Thursday, May 23, 2013
How to Make Money Writing and Selling Your Own Kindle Book
On my blog over the years, I have talked about a lot of different ways to make money from home. I wanted to share with you my journey of getting Kindle books published and the potential for passive income using this avenue. Now, before you click away thinking, "I'm not a writer, this doesn't apply to me," hear me out. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, as at least one Kindle book inside them waiting to be written. This process is fast, relatively easy, and the only cost is your time. (Unless you want to hire a writer, which I will explain in a minute.) There is virtually no overhead cost, no humiliation in begging a publisher to print your work, and you don't have to be a famous author or to have published anything before. Amazon does all the promotion for you once your book is loaded to the Kindle store. Anyone can do this, and set up a nice stream of income that lasts years.
Let's start with WHY getting some books on Kindle is a good move right now.
A few facts about Kindle books:
Sales of Kindle books are outpacing sales of printed books. As of this writing, there are 1.9 million ebooks for sale in the Kindle store.
The Kindle store is more than just books - you can also submit blog feeds, newsletters, magazines, and other material. You don't have to reinvent the wheel to write a Kindle book - you can re-purpose what you have already written. (So if you are a blogger, keep a journal, have started a short story on your laptop, have submitted material that was rejected by a magazine or publisher, you are already ahead of the game.)
Kindle and tablet device sales enjoy steady growth. Amazon reported 6.1 million Kindle Fires sold in the first 9 months of 2012. That's a lot of devices waiting for material to be downloaded by eager readers.
Finally, your Kindle ebook can be enjoyed by those who don't even have a Kindle. Amazon offers free Kindle reading apps for desktop and laptop computers (PC and MAC), most smartphones, and tablet devices. So just about anyone can access a Kindle book - even if they don't own a Kindle!
Last year, in September 2012, I published my first Kindle book. The material was taken from coaching reports to my clients, blog posts, and articles I had written over the last 6 years about buying used items from thrift stores to sell on eBay. Fast forward to today, 8 months later, and I enjoy a passive income stream of between $300 - $400 a month for this one book. Here are my stats for sales and payouts from April 13 - May 18, 2013, for my Kindle book "What to Buy at Thrift Stores to Sell on eBay."
I'm working on my 3rd Kindle book now, and have helped some clients write theirs. The beauty of getting a book on Kindle is that Amazon does all the work for you. Once the book is in the Kindle Store, you are in the "system" and Amazon handles promoting your book, cross-selling it, collecting payment, delivering it wirelessly, answering customer questions, and handling the occasional refund. I really don't do much to promote my book, other than mentioning it on my blog in a few places. Amazon has access to millions of readers and they do the marketing to make sure my target reader sees my book - because when my book sells, Amazon makes money, too. They have a vested interest in making sure I am successful.
You are probably thinking, "But I don't have anything interesting to write about." And I'm going to be a little in your face here and say, "Yes you do!" There are currently 1.9 million ebooks in the Kindle Store. Here are a few books on Kindle to show you the variety of topics that people are writing about:
Captain's Blog - The Story of my Afgan Vacation - Collection of entries from an online journal created by a soldier stationed in Afganistan.
Life's Too Short to Miss the Big Picture for Moms - Parenting humor.
Crafts and DIY:
Stick It! 99 DIY Duct Tape Projects -How to make things out of duct tape.
How to Host a Haunted Fundraiser - Fun way to make money for your organization.
Health and Nutrition:
Secrets of Juice Fasting - Recipes for fasting and cleanses.
You get the idea. The topic of a Kindle book can be just about anything - fiction, non-fiction, how-to, humor, poetry, etc. Do you know how to make something? Do you have your grandmother's old family recipes you can compile into a cookbook? Did you have an interesting trip at some point in your life, or a personal journey you can share? Did you or a loved one survive a serious illness and you can share that journey with others? Do you have a unique hobby you can share tips about? Are you good at saving money or living on a shoestring budget? Go check out the Kindle store and browse the categories. You'll see the huge variety of subject matter. The best way for someone to learn something new is from a real person, like you, who has really done it. And when people want information, they go to the internet. With a Kindle book, you can be there popping up on Google with the answers all neatly organized in a downloadable Kindle book.
If you aren't a writer, you can hire someone to write the book for you. Check sites like ODesk.com and Freelancer.com to find ghostwriters. This is common practice for many books in print and on Kindle. (Come on, do you think every military hero or celebrity is also a writer? Of course not, they hire someone to do the actual writing.)
Once I wrote my first Kindle book, all I needed was somebody to lay out the road map about how to format, upload, price, and market my book. I was overwhelmed with information to say the least. On a writer's group, I found this downloadable course, Get Your Kindle Book Done! and within a couple of days my book was approved, uploaded, and I was seeing sales. Sometimes, when learning a new skill or process, it is just easier to have someone walk you through it the first time. And I am glad I did, because this course saved me a lot of time and frustration.
All this being said, I want to encourage you to get on the Kindle bandwagon and get moving on putting your ebook on Kindle. There are millions of Kindles, mobile phones, tablets, and computers out there downloading Kindle books every day. Why not put yourself in that pool of information products and make some money in the process? This is really too easy NOT to do. My goal is to publish a Kindle book every other month for the next two years so that I can enjoy a passive stream of income for many years to come.