I'm so glad to have you here in the Market Research and Competitive Analysis module!

Gosh. That sounds so boring and technical. Maybe I should call this course Reach Your Readers! Sell More Books! Get Five-Star Reviews!

Because that's what's going to happen when you figure out where your readers are looking for your book. You're going to find out where your book belongs on the virtual shelves so they can find it.

Meet Dale

Let me tell you about Dale. In one of our group coaching sessions he showed us his website and his books. Impressive! He has written and published five books on Amazon and all the other retailers, too. But the thing is, they weren't selling. At. All.

So... what genre are your books? I asked him.

And that was the rub.

A few days later Dale emailed me. He'd done the work in these lessons and found top-selling authors who were selling books like his.

He laughed. They were literary fiction books, he said. Not a genre he wanted to be in because he didn't think it was a niche that sold many books.

Well, for sure It isn't top-selling like romance or thrillers. And though there were elements of romance, thrillers, and some comedy in his stories, he would never sell his books to those readers. And if he did, they'd give him one and two star reviews. Because even though his books are good, the reader has basically been fooled into buying a book they're not going to like.

So Dale rewrote his book descriptions to match those of his closest compadres in literary fiction, reworked his keywords and categories, and placed his books in the literary fiction section.

Sales? More in a week than in the past year.

So go forth and find where your readers are looking for your books!

The importance of community

Before sharing your work with early readers and investing in expensive editing services it's a good idea to become familiar with your community: who your readers really are, where they will be looking for you on the virtual shelves, and how you can fit in yet stand out from your competition. This module shows you how.

“The mistake so many marketers make is that they conjoin the urgency of making another sale with the timing to earn the right to make that sale. In other words, you must build trust before you need it. Building trust right when you want to make a sale is just too late.”Seth Godin

Market research and competitive analysis is an important step in creating any business and publishing is no exception. In fact, Big Publishing spends a lot of time on this and so do online retailers like Amazon.

The lessons in this module will show you how to do some sleuthing and figure out where your book fits in the marketplace so that you can position it competitively, figuring out where your book belongs on the virtual shelves. Only then can you create a successful format and design so that it attracts readers who enjoy your genre.

Fit in, yet stand out

You want to be sure that your book fits in, yet stands out, in the sea of other books people search for on Amazon and Google. Your readers are looking for the kind of books they like to read, and if the kind of books they like to read have covers depicting couples groping each other, then yours should, too.

Here are a few book covers in various genres. Note the specific looks and feels of each, along with use of photography or graphics, color, fonts, and title and author name placement. I think it's interesting that all but the business book use faces on their covers. See if you can identify trends like that in your genre.

Is your book unique?

A few authors I’ve worked with have insisted that their book is unique. They tell me proudly that there’s nothing like it! I'm going to tell it like it is and let you know that this is a bad thing. Because if there are no books like yours on the market at all, there probably isn’t a market for it.

The lessons in this module will help you understand the marketplace and your competitors, and show you how to place your book on the right (virtual) shelves, so your readers can find it.

Think about where your book fits in in the virtual world. If you were looking for a book like yours, what would you type into a search engine?

What next?

The first lesson will help you start and organize your research.