Amazon Kdp: Hitting The Publish Button
What have I done? What if no one likes my book? I thought, finger poised on the yellow Publish button.
After 9 months of writing, the moment had finally arrived to send my book out to the world. Remembering the encouragement of several real authors much braver than I am, I hit the button.
Soon after, an email arrived saying that I was now live on the Kindle Store. No going back now!
Over the next few days, sales trickled in slowly, and I even had one positive review. This was extremely exciting. I wondered what the next step was: How can I get the book into more peoples hands?
Id read about a program called KDP Select, Amazons lending program, at which theyre throwing lots of money and promotion.
Where To Sell Ebooks Online
Lets start with the basics: where can you actually sell ebooks online?
Your main options are:
- Amazon who dominate the ebook market, accounting for 83% of independent ebook sales in 2019 and 2020.
- Smashwords who act as a one-stop shop that distributes ebooks to multiple bookstores
- Digital product platforms like Payhip lets you sell ebooks directly on the platform or from your own website, receiving payments straight away
These options arent mutually exclusive. Some authors use all three to sell their books, though others will focus on just one.
Lets take a closer look at each of these options
Amazon is a huge platform and an extremely well-known brand. Most people with an e-reader device have a Kindle so if you put your book into multiple online bookstores, youre likely to see that most of your sales come from Amazon.
If you make your ebook exclusive to Amazon, you can get some extra advantages. These include the ability to enroll your book in the Kindle Unlimited program, so that readers with a Kindle Unlimited subscription can borrow it for free. You get paid for each book borrowed and read.
The key drawback to using Amazon is that they take a hefty percentage of your royalties. If your book is priced between $2.99 and $9.99 , Amazon takes 35%. If your book costs $2.98 or less, or $10.00 or more, Amazon takes 70%.
You wont get your money very promptly, either. Amazon only pays out monthly, for sales made 60+ days before.
How To Sell More Ebooks On Amazon Kdp 5: Create A Book Cover That Stands Out And That You Can Readily Adapt Into A Facebook / Twitter Image:
When it comes to marketing your self published book, Facebook and Twitter are your best friends. You want your book to get as many shares, likes, and post clicks as possible.
One of the most important aspects of achieving a high engagement rate on Facebook and Twitter is the post thumbnail, he image that runs alongside the post. This image needs to grab peoples attention and make them click.
Some of the best ways to create / choose a highly clickable image are
- Use an image with high contrast
- Use close-ups
- Two tone images are known to produce good clickthrough rates.
- Show something people want .
- Show something that creates an immediate emotional response .
The more clickable your image is the more traction it will get on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.
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Selling Your Book On Your Website Or In Other Stores
Always keep in mind that your price must not be higher in any other sales channel. For example, if you sell your book on your website it must be the same price you list it for on Amazon.
If Amazon discovers the lower price, they can match that price and your royalties will be reduced according to the same formula.
Other sales channels include Apple Books, the Barnes & Noble Nook store, Google Play, and Kobo Books, to name just a few.
If Youre Enrolling Your Title In Amazon Kdp Select
According to Dave Chesson of Kindlepreneur, Authors who enroll their titles in KDP Select tend to gain a larger audience faster due to the exposure to the massive Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owners Lending Library reader base.
As a KDP Select title, your e-book will appear in both of these lending listings, where youre paid per-borrow and per-read, based on each programs payout plan. You can have a title in KDP Select and not participate in these lending programs, but most new authors find them to be the fastest route to gaining reviews and a reader following.
But thats not the only promotional benefit. Writers who make a real success of the KDP Select program dig deep into every aspect, not just the KU and KOLL benefits, says Chesson. Using limited-time free book promotions and Kindle Countdown Deals helps gain readers for new releases. These tactics also help bolster momentum for titles that have been published longer.
So, if you enroll your title in KDP Select, these promotional benefits are the first ones to set up.
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How To Use Amazon Keywords For Books And Kindle Ebooks
How do you use Amazon keywords?
Firstly, lets go back one step. The two categories you chose are crucial, and they need to be as narrowly focused as possible.
In a previous post, I explained how to add search phrases to categories. When you use this method, it is possible to have your book listed in an additional two or three finer-focused categories.
Once that is done, its time to add your seven keywords or long-tail keyword phrases. You should avoid using one specific single word keyword, and look to use a short phrase for each of your seven keywords.
Think about the topics, themes, geographical settings, and periods in your book. Then start making a list of the possibilities for how people can find your product .
Then try your seed keyword or phrases in Google, to begin with. Why do you need to do this?
Because first, you can check the search volume at the top of the page. Then at the bottom of the first page of search results, Google gives you a list of related searches. So you can note more possibilities for your keyword research list.
In my case, as you can see from the image below, I finally selected cold war as one of my potential keywords.
Once you have collected a list of possibilities, go back to Amazon.
But, dont begin your keyword search on the home page of Amazon.
Book Translation When To Do It And How
Getting your book translated should only be done if you truly believe your book will do well in that market. Translation is a bit of an expensive and tricky situation. It can cost thousands of dollars and, if done poorly, can lead to major 1-star reviews, which will kill your marketing efforts.
Therefore, if you do decide to translate your book for a certain market, be sure that youll at least make your money back on the costs of translation. If youd like to learn more about this and how to do it effectively and efficiently, check out our full article on book translation.
Here are a couple of the services out there that do book translation:
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Getting your book translated by a reputable company can be expensive. You could go with things like UpWork or Fiverr. However, you do run the risk of getting someone who isnt good and you might end up with a poor product.
So, if you do get your book translated, how do you add it to KDP?
Well, first off, you cant just make an addendum to your current book. Instead, you need to upload it as its own book. You can see here how Marc Reklau did that with this book 30 Days:
So, be sure your book is a good fit for that market, and find the right person or company to translate dont skimp on this!
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Add Your Ebook Details
Back to the Bookshelf and how to add your eBook to Amazon. In the top left hand corner of the page is the Add a new title button. Click this and you see the first of two screens of information you will need to complete about your eBook.
The first page contains the following main fields:
- Book Basics
Most of the fields are fairly self-explanatory although there are on-screen help prompts if you need clarification about what to enter. A few key points to consider:
Decide What Type Of Books You Want To Sell
- Wholesale: Buy in bulk for lower prices online or at bookstore closings. You can also procure new books in larger quantities from distributors or publishers. You may not have total control over what you get, but you can get more books at wholesale costs.
- Local sources: Find used books by browsing local library book sales, used book stores, yard sales, and thrift shops. You may also discover collectible books at estate sales.
- Auctions: Seek out auctions, estate sales, or farm sales selling used or collectible books.
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Amazon Ads For Other International Markets
One of the best changes in 2019 was the inclusion of many of the markets in the Amazon ads system. However, not all markets follow the same rules. In some Amazon markets, you cant write a blurb and others are limited in what type of ads you can use.
Currently, you can run ads in the following markets:
Regardless of which market you are targeting, the dashboard, steps, and functionality are all the same. All you need to do is select your book in the KDP dashboard, select Promote and Advertise on the book you want to advertise, and then select which market you want to advertise in.
Then, after that, you can set up the ads just like you would the normal Amazon US ads. However, if you dont know how to do Amazon ads, be sure to take my full free Amazon Ads course. In it, I show you how to create effective and efficient Amazon ads for both nonfiction and fiction books.
But heres the big question: Do Amazon ads in other countries work for English books?
The real answer is better than youd thinkeven in non-English countries.
According to recent figures, it is estimated that 56% of Germans speak English and other European countries like France, Italy, and Spain hover around 35-40%.
Better yet, not many authors in those countries, as well as US authors, are advertising in those foreign markets. Therefore, the competition is low and the market is open to your English books.
How To Get Your Ebooks Listed On Amazon
Becoming a self-published Amazon author is a well-kept secret, but its in fact incredibly easy to do and its an opportunity available to everyone!
All you have to do is go over to the , create an author account and upload your manuscript when youre ready.
Publishing non-fiction books has never been easier and they will even convert your final manuscript for your eBook into a Kindle eBook that their users can read on their phones, Kindle readers or tablets.
There is no limit to how many eBooks you can create either. As long as you have something to share that people want to learn about, you can earn money from your written content when you package it up as an eBook.
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Get At Least 10 Reader Reviews
Next up: reviews. For indie authors, book reviews furnish all-important social proof, the e-commerce equivalent of street cred. Just like positive word-of-mouth can prove a new coffee shop is worth dropping in on, strong reviews show that a new book is worth picking up.
You might think that, unlike your cover and your book blurb, this ones out of your hands. But the truth is, you can actively cultivate reviews even before you launch your book! Want to know how? Check out our simple, 5-step guide to getting book reviews both on and off Amazon. It all comes down to finding reviewers who read your genre and getting them to notice your book.
If youre concerned that a less-than-perfect review will tank your conversion rate, dont worry. Weve found that the number of reviews trumps the average review score when it comes to attracting buyers, provided your average doesnt go below 3.5. In fact, a small slate of reviews that are all 5-star can come across as suspicious: it may look like the author conscripted their extended family to shower them with artificial praise. So when youve done your part, let the honest reviewers youve tapped do theirs.
Confirm Your Pricing & Royalty Options
Amazon requests that you choose between two royalty options which are 35% and 70%. This is the percentage of the book sale that is given to you, and Amazon will keep the rest.
For a 70% royalty option, the e-book must be priced between $2.99 and $9.99. If you e-book is priced above or below this amount, you will need to select the 35% option. It is worthwhile playing around with some figures here, because you may be better off selling your book for $9.99 than $14.99 for instance, as the money in your pocket would be higher.
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Don’t Explain Every Detail Just Give The Reader A Taste Of What To Expect
The blurb is where you tell readers what your book is about without giving away the goods before theyve paid. Dont overwhelm them with a blow-by-blow summary. The last thing you want is to sound like youre trying to prove youve actually read your own book.
Instead, focus on high-impact keywords that play to your target market. Terms like serial killer for a thriller or personal development for a self-help book will signal to readers that they will find exactly what theyre looking for. In the end, your blurb is all about building intrigue and drumming up anticipation for the moment when buyers get to read the book in full.
How To Get Started
You dont have to write a book in a week, although it might not be as difficult as you think when you consider than many ebooks are as short as 6,000 words or consist of a collection of articles previously published by the author.
Whether it takes a week or a year to write your book, focus on quality. Edit, edit, edit, and find a volunteer to read your work and offer an objective critique. Then get ready to publish.
Detailing every technical aspect of the publishing process might intimidate some readers into inaction. Instead lets take an overview of the process and point out some good resources for information about publishing on Kindle that cover various aspects in more detail. But believe me, if I could figure it out in an afternoon or two, you can, too after ten years of making a living online, I still dont own a smartphone and I struggle to download programs.
To begin, you need to convert your book to the proper format. Amazon supports a few different file formats and published a handy guide to creating ebook files. Some file types allow more flexibility, like being able to link to chapters from the table of contents. Several authors recommend converting to Amazons mobi file format, but you can always try different file types to see which work best for your purposes. As for my preferred method, they say, Microsoft Word with limited formatting translates well to the Kindle device.
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How To Publish A Book On Amazon Print Version: Create A Print Version On Createspace Estore
Some people want their books in digital format and others want the physical printed book. Luckily, it’s easy to turn your Kindle book into a printed copy using Amazon’s CreateSpace.com eStore.
This is a print on demand service owned by Amazonso don’t worry about stocking and shipping any physical books on your own.
The printed version can also create a nice price anchor to help your kindle version look like a better deal.
When people see the $6.99 price this increases the value of the book in their mind. This is an age old marketing tactic. People will feel like they are getting a $7 book for only $2.99what a deal!
So, the only purpose of creating a print version of your book is not to only sell printed book copies. A big reason is to make your Kindle price look like a better deal and sell more copies of the Kindle version.
As you go forward, you should test and tweak pricing on both the printed and kindle version. Your final price doesn’t have to be $2.99. If you can sell almost as many copies at $4.99, then you will be making much more money.
I have not had a chance to test different pricing strategies with my book just yet, but it’s certainly on the to-do list.