Very few things are as frustrating as spending time, money, and resources to write a book and then having it gather dust on Amazon’s shelves without a single sale. Or, maybe you’re lucky to have it sell a few copies and then drop after some months. Indeed, you’d like to know how best to determine if your book topic is sellable.
It hurts to spend a ton of cash on marketing, consulting friends and promoting your book on various promotion sites, only to have your book still sitting there with no sales, not even a free download.
But does it have to be this way? Of course, not! All it takes is simple research to determine whether your book idea will attract buyers or not. A simple analysis will get you to know whether there’s a market out there for your book, even before you write it.
With this, you’re guaranteed sales right before you begin writing. What’s more, researching and validating your book idea will give it the best chance of being discovered on Amazon and possibly hitting the bestseller category.
Now, at Lead Nicely, we do not use simple techniques like “heading to the store to find out what’s selling and what’s not.” Instead, we adopt tech-based concrete steps that will provide you with every information needed to determine whether your book idea is ok for the Kindle book store or not.
So, in this article, I’ll show you the very process that we use to determine whether a book idea will sell on the Kindle Direct Publishing Book Store or not.
Several steps are involved, so I will summarize them for easy comprehension.
What does it take to determine if your book idea is a good one?
What does it mean to discover a “profitable” book idea?
The truth is, this equation has several contextual pieces, for instance, writing on a topic that you are passionate about or writing on an issue that you have in-depth knowledge on. However, in this article, we will emphasize the marketing aspect and whether or not there is a pre-existing market searching for the book you want to write.
The question you are asking yourself at this time is: how can I publish my book on Amazon and make money?
Celebrity authors like Tony Robbins, Gary Vaynerchuk, or Pat Robertson can sell whatever they write. They’ve got the fame, reach, and the platform, so the only thing they have to do is write a book and show it to their fans…and boom! They’ve hit the bestseller category and raked in millions of dollars in profits.
The sad news is that not all of us can replicate this. Instead, most of us rely on writing a uniquely positioned and discoverable book on Amazon without high competition.
To achieve that, you must have a book idea that meets the following criteria:
- A ready market: A ready market is evidence that people are already searching for your kind of book. They are browsing the internet and actively searching for the subject you consider writing.
- Proof that your book idea is profitable: Here’s the thing: many people type in a ton of stuff into the Amazon search bar – and some of it is stuff that they don’t intend to pay for. Sometimes they may pay for it, but they quickly discover that they can get it for free elsewhere. So, you’ll want to verify if the market is willing to pay for your book idea.
- Low competition: Even if you have a ready market, your book will sink and gather dust on Amazon if there’s high competition. For instance, a book on “Weight loss tips” may have huge market potential, but the bad news is that it will sink in the sea of other books on “Weight loss tips.”
This sounds like a lot, but there’s no need to be discouraged. At Lead Nicely, we have a process, a tool, and a team that will help you collect the above information, create, launch, and maintain highly targeted content that is fully optimized for Amazon’s search engine.
Step-by-step guide on book title research
Our team uses the steps below to determine whether a book will sell or not.
Step 1: Determine if many people are actively searching for your book idea or not
The first thing you need to do is to determine if there is an active search for your kind of book on Amazon. You can do this by typing your potential book title into Amazon. Amazon will autofill responses that people have previously typed into their search bar when you do this. Using this process, you can build a bank of keywords used by Amazon shoppers. You can go a step further by supplementing this list with suggestions from Google. It is not a waste as it can help you discover other book ideas. You can use the Keyword Planner from Google or KWFinder.com. However, the Lead Nicely SEO team can save you the stress by using a special algorithm that:
- Lists all the suggestions indicated above
- Tell you the exact number of people that searched for that phrase on Amazon
- Estimates probably profitable keywords
Step 2: Find out the profitability of your book idea
So, how do you know if your book idea is profitable?
First, type your potential book title into the Amazon Kindle search bar.
Select the books that show up on the first page of Amazon search results, then look out for their Amazon Best Seller Rank (ABSR), Number of reviews, and price. Every book’s ABSR is located in the book’s Product Description section.
Next, you calculate the number of each book sold per day. Finally, place the ABSR number in this free Amazon Best Seller Rank calculator created by Dave Chesson.
Multiply the number of books sold each day by the book’s price and “30.” This will give you an estimate of how much each book earns per month.
Estimated monthly revenue = (Number of books sold daily) x (Price) x 30
You’ll do this for all 14 books displayed on the first page of Amazon’s search results for a specific keyphrase. Then you sum the daily earnings and divide by 14. This will give you the highest average daily royalties for the book.
You should ask yourself if whatever you get from this calculation seems like a good number.
PS: The Lead Nicely SEO team will pull all this data and other vital information and show you the books already ranking for your preferred keyword.
Step 3: How stiff is the competition?
By now, you should have discovered the number of searches for a particular key phrase and whether it has the potential of raking in some dollars or not. Now, the next thing is to determine if the competition for that keyword is on the high side or if you can get your book ranking on the first page of Amazon’s search results.
Here’s how to do it:
First, you record the number of search results appearing for that phrase. To do this, type the word in the Amazon search bar and look for the number of results.
Next, you take the average of the ABSR of each of the top three books.
(ABSRs of book 1 + book 2 + book 3) divided by 3
The third step involves taking the ABSR of the top 14 books, then finding their average
(ABSRs of book 1 + …. + book 14) divided by 14
The last step will involve looking at the book covers, the descriptions, reviews, and other important stuff, and grading the whole book on a scale of 1 – 100. This is the holy grail of quality competition analysis.
With these data, you will be able to compare how competitive your book idea or key phrase is – both quantitatively or qualitatively.
But what are the factors that determine the competitiveness of a book? From our experience, these factors include:
- The number of monthly searches for that book idea
- Optimization of the titles and subtitles
- Quality of the book cover
- Sales copy and book description
- Is the author a celebrity or not?
If you are unable to rate the above, fret not. Lead Nicely can help you with it. We have the time and resources to take most of that information and create a competitive score. Then, we will use our experience and intuition to figure out if it is super easy or highly competitive to you.
Step 4: Repeat the process
Most people don’t strike gold on their first try. So, you have to start all over. Then, you can either narrow down your search, go in an entirely different direction, and consider Amazon’s suggestions.
You see, when you start researching books in your preferred category, it will become evident that you can niche down…this will reduce your competition, and on the other hand, the traffic level as well. But that’s not entirely bad, you know. You’re better off with 40% of 100 than 1% of 1000.
Amazon will assist you with ideas on niching down. As you type your keyword into the search box, you’ll notice that Amazon will generate suggestions. Amazon gives you these suggestions because it has what people have searched for on its website.
So, there’s no time to waste. Begin writing and see the suggestions that Amazon will generate.