Hello hi. So, we’re into the final third of the course. There’s only a few lessons more to go, but I’ve still plenty of practical information to share before it’s all over. 🙂
In this lesson, we’re going to be looking at how to use the Kindle search engine to help further get our business out there. We’ll also be looking at how you can use it to directly make an additional income.
With Kindle, Amazon have created a market place where independent authors can create books without any real barriers to entry. With the correct knowledge, literally anyone can create a book and publish it in the Kindle marketplace.
This is really a great opportunity for you. I can personally tell you that creating Kindle books will not only help you drive more traffic to your website and brand, but will also increase your income as well.
We’re going to look at all the details over the next two lessons, but let’s start by looking at the benefits of publishing on Kindle.
Aims Of This Lesson
- Income Stability.
This lesson will help you stabilize your monthly income, and give you more consistency.
- Gaining Traffic.
This lesson will help you gain traffic to your website without the use of Google.
Why Publish Books On Kindle?
So with all the places you can publish your writing these days, why create Kindle books? Well…
- Amazon Have Their Own Audience.
One of the biggest reasons we’ll want to get some Kindle books up, is because of the pre-established audience we can potentially get in front of. I’m sure you know how big Amazon is, well imagine having access to even a small percentage of their users. That’s exactly what you get when you publish your own Kindle book.
While it’s a different type of website then Google, Amazon can still provide you with a load of searchers that are looking for something you can offer. As long as you can provide something that your niche is interested in, then you will most likely make money from Kindle.
- Kindle Books Can Start Selling Straight Away.
When you create a Kindle book, there is a lot less emphasis on having to promote this book for it to make any sales. It’s actually possible to simply publish your book, have it rank without you doing any sort of promotion, and start making sales on the same day. Pretty neat huh? It’s because of this that Kindle books are a handy way to begin making money online. You don’t have to wait months and months to get a couple of visitors a day like you do in Google, it’s easier to get traffic onto your page and start making sales with a lot less effort.
- They Have Internal Methods Of Promotion.
Although it’s possible to make money from Kindle books without any promotion at all, doing some promotion will usually help with sales. Thankfully, Amazon actually provide you with an internal way to promote you book. There are pros and cons to using their given promotional tools however, but we’ll look at this later.
- There is Potential For Good Money.
As I briefly mentioned before, as well as using Kindle books to drive traffic to your site, you can also use them as method for generating income by themselves. They are after all a product in their own right, and products are there to make us money.
While the income made from Kindle books will be a ‘side income’ for most, it is possible to make a full time living from selling Kindle books alone. I myself and making a full time living from Kindle books, and have seen a good few others also create a full time living within a few months.
While I would say you should never focus all your effort into Kindle books even if you’re doing well (Your rankings could change without warning and you could lose a full time income… Sound familiar?), if you’re making decent money from Kindle, you should upscale your Kindle marketing whilst also working on your other projects away from Amazon.
How We’re Going To Use Kindle Books
Now that we know why we should publish books on Kindle, let’s look at how we’re going to use these books. As you may remember, on our DRC Traffic Pro Method Layout image in the first lesson, there were two ways in which Kindle books fitted into our overall plan. Here are the two ways in which we’re going to use Kindle books:
- To Drive Traffic To Your Site.
First of all, we’re going to use Kindle books as another way to drive traffic to our website. We can do this in a couple of ways. Firstly, we can place links to our website within the actual Kindle book themselves. We can then get the book out there, either by making the book free to download, or by selling them at a reasonable price. The second way we can use Amazon Kindle to drive traffic is via the author pages Amazon allows you to create. More details on how to do this later.
- To Make Money In Their Own Right.
As I’ve mentioned briefly before, it’s possible for Kindle books to make money even when you don’t promote them much or at all. We want our Kindle books to create an additional revenue stream for us, and one that we don’t really have to manage while working on other projects. We want them pretty much ‘set and forget’. This isn’t always possible, but is ideal and what we will be aiming for.
What we’re not going to do is go all out promoting the Kindle books we put up. Yes if you promote your product you’ll end up getting more sales, but why not use that time and effort to instead promote your other higher priced products? Let Amazon naturally sell our Kindle books through their search engine, and only chip in where necessary.
If your Kindle sales are doing really well, you can of course ramp promotion up to maximize the amount of money you make from these books. If you’re not making any sales at all, you can also do the same to get things going. Generally though, it’s often a better use of our time to promote our higher priced products away from Kindle, and let the Kindle search engine make some sales for us organically. This will often see the best return on your time investment.
Amazon Select. What It Is, And Whether Or Not You Should Use It
OK guys, I want to quickly touch on Amazon Select and what it is. You may remember earlier I said that one of the good things about Kindle is that they give you a way to promote your books internally. Well, this is what Amazon Select is.
Amazon Select is an optional program set up by Amazon which does a few things. As a book publisher, it will let you:
- Set Up Promotion Days.
Being on Amazon Select will allow you to give out your book for free for up to 5 days over a 90 days period. You can use these promo days 5 days in a row, or spread them out as you see fit. You don’t have to use all of these promo days if you don’t want to, but the option is there.
The idea behind this is that it’ll raise awareness of your books, draw in reviews from people who go on to read it, and allow you to appear in the ‘Customers who bought this product also bought’ section on various pages. All this will give your book more visibility in their search engine, and create more sales in the long run.
- Allow People To ‘Borrow’ Your Book.
If you enroll in the Amazon Select program, you will allow members of Amazon Prime to borrow your books free of charge. You still get paid for this however, the money actually comes from the people who join Amazon Prime’s membership fees. How much you get will depend on how many members are paying their fees and how many books you have borrowed, but usually it’s a very decent price.
On the consumer side, the user benefits from you putting your books in the Amazon Select program if they are a member of Amazon Prime. This membership allows them to borrow free Kindle books that are in the Select program. They also get a load of other benefits, but this isn’t important to how we do with Kindle.
So is putting your books on Amazon Select a good idea? Well, that depends on your final goals when it comes to Kindle books.
Here are the pros and cons of enrolling your books in this program:
- Kindle Book Borrows.
One of the main benefits of you enrolling on Amazon Select, is the borrows. Amazon pays you a percentage of people’s Amazon Prime membership fees for each book you have borrowed. The average borrow price at the time of writing this is $2.42. This has been going up every month for the last few months, and is set to go up some more. While this price rise may not last forever and may actually fall, you’re still essentially making more money from your books.
So if for example you sell your books at 99c a go, you can increase your profits a lot by allowing your books to be borrowed. From a 99c book sale, you’ll get around 35c to yourself. If someone instead borrows that same book of yours, you’d still get that $2.42 (At the time of writing this). This is $2.07 more then you’d get from a sale, nearly 7 times more in fact.
If however you sell your book for $9.99 though, you’d usually make around $7 per sale. You will then get less money each time someone borrows this book of yours. Having said that, it could still be additional borrows that you wouldn’t have got in sales, so you could still end up in more profit at the end of the month.
Kindle borrows are one of the main reasons for signing up with Select. Having said that there are still other things to consider, so don’t sign your books up till you’ve read the rest of the pros and cons.
- You Get Promo Days.
One of the other benefits of using Amazon Select is the promotional days they allow you to have. Every 90 days they allow you to give away your book for free on 5 days selected by yourself. While you don’t have to use these days to give away your books, the idea is that by doing this you will achieve a few things. You’ll raise awareness of your book, which will hopefully increase sales. You’ll also hopefully get people reviewing your book, and in a positive light.
There things aren’t guaranteed when giving away your book in a promotion, but certain things can be done to help them achieve these goals. We’ll look at what some of those things are in the next lesson.
- They Require Exclusivity.
If you want to enroll any of your books in the Amazon Select program, that book in question has to remain exclusive to Amazon for at least 90 days. That means you can’t sell your book on any other websites, including your own. Instead, you’ll have to link to the Amazon page and let people buy it off there.
This is of course an issue if you want to maximize the exposure you get by putting your books on other platforms and sell them in different ways.
In the next lesson we do look at other places in which you can sell your book, so maybe don’t enroll your books into Kindle Select until you have read lesson 11. By then you will have enough information to decide whether or not the Select program is for you.
- 90 Day Minimum Enrollment.
Each time you enroll a book into Kindle Select, it has to be in there for at least 90 days. Because of this, don’t make a light decision of enrolling them. If you do and decide you want to sell your book on your site a month in, you will have to wait two more months before you can do so. Even if you delete your book from Amazon Kindle, you still aren’t allowed to sell it anywhere else until the three months are up.
A Word Of Warning: Once you enroll your book to Select, Amazon makes it so they automatically renew your enrollment after the first 90 days is up. If you don’t want that (And you shouldn’t) you should go to your KDP Dashboard where all your books are listed. Under the ‘KDP Select’ tab on the far right of your chosen book, click on the ‘Info’ link and a new area should open up. Uncheck the box that says ‘Automatically renew this book’s enrollment in KDP Select for another 90 days’ then click ‘Save’. And that’s it. This will mean that once your 90 days are up, if you want to put your book on other platforms you can. If however you’re happy with the Select program, you can re-enroll manually.
So, should you enroll in the Kindle Select program? Well, it all depends on one thing: Do you want to sell the books you make in other places too? Or do you want to put all your trust in Amazon’s hands?
I suggest you initially stay out of the Kindle Select program. See how well your books do simply by putting them on Kindle, and maybe even send a few people there from your existing community. If it starts making sales and they keep up, then you probably don’t need Kindle Select and can start putting it in other places a few weeks later. I suggest giving it a few weeks before you start putting it in other places just in case you do decide you want to use Select. If the book is in other places, Amazon will recognize this and won’t let you enroll on Select. We’ll look at other places you can put your books next lesson.
If you don’t mind selling your book only on Amazon, then you should enroll in Amazon Select. If you give it a go and decide it’s not for you, you could simply not re-enroll again 90 days later.
What Should You Create Kindle Books About
I know a lot of people often get stuck by the question of what to make a book about. If you already have a website up and running and it’s about something specific, then this is half of the battle won. You should do a book on the subject you already generally talk about.
If for example you’ve got a website which advises people how to create a minimalist life, then the obvious thing to do would be to create a book on the same subject. You could teach people how to do this step by step, and give them all the information they need to get their minimalist lifestyle up and running. Alternatively, you could do a book showing how other people live their lives using the minimalistic approach.
If you’re not sure what to create a book about in your niche, some market research is in order. I’ve talked about how to do market research in previous lessons, so I won’t fully go into it here. But basically:
- You can ask your existing audience what they struggle with, and what they want to see more of.
- You can look on forums, and see if there are any problems that keep coming up (Which you can solve with your book).
- If you’re actively involved in your niche as a participator, you can also draw on your own experiences of what problems need to be solved.
All these things will help you get a better idea of what your audience wants, and therefore what kind of product you should make.
What you’ll often find is that people will want a guide learning how to get into something. A lot of people that find your book will be beginners, so one idea is to cater to them.
Now I know a lot of the tips you put in the book will already be on your website in some shape of form. But you know what? That doesn’t matter! Two main reasons for this:
- You Are Selling This Book To A Different Audience.
This isn’t your existing community you’re mainly selling your book to, it’s a separate community that belongs to Amazon. Because of this, there’s a good chance they’ve never encountered your work before. Everything you say will be new to them, and worth the price simply because they’ve found the information they were looking for. While they may go back to your site if you leave a link to it within your book (Which you should), there will be a whole new set of information waiting for them in a different structure. Most people will be happy with this.
- You Are Providing Your Existing Audience With A Convenient And Collectable Product.
Even if people from your existing community read all the material from your website then buy your product, the majority will still be happy. This is because:
A) They will now have all the information together in a convenient place. No more searching through your archives to find what they want and having to read through a load of other article.
B) They will have a collectable item from someone they like. A lot of people like collecting, and buying your book will help them fulfill that need.
C) They can consume your content in a different way then normal. For a lot of people, having a Kindle book will be a lot easier to read then having to go online to read your blog.
As long as you don’t just copy and paste what you have already written down on your site, there’s nothing wrong with covering the same subjects you’ve talked about before. You simply need to write everything in a different way, and go into more detail wherever you can.
If you are concerned that people will buy your book and feel you are just regurgitating information that’s already on your site, what you can do is make it clear that your book is for beginners. That way, people will generally know that if they have read your site and want to learn something new, this isn’t the book for them.
You may be surprised at how many people still buy this book though. Like I said, people like collecting Kindle books, and may buy it just to support you and have some more of your work.
But going back to the original point; what you should create Kindle books about. If you haven’t already got a niche you operate in, then you need to find one. While you can simply start creating Kindle books on unrelated niches and still make money that way, having somewhere genuine which we can send the traffic we get from Kindle books back to is something we should take advantage of.
What Format Can You Create Kindle Books In
Although Kindle books are usually written in text, there are other formats you could provide if you so choose. Here are your options:
- Text Books.
This is the most common type of Kindle book out there, and what we will be showing you how to do over this and the next lesson. They are often the easiest to create, as most people are accustomed to writing from school. These text books are the most widely bought items in the Kindle store.
- Picture Books.
If you’re in a niche that’s picture heavy, you have the option of creating picture books. This may come in handy in a few cases. Firstly, if you create childrens books, this is a very good option. Kids of course are most stimulated by visuals, so making your books picture heavy is a very good idea. You may also want to make a picture book if you’re in a niche such as scrap booking. As you will be making a lot of creative things in this niche, it’s probably a better idea to show people what you’re talking about rather then telling them.
Please note though, that pictures aren’t displayed properly on all Kindle devices. Some will come out in black an white, some won’t appear properly at all. While there’s a lot less competition when selling Kindle picture books over selling text ones, this method won’t be suitable for all niches.
- Audio Or Video Books.
The final option is to create and sell a book which includes audio and / or video. As with picture books, these type of books won’t be able to play on all versions of the Kindle. Having said that, there are still a decent amount of Kindles which do support these books. And as technology gets better, more people will have access to these books.
In all honesty am not too clued up about this side of things for Kindle, as I have never tired it before. But if you want to give it a go, feel free. 🙂
If you want to get your book out there and reach as many people as you can, then I advise you go for a text based book. If you feel to go for one of the other types though, feel free.
This lesson is continued in Lesson 10 Part 2: Leveraging The Amazon Kindle Search Engine Part 1.