Can You Say Google?
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! Type in phrases like “top concerns of Americans,” “best-selling nonfiction topics,” or “popular how-to manuals.”
Find out the most popular nonfiction books from the New York Times bestseller list, Amazon, and a Google search for best-selling books. Your findings will tell you exactly what book subject’s 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 in September 2011 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, the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 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 book profits is in the nonfiction book 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. Drum roll please… ideas are not copyrighted, therefore any idea you see, hear, or read anywhere anytime, is yours to use for a book! You can create books around the same ideas that are covered in the Amazon best seller list, and turnaround and create a book on the exact same subject!
Now, copyright law does protect the way ideas are expressed, so you want to make sure your hired author does not plagiarize or copy book 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.