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Publishing fiction on Kindle - A year in and it works!

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by rainy_leela, Apr 14, 2015.

  1. rainy_leela

    rainy_leela Newbie

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    Hey all! For those of you that have thought about publishing fiction on Kindle, I'm here to tell you that you can do it and make good money at it... if you put in the right effort.

    I've been publishing erotic/paranormal romance on Kindle since the beginning of 2014. I have about 19 titles, but most of my stories are short, like under 15,000 words and are parts to series. Most of the stories I've written myself although there are a few I contracted out to be finished when life got in the way. My first payday was for $120 and that was in March 2014 (for the royalties I had in January 2014). In May 2014, I started to figure out the 6 main points to publishing on Kindle and as a result, my income shot from $1,342 in June 2014 to $6,278 in July 2014.

    At any rate, I wanted to share the 6 points that really need focus and a brief bit about them:

    1. Title - is it catchy? Does it tell the reader what the story is about?

    2. Cover - this is sooooo important and I cannot emphasize this enough. You put up a crappy cover, you might as well kiss your chances of a sale good bye. Your cover needs to be professional and look like it deserves to be on the best seller list! Unless you are a professional graphic designer, best leave this to a professional graphic designer. You could take your chances with Fiverr, but I suggest not as you'll end up paying out the butt with the extras to get a best seller worthy cover. To get a cover designer, post gigs on elance or odesk. Be SURE to check out the contractors previous work and if you choose them, trust what they have to say! They are designers, you are not! You came to them for a reason. Also, I can recommend cover designers as well, send me a PM and don't just post a reply here, I may not see it.

    3. Description - is it catchy? Does it leave the potential reader wanting more? For help with this, check out stories by top-selling authors in your genre. What words are they using? How are they phrasing things?

    4. Keywords - Amazon isn't like Google. It has a whole different algorithm for searching. The best advice I can give is to think about what your possible reader my be searching for to find stories like yours, then go type the first word of your keyword into Amazon's search bar and see what pops up below it. People are searching for the suggested keywords they are offering you.

    5. Categories - Again, check out top-sellers in your genre and see what categories they are listed in. If you find that you cannot find the category you want to be in, simply contact Amazon. I've done this many times and they have always put me in the right category.

    6. The story (this should be a no-brainer) - edit, edit, EDIT! If you value good reviews and want to make a name for yourself, find yourself a spelling and grammar editor at least.

    While I have yet to publish a best-seller, I am quite comfortable and out of the rat race. It's quite fantastic to dream up a story... and people buy it!

    I also have started dabbling in my own kindle publishing company where I jv with writers. They provide the story, I provide the rest (covers, keywords, description, marketing) and we split the profit. Has been working out quite well and I've met a lot of fantastic writers!

    Anyway, good luck to you all!
     
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  2. Manny

    Manny Registered Member

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    Hey thanks for the tips! Good work!
     
  3. netcelal

    netcelal Senior Member

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    thank you for the good tips!
     
  4. Alma

    Alma Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Congratulations on your success and thanks for the motivation!
     
  5. T2tkid

    T2tkid Elite Member

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    Thanks for the tips, i have always wanted to START. But getting a good writer is not easy.
     
  6. hateandbreak

    hateandbreak BANNED BANNED

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    Nice advice! I have an idea i put on paper, but still have a LOT to go. It's a fiction SciFi story and will be quite large as it's a whole story (Space adventure, planet exploration, different races of beings etc). It will be very in depth and all over the place. I hope i can finish this one day and see how people like it!

    Thanks for the tips. They will be useful. Thanks again!
     
  7. rainy_leela

    rainy_leela Newbie

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    If you are wanting to make money with it, be sure to check out best selling stories in that particular genre before you start laying your story out. That way you can see what's selling and be sure that yours will be well received. :)
     
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  8. hateandbreak

    hateandbreak BANNED BANNED

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    Thank you i will do that. Well i would want to publish it regardless. If i can make money from it as well, then that makes me happy. But mainly to get the book out and maybe build some fans. On the other hand i found a method that involves reddit, and creating short erotic stories and uploading to kindle store. Could be scaled and could possibly be a new stream of income.
     
  9. Bucketbot

    Bucketbot Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I'd be willing to become a writer in your jv. Pm if you're still interested in expanding.
     
  10. UptonGoodwin

    UptonGoodwin Power Member

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    I find it amazing that the erotic fiction market is still going strong on Kindle. Very interesting finding amateur writers takes on erotic fiction...
     
  11. LoftPower

    LoftPower Elite Member

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    Congrats on your success. Always good to hear when others have this success.
     
  12. kekmaw

    kekmaw Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I published my first book two weeks ago and It has reached top 20 on 4 different bestsellers list on the US site so I'm very happy with it. I think it's to short to be $2.99 and I only sell it for $0.99 but lesson learned, my next book will be longer. I actually got my second book from a writer yesterday, turned out it was 50% plagiarism so be careful with that if you are going to pay a ghostwriter, I got the refund from the writer within a hour of accusing her, and she had 4.7 stars and alot of jobs on Elance, so ALWAYS check for plagiarism! You can't trust anyone.

    Anyway thanks for the inspiration, I'm in the non-fiction niche but the book that I got a refund for was an erotica, which is the market I want to build at the same time as my non fiction niche.

    A question for you OP, do you do marketing or do you let Amazon do everything for you? I've promoted my book in some facebook groups with positive results. Do you build an email list and do you have a facebook page, twitter etc for your pen name?
     
  13. 80085

    80085 Registered Member

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    Thank you for posting this! I am just now putting together a plan of action for publishing on Kindle so your words mean alot to me. I was looking into short stories as well, but I am wondering if you can provide any insight in to an optimal length for short stories. You say most of yours are under 15,000 words, but do you think 5,000 - 10,000 might be too short?

    Also, one more question. When it comes to proof reading, what can I expect for cost on a 15,000 word book. I understand it will vary, but I'm more interested in what you have found from your experience on finding quality proof reading and what you would considner a decent rate?

    Thanks again!
     
  14. OnMGrind

    OnMGrind Junior Member

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    this is a bit off topic... but anyone know the difference between erotica and adult? in Amazons eyes anyways...

    like how do you differentiate it? i heard adult is very hard to search for... so erotica is prob the better choice... but wth is the difference. true adult has good story as well has good pounding scenes... but erotica needs story too... whats the difference?
     
  15. rainy_leela

    rainy_leela Newbie

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    Hi Kekmaw - as far as marketing, I've found it a waste of time and money. Why? Because if you start off with the right 6 elements, you won't need to market. I had a friend that had written and published on Amazon before, but switched genres into something more adult. (It wasn't straight up erotica). As such, she had a new pen name and no connections under the new pen name - ei no mailing list and no social media associated with it. The first month she published her new novel of 70k+ words, she was a #1 best seller in that new genre and ranked #742 in Kindle overall. What made this happen? She was basically unknown! She knew how to apply those 6 key elements I discussed. You focus on those 6 things and it will render everything else irrelevant, imho.

    Good luck in your ventures! :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2015
  16. rainy_leela

    rainy_leela Newbie

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    I'm glad it provided some motivation/inspiration! :)

    For this, I'm going to have to say check out your genre. Amazon has a category that is somewhat new, and it's for shorter reads. Kindle short reads > 15 minutes (1-11 pages), 30 minutes (12-21 pages), 45 minutes (22-32 pages), One hour (33-43 pages), and 90 minutes (44-64 pages). So, you can see they have several options available. Honestly, I like to publish stories that are 11-20k in length, especially because of Kindle Unlimited, but that's another can of worms in itself. lol

    Yeah, you are right as far as it varying... and it varies greatly. One fantastic editor of mine charges only $45 per 11k word story and another charges $300 per 15k story.

    Hope that helps and good luck! :)
     
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  17. rainy_leela

    rainy_leela Newbie

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    PM sent, Bucketbot. :)
     
  18. sph21

    sph21 Newbie

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    Thanks for the inspiration. Bookmarked this for later reading.
     
  19. 80085

    80085 Registered Member

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    Thank you for your responses. I was thinking about this last night some more, and I was curious....When you outsource some of these projects, do you do any research to verify the work that has been submitted to you isn't simply copied? Is that even something you can research? I know for the web we can use tools like CopyScape, but for a published book, what is to stop someone from simply copying some other book and sending it to you to publish.

    I definitely understand the idea of finding reliable writers with solid reputations...But I am definitely concerned with the possibility of plagiarism when outsourcing work and not having tools to verify the work is in fact not plagiarized.
     
  20. SEOZone Agency

    SEOZone Agency Junior Member

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    Good job OP! You did what many here fail to ever do - you actually went out there and got stuck in, got your hands dirty and now your reaping the rewards. Good job on sharing it with others too.