Micro-niching the book

Yesterday I focused on the entrepreneurial aspect of Warren Knight’s story (you can listen to the full interview here), but today I want to mention an interesting aspect of his approach to publishing his book Think #Digital First: he very consciously took the decision to use a partner publisher, to buy in their expertise but retain full control of the publishing and also be able to purchase books at cost rather than author discount, since he knew this would be the primary source of revenue for the book. (Smart decision.)

One possibility that this opened up for him, and one I’m exploring with a couple of authors at the moment too, is micro-niching: creating customized versions of the book for specific niche markets.

‘I literally just turned up with a printout of, this is going to be the book cover and these are the chapters inside of the book, and we’re going to, instead of saying entrepreneur, we’re going to say a jewellery business. And they went, “Oh, God, that’s amazing. We love that, Warren. No problem at all, we’ll get you speaking, we’ll do this, we’ll do that, we’ll take the books,” and so I knew, before I’d even started, that there was a potential opportunity for me there. So my very first one was in the jewellery industry. I then went into the giftware industry, went into the beauty industry, went into the fitness industry, went into the hearing aid industry. Really, really seeing those, some of it was very, very micro-niche around what was going on, and again, it was great because it was all about being personal and personalization. And relevance to that audience. And that’s why I wanted to do that, for it not to be generic but very, very specific to them.’ 

Michael E. Gerber did something similar, working in partnership with industry professionals to create The E-Myth for accountants, real-estate professionals and so on.

It’s something that can be done relatively cheaply and quickly with print on demand technology, but as relatively few people are doing it it’s worth considering as a tactic for your own book: can your more general text be developed without too much effort into a handbook for an even more specific target market (one that you want to work with, obviously)?  If so, start having those conversations and exploring those opportunities now.