Blue Ocean Strategy for Authors

Blue Ocean Strategy is a seminal work –

  1. Wikipedia explains what Blue Ocean Strategy is
  2. The Official Website for Blue Ocean Strategy

Basically, Blue Ocean Strategy dictates that a company/business/entrepreneur should constantly innovate and find new untapped markets

  1. These new untapped markets are called ‘Blue Oceans’
  2. They are completely new and there is no competition
  3. You have to innovate and explore to find such Blue Oceans
  4. Once you have found a Blue Ocean you can generally make a lot of good money from such a market
  5. If you can keep finding such Blue Oceans you can become extremely successful
    1. In some cases, even a single Blue Ocean can make you very wealthy

How does this Blue Ocean Strategy apply to Authors?

Well, every author is an entrepreneur/small business, whose success depends on finding a good market where the author can sell her/his products (books)

Finding a Blue Ocean is the Holy Grail of Success

Blue Ocean Strategy – Benefits to Authors of Finding Blue Oceans

If an author can do good market research and find new untapped markets (Blue Oceans)

  1. The Author can write books for these Blue Oceans, before anyone else
  2. As there is little to no competition, the author will sell a lot of books
  3. As it is a new untapped market, the author can build a strong brand and keep writing and selling more books
  4. It would take other authors 6 months to a few years to even find out this market exists. After that it would take them a further 6 months to a year to write books for this market
    1. This means that the author who found this Blue Ocean has a huge time advantage and can stay ahead of other authors for a long time
  5. If the Author who finds a Blue Ocean writes very high quality books, and writes them consistently, the author can become ‘THE BRAND’ in this market

Finding a Blue Ocean is just about the best thing that can happen to you as an Author (or as a Business)

Further Aspects of Blue Ocean Strategy AND Extensions to Blue Ocean Strategy

Let’s look at different types of Markets, not just Blue Oceans

  1. Super Blue Ocean
    1. A Super Blue Ocean is a Blue Ocean which you can take the lead in, and majority market share of, for a very long time (20 years or more)
    2. Even within Blue Oceans, this is the absolute best type of market to search for
  2. Blue Ocean
    1. We have already discussed what a Blue Ocean is – a new untapped market where you can be the first entrepreneur/author/business to sell products (books) to this market
  3. Super Green Ocean
    1. A Super Green ocean is an evergreen ocean, where the Top 2 to 5 companies (or top 1% of people) consistently make a very good amount of money
    2. If you can’t find a Blue Ocean, this is the best type of market to focus on
    3. In Books, examples of Super Green Oceans are – Romance, Steamy Romance, Mystery, Thriller, Christian Romance, Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Fantasy, etc
      1. If you can be one of the very best (top 1%) then you will definitely make a very good amount of money
      2. Even if you can be one of the best (top 5%), you can make a good amount of money
  4. Green Ocean
    1. A green ocean is a good market, where the top companies (or top 1% of people) make a decent to good amount of money
    2. If you cannot find a Blue Ocean, or a Super Green Ocean, then a Green Ocean is the best choice
    3. In Books, examples of Green Oceans are – Biographies & Memoirs, Cookbooks, Adventure, Sea Adventures, Suspense, Horror, Young Adult Romance, etc
      1. If you can be one of the very best (top 1%) then you can make a decent to good amount of money
      2. If you are in the top 5% then you will make some money, though perhaps not enough to quit your day job
  5. Red Ocean
    1. A red ocean (also known as ‘Read Ocean of Competition’) is a bloody market with brutal competition
    2. It’s very tough to make money in a Red Ocean. Only the #1 business in the market makes money
      1. In some cases, not even the #1 business will make money
    3. You should avoid Red Oceans as much as possible
      1. In Books, examples of Red Oceans are – Young Adult, Business, Children’s Books, etc
  6. Black Ocean
    1. A black ocean (also known as ‘Black Ocean of Death’) is a market that is not just tough, it kills everyone who enters the market
    2. You must avoid Black Oceans at any cost
      1. There is no one who enters a Black Ocean and survives
    3. Black Oceans usually have to do with the ecosystem and not with the book genre
      1. Black Oceans are usually markets created by companies where they want to capture all the value, and kill off all the participants
      2. Black Oceans are usually created by technology companies started in the 1990s and 2000s, as they specialize in playing people off of each other
      3. Technology companies started before 1990, such as Apple and Microsoft, built platforms where the best companies flourished. Since 1990, technology companies have been building platforms where everyone bleeds and dies

Please read these definitions carefully

  1. A Black Ocean or a Red Ocean can eat up 2 to 7 years of your life, and leave you with nothing to show for it
  2. On the other hand, a Super Blue Ocean will make you wealthy
  3. A Blue Ocean or a Super Green Ocean will set you up financially for a decade or more

The more time you spend analyzing markets, determining what type of market each market is, and searching for Blue Ocean markets, the higher the chance you can find a Super Blue Ocean or a Blue Ocean and benefit greatly

Blue Ocean Strategy trumps pretty much everything else

The 3 Core Authors Skills are

  1. Knowing What to Write
  2. Writing Very Well
  3. Marketing Very Well

Of these three, Knowing What to Write (Market Research and finding The Right Market) is the most important

Within the Skill of Knowing What to Write, finding a Blue Ocean is the absolute best thing you can do, for yourself and for your career


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