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Powerhouse Writer , Issue #005 -- Marketing Research Your Book
April 19, 2007
Hello Powerhouse Writer,

Here is Step 2 of our Plan A Book Powerhouse Writer Series.

When I was writing my first book I thought that all I had to do was "write my book and the reader will come." Well, fortunately I had a publishing consultant to set me straight and let me know that it rarely happens that way. I had to know my competition and who my reader is. And this was the shocker for me: "Find out your competition and target market before you write your book." That is the lesson I want to share with you today. Roll up your sleeves, get your favorite beverage and writing tools and let's get started doing some planning before you start writing your book.

Step 2: Identifying the Market For Your Book

In Step 1 you selected your subject based on your area of expertise. Now you need to identify the market for your book.

For example, suppose you are writing a book on "10 Easy Ways To Keep Your Car Running Smoothly." Who is your reader? Who will buy your book? 10 year olds? Not likely. 40 year olds? Maybe. How about 30-50 year old women? Yes, and especially single women with no car mechanic in the house. Another group could be widows-women who sadly no longer have a man in the house to take care of their car.

The advantage of knowing who your reader is will help you focus your book on that particular type of market.

Find your target market

Here are some questions to answer to find your target market. If you can answer yes or identify your target market to a few of these questions then you are ready to write your book.

1. Identify the buyer of your book.
2. Is your subject easy for your potential reader to identify?
3. Are there magazines, clubs, conferences, etc., that cover your subject frequently?
4. Can you sell your book easily by mail to a well-targeted market?
5. Are their hobby stores, schools or organizations that might buy your book?
6. Is your book a cinch for specific corporations in your area of expertise?
7. Who would buy your book if sold on the Internet as an e-book?
8. What type of audience can you teach/speak to and sell your book.
9. Will your book be of interest to women -- a growing market for nonfiction books?

Check out your competition

Visiting your library and local bookstore will help you not only identify your competition and target market, but it will give you scores of ideas on what your book cover design will look like and how to find a literary agent if you want to get it traditionally published.

Go to the library

Ask the librarian for Bowker's Books in Print which lists all books currently available by subject. This can give you an idea of what books are out there on your subject. Also check Forthcoming BIP for recent books. Make a list of those books you would like to review. If your book idea has been extensively covered, you need to evaluate what makes your book unique.

A good example are cookbooks. The bookstores are surrounded with cookbooks. It seems like every type of cookbook has been covered, but that isn't the case. Authors find new unique ways to introduce their cookbooks. You need to do the same by asking yourself, "How is my book different from those in print?"

Also check out Publishers Weekly, a trade magazine of publishers, will tell you what is coming next season. Check the issue date and if it is old you will have to go to another library that stocks the latest issues.

Check subjects online

A whole lot of research can be done from the comfort of your home by using your computer to search for books online with your idea. Go to and and search for subjects similar to yours. Also make notes of the prices. Your book must be competitive in price. Think about ways you can be an innovator and bring fresh new ideas to the subject.

Go to your favorite bookstore

This is my favorite. I love to go to the bookstore and see the new books. Check out the section where your book will be displayed. It might be the business, self-help or computer section if you are writing a how-to for computer learners. Look everywhere because each bookstore categorizes books differently.

Now here is the best part. Peak inside to the Acknowledgements page. Does the author thank their Literary Agent by name? Write it down. How about thanking their publishing editor by name? Write that down. Once your book is almost completed you can send a Query letter to these great people and see if you can get them interested in your book.

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There you have your first marketing project. 1) Identify your target market, and 2) check out your competition at the library, bookstores and online.

Whew! This may seem like a lot of work and you haven't even written one word yet. But the more you know about your book idea upfront, the easier it will be to write your book. My goal for you is to write it in 90 days or less and it can be done if you do your research first.

In our next session you will have some fun creating the backcover copy before you write your book and you'll have a great time designing the front cover.

Passionate biz writing,
Joan Clout-Kruse
America's Book Coach

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You may reproduce this article as long as no changes are made and the author's name and site URL are retained:

Powerhouse Writer is designed for the entrepreneur, coach and speaker who is an expert at solving problems for their clients. Joan Clout-Kruse, America’s Book Coach, helps entrepreneurs and writers write a book in 90 days or less.

Here are some links for your information:

To download a fr-ee audio on Are You Ready To Write Your Great Book?

The 2-week Jumpstart Powerhouse Writing Program can give you the blueprint for your book and helps you finish your book in 90 days or less. Coach Joan can be reached at 650 759-2042.

Coming in October 1-6 the First Write My Biz Book Writers Retreat in the beautiful Russian River area amidst the giant Redwood trees in Northern California. It is limited to 10 people. Watch for details at the end of April in this newsletter.

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