How To Validate Your Nonfiction Book Idea

book coaching writing Aug 15, 2023
how to validate your book idea

You might have several thoughts about what your book will be about, or you may only have one. Before you begin writing, it’s time to put some thought and consideration into your idea. Idea validation is all about knowing whether people are actively searching for the type of book you’re writing. There’s nothing more frustrating than writing a book, marketing it, then all of a sudden….*crickets*. 


Writing a book is a serious investment in your time, thoughts and creativity. It’s why getting clear about your book topic will set you up for success with your audience when it comes to life. 

Idea validation begins with simple research to ensure there’s a market for the book you’re writing. This book coaching article will ensure the idea you have for your book will succeed in the marketplace and with your audience, as well as being discovered on Amazon. 

It’s all well and good to look on the best seller lists and see what’s selling. But I’m going one step further, giving you concrete steps that will help validate and secure the right idea in your niche. 


Genre Validation

What does it mean to have a “good book idea”? If there’s one thing I’ve learned, people will tell you that your idea is great, but they aren’t the ones that would actively search for it on Amazon. It’s why you need to do the work and understand your market. If you’re a business owner, coach or leader in your industry, identifying those that would read your book is much easier. It’s highly likely your book would be tailored to clients and an already awaiting audience. But for those who don’t have an audience or need to define their book idea, you need to have the following three criterias covered:


1. An already existing market

2. Confirmation that the market is willing to buy your book

3. Low barrier to entry 


Pre-existing market. You need proof that your people are actively searching for the type of book you’re writing. For example, if you’re writing a book on building a Virtual Assistant business, look at all the current VA books on the market. What types of books are selling? When you search on Amazon, you can see the current sales ranking. This gives you an indication of how well the books are selling. Tip: Look at books that have been sold in the last 6-18 months. This shows best results for new books in the market.

Is your market willing to pay? People love free books, however you want to verify that you will profit off your book and your audience will pay for it. There are several strategies you apply once your books published, but if you already have an audience, do some research and ask of they’ll be willing to buy your book once its published. For those that aren’t willing to pay, one of the most powerful things you can do is use your book as a lead generation tool. I talk about this strategy later on in the book. 

Low barrier to entry. One of the greatest challenges is establishing yourself in the market as a successful author. When coaching clients, I help them establish a mindset that surrounds making an impact with their book as opposed to becoming a best seller. One thing to remember, is that your idea must be specific. Writing a book on “How To Set Goals” will get lost amongst all the other goal setting books. But if you write a book on “How To Set Goals For An Athlete”, the book has a higher chance of succeeding because it’s focused and appeals to athletes looking to reach their goals. 


How Do You Come Up With The Right Book Idea?


Address a pain point. Potential readers are looking to either have their problem solved, or to learn and gain clarity in a topic. One of the most powerful ways to validate your idea is by addressing your personal pain point so you can help others overcome similar situations. Your ideas are unique because the writing comes from you as you communicate to readers authentically. 

Write a guide. ‘How To’ books are quite common these days, and for good reason. They’re concise, to the point, and written in a way that readers can apply step-by-step. You may have read other books that cover some of a topic, or perhaps haven’t covered a topic you think is important. Fill in the gaps that other books haven’t addressed so you can give maximum impact to your reader. 

Repurpose your current content. If you’re a coach, business owner or speaker, It’s highly likely you will have content created that can be repurposed into a book. If your audience have shown interest in what you’ve given, then repurposing your content is a powerful way to write a book efficiently knowing it will be a hit with your readers.



Test Your Concept


Here are three ways to validate your idea after performing the research. 

1. View similar books on Amazon. Take note of the different pricing, cover designs, reviews, formats and how long the book has been published for. This will give you an understanding of your idea in the market. 

2. Check if related courses are available. Are there any courses that match the ideas and topic of your book? See if you can find out more about them and find potential topics that you can include in your book that you haven’t previously considered. 

3. Test your idea with an audience. Have you thought about writing a few articles to deliver to your audience? Or perhaps you can release a PDF that contains the core concept ideas. Engage with people who you believe will read your book. Ask them questions and ask for their ideas. It’s a special feeling for someone knowing that they have been able to contribute to an authors book, even if it’s in a small way. 


You know your book idea is ready to move forward when you can answer these four questions:

1. Am I passionate about my idea?

2. Is my book likely to succeed?

3. Will I address the readers pain points and solve their problems?

3. How am I going to test my concept with an audience?


Once you’ve got validation in your idea, it’s time to move on to the type of non-fiction book you’ll write. 



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