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If you are in the digital publishing space and you aren’t making use of keyword research tools, you’re just spinning your wheels in the race to Best Seller Rankings.
In today’s online publishing market, especially on Amazon, it is vital to make choices about which books to publish based on solid data.
Where do you find this data, though, and does it mean you are going to spend more time researching keywords than actually writing your book?
In this article, we will give you the low-down on keyword research for Amazon authors and publishers and review a tool that will change the way you pick your topics and niches: KDSPY.
Why Do I Need Keyword Research Tools?
If you’re just publishing a passion project—that book you’ve always wanted to write—and you don’t really care how many books you sell because, for you, it’s all about the accomplishment, then fire away, no keyword research necessary.
If, however, you are building an online publishing business or authorpreneurship, it has to be run like any other business. How do businesses choose what markets they get into or which products to supply? They look for markets where there are high demands and low levels of competition.
Online publishing is no different. While other businesses do market research using industry assessment and customer surveys, online publishers use keyword research tools.
Supply Versus Demand
When researching keywords to determine which topics or niches you will publish in, you don’t just want to know which topics are popular; you also want to know how much competition already exists in those topics/niches.
If there are one million people searching for a topic, but there are already 400,000 books talking about that topic, then it’s highly unlikely that you will even make a dent in the market. You will be trying to sell fish to a fisherman.
Keyword Research Tools
Okay, so you are now convinced that keyword research is the way to go, but the question remains: how do I conduct keyword/niche research for my next book?
There are several free keyword research tools available on the internet including:
You could certainly use some of these to start getting an idea of which keywords are good for your topic, but if you are publishing on Amazon, you really want to focus your keyword research there. So, how do you do that?
KDSPY: The Ultimate Keyword and Niche Research Tool for Authors
KDSPY is a plugin tool that focuses your keyword research on the valuable mountain of data available on the Kindle Book Store. Once it is installed, it sits on your browser toolbar and gives you access in one click.
Finding keywords you could rank for is just the beginning. As an online publisher, you need to understand the buying behavior of the Amazon audience as it relates to the book topic you are considering. This is where the KDSPY tool comes into its own.
What Information Does It Give Me?
The KDSPY plugin reads the Amazon results page you are on and gives you the following information about that page in about 10 seconds:
- Book names
- Book prices and an average price
- Number of pages in each book
- Estimated monthly sales
- Estimated monthly revenue
- Individual book sales rank, and most importantly,
- Best Seller Rankings (BSR) of all the books on the results page
Why Is BSR So Important?
The BSR on Amazon is the main indicator of the profitability of the topic or niche you are thinking of writing in. A book’s BSR tells you how popular it is in relation to either:
- All other books on the Kindle Book Store, or
- All other books in your niche on the Kindle Book Store
The BSR on its own does not give you enough information to make a decision, though, and you will also need to compare that to the number of books available on the topic; i.e., how many search results did you get for that topic?
Remember the supply versus demand rule of business? Well, in our case:
- Supply = the number of books (NOB) available
- Demand = the BSR of the books in that niche
So What Is Considered a Profitable BSR vs NOB?
Numbers are just numbers until you put them in context. In general, you want to look for results on KDSPY that give you a BSR of less than 100,000, and then you want your NOB to be no more than about 1,000.
The key is to find a niche with a low amount of competition that also has regular sales of books. That’s the sweet spot for niche identification.
How Do I Translate That BSR Into Possible Dollars for Me?
Once you have the average BSR for your keyword/topic from your KDSPY tool, you can further mine that data for even more information by using the Kindle Sales Calculator tool.
When you enter the average BSR of your topic into this calculator, it will tell you approximately how many books or sellers in that category are selling per day. For instance, at a BSR of 100,000, the seller is moving at least one book a day. Pretty neat, right?
Is KDSPY Worth the Money?
Let’s get this out of the way upfront: KDSPY is not a free tool. While we all love those free tools, at some point, if you want to have a successful online publishing business, you are going to have to invest some money.
Most importantly, though, you want to invest wisely, and from the standpoint of our review, KDSPY is a wise investment. At a $47 one-off payment, the time you save by using this plugin is paid for right away. They also offer a 60-day money-back guarantee in case you really don’t get value out of the product.
Niche Research: Take It Long Term
Another great thing you can do with KDSPY is track your competition. The plugin gives you the option to follow certain authors and titles, and it will provide you with ongoing alerts and reports about the activity of that author/title. This helps you to adjust your strategy in the long term to ensure you are always at the top of your game.
What Are the Alternatives?
You’re probably wondering why you can’t just manually gather all this information. You absolutely could; it’s not like KDSPY unlocks anything that isn’t already there. If you wanted to, you could open a spreadsheet, and manually click on each and every one of the entries in your keyword search.
The only problem with the manual method is that you are searching for seven criteria in, at least, 20 different search results, and that’s just for one keyword! It will very likely take you at least 30 minutes to transfer over that data for each keyword.
How much is half an hour of your day worth to you? Now multiply that by 10 or more keywords you will be researching.
Sounds like a no-brainer to me. KDSPY is the way to go!
Make Your Life Even Easier
Once you have determined which keywords are going to be profitable for you, it’s time to get down to the slog and grind of research and creating the book itself. Today, though, there are tools available to make even that part of the online publishing process quicker and easier.
By hiring a ghostwriter, providing them with the keywords that you want to base your book around, as well as a detailed outline, you could get your book published in just over a month, depending on its length. Compare that to the average length of time that it takes to write a book from scratch yourself, which can be up to a year, and the time and money-saving become evident.
Using a ghostwriter to write your book frees you up to market your existing titles, plan future projects, and work on all those other little things that come with running your own business.
It’s a Wrap
The online publishing space is one of the fastest-growing industries today, but you will only be successful if you treat it like any other business and do the market research that is required. When Amazon created KDP, they provided an amazing platform for self-publishing, which continues to help authors and publishers across the world reach their audience and make passive income.
If you really want to make things happen in your online publishing business, though, you are going to have to be prepared to invest a bit of money. By investing wisely in tools like KDSPY, that investment will pay itself back to you. Ready to take on the world?