Making Money With Kindle E-books – 5 Things To Consider
Recently, I began writing my first Kindle e-book. I’m excited to share a bit about my journey as I go as well as the process I take to launching it in the Kindle store. Hopefully I’ll have some success stories to share along the way as I write more and more books.One thing I’ve learned so far is that while making money with Kindle e-books certainly isn’t rocket science, it continues to become more and more competitive. In fact, most self publishers earn less than $500/month on their books.
Now let me be clear – $500/month of ongoing income for something you don’t really need to manage is certainly better than a sharp stick in the eye (yeah…not the best image, but my grandpa used to say it.) In fact, any reoccurring income that you don’t need to put a lot of time in to is attractive to most of us.
And that is why I believe that self publishing in the Kindle store is on of the best passive income opportunities on the web currently. While there is a significant barrier to entry (the whole “writing a book” part…duh!), there are also significant rewards in the end.
With that in mind, I’d like to share with you some things that I have learned and plan to implement as I write my future books.
Five Things To Consider When Writing A Kindle E-book
1. Choose a topic that people are buying books in
There are two huge mistakes a new author will make as they get started. The first involves simply diving in and writing about “their passion.” While it would be great if this romanticized type of writing could translate into actual profits, but usually it doesn’t. Simply the fact that you are interested in a topic doesn’t mean that there are people looking to buy a book on the topic.
The second mistake I see is when and author tries to pick a niche that has little competition thinking they will immediately rise to the top. While this may be true, it can also be discouraging when you realize that the reason nobody was writing about these topics was because there weren’t any buyers. Even if you were to corner the market, 100% of zero simply won’t pay the bills.
The best strategy is to go where the competition is. Why? Because that’s where the buyers are! Search out topics and niches that have many books ranking in the 100,000 range and up. If you can crack that, you can start seeing a decent return on all of your time spent writing.
2. Utilize bulleted lists and chapter summaries to increase page count
Page count matters to your customers. All other things being equal, why would I buy your 35 page book for $2.99 when I can buy your competitor’s book with 45 pages for the same price?
Please understand that I’m not advocating you being dishonest or trying to sell “fluff.” Quite the contrary. A well written chapter summary at the end of each chapter is of great value to your reader. And if you don’t over do it, they’ll appreciate it. So let’s list the benefits:
- Can remind the reader about important highlights in the preceding chapter
- Can summarize an idea with multiple parts
- Adds pages to your book increasing it’s appeal
- Added authority (and length) to this point!
The idea behind “pulsing” is to lower your price (in some cases dropping it down to FREE) in order to increase sales and/or reviews of your book. Carolyn McCray has an excellent write up on price pulsing if you’d like to read more about it.
You main goal is to have increased discoverability due to the fact that Amazon rewards books that garner a greater number of sales. They also seem to like books with more reviews. Put both of those factors together (along with several others) and you can see why price pulsing is a strategy you should look into.
4 .Use the description section as a sales letter
This one is one of the best tips in this list. So many people do an “author profile” or a short description in the description box. To me, this is wasting your best opportunity for a potential customer to click on the preview and/or buy your book. They’re on your book’s page already — you’ve got to hook them!
First of all, talk about the benefits of your book. How will they benefit if they read it? Don’t talk about the features here…don’t tell me how great your book is. Stick to the benefits.
Secondly, don’t skimp on the copy! You’ve got 4000 words to win them over – use them!
5. Formatting is key to readability and good reviews
The following is a list of accepted formats for publishing in the Kindle store:
- Word (.doc, or DOC)
- ePub (.epub, or EPUB)
- Adobe PDF (.pdf, or PDF)
- Plain Text (.txt, or TXT)
- Zipped HTML (.zip, or ZIP)
- MobiPocket (.mobi, or MOBI and .prc, or PRC)
I recommend sticking with Microsoft Word since you can edit very easily and most people have the program. If you don’t have Word, Google “Open Office” for a free alternative. It can save your project in the .doc format.
There is a wealth of information about publishing to the Kindle store all over the web. Do yourself a favor before you publish to spend some time reading through some best practices. If you’ve got any questions about making money with Kindle e-books or would simply like to bounce a possible topic you are considering off of somebody, please contact me or leave a comment below — I’d love to hear from you!