Kindle is still a good ticket item to make bank. I know some of you jumped on the Kindle train last year, dumping short books into Amazon KDP in order to capitalize on the easy money. It was easy money! I made enough to make it worthwhile, and I even had to give up writing web content for a while in order to keep my own projects on track. Like many of you, I have several different talents and income streams. Amazon fit nicely into my life because, among other things, I?m a writer. It all changed this year. Kindle no longer results in payouts the way it did. However, I have some good news. It still makes good money if you change your tactics a bit. Before recent changes, a customer needed to get your book and read 10% of it before you would get paid for an Amazon ?borrow.? Before I go any further, let me disclaim that I won't explain all about how the Amazon program works, or how to convert to Kindle format, or any of that. Seriously, you can go find out all that with a few clicks so don?t belabor this thread with those queries. It used to be, that with a 20-page book, you could get paid simply by padding the entry pages. The Kindle Unlimited plan made earning money very easy. A reader could grab the book on Kindle Unlimited and they only needed to read 10% of the book, that?s just a few pages, and ChaChing (you made money). Now that has all changed. Like before, you still get a commission if someone buys your book traditionally. But today, people aren?t buying nearly as many books now that Kindle Unlimited (KU) has become so popular. I?m focusing on KU because that?s where my revenue is headed. My revenues are up 15% since I changed strategies. My commissions on traditional sales are down almost 20%. Everything I see in my dashboard makes me believe that marketing to KU is where the money is?and things are definitely trending that direction. What is important now is getting customers to read more pages. Even more challenging is the fact that Amazon has closed some loopholes. Writers used to be able to increase font sizes, add lots of pictures, or otherwise make a 50-page title into a 150-page offering. That doesn?t work anymore either. I?ve tested several uploads recently, and the page count is the same, regardless of changes like that. Amazon now indexes your page count based on a conversion formula, which is independent of your formatting. It takes into account the overall word count. What this means is that the page count is independent of what you read on the Kindle screen at any given time. Let?s say you have come to the end of a chapter, and you have a blank page, a new page featuring the chapter number, followed by another blank page to start the text. This looks very pleasing to the eye, but you are not credited for all those pages as the customer scrolls through. Your page credit comes when they have read a sufficient number of words. OK, enough with the backstory. You came to read how to make money. First, the cold reality?readers won?t turn pages if your product is poor quality. You need to write well, or hire someone who writes well. Your topic needs to be engaging, and you need to provide popular content. One way to know what is popular is to check the bestselling books. Another way, and the strategy I employ, is to navigate to particular subtopics, and experiment with entering different search criteria, as a reader would. Common search terms are revealed in the search bar on Amazon. You can easily discover what readers are searching for, and write with the goal of appealing to those criteria. Now, let?s talk strategy. Instead of writing a single stand-alone book, write a series. Unless you have an established readership, the sales won?t come right away. Just keep writing until you have a complete book, broken up nicely into 3 different titles, e.g., The Hostile Vampire from Hell (Parts 1,2,3). Get them all enrolled in the KU program. By now, you will be making some money, unless your book stinks or you picked an unpopular subject. Hey, that?s on you? Here?s the magic. Go get your first book (Part 1 of the series) listed somewhere online for free. This sounds counterintuitive, especially since all KU readers have the ability to get the book under their plan without paying extra. BUT, it works because Amazon will match prices. Amazon receives a complaint from your sister (or anyone you pick) that book 1 is available for free elsewhere and he/she wants it free from Amazon too! They will change your first book to free in their system. they won?t even ask you. How rude! (But AWESOME!) You can also list a 4[SUP]th[/SUP] book, the entire series in one bundle pack. People who don?t like to buy series books will buy the bundle to save money and own the book. Now, if you have done everything right, people will start buying the free book like crazy. People like free books. They are not ?borrowing? the book. They actually get to keep it. Where you were once limited to a few free promotional days in KDP, you now have a solid and long lasting promotion running. This is a loss-leader. You don?t care that people get the first part of the series for free. The fact that a few thousand readers get it free only makes it work better. Your book can get hundreds more reviews, and even though it?s free, it is still considered a ?purchase? in the Amazon system. Your book receives good rankings, and has lots of reviews, and even more people want that free book. If they enjoy the book, they will borrow or buy books 2 and 3, and you will clean up. I hope you see how effective that can be. But, there are a few lessons to learn here. Let?s call them tips to help you succeed. The first book in the series should be your best. Even if the 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] and 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] books are not as good, the first one has a special purpose, to hook the reader. They have to move to book 2 in order to find out what happens in the story they are already invested in. They make assumptions about the quality of books 2 and 3 based on the first book. To be fair to the reader, they should all be good books, but if you don?t have money for professional editing throughout, spend it on book 1. Also, in terms of overall page count, book one can be a little shorter. Books 2 and 3 will generate more revenue by having more page turns. Warning: If you get antsy, and you don?t wait until you have all three books before making your marketing move to get book 1 listed as free, you may regret it. I?ve done that and Amazon kicked my book out of KDP. That was an awful lot of trouble. I ended up writing a prequel, and relabeling all the books. Eventually I was able to get the prequel listed for free and the rest of the series did well. Let?s get real. There are some real cons to this money-making program. When I say you can make money, you really can?good money?but you invest a lot of time upfront, and money. You have some risks and there are unknowns. You won?t know exactly how well your book will respond in the market. You might make mistakes on your first few as you learn the categories that sell well, etc. Moreover, it?s hard work. This is not a get rich quick deal. If you want a free lunch, try something else. But, if you?re like me, I?ve bought many programs to make money. This takes more effort, but also has good rewards. The revenue is decent, and you are still making money on books 1,2,3,4,5 while writing book 6? It builds up over time, but even your first book can make good money if you produce a good quality product, market it using the strategy above, and choose a good topic that is in demand.