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[KINDLE journey] Zero to 100 Dollars a Day With Self-Publishing

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by Eiffel, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. Eiffel

    Eiffel Newbie

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    This journey is for accountability as well as for those who would like to get some inspiration and join in to earn an income from self-publishing.

    The readers market is getting bigger with an ever increasing demand for books that will only get bigger as the years go by. Tabs and smartphones have only fueled the growth of the publishing industry. People need stuff to read on their screens when they are idle, traveling or just getting bored with work.

    Amazon is a marketplace that is full of buyers and a half decent book is sure to get readers in the Kindle Store. Amazon has brought about frequent changes for authors and the low per page payout does seem like peanuts but I know that it will add up in the long run.

    Here's how I am going to proceed with my journey:

    1. Investment - No major investment initially. I might use Fiverr for covers and spend on stock images if needed but that's it. I will do the writing myself with the right formatting, and then wrap up with my own proofreading and editing. I will also buy an autoresponder account.
    I am on a tight budget and will only be able to put back money that I earn from my books.
    2. Genre - Fiction is the way to go and it is romance that sells the most. There is an insatiable market for romance stories and a decent book placed in front of consumers of romance stories will definitely be read.
    3. Goal - Reaching an average sales figure of $100 per day is my goal.
    4. Timeline - I really cannot say how long it will take but I hope that once I start getting sales and have published a few books I will be able to put a date to achieving the 100-per-day goal.

    The steps:

    1. Write 2000 words everyday.
    2. Publish short books of about 12k-15k in a series. If I write 2k words every day I can publish 3-4 short books each month.
    3. I will use KDP. The current earnings being reported for pages read is low but for a newbie the exposure is invaluable.
    4. List building - I will be taking advantage of that exposure by making a list of subscribers who will opt-in for a freebie. I intend to use Aweber to build the list.
    5. Promotion - In the first couple of months I'll focus on adding more books to my profile, and maybe submit to the free submission sites. I'll explore the paid option later, if things go well.
    6. In order to meet my goal of $100 per day I will need to sell a little over 100 books per day(priced at 99 cents) or have 25k pages read going by page views. In reality it will be a mix of the two - for example 12k pages read and 50 books sold. I will continue to publish more books in order to increase sales numbers as well as my total page view count (by having more books/pages read).

    That's the plan for now. Please give any useful tips if you are a successful Kindle publisher. Others can support and encourage me and anyone else who would like to follow me during my journey is most welcome.

    No PMs please! I will gladly answer any questions(to which I have answers) but only if you post on this thread. I am new to this myself so the best way to learn is to watch me overcoming challenges and forging ahead.

    I know that critics play a role in any journey but negative remarks that add no value will not be appreciated. If you feel too strongly about something and would like to spew venom, do it outside my thread - not here please. :).

    I will post an update at least once every week.
     
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  2. awmproxy

    awmproxy Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Hey man, good luck on you journey! Looking forward to the updates cause I heard some stories about people earning pretty decent money while everything is set. Would like to follow the process.
    If you don't mind me asking, are you going to write your own stuff or to do rewriting?
     
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  3. Eiffel

    Eiffel Newbie

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    Thanks! Yes, some people are making a lot of money on Kindle through self-publishing.

    I plan to write my own stories since I will be writing fiction - rewriting fiction could be difficult IMO. It is easier to rewrite content in non-fiction and a perfectly legitimate way to earn well if you write in your own style and give additional information to the reader than what has already been published.

    I get my ideas from stories that I have read (must read first in order to write what readers want). There are lots of books that are available free for a limited period of time on the Kindle store. Once I get an idea of what type of stories sell and the things readers are looking for(from the reviews), I plot it down on a notepad with a list of chapters and what is going to happen in each chapter. I also make a character snapshot that I keep referring to when I write the story. That's how I have started and now I intend to keep writing every day until I finish book 1.
     
  4. swjedinight

    swjedinight Regular Member

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    I am a Self-Publisher myself. It's not an easy road and I don't want to discourage you but 100$ a day will take more in marketing and less in actual book count. you will have a better chance at hitting 100$ a day by great marketing than by having 100 books.
     
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  5. Neon

    Neon Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Good Luck on your Journey !
     
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  6. Eiffel

    Eiffel Newbie

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    You are absolutely correct! Marketing a book is one of the most important tasks that an author can do to ensure the success of his book. When I wrote in the OP that I will be focusing on writing books I did not mean that I will not be doing any marketing at all. I will indeed promote my books and shall post about it when I get down to doing it. My bad - for not being more specific.

    However, I must add that publishing more books is the most basic form of promotion because with more products in any marketplace you tend to get more overall exposure. Moreover, promoting several books will be more fruitful than marketing a single book and hoping for a huge number of sales(towards reaching a $100-per-day income goal). Which is why I decided on publishing several books with short stories and not a novel; the logic being that many shorts will get much more exposure than a single novel.

    Selling 10 copies of 10 books is much easier than selling 100 copies of 1 book. In fact, if I am able to get 1 book downloaded, there are high chances that my other books will also sell - as against a scenario where only a sole book is on offer and the reader is unable to find any more books written by the same author if he wants more.

    When an author struggles to write his book, taking a year or more to complete a 300-page novel and then finds out that the only people who bought his novel were his mom and a few friends, he gets discouraged and finds himself unable to continue writing any more books.

    Though that is surely not going to be the case with me, I am still quite prepared for failure with my initial launches and don't even expect too many sales(or page views in KDP) in the beginning. I expect any real success to happen only after I have several books out, each pushing the other as well as through my promotional efforts(which excludes paid promotion in the initial phase as mentioned in the OP).

    Hope that makes it clear. It is indeed not an easy road but when the going gets tough, the tough get going. :).

    Thanks for dropping by!
     
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  7. GringoMonkey

    GringoMonkey Power Member

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    Hi,

    The easiest way to be successful with Kindle is to write what people are looking for and finding that out should be your step 1.

    There are plenty of posts on here about doing keyword research / competitor analysis etc. Then once you know what people are looking for and the quality of competition you can write your book to suit. Ideally you want to find low hanging fruit to start with - something easy to write and not a lot of competition. That is why most people start with non-fiction.

    But no matter if it is fiction or non-fiction as part of that process look at how you can take a book and turn it into a series.

    Then concentrate on getting your first book ranked and making sales/read each day - don't worry too much about how much it makes to start with, what you want to get is traction.

    If your first book isn't getting any traction re-examine step 1. The idea being you want to fail fast - so don't spend months writing your first book. Get it published in respect of step 1 guidelines ASAP then...

    Once you start to get traction make the book bigger - As of Feb 1st KDP select will pay you for up to 3000 KENPC pages, that works out about $0.005 per page. So that's about $15 if you get all 3000 pages read.

    Then release part 2 of your series and so on and build your readership base.

    Hope that helps.

    GM
     
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    Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
  8. raenic

    raenic Junior Member

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    I highly recommend starting an email list, offering some sort of opt-in bonus book. I find for success on KDP it is crucial to build a strong email list.
     
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  9. JamesConway

    JamesConway Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    interesting journey! hope it works out well for you...
     
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  10. PaulSmithAUS

    PaulSmithAUS Registered Member

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    Also keep in mind that selling 100 books does not mean $100 in income as Amazon takes its cut. I assume you will be in KDP so you get 70%. So to make $100 a day at $0.99 you actually need to sell 145 books ( or you could increase the price).

    Please keep the journey updated as most journeys end quickly.
     
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  11. Eiffel

    Eiffel Newbie

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    Thanks for all the responses and tips!

    Building a list is part of the plan as mentioned in the OP. I will be going with the romance genre, and the sub-genre is as per my research that has already been done(the sub-genre will not be disclosed).

    That's a very good point by PaulSmithAUS above, and in order to earn $100 with 99 cent books only, it would need a sales figure of 286 books(at 35% commission). I would have amended the OP accordingly but there is no editing option for the OP(?). But honestly, I don't know how many books will be borrowed(and paid by page views) and how many books I will price at more than 99 cents. Pricing is something I will test once I have at least 2 books out.

    Moreover, my strategy is going to be "more books + more promotion" until I reach my goal. Also, the journey is for the stated goal, but I have no intention of stopping there and hope to scale up through various ways once I have reached my goal in this journey.

    It is good to plan in detail but at the same time I don't want to get bogged down just with calculations in the beginning, and instead would like to get books out first(which is what most aspiring authors fail to do).

    I was off to a slow start and produced an output of about 1900 words until yesterday. I know I need to speed up and keep up an average output of 2k/ day; hopefully my speed & output will increase as I start following a regular schedule of writing going ahead.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016
  12. Andraste47

    Andraste47 Newbie

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    Hey there,

    I used to do Kindle erotica about a yearish ago. I'll let you in on a few things I learned.

    1) Price at 2.99. Much easier to earn at 2.99 and .99. For people in KU price doesn't matter and people actually buying see 2.99 books as higher quality than ones priced .99. Last I checked you only get a 35% royalty on .99 but 70% on 2.99. Experiment and see what works best for you.

    2) If you have a series then .99 or free for the first book is ok as a way to pull people into the series.

    3) Backmatter. Link to your other books in the back. If people liked what you wrote they are likely to click a link to the rest of your stuff. Some readers will literally pick up your whole catalog in one go if they like your writing.

    4)Google naughtlylistbooks. It's a service that mails out a newsletter every day to romance and erotica (separate lists) readers. It's $10-20 for a spot in the daily newsletter and useful when you've got 10+ books out. It's a 6k+ targeted list of erotica and romance readers on kindle. You will get sales/borrows. The bigger your catalog and better your links in your backmatter the more you will make per promotion.

    5) Set up a template for your front and backmatter. A little copy/paste is easier for your and provides a more polished and consistent experience.

    6) Join twitter/facebook and build a following and network with other authors. They might be open to cross promotion or working jointly on books.

    7) Join goodreads as an author and link your books up there. (You might have to manually add them to their catalog, it's not hard to do.) It might not get you sales but it's more social proof to people who care about books and are social about it that you are a pro.

    That's all I've got for now.
     
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  13. Eiffel

    Eiffel Newbie

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    Yes, I have been thinking the same i.e. pricing at $2.99 for the later books with the first one free - or free, 0.99, 2.99 etc.

    I do have list building in my plan. A template is useful - I do have a general formatted template for the book and having one for the front and back is a good idea.

    Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads etc. are all in my notes for setting up - something I will be doing side-by-side and updating on the thread.
     
  14. Ikey Solo

    Ikey Solo Newbie

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    Hey Eiffel,

    Good luck on your journey. I too am just starting to get into kindle writing (thrillers not romance) and can say that I am thinking along the same lines as you.

    For now, I don't want to get too bogged down with all the background noise with regards to keyword research, marketing etc, I want to just get my first couple of books in print and know that I have the attitude and ability to move forward with the project.

    Once I have my first couple of books out there and am familiar with the process of formatting, cover production, layout etc. then I will look more into the promotion and marketing side of things.

    I may be wrong, and the seasoned authors may say that I am making a rookie mistake, but to me, I want to get a couple of books out there, get some feedback to ensure that those readers that read my books, enjoyed them. I would hate to go to all the trouble of researching, promoting, keyword analysis etc making sure my books were front and center for all to see, only to realise that my story telling needing fine tuning, and now I have turned off many potential future readers (if that makes sense).

    Anyway, best of luck to you and I will be watching your thread closely to see your progress. :)
     
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  15. GringoMonkey

    GringoMonkey Power Member

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    Just be mindfull that unless you do the research first into what people are going to buy you probably wont make many sales or get much feedback, so it ends up being a bit pointless as a process to get feedback to fine tune your writing style. If you want to do that, hire an editor.

    Your better off having people clamoring for improvements from a book they want to buy than a perfect book nobody knows about.

    Remember, start as a digital book you can always go back and edit it and build traction. If there is no traction there is no point investing time improving it. Just move onto your next book. Then once your happy with it and you know people want to buy it produce the print version.

    I never understand why people won't do keyword research first, it is the most important thing to be successful for an unpublished author, takes about 5 minutes and saves you loads of hassle in the long run.
     
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