10 FAQs Every First Time Author Must know

Did you know Cleopatra lived closer to the invention of the iPhone than she did to the building of the Great Pyramid? That’s not the image we have of Cleopatra, do we? – to us, she is associated with slaves building the Egyptian pyramids.

Misconceptions are dangerous things. We too can have wrong thoughts and ideas regarding being first-time authors and concerning getting published. God made us unique and creative after his image. The old adage, “Everyone has at least one good book in them” makes us new authors feel like we are insignificant – just one in six billion.

Our culture tends to define success in some very obvious ways. You are a success if your book becomes a bestseller or wins an award. However, perhaps a better definition of success is simply doing what you were made to do and using your gift with diligence to make a difference in the world through your writing.

Here are 10 FAQs that will help you tread the way:

Q1: How many books will I sell during my online book launch?

First of all, let’s define “the launch” as a 24-48 hour period of time in which we will be driving traffic to buy your book. It depends upon so many factors that we can only, at best, give a very broad figure. The average self-published author tends to sell between 300 and 500 books during a launch. Those with major publishers might sell twice that amount, not necessarily because the publisher helps with your promotion, but more because people recognise the “brand identity” of the publisher and are more willing to take a chance on the title. And of course, if you are not a first-time author you will probably sell more books if people know your name already. The key to selling more books is to devote a fair amount of time well before your launch to cultivate and grow your audience.

Q2: How do I become an Amazon bestseller?

If your book sales are amongst the Top 100 in any category on Amazon, you are technically a “bestseller.” You don’t have to be in the Top 100 of all books. There are dozens of categories and sub-categories on Amazon, and if you achieve a sales ranking in the Top 100 in any of these, you can say you are a bestseller. Of course, it is always nice to hit the “Top 20” or the “Top 5” or (best of all) the #1 sales rank in one or more categories.

Q3: How many books do I need to sell to be an Amazon bestseller?

This is not a question one can answer definitively because being an “Amazon bestseller” is a relative title, and it depends upon 1) how well other books in your categories are selling on your launch day and 2) how competitive your categories are. Some categories like “Religion and Spirituality” or “Business and Investing” are extremely competitive with thousands of titles up against many famous authors for the top position on the list. Other categories, such as “channelling” or “alternative medicine” are less competitive.

Q4: How can I choose the category I will be in on Amazon?

The common answer is: “You can’t.
If you are unsure of what categories to choose, your best bet to get your book in the RIGHT category is to do some market research to find out which categories other titles appear that you feel are the closest in content or message to your own book. Don’t go for a “top-level” category like “Business and Finance” or others. Go for a sub or even sub-sub category. Get it as precise as possible. That will not only help you increase your likelihood of reaching the top of the ranks as it will be less competitive but it will also increase the likelihood of people who are looking for your book will find it because Amazon’s system will group it together with similar books.

Q5: Why don’t I see my book listed in a category on my Amazon listing?

You won’t see your book listed in a category unless it is in the Top 100 of that category. Until that time, all you will see is its overall sales rank, which changes every hour.

Q6: How can I find out in which categories Amazon will place my book?

It’s not always 100% reliable, but the best way to “guess” which categories you will appear is to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the screen until you see the words, “Look for Similar Items by Category.” There you will see several suggested categories that are likely to be where your book will be placed when ranked.

Q7: How can I track my rankings?

So far, Amazon does not have any legacy tracking system for rankings, which means you basically have to watch the rankings yourself like a hawk during the launch, as they change every hour.

Q8: How can I track my actual sales?

Tracking sales is another matter altogether. Of course, the most reliable method is when you receive your royalty report and payment from your publisher or printer. However, these can come to you months after your launch. There are two ways that can give you a ball-park figure for your sales during a launch. Once is to use your Amazon Associates link on your purchase page, in which case you will see the sales appear within a few days in your Associates account. Another is to use an online tracker such as Novel Rank at http://novelrank.com, which can show sales on a daily and monthly basis.

Q9: How much money will I make on book sales during my launch?

This depends completely upon:

  1. How many books you sell
  2. The retail price of your book
  3. The cost of printing your book
  4. What your royalty arrangement is with your publisher (if you have one)
  5. Whether or not you use your Associates account for sales.

Q10: What’s the real benefit of doing an Amazon bestseller launch?

  1. It builds your online platform significantly, which ultimately leads to more business for you
  2. It establishes long-term relationships with dozens of networking partners
  3. It raises your credibility as a professional, which has an impact on your income
  4. It establishes you as a leading expert in your field, making you a sought-after media guest and keynote speaker
  5. It just plain feels great to say you’re a bestselling (especially a #1 selling), author

 

Hope this blog helped you clear your thoughts on publishing your first book.

There’s an old Chinese proverb that goes something like this: “Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.” May you continue to grow as a writer and be bold enough to embrace the journey.

Keep moving. Keep growing. Keep writing!

 

Should you hire a book coach and how do they help ft. Azul Terronez

Before we start contemplating on the topic let us first clear the air on what a book coach really is. In fact the job descriptions of a book coach, writing coach and editor are different yet analogous.

Let’s have a look, shall we?

Writing Coach

A writing coach will assist you in the actual writing of your book. These folks may have you write a certain number of words, chapters, etc. and then will review what you’ve written. Depending on what you’ve accomplished, they may tell you to move on or do a rewrite to make it right.

Writing coaches can be hired by authors for the entire book development project from initial idea to final manuscript draft. Or, if authors are having difficulty with various passages or some writing technique, they can hire a writing coach to help get clarity, build skill, and get encouragement.

Book Coach

Book coaching is a much more fuzzy service. Some book coaches are actually writing coaches. Others strictly help authors with non-writing book publishing tasks such as production, design, and marketing. Some handle both the writing and non-writing sides of the equation! So it’s important for you to determine what expertise you need and confirm that a book coach you’re considering can deliver.

Non-writing book coaches function more like business coaches, treating your work as a marketable commodity. Your book manuscript must be complete by the time you start working with them. Their input can be especially helpful as you go through the editing process. Expect to get some “tough love” from them if they think your work could struggle with sales. Informing your editors of your book coach’s concerns can help them suggest appropriate edits to make it market ready

Book Editor

When you start working with editors, your book manuscript must be in a complete state. While editors may suggest substantial edits to improve the work, they will not help you with the actual writing. Their mission is to provide you with objective analysis of your entire book and evaluate whether it meets language standards for your intended audience. An editor can further break it down to various types of edits

  • A book critique is an overall evaluation of a manuscript for a number of aspects which could include organization, structure, mechanics, writing style, etc. It is merely a professional opinion of the manuscript’s readiness for publishing.
  • Beta reading. Similar to critiques, a beta reading provides an overall impression of the manuscript. However, the perspective is from the viewpoint of a potential reader.
  • Sometimes referred to a line editing, a full scale edit will evaluate a manuscript in detail and make page-by-page recommendations and changes. This is the most detailed evaluation of the content and message of the work.
  • Sometimes referred to as copy editing, proofreading is the final stage of review prior to publishing and production. It evaluates the mechanics of the manuscript to include spelling, word use, grammar, punctuation, etc.

Moving on…

Azul Terronez – a teacher at heart who loves to share what he has learned with others breaks it down for us as to what it is to hire a book coach and how do they help. He has also coached season writers like Pat Flynn, of Smart Passive Income and Dana Malstaff, of Boss-Mom.com find their book idea and execute it well.


Why hire a book writing coach? Maybe you’re ready to finally write your book and you need help developing your book concept and structure. Or you have no idea where on earth to start and you figure a book writing coach can guide you on those very first steps.

Perhaps you want help with the publishing decision: “Do I self publish or do I have a chance at a traditional book deal?” Your book writing coach can help you weigh the pros and cons of each type of publishing, particularly for the book you want to write.

And a book coach can help you understand what it would take for you to attract a book deal and whether your book is a likely candidate.

Benefits of hiring a Book Coach

  • Get clear about your goals.
  • Assess your progress and make any necessary changes to your plan.
  • Organize and develop your book or book proposal.
  • Improve and polish your writing—and can edit your work and teach you to be a better writer.
  • Expand your author platform.
  • Develop a powerful and effective promotion plan for your book.
  • Get past baggage that’s getting in the way of success
  • Overcome creative blocks
  • Prioritize projects
  • Manage your time effectively and find the time to write and get published
  • Make the process easier, more fun and more effective

As you prepare to hire a coach, ask yourself these questions:

What is giving you the most satisfaction in your book writing process and your writing life? It’s always a good idea to know why, exactly, you love this work. What is giving you the most frustration in your book writing process and your writing life? Consider all the books you have read and courses you have taken. What was effective about those activities? What was inspiring? And what left you feeling more confused? Know what works for you.

Once you have a clear idea what you want, you will be in a much better position to find a coach who can give it to you.

Happy writing!

How can authors build their email list to market their book?

Meera Kothand is an email marketing strategist and Amazon bestselling Author.

She simplifies email marketing for you so that you can create a tribe that’s addicted to your zone of expertise. Her goal is to rid you of email phobia one post and email at a time. Her mission is to help you create a tribe of subscribers who send you emails that go: I’m so thankful I found you!

Here we have Meera Kothand breaking it down for you the knack of building your email list.

Scroll on to read.

As authors have flocked to the internet and social media to meet readers, get market insight, create communities of interest and, perhaps, build a robust web asset of their own, many have run into a problem.

How will all this activity translate into the income necessary to keep writing and marketing your books?

After all, most of us aren’t involved in social media, blogging, or other online activities just to change the world, to tell as many people as possible our stories, or to improve people’s lives.

These are all noble aims, and many of us hope to accomplish some of them, but there’s that one inconvenient truth: we all need to make a living somehow.

And it’s true that there’s a “missing link” in the fan-finding, Facebook-liking, blog posting process that so many authors are filling up their time with.

Your email list.

“If there’s one thing all professional platform-builders agree on, it’s the importance of building your list.”

A Sad Truth About Author Websites

Sadly, if you surf the web looking at author websites, you’ll find that many of them lack this essential function:

They have no sign up for people to add their names to an email list.

Many of these blogs offer an opportunity to sign up for the blog articles, but all that will do in most cases is add you to a subscriber list that will be sent each blog post as it’s published.

That’s not the same thing as your own email list (although some email providers combine the two functions).

On other sites you’ll see an “opt in” box where you can enter your email address and perhaps your first and/or last name, too. In exchange, you’ll be offered a free download, or a free newsletter, or perhaps a free short course in a subject that’s related to what the author is writing about on the blog.

This opt-in box is the sign that the blogger is actively building an email list.

You might be wondering about why this is so important. And it is important. In fact, it the most important element of any author’s site, if the author intends to make their writing and publishing into a sustainable business.

What Social Media is For

You might think you don’t need an email list, and I’m not suggesting it’s a good idea for every single author. For instance, if you want to become a novelist but haven’t published anything yet, it might be challenging to build a list particularly if you’re not sure yet what kind of books you want to write.

But for the vast majority of authors—published, self-published, or soon-to-be-published—an email list is the perfect complement to your other marketing activities.

Since most of those activities are likely taking place in social media, perhaps we should look at what all those connections are really good for.

Social media is for:

  • finding communities of readers
  • engaging with readers and other writers
  • determining how much interest exists for your topic
  • building a community of fans who will support your work
  • keeping up with current developments in your field
  • building “buzz” when you’re launching your book

And lots of other things, too. But notice that selling books or other related products and services isn’t really one of the best uses of social media.

No, it’s really more about being “social,” whatever that means to you.

To me that means meeting people who share my interests, finding out about new products and services, hearing about mass media events, and keeping track of breaking news.

“Building a targeted and invested email list of subscribers is hands down one of THE most important things you can do to ensure the long term growth of your writing career.”

The Importance of the Network

We already know that the means by which we attract people to our site is the quality, appeal, and utility of our content. Without great content, nothing else matters very much.

With a linking strategy and some idea of how to market our site, we reach out to other people who share our interests.

Once people find out about your content, you have the opportunity to take your relationship to a higher level of engagement.

When a reader signs up for your email list to download a free report, ebook, or some other piece of content, they are telling you two things.

  1. That they are part of your market, otherwise they wouldn’t be interested in your free offer.
  2. They have given you permission to talk to them about that subject in their email inbox.

Unlike social media, you can have a longer conversation by communicating through email. In social media, most interactions happen in public, and that’s part of their appeal.

But in email, you are really talking to one person at a time, since each person opens their email in the privacy of their inbox.

(This is also the secret to writing effective email that people will act on—even though you may have hundreds of people on your email list, try to write your email as if you are sitting across the table with an interested friend at a coffee shop, telling them about something exciting to both of you.)

This leads to the ability to create a longer narrative about the kinds of books you write, or about products and services related to your subject area.

These kinds of messages are much more suitable to making an offer to your list. People on your email list know you better than casual readers, they have already established a relationship where they want to hear more from you, so they are open to your communications.

Through regular communication with your email list, you can build your credibility, establish your authority in your field, and make offers to your readers that reflect your shared interests.

It’s this last option—making offers to your readers—that creates the opportunity for you to finally find a way to turn all the hard work you’ve done into financial support.

And as long as you maintain the respect and integrity that caused people to want to know and interact with you in the first place, readers will continue to value these offers.

Your offers don’t need to be books, either. Perhaps you’ve created a training program based on your expertise, or decided to take a group of writers to an exotic location to work on your books together.

Your email list is where you will make these offers to your readers, and where you’ll be able to fully explain them.

For more complicated products or services, your email may be a vehicle that convinces people to take a look at a sales page, where the item is described more richly than it can be in an email message.

Sustainable Business is Built on Repeated Engagement

With your email list full of people anxious to hear your stories or learn from your expertise, you have the beginning of a sustainable business.

Over time these people will get to know you better and better, and a percentage of them will become some of your best and most devoted fans.

They will help spread the word about your new books, let you know about opportunities you might have missed, and be open to offers you make them in the future.

This network of engaged and interested readers is the base upon which you can build a truly effective, long-term business as an author, a speaker, a subject-matter expert.

So start building that email list today, it’s never too soon to start.

How to prepare yourself mentally before starting a book ft. Ajit Nawalkha

“I don’t have the time.”
“I can’t motivate myself to write every day.”
“I’m not inspired to write anything today.”

Or how about:

“I’m great at starting a book … it’s the finishing that’s the problem.”
“How do I know finishing the book’s even worth it?”
“I keep getting new writing ideas I’m more excited to work on than the last one.”

I’m sure you’ve been there. Procrastinating on writing because emails have to be answered, or clients need your attention. Trying different writing disciplines (like writing in the morning/late at night, or for 30 minutes a day) and sticking to none of them.

Or worse, opening, closing, and reopening writing projects you’ve started and never actually finishing them.

What if you set yourself an audacious book-writing goal… and accomplished it?

Ajit Nawalkha is CEO of Evercoach, author of the Multiplier Method, co-founder and creator of Blinkwebinars, a webinar automation company. He also trains and mentors entrepreneurs and coaches to create an exceptionally successful business and life in his mastermind called Zentrepreneur. He shares his strategy to complete your book in the least possible time.

Here are 8 ways that will help you evolve as a person and author in terms of planning-

1. Choose Your Topic

The first thing you want to do as you prepare for a shortest time nonfiction book-writing challenge is choose a topic for your project carefully. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it really isn’t. Remember, you must finish your book in 30 days or less. (Now this is not a contest. No one counts your words to see if you won, and you don’t submit anything at the end to prove you finished your project. It’s a personal challenge. Still…you know if you succeed or fail.) Therefore, you don’t want to choose a subject that requires 150,000 words. That would mean you need to complete 5,000 words per day. That’s a tall order to fill for any writer, especially if he or she has a day job.

It’s better to select a topic you can cover in 50,000 words or less. You can write 1,667 words per day over the course of 30 days. If that still feels like a lot, then opt to write a guide, tip book or booklet. Many e-books sold on Amazon today have only 5,000 to 20,000 words.

Who knows…you might end up with a longer book by month’s end. But don’t start with an unattainable goal. Begin with a topic that lends itself to a word-count that feels doable to you. That gives you a higher chance of success.

2. Create a Content Plan

While you can write a nonfiction book by the seat of your pants, it’s best to have a plan. (Yes, the seatsers vs. planners debate pertains to nonfiction as well as to fiction.) That plan helps you know where you are going so you write in a straight line rather than taking many detours. As you know, the need to make a lot of u-turns takes up a lot of time. When it comes to writing, that means cutting, rewriting and revising. You don’t want to do that if you are going to finish a good first draft or a final draft in a month.

Create an outline or a table of contents for you book. start by brainstorming a topic and then taking all the different topics and organizing them into a book structure. Use a mind map. This ends up looking like a table of contents—actually a rather detailed table of contents with chapter titles and subheading titles. You might prefer to just create a simple outline or a bulleted list.

Whatever your method of choice, create something that looks like the structure of a book—a table of contents. And know what content will fill that structure as you create your manuscript. That’s your map.

Then, when you sit down to write each day, you know exactly what to write. In fact, the more detailed you make this plan, the more quickly and easily you will write your book. You will spend little time staring at your computer screen wondering what to write or what comes next. You will know. It will be right there in your writing plan. You’ll just follow the map—your tale of contents—to your destination.

3. Determine What Research You Need

You might think you can write your book “off the top of your head” because you are the expert on the topic. Inevitably, though, you will discover a need to search for something—a URL, a quote, the title of a book. These things can slow down your process. This is where preparation can help keep your fingers on the keyboard typing rather than perusing the Internet.

For each item in your plan—or your detailed table of contents, brainstorm the possible research you need and make note of it.

As you write, if you discover you need more research or interviews, don’t stop writing. Instead, create create gaps in your manuscript. Later, do the required research, and fill in the gaps.

4. Create a To-Do List

Look over your content plan. Take all the research items you listed and put them on a to-do list.
Make a list of URLs, books and articles to find. Look for anything you need to do. For instance, does your research require that you visit a certain location? If so, put “Visit XX” on the to do list.

Don’t forget to put interviews on this list. You want to conduct your interviews now, not when u start writing the book, if at all possible.

5. Gather and Organize Your Materials

Gather as much of your research and other necessary material as you can prior to the end of October. Purchase the books, copy the articles into Evernote.com, copy and past the URLs into a Word doc, or drag them into an online folder. Get your interviews transcribed as well—and read through them with a highlighter, marking the quotes you think you want to use.

If you are writing memoir, you might want to gather photos, journals and other memorabilia. If you are repurposing blog posts, or reusing any other previously published or written material, you want to put all of this in one place—an online folder or a Word file.

Generally, get as much of what you need to write your book in an easily accessible format and location so you aren’t searching for it when you should be writing. Use piles, boxes, hanging folders, computer folders, cloud storage…whatever works best for you.

6. Determine How Much Time You Need

Each nonfiction book is different and requires a different amount of time to write. A research based book takes longer to write, for example, because you have to study, evaluate and determine your opinion of the studies. You have to read the interviews you conducted, choose appropriate quotes and then work those quotes into your manuscript.

If, on the other hand, you write from your own experiences, this take less time. With the exception of drawing on anecdotes, an occasional quote or bit of information from a book, the material all comes from your head. You need only sit down and write about a process you created, your own life story or your area of expertise.

You might normally write 750 words per hour, but the type of book you’ve chosen to write could slow you down to just 500 per hour. Or you might speed up to 1,000 words per hour. Determine how long it will take you on average to compose the number of words you must compete per day to meet your final word-count goal. Then, figure out how many hours per week you need to set aside during the process of actually writing the book to finish your manuscript. Allow more hours than you think necessary for “unforeseen circumstances,” slow days and a general need for extra time to complete the project the last leg of your marathon.

7. Create a Writing Schedule

Last, create a writing schedule. You now know how much time you need to write your book. Now find those hours in your calendar and block them off.

Make those hours sacred. Nothing other than an emergency should take you away from writing your book during those scheduled writing blocks.

You’ve heard the advice that goes with this:

Find a quite place to write.
Limit distractions.
Get an accountability partner.
Keep your appointments with yourself.

8. Put a Back-Up System in Place

Yes…, because you just never know what happens. Your computer crashes or dies. You accidentally delete your whole manuscript. Your child dumps milk all over your keyboard.

You want a back up of your magnum opus project. Always save it to your computer’s drive and onto a thumb drive or, better yet, into the cloud, for safe keeping! Make these plans in advance as well. You can use Evernote.com, Dropbox.com or Google Drive, for example.

The other thing you need to has little to do with planning. During your least time possible nonfiction writing challenge, you must posses an attitude that supports meeting your goal. You must:

In conclusion, the only thing that matters during that period is your book and nothing else.

Be willing to do what it takes
Remain optimistic about meeting your goal.
Stay objective about your work.
Be tenacious and not let anything get in the way of finishing your project.
Those four qualities—Willingness, Optimism, Objectivity and Tenacity—constitute an Author Attitude. With that you will finish your nonfiction book in a month with no problem.

How to promote a book about self-help – Nail the category first!

As an indie writer with helpful tips and positive stories about life with its ups and downs, you naturally want to reach as many people as possible. Unfortunately, this simple wish can be hard to fulfill if you are competing with the “Rowlings” of the self-help category for the launch of your first book…or the second.

Understand that if a book does not make it to the front page of a best seller list in a given category, it will not likely be discovered by readers. It is like being on the fourth page of Google results. Nobody every goes to the fourth page…

Your  goal as a writer/marketer is to fight tooth and nail to position your book on this holy first page best seller list. Which means your book should -neigh- must achieve a rank lower than 50 in every category it is listed on. The math is very straightforward, more exposition equals more chances to sell.

Of course promotion tools are abundant, from social media ads to content marketing, but if your book is listed in a strongly competitive category, the promotion’s effect will be dampened at best. At worst, they will be totally ineffective to push you to the best seller list. Think about it this way: photons travel at the speed of light, yet it takes them hundreds of thousands of years to escape the sun’s bubbling bowl of hydrogen and helium, why? Too many damn atoms in the way. Same principle holds true for Kindle.

Hence the importance of choosing the category that exhibits the best features to allow your book a quiet and peaceful sail towards the top!

Let’s get started shall we ?

Amazon has around 42 unique sub categories related to “Self-help”. Most of these are listed under the main “Books -> Self-help” category, but some are buried deep within categories like Law or Humour.

Before we delve into statistics and numbers, please know that all the information presented here is but an image frozen in time. The exact numbers evolve hourly but the trend and the big pictures remain pretty much the same. You can replicate the analytical using up to date metrics found on the specialized search engine www.kindleranker.com.

What is the least competitive category in Self-help?

Given that books with a rank higher than 50 do not make it to the front page of a best seller list, we can start by looking at the number of sales required to score the 50th rank in each category related to self-help. The higher that number, the more competitive the category. Very straightforward:

Yes you are reading those numbers correctly. You would need around 900 sales a day to barely make it to the main “Self-help” best seller list. The “Success” sub category is just as challenging with its 190 sales/day threshold.

If you are the kind of writer that can achieve such a feat, good on you! Jump to the next chapter to explore more interesting metrics. If like me, your brain goes haywire looking at these sales numbers, then worry not, we just need to scroll past these dizzying numbers until we find something more up our beat:

Much better right? Selling at least 3 books a day on average is well within the means of every writer that puts out quality content and follows through with proper advertising, relevant keywords in the title and description, content marketing, etc.

Possible subcategories candidates therefore include :

As you’re probably starting to realize, in order to take advantage of these lower thresholds, you may find yourself confined to a few narrow sub-categories.  You should therefore try your best to find a match that makes sense to your readers. Listing your book about relationships in the “Suicide” category will hardly win you any fans, so please be thoughtful and do not base your decision solely on the sales threshold.

On the other hand, if you are researching your next gig and can cover a wide variety of subjects with diligence and expertise, then this kind of insight is precious as it can help you focus on the most promising categories.

All in all, this first list of 15-20 accessible categories set us on the right path, but we do not have the full story covered yet.

Another key variable to consider: readers’ interest!

Great, now we have a pretty solid idea of the sub categories to target. However, our ranking system is pretty basic. Too basic actually, as it does not take into account an important factor: reader’s interest.

No writer really cares about being the best seller of a category coveted by 12 potential readers north of Alaska (nothing against Alaska, just trying to make a point). So we need to take into account each category’s popularity and adjust our ranking system.

It can be a bit challenging however to measure such an elusive indicator as reader’s interest. How do you quantify such a metric?

One way we approach it at Kindle Ranker is to calculate the median royalties generated by books that sit for 30 days straight in the top 20.

Below is the previous list with the added median monthly revenue:

You can see for instance that the “Art therapy & Relaxation” category, while having the same threshold as “Dating”, promises thee times more revenue. So as an indie writer, it makes perfect sense to favor this former category over the later one.

The median price is interesting as it helps you choose the right pricing strategy for your book. Should you lower your price and thus sell more books, or increase the price but maybe sell less copies.

In “memory improvement” for instance, you can hover between $7 and $9  without shocking any readers. Of course you should use these numbers as guidelines. If you can justify a higher price (maybe you include CDs, course material, etc.) then by all means, follow through.

Below is an image of the upper ranks of the self-help sub categories to make you dream for a little while:

Again we follow the same logic. Why bother listing a book in the main “Self-help” category with its staggering threshold, if we can achieve the same results in the “Personal Transformation” category 8 times more easily. Think of the advertising budget you get to save..

I feel like I should insist, lest I be attacked in comments, that the median revenue is just what it is…a median! Some authors/publishers will make less, others will make more. Moreover, it only applies for books that remain in the top 20 for a whole month. While it may be the case on some rare occasions, most of the time books hop from one position to another almost hourly, making it difficult to hit these numbers. So take it for what it really is: an indicator of reader’s interest, no more.

What about the competition in self-help categories?

Using the metrics we just detailed before I believe we now have a solid grip on which category best suits our needs.

One could wonder though…how many indie writers are successful in self-help categories after all? Are the odds stacked up against you or are you following the right path?

Let’s have a look :

The sub category with the most successful indie writers is “Neuro-Linguistic Programming”, where around a quarter of the books on the top 20 are self published. This is pretty decent, but as you can see, there is really little interest by readers (barely $600 revenue per month) .

What’s interesting is that more than three quarters of the “self-help” categories do not feature any indie book in their top 20 best sellers (as I am writing this article). This is pretty odd since this category is very popular amongst indie writers. Then again these lists evolve pretty rapidly, so maybe you will be the one reversing these odds.

Now what?

Pick a category of course! Except that now you know better than scrolling through the KDP menu looking for keywords you recognize. Hopefully you will follow the same analysis conducted in this article to evaluate which categories best suit your needs and are likely to push your book to the top!

All the data presented above is available at Kindle Ranker should you want to replicate the results or search for your own niche.

Cheers,


About the Author

Alex from KR,
I started Kindle Ranker as a free service to help indie writers find the least competitive kindle categories in order to boost their earnings.

Today, Kindle Ranker tracks 10,000 book categories and move than 200,000 Amazon best sellers.

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We often ask our clients why they want to be an author. Most of the answers we get would be to gain authority, positioning themselves as leading experts in their industry. They hope to use their published books as calling cards to attract new customers in availing the services they offer. The question now lies on how they will convert their readers and followers into customers.

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P.S. If you would like to discuss your book publishing with us, go to askjyotsna.com and click on ‘Get Started.’

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