Archive for January, 2013

Tomorrow, the second episode of this three-part series airs on PBS at 8/7pm central.

My Official Blogcritics review posted today as TV Review: Attenborough’s Life Stories – “Understanding the Natural World” on Blogcritics.

 

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My first article (not a review) has been published on Blogcritics: “Changing Perspectives: An Attitude and an Education That Helps Me Navigate the Publishing Industry”.

I have also had a few of my previous articles accepted for republication on a website for writers (How to Tell a Great Story).

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My first music review has been published on Blogcritics.

This was a new experience as my education in how to review music came from The Art of Assessment (by Magdalena Ball), reading a few music reviews, and having music as part of the fabric of my existence, for as far back as I can remember. I’m grateful to Jon Sobel and the Blogcritics team for helping me learn the ropes.

These are the kind of experiences where the best kinds of payment aren’t monetary, but through guidance and newfound opportunity.

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[Note: With online writing collaborations and communities forming all the time, it's common for authors to "swap articles" or "guest post" on one another's blog. This is the first guest post I've accepted, courtesy of Aneeta Sundararaj, founder of How to Tell a Great Story, who has given me permission to reprint her article, below. Enjoy!]


“4 Steps to Finding Success in a Niche Market” by Aneeta Sundararaj



The phrase ‘niche market’ refers to a specific group of people who are willing to invest in your products and services. Finding success in a niche market, however, goes beyond doing something you love. Follow the steps below to get an idea what to look for and how to go about creating a niche market before you start creating products and services to sell.

To make more sense of the process described, assume the following is true: your dream is to become a published author. Although you were born in Thailand, and still have family there, you moved to the UK many years ago. At present, you work in the sales department of a company that designs websites. Lastly, you love cooking Thai food and people are always asking for your recipes.

Step 1: Choose Your Niche Market

The first step is to identify what you are interested in and passionate about. List out the following:
• Things you know.
• Things you have experience doing.
• Things that people are constantly seeking your advice about.

Once you have this list, going through the next few steps will be smooth. You will feel energized and excited because you’ll be doing homework on subjects you love.

Step 2: Locate a Niche Market Related to Your Interest

Think about where you are likely to find people who have similar interests to yours. With the above example in mind, consider the following:
• For your publishing dreams, get involved in the publishing industry. Seek out local printers, photographers and designers to find out the general costs of publishing a book.
• How you are going to sell your book? As you work for company that designs websites, consider setting up a website to sell your books.
• Start collating your recipes in an orderly manner.

A broad idea of the kind of book you would like to publish emerges – a cookbook that focuses on Thai cuisine. Do not rush to write this book just yet. Do a little more research into what products or services you can provide.

Step 3: Research Businesses that Cater to Your Niche Markets

Research by looking out for existing businesses that cater to these markets, noting down detailed information. Using the general idea of a cookbook mentioned above, collate the following information:
• What cookbooks are being sold at present?
• Do the cookbooks being sold at present have a lot of photographs in them?
• Who are your competitors in publishing such a cookbook?
• Are published authors of cookbooks providing ancillary services such as cooking classes?
• How much are people willing to pay for a good cookbook?
• Who are your potential customers? Be as precise as you possibly can when identifying your potential customer.
• Identify the one thing that will motivate your potential customers to buy from you.

Step 4: Refine Your Research

Finally, you are ready to refine your research to expose a market that is untapped and not saturated. Do it! Using the internet, you have the ability to gather a wealth of information with the click of a mouse. Join newsgroups, discussion boards and chat with people who are in your industry. For example, you might find that many Europeans love Thai food, but cannot easily obtain essential herbs and spices for Thai cuisine, like lemongrass. After a long day at work, many would like to have their meals delivered to them. When this step is completed, you will have narrowed down your ideas:
• To write a cookbook focusing on Thai cuisine.
• To create a website where you can promote and sell your cookbook.
• Since you still have family in Thailand, you can arrange to have spices delivered directly to your customers once they’ve made payment through your website.

Once all the steps above have been followed, establishing a niche market hinges on choosing products and services that people already want. In the long run, you will save a lot of time and money.

Copyright Aneeta Sundararaj

[First published on Suite101 on August 6, 2011. Read more at "Suite101: 4 Steps to Finding Success in a Niche Market.]

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Here are the books that were published earlier this week.

Fiction

“Brilliant Narration of Author’s Own Book; Can Neil Gaiman Go Wrong?: Neverwhere, By Neil Gaiman”, (E & K Family Book Review).

“Contemporary Paranormal Tale of Necromancy and Second Chances: Silence, By Michelle Sagara”, (E & K Family Book Review).

Rodeo Daughter by Leigh Duncan, (TRR (TheRomanceReviews.com) Official Review).

Nonfiction

[Reprint] “Talk Up Your Book: How to Sell Your Book through Public Speaking, Interviews, Signings, Festivals, Conferences, and More by Patricia Fry”, (The Compulsive Reader).

[Announced earlier in the week.] “The Art of Assessment by Magdalena Ball”, (Blogcritics).

[My interview with Magdalena was also announced previously at You Read It Here First.]

[Reprint] “How to be a Writer in the E-Age… And Keep Your E-Sanity! by Catherine Ryan Hyde and Anne. R. Allen”, (How to Tell a Great Story).

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I recently reviewed Magdalena Ball’s new book, The Art of Assessment: How to Review Anything on Blogcritics, and my interview with the amazing Ms. Ball was posted on You Read It Here First earlier today.

This was an exceptional learning experience; I much appreciated the opportunity to engage with such a professional reviewer. (You may be familiar with Ms. Ball through her website and radio program The Compulsive Reader.)

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I had the honor to preview the new documentary miniseries by PBS “Attenborough’s Life Stories”, celebrating Sir David Attenborough’s sixty years as a natural history filmmaker, with the first episode airing tomorrow, 8pm EST.

My review was just posted on Blogcritics.

The episode will air online on Thursday, the 24th.

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Originally I was going to only post my book reviews on Fridays, but since I had two today (and none in the last week), I decided to share them today.

“The Cinderella Search”, by Judy Griffith Gill, published at TRR (TheRomanceReviews) and the author’s official site, is a fun romantic twist on an old fairy tale.

“The Inconvenient Duchess”, by Christine Merrill, published at TRR (TheRomanceReviews), is a gripping historical romance with an Austen-esque touch (in terms of characters, settings and general tension, not in terms of romance).

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Last November, Ms. Christina Hamlett invited me to join her as a fellow interviewer for her website You Read It Here First. She has offered me resources and guidance through the last author interviews I’ve done with WOW! (Women on Writing) and in the first week of January, she announced me as a Literary Associate for You Read It Here First.

My first interview has been posted and while this is a reprint of my interview with Amy Friedman from Blogcritics, it is also the first interview that I worked with Ms. Hamlett on. I am honored that it has been accepted as a repost for You Read It Here First.

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My review for the romance novel The Nanny Who Saved Christmas by Michelle Douglas has been posted on TRR.

I will post it on my website in a week, under Book Reviews.

This year, I am on a course to be published more often than I have been previously, so to ensure I don’t accidentally bombard people with constant notices of new reviews online, I’ll share all my published book reviews on Friday, my TV and music reviews (which should be very few and far between) on the release dates, and author interviews on Sundays. Any other publications, like short stories, articles, and guest posts, I’ll probably post as they happen. :)

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