One nagging question all authors wrestle with eventually is, “am I writing something that will actually sell?”
That’s a hard question because in reality we can only write what we can write. Then we have to let it go and see if it will sell. There are a few tricks that make your book more “sellable” but even if you know all of the tricks there is no guarantee.
I heard a sad story recently about an author whose books got lost in the warehouse system of the bookstore and so they weren’t at the stores during her launch. Which meant it was impossible to sell them while people were paying attention. Which meant, no matter how great the book was or how many tricks she knew, her zero sales at launch record was a big black X over her getting another contract.
There’s just no guarantee.
But data on what sells is available, if you are willing to do a little research. Here’s what I suggested to another writer a few months ago:
The best genre to break into, if you feel comfortable writing in many different genre’s, is the one where an independent author can make a good living.
The best way to find it is to do some research.
Go to the kindle page and find the link to the best sellers list. Look at the top 100. Those books sell thousands a day. Getting to that spot is a bit of genius+marketing+good luck.
You can narrow the book down by genre on the same sidebar list that you found the best sellers link on. So do that by clicking the genres.
Scroll as many pages as you can, giving yourself a long time to research. I’d say that the genres that sells the best (for us) are the ones that have a full 100 books or more in the top 1500 overall. Being ranked at 1500 or higher means you are selling huge numbers of books. A year ago you could rank there by selling 40 books a day but I think it’s something more like 70 n(or higher!) now…Keep in mind as well that the genres where the top 100 are dominated by 99 cent ebooks won’t be the easiest ones to make a living in, unless you can write and produce new books pretty fast. : )
Now, keep looking at genres. What you want to see is the genre that has the most self-published books ranking in the 4000′s or above…so you will have to look at more pages than just that top 100 list. I’ve found that once your rank hits lower than 4000 your sales are not as steady. (Correct me if I am wrong though!) but at 4800, you might go a week or two with great sales and then dip the next week into the 9, 10, or 20,000th spots. You can make a solid income with 4 or more books for sale that rank in the 4000′s. You can make a HOT income with six or more books ranked there.
You can tell a book is self published by looking at the publisher name. If it says amazon or is a name you’ve never heard of it’s an author or a micro-press or an author hoping to become a micro-press. All good things.
The most popular ebooks are the ones with the most books ranks 1500 or higher and the best genre to self publish in are the genres with the most books by indy writers ranking with sales ranks of 4000 or higher.
Hope that helps!