25 key steps about pretesting your niche book

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Because you have the huge advantage of being able to pretest your niche book, go a big step farther and write down (and do) the needed test-related steps before you spend $500-700 (to earn at least a $50,000 profit). Otherwise, it’s too easy just to slap something together and wind up with useless (and exasperating) results.

Doing this listless(ly) makes me think of buying lots of attire and equipment so you can play cricket without having the vaguest idea of what to do when you reach the empty playing field. (If you actually do play cricket, think of Ecuador’s pelota de guante.)

At the end of a successful pre-test you should know if a sampling of your niche market will respond positively to your book title, a particular price, the author, the Table of Contents, and the promises (benefits) in your flyer.

To help make that happen, let me share a rather skeletal 25-step checklist that I use, all plucked out of my book Niche Publishing: Publish Profitably Every Time.

1. Figure out your topic and qualify the buying market.
2. Who will write the book? (Will you write and publish?)
3. Create an abbreviated Table of Contents.
4. Determine how much income you must receive from the book.
5. Determine the minimum price you must charge per book.
6. Study your niche and prepare your one-page test flyer.
7. Find the best direct mail list.
8. Get test names as free as possible!
9. Determine three first-mailing starter book test prices.
10. Prepare your pretest note, postcard, and envelope.
11. ZIP sort your test names for two mailings (probably testing five prices).
12. Put prices on the fliers and postcards for the first mailing.
13. Apply the pressure-sensitive labels on your test-mailing #10 envelopes.
14. Stamp the envelopes and postcards.
15. Apply the self-addressed labels on the postcards.
16. Insert the notes and postcards in the proper envelopes and seal them.
17. Mail the first test mailing.
18. From the results of the first mailing select the two most profitable sales prices.
19. Put those prices on the fliers and postcards for the second mailing.
20. Prepare the envelopes and send the second mailing.
21. If the second-mailing results are a huge “go,” get going!
22. If they are marginal, change one weak spot (at a time) and retest.
23. If it’s a stinker, shriek and run for the hills.
24. If it is a winner: write, publish, and sell. And sell.
25. Build an information/product empire around that topic for that niche.

There, I did half of it for you—you are invited to rethink, redo, and resort the 25 steps however you wish. But at some point once you have an action list, you must act. There’s no shame in returning the cricket clothes and tools and doing something else instead. On the other hand, there can be great honor and many extra farthings if the test shouts “yes” and you then write (or acquire) the book and publish as the test says.

This is the fourth niche-publishing blog in this short series. If you still have doubts, the next blog (in a few days) will suggest why you may not want to niche publish at all, if the 25 steps above haven’t already sent you fleeing.

Incidentally, at this site I offered a 12-step “how to pretest your niche book” series, with details of each point in the process. Just go to the list of blog posts on the right, then to see earlier pages and posts hit the “earlier” word at the lower left of that same page.

Best wishes,

Gordon Burgett

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