When it comes to books, is competition important?

How important is competition?

About 15 years ago, I wrote a couple of books about bridal showers and baby showers. In the late 1990s, eBooks weren’t a big thing and self publishing was expensive as print on demand technology wasn’t what it is now.

Recently I found the book proposals I wrote along with rejection letters. Most of them said the only reason they were rejected was because they didn’t think there was a market for them. Another thing to note is that in the late 1990s, baby and bridal showers weren’t as popular in Australia as they are now.

Last night I posted on my Facebook page that I had written this book and was wondering if it was worth dusting it off, polishing it and self publishing. There was an interesting discussion, many people saying “go for it” and one person asked if there was a market, especially with book shops. This got me thinking:

How important is competition when it comes to books?

There are a number of times when I wonder if it’s worth writing at all. There are millions of books out there and more being published every day. Every one is a little bit different, even if many of them have the same theme or same basic story. Should that stop us from writing and publishing?

I am still planning to dust off the manuscript, and I know that it will need tweaking to be a stand out book and for people to buy it. I also know that there are a huge number of picture books, many on the same or similar topics that I’m writing, as well as the chapter books and novels I’m writing. There are also hundreds of business books on the market… Sometimes it can be a bit demoralising thinking about all the books that are already out there and wondering if I’m wasting my time writing. Then I get another idea, start writing and I’m completely lost in the story.

This is a bit of a rambling post and I’m not sure if I’m making any sense at all here. I know that competition is important in that we need to know why someone would buy/read our books instead of someone elses, I’m trying to work out how much I should be looking at what else is out there…

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  1. I’m started doing some research on other books on the same topic as the health and fitness/weight loss non-fiction one I am writing. I want to make sure that I am doing something in the writing of my book that sets it apart from the others. But then, there are SO MANY health and fitness books out there! I’ve kind of decided just to write it the way I want to write it and go from there.

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