Apr 26th, 2021
Do you want to sell more books, face less competition, and achieve a higher return on your publishing investments?
K-lytics has the answers and this episode of the Am Writing Fantasy podcast, Jesper talk to the owner of K-lytics, Alex, to gain a better understanding of what K-lytics is and what the latest trends and niches are within the fantasy genre.
Learn more about K-lytics here: https://k-lytics.com/
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Read the full transcript below.
(Please note that it's automatically generated and while the AI is super cool, it isn't perfect. There may be misspellings or incorrect words on occasion).
You're listening to The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast. In today's Publishing landscape, you can reach fans all over the world. Query letters are a thing of the past. You don't even need a literary agent. There is nothing standing in a way of making a living from writing. Join two best selling authors who have self published more than 20 books between them. Now on to the show with your hosts, Autumn Birt and Jesper Schmidt.
Hello, I'm Jesper. This is episode 122 of The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast. Autumn is taking a break today and instead of have a great guest for you. So I'm gonna talk to Alex Newton from K lyrics today and welcome to The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast, Alex.
Hello, and thanks a lot for having me.
Yeah, it's a pleasure. I think I've heard you talk on so many podcasts now that your voice is almost feels familiar to me.
Oh, wow. I didn't, I didn't realize it would be that many, but you know yeah. The occasional conference or a webinar that has happened, it does happen.
Jesper (1m 8s):
Yeah. And also the nice videos you send out with K-lytics, the summarization videos. I've listened to you there are many times as well. That's the funny part, right? It's like the listener's who listens to podcasts. They also use to my, and Autumn's voice.
Alex (1m 23s):
Right. Yeah. I can imagine because as you say, what I do usually comes with video and voiceover to explain the things, because the numbers can be a very dry matter. So I I'll try it to make it palatable. And the best way I found was with the video and with a voice accompanying the, the graphs and the dry stuff. Yeah. Yeah.
Jesper (1m 47s):
And that's works really well. And we'll get into k-lytics in is just in a minute, but maybe just before we get that far, maybe you could share a bit about yourself. I believe you are on my side of the Atlantic for change. I normally always record, but somebody in the US, but you are in Switzerland, is that right?
Alex (2m 5s):
I am. I'm based in Switzerland Now. I I'm a native German. You know, I grew up in Germany. I had my professional life there as a management consultant. Although there, I basically worked all over the globe and, and some 10 years ago when my little daughter was born and, you know, I had the typical corporate executive type of life, 24 hours, seven days a week Comic-Con activity and living out of the suitcase, I thought, Hey, you know, something should change. And, and that was right in that. What was it called? Like the Kindle gold rush. You can almost say, so it was almost by coincidence. I got into, Hey, what's Amazon doing? And, and yeah, six years ago, I officially launched k-lytics, which by the way is simply Kindle and analytics, but I didn't want it to get into the trademark dispute on day one.
Alex (2m 56s):
So I dropped the k-lytics from the Kindle and here we are with K Lytics. So right now I have a, we've moved to Switzerland system one and a half years back and never looked back. So right now I'm, I'm very much running K Lytics amongst a couple of other things and, and enjoy my time here in this very nice little country that stands as a stronghold in so many aspects hear right in the middle of Europe.
Jesper (3m 25s):
Yeah. That's true. Yes. So you lived in Germany before then?
Alex (3m 28s):
Yes. Yes. I, I grew up in the Southwest of Germany and lived in Munich for many years and then near the stood guard area. So in the Southern area of Germany, yeah.
Jesper (3m 39s):
Oh, okay. Yeah. I like watching the Bayern Munich games on television
Alex (3m 43s):
Except last night. All right. So congratulations to Paris.
Jesper (3m 50s):
Yeah, I guess so. But yeah, you did touch a little bit on a slightly there, but maybe you can explain that, you know, a bit more to those who have, who have no idea what K Lytics is. Maybe you can put a bit more, let's say the baseline information into what is it.
Alex (4m 11s):
And in very simple terms, we tried to provide market research information to authors and publishers publishers to help them make better Publishing decisions is now that sounds very abstract, but if you're in an author, if you are saying the Fantasy on a world, and you decide about your next book project, or you are Writing already a, you know, your rights in the middle of a book project. And, and if you feel a little bit, mm, there is a market out there, or perhaps, you know, readers and potential buyers. So if you are not just writing for therapeutic reasons, or you have nothing else to do, but because you also want to make a living with your writing, you we'll have to face up to the fact that you run a business, right.
Alex (4m 57s):
In any business that gets into a new product or service. Usually we'll do some kind of market research on it. If it's only like talking to a couple of existing customers or in your case, existing readers, Hey, what are your, like, did this resonate with you and how we do this on the ground on a scale by basically looking at a hundreds of thousands of books, and there are sales ranks on Amazon. And by aggregating the data from those books over time, or by certain genres, or by certain categories, we can basically deduct what is trending, what is going on? What is going down, what is selling, what is selling, but what is already crowded, what is selling and perhaps not overly crowded.
Alex (5m 46s):
So we very much come into the game when people make decisions about that Publishing project. And later on, as, you know, things become very tactical in what category is, can I apply to my, what should be the pricing? If I do Epic Fantasy, you know, what are all the other Epic fantasy books are being priced at? Am I too high? Am I too low? And it can get very nitty-gritty in tactical than on the other side. But in essence, it is looking at what's out there in terms of data, aggregating it in an intelligible way and then packaging it so that not every author is a mathematician, obviously, so that you can make a very simple inclusions with you with the writing direction you take.
Jesper (6m 32s):
Yeah, no. I personally really like a K lyrics and, and the reports, but I am curious, you know, why, why did you start Kelly this in the first place? Because I, I, in the Kindle gold cross back then there was nothing like this. So was it just like you thought that, well, this is missing, so I'll try to do it, or, or what, what was the driver behind you creating Catalytics in the first place?
Alex (6m 57s):
It was almost a like half an accident that I ended up in the publishing world. Now I did start in my career in publishing, like literally 30 years back into a London based publishing company. And so there was some affinity with the publishing world, but at the point 10 years ago, when I started the first experiments, as you said, was a Kindle gold rush. And it was at that time when I looked at something, Hey, I want to work from home. So right now I'm clicking on all of those PayPal by button's. Is there anyway that others could click on mine? That was the out the, the, the onset.
Alex (7m 37s):
So I was looking into various markets, you know, fitness Market, online consulting, Market information products, you name it. And I almost, by coincidence, I can came across one of those famous, or I think by now more in famous, you know, get, are rich with Kindle types of courses for the $99, you know, or these types of things in. And at first it was, you know, I was more thinking about publishing rather than writing, but having been a corporate management consultant for twenty-five years and having been in boardrooms 25 years, you vary, you become a very conservative meaning.
Alex (8m 18s):
You know, I don't believe that. So you, you, you really tried to look at the facts and based decisions. On fact. So I started looking at Amazon sales ranks. I started to talk to people, Hey, if this whatever poly or a recipe books that everybody says is the thing, you know, if that has, I would say is to rank off 50,000 on Amazon, does it actually selling anything? And I found, I know its not selling anything, although everybody's saying, you know, you can get rich by, by uploading your grand grandmother is not even, Palio a recipe book, Polly-O breakfast, a recipe book. And at that point in time, I actually coined term, which I call to the present day, the polio breakfast recipes syndrome, meaning, you know, people tried to convince you that you can make money with some obscure, a nonfiction book upload to Kindle, which obviously is a total lie, but to the present day, but people are being sold courses, you know, to, to get into self publishing and make a living by uploading your knitting patterns and that sort of thing, which is obviously a complete nonsense.
Alex (9m 23s):
And so at that point in time, I started doing some, it's almost like data experiments with Amazon and I figured out, Hey, that works. And then I was in the one where on the Facebook group and start a chair. I remember my first K Lytics report was very plainly about the top 30 main Kindle category. So essentially it was looking at is romance selling more than sci-fi and fantasy and sci-fi and fantasy selling more than engineering and transportation Book. So, you know, it like super crude level and people tore it out of my hands and then ask, Hey, can you do this? Can you do this full sub categories? And then people start diving into sub sub categories and, and the rest is history.
Alex (10m 8s):
I think ever since 2015, we've been tracking more than 7,000 kids and a generous month in month out looking at hundreds of thousands of books.
Jesper (10m 19s):
Wow. Yeah, it's impressive. I mean, you must have quite some machine power to data scrape all that information. Right.
Alex (10m 26s):
Well, you know, it's not like a super large scale operation because first of all, you know, you don't want to, I think there can things to be said about, you know, to what extent can, and should you do automated visits on other websites? I know, I mean, in many industries you have it, you know, take hotel, price engines and all that stuff, but you know, it's a very, very small scale. So Amazon wouldn't even notice that. So, and, and also coming more from a data science point of view, you, you know, there is no value in just collecting data. The value comes with intelligent analysis of, and also the intelligence sampling, right? We look at books like seven days a month, like not every hour because also, you know, that would take bandwidths that also Amazon wouldn't be happy with.
Alex (11m 10s):
So we add more like a, you know, not like the occasional visitor, you know, but it's a, it's a, it's a very fine line between what is, what is ethical and what isn't right. And so we chose to do a very hands off type off the data operation that samples book's rather than as you term it scrape, you know, the, the, the Ammons on site every hour or, you know, which is not, not, not the type of business I want to get into.
Jesper (11m 41s):
No, no, that's fair. That's fair enough. And its always good to be a bit ethical about what you do. Although I think with Amazon, they have a scale that they know everybody and a lot of people who are scraping that data and I don't really think that to be honest, but, but its always good to have some ethical considerations. Yeah,
Alex (11m 58s):
Absolutely. And, and, and, and in the end of the day, you know, we were there with that humble data collection to basically help help their clients, you know, that, that feed their whole Publishing and engine. So a and a, and so far, you know, six years they've, they've never complained. I've never complained. And, and, and the people have people that have been happy. So I hope it stays that way.
Jesper (12m 22s):
No, that's perfect. So when it comes to the fantasy genre and that's sort of what we are all about here is also in the name of the Podcast because it is quite obvious, but considering the fantasy genre, I was hoping maybe you could share a bit about, you know, Latest data and your latest trends or sort of what you see when it comes to the FANTASY showing or what is trending and so on. I mean, first of all,
Alex (12m 49s):
Well, the good news is that, you know, out of those big JARAs on Kindle, I mean, you have romance has always number one full of by Mr. Thriller suspense, then you have a bit of non-fiction, but usually it's <inaudible> and Fantasy. And I apologize if I, if I some make a sum with science-fiction I know of many FANTASY all for the first time, how can, how can Amazon, how does Amazon dare put those in one bucket at the very top level already, which I know is not the case, but you know, a scifi and fantasy as, as one umbrella category is, is usually the third largest. And especially during the last 12 months have this crazy pandemic time, we've seen quite some changes and changes in read the behavior.
Alex (13m 35s):
And the good news they are is that overall people who have been looking for more, w we see categories that have to do with humor have been trending up. And if we see a very dark reads, you know, post-apocalyptic stuff is going down, but the, but the good news is anything that provided, say a, a, a good escapism for readers during these dire times has in essence benefited. And therefore, for example, in Fantasy overall, we saw a bit of a dip obviously about a year ago during the first log down periods. Like, because there are people who have been buying non-fiction books about how to bake bread, and it took a market share from some fiction, but, you know, very, very briefly after a brief period, we saw the, the overall Book market, obviously benefiting greatly from these dire times with a print book sales in the us, having grown, showing the highest growth rates in a decade with 8% growth.
Alex (14m 37s):
Amazon grew 25% in the Kindle select global fund. So the royalties paid two author. So I mean, 25%, that's huge. And one of the beneficiary JARAs was Fantasy. Overall, as one example, if you take Epic FANTASY as an example at which is probably like the general, epitomizing a bit of Fantasy as a, I wouldn't say cliche, but as an overarching theme, you know, why, what makes Fantasy the Epic side of the thing is obviously clearly position to provide an escapism. And that category on Amazon had been like, it, it sort of had a peak before, back in 2017 or 18 around that time and with all its fluctuations, you know, and it has then had a bit of a downward trend all the way into the start of 2020.
Alex (15m 33s):
And then after that brief dip, during the first blog down in it, it really shot up back again. And you see that these types of Fantasy markets are clearly benefited and we can, we can go and in, in Canmore, if you want, but on a, on a high level, you see that Fantasy Epic FANTASY, a very big Market, but also very high ceiling. So there, you can say it's a, it's a very grown up, very established mainstream Market on in the Kindle world. And then obviously you have these hundreds of when not hundreds, but, you know, a 10, 20 like big sub genres, you know, from Seoul to source a reaction and adventure game adaptations.
Alex (16m 14s):
And they tend to do pretty well on the Kindle platform. So especially over the last year, all the teen young adult driven type of Fantasy, we saw a lot of trends happening there. And if you want, we can, you know, I can take into the data here as we speak and, and looking into some of those.
Jesper (16m 36s):
Yeah, for sure. I, I think that would be very interesting because a part of it is, and that's what I liked with the K leader reports is also to do, to try to see, because at least for myself and, and Autumn, the stuff that we write, we, we are sort of settled in, in the Epic fantasy world. So, eh, I think the competition is probably pretty fierce there to be honest, but maybe you can contradict me, but, But I, I'm more thinking for, especially if you're sort of starting out and, and, you know, let's say you had decided that I liked to right Fantasy, but I actually like very many different types of Fantasy, then it could definitely also make sense to look into the catalytic reports and, and try to see, okay, is there some of these SOPs showed us where there was just less competition and it makes it a bit easier to get more sales, write it that way.
Jesper (17m 29s):
I think K-lytics, this is very useful apart from what you mentioned earlier as well, that even if you are established in something, you can use it to figure out what is the good price range for books, what is the average pricing and, and so on. So your position, your product's so to speak or your books correctly, but, ah, but yeah, please share more details, right. I mean,
Alex (17m 51s):
As you mentioned, it, a Epic, Epic fantasy, I think is a good example of, as you say, that there are established mainstream markets and just entering in there, you know, as a new comer could be a bit of an uphill battle. I mean, if you, if you look at the Epic Fantasy data, we did a study start of this year. That is one of the examples of a well, in my corporate world, we would say a very concentrated market, right? Where a few to determine, determine the bulk of the sales, you know, with obviously at the very top of the, the Brandon Sanderson, you know, crushing it with, with all his, his books and obviously the classics, the talkings and the Robert Georgians, the obviously George R.
Alex (18m 39s):
Martin and all the F the fan fiction, the, the, the spin offs, the jaw, the Abercrombie side of the world. And, and then already, even with some of the, you know, a big, big names or whatever, what was it like rubbing havin, you know, that there is a whole number of names were immediately, you see the books of their sales rank, you know? Yeah. You know, it, it's a tough market. Now, the good news for Epic Fenton, what good or bad news depends on the eye of the beholder is there while you have like Publishing companies that really dominate like Tor books, right. That, that sine on like everybody or a bid or the DAW, there, there is a couple of big outfits out there, but then you do have an increasing chair in the publishers, the, the typical, you know, author that wants to make use of the self publishing self publishing world and all the opportunities that come with it.
Alex (19m 39s):
And there, we do see a bit of like a balance between a traditionally published or with the specialized Epic FANTASY publishing houses and a couple of, you know, really good self-publishers that found that out a way into the game Now. But if you don't want to get head on with the brand and send the suns and <inaudible> of the world around, you will pose exactly the question you will pose exactly the question you posed, you know, are there opportunities out there in the overall fantasy world where it's perhaps a bit less competitive, less crowded, less established also.
Alex (20m 21s):
And, and I would clearly say yes, you know, I mean, especially if you, if you'd be able to also address some of the teen young adult readership, which is not necessarily teen young adult people, because obviously there's research that suggests that the bulk of the teen young adult fantasy books are actually not read necessarily by, by teens or young adults, but also adults. So they really have opportunities, you know, I mean, take the huge Market, take the huge Market of urban FANTASY is by now, it's also no longer a niche market, but that created a whole, a publishing self publishing sub empire, where it's really been about, well, what types of urban Fantasy do I do?
Alex (21m 9s):
Is it, you know, the, the, the leather clad chick that's running around with swords slang vampires at night and working at Starbucks by day, or am I going more into the Jim butcher type of world? And there, the data can, can give you hints. So for example, we saw a, what was it like a, almost like a five-year decline after the big hunger games hype was over, right. And with a pandemic we saw with many of the teens being sitting there at home, and after the homeschooling having to do something, there is perhaps the only so much Netflix who can watch you are only so many mobile devices available that they had to read books again, I don't know, but we saw a huge increase again in, in 17 young out adult FANTASY.
Alex (21m 58s):
Segment's for example, these I'm a bit dystopian type of a royalty novels. Kira cos I think it was primarily a driver, obviously there was also the hunger games sequel, but those were pride to a predominantly self-published authors who really took the whole segment segment up again. And if I just look at the, the, the data of, of over a year or, you know, paranormal Fantasy has, has, has found a bit of a, a return if you also off two years off having done well, but paranormal, for example, the hole paranormal romance, paranormal Fantasy, I, that has peaked, I would say 2013, 14 ever since then, these waves are by the way, very long-term.
Alex (22m 47s):
When I talk about writing to market or looking at these, this data, there is not about a monthly fluctuations. That's about catching the wave that carries you. And your project is over obviously a period of years rather than, rather than months. So by and large, you know, a teen young adult, whether its Fantasy fairy tales, especially in the teen young adult world, if you are a bit flexible to also put a touch on romance, into It, selling extremely well, you know, failed romance, paranormal, Romans vampire romance. Now for many Fantasy rights, they will go like, Oh yeah, no, that's like, I have to like Roman.
Alex (23m 27s):
So it was like, okay, okay. Yes, I read you You. But for that reader who is looking for an escape, those vampires and that stuff, you know, or the whole thing happening in a complete fantasy world. And there, there is a world building going into it, perhaps not elaborate with maps and stuff. As you have in a tall Keaton type of a trilogy seven, 150 pages, I will tell you, God knows what, but to those who are in those jars, they make a good living with it. Partly, And, and there they are not obsessed with academic definition of what constitutes Fantasy and what doesn't, but basically looking at what do readers want and then almost from a menu.
Alex (24m 13s):
Okay. Best example I'd say currently is, I mean, we are about, I don't know what your age yeah. They asked by the way, we're sort of the same generation. So we know movies like the, the witches of Eastwick right. Which is a vast awake. Or then later in the, in the late nineties, there was that other one with, with, I think they call Kitman right? So you have, which is, you have Housewives who are in their spare time, which is now right now we have a book Market getting going where some authors who've been big name authors in general, such as women's fiction, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, all of these jars are getting very crowded and cozy mystery.
Alex (25m 0s):
Now they came together, they bended together and created something which is called paranormal women's fiction. They even gave it its own hashtag PWF. And if you look at it, it is Fantasy, you know, is a about, which is about w you know, that shadow whirled it's, it's bringing a cozy mystery. And so, especially what has been doing well in cozy mystery was paranormal cozy mystery, which is where they bring women's fiction into it because they target very specific. The authors themselves are usually like 45 and older. So they credibly you are right about all of these mid life problems.
Alex (25m 40s):
You know, kids go on to college or midlife depression, and, and why they have women cast that in a FANTASY, in an urban fantasy world. You no overcome their mid-life problems so that that's not a long monologue that I give here, but it it's just to put some flesh to the bone when it comes to reading the Market, looking at trends and Writing to Trends, but without bending yourself, that's the important thing, you know, with what are you good at? And you're Fantasy writing and how can you take it and twisted in a way that you can combine your love, passion and craft with some Market aspects of a trend, more than others.
Alex (26m 23s):
There is no guarantee for a success obviously, but I think the whole publishing business has where people do it in a professional way. It's very much become around the credo, this mantra of, of how do we increase the odds of success at at least if you can not guarantee success.
Jesper (26m 43s):
Yeah. And it's so true. If, one look at it, especially with Amazon, I mean, Amazon is probably, well, it's, it's a good and bad in the sense that for most authors is, at least at Amazon is like 90% of the income. And that is good in the sense that if you can make it work on Amazon, there was a good likelihood that you will also have some money from it, but on the, the bad side then yeah, you're completely reliant on, on Amazon, which is, that's a whole different conversation. And I don't like that too much, but let's leave that alone for now. But I think what this is really about to me is trying to find, not compromising with what you want to write.
Jesper (27m 26s):
I mean, because I don't think it works. If you start looking at a K latex report and say, Oh, I can see that this a <inaudible> is working really well and is trending. So I'm gonna write some books, that's your option. Right. And, but I don't like those kind of books. I don't read those kinds of books. A and I didn't really care about it, but I'm just going to write it because apparently that's sort of readers want, I don't think that works 'cause it will also come across in the story that you don't really like it. And if you don't read it to yourself as well, you probably don't even understand the tropes of it. So, so leave that alone. But I think what, I'm trying more to say it, and that's why I find that K Lytics is very useful. For example, when Autumn I, and I write out the books, I know that what you also said, ah, as well, that, you know, some sort of romance in the books, usually it works well and probably half, or if not more than half, I think of the readers of Fantasy in general, a woman.
Jesper (28m 20s):
So if you don't put any WOTSO, if everything is just a sword fighting and dragons and, and what not, well, that can still be a great story. But if you don't put any romance in there, which is the data in Caledon, it also tells you is something that people like to read. You are missing out some stuff that you were, you could gain, maybe a lot more readers because you have some hope. And so all of them, and I always put some romance sub-plots into our Epic Fantasy stories. There is always some romance going on in those stories. And its more like for me, it's one of those things where I'm okay with it. I, I, you know, I don't love the romance of plots as such.
Jesper (29m 2s):
It's not my thing, so to speak, but I don't mind either. So, so the question is more like, why wouldn't we put it in? I mean our Autumn likes it. So she is naturally bent to what is that? And she does those things really well. And that's of course the benefit I can enjoy that, the fact that I write books together with her so she can put her touch on those things. So that's great for me. But my point is just to say that you can look at something like K lyrics reports and you can pick out some pieces where you feel like these are Okay for me. You know, I, I don't mind them. I understand them enough that I feel like I can write at least a subplot concerning it and then put that into the books. And hopefully you will see somewhat more success rather than going down your tunnel vision way of, I only write this because this is the only thing that I like and every party that doesn't like that well, bad luck for them and Okay, fair enough for it.
Jesper (29m 54s):
That's what you want to do, but if you wanna get some money for it as well, maybe you need to think of a bit about what readers actually or looking for.
Alex (30m 3s):
Right. And, and I think you couldn't have put it in into a better way. And you, you mentioned a couple of elements there that that may be worth reiterating on the one is the love and passion for what you do. Like you say, if you don't love it to yourself, if you don't love Amish romance and you know, could imagine writing it for the next five years, then don't no matter how high it's trending. Right. And the, the other elements that you mentioned would be for me also Kraft Skil, I think there are a certain genres, a, you know, to write good sex scenes that are a steamy, but not pornographic. That that is a craft skill, you know, not every writer is able to do so and to do so.
Alex (30m 47s):
I wouldn't know where to begin. Well, you tell me, and, and then there is also the thing about knowledge, right? I mean, a even if you, you know, during the hype times off of a literature role-playing game, the lid RPG in game lit when a Spielberg took the whole thing into the mainstream movie theater, well, you had people, you know, quarrying quarrelling about Well is the, is, is in that lid, RPG novel is the scoring and the gaming element, like really genuine. And I'm, I mean, if, if you are not a gamer yourself, you know, the readership, the nerds, the geeks, you know, they, they can smell this from like 50 miles.
Alex (31m 32s):
So don't, don't get into it. So there is this, I always say, there's this passion factor and the knowledge that the craft skill factor and the, the knowledge factor, but we are all of these things coming into play. So, I mean, even Mozart, although he, I think at the end of the career that he was not so shining anymore, but you know, even the great artists and composers, a lot of them, they, they worked for money and they composed what was the royalty. I wanted to hear it, not just what they had in, in their inspiration and their inspiration. So it, it was pop music and at, at the point in time, so if you're in, in, in Epic Fantasy and let's, I don't know whether it were, it exists, but if you're a hardcore Epic FANTASY writers and, you know, its source and darkness and shadows, Well, it, it will be good to know that themes, like if you have in your title end book description, something around darkness, around shadows, about war battles or something around age ages, centuries, power, and magic, you know, these five strong words, you know, constitute like whatever 60, 70% of the royalties and, and books contain them.
Alex (32m 43s):
But if you say, no, I'm going to write about whatever the, the, the golden And dungeon and the stone, the chaos and cry. And, you know, these are all also, you think very strong, compelling words, but the royalties are a much lower. You get the idea so that there is certain things that at certain points in time seem to resonate with certain reader groups. And it's just by bringing the arts and sciences a bit together and say, Mmm, no problem. I, I have it a lot more amongst my romance writers because they can almost like on the fly as they write the story, they can say, well, my God, it, if everybody currently likes mountain man, you know, living in, in, in a cabin, in as opposed to the billionaire or a vice versa, they can very quickly change characters and, and move the book more into a direction that may not resonate well even too, or are they rewrite the whole book and the like, remarketed were you, you had whatever, five years of age, I always say, you know, when we were, we were young and watching black and white movies, you had, you had women wanting to be kissed by a millionaire's or, you know, in Marilyn Monroe and the time's today, they don't want to be kissed by millionaires.
Alex (34m 4s):
They want to be whipped by a billionaire. So you had this whole 50 shades of gray, pretty, pretty extreme staff. And, and that was like a never-ending story, but the market, it was getting very crowded in all of a sudden you had on Amazon, especially with the advertising restrictions on Amazon, on a very steamy content. You had a big surge also with the age group, probably have the typical Kindle device oner in any case clean and wholesome Romans was doing extremely well and was still more of a niche type of market. And all of a sudden, you know, we, we reported on over five years of the trend of clean and wholesome romance.
Alex (34m 46s):
And over time you found even some steamy authors rewrite there, a billionaire romance novels, there are 50 shades of gray it into more like, yeah, clean and wholesome, clean read Swede, Romans billionaire romance, 'cause it was simply less crowded and in high demand. And, and that is what I mean with like reading the market in a way where you don't bend yourself, but you just tried to increase the, as you put it also in the, the odds of success.
Jesper (35m 18s):
Yeah, exactly. And, and I think, and that's, that's basically where you can see you can, because it's let me rephrase that because it's really, really difficult to do that on your own. I mean, she just tried to go to Amazon and look through the, the different categories and tried to look at the top seller list and the different categories, but it's really, really difficult for you to ma to spot trends on your own because it's, it is so much data and it is so complicated that that's where I really see that Kayla Alex can help. Just a, I mean, I am You mostly of you and Kayla, it is like, it's an input. And then you, you need to unpack it yourself and say, okay, what of this can I use?
Jesper (35m 59s):
And is this something where I have some sort of Venn diagram overlap between what I like to write and what the market likes to read, and then I'll try to merge those two together and make it fit there. And then I think for me that that's the point of it. But before we get into the end of the conversation that I wanted to also give you a chance to explain a bit, what if one buys K Lytics or goes into clearly, what, what is it that you're getting in there? And what are the reports that you were sending out and so on? And, and maybe also a bit about what are the, I think you have some tears as well. If I remember correctly has been a while since I was in their, but maybe just a bit of the pricing tiers and so on, if you don't mind.
Alex (36m 39s):
No, no, no. Of course not. I mean, for those who are interested, basically, you know, we, we serve authors from the fledgling interested authors to, to publishing houses. So we have to provide, you know, different entry points into, into the products. So you can, we provide memberships and we provide single reports. Now within the, within Bose, the, the baseline for everything is the data that we collect and that we publish every month and an updated database. And what you basically can have is, is there are basically two big pillow's to the product. The one is a ready-made PDF report. Say there, there is a 70 page Epic Fantasy reports, 17 pages that comes with a video that completely dissects the Amazon available data on Epic Fantasy.
Alex (37m 29s):
So if you're only interested in like that one Jara, you can simply go to the KLA, the sharp at K high for analytics.com/shop purchase the Epic Fantasy report. And we'll keep you busy for a good week. I'd say, if you really want to absorb the data, look at the video and especially makes sense of it, of how does that fit with your writing. So that is one entry points. So you can choose what we call genre reports on the card. There's two types of them. Ones are like really going in depth on certain sub jars, such as Epic FANTASY. There are others. We have a more general scifi and fantasy report that are not as deep in the analysis, but they are much broader because they would comparatively look well, there is more than a, a a hundred PSI Phi and Fantasy categories, and they would do exactly like we discuss before, well, what his, what is trending hire?
Alex (38m 19s):
Is it urban FANTASY or is it a paranormal row? You know, is it is. So it looks at the category of data in a competitive way. So these are the types of John reports and you can buy them out a card, or if you are interested in more than one Jara, then we, the memberships, because the memberships give you access to basically a multiple reports at a time. And these, our monthly memberships, they come into tiers. One is premium. One has elite that lead to us to the highest tiers. And the difference between the two tiers has also actually a very simple, the highest tier a Gibbs gives you unrestricted access to everything. And one thing is all the reports. The other thing is though that database now also premium gives you the database, but the depth of the data you see premium basically would give you the data every month for about 420 down two sub category level.
Alex (39m 13s):
But if you want to get into also this really granular and detailed, you know, in which 10 categories shall I put my book's sort of thing, then the elite level comes handy because there are, we track 7,000 categories, you know, from the gardening and horticulture to the lowest level Fantasy category of that, that exists. So, so especially if you want to also look a bit what's happening across job has gotten because some authors are very open-minded, you know, they write, say a urban Fantasy, but they really, because they know the JARAs are more and more blended and they want to know what is going on in romance, what is going on in mystery so that they keep a bit of head off, you know, ah, you know, there is a certain thing emerging could that's come over into like the paranormal women's fiction example I gave earlier that is sort of the << inaudible >> of like four genre trends meeting in a certain suite spot and meaning at a certain target rate, a group.
Alex (40m 13s):
And that has what we do. So there is entry points from ala carte to membership's obviously we promote the membership's also price-wise 'cause, that is what keeps us afloat. And it gives us the continuity to provide this research, which we've now been doing for six years and hope, hopefully not too many more years to come.
Jesper (40m 35s):
Oh yeah, for sure. And I definitely like to support what you are doing because I, I do think it's a very, very helpful, and that is stuff that authors can not do on their own. Umm, and I definitely also SUPPORT the, the, the fact that membership levels who is wanting to keep the business going. So we know this ourselves with, with Patrion, for example, is also sort of a membership ship site for this podcast. So it's, it's the same thing, but at least I will say to the listeners here as well, that if, if you don't know, if, you know, with this data things sort of me, I would definitely recommend just start out, maybe buying one of the younger reports for, for Fantasy.
Jesper (41m 16s):
I did that as well, several years ago now, but, but I did this as well and it's not expensive at all. I can't remember now, Alex, I, but I, I think it was like 25, maybe
Alex (41m 26s):
It's $37 that are a report on them. And you get probably, you know, more than 70 pages of, of, of analysis all aggregated in a understandable way. So it it's, as you say it as a writer that you should, of course we know, especially as an indie writer, you have so many other business aspects to run as, you know, the marketing, the ad's, the newsletters, you know, there is already enough business stuff going on to then say on top of it, do you'd want to become a market research experts may not be your core competency. So we, we crunch the data on hundreds of thousands of books so that you don't have to, that is the very simple essence of it
Jesper (42m 8s):
Indeed, yes. So I will put a link to K Lytics in the show notes so any of your listeners who are interested to check it out a bit more than a follow that link and on the k-lytics website does a lot more information as well. Hopefully we touch the ball upon most of it, but there is explanations about what it is and what your getting inside of the report and, and all that stuff. So I want you to, to at least go check that one out. Thank you. And thank you so much for coming Alex, and speak to us out here and share a bit about all of this data crunching stuff.
Alex (42m 44s):
Was a pleasure and a, hey, also all the best with your, with your own podcast. You know, I think its great that we see also so many people in the, in the publishing world and in the self publishing world for that matter to collaborate, you know, and, and have these forums for our people can exchange. I thought, and it was the last, at least I'd say, you know, of course there is traditionally published WORST. There is a hybrid publishes, you know, who have in some areas they have their rights back. They want you to go go half and they are half traditional And they have the, you know, like hardcore self published is. And from what I've seen is, especially in that hyper, then self publishing part of the journey, I've seen people be so fast and picking up Trends in, in, in collaborating together that they are in some areas of the rebar pull parts of the market.
Alex (43m 39s):
But before the traditional publishers even know it exists as a market. So Andy, I think it's also things to these podcasts and forums like yours, where these thoughts are exchanged and transported to the community that, that make that happen.
Jesper (43m 58s):
Oh yeah. Yeah. I agree. But okay. Thank you so much for, for coming here, Alex. And next Monday I we'll have a Autumn back here and that we are going to do one of our monthly fun episodes where we are going to discuss the top 10 worst and scariest FANTASY world.
Narrator (44m 16s):
If you like, what you just heard, there's a few things you can do to support The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast. Please tell a fellow author about the show and visit us at Apple podcast and leave a rating and review. You can also join Autumn and Jesper on patrieon.com/AmWritingFantasy for as little as a dollar a month, you'll get awesome rewards and keep The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast going. Stay safe out there and see you next Monday.