Monday, August 8, 2011

How To Conduct eBook Market Research On a Limited Budget

You have a great eBook idea that you think will take the world by storm. Before you even put pen to paper (or fingers to keypad), ask yourself this question: have I conducted market research?

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I am fairly certain that your idea isn't new and there is probably an eBook out there already with a similar topic. It doesn't make sense to just sit down and write your book without first conducting market research: WHO will read your book and does your book topic have marketing potential? 

Here are ten FREE market research resources I suggest using: 

1. Use search engines - search for keywords that pertain to your topic and look at page rank popularity based on the topic and/or book title.

2. Check out your competition - What eBooks are selling? Is your genre/topic far too popular? Not popular enough?

3. Take advantage of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Industry Digital Publishing Forumwhen researching target markets and their demographics.

4. Who's following who on social media? Connect with fellow eBook writers on social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. How many followers do they have? Is their topic a big seller? What strategies do they use or don't use on their social media?

5. Read industry-specific articles. It's important to stay on top of late-breaking news in the publishing industry, and eBooks are a HOT topic right now. Check out

6. Join forums and discussion groups, and find out what eBook readers want and don't want. LinkedIn has eBook and digital publishing groups so don't forget to check them out.

7. Don't forget to check out Kindle and eBook sales stats. What books and genres sell? What are the most popular (and most sold) eBooks on Amazon, Kindle, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Sony?

8. Conduct a poll or survey on your social media networks, website or blog. Go directly to the source, and ask your followers/fans what topics interest them.

9. Don't forget international markets. If you want to target people outside of your country, make sure your book topic appeals to an international demographic. Do you speak another language? Could you translate your book into another language? Check out customs and cultures. Not all eBook topics are a good fit for an international audience.

10. Don't limit yourself to just online resources. Visit local bookstores and check out what's selling. What's popular today could be a passing fancy by next month. Stay on top of the latest trends and fads. Vampires may be yesterday's news by the holidays - you never know!

Before you start writing, research first. The topic you choose may not be the best eBook topic, and why waste your valuable time writing an eBook that doesn't have marketing or sales potential? If you want to write an eBook to further promote yourself and give it away as a freebie, that's an excellent way to draw attention to your brand and bring in new clientele. Just remember to research your topic first!

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Therese Pope, Copywriter/Content Developer & Digital Buzz-icist

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