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What Does "Write to Market" Mean for Romance Authors?

Updated 30 January 2024

It doesn't matter if you're new to romance publishing or a seasoned pro; you've probably heard the phrase "write to market."

Many people think that writing to market means copying the trends visible in romance bestseller lists like Amazon Top 100.

The truth, however, is more complicated.

So what does "write to market" really mean?

Writing to market means writing with the market in mind. In this case, that's romance readers, and more specifically, romance readers of your sub-genre/niche, i.e., the specific type of romance you write. Every sub-genre and niche has a different readership with its own expectations, likes, and dislikes. Writing to market means learning what your market loves reading right now, and what they want to see more of.

And how do you find out what your romance readers love and want to see more of?

Two words: market research. This means going where romance readers congregate, including:

Understanding your romance readers takes time, but it's an essential part of the writing process. So is verifying the story ideas you come up with during the research process. I recommend tools like Publisher Rocket and KDPSpy, which measure keyword search frequency and competitiveness—two very important considerations when you're trying to write unique stories that will stand out to readers.


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