5 ways to research your book idea

How do you know if your brilliant book idea is really brilliant? I’ve met a lot of authors who had what they thought was a great idea for a book, wrote and published the book, and were stunned to find out that nobody was interested. Or not enough people were interested to sell many copies of their book.

So, you’ve got this idea for a book and maybe it’s a good one. How do you research your market to find out if if your idea is worth pursuing?

1. Check Amazon.com to see if there’s any books already published on the topic. Amazon has millions of obscure titles available on Marketplace. Don’t see a book on your topic? That’s not necessarily a good sign. Maybe there really isn’t any interest in your topic.

2. Buy some of the titles or check them out from your library. How will your book be  different? You don’t want to write a “me too” book that doesn’t offer anything new. Why would anyone be interested?

3. Research trends in your topic. Is your topic out of style or out of favor? Read online publications and blogs on your topic and look it up on Google Trends.

4. Look at how your topic fits in to what’s happening in the world today.  Nobody was terribly interested in solar power until oil prices went through the roof. Nobodywas really thinking about domestic terrorism in the US before 9/11.

5. Interview experts on your topic as you are developing your theme for your book. Having an expert in your corner might be useful for including new ideas in your book (that are properly attributed,) asking them to write the forward, or including their endorsement as a blurb for the cover. Looking for experts? Find and follow them on Twitter. Join trade organizations, online groups and subscribe to publications in your area.