Before starting to write and self-publish a book to build your personal brand, ask, What other books often appear with the leading books in my field?
This is the 21st in a series of questions, ideas, and tips to help you plan, write, promote, and profit from a brand-building book.
Analzing competing books
Researching your book’s competition plays an important role in writing and publishing success. It’s essential that you locate and analyze all of your book’s competition as early as possible.
Your goal is to identify the missing book–the book that hasn’t been written yet, the book your ideal readers have been waiting for!
To accomplish this, you’re going to have to search deeper than the books that turn up in your original online searches on Amazon.com, and elsewhere.
Searching deeper on Amazon.com
Amazon.com makes it easy to locate similar books addressing the topic you’re considering writing about. Each time your search efforts reveal one book on Amazon, you’ll likely find references and links to dozens of similar books.
As down you scroll down the sales page for each competing title on Amazon.com, you’ll usually encounter subheads introducing topics containing links to additional books. These links are grouped together in categories that include:
- Frequently bought together. Many titles are packaged at special savings with similar books likely to appeal to the same buyers.
- Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought. This is similar, but not the same as “bought together.” Customers may have purchased the books in this category at a later date.
- Customers Also Bought Items By. After scrolling past the Customer Reviews, you’ll often find links to books written by other authors.
- What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item? Often, you will find links in this category to competing titles that haven’t yet appeared associated with the current title.
- Looking for “writing tools” Products? Unlike the purchased books in the previous section, the books in this section were customer suggestions.
- Tags Customers Associate with This Product. Examining the words and phrases readers have contributed to this section provides insights into the terms readers use to describe the books.
Writing and publishing success involves learning as much as possible before starting to write and publish a brand-building book. Get a fresh perspective, and step-by-step guide, by downloading my (currently) free workbook, 99 Questions to Ask Before Starting to Write & Self-Publish a Brand-Building Book.
I created it to help you save you time and avoid false starts and wasted effort. My 99 Questions workbook will help you clarify your goals, analyze your readers, examine competing books, choose a book title, and explore your options.
As you start to explore competing books on Amazon.com, by examining the titles that appear with the leading books in your field, you can also review earlier posts in this series, share comments and questions about locating competing books, or submit questions directly to me using my online form. Best wishes on your writing and publishing success!