skip to Main Content

The Best First Step to Writing a Great Book

One of the questions I get asked most often about writing a book is, “How do I get started?” I always respond, “Start with great research.”

To make it even easier, I am going to give you my step-by-step process for getting to the right book that will stand out in a glutted marketplace.

Step 1: Go to Amazon and find a book that is similar to yours.

Step 2: Look further down on that page and find the spot where it says, “Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed” to find similar books.

Step 3: Keep looking for similar books to the one you want to write and start a spreadsheet.

Step 4: Put in the following columns in your spreadsheet: Author’s Name, Publisher, Date Published, # of Pages in the Book, Rank (Amazon Book Rank) # of Good Reviews, # of Bad Reviews, Good Review Samples, Poor Samples

Step 5: Fill in the information from the books you have selected into your spreadsheet. Choose 5-10 books to review. In the Review Samples column, look for patterns for both good and bad reviews.

Step 6: Sort your columns by ranking–lowest to highest numbers.

This view of your competition will help you figure out where there are gaps to write a better book–a book that will stand out among the competition.

I have been using this method for years and it has worked to help me help my authors both get agents and publishers.

Finally, if you send me your spreadsheet with your 5-10 books I will be happy to give you my thoughts. Just email me at
Thanks for reading this. My intention is to make sure you have not wasted your time and you benefit from the suggestions I have made. Let me know how I am doing and if there is something you think both you and others would like me to write about. I wish you an peaceful and rejuvenating Sunday, and I look forward to haring from you whenever.

If you found this useful or interesting, please consider forwarding it to a friend. If you’re the  friend who received this and you want your own subscription (it’s FREE), go to and sign up.

Melissa G Wilson

Melissa has been a leader in the book writing, publishing and marketing arena for the past two decades. To date, she has helped more than 100 thought leaders write, publish and market their books. Her clients include executives such as Dan Weinfurter a seven-time Inc 500 winner and Orlando Ashford, President of Holland Cruise Lines.

Back To Top