Another Example (Niche Marketing Part 7)

From Kristine Kathryn Rusch:

So, this week, I settled into the trusty writing chair, reviewed what I had on the Grayson novella…and found myself looking up restaurant menus in search of soup (teeth, remember?). I figured I was just distracted, so I went back…and found myself peering at the weather for the next month.

I shut off the wireless, went back to the novella…and found myself organizing the papers on the desk to my left.

Okay, that’s a sign.

I opened a new file, and asked myself what was going on—and my muse had a fist-pounding, tear-streaked, screaming fit about not meeting my July schedule and how she wasn’t feeling like writing a romance since she has no teeth (I have teeth) and how much she admires hardboiled noir fiction and why weren’t we working on finishing the big Fey project?????

I boiled it down further and figured out that what was really going on was that I had planned the Grayson project as a palate cleanser between the third Fey book and the fourth.

Well, that palate has been cleansed, drilled, stitched, and sanitized, thank you. I had promised my muse the Fey in August, and she expected me to deliver.

What does that mean for this post in the blog series? Well, I had thought I would deal with the Santa series. Then I figured maybe I’d poke at Winston & Ruby. (Cat dishes as merch, anyone?)

I had said I would do things that float to the top, and what has floated to the top? The Fey, which is just too big, and frankly, if I make it small as an example here, this post will be filled with spoilers.

So I think I’m going to use this post as an unplanned example of when to leave well enough alone.

My scheduling brain—which comes mostly from my critical voice—had slotted in the Santa Series. I was ready to do the Grayson, if it was short, so that it wouldn’t mess with the Fey.

But, life intervened, the Fey got messed with, and while I know (and love) the new topic for the new Grayson, it’s not what I’m going to write.

I could force myself here to fill out all of the categories that I did in the previous post. I could pretend that I’m going to do the niche marketing on the Santa series.

But I’m not. And I don’t want to confuse the folks at WMG. I probably won’t finish the novella until next year, and by then there will be new things to try and think of, as well as new items that we’ve tested that might be perfect for this series.

I considered using the Holiday Spectacular itself as an example of niche marketing, but we’re not there yet. We’re putting this year’s together, planning the Kickstarter, and figuring out what we want to do there. That won’t hit until October.

It hasn’t floated to the top of my brain yet.


I don’t want to be a full time marketer. I’ll wager you don’t either. If I wanted to figure out how to market all of the product that I have, the effort would take me until January, if not longer. And the staff at WMG would work on nothing else.

If I thought my muse was cranky this past week, I’d hate to see her after six months of no writing and just marketing. Oh, I’m not sure this condo building would still be standing…

So this has turned into a different kind of example than the one I expected. This is how you decide to hold your fire on some marketing project because you already have too much on your plate.

It takes some self-examination (and maybe some soup and a glance at the weather for the next month). It takes scheduling. It takes a realistic look at what you can do in the time you have available to you.

It all sounds well and good to do everything all at once, but none of us can do that. Big corporations can. I was overwhelmed by the amount of promotion I saw on the Barbie movie. One of our casinos was bright pink for the release week and had a Barbie theme throughout.

But that was the tip of the iceberg, or the Malibu Dreamhouse or whatever. For the last half of July, everything was Barbie…on TV, in magazines, online, on Facebook…

And since I was thinking about niche marketing, I wondered how someone could do all of this.

Until I remembered that Mattel and Warner Bros. have been working on this for more than a year—and to them, it’s a niche.


Barbie is but one of Mattel’s toys, and the Barbie movie is but one of Warner Bros. offerings this summer.

All of this Barbie stuff went live in June/July and will slowly disappear. The casino looks like itself again, after the promotion.

That’s niche marketing on a grand scale, with dozens of advertising agencies and maybe hundreds (?) of in-house staff working on all of it.

But I’m a single writer with a small company that I share with my husband. The staff we have works on both of our promotions and WMG’s stuff individually.

We couldn’t do a Barbie-sized niche promotion if we tried.

But we can do promotions like the ones I outlined last week.

I think more important than that, though, is learning how to say no. How to figure out what’s important in August of 2023. What we can reasonably do to augment our various enterprises, rather than harm them.

That’s the discussion I had with my very angry muse this past week. My planning brain told me I had enough time to finish that novella and get to all the cool marketing stuff before the Holiday Spectacular Kickstarter. My muse wanted to finish a big project that I had promised her.

The big project won.

Link to the rest at Kristine Kathryn Rusch