Author question # 19 | What are the titles of the leading books in your field?

Posted July 27th @ 6:20 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Before starting to write and self-publish a brand-building book, ask yourself, What are the titles of the leading books in my field?

This question is Number 19 in a series of essential questions. It relates to the big mistake many authors make–failing to understanding the difference between bestselling books and relevant books.

Before we go further, ask yourself, Which would I rather have–a best-selling book or a relevant book?

It’s important to understand the distinction as it is crucial to many of the writing, marketing, and profit decisions you will be making as you write and publish your book.

Best-selling books

On the surface, best-selling books are all pros, without obvious cons. Who wouldn’t want to see their book listed in the lists of best-selling books found in the New York Times, USA Today, or other media?

The problem is that–for everyone except those whose names are already household words, i.e., celebrities, politicians, or media sensations–income, i.e., royalties, from book sales are seldom enough to live on.

Worse, unless you are already famous, the initial investment required to create a bestselling book–in terms of the publicity and media exposure needed for mass-market visibility–limits the possibilities of success to successful business executives who are flush with cash.

There are exceptions, of course, but, at best, creating an “overnight best seller” is an expensive, uncertain process. And, it can take a lot of time to develop a lucrative speaking business based on a bestseller when starting from scratch.

Relevant books

A better alternative is to aim for a relevant book–a book that targets and satisfies your ideal readers–a defined market segment that you want as clients in the years ahead. (See, Who do you want to read your book? and What are your ideal readers’ characteristics?)

Characteristics of relevant books:

  • Quality rather than quantity. Instead of trying to please everyone, aiming for the broadest-possible mass-market success, you can craft your book to totally satisfy a smaller market that you know extremely well.
  • Referrals and recommendations. By totally satisfying a smaller market, they will do a lot of your marketing for you, recommending your book to others like themselves who can become your clients for life.
  • Longer life. Books, like C.J. Hayden’s Get Clients Now!, that focus on on satisfying a specific market, can enjoy decades of popularity, avoiding the here today/gone tomorrow fate of many bestsellers.
  • Higher earning potential. In terms of long-term income from products and services, the income from relevant books can provide a far greater, more predictable, income than far more visible bestellers. 
  • Smaller investment/self-funding. Finally,the investment required for a relevant book is far less than a shorter-lived bestselling book. In many cases, you will be able to do most of the work yourself, building your author platform and promoting your book as you write it. Your early promotional efforts can also lead to clients who seek you out on the basis of your early blog posts about your forthcoming book.
  • some to , as well as ser’re writing it–and earBy not requiring major expenditures of money for press and media con, This will create passionate readers who demands demand for a business ability of first-time authors to makes it unlikely thatthat will drive book buyers to and publicity to createthe costs involved in for all but books from established authors, best-selling books

Searching for relevant books

If you agree that you are interested in writing a relevant book, you might want to review yesterday’s blog post, What are the keywords your readers are likely to use when searching online?

Reviewing the importance of keywords and the basics of online research is likely to become increasingly important in the weeks ahead.

Get a “big picture” view of writing & self-publishing success

To get a fresh perspective on what’s involved in writing and publishing success in a changed world, download my (currently) free workbook, 99 Questions to Ask Before Starting to Write & Self-Publish a Brand-Building Book. It will save you time and help you avoid false starts and wasted effort.

Answering the questions will guide you as you create a writing, marketing, and profit program tailored to your specific requirements.

To help you as you explore the titles of the leading books in your field, you may want to review earlier posts in this series. You’re invited to share your concerns and questions about locating the leading books in your field as comments, below. You can also ask questions using my online form.

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