We live in a different world today.
The days of waiting for a big-time publisher, or any publisher for that matter, to choose your book and publish it, are over.
Today, there are so many self-publishing success stories, and this is largely due to the power that Amazon Kindle has given to authors.
The Kindle platform enables authors to publish books quickly, and it eliminates the long, laborious process of getting a publisher to put your book in print. With Kindle, everything is done on your terms – and on your computer.
For freelance writers, there are other major benefits to publishing a book on Amazon.
- You can earn money from sales of the book.
- Your book can help prospective clients notice you, learn about you and view you as an authority in your space. After all, people with books are often viewed as authority figures or experts. This can lead to a boost in both the number of gigs you get and the quality of those gigs.
The Power of Amazon
In 2007, Amazon released the Kindle, a device that allows people, from all over the world, to buy and download digital books with the push of a button.
As a book author, this platform allows you to get your book in front of Amazon’s millions of users and make serious sales.
If you want to venture into the world of Amazon Kindle, here are some key guidelines you will need to know:
- Book length. Your book doesn’t necessarily need to be long in order to sell well and make your customers happy. I’d recommend keeping the length at or above 50 pages, though. If it’s shorter than that, it may lower the perceived value of your book. The key is to pack real value into your book so that customers walk away happy and leave you positive reviews.
- Book topic. It’s always a good idea to write about your specialty. For instance, if you specialize in finance, write a book related to finance. This will further establish your authority as a specialist. Prospective clients who learn about your book will view you as an expert and be more apt to pay top dollar for your freelance writing services.
- Book content. Give detailed information on a specific topic rather than general information on a broader topic. When you choose a specific topic or “niche” like this, it can be an effective way to target a specific audience, which can lead to more sales. If you want to tackle a larger topic, consider breaking it down into multiple books.
- Multiple books. When readers see that you author several books on Kindle, they consider you to be more of an expert.
- Links. Don’t forget to add your links to your personal website, blog and/or social media profiles at the end of your book. This creates synergy for your online presence.
- Cover design. The design of your eBook cover is important because it’s the first impression people will see when your eBook shows up in their results on Amazon.com. If it’s effective, it will entice them to look closer at your book. To get some ideas for how to design your cover, take a look at some Kindle eBook covers in the bestsellers category and notice why some stand out to you.
- Your title should include at least one keyword, preferably in the first part of the title, which will identify your eBook to your potential audience. The title should include a word or words that your target reader would type in the Amazon search engine to find your book. For example, if you wrote about exercising and fitness tips, add the word “fitness” in the title. This helps readers find the types of books they want to buy and will help you get your eBook farther up in their search engine.
- Pricing is another important factor when publishing your eBook. I recommend keeping the price between $2.99 and $9.99. Check your competition to ensure you’re not pricing yourself out of the market. I’ve tested eBooks at several price points and I usually settle on $4.99. We had the most downloads at that price and we didn’t over-price the competition. It’s also not such a low price that there is no perceived value, but it’s still affordable for readers. This price point may work well for you too, but there is no substitute for testing.
Getting Your Book on Kindle
Amazon has specific guidelines regarding formatting if you’re going to upload to the Kindle platform. I’ve discovered that the best and easiest way to do this is to convert my Word doc into an .epub file.
The process can get confusing, so it might also help to request the aid of an outside service. Sometimes it’s best to leave that technical stuff to the experts!
But if you want to give it a shot yourself, go for it. Download a free eBook called “Building Your Book for Kindle.” Type that phrase into Google, and it should be one of the top results.
Marketing Your Book
Amazon has taken a lot of the difficulty out of marketing your book. They have a program called KDP Select. KDP Select allows you to run special promotions for 5 days, during which time, Amazon will give your eBook more exposure.
Be careful, though: There is a stipulation. You have to agree NOT to sell your eBook anywhere except for Kindle for 90 days. That means you can’t sell it on your website, Barnes and Noble’s Nook or in the Apple iStore during that period of time.
KDP Select is a great program for new writers who need that initial exposure to get their book in front of potential buyers. You can even offer a FREE promotion for a few days.
I know it sounds counterproductive to offer your book for free, but it works. It’s basically a “loss leader.”
A loss leader is a product that you sell at a loss – or give away for free – to attract customers and reviews. Using this proven business technique, you can get a lot of downloads for your eBook in a short period of time. Amazon tracks these downloads and counts them as sales, a process which can increase your rankings in their bestsellers category.
Also, getting copies of your book out there increases the chances that people will leave reviews for your eBook on Amazon. Reviews are of the most important ranking factors in the Kindle marketplace. The more positive reviews a book has, the higher it ranks in Amazon’s search results. It’s that simple.
Don’t forget to add a link to your eBook on your website, social media profiles and share it with your personal and professional email list if
you have one.
Get on Kindle Today!
I hope this overview helps you get started with self-publishing on Kindle and start marketing. Have you used the Kindle platform?
If you are currently selling a book on Kindle, please leave a link to it in the comments and I will check it out!