Friday, June 13, 2014

Should you write a book about public speaking?

Isn’t there already a big enough pile of them to satisfy almost everyone? How many books about public speaking already exist? When I looked in the Bowker Books In Print database using public speaking as a subject, it said there were about 3,870 books (1600 of which were out of print), just 490 of which were readily available. Using the phrase “public speaking” in search all gave more, about 5,170. A search of WorldCat found almost 9100 including nearly 1480 eBooks (and ignoring another 1320 dissertations or theses). About 300 were added in 2013.

Can you expect to make a fortune from selling a book? Probably not. Remainder seller Hamilton Books has them filed under self help (communication skills). Richard Zeoli’s  2008 paperback book, 7 Principles of Public Speaking, is $4.95 rather than the $14.95 list price. But it also lives on as an e-Book.   

Do you have enough novel and relevant content to make a credible book? Last December Russ Howser blogged about Bad Public Speaking Books, and ranted that some of them are just marketing pieces (big business cards). 

Would you be better off writing a book for a niche market? For example, at Hamilton I saw Patricia Fry’s January 2013 niche paperback for writers, Talk Up Your Book for $5.95 instead of the original $19.95. You might pick a niche as shown above just based on the type of speech and gender.

Of course, you could add more categories and narrow the market. Right now there are several books about TED Talks. Carmine Gallo did Talk Like TED, which I’ve mentioned previously here. So far though I haven’t seen anyone produce Diluting Your Fear of Public Speaking: Pecha Kucha for Homeopaths.   

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