When picking a perfect niche to publish on, I have 3 criteria:
Criteria #1 – The top 4 books have a best-selling rank of around 100,000 or better
Let’s say for example that you’re looking at the niche of ‘herb gardening’. When you type the main keyword for that niche (in this case it would be ‘herb gardening’) into the Kindle store on Amazon, you need to look at the first 4 books that show up in the search results.
When you click on a book, you’ll be taken to the sales page where you can read the description. If you scroll down the page about halfway, you will see a section call ‘Product Details’.
Here you will see a bit of different information, including the Best Seller Rank. This is basically a figure that tells us how well a particular book is selling. If a book has a BSR number of 10,000, that means that it is selling more copies than a book with a BSR of 30,000. The lower the number, the more books that are being sold!
I like for the top 4 books to have a BSR of 100,000 or better. If one of these books is slightly over 100,000, that’s okay – but ideally all 4 will be better than 100,000 BSR.
This shows us that there is high demand for this niche. We want to find a niche that customers are interested in, and this BSR is a key indicator. Never publish a book in a niche that does not meet this criteria.
I have just done the research on Amazon for the niche of Herb Gardening. The top 4 search results have BSR ranks of:
Right away I can tell that niche is not a good one. There is simply not enough demand for me to make much money. At this point you should forget about that niche and move on to a new one!
Criteria #2 – Competitor’s books have less than 30 reviews each
The second criteria I have, requires looking at the competitors books.
Once again, we’ll be focusing on the top 4 search results.
I like to check that these books have less than 30-40 reviews per book. If they have more than 30 reviews, it will be pretty tough for us to compete with them, and outrank them in the search results.
If one of the 4 books has more than 30 – that’s okay!
But if all 4 have more than 30, then I would definitely give that niche a miss!
Criteria #3 – Competitor’s don’t have a large following
Before deciding on a niche, I like to check that the authors I’m competing against don’t have a large following.
I like to do a google search before publishing a book, just to make sure that the other authors in the niche don’t have a large online following, or are famous.
If they have a large following or are famous, they will be driving their own traffic to the book. We are looking for niches that will get organic traffic from people searching on Amazon.
Just because other people are selling lots of books in a particular niche, doesn’t mean that you will be able to. They may be getting those sales simply because their fans are being sent to their books. 9 time out of 10, those fans won’t be interested in your book as well – only the one they are originally being sent to!