Electronic books have been around for a while now. But it’s only just in the last year or so that they seem to have really taken off, and I think that has a lot to do with Amazon’s Kindle eBook reader.
I think it’s true to say Kindle is probably the first affordable, really practical eBook reader. It lets users choose from a library of tens of thousands of books, then buy, download and read them almost anywhere as easily as a paper book.
Can Kindle Kash Turn Your eBook into £12,257.40 in a Matter of Months?
Amazon now sells more eBooks than paper books and, it’s thought, (but Amazon won’t let on!) that they sold up to 8 million Kindles worldwide last year. Everywhere you go – on trains, planes or on the beach – everyone from teenagers to grannies seem to be whipping them out and dashing off a few pages of Harry Potter or Mills & Boon!
Now, as far as entrepreneurs are concerned, the most exciting thing about Kindle is how, in their usual share-and-share-alike way, Amazon are willing for everyone to join in this massive new trend. By allowing anyone to create, publish and sell Kindle books of their own.
There are quite a few products covering making money using Kindle now. This month I am going to review the newest – Kindle Kash, The Ultimate EBook Publishing Course, by experienced independent Kindle author Nick Daws.
So what will you learn from Kindle Kash?
Despite being called a course this product is essentially an eBook itself (which kind of makes sense, I suppose). There are 10 chapters. Everything is covered from the ground up, and it assumes no previous publishing or technical experience at all. Each chapter ends with a neat little potted “Action Plan” to get you started too.
In the first chapter, Nick starts off with some handy background info about Kindle. He talks about why he thinks it is something of a publishing revolution – authors get up to 70% of the proceeds of their book, rather than 8-15% with “old fashioned” paper publishing. And he tells us about some Kindle success stories – apparently some relative newbies have sold over 80,000 books on Kindle and made anything from $20,000 to $45,000 to even $60,000 from each book in just a few months!
Nick also very sensibly talks about some of the downsides of Kindle publishing, such as the US-centric payments system and the fact Kindle books don’t work on other eBook readers (but he suggests a way round this). Little details like this make all the difference, and it soon becomes obvious Nick really knows what he’s talking about.
The next few chapters (2,#3,#4 and 5) are mostly about creating your Kindle eBook. You see, unlike some other Kindle money-making products I’ve seen, this package ISN’T just about plucking material from the public domain and posting them up for sale. You get comprehensive information on how to plan, research, write and edit your own original book to sell on Kindle too. In fact, Nick also covers how to get ideas for your books, both fiction and non-fiction, including how to find the current best-selling Kindle subjects. (This is probably one of the most useful sections of the book. I learnt a lot here.)
In chapters 6 and 7 the book starts to get really meaty. It’s about formatting your book for Kindle. Nick explains Kindle formatting is basically HTML (although he also covers an alternative). Now, if the mere mention of HTML scares you off Nick helpfully walks you though it in a step-by-step way. He also covers creating a cover image, title and contents page – essential for any book. Then you’ll learn how to publish your book using Amazon’s Digital Text Platform, and put up for sale in the Kindle Store. Lastly, there’s handy advice on the legal side and prices/payments – typically you will get around 35% or 70% of the selling price of your book with Amazon keeping the rest as their cut.
Chapter 8 is about marketing your book. Methods covered include Amazon Author Central, tagging, Listmania, getting and writing reviews – a lot of this info is hard to find elsewhere. There’s also info on more established methods of marketing such as posting on forums, blogging, article writing, publishing newsletters, social networking, using question sites, press releases, podcasting and video.
To be honest, this is much the same as marketing any online business. But it did make me think... just putting your eBook up for sale in the Kindle Store won’t guarantee you sales. You probably shouldn’t underestimate the amount of marketing you’ll need to do to sell a good volume of eBooks on Kindle.
Kindle Kash comes to a close with a section on “boosting your profits”. Nick talks about using the Lulu online publishing service, Amazon Associates, ClickBank and also print on demand to publish and sell paper copies of your book, amongst other methods. Now, as Nick says, these could double or treble your earnings from each book. Which I’m sure is probably true. But I kind of wished this section wasn’t here because the sections are really too short to be that useful. Plus Amazon Associates, ClickBank and so on really are a very different kettle of fish. If you want to go into these areas of eBook (and paper book) publishing you’d probably need to buy some other books and courses that focus solely on them.
So what do I think of Kindle... and Kindle Kash in particular?
As I think I’ve mentioned before, I believe Kindle is a fantastic opportunity that is really worth thinking about. The main downsides I can see are that eBook publishing is changing fast so what works today might not work tomorrow. Plus the competition amongst eBook publishers is becoming hotter all the time. Also, although you don’t need to be a writer to publish on Kindle it might suit those with some kind of a literary bent best. But Kindle is an opportunity for even the smallest kitchen-table type entrepreneur to get up and running, selling products to a global marketplace – which is big and only going to get bigger – with the help of one of the biggest brands in the world, Amazon.
If you do want to give Kindle book publishing a go then Kindle Kash would be a very good place to start. The book is packed full of useful, practical and very specific information – without getting bogged down in unnecessary detail. (Another thing I like are the numerous links to more information online if you need it – very useful if you feel you need to find out more for yourself.)
All in all, I’m sure that there are longer and more detailed “make money from Kindle” courses out there. But Kindle Kash gives you plenty of information to get up and running. And at around £30 it’s good value too.
Kindle Kash: The Ultimate eBook Publishing Course
By Nick Daws, published by WCCL Network.
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