Yesterday I posted a couple of excerpts from Jessica Park’s essay on how Amazon.com made her career thrive.  It got me thinking about how impossible it is to sell a novel that falls outside the traditional (or currently popular) boundaries. I like stories about young people who are struggling to establish themselves. And that’s a niche with no market. Nobody publishes books about college-age women that are not romance novels. Though that will likely change.

But then I took a look at Galley Cat’s Self-Published Bestsellers List for this week and found that a few of those novels–enough to notice–were also in that same gray area, the area publishers largely ignore.

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire would likely never have been published at a traditional house. It’s pretty controversial (and I don’t think I’d like it because I don’t enjoy mean boyfriends in my fiction) but it seems to have struck a chord. And it’s set among college-age people. Jessica Park’s book Flat-Out Love? Also features a college-aged protagonist. Slammed by Colleen Hoover? Protagonist is 18.

And that’s just from the Amazon.com list. Traditional publishers take note…you’re missing a market.

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