Your Positioning and Objectives
By Sage Cohen
Last month you articulated the services your book provides and the problems it solves in today's market. This month, we're going to consider how this offering compares to similar books that yours will be selling against. You can evaluate how competitive your book will be in the marketplace by considering these three questions:
- What books are competing with your books?
- What are these books' strengths and weaknesses?
- What makes your book stand out from the competition?
For example, following are my answers to these questions for my book, Writing the Life Poetic:
- After spending some time doing research online and perusing the shelves of several bookstores, I compiled a list of the top five books competing with mine.
- The craft
of poetry has been well documented in a variety of books that offer a
valuable service to serious writers striving to become competent poets.
However, most of these books read like textbooks and do not feel
friendly and inviting to the newcomer.
- It's time for a poetry book that does more than lecture from the front of the classroom. Writing the Life Poetic was written to be a contagiously fun adventure in writing. Through an entertaining mix of insights, exercises, expert guidance and encouragement, I intend to get readers excited about the possibilities of poetry--and engaged in a creative practice.
Your turn! I recommend that you take your time with this assignment and really get familiar with the range of books available in your subject area. You'll know you're headed in the right direction if you find at least a few books similar to yours available today. (This means that there is already an established market for your topic.) And if you're able to clearly articulate how yours will fill a need that the others don't address, it's likely that you've chosen a topic that will sell.