Just so you know, I’m working on my second gazillion; I gave up on my first gazillion because I was doing it all wrong. I’m using my writing to get there and writing Kindle books is part of my strategy.
Of course, I use gazillionaire with tongue in cheek. But, earning a steady monthly income is within reach of anyone that is willing to put in the time and effort.
The strategy I want to share with you has been pretty successful for me so far, but before you get all giddy, you should know that it takes a lot of time and effort as a self-published author. Even with a small budget to work with, most of the marketing will be on you.
I’ll assume you have written or are writing a book that you want to self-publish using the Kindle Direct Publishing route. You may also want to consider publish using Smashwords or the Create Space platform, but this strategy is mainly for Kindle ebooks.
Before you start writing your masterpiece, you will want to make an effort to build a social network. You may have already started building a social network but if not, having one in place is the very first and highest priority for a self-published author. The networks you should establish are as follows:
Make sure that all your bios on these networks inform visitors that you are an author of “the title to your book” and connect with other writers, readers, experts in your genre and niche but don’t start promoting your own work just yet.
Build your networks by engaging your connections and providing them with genuine feedback on their concerns and by liking and sharing their posts. Mention them by name or handle when you share with your network. If you do this you will see your connections grow to enormous numbers.
First, go to your Facebook account and join or request to join the following pages and groups:
Now go to your Google + account and click on the Communities tab to search and join the following communities:
Indie Readers and Writers
Free eBooks on Kindle
Kindle & eBook Writers And Reviewers
Writer’s – Publisher’s – Reader’s MASTERMIND
And any other community related to your niche or genre that has active users. You can tell if the community has active users by visiting their main page and seeing how recent the posts are.
Don’t just start promoting your own books. Spend at least a month engaging and connecting with the users in all of these groups, pages, and communities. These connections are going to become your greatest supporters so be kind and generous with your feedback. But be genuine and honest as well. Share their posts, comment on them, and ask them some follow-up questions. Spend about an hour each day having CONVERSATIONS with your connections or people you want to connect with.
During this first month, do not post any links to your book. You can ask questions and refer to your book and even ask for critiques on your blog posts (You do have a blog, right?)
While you are connecting to those social networks, you should also be building a presence on Twitter, Linkedin, and Pinterest.
Linkedin is a professional social networking site so you have to take caution of who and how you connect over there. You cannot request connections from people you do not know or have no interactions with. So, the first thing you want to do is start writing articles and posts which discuss your passions as a writer. Write about the types of writing you prefer. This could be fiction or it could be business related, either way, you will get interactions from people that see your posts. You should be active there at least once a week.
On Pinterest, you should be creating boards and pinning photos that are relevant to your style of writing. Pin your book covers or book illustrations. But you also need to follow and pin lots of others that share your interests. I personally spend about 30 minutes to an hour on Pinterest related activity each day. Not only do I pin photos but I also follow those photos to their actual source and comment on the article, I comment on the Pinned picture, and I like or follow the Pinner.
On Twitter, you want to make sure you are following people that are active and those that share your interests. You don’t need a separate Twitter account for every interest. People will share your content if they are interested in it.
After about a month or so of building your social network relationships, you can start promoting your book. I use the word book loosely because on Kindle you will find titles that sell real well with word counts between 5000 and 30,000.
Don’t believe me? Take a look at Kindle Singles where you will find thousands of short fiction and non fiction titles selling between .99 and $4.99 and by main stream authors like Grisham and J.K. Rowling.
Kids books, How-to’s, and Cook Books do well but so does short fiction and short stories in all genres but especially Erotica, You may be like me and have many interests and if you do, use a pseudonym for each different category because if one of your titles becomes popular then people will want to read more from the same author.
Conversely, if you find one of your titles in a generic category is getting bad reviews and all your titles are under your real author name then it could soil your reputation. Again, if you are going to write in multiple categories or genres then use a pseudonym.
Write as often as possible and learn to write fast. I personally write at least 3000 words per day. It’s often a much higher word count if you consider that I still need to keep up with blog posts on two different themed blogs.
I like to write longer fiction in the 20k to 30k range but when I’m writing non fiction those works run in the 5k to 10k range. This means I could churn the non fiction out in 2 to 3 days. Having a large number of titles is the key to earning a steady income on Kindle.
One off titles rarely do well in the long term. Sure, they may sell a few during their release when you are strong on promoting them but without any continuation of the characters or storyline, they tend to fade further down the rankings.
However, if you are publishing 1 or 2 titles per week then at the end of the year you will have a huge catalog. And, if you follow the advice in the next step, you will have a catalog of interesting titles which will have regular daily and weekly sales.
If at the end of the first year, you have 50 optimized short titles (with a bestseller rank of less than 100,000) offered on Kindle at the $2.99 price point and you have them enrolled at the 70% royalty option, then for each sale you will earn a little over $2. It’s possible to reach multiple sales per day for each title but if there were only one sale per day per title then you would be earning $100 per day.
There are a lot of ifs in that suppositon and only used as an illustration of a possible expectation.
Sales of your Kindle books are dependent on the four following factors:
The Cover – The image of your book should have clarity and be immediately recognizable. It should be obvious because you only have about 10 seconds to capture the searcher’s attention. Knowing this, don’t expect people to search the hidden message within your image. Also, make sure the thumbnail image of your cover is understandable. If you can’t tell what the book is about by looking at the thumbnaile then you need to change it.
The Title – Your title should let the potential reader immediatly know what the book is going to be about. This is especially true with non-fiction but with fiction you use the title in combination with all of these factors. In non-fiction, your title and subtitle should contain your main keywords. In fiction, titles shoud give good clues to the storyline.
The Description – Write a description that doesn’t give away the farm. Study the descriptions of the best sellers in your niche. You have about 150 to 250 words to make the sale. I say that because your description shouldn’t be a summary it should be an ad. Use relevant keywords. Start with a great first line and then work from there.
The Ranking – Obviously this is more important after you publish your book so it is imparative that you focus on getting many good reviews. Use your social networks to solicit reviews by offering free copies. Don’t pay for reviews or for review services.
Rinse and repeat. As I mentioned in part 3, the key to earning a steady flow of income with short Kindle titles is to publish often. If this is something you are interested in trying out then a good goal would be to publish at least one 6000 word title each week.
Get friendly with Canva.com so you can produce great looking book covers and make use of free stock photo sites. Make sure that the images you select have a Creative Commons license with no commercial use restrictions.
Are you ready to get started? Do you have a social network to work with? Do you have works ready to be published?
What’s stopping you?