Book Review: The Independent Inventor’s Handbook

independent inventor's handbookTitle: The Independent Inventor’s Handbook: The Best Advice from Idea to Payoff

Author: Louis Foreman and Jill Gilbert Welytok

Price:  $10.17 (Amazon)

The Independent Inventor’s Handbook Review

There are many other books that cover much of the same ground but few do it so entertainingly and in such a fun and easy to digest manner. The Independent Inventor’s Handbook is Co-written by Jill Gilbert Welytok, an experienced patent attorney, and PBS star Louis J. Foreman, who created the series Everyday Edisons and is himself a noted inventor, the material is presented in a double column format with plenty of illustrations, photos, drawings, even cartoons, with sidebars with fascinating factual tidbits drawn from real life.

That is not to say that The Independent Inventor’s Handbook exalts form over content, but the old saying that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down is absolutely accurate. While there may be some academic drudges who would prefer a grey print only presentation that drones on from detail to detail, most of us will find this book much more palatable and a heck of a lot more fun. If yo u’ll like me, you’ll start flipping through it at random and quickly get engrossed while sitting on the couch or lying in bed, and soon realize that its hours later and that you’ve gotten engrossed in the volume and lost track of time.

Some of the material, presented with a sense of humor, hammers home such essential lessons as “14 Licensing Land Mines to Avoid” and “10 Things Not to Tell a Potential Investor.” Often, having a firm grasp of what not to do or say can be just as important, if not more so, than knowing what to do or say. The chapter on obtaining protection for your invention is detailed and chock full of practical advice based on the experience of the patent attorney co-author, and she attempts to show how you can do much of it with a minimum of paid legal assistance.

Also excellent in The Independent Inventor’s Handbook is the chapter entitled “First Define the Market, Then Design the Product.” There may, after all, be some terrific ideas yet unex plored for new model whips to use with a horse and buggy, but clearly an extremely limited market for them in the contemporary world. Also of note is a chapter on “Finding the Funds to Bring a New Product to Market.” Many books in this genre neglect to explain the ins and outs of writing a business plan, and pitching investors.

The focus of The Independent Inventor’s Handbook is aiding inventors who come up with useful marketable consumer products, rather than more highly specialized industrial manufacture techniques or extremely high tech gadgets. The flow of the book is like a story, with everything interrelated and interwoven, and plenty of practical examples of successful inventors and innovators who managed to change our world and our everyday lives in so many little – and sometimes big –ways, while racking up fortunes from modest beginnings.

Available in Paperback at Amazon