09:12 – One of the first things I do when I start a book is scope out the competition. I find the best book and the best-selling book on the topic–often not the same book–and scan through it/them to make sure I can write a better book. Ideally, of course, I want to crush the market leader, to make the author slink home whimpering with his tail between his legs. (This doesn’t always work out; there have been several books I’ve considered doing, but I found that an existing book would be hard to beat. If I can’t beat it, it’s pointless for me to write a new book.)
So, when I was stubbing out The Ultimate Family Prepping Guide, I did some looking around. Apparently, both the best general prepping book and the best-selling one is The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster by Tess Pennington. I ordered a copy on the 11th, which arrived yesterday. (Oddly, Amazon Prime charged me only $19 on 10/11, but the price is now showing as $27.) This book really is a best-seller. Its current Amazon rank is #245, which means it’s probably selling several thousand copies per month.
The book arrived yesterday, and I spent an hour or so flipping through it. It’s not a bad book, but she’s obviously trying to write in detail on many topics that she has little or no actual experience of. I can write a better book. Interestingly, her book is pretty much a collection of the articles from her web site, so you don’t really need to buy the book if you’re willing to scroll through 50+ separate articles.
My book may not sell as well as hers because I have neither the time nor the inclination to market the book as heavily as she does hers. Still, word of mouth has worked pretty well for our science kits and I suspect it will for this book as well.