[Editor’s note: Gordon Burgett has had considerable success in the world of niche publishing, using the pre-testing strategies that are outlined below to publish books he KNOWS will sell.]
Risk-free publishing for a niche audience
Would you research, write, and publish a book that nobody wanted to buy? Why take the chance? Why not test the book before printing it to see if your targeted market likes your title, price, contents, purpose, and credentials?
(Incidentally, you can be the publisher here and hire other authors with exemplary qualifications.)
This method works best if your book is nonfiction, will be published in both bound and ebook versions, and, most important, is tightly niched.
Here are five critical steps to niche publishing success:
1. Find a specific niche group (with an accessible mailing list) that you want to help; then zero-in on a critical need its members very much want to solve (or cure) and can’t.
2. Define that need (mostly by asking the afflicted niche members), design a solution or cure, and explain a step-by-step book-clarified process that the followers can implement.
3. Include the need you will help solve in the title, the how-to steps in the table of contents, and the author(s) credentials for offering the solution. Explain the book’s benefits, format, price(s), approximate length, ISBN number(s), author(s)’ mini-bios, and publication date in a b/w, one-page, one-sided, clean flyer.
4. Find 210 live addresses of widely-scattered niche members (from the phone book, an association list, an Nth-selection snip of a mailing list, etc.), divide the list into three piles of 70 each, put a different price on the fliers in the three piles, include a “will you please help us by mailing back the enclosed postcard?” 1/3-page insert note, and include it and the self-addressed, stamped postcard in a sealed, addressed, and stamped envelope to all 210. (On the postcard put two YES/NO check boxes and ask “Would you buy a book titled ___?” “And would you pay $___ for that book?”)
5. Most replies will be back in two weeks (wait for three), and from the “yeses” you will know if it’s worth your time and investment to write and market the book, as well as which price will bring you the most profit.
If it’s a go, get the book prepped and printed in paperback and ebook formats, then send a dandy flyer selling your gem to as many in the niche market as you can afford. Keep that up, mailing as you sell, until you have covered the whole niche!
That’s the niche publishing formula. Why not make it work for you?
For more information about niche publishing, check out Gordon Burgett’s official website.
[Photo of man standing on books from Shutterstock.]