Is There Room For Digital Non-Fiction Books?

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Is There Room For Digital Non-Fiction Books?

Guy Kawasaki e-book

If you know who Guy Kawasaki is, it’s likely because you’ve seen his books and perhaps have even read one. Or you may have heard him speak at a conference. But did you know he’s a successful entrepreneur who has self-published an e-book with massive success? The title of that book is What The Plus! It’s only available as an e-book.

Kawasaki is not the only successful non-fiction e-book author. There are plenty more.

In fact, Amazon has more than 20 top-level non-fiction categories for Kindle e-books. If you take a look at the Business & Money category, you’ll see yesterday’s top selling e-book, “Habit Stacking: 97 Small Life Changes That Take Five Minutes or Less,” is a self-published e-book with more than 50 reviews resulting in a 4-star rating.

There is no reason why more non-fiction authors can’t be their own publishers. All it takes is a little motivation, some writing ability, the wherewithal to market your book, and a good book idea.

Why Non-Fiction Is In High Demand

Amazon e-book categoriesBelieve it or not, the first e-books ever sold online were non-fiction books. In those days, the technology to create e-books was primitive. There were no e-book readers or tablets. There were only PDF files, HTML books, and laptops and desktop computers. We’ve come a long way since then.

It is more common these days to hear about a runaway fiction best seller in the e-book category, but that’s a relatively recent phenomenon.

E-books are actually a perfect fit for non-fiction titles. The reason is because the Internet is intrinsically an information medium. Most people still use the Internet for research. Whether they are researching a product to purchase or need information to solve an issue, it is this drive for information that has spawned the growth of the Internet and search engines like Google.

Since non-fiction books are inherently about the information inside them, e-books are the perfect fit for any information you have to impart to your audience.

Where Do People Buy E-books?

Barnes & Noble e-booksAmazon may be the largest seller of e-books online and the most well known, but it is not the only place consumers of e-books can purchase books by their favorite authors. Kindle books are only one format for e-books. Digital books can also be published in the following formats:

  • ePub
  • PDF
  • HTML
  • iBook

Learn more about the different e-book formats.

Kobo e-booksConsumers have a variety of options with each of these e-book formats, in terms of where they can be purchased. You can always offer them on your own website, but many consumers would rather buy from one of the big online retailers due to trust factors. The e-book retailers that are the most trusted among e-book buyers include:

  • Amazon
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Kobo
  • Apple
  • Smashwords

Smashwords e-booksIt is important to point out that Smashwords is a distributor, not a proprietary e-book retailer. Consumers can purchase e-books in all available formats at Smashwords as long as those books are independently published.

How Self-Publishing E-books Boosts Your Authority

No matter what business you’re in, you no doubt want people to see you as an authority. Nothing positions you as an authority more than authoring a book. But why should you publish an e-book versus a print book?

I want to be careful here and NOT say that print books should never be published. There are times when a print book should be your first choice. In fact, you might consider publishing both a print book and an e-book.

On the other hand, there are times when publishing an e-book is preferable to publishing in print. Consider these points:

  • If you work in an industry where information changes rapidly and there is a risk that the knowledge you have to share may be obsolete by the time you publish a print book, you can publish an e-book a lot more quickly and make changes to the information more easily should you find it necessary for later editions.
  • If your business is an online business and your only means of distribution is digital, then you should publish an e-book.
  • If you want to test the market for a print book, e-books can be a great way to determine whether an investment in a print book is worth the risk and additional expense.
  • If you have a limited budget for publishing, e-books are cheaper to produce than print books.
  • If you are pressed for time and have a short deadline, an e-book can help you get information out more quickly.

Many non-fiction authors find that publishing an e-book makes them a credible expert in their niches. By publishing an e-book and sharing your knowledge within your niche, you can position yourself as an authority and increase your sales and market positioning.