What has a bran flake got to do with your book?

This morning whilst eating of all things bran flakes, I somehow started to ponder what the bran flake had in common with writing and publishing a book. As if by magic, I found a connection… (I know, incredible how this mind works…).

“1915 — Kellogg introduced Bran Flakes, the first high-fiber cereal, promptly followed by the introduction of Kellogg’s® All-Bran™ one year later.”

What must have been going through the minds of the R&D team, to know that there was a nation of cereal eaters who, also needed a helping hand in the toilet department? In considering these flakes of wonder, the team will have gone through pretty much of  the same process that you will to manufacture your book.

Consider these potential stages: –

The R&D and manufacturing process

  • Concept – you have an idea(s) for a book
  • Idea screening – as different ideas come, you brainstorm and spend a lot of time reflecting. In addition, you are undertaking some additional research, looking at competitors and your micro and macro environment
  • Concept development and testing – you chat it over with your family, friends colleagues, maybe even mapping your book idea out
  • Product development – now you are working on getting your prototype ready – outlining and writing to first draft
  • Testing – you give it to your proof-reader, copy editor, beta readers or maybe your friend who pulls it apart and gives you feedback, which takes you back into development. You may even test the market by writing a few blogs to see if anyone has any appetite for your ideas and concepts
  • Final production – following feedback, the book goes through final edit, formatting, proof and the cover created. It is now loaded up one to Amazon’s CreateSpace (print on demand) and Kindle (digital) platforms ready to sell
  • Production costs and resources – I have read and guestimated that it takes approximately 700 hours to produce a non-fiction book. For someone who does it all themselves a simple calculation will tell you how much it would cost if you paid someone (yourself) by the hour. Go on, multiply your hourly rate by 700, scary isn’t it? However, think of the VALUE that the book brings, along with the personal development that you get, add in credibility and opportunities, and wow!!


  • Pricing – considering what price your book will sell for. What is your break-even and what other ways can you create sales from it, so that you can recoup your costs?
  • Commercialisation – once it has been published, the commercialisation phase is where you are using your book as a brand building, credibility busting resource
  • Product extension – what else can you use your book for or how else can you share your knowledge? Product extensions include online courses and face to face workshops
  • Marketing and (personal) branding strategy – you consider how your book would fit your overall marketing and personal branding strategy and how you could bring together those important elements of vision, strategy, reader and content to make it marketable. Your market research will inform you of which direction to head in

So you see, not so silly.

If you want to really understand how to put a project plan together for your book, give me a call or sign up to the Academy, where all will be revealed.

Happy writing



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