Self-Publishing Advice: Do You Earn More Writing Fiction or Non-Fiction eBooks?

I’ve been a self-publisher since 2002. To date (Spring 2015), I’ve written close to 100 eBooks; 50-60 fiction and almost 30 non-fiction (mostly romance). So, you may be thinking, “Which ones sell best – the fiction or the non-fiction?”

Like most things in any type of business, the answer is not so cut and dried. It depends on a host of factors. But let me say up front, I’ve earned the most – by far – writing in the non-fiction, how-to genre, eg, how to start a freelance SEO writing business; how to write and publish eBooks; how to make money online; etc.

Why I’ve Earned More Self-Publishing Non-Fiction Than Fiction: 4 Reasons

1. First-Hand Info: I tend to write what I know and first-hand information sells. Why? In my opinion, it’s because when people want to know about something, they seek information from someone who’s “been there and done that,” so to speak.

2. Never Underestimate Passion: Also, when you know about a subject and are dedicated enough to write a book about it, you tend to be more passionate about it. This comes across in the writing.

3. Real-Life Examples: Another thing is, you can cite real-life scenarios (and what you learned from them), which speaks to the “been there, done that” experience eBook buyers seek when they’re deciding between eBook A and eBook B. And finally…

4. Pricing: You can price non-fiction eBooks much higher than fiction eBooks. For example, most of my romance novels sell in the $2.99 to $3.99 price range. For my non-fiction eBooks, $9.99 is low. I’ve sold individual titles for as much as $99.95, although most fall in the $15 to $30 range.

Why Self-Publishing Fiction May Be More Lucrative

With all of that being said, however, I think there’s more money to be earned in fiction. Why? Simply because people buy more fiction than non-fiction; there’s a wider market.

As stated so brilliantly in the post, Should You Write Nonfiction or Fiction? on The Write Practice blog…

“James Patterson sells more copies of his books than Tim Ferriss [author of The New York Times best seller, The 4-Hour Work Week] does (about 200 times more). In the end, top tier fiction authors make more than top tier non-fiction authors.”
Conclusion: So Which Should You Write – Fiction or Non-Fiction

There is no one-size-fits-all answer. It all depends on your interests, your desire to tell a story, your writing ability and a host of other factors. But I will say this… as my experience underscores, there’s no reason you can’t do both.

In fact, unless you just have a stomach-churning aversion to one genre over another, then try both. As for me, there was a time when I thought I’d give up non-fiction to just write fiction. But then, another idea for a non-fiction eBook would hit, then I’d say something to the effect of, “Let me go ahead and knock this one out.”

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