Since Amazon established Kindle Direct Publishing, it has become extremely easy to write and self-publish E-books. Almost anyone can do it. Does that mean they will be good quality? Or best sellers? Or something you would buy or recommend to your friends? The answer to all of those questions is NO, not necessarily. However, the answer can also be YES, in some cases. It depends on the writer – and there are many good ones (possibly including you) who have never had the opportunity to be published in the past because entry into the publishing world was so incredibly difficult. That is no longer the case.
If writing is your thing and one of your dreams is to become a published writer, this is your chance. You can begin writing now and be published within a few days, or weeks – depending on how long it takes you to complete your book
If you are a good writer who can produce an interesting, well-written book on a timely topic – or with an intriguing storyline, there is even the possibility that you could become well-known and respected as a writer.
The process is simple – but you (or someone you hire) must do the work – the writing, editing, proofing, formatting, publishing and obtaining reviews all take time and effort. The interesting thing for me is that the writing is fairly easy and quick; the rest always takes more time that I think it will.
And – don’t forget the marketing. Unfortunately, books do not sell themselves, even on Amazon (unless you will be satisfied with a one-off sale here and there).
[typography font=”Myriad Pro” size=”24″ size_format=”px” color=”#281fab”]Ways to Sell Your Books:[/typography]
- Kindle Direct Publishing – This is by far the easiest platform, but just because your e-book is listed in the Amazon Kindle Store, there is no guarantee that it will sell. You must still market it through promotions, advertisements, social media, etc.
- Create a hardcopy version (paperback or hardcover) through “on demand” publishing companies like CreateSpace (An Amazon Company) or Vervanté.
- Create an audio version through ACX (An Amazon Company) which connects with the big three distributors: Audible.com, Amazon.com, and ITunes.com.
- Sell through your Website – Use an autorespponder to promote the books through emails to your subscribers that link them to a unique landing page, offering the book in all of the above formats.
- Sell through a multitude of other platforms such as Pub-It (Nook), Lulu, and Smashwords. Plus, there is a continually growing list of other companies through which you can promote your books. In fact, there are so many, it is almost impossible to keep up.
My recommendation would be to start with Amazon (KDP) e-books, then move to CreateSpace for the paperback version, and finally to ACX for the Audio version.
By using those three platforms you will be tapping into the power of the Amazon machine – using their resources and customer base to get started. Each of the Amazon divisions offers excellent step-by-step free information and “tutorials.” In other words, you do not have to pay for those instructions, unless you want to pay to learn from the “experts.”
Amazon also has very explicit guidelines for each of the platforms, which you must read carefully. If you do not follow the guidelines, it could cost you dearly in the long run. They are tightening the reins because of all the hucksters who have been flooding the market with “junk” because of the opportunity to make easy money.
Even with all the changes, Amazon is still the best choice for beginners to establish themselves and build a reputation as a published writer. It is also the easiest was to start the process of creating passive income.
Once you have established yourself on the Amazon platforms, you can branch out and try some of the others. Venturing elsewhere can be complicated when you are first starting because in order to use some of the promotional benefits that Amazon offers, you must be enrolled in the KDP Select program. With KDP Select you must agree NOT to publish anywhere else during the 90-day enrollment period. That period can be renewed as many times as you want, and the restriction continues to apply.
There are dozens of tips that I could offer to help you avoid some of the most common pitfalls . . . and to help you make money as quickly as possible, but for this post, I will restrict the list to a few critical ones.
- Do your research to find niches that are timely and in demand. It is nice to write about topics that interest you, especially if you are passionate about them, but that does not mean they will sell.
- Content must be original and high-quality. If you are not a writer, there are talented ghost-writers available for hire.
- DO NOT repurpose PLR or Public Domain content – no matter what the “gurus” tell you.
- Be sure your books are edited, proofed, and formatted well. Problems in any of those areas may prevent your book from being published. Even if it slips through, those issues will very likely result in bad reviews, which will hurt sales.
- Tables, columns, bullet points, etc. do not always format well or hold when converted to .mobi format for Kindle; so, use them sparingly. Bottom line is to keep your formatting simple.
- Kindle does not support footnotes, but if you publish non-fiction, a bibliography is important.
- Always properly credit photographers, illustrators, etc.
- Include copyright information, publisher information, and a legal disclaimer.
I will be publishing a handbook on how to write and self-publish e-books in the next few weeks. Watch for the launch announcement.
Want all of the information? Begin at the beginning: Building an Online Business.
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