Do you have a business book idea? Does it have a market?
Does your book have a market?
Last July, someone who has worked with me for a few years helping me with my website said she had a business book idea, and asked if we could we book a meeting in September.
“Sure,” I said. “I’d be happy to do that. Before we meet, think about whether there is a market for your book.”
It was months before I heard from her again on the topic of publishing a book.
In a follow-up call, she admitted that when I asked her to tell me if there was a market for her book idea, she became completely paralysed and had no idea what to do next.
We love publishing books by experts and you can see from our list that experts come in all shapes and sizes – and topics – you can be an expert on property investment, SMSFs or leadership to be considered as an author in our business book list.
Read on to find out how to avoid the same paralysis that our potential author felt. By following a few simple steps and doing some desktop research, you'll get some great insights about the market for your book!
Being an expert is just the first step to getting your book published
Expertise on a topic is just the first step towards getting your book idea onto our radar. There’s the writing itself of course – and we can help with that aspect. Most importantly, will we be able to sell your book? Will you (the author) and Major Street (the publisher) get a return on our investments of time and money?
No matter how much of an expert you are, or how well-crafted your book is, if there’s no market there won’t be any sales.
If you are a high-profile person in your sector, or a celebrity, your market may be ready-made. You may be lucky enough to be one of those people who has a fan base lining up to buy your book. If that’s the case, please get in touch immediately. We’d love to help you publish your book!
If you’re not a celebrity, there’s quite possibly still a market for what you want to say. The trick to finding out if there is a market for your book? Two words: market research.
How to do market research for a book idea
If you’re planning to pitch a business book idea to a publisher, gather some data and then analyse and present it.
Gathering data about the market for a book
By all means, check your local bookshop to see if similar titles are available. If the sales staff seem friendly you can also ask them how about demand for the kind of book you’re planning to write.
In the privacy of your own home or office, online book stores make it easy to do a quick desktop search using keywords that relate to your book idea. Choose keywords that relate to your topic.
How to choose a keyword for your business book search
When we talk about a search ‘keyword’ it usually involves more than one word. Search query is a more accurate term.
For example, if your proposed book is about the property market then think about what people might look for if they wanted to find information on your topic. In this case people might enter the search query how to succeed in the property market into Google. Try doing that and see what comes up.
Consider adding Australia into the search query if your topic relates to Australian context. For example, search for leadership handbook Australia if your proposed handbook for business leaders is going to be particularly relevant in this country and not so much in other parts of the world.
Do this kind of search with as many related keywords or search queries that you can think of.
As you do the research, look at what books are coming up in search and then dig a little deeper to read reviews, see if there is a ‘buzz’ around any of them and find clues about sales figures and demand. Remember that words like ‘bestseller’ and ‘top ten’ are more believable when they come from sources other than the author and publisher.
Analysing the data
Collate the information into a summary or snapshot that gives an idea of:
- Whether there are many books on this topic already
- Whether there is a demand for books on this topic
- What’s missing from the books on offer? i.e. is there a ‘gap’ in the market that your book might fill?
Present the data in context
Armed with this data, think about your book idea and put the two together, using short, simple sentences. This will be useful for both you and us.
Try using this template to start with.
I researched _____ online book stores and also visited ____ local book shops. I found ____ titles that cover the same topic.
There is evidence that there is / is not a demand for books about this topic.
Among the books currently available, none of them deal directly with __________ and this is a gap that my book fills.
Does your book idea have a market?
After doing the research, does your book idea appear to have a market? If the answer is yes, then you’ve taken the next important step to working with a publisher.
Contact us today to get the conversation started. We’d love to hear from you.