How to validate your book ideas before you start writing

Working with writers, one issue pops up often – authors don’t know which of their three dozen book ideas they should start working on. Or they get distracted and want to be working on a new one before finishing the old one. So they often ask,

How do I know which book idea will be the most profitable?

Firstly, if you’re at this point, congratulations! Deciding you want to write books that earn money is the first step to actually doing it. And luckily, it’s actually not that hard to test, get feedback, and know with relative certainty which of your ideas is going to be the most successful (and of course, if they all take the same amount of time and effort to write, why not start with the biggest ideas that will actually earn money first – you can write the others after you have some cash coming in).

Using keyword tools

I was doing this last night with a new tool called KDPRocket. I bought it awhile ago but hadn’t really dug into it yet. But here’s basically how I was using it: search for keywords, find out how many searches for those keywords readers are using, then find out how much competition there is. (I only searched for keywords related to projects I’m working on right now).

KDPRocket shows you both estimated Amazon searched & Google searches at the same time.

Here’s what I found out.

Vampire is popular, 152k searches a month (but also most competitive, 100/100).
Wolf is 26k searches, much less competitive (67/100)
Dystopian, 29k searches, less competitive (70/100)

(Dystopian books for teens was good too).


Angels, 32k, 100/100
Demons, 9k.
Paranormal romance, 35k
Paranormal romance for adults – 152k
Dragon, 25000
Shifter, 20,000
Urban fantasy, 10500
Urban fantasy paranormal, 42000.

Putting it together

Now that I have some experience publishing fiction, I think it’s better to shoot for a bigger, more competitive category rather than a smaller one with less competition. I can get a dragon shifter romance to do really well in its category and get in the top 20, but if I get a vampire romance in the top 100 it’ll still earn a lot more. (I don’t worry about the competition, because I’m not shooting for mediocre – I read the bestsellers and I try to make something as good, or better, than the books that are strong sellers).

You can also use KDProcket to look at what competitors show up for your keywords and get details about them. For me the most useful feature though, is the suggested keywords – if if I type “mermaid” it will show me all the related keywords that people are using on Kindle and Google. Then I can take those keywords and use them in my Amazon ads, so when people search for those keywords, my book will show up in the sponsored results.

I’ll make a video soon talking about this stuff; in the meantime you can check out KDPRocket and see if it’s something you might want to use.

About Derek Murphy

I help authors and artists turn their passions into full-time businesses, make a bigger impact, and blaze a luminous trail of creative independence. Right now I'm in Taiwan finishing a PHD in Literature, writing several books, and managing a handful of online businesses. Find me

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