Which produces more sustainable sales on Kindle: Fiction or nonfiction?

7 replies
I've been dabbling primarily in nonfiction Kindle books. Most of my stuff are how-to stuff and confidence building stuff.

My question is, how does nonfiction stack up to fiction when it comes to sustainability? I'm not asking if fiction sells compared to nonfiction. We already know the answer. My question is one of sustainability. If you're a Kindle publisher, you probably would know that when you do the special Kindle promo you get a nice burst of sales and then it dies off slowly until you do your next KDP select freebie giveaway.

Is the sales pattern more predictable and sustainable for fiction compared to nonfiction?
#fiction #kindle #nonfiction #produces #sales #sustainable
  • Profile picture of the author danieldesai
    I won't speak much about non-fiction as I mostly focus on fictional works...

    But to partially answer your question, I find it's easier to get more sustained exposure when related books are promoted under the same author name (such as through a series).

    Each book helps bring exposure to the others.

    You can do the same with non-fiction books but the scope for multiple titles is not as limitless as with fiction (where the only limit is your imagination).

    With that being said, there are a lot of Kindle publishers doing well with non-fiction, like MValmont (a member of this forum).

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  • Profile picture of the author agmccall
    The one that you can write better. For instance, I am not very good at writing fiction so I would never make a good profit from it unless I hire ghostwriters. On the other hand, I am good at researching a topic and writing "How to" short books. With that I only really need to hire a editor/proofreader which I can find quality people on fiverr.


    A bar of iron cost $5. Made into horseshoes, it's worth $12. Made into needles, it's worth $3500. Made into balance springs for watches, it's worth $300,000. Your value is determined by what you are able to make of yourself

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  • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
    There have been some good answers shared here ;-)

    Generally speaking, Fiction is more evergreen and I don't see that changing in the near future.

    Fiction is also entertainment so the buying dynamics are completely different.

    Non-fiction is often problem-solving, so you keep those buyers until you solve their problem or you don't ;-)

    For a long-term, sustainable approach, I recommend fiction, especially if you READ FICTION! There can be inherent problems with it, as mentioned above, but they are all solvable.

    Both approaches take work, but right now, the pay-off for fiction can be unbelievable ;-)
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  • Profile picture of the author sanba
    I am by no means an expert on this subject but I understand that fiction books beat nonfiction ones in that sense.
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  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    Focus on what you're good at...


    Kindle success quickly boils down to your ability to build a loyal audience around your body of work.

    It's going to be very hard to build a solid author platform if you constantly bounce from one 'hot' trending niche to the next.

    Establish credibility and authority in one niche then branch out... if you wish.

    Even if you outsource, it makes more sense to focus on one niche, NAIL IT, then expand to related to sub-niches.
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  • Profile picture of the author MValmont
    I don't see any differences between the two
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  • Profile picture of the author Write Now
    I would focus your energy on what you do best.

    As danieldesai mentioned above, the writing techniques are dramatically different between the two. Personally, For the average person that plans on self publishing, I would stick to non-fiction because writers are judged less on technical prowess and more on the overall content, whereas the technical aspect is seemingly more important with fiction.
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