NICHE PUBLISHING

Publish Profitably Every Time!

 

Introduction


 

The title of this book sounds like the true path to penury. Publishing is hard enough, but to niche markets? More work and greater risk to sell to fewer people?

You're in for a real surprise!

It may be the best kept secret in the book publishers' trove that big money, less risk, and a long-term, dependable income come from helping meet specific needs of reachable markets. In fact, within reason, the smaller the market, the better. Best yet, in this arena the small publisher can beat the giant at his own game every time!

The title of this book describes its contents precisely: how one publishes to niche markets. Yet the book does much more.

Beyond explaining the concept, it presents a system that will take you step-by-step through the process, and it shows as it tells with examples that you can follow or from which you can extrapolate to publish your own book and cull your own rewards.

Moreover, this process greatly reduces the risks and costs of publishing while increasing your profits and the certainty of them.

The book also talks about a philosophy, a way of sharing information.

It shows how, as a publisher, you can use your book as the core of a larger market penetration through which you can sell the same or related in­formation more often and more widely.

That is, it suggests that, as important as your book is, the expertise that you display about its subject is more important still. That by sharing that ex­pertise, through additional books or other information dissemination means, you can create an empire that could multiply your income mightily as you help others meet their needs.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. The next chapter begins the fleshing out of these promises.

Niche Publishing mostly talks about marketing, then writing, then expanding the marketing again, which is what all publishers do. And while the process focuses on books, the concept and many of the steps can usually be applied to any other means of information dissemination, such as ar­ticles, speeches, seminars, audio or video tapes, newsletters, or consulting.

I call it the "TCE process" because the three key elements are Targeting, Customizing, and Expanding. A section of the book is devoted to each ele­ment. But first I explain the concept in greater detail, show how standard pub­lishing is inappropriate for almost all niche publishing, and how the alternate, the self-publishing path, is ideal for this purpose. Finally, a list of "other sources and guides" is included to help you apply the concept by creating your own book.

This book is about book writing and publishing because, of the many means, I know it best and I most want to share a new process about it with you. It is my 34th book. The first was sought by the major publisher in my field, Writer’s Digest Books, but I decided to publish it myself. (They later included the second edition of that book, plus subsequent writing books, as top choices for their book club.) The decision to self-publish was the brightest thing I have done in decades. It gave me an opportunity to learn about the full spectrum of publishing from an independent yet involved perspective, which, in turn, led to the TCE process and this book.

The TCE process is neither a panacea nor publishing salvation. It sim­ply will not work for some books, as I will explain. Yet it will work for many more, most of which would never be published by the standard houses and therefore would probably never be written and see print.

That is my greatest motivation for writing these pages. I am naive enough to believe that we can have a far better world on this earth and that one of the keys to its creation is knowledge shared as fully and widely as possible. Thought needs to be preserved; books are vital elements of that preservation. Our society puts a premium less on knowledge for its own sake than the sales value of that knowledge. Therefore, elements of information, particularly when its availability would be paid for by few, either remain unknown or never reach the book page. We—writers and potential readers—are the poorer for it.

The TCE process does not attempt to change the social norm but rather to expand the way that information can be made available and, yes, profitable, so it will be published in book form to far more people by many more writers. It simply makes books possible for more readers and for smaller readerships. That delights me immensely.

America—the world—is full of bright, articulate, insightful people who either have something to share or could have if they just knew that there is an easy-to-follow, self-directed path by which their words can reach readers—and for which they could be, at the same time, rewarded for having dared and worked to put them on paper.

Do I think that a real difference can be made by encouraging even more books in a world where too many books already go unread? You bet. Every new book writer is different and better for the act. And, yes, some of those books will contain bucketsful of trash. Many will follow well-trod paths, clichés flapping. But one or a dozen might change the world in a way never thought possible before its words were read. That book, or that dozen, might never have existed had a process like TCE not been suggested. So that too de­lights and motivates me.

 

Finally, an introduction is an opportunity to thank others who have made this book, and its thoughts, possible, though they aren't responsible for its con­tents, any errors, or folly it may contain.

My gratitude to Dan Poynter is such that this book is dedicated to him. Jim Comiskey has been a steady prod to better work and clearer thought. To the many unsung enablers in the grove of extended education who kept my debtors away and let me share this information through seminars while I pruned it for print, years of thanks. To my nephews—Doug Burgett, who keeps producing dandy covers for my books and those published by my company, and Brandon Carr, for technical assistance—love and pride. Finally, my gratitude to the many chapters of the National Speakers Association who heard these words, mercifully con­densed, and made the kind comments that both kept a new idea afloat and convinced its aging skipper that it should be shared even more widely.

Actually, I'd have published this book even if nobody liked it because I think it offers a perspective and process that's needed, is perfectly in tune with today's technological state, and rewards the doer—the writer, producer, pro­moter, and seller called collectively the self-publisher—with the money, pres­tige, and promise he or she deserves.

But I have delayed you too long from seeing what TCE means and how it works if you do. So end the introduction; start the book!

 

 

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