Yes, you probably want to make money, after all no one wants to work for free. But look beyond this. Why would you or anyone else need or want this book? If you can’t answer that, why would you expect someone else to buy it?  These questions should feed the KDP book creation process right from your start point. Whether that start point is a blank screen or a template you have downloaded.

What is my book’s purpose?

To give your book a strong purpose imagine you are creating a book for one specific person in mind. You may or may not have heard of an Ideal Customer Avatar. This is where you create a single person who would replicate the perfect customer for your book. Someone who makes you say “Wow! if every customer was like this person, my books would sell like hot cakes!” Your book’s purpose should be to serve this ICA’s needs, values and goals.

Why is it important to create an ICA for my book?

The simplest way I can explain it is like this: Imagine you are buying a wedding present for someone (there is no gift list either!) If you know this person extremely well this most probably is an easy task! You know their likes, hobbies and needs and picking out something that they will love likely won’t take long. However, if you barely know the person this is a lot more difficult. You could guess. After all, who doesn’t need cutlery? And they may like it but the chances are even if they do, it’s not going to be ideal.

It’s the same if you are creating a book for customers. If you know them well, it’s going to fit their needs and they will like it! If you don’t… well, you are just taking a stab in the dark! Creating an ICA allows you to get to know your customer, almost as if they were a close friend of yours!

How do I create an ICA?

To go more in depth and find out about your customers to create an authentic ICA, join niche related forums, Facebook groups, subreddits… wherever they hang out! Spend time reading posts and engaging with other people. A lot of people will even spend time answering your questions if you ask! Remember the wedding present analogy above. This is like asking for a gift list!

Key things you will want to know about your ICA

Their name! I think it is important to give your ICA a name as it makes them seem more real! You can even visit a stock photo website to give your ICA a face! Hello, Bob!

What are your ICA’s demographic traits (e.g., age, gender, education level, income level, marital status, job, religion, etc). Bob, male, is a 32-year-old computer science graduate who has an IT Manager job taking home $80,000 a year. He is a devout Christian and currently single.

What are your ICA’s values, attitudes, interests, and lifestyle. For example: do they want a healthy lifestyle? Are they career orientated? Do they start each day meditating and going to yoga?

Bob is very family orientated. He loves keeping fit and healthy, he likes to ensure he eats plenty of vegetables and taking part in gym and yoga sessions 5 days a week. Ever since his dad passed, he has been helping his mum meet her medical bills. It is important to him that he can look after his mum without her needing to worry or skipping other essentials to meet medical bills.

What is their story? What were they thinking before they come across your book? Are there any aspects of their life that they are unhappy with? How were they feeling and why? What were they looking for? What do they hope to solve or accomplish? How do they feel when they come across your product?

Bob tries to keep a healthy lifestyle but ever since he was promoted, he’s had to give up his morning yoga class and evening gym sessions as he is working longer hours and is SO tired all the time. He loves the convenience of using apps as they still allow him to partake in yoga classes remotely and perform other workouts from the comfort of his own home. He’s putting on weight and thinks the added stress is causing him to make bad eating decisions. He’s really worried that the increased time he is spending on electronic devices is causing him to have disrupted sleep and unhealthy food choices. He’s considered asking for a demotion but knows his larger wage packet really helps his mum with her medical bills.

Bob really wants some way he can track everything he needs without having to spend more time on a electronic device. He really needs this all to be one place rather than having to carry around multiple books. His life is hectic at the moment and he needs something concise and efficient.

After finding the book Bob is relieved he can not only monitor what affects his sleep by tracking his food, electronic device usage and sleep pattern, but he can also write in his workout plan and track his daily exercises without having to use his phone. There is even a section he can include his favourite yoga routines! Bob is happy that this allows him to monitor the things he wants to whilst decreasing his reliance on electronic devices at the same time!

This is only a brief insight to what your ICA could be like. If you are interested in creating an ICA for your books I would encourage you to look online as there are vast resources and cheat sheets that can help you create one yourself!

A lot of work? Perhaps but…

It’s why I recommend starting in a niche that you know well, until you have more experience creating and researching, as you will already know a lot of the problems, frustrations and dreams that a customer may have. Remember by serving your customers better, ultimately you will receive better sales and feedback!

Tweaking templates, making variations and getting started quickly

If you browse product listings on Amazon (or on any marketplace) it won’t be long before you find a review from someone who liked a product but it didn’t quite meet their needs due to X, Y or Z. A couple examples I found when searching for books…

“I like the selection of puzzles but there are no cut out or tear lines. I like to cut out the puzzles and do them.“

“There is no need for such a large space for customer information I would have preferred if the notes section was bigger.”

“The book is too small to write in. The section titles to record data are great! Just you cannot fit much information in. It needs to be spread over 2 pages or as a bigger book.”

Pay attention to the reviews that are around 3/4 stars. These tend to be the ones with the most valuable information. However, occasionally a reviewer will take the time to explain (in their opinion) how wrong someone has created a book at one star!

These are often little things you can use and cater to when creating your books. They may be useful if you already know a lot about a niche and want to cater to some small adjustments and get your templates live quickly or make small changes to existing interiors BUT I would recommend going even more in depth and learning about your customer by creating ICAs for each different product.

Remember this all applies to starting from scratch and templates. A template is just a rough idea someone has sketched out for you. It can be changed!

Remember! You’ll never make everyone 100% happy all the time, that’s not how it works (or anything works.) We all have different tastes, needs, and wants. You can cater to different needs in each niche by creating different books.

Talk to one person, create for one person and then that creation will resonate with individuals with similar tastes, needs and wants. If you are creating for everyone or with no one particular in mind it’s likely your creation will get lost in the ever-growing catalogue of KDP books.