Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program has turned hundreds of thousands of ordinary people into published authors. Some lucky authors like EL James of Fifty Shades of Grey fame make millions of dollars every month.
While many Kindle authors don’t make a cent, more writers than you’d think have turned their self-publishing efforts into roaring successes. Author Brenda Hiatt surveyed 60 Kindle novelists and found that their average earnings per ebook in 2012 were almost $13,000.
Want to try writing Kindle ebooks? These five secrets will help.
1. Do You Have Expertise? Publish Nonfiction
You can get paid for your expertise. People need information on many different topics, and they pay for ebooks. Your ebooks don’t have to be long. Many ebooks are short.
2. Love to Tell Stories? Fiction’s for You
Short stories and novels outsell nonfiction on the Kindle by six to one. Check out the Kindle Top 100 Paid ebooks. Most are fiction. If you can tell stories, people will read them.
Do you need to be a great writer? No. Few of the books on the Top 100 Paid list are literature, but they are excellent stories. Readers want entertainment.
Before you start writing, read some Kindle fiction. Many authors are in Amazon’s KDP Select program, so their ebooks are free for several days each quarter. Just search Amazon for free titles.
3. Set a Deadline to Complete Your Ebook
You can’t sell what you don’t write. So set a self-imposed deadline. Decide how long your ebook will be, and then create a daily writing quota.
If you’re writing nonfiction, create a simple outline for your ebook before you start writing. On the other hand, if you’re writing a novel, just write a one-page summary of your story.
4. Hire an Editor
Once your ebook’s complete, it’s time to hire an editor. Every author needs an editor. It’s impossible to read your own work objectively.
At this stage, before your book is complete, you’re not looking for a proofreader. Proofreading happens when your book is as good as you can make it, and you’re ready to publish.
You’re looking for someone to tell you whether or not your book makes sense and is usable if your writing nonfiction.
If you’re writing fiction, an editor will help you to shape your story so that it’s entertaining for the reader. He’ll help you to hone your plot, develop your characters, and pace your scenes.
5. Covers Count: Invest in a Great Cover
A couple of years ago, readers didn’t care about home-made covers. These days however, competition for attention is tough. You need a cover for your ebook which looks great in a thumbnail size, so that it catches attention.
One author was selling 20 ebooks a month. When she added a new cover, her ebook started selling 70 copies a day.
Kindle self-publishing is a huge opportunity. It’s great fun, too.