Are you interested in publishing a book on Amazon and making money with Amazon Kindle publishing?
It’s always exciting to publish a book, whether you are a first-timer or veteran of in the publishing industry. It's never been easier to publish a book and make money selling books and with Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), you have the added benefits of not dealing with impersonal book publishers, elusive agents, and “meat grinder” editors who are apt to chew up your manuscript until you no longer recognize it.
The book publishing industry has become democratized and publishing a book is now available to anyone who has the will and wherewithal to see it through.
Whether you're just looking to make money with a side hustle; or make a full-time income writing and publishing books, with Amazon Kindle publishing it truly has never been easier to make money writing and publishing your own books.
Still, just like the writing and self-editing process, Kindle publishing demands a little effort on your part to fully benefit from its robust platform. As a self-publisher, you are in charge of every aspect of your book, from the writing, editing, formatting, and even marketing; and as such must know and exercise your rights within the Kindle universe.
You've written your book, added all the key pieces of content and have it properly formatted for upload.
So without further ado, let’s tackle some details regarding uploading your book using the Amazon KDP platform and the terms by which authors can best exploit this service.
Once you complete your book, go into your Amazon account, click the ‘Add new title’ button and enter the title of your book.
Next, you will have two distinct steps to complete that are of equal value on your path to making money with Amazon Kindle publishing:
1. Entering Your Amazon Kindle Book Details
A. Entering Your Amazon Kindle Book Title and Key Information
This is where you get to tell your audience how great your book is and why they should buy it. There are a number of details you can provide, but most authors do well by covering the following essential information:
Title (mandatory) and/or subtitles or series title (optional).
Aside from a great looking book cover image (people really do judge a book (even a digital book) by its cover, a great title is one of the most important factors in whether someone will buy your book or pass on it.
Spend time to make sure your book title is attractive enough to get people to stop and take an interest - and make sure it's large enough on the cover that people can see it when browsing books on their mobile devices.
A good subtitle can go a long way to getting people further interested in the book and buy it.
One final note, if you haven't already, you should seriously consider making your book a series and having at least a second book published as well. Most customers who buy one of your books will buy another book and Amazon does a great job of promoting your other books to buyers of your first book.
One of the biggest mistakes most authors make is not writing a good and lengthy description to turn browsers into buyers. People aren't going to purchase your book just because it has a good cover and a good title (though that does go a long way).
They need to know the details of exactly what your book is about, what they'll get out of it, and why they should buy it over the hundreds or thousands of other books competing in your category. The more you tell, the more you'll sell.
Unlike a traditional physical book where you have very limited space to describe your book; on Amazon Kindle, you have the opportunity to write a very long, detailed description to help entice readers to want to buy your book. Amazon gives you a tremendous amount of space in the description area and few authors take advantage of the available space. Be sure to include a good description, testimonials, bullet points with benefits, and everything the prospect needs to know to purchase the book.
Age and Grade Ranges.
This is most appropriate for Children’s Books, Romance, and other age-specific niches. Not really necessary for non-fiction books.
The author and co-authors and other (i.e. editors, illustrators, translators, etc. who merit consideration. Keep in mind it's okay to use a pen name if you don't want to publish under your own name.
This one is self-explanatory.
A good trick here is to drill down and select ultra-specific sub-categories for your book rather than selecting a high level / generic category. This will help your book rank higher and get found by people with an interest in your specific sub-niche which will increase sales. As your sales increase you will start to get ranked in other higher level categories a well.
B. Uploading and Previewing Your Amazon Kindle Book Before Going Live
Amazon offers a Digital Rights management service that helps prevent illegal copying and plagiarizing of your material. Also, it offers an online preview tool that lets you see your book as customers will see it while browsing on their Kindle readers, iPads, and other electronic devices. Alternatively, you can preview your e-book on your own Kindle device by downloading a preview tool from the site.
It's recommended that you enable the digital rights management to help prevent unauthorized sharing of your Amazon Kindle book.
2. Establishing Your Rights and Pricing Details
A. Confirm Your Amazon Kindle Publishing Rights
During the e-book upload process there are two places where you will be asked to confirm your rights to publish your material:
- Verifying your publishing rights (is your book public domain or original material?)
- Verifying your publishing territories (Worldwide or selected territories)
If you are self-publishing then most likely you own the rights to your material and have worldwide rights to your material, so go ahead and list them in the global marketplace to maximize your sales and royalties from every country that Amazon operates in.
B. Pricing Your Amazon Kindle Book and Royalties Details
- Choose your royalty option.
- Choose the price of your book in USD only and allow currency conversion for other markets. Alternatively, you can price each eligible country individually.
Currently, Amazon provides a strong incentive for you to price your works between $2.99 and $9.99 in order to get the maximum royalty of 70%. You can test different price points to see what price maximizes your sales and revenues, but most likely you should stay within this price range because that is the price range that will (1) maximize your royalty percentage and (2) most likely maximize the number of actual sales.
If you are publishing multiple books then you may want to consider pricing your first book at a lower level to get more buyers who will subsequently purchase your other books at a higher price point.
After you’ve submitted the necessary information, approximately twelve hours later, your book should be available online for purchase. If you already have a print version for sale and your content, title, and contributors are exactly the same, Amazon automatically links the digital edition with the print edition. (If this doesn't happen then contact Amazon through Author Central and ask them to link the books together). This will combine all of your reviews, sales, etc. into one product that can increase your book's rankings in the Amazon marketplace as well.
Note: Amazon offers a service that makes it very easy to make your Kindle book into a physical print version as well. You can charge higher prices for your print version and offering both a print and Kindle version of your book will maximize the number of sales and royalties you make.
Changes to your book’s metadata (i.e. cover image, author name, etc.) should be reflected on the Amazon website within 48 hours. Note that the changes are progressive in nature, and other parts of the detail page (e.g. customer reviews) may require more time to update.
The great thing about publishing digital books with Amazon Kindle is even after the book is uploaded and available for sale if you notice any spelling errors, typos, or grammar issues you can go back and reformat your book properly and instantly re-upload the corrected version.
Publishing books through the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing platform is one many ways to make money online. If you'd like to see other ways you can generate income on the Internet see this article: 5 Simple Ways to Make Money Online.