I read more non-fiction books than fiction books, and today, I’d like to share with you my observations on which non-fictions books are likely to sell.
Will sell (probably):
- Writing advice – does writing advice sell? But of course! Our favorite indie stars Joanna Penn and Jeff Goins made their way to bestseller lists thanks to author advice and individual coaching. Teaching how to write gathers writers around you, and writers are people who love books the most.
- Online (& passive) income – I always laugh that people who earn most money online are authors of books on how to earn money online. People are always looking for secret shortcuts to wealth. They see your book as a necessary investment. You need to give good tips, though. Once you betray a reader’s trust by providing obvious methods that can be googled, and that don’t work, your reader won’t come to you anymore. For this reason, writing about earning money online can be tricky. Not something I recommend, but if you have an idea and know what to write about, then maybe it’s a good idea for you to try.
- Diet & Fitness – who hasn’t dieted at least once in their lifetime? Who hasn’t tried several diets, hoping to lose lots of weight with minimal effort? Nowadays, diet books can be written by anyone, not just dietarians. If you have experience in any sport, you can write a book about it, too. Just remember to get a credible biography. If you aren’t the type to search around national libraries, use Google Scholar.
- Life-coaching, Motivation & Good Advice – lots of my friends laugh about life coaching. However, from my personal experience, life coaching is awesome. It gave me courage to actually change something and to pursue my dreams. I built a happier life for myself, and scored lots of points in my never-ending fight with depression. Moreover, I actually acquired that “coaching” tone and started motivating others. People really need life coaches. Why? Because their own parents, friends and spouses doubted them, and they buried their dreams deep in their hearts, instead of following them. I was such a person, and I changed thanks to Teal Swan, Andrea Schulman and Ralph Smart. All of them started out as YouTubers and bloggers. Now, they have hundreds of thousands of subscribers. Being a life coach is a beautiful path to step on, as you are giving hope and light to other people, and actually helping them progress. There are people who swallow life-coaching and motivation books, and I’m pretty confident that they sell really well – especially if you are building your own brand on YouTube at the same time.
- Religion – regardless to what everyone thinks, there are people who read religious books. I am one of them. If I could, I would buy every book on the Law of Attraction that is out there. Law of Attraction books sell especially well, as the LoA community doesn’t have an official sacred scripture. People are learning from each other’s experiences, hence, they always look for new teachers. Affirmations, meditation and spiritual awakenings are other appreciated topics. I have seen too many new age coaches starting their careers on YouTube, building blogs with premium content, and launching books that became bestsellers. If you are into new age, this path is almost too easy. Another religious genre that sells well is “Christian romance,” sometimes called “clean romance” (weird name, isn’t it?). But this is a fictional genre, so I won’t talk much about it. However, this might give you an idea to write about Christian marriage or love between two Christians. You will find readers quite easily and who knows, maybe the local pastor is going to promote you?
- Biographies – but it should be a famous person’s biography, not Mr. Brown’s biography. Mr. Brown hasn’t achieved anything significant in his life and doesn’t have any fans, hence, his biography won’t sell. In order to make a biography sell, you need a celebrity that will want you to tell their life story. Of course, it doesn’t need to be a super famous celebrity – but it must be a celebrity. If you can’t find celebrity, inform yourself about veterans, disaster survivors and illness survivors. They often have incredible stories to tell and finding an audience should be quite easy.
And now, book genres that sell well, however, in my honest opinion are not worth the effort.
- Cookbooks – the power of cookbooks lays in beautiful images. If your book doesn’t have these images, it won’t raise as much enthusiasm. Keep in mind that each image is an additional cost for your readers. Readers will rather purchase a cookbook in the supermarket, where they can get a discount, rather than browse Amazon. What is more, recipes are patented and copyrighted. You could get a lot of trouble if you chose to replicate the recipes that you already know. Plus, there are too many blogs with recipes, too many cooking channels, and too many cooking celebrities.
- Language books – trust me on this, cause I’m a polyglot. The internet is full of free resources for language learning. You can grasp the basics of any language for free, and even get to a more advanced level. When I bought books, I bought books for exam preparations. However, I’m not sure about the copyrights if you want to design exercises similar to the ones that appear on a particular test. Also, one really has to know a language well to teach it. And if you want to incorporate some worksheets that you created online, keep in mind that they are also copyrighted. It’s difficult to create a language book and I am not recommending it.
Of course, if cooking or languages are your passion, and you want to write such books, ignore my advice and go ahead! I marked these books as a no-no, because they require more effort to create and promote.
Another important thing: the fact that these book genres sell well doesn’t mean that your book will sell well as soon as you release it. You need a good cover, positive reviews, an audience, and a promotion service so as to generate real sales.
I hope that this helps.