Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Why Niche Books are Long-Term Sellers

Many people propose niche books and mistakenly believe it might not sell. Here is what I've discovered about niche books. Unless the niche is super narrow (think of niche like only girls with authentic pink hair will read it), a niche book has long-term viability and typically enjoys a long sales cycle. Why? Because niche books usually have little if any competition. I'll give an example. The book Beyond the Iron by Wayne Kurtz has consistently sold a handful of books each month over the three-year period since its release. The book is about ultra-distance triathlons (we're talking thousands of miles of biking, cycling and swimming). How many people do you know who participate in these events? Except for Wayne I can't say anyone else. Wayne, on the other hand, flies all over the world to participate in these events, and he is constantly promoting his company Race Twitch. He meets plenty of these extreme endurance athletes all of the time. So when people want to know more about this sport whose book do they buy? Now couple this with the fact that other books on the subject are virtually nonexistent. When your book dominates the niche it becomes the de-factor sale. Hence Beyond the Iron even though it has been released for a while continues to enjoy steady sales.

If you're considering writing a niche book to support your business, here are some tips to consider:

  • The niche market must be sizable enough that you'll enjoy sales. Sizable means that like Beyond the Iron, there are events that take place worldwide. So go narrow, but broad enough within that market to sell copies.
  • Try not to date the material. A niche book's overall goal is to sell over the long term. You'll want the book to have a decent shelf life. So don't make it on something trendy that will pass. 
  • Don't look for instant gratification. Sales are not meant to come in one big tidal wave. Instead go into the development of the book with an eye on overall sales in the big picture, and those sales will likely accumulate over several years to make the project worthwhile. 

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