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SPQ 021: 7 Ways to Stand Out in a Crowded Book Market

Written by Steve Scott on January 14, 2015. Listen to SPQ: iTunes | Stitcher | RSS Feed
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SPQ 021: 7 Ways to Stand Out in a Crowded Book Market

The Question…

Christian of Unpopular Tales asks how it’s possible to stand out in a market that’s saturated and full of competition.

Biggest Takeaway…

Steve’s Answer…

Amazon and other eBook platforms have become very crowded with authors. You need to up your game to stand out from this crowd. There are seven ways to do this

  1. Build Your Author Platform

Having an author platform is the best way to stand out. In episode 13, Steve outlines a step-by-step process for building your platform. You want to build a tribe, or an audience that really likes and resonates with what you’re doing. The guys from the Self-Publishing Podcast do a great job explaining how they built their tribe. Search for their podcast on Stitcher or iTunes if you want to learn more.

  1. Transparency

Be candid about your daily struggles and frustrations. Many people do this, but Steve’s favorite example is Pat Flynn at Smart Passive Income. Flynn posts monthly income reports, and he is very honest about what works and what doesn’t. Steve also posts income reports to be transparent about his income and expenses.

  1. Build Connections

Share personal stories with your audience to build connections. In his autoresponder series, Steve explains how habits helped save his life. Doing so helps people get to know him.

  1. Branding

Your website and marketing materials should have a consistent look. For example, you should use the same logo on all sites. Your book covers should also have a similar look to help you build a consistent brand.

  1. Focus on One Market

In episode 4, Steve talked about the importance of focusing on one market. Amazon is a definitely a mass-market search engine, which means you tend to do better if you write books that have a broad appeal, but Steve recommends picking a niche within a mass market. He writes books in the personal development market, but he writes on the specific niche of habit development. For example, he talks about mastering Evernote and making over your to-do list.

  1. Have a Strong Opinion

You should develop a strong opinion about your topic and then tell people about it. Steve is against using Fiverr to source cover designs, doesn’t believe keyword tools are as important as some people make them out to be, and doesn’t believe in get-rich-quick schemes. He isn’t afraid to share these opinions with the people in his target market.

  1. Be Different

Look at your competition to find out what they’re doing right, what they’re doing wrong, and whether there are any holes in the market. If one of your competitors isn’t serving a particular audience, find out if you can attract that audience by providing more in-depth content or being a little more transparent.

The Self-Publishing Questions podcast is a good example. There are many podcasts on the topic of self-publishing, but there wasn’t a daily show focused on answering people’s questions. Instead of doing another podcast with 30- to 60-minute episodes, Steve decided to set his show apart by doing a daily show that lasts five to 10 minutes.

When it comes time to release your book, people will already know, like, and trust you if you have spent some time doing these seven things. Don’t forget to check out the show notes for this episode or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

Key Takeaways

SPQ 021: 7 Ways to Stand Out in a Crowded Book Market from Steve Scott

Resources and Links

Smart Passive Income: Pat Flynn shows readers how to build passive income online

Steve’s Income Reports: Steve details the income and expenses associated with his book-based business

SPQ04: Steve discusses the importance of focusing on one book niche at a time

SPQ013: Steve outlines a step-by-step plan for building an audience

  • Thank you for sharing the income statements. WTG! They are very informative about your decision making process. I find them inspiring!

  • Thanks Katie! Glad to see they’re valuable… I tried to be as specific as possible with the major actions I took to grow the business. Feel free to let me know if you’d like other features to add to the site. 🙂