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Publishing Master Course Outline

Finally Choosing Your Cookbook Subject

Going through the steps in this section you have learned what makes a good subject, brainstormed potential subjects, determined the competition, found complementary and competitive products, and broke down Amazon Categories. This should have eliminated several potential subjects and narrowed your list down to a handful of candidates.

Now the final decision is here, you want to look at your remaining subjects and find the one that is the best mix of the following criteria:

  • An interesting topic to you
  • In a popular area, but not too popular
  • Has several complimentary products, but few competitive products
  • Is broad enough to have potential readers, but narrow enough you can stand out
  • Tied into your current blog
  • Is getting more popular, not less popular

As we mentioned earlier, it's more art than science to picking a subject, and there's no way to guarantee success with any subject. But putting all those criteria together will allow you to select a cookbook subject that will more often than not be a success for you, especially when applied over multiple books.

The amount of research you do will depend on your personality and how intimately you know your market. I tend to do less research than many authors, mainly because most of my books are on the fringes of the market (not much competition out there to get information about) and I'm very aware of what the modernist community is actively asking for more information about. Researching a market can be very valuable before you go into it, but in a majority of the situations it won't be perfect for identifying a successful or unsuccessful book.

Once you've picked your cookbook subject, it's time to start researching and writing it!