Assess the market before you write the book

Assess the market before you write the book

If you write it, will they come?

How can you find out if your book will sell?

85% percent of the written works sent to publishers go through literary agents and start with the proposal.  One of the most important parts of the proposal is market assessment. The agent and eventually the publisher want to know if anybody cares about this book. The author must do some research.

On the other hand, if you decide to publish yourself you should still do the research. You need the reassurance that there is a market for this book you are about to write.

You want to know has the subject been covered? Has it been covered lately? Has it been covered from this angle? How do books in this category sell? How large is the market for this proposed book?  What is the median price for books on the shelf in your category?

Start by going to a bookstore and looking on the shelf where your book is going to be.

Then go to an online retailer such as Search your category. At Amazon you will get additional bibliographic information. For example, at Amazon readers evaluate the books and give them stars.

Find out what people like and what they don’t like. Find out what they want and what they don’t want. Now you will know what to write and what to leave out.

Amazon also provides the sales rank for the books you can see which books are selling better than other books.

After your visit to the bookstore and spend time at Amazon, you will have a much better picture of the market and you will have some figures.

Agents, publishers, and authors like figures.

Write a book that people want.

Don’t waste your most valuable asset—your time.

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If you like this blog post, you’ll love our Author Toolkit with templates, worksheets and checklists for writing nonfiction. Check it out!