It couldn't be easier to select a topic for an ebook. People are hungry for information, and people are looking to the Internet to feed their hunger. After you've read this article, you will feel confident enough to choose your own topic, whether you decide to write the ebook yourself or outsource the work to a ghost writer.
Observe What's Going on Around You
If you're smart enough to read this article, you're smart enough to look around you and determine what interests you and those around you. Think of what problems you've recently solved, and what kinds of problems others have had and solved. Any problem that has been solved in your world could easily be the subject of your next book. People love to read how others have solved a problem that they currently have.
So, brainstorm a list of problems in your life and in the lives of those around you. Your friend Bob lost his job? Your sister's child had chicken pox? How did they cope or find solutions? While you're at it, start another list of unsolved problems evident in your corner of the world. Write down problems you wish you had solved. Aha! These are subjects that people will really be interested in!
• How to lose the last ten pounds
• The truth about UFOs
• The straightest path to becoming a millionaire
From your personal corner, your step-granddaughter is pregnant at age 14? Your grocery bill is double what it used to be? Your roof leaks? These are problems waiting for ebook solutions! These unsolved problems would also be great ebook topics. Remember, you don't have to know the solution, just the topic. You're going to get someone else to do the research and write the book for you. You will not actually be writing one word.
Spend a Few Minutes Googling
The Internet is a great way to find out what people are looking for at any given moment. You can search for almost anything. Google™ is a popular search engine you can use, or you can try any of the others like Yahoo!® or ASK.com. Type in phrases like "top concerns of Americans," "best-selling nonfiction topics," or "popular how-to manuals." Common worries of 2007.
And While You're on the Internet...
Find out the most popular nonfiction books from the New York Times bestseller list, Amazon, and Google. Your findings will tell you exactly what book subjects people are buying right now.
Try this. Go to www.amazon.com. From the tabbed menu running along the top of the Amazon home page, click "Top Sellers." I did this one day and found a Harry Potter book, several other fiction books, and titles such as Natural cures "they" won't tell you about, How what you wear can change your life, How to profit from the demise of the dollar, and The official SAT study guide. I've paraphrased to some degree, but you get the idea.
Here's what I learned just from spending a few minutes on Amazon that day. People are reading good fiction from already-best selling authors (Da Vinci Code, the Harry Potter series, and others). Secondly, Amazon buyers, buying over the Internet, are interested in nonfiction topics such as improving their lives and making more money. For these books, just about any author will do, even virtual unknowns or people who went to prison for lying to the American public.
And that quick visit only confirmed that the straightest route to ebook profits is in the nonfiction ebook market. This is for a number of reasons. Fiction readers tend to like to curl up in a chair with an actual book. Some of them attend book clubs where the physical books are brought around someone's kitchen table with wine and cheese. Fiction readers tend to purchase from authors they're already familiar with. Fiction can be more difficult to write and deliver well. Also, many of the classics in fiction are available as free ebooks. A reader interested in fiction could just download those. So stick with nonfiction unless you're feeling particularly bold and experimental.
Here is some more good news, and if you didn't already know this then you are going to be smiling big. Ideas are not copyrighted, therefore any idea you see, hear, or read anywhere anytime, is yours to use for an ebook! You can create books around the same ideas that are covered in the Amazon best seller list, and turnaround and create an ebook on the exact same subject! Now, copyright law does protect the way ideas are expressed, so you want to make sure your hired ghost writer does not plagiarize or copy text outright. And you cannot use the title word for word either. But there's nothing stopping you from creating another book or ebook that covers the same subject with a different voice. It's all as completely legal and guilt-free as nonfat Haagen Dazs. This is why looking at bestseller lists is a great way to get topic ideas.
Once you have your list of topics, you'll need to do keyword research to determine if there is a market for your ebook. You can use a free tool to begin your research at www.goodkeywords.com. This will give you the current number of monthly searches that are being performed. You need to have at least 1500 searches per month on your main keywords to have a market to sell to. Considering that 1% of those searches is the average percent that turn into sales, you'll want to find a market that can support the income you want to make from the ebook. For 1500 searches per month, you can expect to make an average of 15 sales in a month. Only you can decide if the dollars to be made is worth the effort for you.
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