In this first lesson, we are going to go over some of the basic information you’ll need to know before you begin publishing your own Kindle books.
As most of us know, Amazon is an extremely popular online marketplace that provides a wide variety of products including digital books that are meant to be read on an ebook reader.
Amazons popularity has skyrocketed with the development and sale of the Amazon Kindle. This small and lightweight device pushed ebooks to the next level. Readers no longer need a computer. With the Kindle, they can cuddle with a good (digital) book anywhere any time, without worrying about where the closest wall outlet is.
Along with that boom in popularity came the massive opportunity for profit. Soon writers, publishers, and entrepreneurs all flocked to Amazon to take advantage of the Kindle self-publishing platform.
Before you can begin taking advantage of the self-publishing tools provided by Amazon you will need to get a free Amazon account, that is if you don’t already have one.
For publishing purposes, you can use the same account, so there is no need to create a separate one to start publishing books on Kindle. If by chance you don’t have an account, don’t worry, creating one is quick and easy!
If you’ve only been using your Amazon.com account to make purchases, some additional information will be required. Amazon will recheck your email address, ask for your social security number, and your bank account information. As concerning as this sounds, it is totally above board. They require this information in order to provide you with reports, earnings and (most importantly) to pay you your share of the profits.
On the Kindle platform, you don’t sell traditional ebooks. Unlike selling ebooks online, you won’t be creating your document in Microsoft Word and selling it as a PDF file. The books you create must be in digital text format and Amazon will handle the conversion during the upload process.
Don’t worry Amazon has taken online publishing to a whole new level by providing you with a suite of tools and all the help you need to start publishing right away.
To access the KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) platform you can visit Amazon.com, scroll to the bottom and click on the link titled “Self-Publish with Us.” or you can visit the website directly at https://kdp.amazon.com there you will find everything you need to get started publishing on the Kindle platform.
Myth: You don’t need an ISBN number to sell books in the Amazon Kindle
Store. When listing your book for sale you will be asked for an ISBN number, but one is not required, so you can simply skip this field and move onto the next.
Amazon.com pays you a 35% royalty fee for each sale made. While this amount seems relatively small when compared to other selling options, you must remember that you are getting access to Amazon’s massive customer list so the potential profit can be far greater.
To ensure you make a profit, set a fair selling price. Remember, a good selling price translates into more sales. When pricing your book be sure to consider the big picture. More sales at a lower price than fewer sales at a higher price will help even out your profit margin. In fact, most make more money with they are lower priced Kindle Books then they do with higher-priced ones.
Keep in mind that prospective buyers can preview your book with the “Look Inside” feature, which is automatically enabled when you publish your book with KDP. So before uploading your book be sure to review “Look inside” FAQ section. This will be your second chance, aside from the product description, to make a sale. If the first pages of your book are uninformative or uninteresting, the chances of making a sale will decrease.
Don’t feel like you have to write a new ebook to begin publishing on Amazon. If you are already an established ebook author you can upload your existing ebooks to the digital text platform and convert them into the Kindle format for increased profits.
That’s it for today’s lesson. We have a lot to go over in the next few days if you want to learn how to use the Amazon Kindle platform to publish your own books. In your next lesson, we will be talking about.
Simple tips that will help you start writing your first Kindle book right away. I’m going to break it down into short actionable steps that you can print out for quick reference. For this example were going to use a how-to book:
– Decide on a topic
First choose a category. Keep in mind that it is easier to write on interesting topics. For your first book try to choose a topic that you are interested in. For instance; do you like to building birdhouses? Then write a how-to book about that. With how-to guides, your options are virtually unlimited. Popular topics include those that show readers how to save money, solve problems, make money, and home improvement projects.
– Create an outline
To help increase productivity and combat writer’s block, write a good outline. You can do this on the computer by hand or ported and have it transcribed later. List the important points that you want to include in your book. If you want to show readers how to replace a kitchen countertop, your sections can include needed tools, tips for buying equipment, preparation, the replacement process, and cleaning tips.
– Use Microsoft Word or a another good text editor
Your books should be composed in Microsoft Word or a similar text editing program makes it easy to catch spelling and grammar errors, as well as monitor word count.
– Write the Introduction
Your book introduction should be at least two paragraphs. Start with a catchy phrase. For a book instructing readers on how to replace their kitchen countertop, your introduction can say “Are you tired of looking at an old, dreary kitchen counter? Don’t wait any longer.”
State the point of your book, which may be showing readers how to replace their kitchen countertop. Mention how your book can help them accomplish their goal. Then, thank them for joining you on the journey.
– Write the chapters
How-to books are shorter than novels. Don’t focus too much on word count or page length. Instead, just write until all your points are covered. With that said, each chapter should be at least three pages long. Take each of your sections from your outline and describe them in great detail.
– Write the conclusion
For the conclusion of your ebook, restate your main points. Unlike the introduction, the conclusion can be as short as one paragraph or even once sentence.
– Proofread and edit
As previously stated, Microsoft Word has many helpful tools for writers. Keep in mind that these tools are not 100% accurate. For that reason, do not rely on them alone.
– Proofread and edit again
The importance of a well-written and edited book can’t be stressed enough. Remember, when selling on Amazon, all products are subject to reviews. To help ensure that yours are positive, do your best to eliminate all spelling and grammar errors. So, proofread and edit your book multiple times before proceeding. Then have someone else proofread it too.
TIP: You can also hire a proofreader to go over your finished product to ensure that it is ready for the public.
These steps will help you compose your book. Now, to make your book compatible with the Amazon Kindle, you will need to login to your Amazon
account and access the KDP platform and follow the steps to upload an covert your book. After all of the steps of been completed your brand-new book will be available in the Amazon Kindle Store and ready to sell within 24 hours.
Once you have written, proofread and uploaded your book to the KDP for
conversion the next steps will be to write your product details, set your selling price, and publish.
Even though the Amazon Kindle Store is a relatively easy way to profit from your writing talent, keep in mind that there are no guarantees. Just because your book is available for sale, it does not mean it will sell. That’s why it’s up to you to do everything possible to ensure is as appealing to consumers as possible. Of course, it is important to have a good book and a catchy cover, but the setting the right sale price Is an extremely important factor to consider.
Unfortunately, many first-time Kindle authors make a costly mistake. That mistake is charging too much for their book. So, how much should you charge for yours? It depends; there are a number of factors to take into consideration before settling on your final price point.
Ebooks come in a wide variety of different lengths. For instance, most fiction and non-fiction novels are at least 200 pages. On the other hand, how-to guides can be as few as 50 pages. The length of your book should have an impact on your price. The shorter the book, the less you should charge. For example, a good selling price for a how-to book on doing your part to combat global warming that is 50 pages long is $5.99.
Whether you compose a how-to book or a novel for the Amazon Kindle Store, always be sure to check out the competition. Find your genre in their store or search for books with similar titles. What is the average selling price? You don’t need to undersell, but opt for a price that is inline with the competition.
– Targeted market
For the most part, consumers are likely to pay more for novels. If writing a how-to guide consider your targeted market and how much they can afford to pay. For example, a how-to book on saving money at the grocery store is designed for those looking to reduce costs and increase their savings. These individuals do not want to pay a lot for a book. After all, they are trying to save money.
Amazon gives you the ability to upload and covert print books. Let’s say you wrote and published a traditional book and have 100% rights to the title and you want to convert it into the Kindle format or sell it on Amazon with their print on demand feature. You can visit the digital text platform and easily convert your documents. If you don’t have the original document in a digital format you can scan the book. If you take this approach, review your current or former pricing.
Amazon asks that print books receive fair market value rates. For example, if you sell the print version of your book for $14.99, you shouldn’t charge $19.99 for it on Amazon.
Amazon royalties vary depending on your choices. The minimum 35% royalty fee is standard, while there is the opportunity to earn up to 70% from each book sold. While this may not seem like a lot, since you are the one that did all the hard work creating the book in the first place, the benefits of selling your book on a website as popular as Amazon.com coupled with the ability to reach your target market faster, far out way being able to keep 100% of the profits made. Just make sure that you’re selling at a price enables you to make a profit.
Amazon is a popular website that receives massive amounts of traffic every day, but just because you have your book for sale on Amazon doesn’t mean it will sell itself. You’ll still have to do your part to promote your book and generate interest, so that you can sell as many copies as possible.
So, how do you market a Kindle book?
You can start by setting a website or blog is specifically for the purposes
of marketing your book. Make sure that you use good search engine optimization techniques on your sales page. This involves the using proper keywords, phrases and informative content on your pages.
Use customer testimonials on your sales page. When selling a Kindle Book on Amazon.com, buyers will review your ebook. Unfortunately, it is difficult to get started. Some buyers don’t want to purchase a book without reading reviews first. If you don’t have any, they may move on.
To prevent this from happening find several people (friends, family, coworkers) and provide them with a free copy of your book. Ask them to please post their reviews on Amazon after they are finished reading it.
Don’t be shy, become active in online communities, forums and blogs. Join in on discussions or create your own. Look for forums that have a buy, sell, or trade section, list your Amazon Kindle book for sale and create a link to the sale page. If signatures are allowed, create a catchy slogan for your Amazon Kindle book and make the link clickable, leading to your Amazon.com sales page.
Check out social networks like:
This is one of the most unusual social networking sites in that they allow you to “tweet” people in messages of 140 characters or less throughout the day. People listen to these tweets and try to follow you around as your being active in your life. So, in a way it’s like blogging, but in micro bursts.
The whole idea behind twitter is that if something really interesting is happening in your life, your updates may end up getting a massive audience. People have generated a large audience through simply detailing how they are laid off and the process of leaving their job, being present during a news-worthy event, or simply having interesting personalities that make the day unusual.
Another great resource is Facebook. This social networking site used to
be for college student networking, but it has grown up to be used by anyone, including people interested in Internet marketing. The premise of Facebook is to develop a network of friends. These friends should have common interests and be ready to convert from friends into customers, with the right know how.
This is a search engine and social networking site in one. You can go in and add new pages to the search engine by downloading the StumbleUpon toolbar and giving it a thumbs up. This page will be randomly served to other people using the search engine to discover new sites. The more thumbs up a site has, the more popular it can become. So, get your family, friends, and neighbors to give your pages a thumbs up too, if they’re online. That way you start to generate some interest for links to your ebook offerings.
This same strategy can work for you on other social networking sites like
Digg.com, and Reddit. So, once you understand how social networking works, you can start to try to get more attention by gathering people who want to read your work or give it a thumbs up, or even a good review. All these strategies help to rank your content better in social networking sites.
Once you get comfortable with text-based sites, you may want to try to develop your own podcast, video, or even Flickr photo account. Places like YouTube have a massive audience and if you get your video highly ranked, commented, and then add a link to your URL at the end of the video, you can create enormous interest in your ebook.
Just remember that most people who will buy your ebook will want to either solve a problem, be entertained, or learn something they didn’t know before. So, your videos should help get them started and then offer them the full package by telling them to buy your ebook.
Just like Kindle offers people samples of your ebooks, the video or podcast should be thought of as a sample of your products and services. Try not to go off track with subjects that may be incredibly popular, but don’t relate to your book topic at all. You may generate an audience, but they won’t buy the book unless it is a topic they are interested in the first place. So, make your videos targeted to support the sale of your ebook.
If you don’t want to create your own video or podcast, don’t worry. You can
find someone else who is willing to interview you, create some content for you for a small fee, or maybe even show you how to use screenshots so you don’t need to smile into the camera yourself. Either way, there are plenty of different options on how to create different type media that appeals to whole different subset of the Internet and can create great sales opportunities for your Kindle books.
Do make sure your ebook is in proper format. Not all eBooks are compatible with the Amazon Kindle device. All Documents must be in digital text format. Luckily, Amazon handles the conversion for you. You will, however, need to start with an HTML, word, text, or PDF file. They recommend an HTML file. If you use Microsoft Word, keep your file as is or save as HTML.
Don’t assume ebooks are only for creative writing. It is important to know that ebooks are just like print books. In fact, many on the New York Time’s Best Seller List are available in ebook format for the Amazon Kindle and other similar devices. You Don’t need to be an established author to compose an ebook and it can be on any topic. Popular books include how-to guides, memoirs, horror, romance, and more. Your options are virtually unlimited.
Do create an outline. Ebooks can be overwhelming for new writers. As previously stated, many automatically think of those on the bestseller list. Don’t let this intimidate you. You don’t have to have a bestselling book to make money. It also doesn’t have to be 200 pages long. Some popular ebooks are less than 50 pages long. As long as you get your point or story across, it doesn’t matter how long or short an electronic book is.
Don’t limit yourself. You aren’t guaranteed a sale by selling an Amazon Kindle book, but there is a good potential to make money. For that reason, Don’t limit yourself. Do you want to create an ebook on a popular subject, such as working from home or saving money? Do you also want to hone in on your creativity and write a romance novel? Do both! In fact, the more books you write, the easier it will be to make money.
Do provide plenty of details about your book. Before you convert your ebook file into digital text, you will provide details about it. This involves the title, author names, descriptions, genre, and more. Use this section to your advantage. Recheck your title. Is it the perfect fit for your book? If so, move on to the description. Provide as much information as possible. Use this spot to convince buyers your book will be the best they ever read.
Don’t add “fluff” to increase your word count or page numbers. As previously stated, an ebook comes in a number of different formats and sizes. Do not assume you need to have an ebook that is 300 pages long. If you are writing a how-to book on how to save money at the grocery store, just start writing. If you get your point across in only 75 pages, so be it. Slightly lower the selling price of your book to compensate for the small content. Honestly, readers don’t want to be bombarded with fluff or fillers.
Don’t assume your documents loaded properly. Once uploading your ebook to the digital text platform, you can override the preview function. Don’t Do this. Instead, preview the book. Look at the formatting. It’s not uncommon for formatting malfunctions to occur. You may find page break errors and more. You must spot them before you can fix them.
Do proofread your ebook before uploading and converting to digital text. As previously stated, Microsoft Word catches most grammar and spelling errors for you. But, it isn’t 100% full proof. For that reason, proofread at least twice.
Don’t forget to add a table of contents. Whether you write a fiction or non-fiction book, have a table of contents. Mention the name of each cheaper or section and the page it starts on. The table of contents comes after the cover.
Do create an eye-catching cover. If you have sold ebooks before, you have one more advantage up your sleeve. That is the ability to make a cover or the contact information of a graphic designer. Use the same approach you did to create previous ebook covers. If you are unfamiliar with graphic design, hire
a professional. Your cover is the first thing buyers see in the Amazon Kindle Store.
Don’t assume you have a good cover. Remember, Kindle shoppers will see your book cover first. For that reason, it needs to be really good. A poorly designed or created cover will be a turnoff. If your cover appears to be sloppy, buyers will automatically assume your writing is too. So, ask for feedback. Create two or three different covers and ask people you trust to help you decide which one is best.
Don’t set your price too high. Amazon lets you set your own price for your Kindle book. This provides you with a unique opportunity, but also the opportunity to make a mistake. Set a fair price. If your book is less than 50 pages, Don’t expect to get more than $10. Also, consider the cost of the Kindle. It is expensive. After paying a lot for the device, owners Don’t want to spend $20 for a book to read. After all, they can head to the bookstore and pay less.
Do market your book as we discussed in your last lesson. After you describe the book, upload and covert the files, and set your price, it will appear in Amazon’s Kindle Store in about 24 hours. Many first-time authors decide to sit back and wait for the sales to roll in. Yes, you can do this. Or, you can continue to market your Amazon Kindle book online and increase your profits.
These are only a few basic do’s and don’ts you should keep in mind when
it comes to publishing Kindle books and even though I’ve done my best to
touch on all the basic elements needed to get started publishing on Kindle right away, keep in mind that there are still many aspects of publishing with Kindle that you may want to learn, so be sure to take full advantage of all of the help files and community forms provided on the KDP platform.
As we close this final lesson I would like to thank you again for joining
me and I sincerely hope that you have learned a lot about how to get
started publishing your own books on the Kindle platform.