Essential Research Tips Before You Write Your Non-Fiction Book

Essential Research Tips Before You Write Your Non-Fiction Book

There are many reasons to write and publish your own non-fiction book. Maybe you want to boost your authority and build a bigger platform. Perhaps you want to increase your brand’s visibility or use the book as a launchpad for your speaking career.

Whatever your reason for writing a Kindle book, you shouldn’t blindly jump into this new project. Instead, you’ll want to take your time and do your research. With the proper homework, you’ll be more likely to reach your goals. Here’s how to begin your research.

Go to Amazon’s Best Seller List
Amazon keeps a list of best-selling books for almost every genre, which makes it the perfect place to start your investigation. Click the link above and you’ll see the top 100 best-sellers on Amazon right now.

On the left side of the screen, you’ll see a list of genres and book categories. You need to click on the category that your book will be featured in. For example, if you’re writing a book on branding, then you’d click the topic for Business & Money.

Drill Down
Once you have the top 100 books in your category, you should see another list on the left side of the screen. This list allows you to further drill down to the topic that your book is about.

Using the example above, you’re writing a book about branding. You clicked on Business & Money. Now, look at the left and decide which category your book would be under. In this case, your book would probably be found under “Marketing & Sales”. You could also go one step further and click the category for “Sales & Selling”.

Take Notes
Now that you know where your book would be located, look over Amazon’s top 100 books in that category. These books are the most popular at this moment in time in your category, so study them to see what characteristics stand out.

Start by looking at the top ten. You’ll want to write down how many pages long each book is as well as the price. Pricing and length both have a direct impact on your sales number. After all, many readers don’t want to pay $9.99 for a 15-page eBook.

The only exception to this rule is if you’re publishing an eBook within a very narrow niche with little competition. In that case, you may be able to write a short eBook and still charge more for that content.

Read Reviews
Next, take some time to read the reviews of the top books in your category. Begin with the 5-star and 4-star reviews. This can give you insights into what readers expect and what they enjoy.

Don’t skip the negative reviews when reading. Often, the negative reviews can show you what writing mistakes to avoid and what additional information your audience is looking for. You can include this information in your book and draw attention to it in your blurb and promotion.

Study the Covers
Look at the covers of the best-selling books. Observe the colors that are used most frequently. What images are on the covers? What style fonts are most common? Do you see serious fonts that make the book seem authoritative? Do you see playful fonts that encourage creativity? Answering these questions will help you later when you’re ready to design your cover.

Remember, researching before you write and publish your book is important. When you know what the market expects, you can deliver a product that’s perfect for your community.