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Writing has never ever been a popular career option. The profession receives the same suspicious eyeballs as other artistic fields. Be it painting, singing, or playing a musical instrument.
The odds of anyone earning their livelihoods by writing books are less. Instances of writers who died broke are too many compared to the ones with a net worth in millions.
For a mere mention of J. K. Rowling and Stephen King. There are innumerable instances of writers like O’ Henry, Oscar Wilde, and Edgar Allen Poe. Plus, there is no dearth of freelance writers who maintain a day job.
Even writers who enjoy a recurring best selling status admit to keeping a day job. It is sad to know that the success of their books does not always equal to a stable income.
It is surprising to know that stories and the art of storytelling have never faded in popularity. Still, a career in writing has not outgrown from its insecurities. This is quite contrary to the professions related to Banking, Software, or Engineering.
The Self-Publishing Revolution
A lot of people look surprised when they get to know that all my books are self-published. Though their amazement does not surprise me a bit. But I do feel sorry for the widespread ignorance about the world of self-publishing.
A lot of people including many established writers consider self-publishing a caper.
But thanks to the overwhelming success of few writers who self-published. It helped in decreasing the embarrassment associated with publishing without a big name.
Self-publishing in its infancy began with the regular paper books. But with time it graduated to digital formats. In today’s times, ebooks account for a huge majority of self-published books.
Selling EBooks on Amazon
For a moment consider the scenario #1 of traditional publishing. For obvious reasons, it takes nothing less than a few years for a book to hit the shelves.
Or consider the scenario #2 of self-publishing paper books. Though it avoids most of the pitfalls associated with a big publishing house. But it still asks for a considerable amount of time, efforts and money.
Now compare these two scenarios with #3 of Kindle Direct Publishing(KDP). KDP lets your readers receive your book within minutes after you hit publish. Plus, it lacks most of the complications associated with the other two.
Please note that in all the 3 cases the Writer and his Book are the same.
The scenario #3 sounds much like magic. KDP increases the probability of fulfilling every Writer’s dream.
It also eliminates a lot of friction causing elements present in the first 2 cases. Read that as the interference of condescending editors and the printing mills. Both of them lay a prime importance on their own ROI per book sold.
Since a writer’s time is best utilized in writing. Thus, the first 2 scenarios require hiring a book agent as well. This hiccup is also absent with KDP.
That brings me to the next topic –
How Does Kindle Publishing Work
To understand this question better. I have put in a timeline of events of the working as below:
- Kindle Publishing begins with the Writer opening their account with KDP.
- In their account, the writers get to upload a soft copy of their book and its cover.
- They also get to fill in the key details about their book. For example, pricing, genre, KDP Select and genre.
- The next step is to hit Publish. After that, the ebook hits the Amazon bookshelves.
- The writers also have the option to provide a paper/audiobook version of their ebook. Amazon’s CreateSpace service is for paper books, and ACX is for publishing audio books.
After Publishing you can then move on to the crucial part –
How to Make Money With Kindle eBooks
As you know, a book is a unit to sell. So, the more the number of books. More is the opportunity to sell. Hence, the more is the opportunity to earn.
That means even if one of your books boasts a bestseller rank. It might not fetch you as much money vis-a-vis 10 books that do average sales. It is a pure game of numbers.
Also, it is important to understand the Pricing strategy for books. A mere change of 1 $ can make a substantial difference to your earning potential.
KDP offers royalties to its writers for using their publishing platform. In specific for Amazon US, there are 2 options for royalties:
- 70% of Book Price
- 35% of Book Price
You can select either of the royalty options based on their individual criteria.
Eligibility for 70% royalty option – The pricing of your book must either be 2.99 $ or 9.99 $, or any price in-between these 2.
There are no restrictions on the file size of your book with this option.
But there are costs involved in the delivery of book files. Amazon deducts that cost from royalties. Thus, heavier files reduce the writers’ earnings.
|MINIMUM PRICE||MAXIMUM PRICE|
Eligibility for 35% royalty option – It works in a 3-tier mode which is as follows:
|MINIMUM PRICE||MAXIMUM PRICE|
< 3 MB
|0.99 $||200 $|
>= 3 MB < 10 MB
|>= 10 MB||2.99 $|
As you can make out from the above data. The size of the book and its pricing play an important role in earning potential.
That is why I price most of my books at 2.99 $ sized in few KBs.
Furthermore, the royalty options differ for various Amazon marketplaces in different territories.
For sale in Amazon territories such as Brazil, India, Japan, and Mexico. It is mandatory to enroll books in KDP Select to enjoy the 70% royalty option. These countries refer to market platforms and not the writer’s residence.
For further information, you can read the royalty guidelines on Amazon KDP website.
If you are considering writing ebooks for a living. Then, this article gives an informative perspective on that process.
Since the number of books you publish has a direct bearing on the revenue you make. Thus, being consistent with publishing in your chosen genre creates success.
Moreover, proper formatting and pricing also help to increase your earning potential per book.
All my books are a part of KDP Select. Therefore, I cannot sell them in publishing platforms other than Kindle.
But if you opt out of KDP Select. Then, you are eligible to market your books to platforms other than KDP. The popular alternatives are Kobo, Nook or even your own website.
Now is the best time to polish your writing skills to embark on a Writing journey.
Header Image Courtesy: Pixabay