Find the buyers before you write your book!

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Here are some questions you might ask about fine-tuning your book to strengthen its distinctiveness and increase its buying demand. (Better than writing a book with no perceived–or real–buyers!)

* In addition to the five or so books you already read about your topic, what else has already been in print about it in, say, the past decade? Are those books still applicable or have changes in the field (or society) made them obsolete? Were they widely sold? (Does it mention reprint, updates, later editions in the copy by the copyright, after the title?) How much did they cost? How long were they? Do they contain illustrations? How many? What kind? Do they have bibliographies?

* What is about to be published about your topic? (Check Forthcoming Books in the library.) Can you get a copy of this new book now? (Books are often available months before their “publication date.”) The cost and length of each?

* Since you now know about the other books that are or will be available to your potential readers, how could you slant or direct your book’s focus to make it truly different, better, and a more wanted book? Or is that necessary?

* How can you increase the perceived value of your book? Include a foreword by a well-known expert in the field? Write with a co-author with wider recognition? Create how-to guides, checklists, or a companion workbook? Should you get testimonials for the cover or sales flyer?

* Could you slant your book so it will create interest in your giving related seminars, workshops, speeches, or classes? Could it be restructured to be more sought by associations that the readers belong to?

* If illustrations are needed for your pages, are any of those that are used in the other books desirable and accessible? Their cost? Will the rights holder permit their use? Or can the illustrations be developed or purchased elsewhere or in another way? Where? How? Again, the cost?

* If yours is a niche book, read the related association or group publications in that niche. What books similar to yours do they feature or mention? Does the association have a book club or bookstore? Can you see its offerings; that is usually available on computer.

* Can you talk with somebody in that niche who knows about the need for the kind of book you propose? How would they slant the book to be more appealing to readers in the group? (I discuss this in Niche Publishing: Publish Profitably Every Time.)

* Might you write a primer copy of your book, say 100 pages, and publish it by open publishing (Kindle, CreateSpace, Nook, Smashwords, Scribd, etc.) where your investment is minimal to at least test the interest as an ebook? (The book must be as well written and professionally formatted as a full paperback book.) My book How to Get Your Book Published Free in Minutes and Marketed Worldwide in Days shows you how to do this, step by step.)

Just some thought about finding your market before writing to or for it.

Sometimes just redirecting the title of making its scope wider or narrower can push a no-sale book into a dependably profitable item.

Best wishes,

Gordon Burgett

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