Whose Itch Can You Scratch?

There are eight billion people on planet Earth, and every single one of them has an itch that can only be scratched by an author. Some readers want to be humored. Some haunted. Some tickled, tweaked, or twisted. Some want it light and airy; some dense and dark. But everyone wants something, and it’s your job, as the author, to figure out whose itch you can scratch.

Many author gurus will tell you to look for the itches the most people have, and figure out the best way to scratch them. But I find there are too many authors in this game. They race from trend to trend, competing to sell the day’s hot topic before the market moves on. They write like Vin Diesel acts—2 Fast 2 Furious—and their books burn out just as quick.

But with eight billion people on planet Earth, every niche is large enough to build a strong, enduring career. All you’ve gotta do is boldly scratch a specific itch, over and over again. The riches are in the niches, as they say.

To get started, ask yourself:

  1. What tropes get you the most excited every time you read them?
  2. What are your interests outside of writing?
  3. What kind of people do you love spending time with?

No matter who you are, there’s a community interested in what you have to offer. You just have to put in the legwork. Use the search bar on Amazon, Goodreads, Reddit, and other online forums. What do readers in that community rave about? What do they complain about? How can you help?