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How to Test Market Your Book Idea

June 13, 2017

Note From Rochelle

Dear Readers,

We’ve been talking about how to overcome excuses, get unstuck, and write! If you need feedback on your writing, weekly accountability, and tools to help you overcome obstacles, sign up for this summer’s Write-A-Thon Critique and Coaching Group. Not only will you get the accountability you need, you’ll have a chance to get feedback on 25 pages of writing. Visit the Group Coaching page for more information: I’ve got space for only five writers, so sign up soon!

Today’s tip gives you tools to answer your biggest questions about your book.



The Write Now! Coach



How to Test Market Your Book Idea

by Rochelle Melander


When clients come to me, they often want feedback on their book. Usually, they’ve written a few chapters and want to know if their writing is good enough to make it in today’s competitive market. They ask, “Should I keep writing or give up?” But their question is about much more than whether or not they can write. They really want to know:

+Will this topic resonate with readers?

+Will people be interested in a book like this?

+Am I communicating my message well?


As a writer, editor, and coach with years of experience in the publishing world, I can help clients assess their work and move forward with confidence. But what do you do if you’re not a publishing expert? How do you know if your book is “good enough?”


You test market your book idea. Over the years, I’ve developed several ways to discover if my book will succeed in the market. Here are three of them:


Write a blog post or create a video

Take one key idea from your book and create a piece of content that you can share on social media. You’ll know you’ve hit on a winning topic if your idea engages your followers—they like your post, comment on it, and share it with their friends. Pro Tip: Double the benefit by creating a series of blog posts. You’ll be creating accountability for you as each blog post can become a part of your book and you will continue to measure the interest of your market.


Ask the bookseller

Your local neighborhood bookseller is a valuable resource in researching the marketability of your book. While online book companies can give you sales metrics, they cannot give you the kind of anecdotal evidence you need about what real customers buy. Booksellers with years of experience know what flies off the shelves and what languishes on the sales table. Talk to a few booksellers about books comparable to yours. Ask, How do they do? Who’s looking for them? Is there anything missing in the market?


Get a Beta Reader

Your ideal reader can tell you more about your book than anyone else. Find a client, colleague or friend who matches the profile of your ideal reader and ask for feedback on your book. Give them a chapter and invite them to comment on your work. Pro Tip: Create a list of focus questions to help the reader know what kind of feedback you need.


Bonus Tool

Join my Write-a-Thon Summer Critique group. We’ll be looking at 25 pages of your work with the goal of helping you hone your topic, speak to your audience, and communicate your ideas well. In addition, you’ll get the accountability you need to finish your book. Visit the Group Coaching page for more information. I’ve got space for only five writers, so sign up soon!



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