Can you still make money publishing on Kindle?
The short answer is “yes,” but the long one is “Yes, but you can make a lot more if you take things beyond just publishing on Kindle.”
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Have I Made Money Publishing on Kindle?
Around 2013, I threw my hat into the self-publishing ring just to give it a whirl. I never imagined the amount of success I’d realize. I couldn’t even fathom the amount of time, energy, and effort I had to put into making it work.
Sure, I can support my family on my earnings and still have money to spare. Yes, I’m afforded a little more attention now than if I would’ve stayed at my nine-to-five job, but was it all worth it?
Absolutely, but were my results typical?
Well, hear me out first.
Make Money Publishing on Kindle – Read the Fine Print
Not too long ago, I was on a webinar hosted by the illustrious internet marketer, Frank Kern. There’s no doubt Frank knows what he’s talking about and appears to be ridiculously wealthy from it.
Not even 5 minutes into the training, he shattered my perceptions. Paraphrasing him, he stated his results were far from typical.
In fact, he stated the most of the people watching his training would not be successful at all.
The truth of the matter, he shared, was that most people wouldn’t put in the time to become good at internet marketing. Furthermore, there is no cure-all or surefire hack to an overnight victory.
Results Not Typical
This leads me to what the vast majority of people achieve when they commit to Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing.
Quite a few of you will make a few bucks and heck, you may even realize a pretty big payday. Within the next year or so, you may not even be around to realize that this business is a slow burn.
You can’t become an overnight success and the few who do are simply the unicorns of this business, lightning in a bottle, if you will.
Now I am far from being an overnight success, and I will never make outrageous income claims saying I’m the second coming of E. L. James. I’m simply staying true to who I am and why I got into this business in the first place.
That’s what is keeping my head above the water, paying the bills, and living life on my own terms.
The Ease of Publishing eBooks
It’s super easy to get started. Open Microsoft Word or Google Docs and start writing. Once your work is edited, it’s super easy to format it as an eBook.
Before you do that, though, you’re going to want to consider if what you want to write about is really what people want to read. As a self-published and independent author, you need to vet your ideas and make sure there’s a proof of concept before you put in all the work to craft the story.
If you’re not writing what people want to read, you will have a difficult time selling books.
Jump on Amazon and do some searching to find out if books like the one you want to write are selling. Also, you want to make sure there’s not too much competition. Otherwise, you’ll get lost in the noise.
This might sound like a catch 22, but I’m sure you can find a place where your story fits. If you can’t, it’s probably not worth putting in the work unless it’s a labor of love for you.
It really is simple. You either write what people want to read and sell books or you write what you want and don’t. If you happen to get lucky and what you want to write is what people want to read, then you’re golden.
This all boils down to choosing a profitable niche.
4 Streams of Income From 1 Book
Once you’ve determined your niche and written your book, it’s time to get maximum exposure so you can make money publishing on Kindle!
Amazon affords you 4 streams of income from 1 book:
- Hard Cover
Although your eBook is going to the path of least resistance, you should definitely publish your book in all 4 formats. Otherwise, you’ll be leaving money on the table.
I will not lie, this is a TON of work.
You’ve got to have 4 different manuscript files and 4 different cover files. The Paperback and Hard Cover interiors are nearly identical. The rest is going to require some work and a learning curve.
While formatting your eBook is simple, print books are a bit more complicated. I recommend learning Atticus, InDesign, or Affinity Publisher. If you have more money than time, you can always outsource your formatting.
If you choose to narrate your audiobook yourself, there’s a lot of criteria you have to meet. Your recordings have to be flawless. Rather than try to handle this at home, I actually booked time at a local recording studio just make sure I got this all right the first time.
If you’re not narrating them yourself, this is less of a concern, but now you have to find a narrator and they don’t come cheap.
It’s a lot, but if your book sells well, it’s worth it!
Did you know Amazon has the oldest affiliate program on the Internet? Source
It’s a pretty easy one to join, so if you have any interest at all in earning a commission from your content, reviewing products, or just getting a little extra from promoting your books, you should definitely join!
You can use your own affiliate links to promote your books and earn a commission when you sell them by using Geniuslink.
A lot of the products and services we use as authors and self-publishers also have affiliate programs where you can earn a kick back by recommending them to others.
Affiliate marketing can be extremely lucrative if you have an audience that considers you an authority. It doesn’t have to be a big audience. I was doing this full-time with a YouTube channel that had 2500 subscribers.
Again, my results aren’t typical, but I’m also no unicorn. I worked my butt off on my YouTube channel.
In a lot of my early videos, you may notice me wearing t-shirts with slogans like “self-publisher” or “savvy self-publisher” on them.
You can see my whole collection here.
That’s all actually created on a platform owned by Amazon. Check it out – https://merch.amazon.com
It’s a great way to promote your brand. You’ll notice most of my shirts are just words. You could easily create these using a free tool like Canva.
You can make shirts with quotes from your book, phrases like I’ve used, or whatever. Be creative.
If having merch fits with your brand, do it. If it doesn’t interest you, don’t. It’s simply another way to promote your wares and make money publishing on Kindle.
Going Beyond Kindle and Amazon KDP
Amazon KDP isn’t the be all, end all. Ever heard of Barnes and Noble? Apple Books? Kobo?
Once you’ve done the work to publish your book on Amazon, there’s no reason to stop there. Just make sure you’re not in KDP Select, since that’s an exclusivity agreement with Amazon.
In most cases, you can use the same files you uploaded to Amazon. An aggregate like Draft2Digital makes this really easy.
Get your book everywhere!
Is It Possible to Make Money Publishing on Kindle?
Can you still make money on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing these days?
Making money with Kindle eBooks is 100% possible, but it begs a deeper question.
How much money do you want to make in Kindle Publishing? I can almost guarantee you it’s possible to pump out a book today and make a few bucks.
If you want to make more than a few bucks, then it’s going to require a lot more time, energy and attention.
Can you afford that?
If not, then I suggest you jump into Kindle Publishing simply as a hobby at first. When you get a little success, then get a little more serious about it!
However, if you don’t draw a single dime, then at least you didn’t quit your day job in hopes of caviar dreams and champagne wishes lying on the Amazon self-publishing platform.
How’s your publishing business going? Let us know in the comments!