In April this year, I said I would give myself a chance to fail or succeed at selling my books. So, I started with Kindle publishing. Here’s my first-hand summary of how to make money on Amazon Kindle.
I started my writing career as a fiction or ebook ghostwriter. I won’t say I’m the best writer alive, but I have fair, encouraging experience and reviews working with clients, beta readers, and professional editors. Those experiences were enough confidence boost.
Next, I choose to write romantic suspense.
As a ghostwriter, I used to write romance. No one used to know I was the one who wrote them. The books don’t have my name on them.
But with Kindle publishing, I want to put my name on what I write. And I thought about a man writing romance and decided against writing pure romance. From a marketing and sales point of view, I don’t know if it’s a wise decision. I have been following a romance reader community. None of the readers have ever mentioned that they like romance books by male authors. It’s like a silent taboo to be male and write romance.
So, I picked romantic suspense as my first book.
How to Sell on Kindle: A First-Hand Experience
You should take this post as a summary. There are many things I can’t write about and mistakes I don’t want to write about yet.
Lesson 1: Study your audience
I did that for a year or more. Through my experience as a ghostwriter, I used to read about the romance readers community. I know what they care about. I read most of the books people were raving about and had screenshots of posts I considered enlightening the readers’ interest.
Did that help? It’s still early, and I haven’t paid a reasonable amount into marketing.
Lesson 2: Sales is luck meets quality/strategy/preparation
Either way, luck is constant.
Luck won’t do much if the quality of the book is poor. Luck is useless if you have no strategy behind what you’re writing.
I didn’t have a lot of finances, to begin with, but I was ready to take risks with my effort and the few pennies in my bank account.
But I must admit, I am not new to writing to the market. I have had authors give me templates and show my work to professional editors. These people have given me fresh ideas about what I’m good at and don’t do well. Writing fiction is one of the arenas I knew I could play and score a few goals if luck and finance were on the table.
Want to know how to make money on Amazon Kindle? You need a marketing strategy, quality books, and luck. You can create two of those: Marketing and quality books. The third, ‘luck,’ will meet you.
Lesson 3: Use your strength or experience to find new paths or ventures.
So, with Kindle publishing, I learn another valuable lesson about life: using your experience as a tool to get into new or exciting ventures.
Using your experience to pivot into other risky ventures is wise. You will be cutting your chances of losses by a significant margin. Let’s say I don’t have experience as a fiction writer. Let’s say it was my first time writing romance. Would I even make it as an author? What would be the quality of my work? How long would it take to succeed? If I am not growing with the kind of experience I have, it will take more to succeed without experience at all.
Or, it will cost a lot more money and time to have first-hand experience in understanding what readers like. One of the things you should do to make money on Amazon Kindle is to have a budget for marketing, the bigger, the better.
My experience is still young, but I understand what to do better and what to stop writing. For instance, U. K readers love my Mafia romance. I want to look at that a little more critically.
Lesson 4: Marketing/planning is important
I remember pulling out one of the books I have read about marketing. I literally planned or told myself what I wanted to achieve with the novels.
- I want the readers to love my work and recommend it to others.
- I want to give them that dopamine. I want them to read the book, enjoy it, and get to a stage and say, wow, wow, wow, I can’t stop.
Did I achieve that?
Well, you can find out. When you read 50% – 60% of the book, come back and let me know what you think.
Also, this doesn’t work well for most readers. Many of them stopped reading around page 7 or 30-something. The first book was 160 pages long. So, I have learned to restructure my book or plot so that readers get engaged a lot better early on. The book can slow down later, but not early on.
I do not have much marketing budget, so I needed all the advice I could get.
I followed publishing forums and learned writing a series was a great idea. So, I wrote a sequel. Looking at it, one of the books usually boosts the sales or readership of the others. It’s a different story for some of the books I published as standalone.
Before you jump into publishing, create a plan. Have some budget for ads. Write a complete series. Publish at once or publish it all before you start marketing. That’s how to make money on Amazon Kindle.
Lesson 5: Consistency wins
I haven’t made many sales, but I could feel it. If I keep writing quality books and with my level of skills and marketing, I will probably earn more money, obviously.
Some of the happiest days of my life on this journey:
One: I had no sales for weeks. One day, someone bought three copies of the book.
Two: the day someone or a couple of people read about 750 pages in about three hours. I had no sales that day. When I was about to sleep, I saw book 3 getting read. I went to bed when I woke up 3 hours later. Someone had read all three books and one standalone book.
So, yeah, I am still publishing. I haven’t given up yet.
You can check my book or message me if you want to support my journey to $1000 in earnings. Support an author today.
Lesson 6: Create a content marketing strategy
Want to know how to sell on Kindle? Create a passive marketing strategy.
It’s another way of saying build an audience before you start. You can publish a web series on a blog and give your audience something to read. You need that source of free content that will consistently bring new readers to your book. So, start a blog or a newsletter. Give readers free books or content consistently.
Look at all the big brands you know, like Hubspot. Look at the number of free courses and resources they give out.
As a self-published author, your marketing skill and budget is often limited. So creating stories people can read for free is your best bet to get sales and increase your chances of success.
Most of the people who have success with self-publishing have an active audience. Most of them have expectant readers before they publish.
You can write and publish free books weekly for a year or two. Then, put your Amazon copy on the side. Only a tiny percentage of your audience who gets things for free will pay for your books, but it’s still an effective strategy. It gives you a solid and active method of attracting new and interested buyers instead of putting your books up and waiting for miracles or burning money on ads.
Hopefully, I will write a sequel to this post.
I can’t say yet, but I will probably write another post on how to sell on Kindle. It will give a year or 2-year review of the journey.
Get the Experience
For me, it’s more than getting sales. I have gained a valuable marketing experience from the journey.
So, that should help you start how to make money on Amazon Kindle.
You can read an excerpt of the book here or check Amazon and look through the first pages.