This week's focus:
During the recent housing crash that devastated our economy, a lot of builders built homes based on "spec." With spec homes, the house is planned, designed, and built before a prospective buyer has been found. Spec home building has the benefit of speedy construction. But, it comes with the risk that once the home is built there may not be a buyer. This exposed risk eventually put a lot of builders out of business and left a lot of new homes sitting dormant.
Sometimes, authors and publishers make a similar mistake. They produce books assuming people will buy them. Yet, the author never seeks critical feedback from focus groups during the manuscript phase. Or, the publisher never conducts a true buyer analysis. Books are published in quantity hoping that enough succeed to sustain the business.
Avoid writing a book based on speculation or assuming that people will buy it. Instead, take time early in the process to test your ideas on enough people who qualified to give you beneficial feedback - even if it's negative.
For example, when I wrote my first book, I assembled three separate focus groups that covered the main demographic segments of my intended reading audience. I gave my manuscript to these individuals and asked them to honestly critique my content. Their feedback caused me to rewrite every chapter three times each and my first chapter nine times! You can imagine how frustrated I felt when their criticism was negative. But, once the process was completed, I knew I had a dynamite book because my intended readers told me so. Today, that book is still selling in most Barnes & Noble across America.
As you work on your next book, consider these points:
· Do I know the exact kind of results my book can produce for the reader - because I tested it first?
· Have I experienced these results in my own life?
Take a lesson from the housing crash. Don't publish a book unless you can guarantee a buyer.
Chew on this:
"80% of all word-of-mouth still happens offline. The Internet just helps it move faster."