How to Expand Your Market From
One Small Niche to a Whole Big World

by Gordon Burgett

(From, August 2004)

The material originally appeared in Gordon Burgett's Publishing to Niche Markets, p. 39. For more information about that book and others about niche publishing and marketing, please see


A person seeking information with tunnel vision might well overlook some intriguing markets that would otherwise not be evident. For example, along with lists of principals in the SRDS directory was a tally of teachers by grade.

Wouldn't teachers of particular grades run to buy a book that focused specifically on that year of the educational process? But could we find a comparable 66,667 people to buy a $15 book, or some balance of those numbers? Let's arbitrarily pick out fifth grade. There are about 125,000 teachers at that level, plus a suspicion on my part that some fourth- or sixth-grade teachers might buy a copy too, as would principals and many elementary school education departments at colleges.

I scoured three major libraries well, with all of their listings of other key libraries, and could not find one book written specifically to fifth-grade teachers. So I asked some fifth grade teachers and they knew of nothing other than the teachers' guidebooks for texts they used in class.

Which put my mind to wondering. If a mate or friend were to write a book for fifth-grade teachers and I were to write one for principals, how easy it would be to sell two at once by mail. The single greatest expense, promotion, would be halved at one shot.

If I wrote a book for fifth-grade teachers, I could use the format and hire a fleet of other writers (some, teachers) to do a book on each of the other elementary years built around that structure, which I could edit and publish as a series.

Why not write similar books for teachers of specific subjects, like art, music, physical education, or English as a Second Language? Those might also be done by year or, better, by year groups like grades 1-3 and 4-6.

Of course if I'm writing a book for fifth-grade teachers, might I not write a book for parents of fifth-grade students? The relationship must change rather dramatically each year at that formative level, and by focusing on the child’s level of development, how the school deals with that, and how parents could best address it would seem to result in a book that many if not most parents would want to read. The market would be new every year and would ultimately include every parent in America. Imagine if they bought such a book for every year from kindergarten up!

Exciting, isn't it?

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Gordon Burgett

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