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I have a friend who is considering throwing her hat into the indie author ring. She says she heard that non-fiction has a bigger market than fiction in the ebook world. I thought fiction was a better choice. Any thoughts?
 

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Suggest to your friend that she may need to sit down and think of a business model of her own rather than just chasing the current shiny model.  Most of us write what we can - I couldn't write fiction if you held a gun to my head - so I don't.
 

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I think it really depends on the genre and any niches within the genre. I write both - but far and away my best selling title is a non fiction book that hits one underpopulated niche really well. Two other books in fairly crowded niches aren't selling nearly as well, despite good covers and multiple great reviews.

I have a couple fiction titles in crowded genres that are lucky to sell one or two a month, then another that's doing fairly well (but not as well as my high non-fiction seller) in a popular genre but hitting a few underpopulated niches within it.
 

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I am the opposite of Lissie in that I took a non-fiction writing class and I was terrible at it.  Fiction is where I am comfortable and I think that your friend really needs to do what they are comfortable with instead of writing based on hopeful results.  Who knows what will be popular.  Non-fiction is great in that people who are looking for something specific will find you easier, but the appeal is also likely to be more limited.  My best advice is to tell them to write what stirs passion inside.  Anything else will be forced and readers can usually tell.
 

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Write with passion about what you believe passionately about; write the story within you that is dying to be told.
(Easier said than done, admittedly, but it's what I believe in.)
 
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R. M. Reed said:
I have a friend who is considering throwing her hat into the indie author ring. She says she heard that non-fiction has a bigger market than fiction in the ebook world. I thought fiction was a better choice. Any thoughts?
In terms of independent publishing, non-fiction DOES outsell most fiction (with the exception of romance, which currently makes up to 45-50% of the digital marketplace according to some sources :eek:). But, and here is the key, only for those people who are specialists in their fields already and can leverage their professional standing. People will drop $10-$20 on non-fiction ebooks without batting an eyelash...if it is from a respected source. Before the Kindle rush, most of the successful self publishers were in fact specialists selling niche books in non-fiction categories.

If your friend is a respected specialist in her field, she can transition that reputation into her non-fiction. If she thinks she just going to research a topic online and throw it on Amazon, she will fail on an epic level. But the non-fiction marketplace is a completely different animal from fiction with its own set of rules.
 

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Bards and Sages (Julie) said:
If your friend is a respected specialist in her field, she can transition that reputation into her non-fiction. If she thinks she just going to research a topic online and throw it on Amazon, she will fail on an epic level. But the non-fiction marketplace is a completely different animal from fiction with its own set of rules.
This. I don't care how inexpensive (even free!) a non-fiction book is, I'm not going to download it unless its author is a respected specialist in that field.
 

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Amanda Brice said:
This. I don't care how inexpensive (even free!) a non-fiction book is, I'm not going to download it unless its author is a respected specialist in that field.
Exactly. To learn, we have to find the experts in the field. If the author lacked credentials, I wouldn't download the book even if it was free. So many books to read, so little time. ; )
 

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And to be honest, I'm not going to download the book unless I have a particular need for that subject at the time I'm looking for it, in which case I need to know the info then, so price isn't a concern.
 

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Amanda Brice said:
Because she writes non-fiction. Just because she doesn't write fiction doesn't mean she's not a writer. This is called "Writers' Cafe," not "Novelists' Cafe."
Thank you - and because the arrogance of some "Writers" continuously takes my breath away - it's a fascinating study in psychology - I may make it into a book :D
 

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R. M. Reed said:
I have a friend who is considering throwing her hat into the indie author ring. She says she heard that non-fiction has a bigger market than fiction in the ebook world. I thought fiction was a better choice. Any thoughts?
Depends on what you write and how you write it. How you sell it is also an issue-for example, if you're doing an infoproduct with a squeeze page, that's a completely different monster (and vendor options) from selling an e-book.
 
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