This brings us on to the first big question you’ll need to ask when creating your Kindle book: what niche are you going to try and compete in?
This is actually one of the most important decisions you’ll make in the entire process as it will determine the audience for your app, the marketing options available to you, the amount of competition and much more. If you don’t choose your niche carefully, then you’ll end up making a lot more work for yourself when it comes to promotion and in the worst case scenario, you may even limit the size of your potential audience to such an extent that it’s hard to make much money at all.
Let’s take a look at how you can ensure you get this bit right…
Why You Can’t Choose Any Niche
If you have aspirations to be the next JK Rowling, then you might be tempted to make your book a fiction book. This is of course up to you, but you should know going in that you just made your life a lot harder.
You can market your book yourself and we’ll look at how that works later on. But in the meantime, if your main aim is to make money then you want it to be possible for people to find
your book without having heard of it before.
If your book is about gardening, then you can call it Gardening in Winter. There’s now a very small chance that someone might search for that exact phrase – not even knowing that your book exists – and find your title to download!
But on the other hand, if your book is about wizards and it’s called The Majestic Journey of Mr Darkshadow… then people aren’t likely to search for that title unless they happen to know about your book and they’ve read lots of good reviews. There are ways you can get around this, but it’s not going to be as easy to get discovered.
So making your book something that will get searched for is a good idea. And at the same time, if you can set out to solve a very specific problem, then this is something that will really help you to market yourself and sell your book.
This is why non-fiction books tend to work very well and especially those that solve a simple problem that a specific type of person is looking for. Think about the problem you’re going to solve and think about the kephrase that your book is automatically going to lend itself to. Will people search for the title of your book? Will they search for related phrases?
But now you have another question: do you aim for a large audience or a smaller one? Do you create a book that’s going to be a ‘small fish in a big pond’ or do you go where there will be much less competition.
Case in point: you can either create a book about fitness or you can create a book about ‘curling’ (the sport that involves sweeping ice).
The fitness book is going to have a massive potential audience and in theory, this means that you can sell to a much bigger number of people and make a lot more profit. But on the other hand, that fitness book will also have the challenge of needing to stand out in a very crowded market place. In other words: there are going to be hundreds of other ebooks competing with you to make it to the top and your chances of standing out will therefore be quite slim. Things get worse when you consider that some of those publishers are going to be massive corporations with millions of dollars to spend on marketing. You’ll be competing with bestselling authors in the niche like Tim Ferriss and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Pavel Tatsouline.
Call your book ‘Fitness 101’ and you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Conversely, when you create a book on curling, you’re going to find it much easier to stand out. Post to a curling forum that you’ve just released a new book on their favorite topic and this will probably be enough to lead to a number of rapid downloads. People will be excited that there’s no content on their favorite subject because it’s rare that that subject gets tackled. What’s more, you have clear places to go to promote yourself: curling forums and Reddit pages for example. There’s less content here, so posting will get you noticed.
You can probably get coverage in magazines even because the niche is so much smaller and there’s less news to report. Try and get coverage by Men’s Health however and you’ll be competing with thousands and thousands of other emails.
You can pay for Google AdWords in the curling niche and get lots of clicks for a relatively low price (because the cost per click is calculated using a bidding process) and even if you do absolutely no marketing and no optimization, your book will automatically probably be on the first few pages of the Kindle Store when someone searches. Why? Because there are probably only a few pages worth of content!
But that’s not to say that curling is the perfect niche. Of that small audience of people interested in curling, you’re only going to manage to convince a small percentage that they should read your book. As a result, once you saturate that market, you may well end up with no one left to sell to. Another problem with the curling niche is that you’re not going to change anyone’s lives. You might be wondering why that would matter but think of it this way…
The reason that most internet marketers choose niches like ‘make money online’, fitness and dating, is because those niches very genuinely could change someone’s life. Being in better shape and feeling more confident as a result, having less body fat, being more successful with the opposite sex and earning more money – these are all things that are highly motivating. These are universal goals that almost all of us can at least appreciate. And that makes your book much easier to sell.
Better yet, if your book promises to make someone money, then in theory that expense should be an investment. That way, people will happily spend the money because they’re going to be more likely to think they’ll make it back. This in turn means that they don’t see any ‘downside’ of spending the money on your book!
Choose curling and you won’t have this kind of ‘life changing power’ unless your book happens to be aimed at people who plan on making this their career. While people might still be happy to pay $5 for a book on curling on a whim, you won’t be able to charge as much as you could for a book that offered to make them rich and attractive, or that they need to advance their career and fulfil their dreams.
How to Pick the Perfect Niche
The key then is to try and choose a niche that will offer all the benefits of a big category without being so incredibly difficult to stand out and gain traction in. One way you might think about this is to go ‘big but not too big’.
A perfect example of this is to choose an industry or a career, and ideally you want something that you know a bit about.
A perfect example of this comes from someone I once knew who wrote a book on ‘stage lighting’.
Stage lighting is a niche that 99.99% of the population would have absolutely no interest in.
However, that remaining .01% of people would actually benefit greatly from some kind of book to help them further their career. That guy managed to get his book mentioned in an industry magazine and on some websites and quickly it became the ‘number one’ book in that category. The result? He was making hundreds of dollars a month. On top of his regular salary that was a very nice little sum of cash!
Likewise, you might work in a different career that you happen to know a bit about. Or perhaps you can use your internet marketing skills and hone them in on a specific career or subject. For example, how about teaching a counsellor how to set up their own website and promote it online? Or how about doing the exact same thing for personal trainers? For people who want to sell homemade jewellery on Etsy? For people who want a career in photography?
You should of course research the niche that you intend to go into as well. Don’t dive straight in assuming that there won’t be that much competition as this can be a big mistake. Instead, make sure to actually do a few searches and to find out for sure whether or not there are lots of other books there. Likewise, do some research as to the other routes to market you can use to promote yourself.
More Tips for Finding Your Niche
Another tip is to think about the contacts and opportunities that you already have available to you. Almost all of us know people in some kind of important position and almost all of us have got some useful contacts or experience.
In other words, if you happen to have been a number one trader for a big firm – then that gives you a lot of reason to write a book about trading. Not only are you going to have lots of useful information to bring to the subject (writing what you know is always a good idea) but you’re also going to have contacts within your previous organization, with relevant industry magazines etc. that you can use.
Likewise, if you just so happen to be best friends with the editor of Gardening Monthly, then that’s a very good reason to consider making a book about gardening.
Another option is to approach a large niche but to find your own ‘corner’ of that niche and your own way to make it your own.
A great example of this would be to write a book about stretching. This is a ‘fitness’ topic broadly but it’s also a topic that is a lot more specific than that. If someone wants to improve their flexibility, then you stand a better chance of getting noticed.
Or how about a sub-category of fitness? That might mean ‘metcon’ (metabolic conditioning), HIIT (high intensity interval training), the paleo diet (although there’s a lot on this topic) or ‘power building’ (a combined form of bodybuilding and power lifting). You could also look at a particular training appliance (‘Guide to the Chest Press’) for when people buy new machines to use at home.
This is a particularly good option and you can also write ‘guides’ to other products. For instance, what about a guide to using kitchen knives (rather than a generic book on cooking). This way, you could even speak to sellers of popular knife products and see if they might recommend your book to their buyers if you do likewise. In fact, you could even recommend it yourself in a review of their product…
Instead of writing about martial arts in general, how about writing about a specific martial art? Better yet, is if you can land on something that is up and coming. Find a movement that is emerging online and be the first to write about it and your book will be ready for when people get really interested in that subject in their masses.
This once again goes hand in hand with products. For example, how about writing a guide to using the latest iPhone model the moment it comes out? Or how about writing a guide to those hover boards? You can be the first to what is likely to be a big niche in this way and at that point it becomes a little like market speculation!
Or how about choosing a particular audience within a much larger niche. So instead of writing a fitness book aimed at everyone who wants to get fit (i.e. everyone), you could write a fitness book aimed at the elderly, the diabetic or even people who travel a lot. In all these ways, you’re finding unique niches that have a broad, universal appeal but also might be easier to rank for in the search results.