Is Your Book Idea Still Viable Even if Your Market is Small?

This post is a blogged draft excerpt from The Author Training Manual (Writer’s Digest Books, March 2014). Read the previous blogged excerpt, here.

Every book needs a target market.Once you know the size of your market—big or niche—it’s time to evaluate your book idea with that market in mind. Determine if your project seems viable or how to make it viable based on the information you have accumulated. Should you:

  • continue forward with your project?
  • go back to square one and conceive a new idea with a bigger market or a more viable niche market?
  • rework or re-angle your current book idea to target a market, thus making it a salable project?
Evaluate Your Market

Some book ideas will need to be abandoned if they have no market at all—sad but true—if you want to produce a successful book (one that sells more than an average number of copies) by publishing industry standards. You can pursue these projects if you like as an indie project—and as a book of your heart. However, an agent or publisher won’t take on a project that doesn’t have a promising market. As part of your training, you need to realize this and learn to evaluate your project objectively with this in mind. Know you are taking a risk if you choose to proceed—a risk a seasoned publishing professional would most likely not take.

Small publishing houses might be willing to take a risk on a book with a small or niche market—if some other factors are in place as well, such a strong author platform and promotion plan. Additionally, an analysis of competing books must indicate that your proposed book might meet or exceed their sales figures. Mid-sized and larger publishers will be less inclined to even consider a project that has no market or a small niche market. Knowing this, if you want to have your book traditionally published, you will need to look at your market statistics and make an objective determination about what type of publisher to approach.

Re-angle Your Book to Target a Market

If you have a market, moving forward may seem a no-brainer. However, sometimes a large market isn’t necessarily the best thing. An agent or acquisitions editor might look at your book idea and think, “This book might not sell well in this huge market because the market is so large. It’s not unique enough to gain traction there.” In such a case, a smaller market serves your book better. That means changing the angle of your book to target a portion of the market or a niche market. Learn to evaluate your project with this in mind as well. Consider smaller and niche markets and if your book might sell better to these readers.

The Author Training ManualNote: You can read additional blogged draft excerpts from my new book, The Author Training Manual (Writer’s Digest Books, March 2014) here. Only select pieces from the manuscript, a “working draft,” were posted—not the complete manuscript. Read the next post in the The Author Training Manual blogged-book series by clicking here. Purchase the book on, or at

LeaLearn how to become a successful authorrn how to create a successful book—one that sells to publishers and to readers—by developing an AUTHOR ATTITUDE and writing a BUSINESS PLAN for a MARKETABLE BOOK. Register for the AUTHOR TRAINING 101 Home-Study Course, and go from aspiring to successful published author! This course is based on The Author Training Manual. If you like what you’ve read here, you’ll love the course.

© Peshkova |


Speak Your Mind