Can you make money self-publishing on Amazon

How Much Money Can you Make Self-Publishing on Amazon

Wondering whether you can actually earn money self-publishing books on Amazon? The simple answer is yes. The real question is, how do you enter the self-publishing process and make money? There must be many questions popping up in your head. We’re sure this article will answer most of the questions by the time you finish reading it.  

This article will help you understand:

  • How you can self-publish through Amazon
  • How to earn money through this self-publishing process and make it profitable
  • How you can find a good book idea
  • How you should validate the idea
  • Ways to make it a professional book that sells
  • Creating a marketing plan for your book
  • And how much self-published authors generally earn on Amazon

Various Self-Publishing Options on Amazon

Now the benefit of Amazon self-publishing compared to traditional publishers is that you not only get to publish paperback print books but also eBooks. 

An ‘eBook’ stands for an ‘Electronic Book,’ which means you don’t have to print them. Since the digital book is created using word processors like Google Docs or Microsoft Word. They do not need to be stored physically in the form of multiple books anywhere, saving you printing costs. They are much easier for users to access anywhere across the world on their digital devices. 

Another fantastic way people consume books in the 21st century that is really kicking off is through audiobooks. With the rise of audio content like podcasts worldwide, audiobook consumption has also seen a massive uptick. 

They’re instrumental when people do mindless activities that take up time and are repetitive. Things such as driving, household chores, and running don’t require much cognitive energy. 

People can listen to audiobooks during such activities and use their time more efficiently. Many authors are creating audiobooks by recording their books in their voices, which gives the listener a personal touch.

Amazon KDP

KDP stands for ‘Kindle Direct Publishing.’ Kindle Direct Publishing is Amazon’s self-publishing platform launched in November 2007 along with the first kindle device called ‘Amazon Kindle.’ 

The platform allows self-publishing an ebook to the online platform, which can be accessed through kindle devices. Amazon self-publishing has been a revolutionary platform that has enabled indie authors worldwide to reach people they probably could not have reached physically. 

Amazon KDP Select

KDP Select is Amazon’s free 90-day program, allowing authors and any publishing business to reach more readers through Amazon and kindle promotions. Additionally, it doesn’t matter where you live. Every author and publishing business is eligible to gain from the benefits of this program.

This program gives you two promotional methods or tools to maximize the sales potential of your book:

  • Kindle Countdown Deals – A promotional discount that is time-bound, and you still earn royalties on it. For example, your book will be available at 50% off for only the first 24 hours after it is launched.
  • Free Book Promotion – Readers worldwide get your book free of cost for a limited time.

Another exciting aspect of the Kindle platform is the Kindle Unlimited program. The program, although not for authors, still benefits you. Kindle Unlimited is a subscription service for readers to read as many Kindle books as they want. 

And if you’re a self-published author under the Kindle Select program, your Kindle books are available to these readers. Your book will still be available on the store to regular users, and you’ll still be able to earn royalties through it.

One thing to note about the KDP select program is that you have agreed to sell your eBook through this platform exclusively once you enroll in it. You cannot sell your ebook on any other platform, including your own website, blog post, etc. 

You can, however, continue selling the paperback format of your book through other methods.

Requirements to Be a Part of KDP Select

  1. You must be the exclusive content owner of the book you’re planning to self-publish. The content shouldn’t be available anywhere in the public domain.
  2. Make your self-published book an exclusive Kindle ebook for the 90 days of the select program.

Is Self-Publishing on Amazon Profitable?

Amazon holds approximately 80% of the eBook market, so it is a no-brainer that you’d want to self-publish your book on kindle direct publishing. Amazon search itself is an extensive search engine. Like other search engines, it’ll help in your book being discovered organically as well. 

The platform will help bring new readers to your work and create new fans of your writing. It is an excellent tool for authors with many beneficial features like free file conversion, book sales tracking, and special formatting for textbooks and children’s books.

All in all, there is no reason to believe that you cannot make a profit selling self-published books on Amazon. However, the actual profitability or success of your book lies in the book itself. 

Regardless of the platforms that you distribute it on, how compelling the story of your book is, whether it is helpful to a particular audience, and how you market it is finally what determines whether you’ll be able to make a profit.

So how do you make self-publishing on Amazon profitable? Read below to find out.

How to Write a Book That Sells?

According to us, there are 3 core aspects of a book that make it something worth someone’s time and money:

A Good Book Idea

It all starts with an idea. A good idea! Now we know what you’re thinking. The word ‘good’ is so subjective. Different people like different things. How am I supposed to know whether my idea is truly good or not? 

ANSWER – Market research and validation. And no, we’re not asking you to spend thousands of dollars surveying people to gather data. But what you can do is survey people in your social circle about it. 

People who you trust and people from different demographics and psychographics. Age, gender, location, profession, whatever you can think of. 

Get feedback about your book idea from different people and see what they have to say. When you do this, a few things can happen:

  • You notice that the majority of the people like your idea. In this case, you can be sure that you’ll have a wide target audience to sell to. 
  • You notice that a specific group of people like your idea. In this case, recognize the pattern and understand who these people are that your idea resonates with. This will help you in the marketing phase of the book.
  • You notice that the majority don’t like the book idea. In this situation, ask them for feedback on how they would make it better or change about the idea that’ll make them want to read the book. Once you gather this data, go back to the drawing board and see how to improve upon your initial idea.

Another question to ask yourself is whether similar Kindle books exist. Check the competitive landscape and try to find books that are similar to your idea. See how well they are doing in the market or why they’re not doing well.

This will help you improve your book ideas and make it more likely for people to buy Kindle books and read.

The Creation of the Book

Before you think about self-publishing the book, you need to create a professional book. Your book might have a great story or might be extremely useful to certain people. But if you don’t present it well, how will people know what they’ll discover on the inside? For this very reason, creating a professional book is very important. The aspects of a professional book include:

The Title

The very first thing someone reads about your book is the title. The title of your book should either intrigue people and make them curious to know more, surprise them in some way or be as transparent as possible about what someone reading the book might experience. 

  • Curiosity
  • Surprise
  • Clarity

The Cover

While the title might be the first thing that someone reads in your book, the first thing they see even before reading the title is the cover of your book. It is a known fact that our brains are much faster at registering images than words. 

So creating an eye-catching cover for your book is just as important as creating the perfect title for it. An attractive book cover will help draw people’s attention and give your writing the chance to compel the reader and potentially buy your book. 

Formatting

Your book formatting plays a significant role in the reader’s experience and how easy they find it is to read your book. 

Book Description

The synopsis, summary, or book description is the elevator pitch to sell your book. During the small interaction that a prospect has with your book, it is the one chance you have to sell your story and convince the person that your book is worth their time.

A Good Marketing Plan

The third and final aspect of a book that sells is good marketing. Understanding ‘who is it for?’ and ‘what is it for?’ can help you navigate the marketing direction you must take to promote your book online. 

Traditional publishers distribute your book through book stores. You can do your Kindle ebook marketing through platforms like Amazon and Facebook to create campaigns to advertise your book launch.

Your book launch should involve a complete launch plan for 6 weeks where you slowly tease and release more and more information about your book to your audience. To do this, you’ll need many marketing collaterals like:

  • Teasers images/videos.
  • A book trailer that talks about your new soon to be launching book
  • Social media and Amazon Page images, videos, and other written content for promotion.

How Much Do Self-Published Authors Make on Amazon?

Any indie author who self-publishes their book through Amazon KDP earns a 70% royalty when they sell their book within the price point of $2.99 and $9.99. Any book that costs more or less will lead to a royalty of 35%.