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Idea to Invention: What You Need to Know to Cash In on Your Inspiration Paperback – January 9, 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"As enchanting as it is informative, Patricia's book will help you master the invention process and achieve success in a timely and cost-efficient way."
--Guy Kawasaki, former Chief Evangelist of Apple and author of The Art of the Start

"Patricia Nolan-Brown has nailed it! For anyone new to the world of inventing and launching new products, this is the perfect guidebook--with specific how-to advice and what pitfalls to avoid. In addition, it is impressively up to date on how to use social media. This is the book I will recommend to all the callers who have an invention idea but don't know what to do next."
--Robert Hausslein, President of the Inventors Association of New England

"This is a great read. Idea to Invention not only holds your hand through the invention process but really encourages you every step of the way. Patricia demystifies inventing in a way that is easy to follow yet rigorous enough to make you the inventor you always dreamed of being."
--Dr. Gordon Adomdza, PhD--Entrepreneurship & Innovation Professor, Northeastern University

"Idea to Invention shows you through examples that everyone can be an inventor by finding solutions to common problems that people experience daily. If you want to turn your passion into a business and find meaning in your life, this is the book for you."
--Dan Schawbel, New York Times bestselling author of Promote Yourself and Me 2.0

“The author’s friendly tone eliminates much of the intimidation surrounding the creation, patenting, and marketing of a new product…will inspire wannabe inventors.” --Publishers Weekly

"…great book to read as you start down the path of moving from dreaming about your great idea to actually bringing that idea to life." --Portland Book Review

“Devour an excellent new book … opens a big wide door for waves of imaginative women inventors.” --Joyce Lain Kennedy, Syndicated Careers Columnist, Tribune Media

“With overflowing enthusiasm, Nolan-Brown helps readers take their creative notions from mind to market…like someone holding your hand during the process.” --The Bookworm Sez

“…love this book and have gained a lot of insight and ideas that I can directly apply to my current needs…I am inspired by Patricia Nolan-Brown." --BlogFace

“This comprehensive go-to book is a great resource guide for any new inventor shy or scared to take the first leap into a venture.” --Bookpleasures

"A fertile hybrid of how-to handbook and can-do motivator." --New Equipment Digest

“…an excellent guidebook to help you navigate through the important steps needed by a successful inventor." --PowerHomeBiz.com

Book Description

You don’t have to be a mechanical genius to be an inventor. Anyone can invent—a parent wrestling with a baby sling . . . a coach frustrated with slick-soled running shoes . . . an office worker determined to keep the computer cords untangled. Inventing is simply finding clever solutions to everyday challenges.

Author and inventor Patricia Nolan-Brown has turned common annoyances into ingenious and money-making products. She shares the tricks of her trade in Idea to Invention, a practical guide that helps ordinary people look at their world with the eyes of an inventor. Readers will learn six simple steps to invention—and discover:

• How they rate on six crucial personality traits

• Creativity habits that spark invention

• The power of tape-and-paper prototypes to refine their vision

• How to navigate the ins and outs of licensing and patenting their product

• The pros and cons of finding a licensed manufacturer vs. running a home-based assembly line

• How to promote their invention—from perfecting the pitch and finding store buyers to trade-show shortcuts and strategies for creating buzz online

• Product enhancements that add years to shelf life

From initial concept to thriving business, this handy guide simplifies the invention process and gives creative thinkers the competitive edge they need to achieve success.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: AMACOM (January 9, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081443293X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814432938
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #422,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Patricia Nolan-Brown has been inventing and marketing problem-solving products for more than 22 years. Among her many inventions is a best-selling car seat mirror, sold internationally, which enables drivers to see infants placed in rear-facing car seats. She has sold tens of millions of products and holds multiple patents and registered trademarks.

In addition to being a serial inventor, Nolan-Brown is also a consultant, video-blogger, and motivational speaker for widely diverse groups: from Fortune 500 CEOs to grade-school science-fair hopefuls. She has demystified the invention process for thousands of people and helped them convert their ideas into must-have merchandise.

Her business savvy and warm, humorous style have made Patricia a popular guest on radio shows from Austin to New Zealand, She and her inventions have also been featured in many newspapers and in national magazines and newscasts.

Patricia lives just north of Boston with her husband, three daughters, and her westie, Coconut.

To access additional information, or to book a consultation with Patricia, please visit www.patricianolanbrown.com. You can follow her on Twitter @pnolanbrown.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The observation by Howard Aiken correctly notes some of the challenges that await those who formulate what they believe to be a "great idea." How to convert that idea into what Patricia Nolan-Brown characterizes as an "invention," at least in the form of a prototype, and then take it to market? Her answer to that question is provided within this book: "My message in a nutshell is that anyone can become a successful inventor. Just think 'six-plus-six' -- six personal traits for success and six simple steps to invention. You don't need a trust fund, a corner office, or a second mortgage to do it. All you need is your own imagination and this book."

As I came upon the passage in the Introduction just quoted, I was again reminded of this observation by Oliver Wendell Holmes: "I wouldn't give a fig for simplicity this side of complexity but I would give my life for simplicity on the other side of complexity." Nolan-Brown's choices of words and phrases (Just think, six simple steps, all you need, etc.) suggest that completing the process from idea to invention is far simpler than in fact it is. The single greatest value of this book is that it will help those who absorb and digest the material to eliminate waste of resources, to make better choices, to sharpen their focus on what is most important, and to obtain whatever assistance and support that may be needed to achieve eventual success. All of the information, insights, and counsel provided can help to achieve those worthy objectives.

These are among the dozens of business subjects and issues of special interest and value to me, also listed to indicate the scope of Nolan-Brown's coverage.
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Format: Paperback
As an acrostic puzzle constructor, I originally planned to scan this book quickly for a quotation I could use in my current volume of puzzles, which just happens to be about inventions and inventors.

But I started reading and couldn't stop. It's such a fun and engaging book, I zipped through it in a couple of hours, and learned a lot along the way.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to know just what it takes to turn an idea into a successful product. And even if your product, like mine, doesn't require such things as tape-and-paper prototypes, patents and licensing, you can still benefit from Nolan-Brown's marketing tips--particularly those involving social media.

Nolan-Brown's energy and enthusiasm are infectious. Her book is not only a helpful guide to inventing and marketing a successful product, it's like having a friend rooting you on all along the way.

Cynthia Morris
Author of American Acrostics and CynAcrostics (forthcoming)
Co-author of Micronesian Blues
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Format: Paperback
I think most people think that to be a successful inventor you need to come up with some earth shaking new idea. Patricia Nolan-Brown, author of Idea to Invention, says that is just not the case. What you really need to do is see a need and then invent a solution. The key to being a successful inventor is to be a good problem solver - to be able to recognize a real problem and develop a workable solution.

The first thing you will learn is that Ms. Nolan-Brown writes from first hand experience. She has developed and sold many different inventions for literally millions of dollars. She writes in a simple, straightforward style. She freely shares all the experience she has gained over the years.

Ms. Nolan-Brown uses the word INVENT as an acronym for the mindset you will need to take your idea from the concept stage to a marketable finished product.

To be a successful inventor, you must possess the following traits: Inquisitive, Nerve, Voice, Energy, Nourish and Tenacity. At the start of the book is a quiz to see if you have what it takes to be a successful inventor.

Then Ms. Nolan-Brown walks you through each step of the process - starting off with Inquisitive. You must be curious. Observe how things work, take note of what might work better. Become a life long learner. Read and research.

If you want to be an inventor, you must have Nerve. You will need a thick skin because there will be plenty of people who will throw cold water on your idea. Next is your Voice - your passion for your ideas. Passion sells. Then comes Energy - You will need to follow the different ways to maintain your energy. After that you must Nourish your dreams and have the Tenacity to stick with the project to completion.
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Format: Paperback
Honored to have Patricia on my radio show. Her book is truly a blueprint for many of us who have that great idea, but don't know where to begin. It takes us through the steps of development, patenting, including provisional patents, manufacturing, and even finding a licensee. It also explains the mindset of inventing and the age old entrepreneurial challenge of overcoming failure. Great read that should be on every entrepreneurs desk! The Entrepreneurs: Success and Sacrifice
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