A lot of first-time writers are wondering how to go about writing non-fiction books. Well, should you write and publish short non-fiction books? Let me tell you the answer based on my experience.
Today's article has three points and you're going to want to stick around for the third point. It is a secret as to the one thing you should be doing if you want to maximize sales when it comes to publishing short non-fiction books.
The topic we're going to be discussing today is should you write and publish short non-fiction books? As a writer, you may be wanting to touch on the subject of non-fiction. Because you have some ideas that you would like to get into the world.
But maybe you don't have so many ideas that you could write a very long book. Or you don't have the time that's necessary or you don't even consider yourself a very good writer in the first place. Maybe you could get your book onto Amazon and start making sales off of it if it weren't a very long book.
Some people have this idea in their mind, "it needs to be 30,000 words or else there's no point after all. If you're going to write non-fiction, shouldn't it be this thousand-word book? Like page book that's going to cover every single subject/topic regarding your thing.
This is something that begins to build frustration and the result is you simply fail to publish the book onto the market. As you perhaps ought to do which we're going to discuss in today's article.
Grab a copy of my absolutely free Self-Publishing Checklist. To make sure that you are not skipping any of the steps necessary to not just get your books made but also out there and selling as well. So go ahead and check that free checklist out.
Moving right along in my own story when I first got started with Amazon KDP, it started with a particular rule at the time. The rule was for your Kindle books, if a person read such a percent, I think it was like 10% or 20%, they would pay you a chunk of change.
Check out this related article: You Deserve To Be Read!
As if the person had purchased the book if they were in their Kindle Unlimited program along those lines at the time. They had a deal in the end and what would be the result of that? The market started getting flooded with these short non-fiction books.
These books could be just only 10-30 pages in length, under 100 pages. Whatever the case is because then a person who would buy the book they would read through the pages of the book. Before you know it, you'd hit the 10% and it would count as an actual sale and you would have the money transferred over.
There was flooding that occurred on the market and people with longer books would be punished for it as opposed to shorter books. Now, the thing is the rules changed. But there was still value here.
The way that they were able to deal with the rules was that they would then say it would be based upon how many pages the person read. People with longer books would be rewarded. Other people came up with ideas, "what if you put the table of contents at the end of the book or ask people to click at the end of the book or combine all your books?".
These practices would end up getting your accounts banned. Because you were getting these page reads even though the person hadn't read those pages, they just jumped to the end of the book. Only to discover that they hit where they want to go in the book.
They're like "Oh good, there's like 10 bonus books". These are the sorts of practices that were very dangerous when they moved over to this. But people were making $10,000 a day using this exact strategy until Amazon shut their accounts down.
It is a very important lesson on Amazon which is don't mess with Amazon. They have terms and conditions and it's best to stick by what they're telling you to do. And not try to get too clever with regards to the practices that you're doing when it comes to selling your books.
But the thing is even after they changed the rules on going from that, the person read 10% of the book which of course a shorter book would be easier to reach that goal. Comparing to a longer book where the person would have to read all of it.
The thing is that there still was value in the shorter books and a lot of people just didn't see this. I discovered that if you write a book that is 3,000 words in length, that book will be 24 pages.
At 24 pages, it's long enough to become a very important print book. Since print books generally make twice as much money as your Kindle books. It's a very good strategy to figure out to make sure that if you're going to write something short that it does hit that 24-page marker.
Another strategy was that these shorter books if they're in the same genre, could be combined to make them longer books. They would be like 100 books, let's say you had a short book on Puppy Training, if we combined 4 of these we now have a 100-page book on Puppy Training.
Especially if each of these books is hitting a specific aspect of Puppy Training, it's going to then lead you to a person who buys it. They would then go through all 4 of these small micro books to get them a reasonable hundred-page book. The pricing strategy would then also make it advantageous to them.
Because you would charge less for each additional manuscript that you were adding to it. What I discovered was that I was playing around with having people write books for me after I'd written some of my books of course. But I was curious because I wanted to have a book, maybe testing out Gratitude or Decluttering.
I put these books onto the market to discover and of course running ads against them. Some of these books especially the Gratitude book was outperforming my books. My books of course were 100 pages to 200 pages in length and this short book suddenly was beating my book.
A 30-page book was getting positive reviews and beating the books that I'd put on the market. I found that to be a little disturbing in one sense to realize that. But in another sense, it was because the keyword was more popular.
If I do a book on Goal Achievement, How to Sleep, Better Habit, and Habit Building which are very useful books, these books are of course high-quality books. They're books that will tell you exactly what you need on these different subjects.
But the fact is Gratitude or Decluttering were much more popular themes than the books that I was writing on. As a result of running ads against it, I started seeing sales come in. That made me realize this is a very good strategy, maybe not the best strategy in the long run but it was a good strategy.
So should you write and publish short non-fiction books? The first answer is yes there is still plenty of money to be made on shorter non-fiction books. Whether you're writing them or paying somebody else to write them.
As long as the book is grammatically correct and the goal and what it promises to deliver, it does deliver. That it's in a bite-sized chunk. The second reason is one that you might not be thinking about, it is that people want their problems solved.
People's attention spans are insanely short. People simply don't have the energy and time to sit around and be reading a thousand-page book if you could solve their problem in only 25 pages. How often have you gone to a YouTube video and you just hop over a lot of the initial stuff?
To get to the good stuff where they're going to solve your specific problem. This is something that also is true when it comes to books. It doesn't have to be a long book, a short book can get in there to solve the problem and get out.
That's the important part, if it doesn't solve the problem then the book is a scam. Or you're putting out too low of quality of books. That's the reason why you want to make sure that the grammar and everything is correct.
I did test out some ghostwriters on Fiverr that were terrible and their books never saw the light of day. Because it was too difficult to fix their grammar and the content wasn't particularly good. You also wish to make sure you do a scan of those books to make sure that they are original material.
Check out this related article: What You Need To Know About Covers
I've also busted people for using stolen material which is just fine, I report it in. And Fiverr bans their account and refunds my money. So that was what happened during that particular period.
I've done this with other services as well like EpicWrite was one of the ones that I had used quite a bit. I found them to be very very high-quality writing for me. You would of course have to do some additional grammatical editing and things however the books were up to.
In addition, I would always run checks to make sure that the work was original. Then with these short books, you could pay very little money, you could pay 50 bucks. I think was 30% at the time may be up to 50-60% now to get a book that's 25 pages in length written.
Use Your Name
The book hits the topic, people are happy with it, they give good reviews and you're just fine. You do need to make sure you control expectations for each book that you sell. It's going to have the page limit but how many pages are estimated to be in the book?
You can find it on the sales page so it shouldn't come as a surprise to somebody. If they buy a book and the book is 25-30 pages, they shouldn't expect it to be a thousand pages. Some people who get around this will comment "look, this is a small book or pamphlet or a little, you know to get out there 30-40 pages".
They'll explain that to the buyers so that they're not confused thinking. They're going to get some gigantic novel out of the whole thing, just a huge massive thing. So that's an important thing when managing expectations.
That's one of the reasons why a lot of people would still recommend writing books that gets you to 100 pages specifically. Because it makes sure you're managing the expectation of your reader. Nobody complains about a hundred-page book but they might with a shorter book take a photo and say, "oh my goodness look how small it is!".
The question isn't how small or how big a book is just like the courses I sell. It's not how long or how short they are it's the question of whether or not they're going to answer your problem. For example, in my book for my Formatting Course, I go through about an hour's worth of content.
Going through step by step how to use the tool Jutoh to publish your book? Because my goal is to keep it easy, unlike the fake gurus. Those are out there with self-publishing who want to sell you courses that are 50 hours or 100 hours or a thousand hours in length.
And you'll never get through the course. You get demotivated as opposed to of course like the ones that I sell which are we get in there, we solve the problem and then we get out. So the people have found it very very helpful, the ability to then do the formatting yourself and getting it perfect the very first time.
So that's just a couple of things that I've personally found that my students have also found helpful. It is that they are not so overwhelming, you don't have that. Plus you have the hands-on help that I give people as you're going through the course with any issues that show up.
But that's the same thing that goes with your books. These short books, they're perfect but let's get into the secret answer of today. Our third point which is the best strategy is to write under your name.
Choose a topic that you enjoy and know a lot about and that you want to help other people on. Because this gives us the ability to build a brand around ourselves. And your face then to stick with that single genre, niche, or keyword that you have.
That will result in your maximum number of sales. You're going to build up an email list. You're going to ask those people to buy your newest books.
You're going to ask them to leave reviews with your advanced review team. And you're going to go around and around on this circle as we continue to build an audience. This was the number one mistake that I made in the early days which I was all over the place.
In 16 different genres, publishing all over the place. I would have done a lot better to have a hundred books on one single topic. As people I've seen who have done this effectively would be someone like Steve Scott.
He focused on Habits, so every single book was on Habits. Now, he later said he regretted a little bit of that and that he wished he had done Fitness and Sports. It might have been a little bit easier ride for him somebody who runs marathons and stuff.
But you know, this is a very important point, you stick to a single topic then you just keep doing it. And if you can put your face on, it's even better. You will increase the sales that you're getting for your books.
So, should you write and publish short non-fiction books? Tell me, have you written a short non-fiction book? If you have, write "Yes" below in the comments and if you have never done it, write "No". Check out my other articles and videos for more answers to your self-publishing questions.