The first audio is on Structuring, and the second is on Self-editing, and third: ‘making your book interesting’ with stories.

More information is in our “Outlining a Book in Three Steps” mini course. 

Structuring (Audio) (9min)


Self-Editing Process

(3:50 min)

Making your Book Interesting (3min)

What are the Stages of Book Development?

BAA Book Development Stages (PDF – print out).

Time for Research

Competitor and comparative title research is important to give you an idea what books are selling, in which categories, and what angle they take.

Hop along to Amazon and firstly search your genre’s categories to find bestsellers. See what ‘gap’ each hotly reviewed book filled. You will soon look for a gap too.

You can see below an example of three categories this book ranks in — two of which are selected by the author!

If the book is traditionally published but not selling now, they might not show a selected category. A clue lies in this area:


Do a few ‘general term’ searches to see what comes up for particular niches, e.g. women’s health, mental health; the closest ones to your idea also contain the keywords you need to write down for later.

Do ‘Google Trends‘ comparison of 2-3 searchable topics you have in mind. Just start with the first term and then add more afterwards. This helps to see broader trends in searching, but is not the whole picture.

Researching Competing Titles on Amazon

Password: BAA_Amazon

About the Calculator. First, you get the overall ranking from Amazon book detail page. This number is updated every 2 hours by Amazon and is dependent on the number of sales a book makes, KU pages read, and lender library downloads.

Fill in the Target Audience and Brand Template – once your audience research is complete.

The Hot-Selling Category Strategy.

  1. In Amazon, type in keywords that best represent your book idea/s
  2. Click on the most popular books and scroll down to where their categories are listed
  3. Record those category strings
  4. Click on each category
  5. Click on the #1 book and then further down, the #15 book and record their Kindle Book Sales Rank.

Select a category that looks popular enough so that if your new release hits the top 15, you’ll benefit from some traffic to that category.

If you are focussing on getting print sales, then don’t worry so much about the Kindle book sales rankings.

The Narrow Gap Strategy.

To complement the above strategy, try to find a narrow gap in the marketplace where there are no competing book angles.

Next: Plan your book‘s one-line pitch and audience