I wrote my first Kindle eBook in December 2013. As of this writing, I have 14 Kindle books available on Amazon on topics including selling on Ebay, couponing, and visiting Walt Disney World. While I initially was turning out two books a month, I have since scaled back with the goal of publishing one each month.
By March, my fourth month of publishing Kindle books, the profits from those books was triple what I had been earning from selling on Ebay. So I was able to quit doing Ebay as my job, and now my income is from Kindle eBooks.
While I don’t want to divulge exact numbers, I can share that I am earning a full-time income through Kindle. I am by no means rich; I’m not going to be able to stop working and retire. But I am bringing in enough money every month to pay the bills.
A lot of people have seen the success I have had by writing books and have reached out to me, waiting to know how they can do the same. I will be writing a Kindle how-to book before the year is up, but I did want to take the time to address this issue here on my blog.
I fear that many people see that I am writing books and think it is easy and that I am earning big bucks. As I said, I am earning a full-time income, money that pays the bills. I’m not making millions or hundreds of thousands of dollars doing this. My ultimate goal is to eventually DOUBLE the amount of money I am currently making every month as it would pay the bills AND leave extra money for savings and retirement.
That being said, here are some TRUTHS you must understand about making money writing Kindle books. The following five factors are what have contributed to my success:
Quality: I have been studying writing and have been trained as a writer since I was a child. From elementary school all the way through college, my education was centered around English, specifically writing. Writing was the area I excelled at; I am terrible at math and science bores me to tears, but I love to write and was nurtured and encouraged to do so by my teachers.
My working life also focused heavily on writing. Before I started my own business, I worked in an office where I was responsible for the company newsletter and website, as well as communications to customers. Every day my writing and editing skills came into play.
Growing up, it was assumed by myself and everyone around me that I would be a writer. I wasn’t into writing fiction, so I initially pursued journalism. However, I didn’t enjoy journalism, so for some time I was lost as to how to use my writing skills. Then I discovered self-publishing through Kindle, and the rest is history!
Writing is my profession; it’s my trade, my soul, and my heart. I don’t profess to be the best writer out there. However, I do know that I CAN write. I LOVE WRITING! I put everything I have into my books to make them the very best I am capable of. It takes hundreds of hours to put a book together; while I can publish a book every month, I spend day after day in my office writing and editing.
There are millions of books out there, and one key in getting yours to be purchased is that it has to be a QUALITY book. Online reviewers can be brutal; and if a book is a piece of crap, you will see it in the reviews.
Book length is also important. I write what I call “eBooklets”, which are shorter, how-to guides. Still, all but two of my books are over 10,000 words (a couple are near 30,000). Books under 5,000 works aren’t going to sell for more than 99-cents, at least long term. So punching out short little books is not going to result in long-term success.
Authenticity: There are a lot of websites and courses out there that will teach you how to hire someone to write a book for you that you can sell as your own. The catch is that these books are pure JUNK! Super short, poorly written, and full of mistakes. The trick to selling these piles of garbage is that the titles and search terms are keyword loaded to bring in sales.
While people have some initial sales with these types of books, they do not work in the long run as the negative reviews will quickly pile up. So after you’ve spent time and money contracting someone to write a piece of junk, after a few months, that is all you are left with: JUNK!
These sites and programs also encourage people to PAY for reviews, which is something that may work for a short time until you are exposed. One of the biggest Kindle “success” stories was recently found to have paid people to leave reviews for his books, and his career has tanked.
These types of books also clutter the marketplace and drive down the value of other legitimate eBooks from authors who are genuinely putting their heart and soul into creating quality content. If you want to make money from writing books now AND in the years to come, you have to be AUTHENTIC in the books you write!
Competition: The competition is fierce for books. There are millions of titles on the market, and there is a huge overlap of content. I am by no means the only person writing books on Ebay. There are literally thousands of books about selling on Ebay out there; some of them helped ME get started selling back in 2005.
Whatever book idea you have, it’s likely someone has already written about it. For instance, I hear a lot of people on YouTube talk about “retail arbitrage”, with many folks believing that the YouTube “picking community” coined the term. However, there are books on retail arbitrage that date back YEARS!
When it comes to writing a book, it’s not about reinventing the wheel: it’s about writing a GREAT book of your own. I don’t worry about the other Ebay books out there as I am focused on writing my OWN books from my own perspective. By pouring my heart into creating my OWN content, I am able to produce a high quality book that people want to buy.
Pricing is also key when it comes to Kindle books. Like it or not, $2.99 is the sweet spot when it comes to Kindle pricing. $2.99 is the lowest price you can charge to be eligible for a 70% royalty, which will earn you about $2 a book. I have toyed around with pricing, and even raising prices by $1 resulted in a dramatic drop in my book sales. You may think you have a $10, $20 or even $50 book; but the market dictates that you will have the most success at $2.99.
Multiple Books: When it comes to making money through Kindle, one book isn’t going to do it. Two, three, five, ten books aren’t going to do it. You have to CONTINUALLY be writing and publishing books. As I said, I currently have 14 books published, and I am already working on number 15. After I finish one book, I start writing the next. I have a list of books to write in the future; and I am continually adding to that list. I plan to be publishing books for a long time.
Unless you write the next “Twilight” or “Harry Potter”, one book is not going to make you money. You might make a little bit, but in order to earn a real income – not just today, but for YEARS to come – you have to keep writing!
Promotion: Self-publishing mean self-promotion. There are millions of books on the market; in order for readers to find YOURS, you have to aggressively promote it every single day.
I have created a “brand” in See Ann Save. Through my books, blog and YouTube channel, I share everything I do: writing, blogging, vlogging, couponing, Ebay, and Clever Container. I then use social media – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google +, LinkedIn, and Tumblr – to consistently promote these “products”.
Every day I share my content through social media, and each “product” works to promote the others. When someone buys one of my books, they may in turn visit my blog where they see that I sell Clever Container. When someone buys from me on Ebay, I include enclosure cards that promote my blog. A customer then may visit my blog and discover that I write books.
I spend a good hour (AT LEAST) each day promoting See Ann Save via social media. And it’s that type of promotion that has led to my Kindle success. While initial sales of each book come from my blog readers and YouTube channel subscribers, the vast majority of my sales are from people who have never heard of See Ann Save. They have just found my books on Amazon, saw the positive reviews and high sales ranks, and purchased them. If I solely relied on blog and YouTube subscribers to buy my books, I would only be making a tiny fraction of what I currently do.
Bottom Line: As I said, I will be writing a guide to publishing Kindle books before the year ends, but I hope this blog post has helped answer some questions you may have. I do not want to discourage anyone from giving self-publishing a try. After all, it is completely FREE to upload a book to Kindle.
You never know, maybe you HAVE written the next “Harry Potter”! However, I also want to be HONEST and give you a REALISTIC look at what it takes to earn money through Kindle. My best advice is to WRITE! Write the best and longest book you can, and then upload it to Kindle. At least give it a TRY and see what happens!
For more information about publishing through Kindle, CLICK HERE to visit Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing page.
For a list of my Kindle books, CLICK HERE.
A great book for Kindle authors is “Write. Publish. Repeat. The No-Luck-Required, Guide to Self-Publishing Success”. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to publish a Kindle book!
I also filmed an accompanying video if you are interesting in watching that: