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Will It Sell? How to Determine If Your Invention Is Profitably Marketable (Before Wasting Money on a Patent)
James E. White

Will It Sell? book cover picture

This book was specifically written to be the first book a new inventor dips into. Rather than adopt the tactic of most inventor books and just delve lightly into the "WHAT" inventors need to do in each step of the process for successful inventing it concentrates on the "HOW" of realistically and inexpensively determining marketability--the initial part of the process so many inventors ignore. Realistic marketability analysis does not include asking friends and family or looking to see if the invention is already on the market and the book explains why those don't work and what the correct approach is. The book does for analyzing marketability what Patent It Yourself does for the patenting process--tell you specifically how to do it.

In fact this book should be valuable whether you plan on venturing or licensing because it tells you how to save yourself the embarrassment of being the 150th inventor this year to approach Proctor & Gamble with a new (ha ha) toothpaste-in-handle toothbrush idea. If you plan on licensing then a great package of books to buy includes Will It Sell?..., License Your Invention, and Patent It Yourself, or, if you think you'd rather venture your invention (get it produced and sold yourself) for even greater profits then a good package would be Will It Sell?..., Bringing Your Product to Market, and Patent It Yourself.

The following is a review done by Bill Baker that appeared in the Minnesota's Inventors Network July 2000 newsletter:

"As an information consultant to industry and the government during the 1980's, it wasn't until 1998 when James White noticed an ad in the Lansing, MI newspaper about an inventors club, visited a few times and decided to join. His outspoken advice led to a presentation before the club and it was after the meeting he decided it was time to put this valuable information down in book form. 'The presentation was declared a success. But it was quickly determined that the speech, which just outlined the principles for determining marketability and getting to the market, had almost no apparent effect on the counter productive behaviors of most of the club members.'

In the middle of White's book you will find a quote from Doug Tackens, president of a household manufacturing firm with over 50 years of invention experience, and defines marketing as follows:

Is getting the right product
To the right people
At the right price
Through the right distribution channels
By the right promotion.

Will It Sell (and the rest of its long title) gets you into the meat and potatoes of the ball game right from the git-go. White doesn't mince any words on what he feels is the right route to inventing a successful product. 'The book is not about marketing -- it's about getting there,' he states. 'Inventors should stay with something they are familiar with and keep it small -- the size of a toaster.' Start with simple technology and be prepared to spend a lot of time in early market research.

Each step of the way, White has a unique evaluation system in-place that lets you rate your progress. The book took over a year to write and has a gold mine of references for those willing to do their home work. Web site addresses abound and a stern bit of advice from White confirms his belief in the new industrial revolution, 'If you don't use the Internet, you'll almost always find yourself eating dust these days.'

My advice for anyone in the innovation game this is a must read. It may not be the easiest for some to comprehend so I suggest you take your time reading and absorbing. A few hours at a time. Get your yellow marker, highlight and tag the pages that benefit you the most. Will It Sell is a reference you will be coming back to time after time."

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