Recently, I heard a great quote:
“Amazon.com is teaching people to buy a lot of little things.”
This is a great statement because it emphasizes how we’re witnessing the death throes of the traditional eBook. With Kindle books, Amazon.com provides people with instant access to downloadable information. So it’s getting harder and harder to charge premium prices for eBooks.
At first, I was disturbed by this emerging trend. But now I realize there is a completely untapped market for anyone to make money with Amazon Kindle books.
Two weeks ago, I jumped into the Kindle market with my book: How to Make Extra Money Fast on Your Computer: 55 Legitimate Ideas for Making Money from Home that Work in 2012
What I discovered is it’s really easy to make a Kindle book. The trick is to do it in a way that leads to long-term income. In this post, I’ll go over my experiences with publishing on Amazon. Plus I’ll detail a few strategies I’m personally implementing that will (hopefully) maximize the income potential from this business model…
The Mathematics of Creating a Kindle Book
Let’s start by talking about my total investment for publishing on Amazon. Here’s how it breaks down:
- $75 to a writer to collect, format, and edit the content. (More on this later.)
- $22 to a designer to create a flat eCover image.
- 8 hours of my personal time to change a few links; do a final edit, and format the Kindle book.
So overall I spent a day’s work and almost a hundred dollars to make a Kindle book. That’s a small investment considering this book has the potential to generate income for many years. Pretty awesome, right?
Get Started by Doing Keyword Research
Personally, I think the success of your Kindle book depends on keyword research. We all understand the importance of optimizing a website for certain keyword phrases. You can take this strategy and apply it to publishing an Amazon Kindle book.
There are two important rules to remember:
- Google LOVES Amazon pages and gives them preferential ranking
- Amazon is a search engine that is used by BUYERS
Seriously, these two statements are the most important things you should know about Kindle publishing. Keep them in mind and you’ll be one step closer to making money with a book on Amazon.
Case in point… My product content came from a series of old posts on generating online income. So I started by doing basic research using the Google Keyword tool. After five minutes, I found that these phrases had a lot of searches:
Let’s recap the demand for these keywords:
- How to Make Extra Money: 9,900 exact searches
- How to Make Money Fast: 49,900 exact searches
- Make Money Using Your Computer: 320 exact searches
- How to Make Extra Money Fast: 480 exact searches
Those are just the exact searches. Include the broad searches and we’re talking about more than 500,000 requests for information related to making money online.
Now, here’s where things get interesting… Like I said Google loves Amazon products. With a little bit of backlinking, you can get a Kindle book to show up in their organic results. As an example, I’m already ranking #10 for the phrase how to make extra money fast:I’ll admit 480 exact searches won’t make me ‘Oprah rich.’ But this result is after one week. Give me a few months and I’ll rank high for this phrase and the larger demand keywords like how to make extra money and how to make money fast.
In addition, Amazon has a vast search engine used by book buyers. Their results are largely determined by reviews and overall sales. Get enough people to buy your Kindle book and you’ll rank high for top-quality keywords. For instance, I’m already ranked #9 in their books section for the phrase how to make money fast:
Unfortunately, there is no way to track keyword research in Amazon.com. So it’s hard to get an exact number of keyword searches people do on this site. But I’d estimate there is at least a couple thousand searches every month for make money keywords.
Imagine having 1000’s of people searching for YOUR book topic and easily finding it on Amazon.com. Now you can see why it’s important to do keyword research.
How to Write a Kindle Book
Running an Internet business is all about leveraging your time and assets. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel with every new project. In fact, one thing I recommend is to package some of your best content and put it into Amazon Kindle format.
Awhile back, I wrote a series of posts about different ways to generate income. I feel these posts made a great topic for a Kindle book because they’re designed for people who want to make money but don’t know how to get started.
So instead of writing a Kindle book, I paid $75 to a writer to collect my old blog posts and reformat them into a small report. Then I spent a whole day doing additional research, updating the content, and creating special links for readers.
The end result is I “wrote” a Kindle book in under a week.
My advice is don’t get bogged down in the writing aspect for your first Kindle book. Instead, use great content you’ve already created. Find a major keyword in your niche. Then add articles or posts that tightly relate to this topic. You’d be surprised at how quickly you put together a product for Amazon.
Later on, you can write an in-depth book with 100% unique content. But I think it’s more important to learn about the process of publishing on Amazon instead of worrying about writing creating a whole new product.
How to Create an Amazon Book – Formatting & Submitting
I’m pretty much a techno-dunce when it comes to a lot of things online. So I found the whole process of Kindle publishing to be very simple to follow.
Amazon makes it easy by offering a detailed series of articles about formatting and publishing a Kindle book. Read over these articles and you’ll discover that anyone can create a Kindle book. You can easily do this in less than 24 hours.
But there are a few things I’d like to mention…
#1. You should write the book in DOC (or .doc) format. Not RTF (.rtf) or DOCX (.docx) formats. These do not work properly when published to a Kindle. Once the book has been formatted, it should be saved as a Web Page, Filtered (*HTM & *HTML) format.
#2. You should use page breaks at the start of each chapter or section. This prevents the text from running together and makes your book easier to read.
#3. You should avoid bullet points, headers, footers, and special fonts. You can use italics, bolding, and indentations. Frankly, I hate the fact that they don’t allow bullet points because the text doesn’t look right without them. Hopefully this will change in the future.
#4. You should spell and grammar check the book. Double, triple, even quadruple check your Kindle book. I made a huge mistake by not doing this with my first published version. So I had to go back and change a few grammatical errors/word omissions I initially missed.
I recommend you complete the Kindle book and then wait a day before doing a final review. This will give you a chance to look at it with a fresh perspective.
#5. You should use an attractive eCover. This is the same thing you’d do with an information product. Spend a few dollars and have a professional designer create an image that stands out.
And I’ve made it easy for you… Here is a list of the best Fiverr gigs for designing Kindle eCovers.
Like I said, it’s not hard to make a Kindle Book. Just use the links I’ve provided in this section and you’ll be good to go!
How to Make Money with Amazon Kindle Books
The payout for a Kindle download is pretty low. Basically you get two options – A 35% or 70% royalty on the price of the book. There are a lot of factors when it comes to the payment you receive from Amazon.com. That’s why I recommend you review their pricing page.
Really you’ll only make a dollar or two per sale of your book. Perhaps this adds up over time. But…I think there are three ways you can really monetize an Amazon book:
#1. Turn Readers into Email Subscribers: People that buy Kindle books are customers. And without a doubt, customers are the best type of list subscribers. That’s why you should offer a “bonus gift” at the start and end of every Kindle book.
This bonus gift should lead to a free report that’s related to the topic in your Kindle book. As an example, I offer a free copy of my “Income Trilogy” report and a spot on my early-bird list for the 111 Affiliate Marketing Tips report I’m launching in two weeks:
The key here is to offer additional value to what’s published in the book . This will give readers an incentive to check out your personal brand and join your email list.
#2. Link to Money Pages: A “Money Page” is any spot on your blog that gives additional content, while also recommending an income-generating offer. So another way you can make money with a Kindle book is to provide a link to a page filled with relevant content.
For instance, anyone who wants to make money online might be interested in starting a website. So in the beginning of the book I reference a page where people can learn about setting up a website:
On this page is a very light recommendation of a web hosting package. In theory, I can generate additional income simply by sending readers to a spot where they learn how to set-up a website.
#3. Use Affiliate Links: The final way to make money with an Amazon book is to include affiliate links to related products. Now I recommend you be very careful with this technique. Include too many self-serving links and people will crucify you with bad reviews.
Just look at what happened to one author:
Be straight-forward with readers. Tell them when something is an affiliate link. This *should* prevent a lot of bad reviews that many authors get with their Kindle book.
Create Backlinks to Your Amazon Page
Like I said, I think the key to making money with Kindle books is to rank in Google for high demand keywords. Amazon already gets a lot of link love from this search engine. But you also need to add extra link juice to improve your rankings. That’s why it’s important to create backlinks to your Amazon page.
Unfortunately, my favorite backlinking tool Build My Rank does not accept Amazon sites. So I’ve had to get creative with how I link to my Amazon page. What I do know is Amazon gets thousands of backlinks on a daily basis. So it’s pretty safe to be aggressive with your linking strategy.
As an example, I’m currently using these two vendors to do a few ninja backlinking campaigns to my Amazon page:
Both of these people provide reputable backlinking services. Only time will tell if they will help my Amazon page increase its Google ranking. Probably, I’ll do a follow-up post to this article and talk about the results I get from these services.
Bottom line is you should do some sort of backlinking to an Amazon page. Google loves Amazon pages. So even a little push will send your Kindle listing to the top of the search engine listings.
Final Thoughts on How to Make Money with Amazon
So far, I’ve enjoyed my experience with self-publishing on Amazon. I’m amazed at the simplicity of the entire process. Now I’m kicking myself for not getting started sooner.
Right now, I’m creating a strategy where I’ll release a new Kindle book every month or so. Hopefully in a year’s time I’ll have a catalog of Kindle books that each make a little bit of money, while pushing people to check out my personal brand.
Don’t have a Kindle book already? I recommend you get started right away. Just take some of your best content and turn it into a simple-to-follow report. Before you know it, you’ll have a book that reaches an audience that can’t be found through traditional means like blogging.
Good luck!Take Action. Get Results.