[Journey] KDP Self-Publishing 2020 (Grayhat)

Steroidz

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Hello, OP here

So one of the books I wrote back in April was about coronavirus and it got rejected by Amazon. I called them several times, negotiated with their "support" and in the end I got fucked by just receiving the same rejection message.

Yes, I understand that I got cheeky and wrote a book about coronavirus but it was high quality content of 80 pages full of my own research and so on but Amazon couldn't give two fucks and instead gave the green light to the 200 IQ people who started massively releasing books on self-made masks and hand sanitizers. I tried to jump in on that aswell ( I was early and saw 2 books released on that). Guess what? I got fucked again and they rejected again. (This time it was low quality effort, so I can't blame them)

Also, for the past 2 months I have been running AMS ads on one of the books and it has been terribly performing ever since (never reaching even -30% ROI) so I turned off all AMS campaigns about 2 weeks ago (May 20th-ish) for that book and now it seems the book wasn't even affected and is still getting organic sales of about once per week (and paperback sales, to add to that)

None of my books have been submitted to Kindle Unlimited, so I can't say anything about their glorified Netflix of books.

So far, I have only 1 book that is on sale (Twitter used for brand building) that is getting about 1 paperback sale per week (no ads).

However, because of these battle scars I am focusing on creating a niche book series (about 4 books) with its own brand (not personality based). The first book will go live for free on Kindle Unlimited with a small AMS budget of $5 max (5 campaigns per 1$) to test keywords and see if its getting picked up by buyers, KU subscribers. I have identified this niche to be profitable on KDP because I am actually in that niche myself doing another biz and I see demand not just from Amazon website but many other places.

Finally, I would say Twitter seems like a legit way to build a brand. First of all, unlike big Google boi, you can add amazon affiliate links to your tweets and then promote them via TwitterAds. Whereas amazon prohibits adding their affiliate links into google PPC ads. Another thing that I found cool about Twitter is that even if the tweet gets promoted, you only pay for the engagement you selected. Because I have a promoted tweet that literally just gives a small blurb and link to the book, I am still able to receive likes, comments and retweets for "free". Free as in I don't know how their algo works but so far I was only getting billed about 1$ per month and even managed to get two sales one month which also went to amazon affiliate (so basically got payed both for KDP sale and affiliate cut).

But now I've been super busy developing a website+youtube channel dedicated to a certain niche and I've started seeing some nice results after 1.5 months of work (1k daily visits, 1.5k daily views). Any time I am free, I am working on the mentioned book series.
 

Shana Walters

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What you can expect from this journey:

1) Overview of the whole self-publishing eco-system
2) Reviews of other services (ARCs,Newsletters,Promo websites etc)
3) Low Spending - about $XX- low $XXX per month on services/traffic

Who are you following on this journey:
  • Full-Time Online Marketer (quit $3k/mo in EU web dev job)
  • Highly Focused (about 8-12 hours per day of work)
  • Product Driven
  • Budget Allocated - $3,000
  • Project Estimate - 9 Months
  • All work done by me (only outsourcing book covers/traffic)
What strategies will get tested on KDP: (format: started-ongoing-success/failure)
1) Non-Fiction /w Brand building (started-ongoing)
2) Non-Fiction Short Reads (started-ongoing)
3) Non-Fiction Trend Based, time sensitive topics like Coronavirus
4) Fiction /w Brand building
5) Fiction Smut (Erotica)
6) Fiction Short Reads
7) Low Content Books LCB
8) Private Label Books PLR

Why I am doing this:

1) I like writing and collecting thoughts in one place (think retrospectives if you worked in tech sector)
2) To share my findings and help other BHW members
3) Possibly find a mentor who can take me under their wing or join a serious mastermind group (KBoards/FB groups are infested with wannabe writers, not people looking to make biz, as an example)

ALSO BUY MY BOOKS PLZZZZZ

Ahem, Hello.

Now that I am done with my little "resume" let's get started and I pray to sweet baby Jesus I don't bore you to death.

I have seen on Reddit authors are saying that Amazon is taking down the coronavirus books.
 

Steroidz

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I have seen on Reddit authors are saying that Amazon is taking down the coronavirus books.
Bingo. Except I had to waste literally days figuring this out because at first I thought it was some bullshit copyright problem (using some graph images from public commons like decade old encyclopedias)
 

Steroidz

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This is a dead venture. KDP self-publishing is a massive scam at this point, since you need to test a ton of books which means investing at least $3000 intro producing 10-15 e-books and then pray something comes out of it, except, AMS (Amazon Marketing Services) and other places like FB ads or Google ads are almost necessary to do this, so you can probably double this budget into $6000.

I remember I read somewhere that it's always better to invest money into blogs or even YouTube, basically, a platform that actually has an algorithm which promotes your work and you don't need to spend money on marketing.

So yeah, fuck KDP self-publishing, fuck you Bezos and R.I.P. KOLL, I am sure this fucked over many authors and business owners :)
 

Jaygrylls

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This took a pretty dark turn. I published my first book on Instagram Marketing and I made around 60€ in organic sales in the first 2 months. I know it's not much but I did not spend anything in promoting, producing or publishing the book. So far I made around a 100€ and I am using some of the money to get into AMS which is working pretty decent so far.
One huge factor are reviews and marketing. Since I have good knowledge in Social Media marketing I can promote the book in my freetime without having to spend anything on that.
 
D

Deleted member 1274522

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Very unfortunate! Do you intend on publishing somewhere else?
 

macdonjo3

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This is a dead venture. KDP self-publishing is a massive scam at this point, since you need to test a ton of books which means investing at least $3000 intro producing 10-15 e-books and then pray something comes out of it, except, AMS (Amazon Marketing Services) and other places like FB ads or Google ads are almost necessary to do this, so you can probably double this budget into $6000.

I remember I read somewhere that it's always better to invest money into blogs or even YouTube, basically, a platform that actually has an algorithm which promotes your work and you don't need to spend money on marketing.

So yeah, fuck KDP self-publishing, fuck you Bezos and R.I.P. KOLL, I am sure this fucked over many authors and business owners :)
Do you think you could make AMS profitable even if you had the $6k budget?
 

GoldenAxxe

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Nov 7, 2018
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109
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What you can expect from this journey:

1) Overview of the whole self-publishing eco-system
2) Reviews of other services (ARCs,Newsletters,Promo websites etc)
3) Low Spending - about $XX- low $XXX per month on services/traffic

Who are you following on this journey:
  • Full-Time Online Marketer (quit $3k/mo in EU web dev job)
  • Highly Focused (about 8-12 hours per day of work)
  • Product Driven
  • Budget Allocated - $3,000
  • Project Estimate - 9 Months
  • All work done by me (only outsourcing book covers/traffic)
What strategies will get tested on KDP: (format: started-ongoing-success/failure)
1) Non-Fiction /w Brand building (started-ongoing)
2) Non-Fiction Short Reads (started-ongoing)
3) Non-Fiction Trend Based, time sensitive topics like Coronavirus
4) Fiction /w Brand building
5) Fiction Smut (Erotica)
6) Fiction Short Reads
7) Low Content Books LCB
8) Private Label Books PLR

Why I am doing this:

1) I like writing and collecting thoughts in one place (think retrospectives if you worked in tech sector)
2) To share my findings and help other BHW members
3) Possibly find a mentor who can take me under their wing or join a serious mastermind group (KBoards/FB groups are infested with wannabe writers, not people looking to make biz, as an example)

ALSO BUY MY BOOKS PLZZZZZ

Ahem, Hello.

Now that I am done with my little "resume" let's get started and I pray to sweet baby Jesus I don't bore you to death.
do you have any updates on this journey?
 
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