To ensure your blogged book gets read and later, when published, sells, begin your project with a Competition Analysis. In this section of your business plan, you take a detailed look at what traditionally published books have been written on your topic and how your book compares to them. This information convinces you—or a publisher—that the book you plan to write is different and adds something unique to existing titles in a particular category. If you plan to self-publish, your analysis might benefit from an evaluation of bestselling indie-published books that compete with or complement your book project.
Analyze Competing Books
To complete a Competitive Analysis, evaluate 10 to 15 books you consider direct competition to yours—books that cover the same type of information or that tell the same type of story. These are books someone would buy instead of yours. You also can think of these as other books your potential readers would like, but if such books aren’t close in subject matter they might be complementary, rather than competitive, titles.
Once you have a list, narrow the competition down to five books you feel are closest in subject matter. These should be the most direct competition to your book, and they should be bestsellers published in the last three to five years. List them by bestseller status or date of publication. Gather this information as well:
- copyright year
- number of pages
- paperback or hardcover
From your research on the books, write two statements (or create two bullet points) that make clear the positive and negative aspects of each book. Finally, include a statement for each entry or a paragraph that deals with the entire list comparing the competing books to your blogged-book idea.
You also can compare yourself to other authors, and, since you plan to blog a book, your blog to other similar blogs.
Craft a Marketable Blogged-Book Idea
Do not belittle the importance of this step in the Proposal or Author Training Process. Go to the trouble of producing a competitive analysis for your business plan. Then use the information you gather to help you determine how to craft the most marketable blogged book possible. (You also can use the information to help price your book, choose the most appropriate category, or choose a cover design.)
When you know which competing books are selling well in the category where your book will be sold, revise your idea. Improve it! Ensure that when you complete the project your book stands out from the crowd.
- Improve on what other authors have done previously.
- Take a new angle on the topic.
- Add information no one else has yet included.
- Provide unique special features.
Do whatever you can to provide the book your potential readers have been wanting but that no one to date has written.
With a blogged-book idea crafted with a Competitive Analysis—as well as your Market Analysis—in mind you can blog a book that drives traffic (readers) to your blog and that sells (gets read) once published.
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