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KILLING IT ON KINDLE PUBLISHING - HOW TO MAKE MONEY SELLING E-BOOKS
6/23/2015 (Updated 1/27/16)
What blog doesn't have an article about making money with Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing - selling e-books? It's my turn and here we go...
I could easily make this a 15,000 word article, I will try to keep it as short as I can, giving you the least amount of knowledge you need to get started, but I will throw in some tips and hints (since that's what my site says I do).
For those of you who don't know (living under a rock lately?), Amazon sells e-books on their site under the Kindle name. They have a book ready called, "Amazon Kindle - Fire" and more names as they come out with new readers. This allows you to publish and sell e-books on Amazon under their "Kindle" book area. Since they are very popular, selling 20 books a day at $2.99 is about $60 gross to you. Selling different titles and having 20 different ones all selling 20 books a day is about $1,196 per day gross! Kindle does keep the first $1.00 of each book, but still netting about $796 per day while doing nothing is pretty darn good. Some people have 100 e-books on there. Of course, not all will sell 20 a day. You do have to "move witht the flow" by changing up your titles and keeping with new trends. Writing the first couple of books about a new diet fad can make you thousands a week if you get in early and keep your book near the top of Amazon's first page on Kindle under that subject.
The number 1 question of book writers on Amazon is, "How do you pick a topic to write about"? No one is going to give you the topics their books are on, because they don't want that market flooded with 5,000 new books exactly like theirs, diluting the pool of bucks that everyone takes out of. YOU have to do the homework and decide for yourself, with some tips on that below.
First thing I'm going to do, is give you a link to a super video course on Udemy about how to make money selling ebooks on Amazon Kindle Amazon Kindle eBook Publishing-How I Made Over $39K w/eBooks. I recommend buying it and following Steve's steps to money from e-books.
If you open any page to any book on Amazon Kindle, down the page on any e-book, you will see this information about it that will help you decide what YOU'RE going to write about (see below pic). You want to pick a topic that has e-books that are pretty popular, thus looking at the, "Amazon Best Seller Rank" and the numbers below that to determine that people buy/read those kinds of books on that topic.
There are frequent questions on what is and what is not copyrightable. You cannot copyright a recipe or a way to make something or a list. So, you can cut/paste from some other site that you found a list or recipe, you just can't put in the other stuff they added, like, "This recipe was a favorite of my Aunt Betty's. She liked to call it, "Chocolate Explosion!". Nope, just stick to the actual recipe or way to make a birdhouse or whatever.
How many words? The quickest selling books have between 7,500 and 15,000 words in them. Of course, more famous books, like 50 Shades of Gray sell well on their own because of the popularity of it on TV and movies. Some do very well selling longer books, but do you want to take that chance? Quick "How to" books can be pumped out in 3 days or less, depending on how informative you want to be, but they don't really expect much for their $.99 - $2.99 price of your e-book.
Pen name? It's ok with Amazon if you put in any old name for each book. I would change mine every couple of books, just so some Jake Ace doesn't go in and copy all your books (with changes) and puts them all up in your same categories. So, you're in fact "hiding" all of the books you publish by changing your "published by" name.
Numbers game. It's all about the numbers, unless you are an exceptional author that everyone wants to read. You want to pop out at least 3 books a week if you want to make a living and get at least 100 on Amazon Kindle in all different categories. Learn which ones pay you the most and write more for that category. Keep changing. You want to be a Kindle chameleon. Don't get stale. Some books will sell well, some won't, that's why you deal in volume. You also want to "get lucky" and hit that niche that no one else wants to, like "How to raise ______ goats". I read that 1 guy did that on a certain goat breed and makes $3,000 a month just from 1 book. I'm not touching that subject, are you? He can have it all to himself. (more of this article below).
Length of ebook? Should be between 30-40 pages. Get them out quick before someone else does on that topic. If you aren't good enough to write a bunch of books yourself, farm it out online to places like fiverr.com or some outher writing outsource. Don't be afraid of shelling out $50 - $150 for newly made content. You will make much more than that over the coarse of the year (unless you pick 'too popular' topics or ones no one would ever think to type in. Check up on your writer. Don't assume he/she is on the up-and-up. They might have cheated and gleaned your new book they wrote for you off the internet. Try Googling 15-20 chapters and 15 - 20 single sentences and see if someone else's work comes up. Don't pay them for it, they need to learn a lesson.
Price. There are all kinds of methods I found on the internet to make your book jump up in Amazons top 10 books for sale, one being price. Or actually, when to price your ebook free and when to move it up to $2.99 (the 'golden price'). The big wheels say to offer it free and try to get a bunch of 5 star reviews then gradually go to .99 and then to $2.99. If you find your way outselling the other books in your niche, if there are any, then try playing with the price a bit. You can always move it back downward if you see everyone stopped buying it, but do it quick so you stay on the front top 10 books page.
Look inside. Yes, you want to give book browsers a look inside as you set your book up on Amazon. Make the first 3 pages blazing full of super, super content leaving them wanting more and great incentive to buy your book. Not so much "about me" to bore them, make that section short and sweet and get on with content.
Basically, you want to set your book up like this (and whatever Steve Mcdonald tells you, author of the book link above):
Great Title that makes the viewer curious or lets them know it's all-encompassing about the subject.
Who it's for. Describe the audience that will benefit from your knowledgible ebook.
What are they going to learn/be able to do after reading it? Be truthful, but try to think of the many ways and describe what they'll be getting out of it.
Parlay! When you have sold a person 1 book, sell them more! They know you and like you now. They are your BFF! They don't mind giving you a few more bucks for more of what you have to offer. Some writers of ebooks make semi-informative books that leave out some of the 'Big" details and lead the reader into one of their more comprehensive ebooks/courses, like, "How to make money (doing this thing)" or whatever. It could be another book that explains the last 5 details of what you started in book #1. Lead them in, then corral them! (of course, in a professional and nice way). Give them their moneys' worth. For $.99 to $2.99 a book, I don't think they're expecting you to give away the company store for that price.
I myself, haven't made any books on Kindle yet, but I am quite the little knowledge gatherer. Like most of the articles on my blog, I haven't actually done the task, just investigated it and reported it to you guys. I would put books on Amazon Kindle, but this blog and many other projects keep me very busy all the time (and I don't need the income).
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