I’ve got a very special treat for you today.
Bestselling author and programming expert Alan Forbes has written an exclusive guest post on a very lucrative topic…
But you’ll just have to read the post to find out what this never-before-seen, mind-blowingly awesome topic actually is…
Are you thinking of writing a non-fiction book?
If so, I say go for it!
Most people underestimate the value of what they know simply because they know it, and don’t realize that other people could potentially benefit from what they know.
Human nature is such that it is easy to think that those things that are now “common knowledge” to you are common for others too. But this isn’t necessarily the case! What you know could be extremely valuable.
What do you know best? Have you been working in the same industry for ten or more years? If so, you have most likely picked up lots of useful tips and insights that people new to your field would find useful.
For instance, my parents have been running a “bed & breakfast” style guest inn for over twenty years.
Along the way they’ve learned how to handle dozens of special circumstances such as dealing with complaining guests, medical emergencies, guests that follow them around all day, guests that smoke inside the non-smoking rooms, and even what to do when a guest with a reservation shows up and they don’t have any rooms left.
Someone thinking of going into this business would likely find their insights valuable.
However, they think what they know is nothing special. But I don’t know any of those things, and for the right audience (someone considering purchasing an Inn) it could be exactly what they need to know.
I think the same is true for you. You know things that are “nothing special” to you only because you’ve been doing it so long it has become second nature. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable to someone else.
But how do you know if there is a big enough audience for your work?
After all, writing a book is a tremendous undertaking.
Some people will argue that writing a book has value in and of itself, and I agree to some extent. Writing a book can bring many benefits, even if it never becomes a best seller.
But personally, if I’m going to take several months to write a book, I’d like to know there is an audience interested in my topic area. I’ve found that there are two good ways to find out in advance if there is an audience for your book—1) Amazon and 2) Kickstarter.
Amazon has millions of books. Chances are there are already several books on your topic.
Poke around Amazon and find the book most similar to the one you want to write and see how it is doing.
Does it have any reviews?
What is its sales rank?
There are several sites on the Internet that can take a book’s rank and estimate its monthly sales.
If there are books on your topic, that’s a good thing! It means people care enough about it to buy.
Kickstarter is a great place to pitch a book before you write it.
Basically you say to the world “Hey, I’m thinking of writing a book about this… would you buy it?” and then you get to find out if enough people are willing to buy your book before you put effort into the project.
If your project hits your funding goal, you know the book has an audience.
For instance, I am currently pitching a book about Apple’s new programming language Swift at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/alanforbes/learn-to-program-ios-and-os-x-with-apple-swift and the book has already raised more than twice my goal.
Clearly it has an audience!
But on the other hand, my brother Scot put up a pitch to write an Insider’s Guide to Disneyland on Kickstarter at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1914826131/disneyland-a-former-cast-members-ultimate-guideboo and that project flopped.
He knows more about Disneyland than anyone I know.
Does that mean that there isn’t an audience for another Disneyland guidebook?
I don’t think so!
It only tells you that there isn’t an audience for it in the subset of people who visit Kickstarter.
So in my opinion Kickstarter is a good predictor of success, but not necessarily a good predictor of failure.
He has vowed to write the book anyway, and when he does I’d be glad to submit a guest post update to let you know how it did.
So if you’re thinking of writing a nonfiction book but you’re not sure there is an audience for it you now have two ways to get a sense in advance.
And if you’re not sure you have anything to write about, think again!
Already Alan has made $10,000+ from his Kickstarter project — with ZERO initial investment. (As far as I know.)
Imagine if you could make that much with every single book you published — before you even wrote a word of the book!
And if I’m writing a book a month…
That’s a $120,000 a year income without even selling a single copy!
This is seriously awesome stuff.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this post as much as I have.
If so, please take a moment and just invest $1 or more in Alan’s Kickstarter project:
Thanks guys, and hopefully we can have Alan on for another post soon!
Best of luck with your books, and don’t forget to comment below!
-Mark LeGrand Messick, bestselling author and creator of Kindle Publishing Help