Best selling non fiction books
[This article was written by guest contributor Howard Polskin, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Thin Reads.]
If you’re a journalist or an author who enjoys writing nonfiction stories, eBook singles represent a new revenue stream for you. In some cases, authors can net more than $100, 000* for a 60-page effort.
Of course, the big money is in fiction ($250, 000 and up for a short piece if it gains widespread popularity) but you’ve got to be a big name author to crack that list 99% of the time. And if you’ve pulling in that type of money, you don’t need to listen to me. You’re doing just fine.
I’ve been tracking the Kindle Single nonfiction and fiction best-seller lists since the beginning of 2013 and every Sunday, I publish the Thin Reads best seller list. Thin Reads defines an e-book single as a written work between 20-100 pages in length and priced between 99 cents and $4.99.
From studying the movement of books landing on the list, there are some clear lessons that I’ve learned. So before you decide to sit down and write your way into a new tax status, pay attention to the advice below. This is not surefire advice, but if you want to improve your odds of cracking the top 10 titles in the nonfiction e-book single category, your book should have one of the following characteristics.
This is a critical element and it often distinguishes e-book singles from long-form books. E-book singles can be published mere weeks after big news happens. None other than Stephen King came out with an e-book single, “Guns, ” a month after the tragic shootings in Newton.
Writers have to think like a newspaper or magazine editor and play to stories of immediate topical interest. (See “Six E-Book Singles That Should be Written Now.”) One of 2013’s most successful e-book nonfiction singles has been “Lincoln’s Little Girl, ” a slight look inside the Lincoln White House. However, it was pegged to the theatrical release of the Spielberg film, and it benefitted by the film’s Oscar nominations and DVD release. Another popular title this year: “The Rolling Stones Discover America, ” which was timed to the band’s 50th anniversary (read the Thin Reads interview with author Michael Lydon). Other topical best-sellers this year include “The Battle of $9.99, ” “Always Right” and “To Have and Uphold.”
Let’s face it. Reporting is hard work and takes time. It’s much easier to mine one’s own experience and turn it into art. It’s also more rewarding. These types of nonfiction e-book singles have performed well, especially is they are dark or personally embarrassing. I sometimes call it the Literature of Personal Shame.
Among this year’s best-sellers in this category: “Falling: The Story of a Marriage, ” “Drinking My Way Through 14 Dating Websites, ” “The Long Run” and Mara Altman’s “That’s What She Said.” Altman also had a big hit last with “The Bearded Lady, ” a funny book about her body and facial hair (read the Thin Reads interview with Mara Altman). The Brooklyn-based publisher The Thought Catalog is especially skillful at bringing these types of e-book singles to market written by and aimed at knowing 20somethings.
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Best-sellers over time in different categories2003-05-30 11:54:59 by notanothertop10list
Can anyone tell me where I can find information on best-selling non-fiction books by category (eg, history, psychology, art - more refined categories are even better).
I'm not looking for this week's best sellers but something that looks at best-sellers over time ... preferably at least 5 years.
Even best selling books sell remarkably few copi2007-10-26 10:57:00 by Gospel
Copies in an overall sense. It's tough to track down solid numbers, but I would be STUNNED if most of these atheism books have sold even half a million copies world wide.
Readers of non-fiction are, over-all, a rare breed. Especially when you discount cooking and self help.
Not to inflate anyone's ego, but I think the high sales have more to do with the generally higher level of education among atheists, and they're correspondingly higher interest in reading.
Seeking Submissions For Best-Selling Book Series2004-04-12 16:28:33 by erichicken
I have a welcoming opportunity to let you in on. I am helping put together the next Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul. (You know these books, you have seen them on the bestsellers lists and either read them and gotten something good out of them, or possibly scoffed at them and refuse to read them; thats fine I did too ) Look, based on the thousands of letters we get, kids love these books and find inspiration, comfort, and strength from them. So, now you can help our youth and get some money for it. Get published in Teens IV and get a few hundred dollars for it if selected. Wanting to help boost the number of submissions I am opening it up to you all and to anyone else you know who is a good writer
Need researcher/collaborator for book2004-01-09 21:59:49 by itsalltrue
I am a television industry figure with a fantastic story to tell in what will be a best selling non-fiction book. Just by telling you the working title, you would be able to see the power of the idea and the market for the book.
I write pretty well, and have worked as a writer, so I'm not looking for a ghost--I want to make that clear. I'm going to write the book.
But I need help in at least the following areas: highly detailed, impeccably fact-checked research, some of which will be to go back to best selling self-baring books written years ago the truth of which I'm going to blow out of the water, other of which will be tracking day-to-day news reports of events over a 7-year period to provide a timeline and confirmation of the details of what has been one of the biggest...