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Finding Your Niche, Even in a Narrow Field

If your field is somewhat specialized, and you have an idea for a book you want to write, you may find that others have gotten there before you.

This is natural: many experts on a subject want to cement their expertise by writing a book that will demonstrate their leadership in the field.

What if you find other books out there in your somewhat narrow field? Does this mean you have to drop your idea for the book and start again? It depends. Even specialized fields such as estate planning or gluten-free lifestyle choices provide opportunities for different books.

For example, if you’ve done a search on Amazon for books relating to something as dire as pancreatic cancer, you’ll find a series of works on this often-fatal disease. Each one, you’ll notice, has a slightly different take on how to deal with it. Consider these titles: “Surviving The Death Sentence: How My Mother Survived Pancreatic Cancer,” by Traysiah Spring; “Pancreatic Cancer: A Patient and His Doctor Balance Hope and Truth,” by Michael J. Lippe, Michael J. and Dung T. Le, M.D.; “The Ride Of My Life: A Fight To Survive Pancreatic Cancer,” by Bob Brown, and “Pancreatic Cancer: It’s a Family Affair,” by Lisa M. Strahs-Lorenc.

And these are only a few of the titles. Now, cancer affects more people than we sometimes think, and you can understand that anyone even remotely affected by it would seek further information, but even a subject like a particular kind of malady leads to a variety of approaches to offering information about it.

Even a subject as seemingly narrow, sleepy and benign as dog-walking has its share of competing books: “The Dog Walker’s Startup Guide: Create Your Own Lucrative Dog Walking Business in 12 Easy Steps by J.D. Antell; “The Business of Dog Walking: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love,” by Veronica Boutelle, and “How to Start a Home-Based Pet-Sitting and Dog-Walking Business,” by Cathy Vaughan. There are quite a few others for what seems to be a specialized field.

So, your idea may have resonance now matter how narrow the field in which you work. It’s a matter of finding your hook, compared to what others have done.

In our next blog, we’ll look at how to examine the work of others in your field, be inspired by it and act against it, to offer your own take on the same idea.

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