This post is part one of a three part series on building a niche business by publishing ebooks. I will cover finding your niche to hiring reliable workers through to marketing and launching your book and blowing away your sales goals.
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The purpose of this post is to show you exactly how in 6 months, I built a $2700/month passive income, side business by self-publishing niche books on Amazon Kindle.
Niche-books are nonfiction books that provide solutions to people’s problems, desires, and frustrations.
Here’s some screen shots of recent royalty payments. The first image is a one-month snapshot of my digital sales, and the second image is a 2-month snap shot of my paperback sales (both dated on August 8, 2014).
As you’ll notice, my monthly average is just over $2,700
In this series, I will include email templates, screenshots, and details you need to replicate EXACTLY what I’ve done.
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This is an example of how to make your money work for you, as opposed to you working for your money. That being said, you’ll be required to hire people to work for you.
Take this post as an informative comfort challenge. I’ll teach you how to find the right people and I’ll teach you what to look out for so you don’t get burned hiring the wrong people.
To help you along the way, I’ve split this post into 3 separate sections – this being the first.
These 3 sections will be:
1. Finding a profitable niche
2. Hiring reliable workers to make you a bestseller
3. The book launch formula to kick start your book sales
Let’s dive in to part 1 – Finding a profitable niche.
A Checklist To Passive Income
Publishing books is a very turnkey process.
Once you learn the system, it’s very easy to turn the dial and scale up.
Where most people fail is the attention to detail. It’s very easy to cut corners by penny pinching on your hires. Publishing poor quality content does not work and will not sell. Pay for good workers to do good work that you’d be proud to call your own.
Here’s everything you’ll need to successfully self-publish a book:
- An formatted, and edited niche book
- Placement, keywords, and a book description
- Pictures for the book
- An author to take the credit
- A book cover
- A marketing strategy
What YOU will Need to do
The only things you’ll need to do yourself are choosing a niche to write about, getting reviews for your book, and marketing your book.
For everything else, you’ll need to hire the right people to do the job.
The first thing you’ll need to do is figure out what niche you’re going to pursue.
Finding Your Niche
The reason I love self-publishing is because it’s a cheaper form of real estate. You purchase property that pays you back in monthly dividends until you’ve received your full return on investment. After that, you’re receiving an infinite return forever without having to do anything at all.
The kicker? Picking the right real estate to invest your money into.Choosing the right niche is the most important part of the self-publishing process.
It won’t matter how well the book is written if you get into the wrong niche. You’ll waste your money and you’ll lose your motivation.
Visit the Kindle Bestsellers site and choose a category that interests you. I’ve chosen Cookbooks, Food, and Wine for this example:
Scroll through the books and look for trends in the books that are selling well. I noticed a couple books on grilling recipes, so I dug a bit deeper by checking out categories related to grilling to see how well they were doing, and what people are saying about them.
I checked out Outdoor Cooking, and Special Appliances (for BBQs). Remember to write down which categories you’re going through so you can use them when you’re submitting the book onto Amazon.
What you’ll need to do next is go through the books that have a lot of reviews, and look through the reviews to find out what people are asking for by reading their complaints and criticism.
I recommend reading through the 2-4 star reviews to get a good grasp of what people in that niche are looking for.
This is when you’ll want to take out a notepad and copy over all the juicy info you’re going to use to create your book.
Here’s some stuff I found for grilling books in this bestsellers list:
Notice a trend in what people are saying? It appears that a lot beginner cooks, and beginner grillers are looking to learn the basics. Simple Grilling for Beginners has the potential to be a good, evergreen topic that you can dominate.
Your next step is to further validate your idea to see if it’s worth putting your money into.
Validating a Money-Making Niche
These are the 3 criteria for publishing a successful niche book:
Criteria 1: The target audience has money
If you’re selling to a low-income demographic, you’re going to get low-income results. Target people who have money.
Over 75% of Kindle users are above the age of 35 and close to 60% of these people are women with good jobs, busy lifestyles, and money to spend. Keep this in mind when you’re deciding on who to talk to in your books.
Criteria 2: People are looking for a solution
You already know that people are asking for your niche topic, because you’ve read through their comments and your building your book around the feedback from your target market.
You’re basically giving them exactly what they’re looking for.
Criteria 3: An unsaturated market
There are countless, wide-open, niches on Amazon. There’s no need to do what everybody else is doing.
Why compete with everyone when you can compete with very few people instead? The less competition you have, the more exposure your book will get (if you followed my research steps above), and the more sales you’ll get by becoming the authority in your niche.
Let’s go over how to measure this so you can finalize your decision on a niche and move onto the hiring process to get your book creation in motion.
Can You Make Sales in Your Market?
For this step, you’ll need to put yourself in the shoes of your target market. You’ll have to search through Amazon like your customers would. This way you’ll have a good idea of how easy it will be for people to find your book.
Use Amazon’s search bar to type in different keywords that you think people would use to find your book. The more specific you are, the better.
If Amazon suggests the keyword you’re searching (see below), then you can be sure that it’s a frequently searched term on Amazon.
Also notice that when we searched for the term grilling, 810 books are populated in the search. This means you’ll have to beat out 810 people to rank your book for the term grilling, so it might not be a good idea to create a general grilling book.
Lucky for us in this case, our topic is grilling for beginners, which is the third most searched term according to the suggest tool, so there may still be hope for our niche to be a valid one.
As you can see below, the term grilling for beginners only has 25 results, and after going through these results, I noticed that only one book is a Grilling for Beginners Cookbook.
The book cover looks amateur, and the book only has 1 review, which is a good indication that the books not doing so well and it will be an easy book to take over in this niche.
The book’s bestsellers rank is higher than 150,000 so it’s selling copies, but it’s not selling enough for us to see it as a strong competition.
You can do this same analysis for any keyword that’s relevant for your book. Write down all of these keywords when you find them, as you’ll need them for the submission process I’ll be covering in my final post.
The niche is wide-open, now it’s time to find the right person to write a book on the niche. We’ll get into hiring in my next post.
Until then, I’d like to offer some action steps for you to follow so you’re ready for my next post.
- Decide on 3 niches that look like they have potential for your first niche book.
- Dig deeper by reading through reviews and validating your ideas using the methods above to chose the one best niche out of the three.
- Write down the 2 most specific categories to assign to your book to and 10 keywords that are relevant, and open keywords for your book to rank in.
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