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Amazon Kindle Publishing Journal

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by nightbat, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. nightbat

    nightbat Regular Member

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    Greetings, fellow Black Hatters.

    This is my first real thread. I've lurked here for ages, trying to find a method or two to supplement my income. I've made a smattering of money here and there, but nothing substantial enough to qualify as a regular income.

    The reason for this is two-fold: firstly, I'm lazy and can't be bothered to work my pants off, day-in and day-out. Secondly, I'm no good at marketing (and have never tried to rectify this condition).

    So, I've been on the lookout for methods that give you a source of passive income. Don't get me wrong: I AM willing to put in hard, honest labor ONCE, as long as it keeps paying me back regularly for a long time to come. And that's how I stumbled upon Kindle eBook publishing. It's perfect for me, because I'm good at writing and doing academic reasearch. I also happen to have a lot of varied interests.

    So here's what I have done so far:

    1. Found myself a big fat niche that's just waiting to be filled. It's kind of a blue ocean, there's very little literature available in this niche even in traditional print media. But it's a 100% genuinely fillable niche.

    2. The niche is such that I can churn out 50, even 100 informative/instructional ebooks at the rate of 1 per day, in a series. The plan is to FLOOD the niche. 50 ebooks minimum.

    3. I've gone ahead and created the first ebook of the series. It's 15+ pages long in MS Word. Made myself a reasonably decent cover image using Photoshop.

    So hopefully I'll post here on a regular basis and update this journal with the adventures I encounter along the way.


    FAQ

    1. No, I won't reveal my niche.
    2. I will not disclose my ebooks' list price.
    3. I'll try and share as much of everything else as possible, with proofs.

    Cheers, Nightbat
     
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  2. bulldawg88

    bulldawg88 Junior Member

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    I take it my thread inspired you.
     
  3. nightbat

    nightbat Regular Member

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    Day 1

    Submitted first ebook for publication. Got reviewed real fast, and now it's going through the mandatory 12-hour wait before being made available for purchase.

    [​IMG]

    Time to move on to the next ebook! Targeting 1 per day.
     
  4. nightbat

    nightbat Regular Member

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    Absolutely 100% YES. Kindle publishing is something I've been thinking of doing for some time now, but it's your thread that gave me the kick up the arse to get going.

    How's your Kindle adventure going? Going strong, I hope?
     
  5. expertSEO

    expertSEO Registered Member

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    Here's a little advice for you. I make a large substantial residual amount from Kindle. Make sure you link each of your books to your series. Meaning once you get your 2nd book up, go back into your 1st book, and add the link to your 2nd book. Make sure you enroll in KDP Select. It gives you an option to make your first book free for up to 5 days. Really helps to push sales. Once you have 3 books up in a good niche, you'll never have to look back. FREE MONEY! Good Luck.
     
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  6. nightbat

    nightbat Regular Member

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    Great advice, Thanks.

    About KDP Select - I'm kinda wavering on whether to enroll or not - because it ties you exclusively to Amazon. You can't publish to any other platform such as B&N, Sony, Apple, etc. anymore if you enroll in KDP select.

    Seems to have its pros and cons. What's your take on this?
     
  7. expertSEO

    expertSEO Registered Member

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    Here's my take. If you plan to price your books under $3. I would recommend enrolling in select. For example let's say you have a book that is selling for 99 cents. If you just sell normally on Amazon they will pay you 35% of each sale. Basically you'll get 35 cents a sale. However last month they paid out $2.01 per borrow on books that sell for 99 cents. A No Brainer on that end. You can actually lose money on higher priced books. For example if I sell my book for $10 and Amazon pays me $2.01 per borrow, if I sell regularly I would make $10*70% or $7.00 per sale, so I would lose roughly $5. So it all depends. For me, it makes sense to sell exclusively with Amazon. As far as my digital copies. I'm still allowed to sell the paperback version of my books elsewhere. This exclusivity only pertains to digital rights content.
     
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  8. nightbat

    nightbat Regular Member

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    Thanks and Rep+ for this valuable nugget of information, it puts things in the right perspective.

    What's your take on DRM? I'm against it personally, don't want my ebooks to be infected by it in any way whatever. I think people passing around pirated copies of ebooks may actually be a good way of spreading awareness about a new ebook/author.
     
  9. bulldawg88

    bulldawg88 Junior Member

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    Not bad. I made over $500 in March. So far this month, I've made over $120.
     
  10. mimix

    mimix Newbie

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    Awesome to see more people interested in KDP. Once you start being successful with your mini-series, you may want to invest on creating a super high quality book since this will really explode your profits, give you an advantage over any future competitors as well as get you a mass of happy readers and followers. Once you attain this level of credibility you can start monetizing by creating a list and sending affiliate offers.

    As for DRM, most of the time is not necessary since Kindle readers are usually not very web savvy and will not share your book at mass levels. Once you have a high quality book then you may want to enable DRM on this since it will be high priced from 6.99 to 9.99... you can test different price models.

    Hope this helps and best luck on your KDP venture!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2012
  11. nottelling2012

    nottelling2012 Newbie

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    Potentially epic thread.

    Nice to see you guys out there and trying the Kindle thang.

    I put a few books up there as a trial earlier in the week. Sales aren't great, but this is more of a learning experience for me. I have made sales though - with no marketing involved. I even made the top 100 of a couple of subsections, which means absolutely nothing but keeps the morale up. I've also discovered that hardcopy (createspace) book sale will often lead to a kindle version sale, but the reverse isn't true.

    One thing I have learnt is that Kindle mustn't update their sales stats in real time. Obsessively checking your earnings as noobs such as myself are wont to do, is a waste of time. Give it a day or so to show movement.

    Having to wait 12 hours for your products to go live can be a bit of a bummer, but it's for the best. This particular platform works best for the seller, the hosting party and the buyer if there are decent books up there, not just spun wikipedia articles. I believe Amazon hunts you down and slaps you if you use dodgy content.
     
  12. nightbat

    nightbat Regular Member

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    Day 2

    My first eBook went live, and ... cue drumroll ... nothing happened. No sales, no reviews, nothing.

    Exactly as I expected.

    One eBook does not change the world. A solid 50 eBook series does.

    So here's what I've done today: I've gone ahead and completed 70% of the second eBook so far; gonna put in a late-nighter and hope to submit it for publication today.

    I am spending time making sure that I am producing good quality material. I believe the quality of my material will turn out to be very important in the long run.

    I'm going to build this wall one brick at a time, and I'm gonna lay down each brick as well as I can.
     
  13. nightbat

    nightbat Regular Member

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    Glad you're doing well, brother, keep it going!
     
  14. nightbat

    nightbat Regular Member

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    Thank you. That's exactly what I have in mind: once I get a reasonably large number of eBooks up there, I'm planning to combine them all into a high-quality print book. That's far in the future though, I've got to keep my eye on the ball and keep turning out my eBooks on schedule.

    I agree with you totally on the DRM front. It's something I will worry about when I have higher-priced product(s) out there.
     
  15. nightbat

    nightbat Regular Member

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    Thank you. Congrats on taking action and getting sales.

    The great thing about Amazon is that you don't really have to do any marketing - if your products are reasonably good, they will sell themselves.

    The first few books are definitely a learning experience. I'm still far out of my comfort zone at the moment.

    Quality content is essential IMO, if you want a long-term passive income with Kindle. Spun Wikipedia articles will get you slapped sooner or later, and then you're back to square one.
     
  16. bulldawg88

    bulldawg88 Junior Member

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    Here are my March stats, totalling out at more than $370 in the US alone:

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Ewan-L

    Ewan-L Regular Member

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    Nice going, will be following this! I've been interested in Kindle Publishing for a while now. Should be interesting...
     
  18. nottelling2012

    nottelling2012 Newbie

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    A few thoughts on the mechanics of content creation... There are several things that a buyer of a kindle book will not abide - these are:

    1. Obviously OCR'd text with junk characters, etc. Just say you're republishing an old book on the art of horsemanship and packaging it as "How to Ride a Pony For Little Girls", you'd better be prepared to sit down for potentially weeks retyping all of the text and crunching the images.

    I avoid old books, but my workflow for such content looks thusly - Open PDF in Acrobat Pro X -> run text recognition and wait -> export from Acrobat Pro as text -> open resulting text file -> copy all text -> open MS Word -> Paste Special - unformatted text -> sit down and edit all text for a month -> open up original PDF in Acrobat -> copy/paste images direct from PDF to word doc -> save word doc as HTML -> convert with Calibre to mobi. Of course this workflow is a little abbreviated. You also need to crunch your images, add captions in word as well as create cover images at the correct size and dpi.

    2. You MUST have a table of contents. People will whinge about it in your feedback if you don't. Good news is this can be done easy enough in MS Word or even Open Office.

    If you're publishing on kindle, you're working hard or you're paying someone else to work hard. I still believe the benefits outweigh the negatives. It can be the easiest and least-costliest fire-and-forget trickle income model you'll find out there.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012
  19. Isis

    Isis Junior Member

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    I love old books myself.
     
  20. nightbat

    nightbat Regular Member

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    Day 3

    Okay, couldn't post yesterday because BHW was down, so I'm posting yesterday's update today.

    I've completed my second eBook and it's gone live on Amazon. Currently working on the 3rd eBook in the series, should be able to upload it for publication by EOD.

    So far, no sales. I'm checking my stats once per day, no point obsessing about them so early in the campaign.