So what can you expect from selling a niche non-fiction paperback on Amazon or one of the other on-line platforms?
The first thing you need to take on-board is a heavy dose of realism. What is the size of the market for your book? How big should your book be? What will the punters be prepared to pay?
If you are addressing a niche market then you must expect sales to be in in the hundreds rather than the thousands. Certainly you won’t be paying off your mortgage on the back of a book about a Roman settlement for example!
In essence a few hundred sales for a niche non-fiction book means you are most definitely not doing this for the money. You are doing it for the love of your subject and/or (maybe) just the plain constructive pleasure of writing something worthwhile.
But addressing a topic, either in a new way or a topic that has not ever been addressed before gives a great deal of satisfaction. Seeing your name out there on a resource (maybe a unique resource) is a real buzz.
Today publishing a paperback has simplified down to such an extent that just about anyone can do it. There are irritants like an unnecessarily costly ISBN number (See this Post) but even that can be got round by using a free one from (say) Amazon. Be aware though that “free” Amazon ISBNs do restrict your ability to sell it elsewhere other than Amazon.
The sales you get will depend on how niche your subject is. It may be several hundred a year. It may be five.
But whatever it is, if you don’t do it then you will never know!
Niche Non Fiction Paperback sales: Example
Just for information, here is the sales of a non-fiction ancestry paperback I launched just under a year ago for a lady friend of mine. The rather nice January peak reflects a Christmas sales “rush” the month before. So this book obviously made a great Christmas gift!
We do have a worry about how a recent poisoned review by a non-purchaser may affect future sales but hopefully not. (More on the Tyranny of Amazon reviews HERE)
Sales in the USA have been slower. This is hardly surprising as this is a UK orientated book and may lack such a strong appeal over in the USA. But a great deal of the information in the book will still be of great value in America. The USA link to this book is Here.
But even if the sales in the USA had been the total sales, the book is still out there. It would have been created and appreciated. If only be a few.
So if you have have a local history or other niche book within you,why not spend a few hours and write it.
If you don’t write your book you will never know if it will fly.
True: It may sink. It may go down like a lead balloon.
But if you don’t try, you’ll never know.