For any writer, finding what to write about is the first and most crucial step in their journey because the idea determines the book’s worth. That’s why a best-selling book isn’t just an idea in writing. It has to be original, value-adding, and most importantly, be able to sell.
Where can one find such an idea? Amazon is an excellent place to start, especially for new writers.
A statistic by WebRetailer ranks Amazon as the number one marketplace with 5.7 billion visitors, followed by eBay with 1.6 billion and then Walmart(456 million). So, if you are looking for ideas for creating the next best-seller, Amazon can give you a lot of insight on which topics are popular with buyers. The categories you choose affect whether your book becomes a best-seller when you publish or not.
Today’s article will show you how Amazon categories can help your success rate as an author and boost your chance of making it to the best-seller list.
How to Pick a Book Category That is Both Profitable and Popular on Amazon
Amazon ranks books based on their popularity among readers. The rank numbers usually indicate the overall performance history of a book. If you are a new writer, you want to consider categories that draw readers. That is, they have more buyers but less competition. With that said, consider the next point as well.
Low Sales Threshold
Highly competitive categories have a large readership. However, this may also mean they have many authors competing for the same market. If you are a new writer, that will prove almost impossible to make this best-seller list. So, go for categories with a low sales threshold- fewer books you have to sell to beat the top dog.
Just like any product, price matters to customers. When starting, you can begin by writing shorter books on a single topic to list on the Kindle version. According to the trend, Amazon Kindle books that fall between the 2.99 to 9.99 dollars range generate the most amount from sales per book.
Look at the number of sales ranks necessary to hit the best-seller list under each category. The sales rank will tell you how many books the top sellers are selling per day. Highly competitive genres will have a higher number to beat and also a high threshold for you.
Marrying Price and Sales
Although pricing and sales affect ranking, a profit-making book doesn’t necessarily have to be one with the most sales. Different genres have different expectations from the readers. That means a genre may sell fewer books but still make more depending on the value derived by readers. Consider this scenario. A book in the romance category goes at 2.99 dollars and sells only 100 copies. And another on project management that sells two copies at 60 dollars. It is, therefore, essential to pick a genre that achieves a perfect balance between the price and the number of sales.
If you are a new writer, meaning you are not a celebrity or have a million followers, then get ready, this post is for you.
How Amazon Selects a Best-selling Book
Every book on the Amazon store is assigned a best-seller rank. It is a number relative to the number one best-seller overall. The ranking depends on the number of copies a book has sold or downloaded over time compared to all other books on the store. Since these sales fluctuate, the position of a book may also fluctuate.
The book shown has an Amazon Best-seller rank of 15,042. A total of 15,041 books are selling more on Amazon than this one. But, it is also a best-seller in other categories. In this case, it is performing better in its specific genres- number one in sports medicine and nutrition and number two in medical nutrition. That’s a win.
Choose a Category that Boosts Your Potential to Be a Best-selling Author
Now that you know this, what must you do? There are two solutions.
Be Intentional in Your Genres
Use the knowledge to write a book in the category that checks off the boxes discussed above. If you want to be successful, it’s no use writing in a niche that will not sell, even if that’s where your interest lies.
List in Appropriate Categories
The second is, list your book in relevant categories but also those with a low sales threshold. In this way, you will be able to make it on the front page of that genre section.
Here is an illustration;
If you pick a category where the number one book has a best-seller rank of 3000, you will need to be number 2,999 to top the list. On the other hand, if you pick a category where the best-seller is number 82,000, you will only need to be at 81,999 to top the list. The logic is simple. The lower the overall Amazon market rank, the higher the number of sales you have to make per day to beat the competition.
Before and after writing your book, take time to browse Amazon categories for insight. After all, this is going to be your number one marketplace for listing. However, don’t stop there. You can drive traffic to your Amazon store using other marketing strategies. I have a comprehensive guide for online marketing that covers the A, B, Cs of outselling your competitors.
If you want more assistance to become an author, I currently have a one-on-one coaching program that helps new writers put their ideas together. Some of the people I am coaching are part of my new book project Thrudemic: Hidden Nurse Pandemic Stories.