Kindle Direct Publishing or KDP has become one of the most reliable ways to earn passive income online. In the last two years, we have seen a 40% increase in the number of authors making more than $50,000 in royalties on the platform. In fact, over 2,000 self-publishers surpassed $100,000 in earnings on Kindle in 2022.
So how do you become a writer who earns thousands of dollars by publishing online on Amazon Kindle?
There are several factors that determine how much an indie author makes through KDP–the biggest being the niche they choose.
Finding the right niche helps you identify the books that sell the most on Kindle and assess the categories in which you have the best chance of breaking through.
To determine what niches are most profitable on Kindle, we used findings from Amazon Charts, Amazon Best Sellers, and the 2021 Best Reads of the Year report compiled by Amazon. After hours of work, we finally managed to pull off an extensive list, backed by actual data.
However, before we delve into the best-selling book niches on Amazon KDP, it’s important to distinguish between a niche and a keyword.
Keywords and niches aren’t the same things. Your niche refers to the genre or the subject of your book, while a keyword is more specific and signifies your book’s topic. You’ll first need to decide the niche you want to get in and then come up with a keyword to write on.
Bear in mind there can be multiple keywords that describe the topic of your book. Therefore, you always generate a list of keywords to go with your book when selling on Kindle. These keywords help with boosting your book’s visibility on the platform.
Also, contrary to what many ppl think, there’s no need to avoid a niche that is highly competitive. As long as it has fewer competitive keywords, you are good to go.
So what niches are most profitable when selling books on Kindle?
Generally, self-publishers who turn to Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing for side income are advised to stick to non-fiction categories in the beginning. However, if you’re looking to build your brand as an author and willing to write several books to make that happen then writing fictional books is the way to go.
Romance is one of the most profitable Kindle book niches. These books target the female audience who love some me-time. They provide a safe and comfy escapade from everyday hustle, stress, sadness, loneliness, etc., allowing the readers to control and enjoy the narrative without worrying about the outcome.
Popular sub-niches in the romance category include Contemporary romance, New Adult & College romance, Medical romance, and Mystery romance, so there are plenty of options out there for you to choose from.
The average price of a book in the romance category is $9.40 and the average page count is 344 pages.
Do you think you have it in you to keep your readers hooked with a great mystery?
Like other fiction genres, writing for the mystery, thriller, and suspense niche requires skills. You need to know how to build intrigue, develop a storyline, and introduce red herrings to keep everything closely knitted without giving away much until the very end.
Recommended sub-niches in this category include Crime thrillers, Psychological thrillers, Legal thrillers, and Heist fiction.
The average price of a book in the mystery category is $14.50 with an average page count of 384 pages.
The women’s fiction genre is vast with scores of keywords to pick from, making it one of Amazon KDP’s most varied niches. It also has got a high earning potential.
Women comprise the largest segment of digital readers. KOBO found that 75% of the digital readers market consisted of women over 45. This is one category you can’t afford to ignore if you want to make money.
Bestselling sub-niches in women’s fiction include Historical, Suspense, New Adult & College, and Contemporary. The average price of a women’s fiction book on KDP is $11.99 and the average page count is 388 pages.
Humor is another great niche to publish in. Books in this category are among the most widely read, making them quite popular on Kindle Unlimited.
In order to thrive as a humor writer, you need to be a skilful storyteller and must have a clear understanding of what type of humor resonates with your audience. Anything too complicated can make your book struggle.
Best-selling sub-niches in this category include Comedy, Relationships, and Satire.
Most humor ebooks average 400+ pages in length and are priced between $0.99 and $4.99.
Sure, women make up the majority of digital readers, but there are plenty of men who also buy books on Amazon KDP—specifically sci-fi books.
To make money out of sci-fi books on Amazon KDP, you’ll likely have to publish a series of novels or short reads in which your focus should be on worldbuilding and creating a well-thought plot with no loopholes.
Popular sub-niches in the sci-fi category include Dark fantasy, Epic fantasy, Myths & Legends, Genetic Engineering, and Cyberpunk.
The average price of a sci-fi book on Amazon KDP is $8.90, while their average page count is 725 pages.
At a time when people are prioritizing mental health, emotional wellbeing and personal transformation, self-help books are bound to make their way on everyone’s bucket list.
The self-help niche is huge. It consists of everything from decluttering your home to boosting your self-confidence. Over the last 10 years, we’ve witnessed a rise amongst individuals who are actively pursuing self-improvement, making self-help books hot sellers on Amazon KDP.
The problem with this niche is that you need to know what you are talking about. If your tips don’t bring the promised results, you are fighting a losing battle. Also, self help books often have pretty long keywords. These can be tricky to optimize for, especially if you don’t do your keyword research right.
Popular sub-niches in this category include Happiness, Motivational, and Personal Transformation.
All in all, if you have the expertise to write a self-help book that others can benefit from, you should definitely consider publishing a book in this niche.
The average price of a self-help book on Amazon KDP is $13.99, while the average page count is 281 pages.
Biographies and memoirs can be very successful on Amazon, but they are best left to those who have star power and can draw in the audience.
If that’s not you, then you need to have a fierce investigative spark in your DNA, where you’re willing to dig deep into the trenches to uncover facts and details of life of popular people. An average Joe will have a hard time competing with Barack Obama’s A Promised Land or Matthew McConaughey’s Greenlights—both of which top the bestsellers’ list.
Recommended sub-niches in this category include Presidents and Heads of State biographies, Actors & Entertainers, Women Biographies, Military & Spies, and Business Professionals.
The average price of books in the biographies and memoirs niche is $14.99, while their average length is 444 pages.
There’s a greater interest in political and social science topics these days, thanks to the internet. No wonder, these books have been doing quite well on Amazon lately.
Popular sub-niches in this category include Cultural anthropologies and Ethics and Morality. You should only consider publishing in this niche if you are a student of the subject and have been following it long enough to write a well-rounded opinionated book.
Most books in the political and science niche are priced between $13.99 and $15.99 and tend to be 500 pages or more.
Psychology and counseling books help people better understand themselves and those around them. Practicing professionals especially love reading them, and they are also quite popular among young students.
Bestselling sub-niches in this category include Social Psychology and Interactions and Mental health.
The average price for books in the Counseling & Psychology niche is $14.59, while the average page count is 512 pages.
Business life is the go-to non-fiction category for new authors on Amazon KDP. These books have a huge following among aspiring entrepreneurs, who are always willing to listen to advice from those who have been there and done that.
You don’t have to be the best writer to publish a successful business book; you just need to know your stuff.
The Business life category covers a long list of topics to focus on. Some of these topics are highly competitive, while others can be a great opportunity to get into.
Recommended sub-niches in this category include Personal success, Motivation & Self Improvement, and Mentoring & Coaching.
The average price of a business life book is $14.92, while the average page count is 299 pages.
Interested in unearthing some more gems? Well, you can find profitable book niches yourself by following the steps below:
It all starts with brainstorming different ideas for your book. Think about the topics that interest you. They could be anything–hunting, outdoor sports, fantasy and magic, etc. Put them into the Amazon search bar and see what comes up. Note down the ones you think might have potential.
Can’t think of anything?
Look what’s already selling out there. Check out book promotion websites like hellobooks.com, booktrib.com, excitesteam.com, and bookdealio.com and see the niches that are trending. Go a step further and review the best selling titles on Amazon.
What exactly to look for when doing your research?
At least four sellers in the top 10 should have a BSR of less than 20k on Amazon. This would ensure there is enough demand for that niche. Also, be wary of the free listings. You don’t want to publish in a niche that has lots of free books. Anything more than three free listings is a red flag.
Open Amazon.com and click on “Best Sellers” under the search bar. Once the page loads up, select Kindle Store from the category sidebar menu. This should show you all the best selling books on Kindle.
Have a list of potential niches ready? Next step is to validate them using third-party tools like ZonGuru’s Niche Rater.
Basically, what we are doing here is making sure that enough people are searching for books in that niche and that the self-publishers are making money selling them.
You want the main keywords to have a minimum monthly combined search volume of 3000 and the top writers to be making at least $3k a month. The ebooks should be ideally priced between $0.99 and $9.99.
Don’t be afraid to niche down if required.
You can calculate Kindle profits for a niche by multiplying average monthly sales revenue by the royalty percentage and subtracting the delivery cost from the final product.
If selling print copies, Amazon will charge you for every print-on-demand order separately. Use the KDP royalty calculator to help you price the physical copies of your book accordingly.
If your niche is too broad, use the sidebar on Amazon Kindle page to help you niche down. Find a sub-niche that has the right balance of competition and profitability.
You should now have some good potential niches to choose from. However, you need to select the one that will bring you the most wins.
This is where you’ll start thinking of how you are going to distinguish your content from the rest. How are you going to add value to the niche and potential readers?
Pick the niche that resonates best with this approach.
Adding value involves writing quality and unique content and designing a cover that attracts readers.
In the end, as tempting as it may sound to come up with new niche ideas, it’s best to go with the ones that already exist and have proven to be profitable.
No publishing costs, increasing popularity, and growing sales make Amazon Kindle Publishing a profitable venture for anyone looking to make money online. However, some self-publishers prefer investing in designers, editors, book formatters, etc. to ensure their book is of top quality. While this adds to their expenses, it makes the overall process more convenient and the investment worthwhile.
If you pick the right niche, produce a high quality book, and execute your book launch successfully, you can earn more than $20,000 per month selling books on Kindle. In fact, quite a few self-published writers are making over $100,000 per month through the platform.
Both fiction and non-fiction books sell well on Amazon KDP. However, the competition on non-fiction books is relatively less.
As a new self-publisher on Amazon KDP, it’s best to start with writing non-fiction books while you get used to researching niches and keywords. Non-fiction books are also easier to write than fiction books.
Kindle niche research is essential for the success of your book. Zonguru offers a range of useful tools like Niche Finder and Niche Rater that help you find profitable niches to start your Kindle journey on the right foot.
However, remember this is no get-quick-rich scheme. It takes time, persistence, and hard work to build a sufficient and sustainable income from Amazon KDP. We wish you all the best of luck in your self-publishing efforts.
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