Looking for ebook writing tips? The most common question I receive is: “how do I know my ebook will sell?”
The short answer: write what’s selling, if you can. In traditional publishing, nimble mid-list authors hopped onto the latest trend. However, two years later, by the time their book was published, the trend might be over.
Today, everything is transparent. You can see what’s selling NOW, in both fiction, and nonfiction. You can either write in the fiction genres or nonfiction categories which are currently hot sellers, or you can look for new trends, which are underserved by the ebooks currently available.
Ebook writing to sell: know what’s selling, and WRITE
With some four million ebooks on the Kindle Store, readers have lots of ebooks from which to choose. That said, readers are still underserved. One of the major annoyances of voracious readers is that they can’t find ebooks they want to read.
Amazon wants more content too. We looked at Amazon’s current contest to get more authors into KDP Select. I wondered why this was The Kindle UK Storyteller Award — why not Amazon US? Finally, I realize that it was a copyright issue. For Amazon UK, UK and British Commonwealth copyright issues must be a limiting challenge for KDP Select, so they created the contest.
If you’re not selling as many ebooks as you’d like, lets look at three tips to help you to write what sells.
1. Research the Amazon Top 100: what’s selling?
In ebook publishing, if you spot a hot trend, you can jump on it quickly, and ride the trend to success, as long as you write a good book. For example, “New Adult” books have been hot for years, as has vampire fiction.
Go to the Kindle book store, and check out the Amazon Top 100 in nonfiction categories, and in fiction genres, if you’re looking for inspiration.
Amazon has an Indie Bestsellers list too, as you can see in the image above.
If you’ve already written your ebook, do a search on the Kindle book store, to see how similar books are selling. You can judge roughly how well an ebook is doing by its sales rank.
2. Focus on one problem (nonfiction), or write short stories.
More words aren’t necessarily better, when you’re writing an ebook. Niche your topic right down. In nonfiction, think: one problem, one solution. If your ebook’s 5,000 words, that’s fine.
In fiction, you don’t need to spend months writing a novel. (Although you can if you like.) If you’re just starting out writing fiction, write ten short stories, and post them on Amazon. Your stories may sell, or they may not. Here’s a hint – write in series. Think in terms of giving your reader an experience.
3. Write in series, always.
Whether you’re writing nonfiction, or fiction, think in terms of series of ebooks.
For example, if you’re writing an ebook about travel, write five travel ebooks. Each of your books sells the others. Don’t despair if your first couple of ebooks don’t sell.
In fiction, if you’re a short story, consider writing more short stories which are linked in some way, or which have a specific theme.
Once you’ve written a series, make the first ebook in the series permanently free. This introduces readers to your series, and the may buy the other books if they like the way you write.
Use these three ebook writing tips. There’s never been a greater opportunity for writers than ebooks. You’re in charge. Write – and sell.
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