You can sure learn a lot about niches from reading books about them. Unfortunately, unless you’re a speed reader, your research and design time will be dramatically eaten into by all this reading.

Luckily, POD sellers only need to focus on two parts of a book to mine more than enough subniches from a niche-oriented book: the table of contents and the glossary of terms.

Let’s start with the table of contents.

For this exercise, we’ll assume that “hunting” is the niche we want to peel back in order to find related subniches to design tshirts about.

The first step should be to perform an Amazon search for something along the lines of “hunting guide book.” The first page gives us an array of popular books. “The Total Outdoorsman Manual (10th Anniversary Edition) (Field & Stream)” has a robust table of contents, all of which I can see without purchasing the book thanks to Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature.

The TOC is packed with insights into the hunting experience that can easily give sellers a list of prospective subniches or messaging themes to explore, such as:

  • Building fires
  • Reading wind direction
  • Plot a shot
  • Hauling deer
  • Walk like a shadow
  • Skinning catches
  • Eating roadkill
  • Rationing resources
  • Cutting down a tree with a knife
  • Staying warm on a cold night
  • Open a brew with a blade
  • Tying knots
  • How to be a backcountry barista
  • Fixing tears to tents and gear
  • Putting up a gun rack at the camp site
  • Roasting the perfect marshmallow
  • Cooking fish at a camp site
  • Packing for camping

This is ample fodder for subniches and related designs, and I’ve only scratched the surface of the table of contents of one book that surfaced in my search for a hunting guide.

You name the niche and there’s a book about it on Amazon. Chances are, there’s a table of contents available for preview too. I have sold tshirts in more subniches than I can remember by peeling back layers of a niche via a book’s table of contents.

Just as helpful in many instances, however, are glossaries.

Unfortunately, glossaries aren’t as common in books as tables of content. Additionally, free previews and the “look inside” feature primarily pertain to the first pages of a book (where TOCs are, but not glossaries). Of course, this doesn’t mean that glossaries are impossible to find. They’re just harder to find on Amazon than, say, Google.

Searching for glossaries must be in the ten most frequent actions I perform on Google today. Sticking with our hunting niche for this exercise, search “Hunting glossary of terms” on Google and you’re going to find a trove of information on the first page.

The first hunting terminology link provided, from Bass Pro, has practically every hunting-related term you could possibly need to mine subniches and related messaging opportunities.

Whether you’re searching for glossaries pertinent to food, healthcare, cultures, lifestyles, places, or events, these alphabetical listings of niche-relevant terms can be leveraged to do much of the heavy-lifting on subniche research time and again. Many of the smartest sellers I know turn to tables of content and glossaries of terms with great frequency. And the sales they generate keep them coming back for more.