cover image Idea to Invention: What You Need to Know to Cash In on Your Inspiration

Idea to Invention: What You Need to Know to Cash In on Your Inspiration

Patricia Nolan-Brown. Amacom, $17.95 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-0-8144-3293-8

In her informative and accessible first book, motivational speaker and consultant Nolan-Brown—the inventor of the rear-facing carseat mirror—offers step-by-step instructions for turning abstract ideas into real products. After guiding would-be inventors through a quiz designed to uncover their creative style, she enumerates her I.N.V.E.N.T. principles: (being) inquisitive, (having) nerve, voice, and energy, nourish (dreams), and tenacity. Next, she tackles everything from designing a prototype, obtaining patents and trademarks, and utilizing nondisclosure agreements to creating a sell sheet, explaining how to write a press release and how to obtain meetings with potential retailers. Nolan-Brown also explains the pros and cons of licensing one’s idea to a larger company and how critical social media and Internet presence are for launching new products. The author helpfully offers tips on how to avoid being scammed by unethical people looking to benefit off the dreams of others. “Most people will pay anybody who claims to be able to help them,” she notes before relating the example of a trade-show acquaintance who was bilked out of $10,000 for a provisional patent that should have cost $100. The author’s friendly tone eliminates much of the intimidation surrounding the creation, patenting, and marketing of a new product, and her encouragement will inspire wannabe inventors.Agent: Sheree Bykofsky, Sheree Bykofsky Associates. (Jan.)