Chris A. Baird | January 26, 2023
What Happens To Your Books When You Do Nothing

Will your books sell on their own? Here’s what happens to your books when you do nothing.

There's a dirty little secret as to what happens to your books after they've been on the market for a long time. I'm going to tell you that the passive income myth is that you can just put your books on the market and they're going to keep on selling for 10 to 20 years from now, that is a complete myth.

So, you're going to want to stick around and we will tell you what happens to your books when you do nothing. We're going to tell you exactly what you need to do. The first thing you need to know is that your topics matter if you were to write a book on let's say Fidget Spinners. 

Back in 2017, you may have made a killing. As you would see there's a huge spike in the number of people looking for anything related to Fidget Spinners. But after that time, the market completely crashes. 

Nobody cares at all and that's one of the reasons why you're going to want to write your books about evergreen topics. The niches that continue to sell year after year. Where we can see a pattern already happening in books on this topic. 

If it's non-fiction, well then it would be things like Plant Care or Car Care. These sorts of things were where there would be a demand. You'll also take a very close look at Google searches on that. 

Or in the fiction area, if you grab some micro niche that's super hot and popular right now. You may find yourself making no sales when we go six months from now and nobody cares about that topic anymore. So, you need to be very careful and go into it with your eyes open. 

We do not write books just to write the book and then hope for the best. Rather, we write the books for a market where there's already an existing set of readers who are interested in the book that you're writing. So, what happens to your books when you do nothing?

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Ideally, a market that's been there for a while and increasing in popularity within that market. And I can tell you during the crisis that we've been through, I was a little bit surprised by some of the 200-plus books that I've written over the years and had other people go straight for me. 

It is that as I noticed in this crisis that we've recently been through, certain books started to spike and other books started to go down. So, for example, a book I have on Travel started to decrease but now it's going up. 

Other books that dealt with things about Cozy Living, Organizing and Improving Your House, Cookbooks, and things like that, especially Bread Baking books. Suddenly, they started to spike in popularity now 

Why exactly is that? Well, that's because as things fade in and out and whether people are more at home or more outside, whether at work or doing home office, their demands, and their interests continue to change. That means that if you have a wide variety of books on them in different markets, what gives you the ability to win? 

No matter what happens in the world, you're going to have books that people are going to look forward to reading. That does violate a little bit of my theme which is by holding it consistent to one market and just keep writing books in that market. That is the winning strategy. 

But when it comes to trying to get sales in the long run without even touching these books, sometimes it pays to have books that are in different markets. Just make sure you're using a different pen name when you're doing that. 

Choosing Profitable Niches

You do not want to dirty a pen name by having Crossword Puzzles and then you're doing books on Medicine. Then you also have Cookbooks or Computer Programming. It just gets confusing, nobody's going to assume you're an expert in anything.

So, you want to separate these books. Even if you happen to be good at yoga and computer programming, do not use the same name on Amazon for both of these. You will decrease the sales of both of those books. 

If you imagine, the same thing would be true if you go to visit your doctor and the doctor is like, oh just give me a sec. I have to walk the dogs for my dog walking business. Then, after that, I'm teaching a few classes at school and then I can be back to help you with your medicine. 

You would be like, you're going to do open heart surgery on me and you're spread out on your skill sets. How good of an open heart surgeon do you think your doctor is going to be if they're spending all of this time doing all of these other activities? 

That's the reason why we want to hone in on a niche. Now, you can do multiple niches, just make sure you're using a different pen name for each of those niches. To figure out whether or not the niche is a profitable one, we're going to use my favorite tool which is KDSpy

It is the tool that I like to use to see which keywords are driving a lot of traffic. Then, by looking at older books inside of those keywords, I know for a fact whether or not I can expect to make money writing books inside of those exact markets. 

Another free way to do it is just to use Google Trends. Make sure it's set to the United States. Whenever I log in, it shows me in Norway. I am not targeting the Norwegian market, I'm targeting the US, UK, Canadian, and Australian markets. 

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So, I usually just choose the United States since it's the largest market of buyers that I have for all of my books. What happens then is that I'm able to go on to Google Trends and type in a particular theme like I mentioned Fidget Spinner. It shoots up in 2017 and then dies down. 

We continue to find other themes to go up over time. Those are the sorts of topics that we want to start putting our books into. Because then, even though we do nothing with the books, they're going to continue to sell themselves. 

As people give them four to five-star review ratings, then it's going to continue to boost the sales that we're getting. When you come out with new books in those same markets, the books are going to cross-reference each other. 

Make sure they're referring to each other in terms of pointing at each other. That's one of the reasons why formatting the books yourself is so important. Because then, in the backs of the books, you're going to say, here are my other books. 

But each time you come out with a new book in the same genre, well then, it needs to point to the other books in the series. About how you are going to do that without doing the formatting. That's one of the reasons why I teach the Book Formatting Made Easy Course to specifically go through those very steps. 

In fact, with my favorite tool Jutoh, I went through every bit of it. I went through and updated 100 of the slides in this course. To make sure it is as easy as possible to use for all of my new students who are jumping on board. 

Even the old students want to go back and refresh their formatting skills. It is that important to make sure that we're setting our books up. Not just to sell today or tomorrow but to sell a year five years from now. 

Coming Out With New Books

I'm still looking at some books that I put out. I think seven years ago, the books continued to sell. It's unbelievable to see the number of sales that come through these older books. So, what happens to your books when you do nothing? 

Now, the third point I want to hit is what exactly is happening to these books. Well, I can tell you, you'll start to see the money going down. How are we going to deal with the decrease in sales of our older books? 

Because Amazon wants to push and pump the newest books, not these ancient books. Unless it becomes a classic. In that case, what are you doing? Watching me. Now, I know, if you're best, you're like a New York Times bestseller, I have tips for you. 

But in the grand scheme, if your book's already super popular but even for them, you'll find they tend to go down. Unless your books are like the Bible or something where there's always a high number of sales that are happening. 

So, the other thing that I wanted to point out here is that you need to come out with new books. In addition, if it's in the fiction category, the new books you come out with may be in a series.

So, by the new books, it'll trigger people if they get the first book. Well then, they're going to trickle down and buy all of the other books in the series. 

This is a really powerful technique. I can tell you it works on me too. I read the whole Ender's Game series and I'm working my way through my 15th book or something on the Dune series. It's exactly the thing, you can just keep writing books and I'm just going to keep on buying them. 

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As long as I find the books entertaining and deliver at least a reasonable amount of similar value as the original books that got me into the specific series that you're looking at. But it's sometimes trying to figure this out and this is the most important thing you can do when you're first getting started. 

That's one of the reasons I even sit down with people and do a power session which is something you can check out. For $7, you get 15 minutes in the power session where we just go through and take a look at your exact book and why it's not selling. 

Or if you're looking at putting a book on the market, is this the right fit? Is this the right market? What can you do to get things going for just $7? So, that's another really powerful way of doing it. But my question for you today is, have you seen your sales go up or down once in a couple of years? 

Now, I know a lot of you have intentions of getting books on the market. That's why I tell you, you should always hire a coach or somebody you can work with. Who can hold you accountable for getting your books out? 

But if you're not going to do that to somebody else, then you need to get these books on the market. For those of you who do have your books on the market, are you seeing the sales going up or down after it's been, let's say, two years? 

I want to know below in the comments because it will help me get a better idea of where you're coming from and exactly the right steps. If you are going up, what have you done to increase those sales? Check out my other blogs and videos for more answers to your self-publishing questions. 

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