Ten advantages to niche publishing


It’s hard to tell which is the greatest boon, that (1) a book can be inexpensively pre-tested (title, price, contents, and benefits) before either a word is written or the book costs have been incurred, or (2) one book can establish the author as an articulate expert and create the foundation from which a multi-book, speaking, and consulting empire can be built. The author builds the empire; the publisher creates and sells the products. (Often, the publisher is also the author.)

An author’s emergence as an expert about a topic or process is far quicker and more obvious in a niche. Niche authors become big fish fast in that proverbial small pond, which in most niches are self-contained. In fact, in our K-12 niche field we do it in reverse. I find the experts, the best in their field—or they find me. We then build the niche books around what they know, want to share, and have tested in practice.

For example, three of the top educators in Illinois (one, the equivalent of state Secretary of Education a few years earlier) pooled their respective expertise to write What Every Superintendent and Principal Needs to Know. That was so successful they wrote and we published The Perfect School. Then one of the three wrote Teachers Change Lives 24/7—and continued to co-author, with a noted school attorney, Finding Middle Ground in K-12 Education: Balancing Best Practices and the Law. All four used their books as the core of speeches they gave extensively and for courses and academies they taught… You get the idea. (I’ll talk more about this huge advantage in the next blog in a couple of days: “How niche authors and niche publishers share the gold.”)

Other niche publishing advantages are (3) a built-in market easily identified and inexpensively alerted to the author’s presence and performance, (4) easier back-of-the-room book and related product sales, (5) quicker and more certain speech and seminar scheduling (with greater attendance), and (6) more tightly focused conventions and gatherings for personal contact and selling—all beneficial if the book is good and warmly embraced.

Best of all, (7) the publisher can receive half the expected gross income from a book in 30 or so days, and almost all of it in about 12 weeks. (8) The net is often 50% of the gross.

And since niche publishers sell mostly by direct mail, (9) the more first-rate spin-off products related to the book they can include in their mailed flyer (with several items usually offered as a “bundle”), the higher their return will be in the same length of time for no additional marketing cost.

Finally, (10) the publisher can be the author of the niche-published product, or the publisher can find as many authors as there are core products, let the authors write their book, speak about it, and create related spin-off products, which the publisher can also publish.

Usually, the biggest problem the niche publisher has is the timing, or how to manage the process needed to realize this windfall of potential wealth. My book, Niche Publishing: Publish Profitably Every Time, or our related products (costing $1 or $5) should make that coordination and scheduling easier to plan and manage.

Let’s also discuss “How niche authors and niche publishers share the gold,” “25 key steps to pre-testing your niche book” and “Why you may not want to niche publish” in the coming weeks. (The previous blog began this short series: “Why niche publishing is a much better deal….”)

Best wishes,

Gordon Burgett

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