You won’t know what the market looks like for a book like yours without conducting a book marketing analysis. This is an important step of the publishing process whether you’re planning to publish traditionally or you’re planning to self-publish. (In fact, if you’re publishing traditionally, I can almost guarantee that this will be a required part of your submissions package.)
You won’t know what the market looks like for a book like yours without conducting a book marketing analysis. (Tweet)
It makes no sense to write a book if there isn’t a market who wants to read it, right? It also doesn’t make sense to write yet another generic marketing book or sales book or whatever book if you can’t differentiate what yours will bring to the table. (You need a hook!) If you take the time even before your book is written to at least begin to conduct a market analysis, you’ll know that you’re creating the best possible product to put into the marketplace.
It makes no sense to write a book if there isn’t a market who wants to read it. (Tweet)
Whatever your book topic is, you want to size up the competition. If you think about the 500,000+ ebooks available today, not to mention the almost 2 million print books, if there isn’t even one book about your topic, then you have to question why. On the flip side, if there are thousands, then maybe your topic is a bit broad and you should narrow it. This falls under the idea of validating your book, which we’ve discussed before. A market analysis is a bit different, though. You need to know how your book will be different from what’s on the market already. Is it your personal story? Is it some element your book will contain that others don’t, like interviews? Whatever it is, being able to identify it will help tremendously when you craft your launch and marketing plans. Why? Because you’ll know how to position the book for success.
You need to know how your book will be different from what’s on the market already. (Tweet)
You also want to know what the norm is for books like yours. If, for example, 9 out of 10 are in the 200-page range, then writing a 350-page monster might not be the best idea. Readers of your KIND of book aren’t used to something that massive.
How do you actually analyze the market? One word: research. Ten years ago, my advice was to head to Barnes & Noble or Borders with a notebook, grab a coffee, and lose yourself in the stacks of books. These days, you still need a notebook (or your phone), and I’d never discourage you from a cup of coffee, but you’ll be visiting Amazon.com from the comfort of your office or living room. I’ve crafted a worksheet here (you might need more than one copy, depending on your genre/topic) to help you capture some notes to do a comparative analysis.
How do you actually analyze the market? One word: research. (Tweet)
The main elements you’re capturing are the length, the publisher, and how you think your book might be similar and different. You might not know at this point what similarities and differences there are; that’s okay. If you see something that appeals to you in one of these books (a font or color on the cover, maybe, or the way the chapters/parts are set up on the table of contents), make a note of that.
If the same publisher pops up repeatedly, then you know that’s a publisher to target if you’re interested in a traditional book deal. If every book you come across has a glossary, then perhaps your book should, too. You’re looking here for patterns so you know what’s typical for your type of book, if anything. And remember: Even if you follow the norm, your book will still have a hook to make it stand out!
A market analysis will help you prepare to launch your book when the time comes. Picture this: It’s the week before launch day and you discover that a book exists with the same subtitle as yours. What a sinking feeling. Those sorts of things won’t happen if you’ve conducted a thorough analysis of the market. You’ll be armed with as much info as you can be about your competition so you know how to position your book to sell well. Still have questions? Schedule a Book Brainstorm Call today and we’ll hash it out!
A market analysis will help you prepare to launch your book when the time comes. (Tweet)
P.S. Don’t forget to grab the market analysis worksheet to get started today.