In the vast digital landscape of self-publishing, 2023 emerged as a chapter of unprecedented success for Amazon KDP sellers.
The world of low- and no-content books witnessed a league of authors who didn’t just create books – they crafted bestsellers, turning their passion into profits.
In the following sections, we unveil some of Amazon KDP’s top sellers during 2023 and explore the alchemy behind their triumph.
Our research process explained
Identifying the most profitable low- and no-content booksellers requires a meticulous research process.
To discover who dominated the digital bookshelves last year, we used the extensive range of features available in Book Bolt.
We analyzed different book categories and made a list of best-selling authors. Next, we used the tool’s Seller module to examine the performance of each seller.
The software provides access to each author’s BSR, total number of listings, and prices. It also gives thorough information on each active listing, enabling us to see the generated sales volumes.
Based on this process, we identified four top-performing sellers from four different categories:
- Notebook – Crystal Poindexter
- Activity books – Diman Activity Holiday
- Coloring books – Yournotes Whimsical Relaxing Coloring Books
- Journals – Keila Shaheen
Let’s dive into more detail.
Amazon KDP sellers that stood out in 2023
Uncovering the leading authors on Amazon KDP is valuable for one core reason – strategy.
By analyzing the techniques implemented by the most profitable sellers in 2023, you can extract best practices that will help you transform your performance in 2024.
Without further ado, here are the authors that generated some of the highest revenue last year.
According to Book Bolt, Crystal Poindexter stands out with one of the lowest BSRs in the notebook category for 2023.
The seller’s portfolio is made up of a single listing – “The Gold Book Volume 1: The Girl With The Notebook”. The product’s BSR is 10,650 and the product generates 389 sales per month at $17.09 (much higher than the market average of $8.73).
With royalties of $8.43 per sale, this item scores monthly returns of $3,279.
What’s interesting to note here is that the page length is shorter than most other notebooks. Instead of opting for the traditional 100-page length, this book consists of 72 pages. This allows for higher royalties as production costs are lower.
Looking at the title, we can see a very clear and simple description. The seller only utilizes general keywords like “notebook” and “volume”.
While the title suggests that this product is part of a series, there’s only one product available for sale. Perhaps the author has discontinued other volumes after realizing that this listing secures the highest sales volumes and profits.
Diman Activity Holiday
The second top-performing author we identified is Diman Activity Holiday, who specializes in the activity book category.
Just like the previous example, this seller also offers a single item – “Activity Puzzle Book For Kids Ages 8-12 Years Old: Sudoku, Mazes, Word Search, Tic-Tac-Toe, Word Scramble, Hangman Puzzle, And More, Activity book for kids”.
The main difference here is the pricing strategy. As opposed to positioning this product above the market average, the seller asks for a price of $7.95, slightly under the medium in the market ($8.40).
This approach has resulted in a BSR of 7,756 and monthly sales of 420. Considering that per-sale royalties for this item are $2.31, the monthly profits for the seller are $970.
These findings reveal two important conclusions.
First, although this seller is considered a top performer in terms of BSR, their profits are lower than the first example ($970 compared to $3,279). This is due to the lower price, which leads to lower royalties.
However, it’s also a result of a much longer book-length. While the first example was 72 pages, this activity book is 122 pages. The longer the length, the higher the production costs, which compromises royalties.
Second, generating more sales doesn’t guarantee more substantial earnings. Thanks to a well-optimized title and a niche product, Diman Activity Holiday lands 420 sales every month. Despite this, their profits are lower than Crystal Poindexter, who scores only 389 sales.
Yournotes Whimsical Relaxing Coloring Books
Another overachiever on Amazon KDP is this brand.
This seller differs from the previous two as they have a total of two products for sale as opposed to one.
The authors’ best-performing item is “Mindfulness Coloring Book For Adults: For Mindful People | Feel the Zen With Stress Relieving Designs Animals, Mandalas, Zentangle Nature Art.”. It’s positioned in one of the most attractive niches in the coloring books space – mindfulness products for adults.
The title is optimized for high-search-volume keywords like “zen”, “stress relieving”, “animals”, “mandalas”, “and “art”. A descriptive and rich title helps improve rankings and guarantees the listing is visible to the right audience.
The product is priced at $7.95 (very close to the market average of $7.87). It has a BSR of 630 and lands 640 sales per month, bringing in royalties of $1,581.
The length of this bestseller is 102 pages, leading to slightly lower royalties per sale. However, the high sales volume compensates and secures a fruitful monthly return.
Last but not least, we identified Keila Shaheen as the dominating seller for 2023 in the journal category. This seller is also the most profitable one of all the authors analyzed in this article.
With a total of six products for sale, the average BSR of this book creator is 1,997,887. This number is much higher than the rest of the examples on this list.
However, it’s worth noting that the results are skewed because of the diverse portfolio. When looking into individual listings, we noticed tremendous profitability.
For example, the top-performing listing in this portfolio is “The Shadow Work Journal: A Guide to Integrate and Transcend your Shadows” – a journal that sells for $17.72 with a BSR of 271 and 733 monthly sales.
The price of the listing is much higher than the average in the market ($11.34), yet the successful results are evident.
With per-sale royalties for this 138-page journal, the author receives monthly returns of $5,894 for this listing alone.
This chart-topper’s selected niche is work journals. It’s specifically created to help adults transcend their shadows. With a listing that’s well-optimized for theme-related keywords, this product enjoys substantial traffic and high rankings.
The best practices that shape a top-performing author
Now that we’ve laid out the foundation underneath these sellers, let’s summarize the strategies that help them stand out.
- A small, yet strategic portfolio – One thing that caught our attention throughout our analysis is that most profitable sellers have a portfolio of one or two items. Rather than offering tens or hundreds of products, they focus on a few carefully selected titles that they optimize for high sales volumes.
- Higher prices for higher royalties – Traditionally, we advise sellers to position their listings near the market average. However, this tactic is suitable for new market entrants. When it comes to dominating the scenes and becoming a top seller, data suggests that pricing higher yields more fruitful per-sale royalties.
- Diversifying keyword use in titles – The majority of listings we explored feature diverse keywords across titles. Instead of simply noting the category and theme, they feature words that represent the target audience, age groups, volumes, level of difficulty, and more. This helps boost rankings and doubles chances for sales.
Implementing these techniques into your sales strategy will help you start 2024 one step ahead of others.
Reflecting on the past is meaningful only when we glean insights from both mistakes and achievements, illuminating the path to a brighter future.
By taking the key insights from 2023’s top-selling authors, you can craft a result-proven plan for 2024.
Take advantage of all that Amazon KDP offers and unlock the full potential of your side gig.