In this article, you’ll learn how to sell books on Amazon using Kindle Direct Publishing service in order to publish your first book and start making sales.
There are a lot of people out there who earn a full-time income from self-publishing Kindle books to Amazon.
It’s a fun and potentially lucrative way to earn some cash while doing what you love.
I’m Not the Best Writer, Will Amazon Still Work?
Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a writer, it’s still possible to earn a consistent income from your books.
There are plenty of people out there who simply hire writers to write the books.
Just pay a writer a one-time fee and you can keep earning money from his work far into the future.
Whether or not you like to write, Kindle Direct Publishing can be a great way to make some cash.
But there are quite a few things that you should know about selling books on Amazon. Many new authors become too excited about the income opportunity and end up rushing the content creation process.
Or they’ll try to “Trick” the system by publishing PLR eBooks or even stealing books and content from other authors.
As a reminder, the goal is to create a book that is packed with value. It could be a novel as well. But most people aim to create informational eBooks as they’re easier to write.
How to Sell Books on Amazon?
When it comes to publishing books on Amazon, most people will get stuck on the first step; picking a subject.
Here are some tips that will make picking a subject for your book much easier.
1. Write What You Know:
Have you experienced something unusual? Do you consider yourself an expert in a particular field? Do you have a particular set of skills?
People want to know about it. I see aspiring authors make the mistake of writing about subjects they don’t fully understand because they think that’s what people want.
When you write about what you know, a lot more detail can be added to the book.
And details make books much more interesting!
I think it’s always best to write about what you know.
Here’s an example, if you overcame a major obstacle in your life, an obstacle that most people struggle with, write about it.
If it helps someone, they’ll buy it and recommend it to their friends.
And that means more sales for you. So try to write about what you know and include as much detail as possible. Case studies can make excellent eBooks.
But if you can’t think of anything to write about, don’t worry. Some basic research can often reveal hidden niches that you can tap into.
2. Look for Problems:
When researching article ideas, I often check Quora and similar question-and-answer based websites for popular discussions in my niche.
These websites can also be a source for book ideas.
If there are a lot of people asking similar questions but not a lot of people providing detailed answers, this may be an opportunity for an excellent eBook.
Quora is one of the many websites that you can use to look for questions in your niche.
What are people struggling with? Is there a common problem that people experience and want to solve? Solving that problem could be the basis of your book.
Informational eBooks do well on Amazon, and the’re relatively easy to create and publish too.
Sometimes an eBook can only be a few thousands words!
Of course, I recommend longer and more detailed eBooks, but if you want to get something out there are soon as possible, a few thousand words can do the trick.
3. Understand The Amazon Community and Review System:
This is one important tip that a lot of self-publishers should know.
You have to understand the Amazon community and their review system.
See, anyone can publish a book or product on Amazon, but if you don’t take the time to write for the community, then they’ll be more likely to slap a one-star rating on your book.
One-star ratings do happen, even on popular and well-written books, but – most of the time – they’re a minority.
But there are a lot of books that only manage to collect one-star reviews, thus bringing the whole overall rating down to one-star, and nobody wants to buy a one-star book.
When I shop on Amazon, customer reviews is a very important for me, and many other shoppers as well.
How to Maintain Your Amazon Book Ratings:
So how do you maintain an above average rating on Amazon?
Put effort into the project:
Understand that most of the people on the Kindle section of Amazon are avid readers, and chances are your book is another one in a long list of books that they have read on Amazon.
Make it stand out:
In other words, don’t be lazy when it comes to research and heavily edit.
When it comes to the Kindle community, one of the most common reasons for a one-star review are spelling and grammar mistakes.
Take time to edit:
Edit the book or hire a professional editor to polish the final product.
You also want to pay attention to formatting and paragraph breaks, nobody wants to read walls of text, so make it easy for people to read your book.
Get 5 Star Ratings:
When it comes to reviews, as an author, the priority is to secure as many 5 star ratings as possible.
One way to do this would be to offer the book for free to select few in exchange for a review.
You won’t make any money from this, but it’s a perfect way to get some ratings on your book before you start charging for it.
And the great thing about self-publishing is that you can change the price-tag on your books whenever you want.
That brings us to our next section: choosing the right price for your Kindle book.
Pricing Strategy To Sell More Amazon Books:
This is the section that you have probably been waiting for.
Amazon offers a few different ways to earn money on your books, depending on their price.
35% Royalty Program.
These are for the smaller books, with a total file size of less than 3 megabytes, and a price-tag between $0.99 and $2.99.
This might not seem like much, since you only earn about $0.35 on each $0.99 sale, but it can add up fast.
Some books sell hundreds of copies a day!
And the cheaper the product, the more people will be open to grabbing a copy!
70% Royalty Program
With this program, authors earn up to 70% of their books price.
The book price range for this program is between $2.99 and $9.99.
Most books are priced within this range and most authors choose this option too.
For example, if you publish a book and price it at $2.99; Amazon keeps 30% and you keep the rest, $2.1.
So that’s not bad.
With lower priced books, the commission is lower, but the sales tend to be higher (more people will buy the book).
Alternatively, another income method would be to offer your book for free and direct people to another offer or your website.
That’s one method that people use to grow their businesses and expand even further.
You can also include affiliate links within your book, so that can be another source of income.
Generally, I wouldn’t fuss over the price too much, as the focus should be on creating an informative and helpful book, not fast cash.
Learn Online Business without Risk: 100% Free Training >>
Making Sales: Amazon Won’t Do Everything!
If you’re wondering how to sell books on Amazon, a common mistake is to assume that Amazon will bring customers to you.
Though that is accurate to some extent, if you want to really see the big numbers, there are a few tips that you need to know.
For starters, an advertising platform is needed, most people use social media.
Use Twitter to Promote Your Book:
A lot of self-publishers get started on Twitter.
They start writing Tweets about various issues and their Twitter accounts accumulate followers.
That creates the audience, an active group of people who are interested in your message.
With an audience, it’s super easy to launch a book.
But building an audience is the difficult part, and most people will fail many times before the get it right.
My recommendation is to pick a topic and Tweet about that topic as often as possible.
Share articles, news, and contribute to the community!
Having a massive audience is a gold-mine, and it can lead you to so many amazing opportunities!
Take a look at Donald Trump, his Twitter is one of the largest in the world, and that could very well be the reason he won the election.
And you can also use a book to promote your social media accounts.
Promote Your Book on a Website:
One of the best ways to promote your Kindle book is through your own website.
When a new visitor lands on your website and immediately notices that you authored a book, it really boosts your credibility and people are more likely to listen.
You can also write keyword-targeted articles and use them to drive traffic to your website where people will find a link to your book.
There are so many different ways to market your book when you have a website to use as a platform.
Not sure how to build a website? Read this detailed guide on how to build a website!
Promote on Facebook:
Facebook is also a great way to generate book sales.
You can also use Facebook ads to send even more traffic to your books!
There really are unlimited options to generate book sales.
Once you book is on the market, it’s up to you to start promoting it as much as possible.
Don’t assume that Amazon will do everything for you.
Here’s Our Strategy to Launch a New Book On Kindle:
- Build hype for the book. Announce the project and share teasers.
- Build a list of pre-orders, either free or paid.
- Write as much as possible without editing or holding back. Aim for reach a consistent word-count each day!
- Edit. Go back and edit. Hire an editor if necessary!
- Publish the book for free. Get people to come in and read the book. Read their reviews and edit the book accordingly!
- Share the link on social media, and add a link to your website.
- Set a fair price. If it’s a small book, don’t charge too much.
- Continue driving traffic to the book.
- Repeat as needed.
See, that’s not so complicated.
Of course, it’s easier said than done!
Need Help Making Money Online?
Here’s My Top Recommended Training >>
Selling Books on Amazon: Final Notes
We learned a lot about how to sell books on Amazon in this article, and I’m sure you’re ready to start working on your new book right away.
Before you start, there are a few final pointers you should know…
First, remember that most people do not get it right on their first shot.
The tips I mentioned in this article will make the process easier for you, but they won’t guarantee success.
I do know if some self-publishers took the time to read this article, it could save them a lot of trouble and issues. Still, chances are that the first book you write won’t be a hit.
And that’s okay!
It’s a learning experience. Each attempt will be better than the last.
And you can publish any kind of book, not only informational books.
Learning how to sell books on Amazon is all about figuring out what people want to read. Feel free to let your creativity run wild and write that novel.
In fact, romance novels are one of the most popular niches on Kindle at the moment. Just remember that you’re writing for readers, and readers can be a bit picky when it comes to their books.
Don’t try to trick the system by copy-and-pasting articles into a Word file and uploading it as a book.
As soon as someone buys a junk book, they’ll leave a negative review, and your sales will go down the drain.
In other words, make your book a pleasurable experience for your reader; include images, a professional cover, format, chapters and other things that make a book look good.
But Most Importantly…
Writing a book should be a fun project for you. And people want to read books that are not only informative but fun too!
Let your personality show in the book and don’t hold back. Every author should have his own personal website where the reader can visit for more information.
It’s really important.
If you want to learn how to create a website and turn it into a successful business, I recommend this amazing training course.
Congratulations, now you know how to sell books on Amazon! Leave a comment below if you have any questions!
I really enjoyed reading this post Todd! Some great pointers on how to sell ebooks on Amazon, a subject I knew nothing about. I feel after reading this I would have a much better idea where to start.
The Amazon review system is very important and I think most customers look at reviews so without a good rating your ebook is probably doomed. Another point about producing an ebook is that it doesn’t need to cost much, you just need to put in the work and maybe a little outsourcing for a decent cover. I would think a good cover is important.
Amazon are a great platform in that they get millions of visitors every month and some might see your ebook if it’s optimized correctly. On the other hand if you sell on your own site you could probably charge a higher price but you would need a lot of traffic or an email list. I wonder which is best?
Thanks for a great post Todd.
Thanks for your feedback. I think I might try both, sell on Amazon and try my own site. Might as well try to take advantage of every traffic aspect you can.
Then see which source is converting best and put more effort into that.
Really love this post!
It’s very informative and explains everything you need to know about selling books on Amazon!
I am currently more into affiliate marketing, but this is also great way to generate money online.
You just need to put in hard work and write something you’re passionate about!
Great post, keep it up.
Thanks for your feedback and I’m glad this post could inspire you a bit. Selling books online is another great way to create extra income.
Once you put in that initial work and get some good ratings, you could have a nice way to make extra cash, who knows, maybe even a passive income source.
Joshua Lewis says
Really good information here. As someone who is venturing into the online marketplace and really enjoys writing informational, helpful content, I see myself writing an eBook at some point. I’ll be bookmarking your site and referring back to it when I do.
I had no idea how this process actually worked, and I have a much better understanding of it now. I really appreciate the breakdown of the various royalty programs and what you can expect when you try to sell on Amazon.
Thanks for putting this out there.
You bet Joshua, you should eventually do an eBook and try your hand selling on Amazon. You could also sell it on your site or give it away for free for email opt in’s.
Are there any strict guidelines to know if my “book” will pass the standard? Or is it automatically approved for publishing as long as you have money to pay?
Can I publish something in my own language or dialect and not English?
Also, I’m not sure where I read it from but is it true that you have to pay a certain amount to Amazon per month regardless of whether your book sells or not?
Thanks for any clarification.
The approval requirements are quite small and you don’t need to pay money to publish a book.
In short, Amazon wants unique content that is well-formatted for Kindle readers. There are no quality standards that need to be upheld but the community will review your book, and if it’s rife with spelling mistakes and other errors, it won’t make it far in the stores.
You don’t need to pay anything to Amazon except the cut that they take when a sale is made.
Some other guidelines that you should know about are the cover guidelines; no nudity or offensive content can be on the cover images.
You can publish a book in any language but the vast majority of readers on Amazon are English speakers.
Really interesting read, I’ve been blogging for a few years now and built up a lot of content – I’d never considered publishing a book on Amazon and had no idea how easy it is to self publish.
Having worked with amazon before, I understand how important ratings are – is there anything more you can do to ensure you get quality feedback through Amazon?
As an Amazon FBA seller years ago, I’ve always found if you provide a good product, along with ask for feedback in a professional manner allows one to build up their seller profile on Amazon.
In this case, you just need to provide valuable content with your book and I think you’d do well. There’s really nothing more that you need to do.
Just find a system and repeat the process.
Hello and Thank You for this article!
I always wondered how hard it would be to take the step and write a book. I have so many ideas, I just was always worried about failing.
You make a great case here and I think I will be looking more into writing a book in the near future. Who knows I may just make some money too by selling on Amazon.
Thanks for your kind feedback and you should work towards creating a cool book and try your hand on Amazon.
I can relate with you. I’ve created an eBook and 1,000’s of hours of content and I originally dismissed this idea too.
It is appealing and you should work it into your “To Do” list. There’s nothing more fun than to have an idea that you’re passionate about that you can share with others.
What’s better is that you have the potential to make online sales over and over again for the work you did one time.
That’s a beautiful thing, just like affiliate marketing. Amazon provides a great traffic source of read and able buyers, you just got to give them something to benefit them.