Probably one of the easiest ways to make money from home is with Kindle Publishing. All you have to do, once you have a book, is upload it to Amazon KDP. That’s it. Ready to be sold in the most efficient online store in the world.
In fact it’s not that simple but it’s not so difficult as many people believe either. Today I’m going to tell you how to make money with Kindle Publishing. Read to the end because I’m going to share with you how I make money selling books on Kindle by reaching the Top 100 in just a couple of days.
There’s also a book giveaway in this post.
For most authors Amazon has made possible the impossible. It has never been so easy to publish a book and put it in front of thousands of readers without an editor and a publishing company behind.
Amazon open you their store, however, the big problem is still to market the book. To make it enticing enough and attractive for buyers. The fact that it’s so easy to publish also means that thousands of new authors are doing the same as you: publishing their books.
Therefore, competition is high and fierce. Publishing is not enough -actually, it never was. There’s a high chance that your book won’t make a dime. You also need to market your product.
How do you do that? Keep reading.
How to Easily Market Your Kindle Book
I have been an avid reader all my life and one of the greatest pleasures for me was to spend a whole afternoon browsing books at the store, turning the pages, even smelling them. When Amazon buyers browse the site, they can’t touch the books with their hands like in a brick and mortar bookshop.
That means that they’re going to buy a book or not based on 4 external elements:
1. The Cover
Our eyes are fast. Before we can read the title of a book, our eyes have already checked the cover. Unless your cover blends in and gets lost in the sea of covers that Amazon is sometimes.
Take a look to this picture. It’s just a small portion of the Kindle best sellers self-help page (click on image to see it better):
Now tell me, what’s the first cover you saw? The yellow one? The one that says BEG? The one that says IMAGINE?
They all have something that attracts attention. The color, the big text, the design.
Getting a good cover is not so expensive. You can hire someone on Fiverr (always look for the most rated gigs) or you can go to Elance or Odesk and find a designer.
I’m also offering cover design services here, at my blog, but only for a limited time. I have been asked lately where to get good covers for Kindle books, so I’ve decided to help people making easy for them to hire the same person that designs my covers.
Whatever option you choose, make sure that you know exactly the kind of cover you want for you book and explain it in detail to your designer.
2. The Title
Titles are important. I don’t think it needs further explanation. Here are a few examples of great titles:
Think and Grow Rich, What to Expect when you’re Expecting, Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Art of Kissing, The Bathroom Reader.
They are all best sellers. Obviously not only because of their titles, but it helps.
This reminds me that I’ve chosen a terrible title for one of my books. It’s too long and definitely not optimized. More on that later.
3. The description
The description is the specific place where you have to convince the reader to buy your book. Use your copywriting skills -or hire a copywriter- to create a good description. it is your short sales letter. Use this space wisely.
You can also add other elements like Amazon Best Seller (only if your book is really a best seller), prizes the book has won, prizes the author has won, etc.
4. The reviews
Luckily or unluckily, the reviews play an important role in the purchasing decision process of many customers.
I say “unluckily” because reviews are quite easy to manipulate yet, many people don’t know it. I’m not saying that all authors do it. Of course not. And you shouldn’t do it. Especially you should never buy positive reviews on Fiverr or similar places. It’s not ethical and it’s against Amazon terms of service. You may lose your account if you do it. Once Amazon bans you from their KDP program you cannot apply again. Keep it in mind.
How to Really Profit With Kindle Books
Let’s focus. The cover, the title, the description and the reviews are important. But none of those guarantee you’re going to really make money.
The key to profit with Kindle books is to place them in the Top 100 best sellers list.
Entering that list will give your book extra-exposure, which in the end translates into more sales.
Now, if you ask anybody how difficult it is to reach the Top 100 for a category of books, they will tell you it’s very difficult, you have to sell a lot of copies.
Guess what? That’s not true. You can reach the Top 100 just by selling a few copies of your book.
Amazon works in a certain way like Google. I mean, Amazon has an algorithm (or several) to create their Best sellers books and other lists (similar items suggestions, hot releases, gift ideas, most wished for, etc.). If you learn how the algorithm works -more or less because of course, it’s not public- you can easily rank your books in the Top 100.
How can I be sure of that?
Because my books -7 Ways to Live, Not Merely Exist and Starting a Business While Keeping Your Job (Previous title: To quit or not To Quit Your job) have been in the Top 100 in their respective categories many times (the first one hasn’t left the Top 100 more than 24h).
Of course not all categories are created equal. Some are more competitive than others. The key is to find an easy category that it’s also profitable. I don’t want to be #1 in a category where I will selling 3 books per month.
If you want to learn step by step how to find profitable categories of books, how to place your books in the Top 100 for those categories and how to make money from Kindle Publishing, I highly recommend you to get Publishing for Profit. The Ultimate Guide To Making $1,000 a Month Selling Kindle Ebooks.
It’s an ebook written by Eric Allyn from Shuckabuck.com.
Before I got this ebook I spent 5 months carefully reading and analyzing all the content I could find about publishing and profiting from Kindle. A lot of rubbish has been written about it, seriously. Even a very expensive course which recommended to publish PLR’s as if they were yours (luckily Amazon took note of this kind of practice and removed all PLR’s from their data base).
Shuckabuck’s strategy is the first and only one that seemed real and based on facts, not on tricks and loopholes. I got his book, Publishing for Profit. The Ultimate Guide To Making $1,000 a Month Selling Kindle Ebooks, I followed it step by step, from A to Z and my books are selling without any external promotion.
So far, I haven’t guest posted, I haven’t bought any ads and today is the first time I mention my books in this blog. I even published them under a pen name in order to test the strategy properly.
You want some proof? Check these screenshots taken just now (06/26/2012):
To Quit or Not To Quit is right now #47 in its category. #74,063 in all Paid Kindle store (You can’t see the title in this picture but you can check the ASIN, which is the number that identifies every single book):
This is the picture of the actual Top 100 List.
To Quit or Not to Quit is in 47th position. As an interesting fact, look what book is in #44, only 3 positions ahead of mine: Escape From Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur by Pamela Slim and Guy Kawasaki. Two authors with a large audience.
Finally, see how the Top 100 best sellers list also pushes your book to other secondary -but still important lists.
To Quit or Not To Quit is at the same time in the Hot New Releases list:
One last recommendation
No matter how good you are at marketing your book, if you don’t create a high quality product there won’t be a strategy good enough to help you make money.
When I say high-quality I mean that you have to create great content. Your book must:
- Target a specific audience
- Solve a problem (I’m talking about non-fiction, since I don’t have any experience in writing fiction)
- Have a perfect format (check my Kindle Formatting services here)
- Not have spelling errors
Have you considered publishing on Kindle? If you have done it already, did you get good results?
Please share your experience with us in the comments.
Edit*: The book giveaway has finished. The title of my book has changed for good. Thanks to all the readers that sent me suggestions.
Do You want to Win One of My books?
Like I mentioned above, when I chose the title for my second book I didn’t get very satisfied. The book is selling quite well, yet I still think it can do much better with a slightly different title. Something shorter.
This is the official title: To Quit or Not to Quit Your Job. Ultimate Guide to Start Your Own Business While Keeping Your Job
How would you improve this title?
I will give a free copy of To Quit or Not To Quit or 7 Ways to Live a Live, not Merely Exist (Live a Life that Matters) -you can choose one or the other- to one random person that helps me to improve the title of the first one.
Leave a comment in this post or send me an email (contact form here).
I'm Cristina. I am a 33 year-old entrepreneur. In the last few years I've learned that in order to build a successful business and make money first you have to conquer your own mind. Follow me on Twitter