The Niche on The Rock

December 2001
by Rod Colvin

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I always keep my eyes open for a book that has a good niche market. I’m seeking those books that fill an unmet need and can be sold in venues where they face little competition from similar books, or at least minimal competition. As part of our submission requirements, we ask authors to help us identify niche markets. We want to know who the market or markets are for their books. We also ask authors for their suggestions on how to reach the markets they list. Recently, by querying the author, we found a title with a great niche market. The book is Battle at Alcatraz–A Desperate Attempt to Escape the Rock, by Ernie B. Lageson, Jr.


Behind the Scenes in Prison

First, in case you’re wondering, the book is a nonfiction account of the infamous escape attempt by four Alcatraz prisoners in 1946. They managed to break into the gun gallery, arm themselves, and take several guards hostage. But on that day, by a fluke, one of the guards broke his routine and failed to return a cell block key to the key cabinet. As a result, the prisoners’ escape attempt was thwarted. So, in order to eliminate all witnesses, the prisoners shot the guards, leaving them for dead. One of the guards, the father of the author, survived the shooting and passed on the story to his son, Ernie.


Acquiring the Book

I recall the day I read the author’s proposal for Battle at Alcatraz. He followed our s…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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