Authors often do very little research to really understand who their potential audience is – or could be. Asking them: “Who is your audience and who is your competition?” one might receive only vague answers … However, these are essential questions that are not only very important for self-publishers, but also for authors who want to go with a traditional publisher! They need to proof to the agent or the publisher that they have done their homework.
How Can You Research Your Competition?
First of all make a long list with possible keywords that readers might use to find a similar book.
Check out the complete categories / genres at Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Kobo, Apple, Sony, Google Books, Waterstones etc. and study all the books, that could be akin to your future work. Visit several public libraries to learn about your competition. Borrow the most interesting ones, not only to read them, but also to study the book layout and design. Read the online reviews of their books carefully!
- How many books of this topic / with the same keywords have been published already?
- Where are these books sold and for which price?
- In which format are they offered: e-book, print, audio-book?
- Who are the customers of these competing books?
- How are these books received and which ones are bestselling?
- Which categories did they choose, and which keywords?
- In which categories / genres are these competitive books listed?
- What cover designs have been chosen for these books?
- Which author represent him/herself and their book the best – via their Amazon and Goodreads author page, and on their website or blog?.
Don’t Give Up!
Bestseller authors often need years and years to build up their audience, so it is surprising, that authors dream of their first book as a potential bestseller, and don’t realize that it takes a long time and hard work to get an audience, one reader at a time – especially if they did not do the ground work to build a huge following at Social Media, in reader forums or in real-life before they start publishing.
Author-Publishing is Like a Completely New Profession
And professions need to be learned! It takes years to become an excellent writer and it also takes years to become an excellent publisher. It involves lots of skills and knowledge business-wise, marketing skills, not to mention, learning constantly new internet techniques and get to know the latest changes in publishing. Many authors have unrealistic expectations when it comes to the time required for effective book promotion and to make meaningful connections with readers. They expect wonders from a single sales campaign.
Take Advantage of their Knowledge
A book marketing professional has to learn years and years. Why, as an author, not take advantage of their knowledge to keep your head free for writing and interacting with your readers? No one would start an accounting business without learning the ropes, and knowing how to create a revenue / expenses sheet or fill out income tax forms. Writing a book does not make for a publisher, no matter how clever businesses want you to imagine. Take the time to build your author platform and establish a brand, it will eventually give you an advantage in the market.
If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
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Tagged: author competition, author publishing requires marketing skills, research for your novel, research your competition, self-publishing, show publishers that you know your competition