thicker Than Water (Brands Crossing Series) that runs from today (July 2) through Saturday (July 6). Go to and order your free ebook.

I’m also offering three paper back versions of Thicker Than Water (Brands Crossing Series) in a drawing. If you comment on the post and include your email address I will include your entry in the drawing. Then, the winners will be emailed and shipping will be arranged.




About Sharon K Owen

I am a fiction writer, a university professor, a copy editor and an online writing teacher. My first Romantic Suspense: Thicker Than Water (Brands Crossing Series) was published in 2011 and the second book in the series, Whatever Goes Around, will be published in 2016. My short stories and poetry have been published in Descant, Concho River Review, Iron Horse, American Literary Review, Trinity Writer's Workshop newsletter and collections of Christmas stories. I am blessed with a loving, supportive family, a multitude of friends and the good fortune to share a cozy sanctuary in North Texas with my two cats (Matt and Cinders).

Posted on July 2, 2012, in Book Recommendations, Writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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