Beyond Kindle: Other Ebook Formats
If you dont choose KDP Select, or use this program temporarily , why not consider publishing your ebook on other platforms as well?
NookPress.com is the publisher site for Barnes and Nobles Nook device. You may have heard rumors that they plan to discontinue it, but Barnes and Noble will keep making the Nook for now. In any case, too many people are still buying books on the ereader for them to close up the publishing side of the business.
I just earned $27 from last months Nook sales of the few ebooks I have on their platform. It isnt much, but I havent even looked logged into my account for many months, and it was minimal extra work to load up my ebooks on the Nook platform once I had them ready for Kindle. Like KDP, publishing on Nook is free.
Smashwords is a different kind of ebook platform. With proper formatting of your ebook you can have more-or-less automatic conversion into many formats, making it available as a PDF or an Apple iBook, for example. If youre already published on Kindle or Nook, be sure that in your Smashwords settings you opt out of having them sell in those formats, because they take their cut in addition to the amount Amazon or Barnes and Noble keep from each sale.
In addition to being free like the other platforms, one nice touch here is that you get a free ISBN number for your book. On Kindle or Nook, if youd like an ISBN, you have to buy it though most writers simply go without.
Easy Amazon Self Publishing Sales: Post To Free Ebook Sites
Did you know that there are websites out there that do nothing but list and promote free Kindle eBooks? The websites accept submissions from people, so you should let them know your book is free!
Sarah at SarkEmedia.com provides 72 places you can promote your Kindle eBook when it’s free. Below I’ve just included 25 free eBook sites suggested by Sarah.
Here’s a list of 25 free eBook sites:
You can do the submissions yourself, or you can hire someone from FancyHands.com. We used FancyHands, it worked out very well.
Finally, there are also tools out there that can help you submit even faster and to more sites. BookMarketingTools.com has a submission tool to free Kindle sites right here.
This free period is your chance to really get on the map! You need to utilize all the marketing avenues that you can to help give your book the best chance of ranking well in Amazon naturally.
Once you start ranking naturally in Amazon and if you book truly is valuable to readers, you should continue to sell well once you switch from free to paid.
How Do Kdp Royalties Work
Amazons Kindle Direct Publishing pays its authors through royalty fees. There are two royalty fees to consider: the eBook royalty rates, and the paperback royalty rates.
The royalty rate for eBooks is 35% or 70%, depending on which royalty rate your book is eligible for. To see specific requirements of each, click here.
The royalty rate for paperback books is a fixed 60% royalty rate.
For each royalty rate, this means that you will receive the % royalty rate of your books list price.
For help comparing your books royalty rates, use our Book Royalties Calculator.
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Overall Here’s Some Quick Highlights Of The Results Of Our Best Selling Kindle Ebook
- 5,895 free downloads in first 5 days
- # 1 Best Selling book in 3 Different Kindle eBook categories
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank of 2,511
- Made about $40/day during $0.99 period
- Currently making $100+/day priced at $2.99
Here’s the graph showing the 5 free days of the kindle book :
Getting 5,895 free downloads is great and I believe was critical to the success of our self-published book. However, you only make money once you list it for sale.
Here’s what happened when we listed the book for $0.99 :
This is the kind of chart you want to see! When you are getting 60 to 70 units sold per day, even at $0.99 that is very good. The KU/KOLL units are from the Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Lending Library programs. I’m told that these are worth about $1.31 apiece. However, it’s important to note that these numbers can change frequently.
Overall, even with just a 35% royalty rate on a $0.99 Kindle book we were making $40+ a day for the last few days in the chart above.
Not too bad at all.
I will just say that things have gotten even BETTER in terms of earnings once I raised the price of my book to $2.99.
The Paid Units are sales at $2.99, of which I get a 70% royalty share . The KU/KOLL Units are worth about $1.31 each. You can do the math on your own, but our best selling book is now consistently making $80-$100+ a day. Sweet!
And here’s the official screenshot showing the books Amazon rank and best seller status in 3 different categories:
Thanks to These People
Clarify Your Purpose And Mission
First, you must understand why youre writing your book. Is it a passion of yours? Are you just trying to make a quick buck? Are you trying to become a better writer?
In my experience, authors who are passionate about writing will have the most success. Authors who are just in it for money or arent excited about writing tend to struggle when the inevitable challenges come up.
Realize that your first book will probably be your worst book, and thats okay. We get better through practice. Dont expect your first book to be a masterpiece unless you put in the time and energy to become a master. Most writers find that finishing a few mediocre books first helps them learn the craft and become great writers. You can always go back to edit, revise and improve your first books.
Many writers find the process of writing several books early on in their career is a lot more fun and productive than simply writing and rewriting one single book over and over. It also tends to be a lot more profitable long-term because youre getting more practice and producing more salable work.
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Select The Amazon Keywords For Your Book
Keywords are a critical factor in ensuring readers find your book on Amazon. Use the right keywords, and your books searchability dramatically increases. Use the wrong words, and your book will sit idly on a dusty digital shelf.
If you want your book to prove successful, pay close attention to your keyword selection. Think about your books subject matter and select those keywords representing its themes and ideas and are words readers will use to find it.
Avoid generic keywords and those already covered by your metadata. Focus on the setting, character types or roles, or story tone, or overarching themes.
For example, keywords for one of the Harry Potter books might include YA,wizard,teen protagonist,coming of age, or modern-day Britain.
Tips for selecting the right keywords
- Use keyword phrases that make sense, terms like YA dystopian fantasy are used more often than fantasy dystopian YA.
- Test out your keywords by searching them on Amazon before publishing
- Avoid misspelled keywords or those that use subjective, time-sensitive or common termsYou can use up to seven keywords or keyword phrases
One helpful tool for choosing keywords to include in both your title and keywords section is Ahrefs. It shows you the search volume for specific keywords on Amazon. You want to make sure that there is sufficient search volume on the keywords you include in your title and the keywords section.
Want To Do It The Easy Way
Publishing an ebook on Kindle is one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, but it was 100% worth it.
The steps I outlined above are 100% of what I did to sell my book. But looking back, I wish I had known someone who could have mentored me more. Even though it ended up fine, I could have done so much better if I had someone to guide me through the kindle book publishing process.
Chandler Bolt was one of the first people I heard of who did well by self publishing. You can check out his podcast interview here.
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Upload An Epub File Of Your Book
The next tab you reach is where youll need to actually upload your book onto your KDP account.
To get started, simply click the friendly, yellow Upload ebook manuscript button. Select the final copy of your epub file and click OK.
Amazon will accept a range of file formats, but we strongly recommend having your file formatted as an epub. Slapping a Word document in and trusting Amazon to do the rest never works out well. Readers can tell whos professionally formatted their book, and who hasnt and cutting corners will come back to bite you. Hiring a professional formatter will definitely pay for itself over time, but if youre an author on a tight budget, you can use a free tool like the Reedsy Book Editor to export a beautifully formatted ebook.
Once youve selected your manuscript, youll see a message pop up saying that its processing your book. Do not refresh or click off of this page! It can take a few minutes for Amazon to upload your book and verify it.
Soon, if youve formatted your book to Amazons satisfaction, youll see a little green message saying that your manuscript has uploaded successfully. Take a moment to celebrate, but dont get too distracted theres still a few very important steps to go.
Enter Your Book Details
If you already have an Amazon account, you can use your existing login details to log into KDP here:
After you log in to your KDP account, the main dashboard will display. If this is your first Kindle eBook, the dashboard will be empty.
#1 Click the Kindle eBook button on the left of the window.
NOTE: Open your text file where you have all your book details then you can just copy and paste your information.
#2 Choose the language your book is written in from the Language drop-down menu.
#3 Type your book title in the Book Title field.
#4 If you have a subtitle, type this in the Subtitle field.
#5 If your book is part of a series, type the series name and number in the relevant Series fields.
#6 Enter the edition number in the Edition Number field. If this is the first edition, you can leave this blank.
#7 Type your name in the Primary Author or Contributor field.
#8 Type your First and Last name, and choose the Title of Author. If you dont enter your name here, your name will not display on your books page in Amazon. If you want to add the name/s of people who also worked on to your book, click the Add Another button.
#9 You will be able to add the first and last name of any of the following:
NOTE: If someone else designed your book cover, you can add their name as the Illustrator.
#10 Copy and paste or type your books description in the Description field.
When Does Amazon Pay Royalties To Authors
Amazon starts paying royalties 60 days after the first sale is made, with further payments coming through every month. Depending on where you do your banking, you can elect to be paid through direct deposit also known as Electronic Fund Transfer wire transfer, or check. However, no matter which avenue you go down, theres no way to receive your royalties any sooner than 60 days. So if you have bills to pay, make sure youre not counting on your royalties coming in right away.
In terms of which payment method is best for you, you should know that theres no payment threshold for direct deposit. For check and wire payments, youll be paid only after you make a certain amount in royalties . See the full list of payment thresholds here.
Now lets talk about the programs ebook and print royalty plans which, as you can imagine, are pretty different from one another.
Why Should You Publish Hardcovers On Amazon
There are three reasons why you might want to publish your hardcover book on Amazon.
I will say, hardcovers do take additional work to put together, so if youre short on time, its not necessarily a must-have for authors. However, it can be a fun little way to diversify your income and turn your book into a more professional-looking machine.
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How Do Print Royalties Work
For those thinking about self-publishing a print book, Amazon offers two distribution tiers for self-published paperbacks. Each comes with its own royalty structure, and in both cases, the cost of printing the book is deducted from royalty payments.
If you go through the regular Amazon-only distribution channels, you can expect 60% of the list price for every paperback sold. But if you distribute your book through Amazons Expanded Distribution plan to non-Amazon retailers, like Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million, youll be looking at 40% instead.
Choose Your Royalty And Pricing
Choose between 35% and 70% for your royalty. For most Authors, the 70% royalty will pay more. That seems obvious, but it does add some pricing limitations as well as a slightly different royalty calculation.
Choose Amazon.com as your primary marketplace, then set the list price. The price in other marketplaces will be set according to exchange rates, but you can set each one manually if you want to.
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Avoiding The Pitfalls Of Publishing With Amazon Kindle Self
The thriving market for ebooks has prompted many authors to turn to Amazon Kindle Digital Publishing for book distribution. But with great sales opportunities come great pitfalls.
First, lets examine just how lucrative the ebook publishing market may be today.
64-80% of all ebook consumer dollars flowed through Amazon sales channels
An early 2017 five-country, 15-retailer report from Author Earnings shows that Amazon.com owned a startling 65% of all ebook unit sales in those English-speaking countries including the USA . Whats more 64-80% of all ebook consumer dollars flowed through Amazon sales channels. These sales included titles sourced from the Big Five publishers, small presses, and indie authors. More than half of the indie authors in the study were enrolled in the Kindle Unlimited Full-Read Equivalent program , which pays authors from a royalty pool based on how much of a book is read. Opting into the Select program automatically gives Amazon exclusive distribution rights. .
Self-published authors, according to Author Earnings, are verifiably capturing at least 24%-34% of all ebook sales in each of the five English-language markets, including the USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. When including un-categorized authors, the vast majority of whom are self-published, the true indie share in each market lies somewhere between 30%-40%, the study shows.
Getting to market fast
Publishing Your Book On Amazon: Launch To Your List First
The next few steps of the process are all about how to launch your book during that free period to make sure you pick up the momentum you need to perform well when your price goes up.
The first step is very simple. If you have an audience on an email list, tell them about your book! This is going to be the best way to get initial downloads and reviews.
If you don’t have a business list, you can let your friends and family know about your book to get a few downloads.
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My Amazon Self Publishing Success Story: A Quick Update
I now have a book that has been selling on Amazon for over 2 years. I followed the 23 steps outlined above to publish and promote this book. However, since that time, I have not done anything to promote it.
In fact, I’ve moved on to other projects and had basically forgotten about it.
I was surprised to login to the KDP Select platform and see that my self-published book is still making sales! Here’s a quick screenshot to show that it still is making a few sales a day:
Enter Your Book Title And Subtitle
Your book title is critically important:
Readers start judging your book the instant they see the cover, and the title is the first thing they read.
It has to be magnetic.
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