By Alexandria Evensen
As an independent author you must fill two distinct roles—that of the creative, and that of the entrepreneur.
If you’re reading this it’s probably safe to assume you’re not just writing for fun. You’re likely trying to shape a brand, create a passive income, or use your writing skills to promote an online business.
Your writing topics should align with your goals. The steps we outline in this post will show you how to use Amazon data to find topics that a) are enjoyable for you to write about and b) maximize profitability.
Make a list of topics you’re both passionate and knowledgeable about (and be specific!)
Being passionate (or at least strongly interested) in a topic will bring sizzle to your writing. Being an “expert” is what will sell your book. The pendulum may swing more one way than the other, but both aspects are necessary to create a publishable book.
Sit down and brainstorm 5-10 topics that are interesting to you. These shouldn’t be broad categories like “romance” (although you can pick topics related to to a single broad category) but realistic sub-genres. Civil War historical fiction romance, anyone?
We’ll be the first to tell you there’s a niche for everything, but keep profitability in mind. You may have a keen interest in the history of Spam in Detroit, but it’s probably safe there are few people willing to shell out money for a book about it.
2. Look for topics that SELL
Go to Amazon and type in a topic from the list you created in step #1. Make sure you select “Books” from the drop down menu left of the search bar.
Look at the books which have been published in the past 60 to 90 days. In the example below, you can see 51 books about dog breeding were published in the past three months. Not bad! Remember, you’re looking for a topic that sells well, but still has a low enough number of competitors that you can still break into the niche.
Pick a few of the top books in your category and plug the titles into ProfitGuru (an online product search software).
Look in the “estimated profit” column. If your book has at least 100 estimated sales per month, it’s a good choice.
3. Exclude free or cheap titles from your list
Use either Amazon or ProfitGuru filters to remove any books under $5 from your list. If there’s not much left in your search beware! You’ve stumbled across a category that is saturated. These authors aren’t getting traffic so they’re trying to get customers hooked with freebies. There’s only one way to compete with that, and you’re not here to give away your hard work for free.
4. Find opportunities to improve
Look for books with a high amount of reviews (at least 10, but preferably a few hundred) that are rated three stars or below.
This indicates people are searching for/buying books within the genre, but aren’t finding the information they need. For example, take the book on Teacup Yorkie Dog Breeding.
There’s a demand for the book topic but customers weren’t satisfied with their purchase.
This is a great opportunity for you to make sales. The popularity is already there, you just have to fill a knowledge gap.
5. Create your book concept
Now you’ve found a good niche and located opportunities within that niche, it’s time to put pen to paper.
Identify common within the books in your topic. Which themes can be added/removed/improved? What will each of your chapters focus on? Create a rough outline of everything you want the book to touch on. This will help the writing process and keep you on track as you write.
No matter where you are in the world, self-publishing is an authentic opportunity to generate life-changing passive income and branding. Some trends are fickle, but it’s a safe bet to say books are here to stay.
Want even more help finding the right books to sell on Amazon? You can gain FREE sales data and insight on competitor books by checking out ProfitGuru.
Alexandria Evensen is an 7-figure Amazon seller, content marketing guru and tech aficionado who specializes in launching international products. She loves every part of the project management process from idea development to launch.