If you’re about to write a book, and you want a book idea that sells, there are three things you absolutely must check before you spend a minute writing your book.
Once you have your book idea, and before you begin writing, you need to check that there’s:
- People looking for your book idea
- People willing to pay for your book idea
- Competition you can beat
There are two ways to complete each of the following steps: an easy, low-cost way and a time-consuming, free way. I’ll explain both. No matter which method you choose, just choose one of them so you can embark on your book writing journey with confidence.
1. Are there people looking for your book idea?
Before you spend weeks, months, or years laboring to create your book, smart authors validate that there are people searching for your book idea on the internet first.
The free method is to type in www.KWFinder.com and use their free tool that currently allows you 3 searches per day, and type in your book idea. One piece of information this site gives you is the average times per month people type and search for your term. The higher the number, the more people actively are looking for the information you’re thinking of writing about.
This tool does not tell you how many people are searching for your idea on Amazon, however, which can make your results a little dicey. Sometimes people are just looking to learn free or quick information, and not actually looking to read an entire book.
When people search for a topic on Amazon, however, they are there to buy something. That’s why doing this research using a software that specifically gives you Amazon data is the best option.
Enter KDP Rocket. When you search for a book idea using KDP Rocket, it gives you the estimated number of times people search for your idea on Google and on Amazon each month. And there’s no limit to how many ideas you can search per day.
Here’s the results for my fictitious book idea about ‘habits’:
Once you’ve verified people are searching for your book idea, the next step is to make sure they’re willing to pay for the information.
2. Are there people willing to pay for your book idea?
Unless you’re planning to give your book away for free, this step is crucial.
If you don’t have KDP Rocket, you’ll want to head over to Amazon.com and search in the Kindle Store for your writing idea. Look at the search results that appear on the first page. For each book, scroll down to find the Amazon Best Seller Rank. You’ll probably want to create a spreadsheet now if you haven’t already to keep track of the numbers.
Once you have the Best Seller Rank for each, you should put each number into the Amazon Best Seller Rank Calculator. The calculator will tell you how many books are sell each day. If you multiply this number by 30, you’ll get the estimated money per month that book makes.
If you do this for all 14 of the books that show up on the first page of your search, you can find the average your book idea makes per month. This will give you an idea if it’s profitable enough for you to pursue.
If you’re looking for the fast and easy way, you’d already have this information right at your fingertips from doing step 1 (verifying people are looking for your book). By clicking ‘Analyze’ on KDP Rocket, you can immediately learn the average earnings per month.
Wow, ‘habits’ is a money-maker! Look at that second column!
So people are looking for your idea and they are willing to pay for your idea, but can you compete with the big dogs?
3. Can you beat the competition for your book idea?
Terms like ‘habits’ are popular and profitable, but the competition is intense. You may have noticed the column called “Competitive Score.” This gives you a score between 1-100 on how hard it would be to get your book to appear when people search for your term. A 1 is easy-peasy and 100 is near-impossible.
I’m guessing like me, you’re not a famous author, so you’ll want to find book ideas that have lower competition. Scores in the 20s or below are my usual target.
This doesn’t mean you can’t write a book about habits. This just means you might have to keep searching to refine your idea to be more specific so you can better compete.
When you search in the Kindle Store for your idea, you’ll want to take note of the number of results that appear.
This tells us there are 8,055 other books that rank for the term “habits” on Amazon.
Next, click on the top 3 results and write down their Amazon Best Seller Rank. Find the average of these 3 numbers to find the average Best Seller Rank of the top 3 books. You should aim to get your book to rank #1 since it gets the most clicks, and definitely be able to compete with the top 3.
Then, look at the book covers, book descriptions, and reviews. Give each book a score 1-100 based on your opinion of its professionalism, design, clarity, and happiness of reviewers. If it looks like a book you could easily beat, it’s a 1. If it’s perfect and virtually unbeatable, give it 100.
Having all these numbers in an excel spreadsheet will help you analyze the competition of your book idea.
If that seems like a lot of work, or you don’t know how to score the competition, you’ll love what KDP Rocket can do for you.
When you click on the ‘Analyze’ button to discover how much money the book idea makes, a Competitive Score was also automatically generated.
For ‘habits,’ the competition is 73…pretty tough.
Rocket will also give you a bunch of other recommended terms to consider, so by simply scrolling down, I found ‘healthy eating habits.’
Lower competition…but people aren’t paying for that idea.
How about ‘how to break bad habits’:
See how you can still write about what you’re interested in, but simply checking the popularity, profitability, and competition can help you refine your idea from an “I hope this works idea” to “Let’s write this book already idea!”
Book Idea Validated
Once your book idea passes these three checkpoints, then you’re on your way to confidently writing your book. Now you have reason to believe it won’t be a waste of your time and you can proceed with more assurance that you’re writing a book that will sell.