Since I’m a non-fiction writer wanting to explore self publishing in the future (once I get done with some traditional published books) obviously I was keen to find out how many of the books that are currently listed in the Kindle Top 100 are nonfiction. There are numerous authors today all claiming that they are making really good money from e-publishing, but all that I read (and love) have so far been fiction writers, so I had no real experiences from non fiction writers.
But, as of writing, I’m pleased to say that the amount of non-fiction books hitting the Top 100 is growing daily. Today when I checked 24 of out of the 100 are non-fiction. 24%.
Considering last month only three books from the list were non-fiction it seems that slowly more and more readers are also choosing digital for their how-to’s and information guides as well as their entertainment.
Another interesting thing about nonfiction vs fiction in the Kindle store is that, generally, people are prepared to pay more for a good nf book. The average price is $9.99 compared to $2.99 for fiction.
So if you are a non-fiction writer then it’s good news for you. Or is it?
While more and more nonfiction are getting into the Top 100, they don’t seem to have the same longevity as a good novel does. As Joe Konrath says, ebooks can last forever and forever is a long time. I’m not so sure this is the case for most nonfiction books since information can get outdated quickly (while a good story is timeless).
Since I write primarily in the finance market, most of my books I would say have a shelf life of around 5 or so years before they need an update.
Updating is relatively simpler now with eBooks as you can upload a new file to replace the old without having to go through the pain of a 2nd or 3rd edition. That’s even the case with POD books as well as it’s quite easy to keep your book updated. In fact a small revision when needed (perhaps annually) means that now nonfiction has the potential to last a lot longer and stay relevant at the same time.
I’m looking forward to finishing the current book I’m writing and getting it up onto the Kindle and others so we can really see if this self-publishing gig is as profitable as it sounds.