Hi – remember me? I used to blog here? Yeah sorry, its been nearly 2 months, but my mother always told me, if you have nothing positive to say keep your mouth shut! Its been a brutal few months. And yes newsletter subscribers – I’ve not published my income either. Too low to mention. Really.
So I gave up this making money online lark and got a real job.
OK – just kidding.
But on a recent trip out of the country I wrote something different on the arrival/departure cards under “Occupation”. Normally I write something like “web developer” or “business owner” or “entrepreneur” or even “project manager” (a previous life). This time I wrote “writer”. It seems to fit with what I’m doing at the moment, and it kinda made me smile. A little. Unfortunately I am still at the starving writer phase. Fortunately, I have a fairly clear plan as to how to get past the starving phase.
I noticed that Tracey has a specific goal of making $42,000 self publishing this year. Personally I’m not quite at that stage of making specific goals, but I will be getting to that.
For the moment I’ve been focussed on getting several more books published. Yeah I’m doing it the hard way, writing them myself, I have some ideas about leveraging this in the future and using other writers, but I need to bootstrap this for the moment. I also need a much better idea of my potential cash flow than I have at the moment.
Why Is Kindle Publishing So Hot With The MMO Crowd?
Well I can tell you what’s motivating me. Why when given the choice of trying to get my sites (or new ones) ranking for their previous keywords, or focussing on Kindle, I walked away from my sites.
And no this is not a new bandwagon for me – I published my first book just on a year ago. I’ve been tracking its earnings over the year – and its made me just on a grand total of $400.
Lis, you might say, $400 in ONE YEAR. No I didn’t miss a zero.
But its the best potential I see across all my efforts.
Because its – and here’s a word not often used about online income – consistent. Now the book is targetted to the US market (the rest of us don’t go on vacation, we holiday), so I truly expected it to be highly seasonal, and yet its been a pretty consistent earner over the year – here’s the month by month breakdown.
And you know the most interesting thing? I really haven’t promoted it very much. Sure I built a related website and promoted it on that plus some other sites such as HubPages. But really the book appears to sell itself.
And then in April, Google knocked almost all my sites, plus hubpages, down to the depths of the SERPS. I lost the rankings for both old and new sites. But guess what? My sales staying consistent, if anything slightly higher. All that effort with the websites? Not selling the books. The ranking of the book Vacation Packing in Amazon (#23 in Travel Tips and #38 in Budget Travel at the time of writing) plus it showing up in the “people who bought this book also bought…” seems to be doing that all by itself.
Let me clarify that – I can make money from my book on Amazon – without Google loving me.
THAT’s why so many MMO crowd is jumping on board.
Because I know, I at least, am very, very tired of being at war with Google. I’m tired of getting knocked down everytime I make some 1/2 decent money. I’m tired of living in fear of waking up to THAT email “your Adsense account has been closed …”
Kindle Publishing Will Go The Way Of Niche Sites
Say the naysayers. Its just another fad. Its not a real business. All eBooks are spam. I’ve heard all of that in the last month or so. Sorry you are not getting it.
Can you publish crap eBooks on Amazon?
Yes you can.
Will they sell?
Why? Because once you piss off a reader enough they will leave a one star (the lowest rating) review. Much more readily than anyone will give you a 5-star review. You see people who pay money for a book are called consumers, and consumers will complain long and loud if they feel ripped off.
Amazon Will Kill Indie Publishers
Oh yeah this is a good one. Once Amazon makes lots of money with Kindle they will kill off Indie publishers. Yeah right. Suggest that you spend sometime reading up about Amazon’s business model. Every time I sell a book on Amazon, Amazon makes money. But more than that I help Amazon by taking the publishing houses out of the loop. The gatekeepers are dying, quickly, and all because of Amazon’s war on them. Basically Amazon is providing a platform which connects readers (consumers) with writers (producers) without the middleman. Instead of author’s getting a 10% royalty (which is common in traditional publishing) they are now getting 35-70%. So @ 70% a book that sells for $2.99 gives the author the same royalty as a trad published book at $20 – so who’s the loser here?
Amazon has ENABLED indie publishers – for very good business reasons of their own.
I’m happy to have a part of the that.
And if Amazon pisses me off in the future, I’ll take me book elsewhere.
Crap eBooks Will Flood Amazon and Amazon Will Ban Their Authors!
Already happening. In the last year they have banned books that are reprints of existing resources: in my niche all the guides which were reproductions of wikitravel are gone. PLR was banned before my time, and its hard to get an out-of-copyright book published there now too.
You see, because I’m not actually gaming the system. I’m writing useful books. Sure I’m not writing blind. I’m using keywords and intend to use every legal trick in the book to promote my books. But my books are not crap. Most importantly, they are professionally edited. Oh and I know what I’m writing about. Amazon won’t ban my books, because my readers like them. My return rate is minimal. My reviews are genuine.
Most former niche marketers will fail at eBooks. Its hard to write a coherent book. Well harder than writing a 500 or even 1000 word blog post. But given that I now have a whole lot of time freed up from building links to websites, I now have the time to write books. If you are using a writer – you probably need to spending more than 1c/word.
Yes you can look for the gaps in Amazon’s categories, find the search volumes for keywords using Google’s tools, and then order up a book that provides the answer to the question. But most will do it poorly and cheaply. And fail.
That’s why I’m happy to be open about my books here. I have 30 year’s experience behind my writing. That’s hard to copy. I also have fair idea on how to market.
So come along for the ride. I’ll be writing a series of posts on the subject.
But if you want to get ahead of the game: check out Make A Killing On Kindle (Without Blogging, Facebook Or Twitter). I only found it because some “real” authors over at KindleBoards.com were complaining about it as a particularly evil marketing book. It is. I like it. A lot. And I will implementing mos of his suggestions over the next few weeks.