Weeks ago, I wrote about my experience publishing books on Kindle. I mentioned that one of the most common questions I get asked by potential authors is if publishing on kindle is really profitable. And when I say “really profitable”, I mean something one can live on and not some change. My answer was Yes and No with brief explanation of what a Yes and No means.
The article got me replying to quite some emails from readers. One email that stood out came from a friend and reader of this blog, Joe Oye, a Kindle Published Author. His suggested that the Yes and No response could use more elaboration, for the danger of discouraging potential authors.
As someone who has benefited from kindle publishing over the years, I invited him to share from his wealth of experience, and he gladly accepted.
If you intend to sell your books on the world’s largest digital book store, Amazon Kindle, I invite you to read Joe’s contribution to the discussion for inspiration, direction and motivation. The next words you read are from Joe.
Have you heard or read about “Bill Clinton Method” (BCM)?
In case you have not, the BCM stands for a special business strategy for building rock-hard and rewarding relationships with influencers or VIPs in any industry.
President Clinton has been found to be really good at making a person feel like he or she is the ONLY person in the world. That is done by giving his presence and undivided attention to the person. This golden attribute, of course, necessitated the name of the method.
BCM has four principles. Being present is the first and it is the one that, to me, makes the whole method quite interesting.
The aim of mentioning BCM?
We will come back to that in a moment as I will show what this has to do with you and getting rewards for your writing skill.
But this first…
Warning: This is a long blog post and you are going to discover and take away five main important highpoints from it.
Following is the list of the highpoints:
- The clarity about getting financial profits and more rewards from Kindle publishing.
- The 3 small shifts that count big. You may need to make these shifts urgently to accelerate your Kindle publishing success.
- The three Ps of Kindle publishing success you must pay attention to.
- A clue for establishing consistent income with Kindle publishing
- The mother of all rules for success in life (even success in Kindle publishing) and tips for going to the top with Kindle publishing.
The why of this follow-up
Not long ago, I read the post with the topic.“Total Kindle Publishing Income Can’t Even Pay My Rent, But”. As I have been quite familiar with Kindle publishing, it did not take me too much time to understand the messages in the blog post.
But after some time, there was one statement that kept on coming back to my mind…
“One of the common questions I got asked: Is it really profitable?
I was so interested in exploring the statement and what really caught my attention in the question (Is it really profitable?). I evidently saw the eagerness of the people who want to know if writing and publishing on Amazon’s Kindle reading device can produce any profit for them.
I like the explanation provided by the author of the post (who is also the brain behind this blog) to answer the question. He pin-pointed that “it depends” - based on his personal experience in Kindle publishing. His conclusion about the question was, therefore, ‘yes’ and ‘no’.
Looking deeper to see who eagerly ask the profitability question and what poked it, I uncovered the two groups of people and the conditions which made them to ask the question:
- People who were agitated about modern technologies in general and about the bold claims people make about the potentials of the technologies. Regarding the matter under consideration here, these are people who still remain skeptical, in particular, about the business capacities of the revolutionary Kindle publishing technology.
These are those who appear interested in playing it safe with Kindle publishing and, maybe, in having some justifications for attempting it not yet.
- Those who so much believe in the leverage power of modern technologies and greatly aspire to be successful in capitalizing on the technologies. They also have the passion for writing with the interest in making money with it.
But in terms of Kindle publishing, they are still wondering who has the proof to show, particularly in Nigeria, to help them have the sureness that they can 'kindle' their way to profit.
I don't know if you are one of those asking that "is it profitable" question and I am not sure of the group to which you belong between the two.
However, I know that it is our human configuration that makes us ask such question and there is nothing bad about that.
From those two situations, it is clear that many people have concerns about starting to swim in the river of Kindle publishing.
The people need some kind of clarity about how to articulate writing for the Kindle with sharing of the life-changing knowledge or wisdom they possess for money.
If you feel that you belong to any of the two groups described above, this update is here to address your concerns about really making it with Kindle publishing. This is the main aim of this update or follow-up blog post.
Before we go on, let me quickly point an error to you about the profitability question we are dealing with here.
And that is...
Those who asked that question should have put it in a wider perspective by looking at the big picture of writing and publishing on Kindle.
They should have asked: "Does it really earn rewards for authors?", rather than limiting Kindle publishing to making profit only in cash. This is because Kindle publishing is more than just making money. This point has been understandably dealt with in the first part of this blog post.
I, having shown that correction, please put it in your mind that all that you will learn from this update are aimed at making you have the sense that your efforts in Kindle publishing can be rewarded in different ways; not only in the manner of money profits.
The update is meant to let you also have the sense that the ‘no’ answer to the profitability question is not absolute and that neither is the ‘yes’ answer guaranteed.
No one can guarantee such.
However, that assertion does not deprive us of realizing what abounding evidence shows that possibility of rewards for practicing Kindle publishing is ever-increasing. Considering this, we can reach the resolve that there is still the room to move, as much or as far as possible, the ‘no’ answer to ‘yes’ concerning the question on the lucrativeness of Kindle publishing.
I am a believer in the power of question asking. So, I am always attracted to how getting helpful answers to questions can turn situations positively around.
This is why this update is dedicated to those who have asked (and who are about to ask) if Kindle publishing could be profitable at all.
At this point, I assume that you are one those asking that question or, if you are not, then you are interested in enhancing your knowledge about this matter. As you can see from the list of the five take-aways provided already above, this update will help you to boost your knowledge about Kindle publishing and its stance to help you make money with your writing skill.
Let’s now move on to the main highpoints in this follow-up blog post.
Kindle publishing – for getting more than money profits
This key point is highlighted above and has been understandably dealt with in the initial blog post on the topic under discussion.
The 3 small shifts that count big
a) Shift One
Most of the time, we give other people (or the situations we are in) the right to make us wrongly choose what we believe or hold on to in life.
For allowing people that right, we listen to and swallow their stories without any confirmation or maturation of facts. The stories may be incomplete, far less than up-to-date or totally wrong.
For allowing situations we are in, we don’t usually wait for the related experiences to complete before we jump over to conclusion and quite often, the conclusion is based just on feelings.
We further jump forward to use the feeling to predict the future of things and seek justifications for our wrong conclusions. Especially, we try to reduce any sensed risk, discomfort and even the commitment appearing for the future in order to please ourselves.We are all culprits regarding all these and it doesn’t mean we cannot immune ourselves from it.
Considering our Kindle publishing profitability question, committing those errors are more likely to come from the first group of people identified above.This, notwithstanding, the profitability question is important for all us who are interested in writing and Kindle publishing.
Also considering our Kindle publishing profitability question, here is one identified shift (Mind Shift) that will help us avoid the common errors we commit as explained above. Being in that mind status misleads us away from our desired success with writing and getting paid for it.
I will refer specifically to Kindle publishing here and I will firstly recommend that you explore the successes of people who have made it with Kindle publishing by reading widely about them.
Though not all of what you will read will be overnight successes, you will see that Kindle publishing has been and still stands to be profitable. But, like in any other business, we cannot clean up stories of failure in Kindle publishing. To this end, I will secondly recommend that you read about those who have failed as well and while you do this, spot out what has caused their failures and mark out the lessons available there.
I am quite sure that learning more on either side of other people’s successes and failures in Kindle publishing will help you get self-sourced highlights for self-paced mind shift.
b) Shift Two
There is cold writing and there is warm writing.
The difference between the two has implications for your making it today with writing.
I stole from the sales concept of cold calling which I believe you, too, know about and I personally coined the idea of warm writing from it.
The salesmen doing cold calling will just indiscriminately approach prospects with their pitches without minding whether what they sell is relevant to and needed by the prospects.
I have been cold-called upon many times and I have never seen anything that is more time-wasting for marketers than cold calling.
I wonder how people will waste their days trying to sell things to the person who don’t need or want the things. This relates to the writing approach many people believe in and practise nowadays.
Cold-writing (i. e. believing and writing with the conviction that people will line up and buy whatever information product your gut tells will create and sell) does not sell anymore. This is a crucial point to always be remembered by all us as warm writing is taking over.
The warm writing concept helps make the sales. But it is as crazy as teaching that you should not sell to large or mass audience.
On the other hand, the warm writing idea is as cute as teaching us to sell only to small size of audience who are already motivated and ready to buy. The audience is also called the small rich and hungry crowd.
This concept is placed, first time, before the community of this blog,but its details are outside this current discussion. However, it is one of the criteria needed for enhancing the efforts toward your success in writing in general and writing for the Kindle. It is a thing of the mind and, therefore, very relevant to the efforts of mind-shifting.
This required shift (Cold-to-Warm Writing Shift) will be fully explored through this blog later.
c) Shift Three
Experience has shown me how people are disinterested in the techs. They even separate themselves from the techs saying that “those aren’t for us, they are for them”. Yet, this set of people need, most often, to use the techs minimally to hit their feats.
If you are a writer who is still “afraid” of the techs and, no doubt, this is limiting you to broaden your coast, your need this shift (Tech Shift) particularly for Kindle publishing.
Truly, you can outsource who can do the publishing part for you, but the need for you to do this yourself will come out of its ambush and cross your way in the future.
In other words, if you cringe at publishing yourself, you will not be a complete participant in Kindle publishing.
The good news is that your only need minimal use of techs to do things online. This might not require more than a little over how you use, for example, the Microsoft Word package, your inbox and your smart phone. You should know that we always limit our use of the techs to our needs. We use the most related and leave the rest.
Most webmasters or website owners are mindful of the need to enhance users’ interface of or interaction with their websites. They, therefore, make the use of their websites user’s friendly.
Amazon has this in mind too and that is why the process of publishing on Kindle is kept so minimal – just a simple step-by-step online form filling process. If done two times, it becomes so easy for you to do the third time and beyond.
One smart thing to do before starting the Kindle publishing process is to get all the information you need ready before inputting the information.
You can easily publish your Kindle books yourself because you don’t need a monster skill for this.
The three Ps of Kindle publishing success you must pay attention to
We are now where the most practical things about Kindle publishing will be discussed in this post.
If asked to cite the topmost things to point to when it comes to exposing or optimizing Kindle books to the Amazon buyers, nothing can take the places of prep, priming and productivity.
The three are the bases for establishing enough exposure for Kindle books and therefore, they are key elements in ensuring that your Kindle books sell very well. They accelerate the pace for becoming bestsellers in the Kindle marketplace and this is why you must pay attention to them.
Let’s see the details of each of these elemental parts of running your Kindle publishing business:
This entails the whole activities of preparing a Kindle book for the Kindle marketplace. Out of all there are only three criteria that will mainly determine how well you have prepared selling your Kindle books and, therefore, the success of your Kindle publishing business:
- Relevance of the keywords chosen
- Categories selected
- On-page optimization of the product page
These three criteria are extremely important because they take up to 90% of the prep. I'm not going to go into the details on the three factors here. However, I still want to stress how vital focusing on them is, as the groundwork you just can jump over.
Keywords are terms for input during the Kindle publishing process. They are targeted to match as far as possible the terms buyers are using to search out Kindle books in the Kindle market place. It follows, therefore that the keywords you choose should be as close as possible to what buyers are using to search the marketplace.
I would like you to particularly take note of the following secret information about doing your homework about keywords (i.e. before publishing).
- Amazon allows up to 7 keywords for a Kindle book, but there is an indirect way of using more than double that number of keywords.
- Many authors use guesses to select their keywords. This rarely works as all is left to chances. Many Kindle books which supposed to be bestsellers have been buried away into no or trickle sales situation. Whereas, there are systematic ways of arriving the most suitable keywords that can expose the books to buyers.
- Keywords should not be set and forget elements. They should undergo due testing to know which ones are helping to make sales and which one are not.
Keywords are a factor in hot-selling your Kindle books. When relevant keywords are selected, it is always like half of the journey to consistent sales of your book is accomplished.
Categories help to expose your book to the buyer in two ways: when buyers search by the use of keywords and when they browse the marketplace (i.e. click one link from the other in a chain form and through the categories).
Many authors overlook the fact that it is very easy to make a book get lost among competing books in categories that are of heavy volumes (i.e. containing large number of boos). This deprives a book the deserved exposure to buyers.
Find light (low volume) but relevant categories for your books during the Kindle publishing process. Even though the disparity between the names of categories used by Amazon in the marketplace are different from the names used on the publishing platform, getting light categories (also called low-hanging or ending categories) to drop your book into is very essential for making your book a bestseller quickly.
The issue of disparity mentioned above sometimes defeats the intention of making a book to become bestseller because one can finally find one’s book in highly competitive categories never chosen for it. There are secret ways to figure this out anyway.
To ensure that your Kindle books are exposed for sales, you must ensure that their categorization is done the best way.
This concerns the sales page of your book in the Kindle marketplace. On-page optimization is about exposing your book as well. It is a method of using your chosen keywords and close keywords across that page so that the use of the keywords by buyer will hook your page for the buyers to see.
This requires a bit of technical understanding as applied to search engine optimization of a website or webpages.
If you refer to what has been highlighted above about tech-shift, you will realize here the necessity for a tech shift (i.e. for the less tech-savvy people) in terms of on-page optimization.
Kindle books that are not exposed to buyers cannot sell. This is why your prep with keywords, categories and on-page optimization remain so much important.
You may not like what I am about to say here. But it is an undeniable fact.
If you don’t create and put volumes of Kindle books on sale, you may not stop asking if Kindle publishing is profitable.
Let’s be practical here.
Talking of profitability or rewards, one or two Kindle books cannot make the income you want from your Kindle publishing business. I mean it and no matter how attractive the price of your one or two books are, scanty copy of your books in the Kindle Store cannot garner so much income for you unless you have a popular blog or normal website which followers are trafficked to Amazon to buy your particular book.
High productivity is the answer to getting high income from Kindle publishing.
If I may share with you a payment of my royalty from Amazon, I would like to demonstrate what I mean by “productivity is the answer.”
See the cheque below which is a payment I received in February, 2014.Selling two Kindle books costing $1.49 each produced that income over a relatively short period of time.
If I have had up to 20 such book and they sold the same way, simple arithmetic on the price and number of books will never make me ask if Kindle publishing is profitable. Note that I am even talking here of two short books.
One good technique for ensuring high income for your efforts in Kindle publishing is, therefore, having high productivity (many books at a time) selling in the Kindle marketplace. Truly, this might not be easy practically but it is quite possible. This is one of the top secrets of bestseller Kindle author.
Adding this to the list of what you must pay attention to in order to attract diverse rewards to your Kindle publishing engagement is to share with you a piece of very rare information.
Selling Kindle books so well or as bestsellers is not an overnight thing. It takes time and you must realize this once and for all.
What I mean by priming entails the period a Kindle books will need to be to mature the Amazon way.
Amazon has processes a Kindle book must pass through before being a full ‘citizen’ of Amazon.
For instance, there is a period of time required for a Kindle book to sink into the Amazon algorithm (which makes the Amazon system to recognize the listing or the presence of such a book). This is why a new Kindle book will not appear along with “Customers Who Bought this Item also Bought” or under “Recommendations for You in Kindle Store”
Also a new and selling Kindle book will not, until after some time, enjoy Amazon’s free email campaign of selected books.
Have the understanding that some level of patience is needed before the full chances of profitability start to emerge.
A clue for establishing consistent income with Kindle publishing
I felt that I should also practically show you another piece of information about making it with Kindle publishing.
This straightaway comes from my experience as a Kindle author. From the experience, I discovered the need for Kindle authors to set a basic income objective which will, as things go on, be scaled to full-grown objective.
I found it very necessary for Kindle publishing starters to check if a Kindle book could hit, at least, a minimal daily selling momentum. As already mentioned, how rich the prep done is how high and consistent the sales made.The quality of book content, though, is another factor contributing to establishing consistent income. This calls for a separate discussion.
I also found that once you establish minimal daily selling momentum particular books, you are half way to consistent profiting from them. You will even be able to project how much income you could make at a certain point in the future.
You will also be able to ascertain the improvements to make to the elements of your prep (keywords, etc) and to your book content as may be necessary.
Here is a one-month snapshot of my minimal daily selling momentum of three Kindle books which were selling concurrently. Of course, two out of the three were selling consistently:
The current minimal daily selling momentum as at the sales snapshot above is two books sold per day. As you should have seen, this per day sales is the average of varying sales of between one to five per day. This is what I refer to sales consistency.
Earlier, the momentum was one book sold per day. Along the line, I noticed that Amazon has primed the books and I believed that, in addition to the little improvements I made to my prep, the sales climbed to two books sold per day.
The essence of knowing the minimal daily selling momentum is to help you know that you are on the right track with your Kindle publishing business. It indicates which book or books can earn you consistent income and it helps also to show where to direct your improvement efforts to ensure consistency and growth in sales.
I believe that understanding the sales clue explained above will be of benefit to you for earning your Kindle pie daily.
The mother of all rules for success in life (even success in Kindle publishing) and tips for going to the top:
Now back to the Bill Clinton Method” (BCM).As I said before, BCM has four principles. Being present is the first and it is the one that makes the whole method quite stimulating.
It compels one to give all it deserves to any undertaking in life to equally reap the reward that is due.
Being present is the mother of all the rules to follow and follow through to success in all aspects of life - your writing and Kindle publishing engagements not exempted.
If you give your undivided attention to your passion in writing and to your interest in Kindle publishing, the tendency will be so low for you to ask the question:
"Does Kindle publishing really earn rewards for authors?"
Remember that the Kindle publishing terrain in enormous and that no international border demarcates it. You have your own space there which no one can occupy.
Go and occupy your space, give eagle-eye attention to all requirements in there, be on the top and let us know if Kindle publishing really earns rewards for authors.
I hope this update will help you.