Richard Lane Church, Author

Use Your Writing Talent to Make Money

Copywriting * Content Writing * Fiction

You want to sell non-fiction books on Amazon. They are the world’s biggest bookstore. This post offers suggestions to help. Unlike fiction books, whose titles need to be catchy and memorable, though often cryptic, titles for non-fiction books are better when they are descriptive. For example, Matt Voss’s best-selling book How to Publish a Book on Amazon, a book I relied on to learn many of the concepts I am sharing in this blog series.

Amazon is the biggest bookstore in the world. You want to sell non-fiction books on Amazon if you want to succeed as a self-published author.
Amazon is the biggest bookstore in the world. You want to sell non-fiction books on Amazon if you want to succeed as a self-published author.

Finding Popular Non-Fiction Topics

By viewing which non-fiction ebooks are selling on Amazon currently, you can learn the trends and topics of what is selling now. Once you have a general idea of what you may choose to write about, look further than the obvious and decide if there is a targeted audience that you want to market to.

This is the market research step of creating a non-fiction book that people will buy. As a copywriter and content producer for two decades, I understand that the two things you need to be successful are:

  • A good offer, which includes a good product at the right price
  • The right audience

Doing market research will help you discover both. Having written and self-published my novel, I believe this is completely different from writing fiction which often begins with a story that the author feels needs to be written and shared.

Researching Trends Online

More non-fiction books are sold on Amazon than fiction. People are curious about how to do things–fix a car, build a chair, train a dog: the list is infinite. It is easy to find what is selling by viewing Amazon’s own list of their 100 best-selling non-fiction books. Is there a subject that you already know about?

Click here for helpful information about keywords and SEO.

Finding a Niche

Depending on the topic of your book, if it is too general, you will find a lot of competition when looking for the right keywords. Using Google to search dog training books, the search engine states it found 180 million entries. Now I know there are fewer books than that (some entries may be bookstores with similar inventory), but the point is to limit your book to fewer but more receptive customers.

Examples of targeted books would include Training German Sheppards, Training Guard Dogs, Training Service Dogs, How to Train Your Puppy, Family Dogs–Techniques for Children to Train Canine Companions, Are Your Dogs Too Aggressive? Train Them, etc.

Online marketers have a saying, “When your audience is everybody, it is no one.” Trying to sell to too many people often dilutes your message so that no one feels compelled to buy. Looking at it another way, using the same example, once you learned everything about dog training, you can repackage your book for a new audience: Dog Training for Seniors, Potty Training Your Puppy, Train Your Dog Like a Show Dog, etc.

For any keyword you search, at the bottom of the page is a list of alternative, similar keywords. This is a great way of finding keywords to use in the title of your work that may have less competition than the original listing.

Titling Your Book

By now, you realize that marketing your non-fiction book is no different than marketers drawing searchers to their websites. It is all about SEO or search engine optimization. Using an often-used keyword (especially a multi-word or longtail keyword) in your title will increase how many viewers see your sales page.

Don’t have a sales page? Well, you actually do once you’ve published your book as an Amazon Kindle eBook. Just copy the URL from your Amazon page and paste it into your emails and social media posts. Try different wording with your title using your chosen keywords and write down the search results.

And don’t use a name that is already in use!

Sizing Up the Competition

To sell non-fiction on Amazon successfully, you must find a slot where there is not too much competition. If you followed the advice as to finding good keywords and a decent niche (target market), then next, you need to look at what your book possesses your competitors’ books don’t. A few items to gain a competitive edge are:

  • More attractive cover design
  • Better writing (You can often read the first chapters of Kindle books for free)
  • Better layout and organization of your content
  • Your personal story that makes you the right author to listen to (Ph.d., combat veteran, licensed plumber, black belt, a one-time homeless person now a millionaire, etc.).
  • A current following of like-minded people (email list, social media followers, YouTube subscribers, etc.)
  • Writing style (humor, anecdotes, stories, step-by-step, etc.)
  • Pricing your book to be competitive in the market
  • Page count. Some people want short, to-the-point books; others see longer as having more value. But don’t add too much fluff!

Following these suggestions will not only get more views and more conversions (sales), but as your book rises in popularity, it may hit the status of #1 Best Seller in its category. This title will increase future sales.

When I first studied marketing years ago, we referred to the aspect or combination of aspects as the Unique Selling Proposition or USP.

This list doesn’t include everything, so brainstorm others from your own situation. When you come up with new ones, add them in the comment section below to help other readers and me in the future.

Links to Resources

Learn more about Kindle

Kindle Royalties

Keyword planner shows you what words are most often searched.

https://ads.google.com/home/tools/keyword-planner/

https://tools.wordstream.com/fkt?website=dog+training&cid=&camplink=&campname=

https://www.semrush.com/blog/google-keyword-planner/

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=100+best+selling+non-fiction+ebooks&i=digital-text&crid=IZHMHFIN4KAN&sprefix=100+best+selling+non-fiction+ebooks%2Cdigital-text%2C238&ref=nb_sb_noss

More in-depth information for understanding SEO and keywords

Publisher Rocket is a keyword search tool specifically created to help find viable titles to market books. I am a user of this tool myself but they do not compensate me in any way. They currently offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. The price is a one-time $97 fee. Please look at their website; it is an awesome app.

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