151: Leveraging the Power of SEO to Sell Your Books on Amazon: Interview with Dave Chesson

A few years ago, I was speaking a conference and a woman came up to me afterwards asking for advice about a book she wanted to publish. Not being familiar with her genre, I asked if there were any other books on the subject. Her answer scared me.

151: How to Validate Your Book Idea: Interview with Dave Chesson of Kindlepreneur

“None,” she said. “There are no books out there like this. This is a completely original idea.”

Why would this scare me?

Because this isn’t how you successfully launch a book. If you release your work into a vacuum there is no one there to buy it.

This week on The Portfolio Life, Dave Chesson and I talk about how to research your book before you write it and nearly guarantee it’s success.

As a top authority on self-publishing through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), and founder of Kindlepreneur, Dave shares his insights into the parallels between building profitable niche websites and writing relevant books that create a continuous income stream for the author.

Listen in as we talk about riding elephants, keyword research, how to use your ideal reader’s words to build your book, and quick tips for aspiring authors and new writers.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights

In this episode, Dave and I discuss:

  • Why a strategy that for Malcolm Gladwell won’t necessarily work for you
  • The impact of the Amazon “honeymoon” period
  • How to avoid book sales feeling like blowing air into a deflated balloon with a hole in it
  • Our wives being right at least 80% of the time
  • Assessing your definition of success and determining if you’re on the right path
  • How building a business or writing books can fit into the margins of your day job
  • The process for writing and self-publishing your book
  • Creating content that centers around a topic people like and is better than the competition
  • The similarities between Google and Amazon search
  • How to reverse engineer Amazon’s algorithm
  • Using Google to determine the degree of competition for an idea


  • Find the words your target market is using.
  • Do research to determine if anyone is looking for and buying the kind of book you want to write.
  • Creating a book that people are actively searching for on Amazon can create a continuous stream of income.
  • If you try to rank for a term that’s too popular, every second a new book will come out on Amazon targeting that market.
  • Don’t write into a competitive market where no one is making any money.
  • The most important number Amazon can give any writer is the Amazon “best seller” rank.
  • Write a blog post or article to test your book idea.
  • Every new book is an experiment. If the idea doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.

Even if you have the big book launch, it will not sustain your career or living as a writer.

Jeff Goins

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Click here to download a free PDF of the complete interview transcript.

What book are you trying to write? Who is the audience you’re trying to reach? Are they searching for your topic? Share your results in the comments

10 thoughts on “151: Leveraging the Power of SEO to Sell Your Books on Amazon: Interview with Dave Chesson

  1. Hey guys!
    Im a selfproclaimed writer and im working in my first craft ‘RUMOURS of Love’ where im talking about me and how I got robbed of the only thing that I was supposed to be gifted to. I can share the first draft info, I don’t mind

  2. Jeff, once again your content is on key and excellent! Thank you for your dedication to your insightful blogs and entertaining podcasts. The world of writers, entrepreneurs and crazy over achievers owes you one. Dave! Thank you for sharing your insight,. Your thoughts and ideas are so valuable! Jeff, as per the question you asked on your email, at the moment I am writing a novel called Karis. It’s about a girl who has everything the world strives for but nothing to bring her joy. I have applied for a $5,000 via my University so I can work with Sandra Byrd again. Fingers, eyes and toes crossed! Good luck to all you writers out there!

  3. Hi everyone! I am just starting to contemplate my first book in the field of psychology. I am a psychotherapist and a fashion designer. Trying to bring the two together in a series of essays about the industry and personality disorders. Still long way to go. jeff your posts have been a true inspiration and made me start realising that I can write a book if I truly decide to do so. Thank you.

  4. Many thanks for the exciting blog posting about”Leveraging the Power of SEO to Sell Your Books on Amazon: Interview with Dave Chesson”! I really enjoyed reading it, you are a brilliant writer. I actually added your blog to my favorites and will look forward for more updates. Great Job, Keep it up.

  5. Could you answer the following topics:
    1. What is the Pro and Cons of SEO ?
    2. What kind of seo tools are used for organic search and why?
    3. How/Where can I get Latest SEO and Search Engines Marketing news?
    4. Last question What is the latest Seo Strategize ?

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