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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Is Your Book Needed?


Writers write the books they want to write, perhaps even feeling driven to pen them.  They feel compelled to share their vision  with the world. They teach a lesson to warn us, inspire us, or have us enjoy a good story.  Many write with an eye on making their book a commercial success but that is secondary to expressing their art.  Authors should consider this about their book: Is it needed?

Obviously, when discussing non-fiction books, people have a need to buy such a book because they will learn something of value.  Looking to save for retirement, raise a child, or have a healthy body?  There are books to fill such needs.  Have a desire for self-improvement, to learn history, or see photography of nature?  There are books to fill the void.

Fiction?  People have other needs,,some not so straightforward.  But if one has a need to get lost in a good story or to experience a fantasy or to explore worlds not yet in existence, fiction can fill the bill.

So it’s obvious that people buy books they need, even if the need is to fill a desire.  But the question remains: Do they need yours?

How do you know if your book is needed?   If it’s non-fiction, ask:

·         How many other books cover your topic?
·         Is your book better, just as good as, or worse than them?
·         Does my book fill a niche – such as being the only book to contain certain information on the topic you wrote on?
·         Does your book fill a need at a certain price point?
·         Is your book written from a perspective/experience that has not yet been shared?
·         Do you raise a viewpoint/opinion that is underserved?

Lastly, is the total number of potential buyers for your book a decent size?  Will they buy a book on this topic?  Is it hard to market to your target readership?  Are there free online resources that people will choose to use instead of buy your book?

For fiction, people are always looking to escape and discover a well-written book.  Determine if the theme or subject matter has been covered to death or if you offer something unique.  Who are the leading authors of your genre?  Is the voice you present or the style that you use that much better off or different from what they do?  Maybe you created your own genre or style or subject matter, not an easy feat.

The burden to come up with something new, different or better than the millions of books already published is daunting.  With every new book, the competition increases and readers are overwhelmed with more choices than they can handle.  But if you can show them it’s a book they need, you’ll get the sale.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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