3 Big Questions to Developing a Successful & Marketable Book

So, you want to write a book. Great! You may have a perfect plot, pristine cover art, and an attention-grabbing title, but… will it sell? Sometimes, authoring a book is no problem. The real trick is making it sell–especially in the world of eBooks. As I have mentioned before, there are three BIG questions that must be answered to have a successful launch:
  • Are people actively looking for that idea?

  • Are people willing to spend money on a book for your idea?

  • Is your niche or market flooded with the competition?

Let’s break these down and find out exactly what you can do to become a successful author.

Who’s Looking for Your Idea?

Whether you are a fantasy writer or self-help guru, you must first establish your market. This step is monumental in determining if your book will sell. No market means no sales. It’s that simple. Fortunately for you, there is a great trick you can use to learn who are actively searching for your idea.

Do Your Research

This may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised in how many people neglect this. You may be the world’s foremost expert on outer jellybean shellac, but that does not mean you can make a profit off of a book talking about them. How many people out there are into jellybean shellac? And who would want to read a book about them?

  • Google is Your Friend

    • Do a Google Search! A quick search reveals that shellac is made from insect secretions. Kinda gross, huh? But that’s all that comes out of the search. The topic is delegated to some novelty trivia fact. That’s about it. A whole book may seem a bit excessive.

  • Explore Amazon and the Kindle Store

    • Take a look on Amazon and Kindle. How many books are related to your topic? After checking Kindle, you may be happy to see that there are no hits on jellybean shellac. You can write a book and have zero competition, right? Wrong. No hits can actually be a sign that most people are not interested in the idea.

  • KDP Rocket

    • KDP Rocket is a tool that I created to help you determine exactly what is popular on Amazon and what will sell. You can check out KDP Rocket risk-free here. This tool will assist you in making the right decisions when it comes to creating and marketing your eBook on Amazon.

Remember, there are many topics out there that draw interest, but are not suitable for book production. For example, I love smoothies. Who doesn’t? What’s even better is having one delivered straight to your front door. Now, I am always wondering which delivery service is the best for me. There is a wonderful post by fooddeliveryguru.com detailing the pros and cons of different delivery services. This was a great and helpful article. But would a book on smoothie delivery be a bestseller? Or even a seller at all? Probably not.

Will People Spend Money on Your Idea?

This is the million-dollar question. (Pun intended.) Let’s step away from jelly beans, and imagine that your idea is a werewolf romance novel. A quick Google and Amazon search shows that this is a popular topic. But are you going to make any money? Here’s how to calculate an estimated take-home profit.

  1. Search for your idea or phrase–in this case, Werewolf Romance– in the Kindle store.

  2. Write down the Amazon Best Seller Rank (ABSR) for each of the top 14 books.

  3. Plug each ABSR into my free Kindle Sales calculator tool, which will convert ABSR into books sold per day.

  4. Multiply the number of books sold per day by the sales price to get the gross daily revenue.

  5. Multiply the gross figure by 0.7 (if each book is priced between $2.99 and $9.99) or by 0.3 if it’s sold for any other amount. This gives the actual author earnings after Amazon takes their cut.

  6. Add all the daily author earnings figures together and divide by the number of books you’ve calculated for (e.g divide by 14 for the front page).

  7. This will give you an average daily earnings figure.

How to Keep Them Coming Back for More

From the minute your first copy sells, you should think about how you can keep people buying your publication. Of course, quality content sells. But what makes quality content? Other than a gripping plot or pertinent information, proper grammar and publishing are key factors. Do not neglect your grammar! Thankfully, there are many tools out there that authors can use to improve their writing and grammar skills. Let’s take a look at two of them.

  • ProWritingAid

    • ProWritingAid boasts to be your personal writing coach. With its many features, that claim may be justified. For a full in-depth review, check out my blog post here.

  • Grammarly

    • Another great tool is Grammarly. Grammarly is used by writers all over the world to help fine-tune and polish their drafts. Find out why Grammarly is a must-have tool for authors by reading my full review.

Is Your Market Flooded with Competition?

It’s always good to see interest in the topic that you are writing about. However, competition is not far behind. Normally, topics with lots of interest tend to have many publications. If you are a children’s fantasy author, you have oodles of small-time authors to compete with (and writing Mega-Stars such as J.K. Rowling). Statistically speaking, this does not bode well for your profit margin. But by choosing a niche, you can narrow down the competition and raise your chances of success.

For example:

The AFOQT (Air Force Officer Qualifying Test) is a standardized test to help select candidates for commissioning programs. This test is similar to the SAT and ACTs. This means study guides are available. Militaryflighttest.com performed a comprehensive review of available study guides. According to them, there are four guides that you should consider. This could be a golden opportunity for an author to join this niche. The lack of competition could prove profitable as long as a quality publication is written.

The Fourth Consideration–Publishing

We understand that the best part about writing is the actual writing. That’s why it’s important to get these questions answered before you start putting down words. Ideally, you should make some money after spending time on developing something great. This is why publishing and publishing costs are important to consider. With the Digital Age and the rise of platforms such as Amazon, self-publishing became an easy reality. Self-publishing –when done correctly– can save you tons of money in the long run. Use this handy guide to minimize your publishing overhead and maximize your profits.

By answering these questions, you can find out exactly what it takes to be successful even before writing your book. This can help you write with clarity knowing that your hard work and effort will not go unanswered. Take the plunge and start writing today!

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