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Kindle Niche Research : How to Handle Overly Competitive Categories

I received an email from one of our BBT members and doing some Kindle niche research for one of her books.  She was using the Category Hunter and Category Comparison tools to determine the best category to publish her book.

The problem was every category she selected was too competitive!

Yep.  This is absolutely a possibility.  With over 4000 Kindle categories, many are overcrowded with a lot of competing books or the categories simply aren’t generating enough sales.

(That’s why I created the Kindle Best Seller Niche Report but I digress)

In this author’s case, she chose the Romance category and unless you’re writing about Transgender Romance, you’ll find there are NO categories that have low competition and are profitable.  Remember the Romance category is a super hot-niche with over 369,000 competing books.  Even by niching down into the Paranormal category, the competition was still too hot with 44,000 books.

What about the LGBT Transgender Romance Category?

Seriously, that is a viable category with low competition as of April 2016.

Let’s look at the stats:

Average Best Seller Rank: 19,454
Competition: 893 books
Opportunities to rank on Best Seller Category list: 3
Average Book Price: $3.15

Books in this category are selling 1 – 10 books per day.  That’s $3 to $31 dollars and some change each day!

Option 1: Rewrite the book with a transgender character and publish it in the Romance > LGBT Transgender Romance category

Since the book has a Romance and Paranormal slant, the book could could be published in both Paranormal and LGBT categories.  Anne Rice’s vampire books had some homo-erotic undertones so why not consider that market?

This may not be a realistic option given the book is already written as-is but if you see an opportunity, why not tailor it to the market or test with a variant book?

What about Kindle Short Reads?

I did some more digging and thanks to the Kindle Short Reads Bonus report  (See Kindle Best Seller Niche Report above), I found a viable option.  For the Short Reads book, the Romance category has more than 6 opportunities to rank of the Best Seller list.  Let’s look at the break down:

Romance

Best Seller Category Page: 30 minutes (12-21 pages) > Romance
Number of Books in Category: 4,489
Browse Node: 8624145011
Average Sales Rank: 15,529 Average Book Price: $1.84
Number of opportunities to rank on 1st Page of the bestseller list: 6
Daily Sales: 1 – 10 books per day ($1.84 to $18.40)

Option 2: Revise the book into short read installments and submit as a Kindle Short Read in the Romance category

What other options exist?

In this case, if the author doesn’t want to change the book or divide the book into stand alone installments, then the next viable option is to publish in the Romance > Paranormal category and let the good ‘ol marketing machine go to work.

My own books are typically written for people interested in project management.
Ho hum…I know who is really interested in THAT category?  Actually, there are a lot of people working in that niche and my books fluctuate on the bestseller list depending on promotion and sales.

Option 3: Publish in the category that best fits your book and start your marketing and promotion machine

I would consider the following promotional ideas

  1. Book Series Strategy
    1. Plan to write a book series
    2. Give the first one away for free via Amazon’s KDP Select Program or follow the permafree strategy
    3. In the book, include a link to sign up to an email list where you’ll give away the next chapter, installment or notify they when the next book is available.
    4. Follow an email marketing strategy to promote your new books at a discount for the first week and then raise the price.
  2. Network with fellow writers in your niche
    1. Do they have an email list of readers?
    2. Would they be willing to send out your book to readers who like the same genre?
  3. Identify the thought leaders in your niche
    1. Go on a podcast tour promoting your book
    2. Identify relevant blogs where you could guest post about a topic and place a call to action for your book
    3. Identify the major blogs, podcasts, Facebook groups or other online or offline sources where your readers hang out and get your book in front of them.

Hey Andy, that sounds like a lot of work.

Yep.  In the self publishing world, you not only need to write the book but need to understand the marketing behind your books.

Why do you think traditional publishing houses prefer authors that already have a following?

If you have an email list or an active way to reach your readers, cha-ching!  That publishing house will be more motivated to put your book into print if you can help push your own sales.

Let’s recap our Kindle Niche Research Strategy

It can be a bummer if you find out your book is targeted for a high competition category.  Based on the research, we explored several options.

Option 1: Rewrite the book with a transgender character and publish it in the Romance > LGBT Transgender Romance category

Option 2: Revise the book into short read installments and submit as a Kindle Short Read in the Romance category

Option 3: Publish in the category that best fits your book and start your marketing and promotion machine

I’d recommend testing Option 2 and see how the sales perform in that category but Option 3 is still my favorite strategy but requires more work.

Resources Mentioned In this Post

I referred to a few useful resources in this post.  Some are my own and others are provided by other authors.

Serious Email List Building for Authors
http://www.betterbooktools.com/email-course
I recently took Matt Stone’s course and it provides a lot of great ideas on how authors can apply email marketing to their business INCLUDING specific business plans for Fiction and Non-Fiction Authors

Kindle Best Seller Niche Report
http://www.betterbooktools.com/niche-report
The Holy Grail of Kindle Category Analysis

Better Book Tools Suite
http://www.betterbooktools.com/join/
If you’re not already a member, consider joining the best Kindle Research, Publication and Promotion tools under one tool suite!

Try the Better Book Tools Suite
Amazon HTML Editors, Keyword Research & Promotion Tools

Amazon keyword research tools

      Discover Profitable Categories
      Amazon Keyword Research Made Easy
      Format Your Amazon Kindle Book Descriptions with HTML
      Create great looking descriptions for KDP or CreateSpace
      Free Book Promotion and Amazon Rank Improvement Tools
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