If you have a good idea for an e-book, first ask yourself why anyone would want it? Remember, unless you want to just publish e-books for fun, you want to sell them too, and if you can’t define why someone would want your e-book, chances are good nobody else will know either. So before you take the time to write an e-book, define what need your e-book fulfills.
Your e-book will either fall in the category of fiction or non-fiction. In general, non-fiction sells better because non-fiction provides immediately solutions to people’s lives such as how to lose weight, how to make more money, or how to live longer. Non-fiction solves pressing needs that people want solved now, so if your e-book promises to give them the answers they want, they’ll have a strong reason to buy your e-book.
Fiction is a bit trickier because no one really needs fiction, but they may want it. When marketing fiction, start by identifying the genre of your writing such as romance, Westerns, science fiction, horror, or any other category that specifically separates your fiction e-book from most other e-books on the market. Someone interested in Westerns probably won’t be interested in romance novels and vice versa, so the clearer you are on the genre of your fiction, the better off you’ll be.
Whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction, go for as narrow a niche as possible. It’s easy to want to sell your e-book to everyone, but the reality is that not everyone will want your e-book no matter how great it might be. The narrower you can focus your potential audience, the more likely you’ll make sales.
For example, let’s say you wrote a self-improvement e-book that teaches people how to be more likable. You might think if you market this to everyone (after all, who doesn’t want to be liked?), you’ll make tons of sales. The truth is that if your e-book doesn’t target any specific market, it probably won’t sell to anyone. Instead of targeting everyone, how about targeting people looking for dates? That reaches a smaller audience, but also gives that smaller audience a reason to want your e-book. Go narrower with your niche and focus on teaching divorced parents how to start dating again and be likable.
Now you’ve narrowed your market even smaller, but guess what? If you’re a newly divorced parent looking for help in dating, would you buy an e-book teaching you how to be likable, or would you rush out to buy an e-book that teaches divorced parents how to start dating again and be likable to others?
The smaller your niche, the more focused you can reach potential customers. It’s a paradox because most people try to appeal to as many people as possible, but that gives most people little reason to care about your e-book. The more narrow you target your niche, the more you separate your e-book from the rest of the market. There are plenty of dating e-books on the market, but how many specifically target divorced parents who have to juggle the needs of their kids with dating again?
Fiction works the same way. Rather than write a science fiction novel, write a science fiction novel that emphasizes military technology like Tom Clancy novels, or science fiction novels that focus on horror like the movie “Alien.” It doesn’t matter what niche you target, just as long as you’re clear in your mind who your potential buyer might be. The narrower you make your niche, the smaller your audience, but the more likely that audience will buy from you.
You aren’t trying to sell to everyone. You’re trying to sell to just one person, and then to another person just like the first one, and then another person, and so on. Once you’ve established yourself and saturated your initial target market, then you can gradually expand to other niches, but satisfy a single niche first to build your foundation.
Tom Clancy wrote novels about near future military technology. He didn’t write about science fiction or military technology from the past. He always focused on what could be possible right now. He probably never sold any novels to people interested in World War Two military technology only, but he still sold millions of books anyway. Go narrow in your niche and exploit that market to its fullest. While your competitors waste time trying to appeal to every one and winding up appealing to almost no one, you want to narrow your niche and mine that niche with multiple e-books that keep them coming back to you over and over again.
And that’s one secret to marketing your e-books by focusing on a niche.