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Testing Stage 3: Your Unique Selling Position

Testing Your Book Idea: The USPIn the last article in the series, we covered scouting your competition as a way of testing your book idea. But when you look at all the competition out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and to start doubting that your book has something to offer. This is where it’s important to look and see if you can find a unique selling position that will help set your book apart from all the rest.

What Are They Missing?

Comb through the books that are competing in that market space. Focus on the top 10-20 books. Look at their 1 star reviews. What are the complaints that are offered? What did their buyers want to see more of but didn’t feel they received? What could you offer that they aren’t?

What Skills, Talents, and Experience Do You Have to Offer?

You may be up against 99 million other people competing for the same prize, but nobody out there has the same combination of skills, talents, and experience that you bring to the table. Use that to your advantage. If you are competing with 99 other people in trying to write a book about quilting, and you also happen to design your own fabrics, use that to your advantage. If you do genealogy and quilting can be tied into that, work that angle.

For Fiction Writers

Let me pick on romance writers for an example because this is one of the most crowded market places in book writing history and the market is constantly bringing in more books every day. Yes, there are lots of romance novels out there. Amazon lists 88, 854 of them alone. There are probably thousands more. But that does not mean that you don’t bring something unique to the table to offer. What can your romance novel do that theirs isn’t doing? What fresh perspective on the old standard can you provide?

What Can You Do Differently?

Every genre has expectations about how it will be presented. Do something different. It doesn’t have to be a lot different. It just has to be different enough that your readers will be surprised by it and still want to keep reading. Start thinking about how you will make your book stand out from the others.

Compile Your Research

Put together a list of common themes and threads. Look at the ways people have addressed the challenges out there and the things they are missing out on having done. Then, decide on what you are going to offer your readers that nobody else is offering. Look back at the questions that were being asked, the frustrations you encountered, and the searches that were being done. How does your book idea’s approach help to meet those needs in a way that no one else currently is?

What Did You Find?

Share your research results. What’s your book idea got to offer? What’s missing from the marketplace?

The Next Test: Who Needs This Book?

In the next article in this series, we’ll talk about finding the audience that needs what you have to offer. We’ll examine the research you’ve done to figure out who would be interested in this topic and who, specifically, is most likely to buy the kind of book you want to write.

Questions? Feedback?

What would you like for us to cover in more depth? What answers do you need? Let me know! I’m here to help.

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