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Finding UNLIMITED Potential Kindle Book Topics - Method 1 - Amazon Bestseller Lists

Finding UNLIMITED Potential Kindle Book Topics – Method 1 – Amazon Bestseller Lists

Button BestsellerNow that we’ve learned how to determine daily book sales based off of Amazon rankings, the next step we need to cover is how to find potential book topics.  The goal is to create a list of a bunch of potential topics that we can later check for profitability.

To be clear, not all the topics we find using these methods are going to be good topics for us to publish books on.  This method is about finding topics where we KNOW at least one book is selling well, so we’re hoping that the one book is a sign that other books in that topic are selling as well.

Anyway, the first step in this method is navigating to the Kindle nonfiction bestseller list.  To get there from the Amazon homepage:

  • To the left of the search bar, hover over “Shop by Department”.
  • Hover over “Books & Audible”.
  • Click on “Kindle Books”.
  • In the sidebar on the left, under the orange heading “Popular Features” click on “Kindle Best Sellers”.
  • In the sidebar on the left, click “Nonfiction”.
  • You should end up on this page.

Here we can see the top 100 paid and top 100 free nonfiction Kindle books.  As you can probably tell, especially on the top 100 paid, the list is dominated by traditionally published books with huge marketing budgets as well as books by celebrity authors.  However, we’re searching through these lists with the goal of finding self-published books.

The logic behind looking for self-published books on the bestseller lists is that if one book by an unknown author can sell really well about a topic, maybe if we write one too we can achieve the same results.  Like I said at the beginning of this post, not all the topics we find using this method are going to be good topics for us to publish books on.  They’re just ideas that we’ll eventually figure out which ones will be good topics and which ones won’t.

Now you’re probably wondering how to tell which books out of these 200 are self published.  It sometimes can be hard to tell for sure, but here are some good indicators:


Most self-published authors don’t have professionally designed covers.  If the cover of a book looks like it was thrown together by a 12 year old with photoshop or a cheap gig on Fiverr, then that’s a good sign it’s self-published.  For example, take a look at the two covers below (both Kindle books currently available) and tell me which one is self-published and which one is traditionally published?



Granted this won’t work in the top 100 free list, if you’re looking in the top 100 paid list you can tell a book is self-published sometimes based off it’s price.  Most self-published Kindle books are either $0.99 or $2.99.  On the contrary, most traditionally published books are NOT $0.99 or $2.99.

Page Count

Self-published books are oftentimes shorter than the average traditionally published book.  From my experience, most traditionally published books are over 200 pages.  If you see a book that has less than 100 pages, that screams self-published.


Down in the “Book Details” section where you’d find the Amazon Ranking, look to see if a publisher is listed.  If not, there’s a good chance it’s self-published.

Number of Reviews

Traditionally published books with huge marketing budgets and celebrity authors tend to get hundreds, if not thousands, of reviews.  While this may not always be the case, if a book has over 100 reviews, there’s a good chance it’s not self-published.

Print Version

While CreateSpace has made it easier for self-published authors to make their book available in print, many self-published authors don’t take advantage of that.  If there is not print version available, then it’s almost always self-published.

What Next?

Once you’ve gone through both the top 100 paid and top 100 free nonfiction Kindle book lists and picked out all the ones that you think are self-published, create a list of all their titles.  If you see that there are multiple books on your list about the same topic, great!  That’s a good sign!

We’ll come back to how to verify if these topics are profitable or not in a future post coming soon, so if you haven’t already, make sure to sign up for the OIT mailing list located in the sidebar, or directly under this post!

In the mean time, if you have any questions about this method, please go ahead and ask them in the comments section below!


  1. Do you use AK Booster? I’m just trying to remember.

    Thanks for this post!

    • Hi Paula – Nope, I don’t use any software during my Kindle research. I’ve found all the ones I’ve tried haven’t been helpful.

  2. Okay, thank you. I’ve been using it and find it interesting thus far — still tracking my sales stats and stuff as a result.

  3. Thomas,

    Great site! So inspiring to see someone actively building their own success at just 18 years old, keep up the good work mate!


  4. Hi Thomas, I totally agree with what you’re saying about identifying self-published books. I just found a topic using the exact strategy you described:

    1. Poor cover design
    2. Medium to High ranking book
    3. Several self-published books on the topic
    4. Low price
    5. No print version
    6. Few or no reviews

    The only way to really test this out is to publish my own book on the same topic. So now it’s time to post a job on Elance for a writer. Looking forward to when you post your Method 2 of finding book topics!

    • Hey Harlan – Awesome to hear you just found a book topic with this strategy! I definitely feel it’s the easiest and the best out of all the ones I’ll be posting. While you’re right that the only way to know for sure is to publish a book, I do have a strategy for narrowing down the list of book topics you find with these methods to ones that are the MOST likely to be profitable. I’ll be discussing that more after this series of posts so keep an eye out!

  5. Nice work Thomas. I am a “newb” to KDP publishing and have my first ebook in progress using elance. Do you use any paid apps for keyword research like FreshKey or LongTailPro when trying to research a potential ebook topic? Thanks for the valuable information…I look forward to your future posts.

    • Hi Danny – Thanks for the comment! Nope, I don’t use any software tools to do Kindle topic research. I’ve tried a few and they’ve all ended up not helping. However, I do use LongTail Pro for website keyword research and it’s a great tool for what it was designed for – just not for Kindle.

      • Danny Liu says:

        Thanks Thomas – After years of analysis paralysis trying to get something out there, I just published my first title on KDP! Your story was a huge inspiration. The one problem I find myself falling into however is losing the momentum. How do you keep up the motivation? I mean, I just published my 1st book but what should I be doing in order to keep the train rolling? Should I just dive right in and publish another book or should I wait and see how things go with this one? I’m super psyched about moving on but I want to make sure that I can improve on the next title as well. I think goal setting is in line here but trying to figure out what to set that at is the challenge….anyway, thanks again!

        • That’s awesome Danny – congrats on your first Kindle book! I would wait at least a few days to see how sales are for your first book so that you can adjust your topic research strategy accordingly. However, don’t wait TOO long as you mentioned so you don’t lose your momentum. Remember that even if your first book doesn’t do as well as you expected, Kindle really is a numbers game. 80% of my books sell horribly, but it’s the top 20% of my books that makes up 80% of my income. You might also want to consider collecting email addresses from your first book if you’re planning on writing another book on a similar topic – I’ll be publishing a post on how to do that in the near future if you’re not sure. Hope that helps, and again congrats!

  6. Hey, do you also outsource the kindle formatting? Or what tools are you using therefor?

    Cheers! 🙂

    • Hey Phil – Nope, formatting is something I do myself. I don’t use any Kindle formatter tools that many people on the Warrior Forum are selling – I’ve found they don’t do a very good job at making it look good. Plus, formatting really isn’t that hard at all and you can upload a Word document directly to KDP. I use Pages for Mac (similar to Word on PC) to “format” the book – pretty much just adding chapter headers and making it look as clean as possible. I’ll be writing a post in the near future about the exact steps I do to format my books, so keep an eye out!

  7. Love the post Thomas! I share some common tips on my KDP blog as well. Maybe we can do a collab and share war stories?

  8. Please can books containing quotes like those authored by John C. Maxwell on Attitude, Thinking… I mean his power series be published on kindle?

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