There seems to be a lot of commotion right now in the kindle-publishing world regarding the KDP Select program and if it’s still a model worth pursuing. With the shear volume of digital books being introduced every day by established indie authors and first time publishers, plus several changes to the way Amazon handles its KDP Program, a feeling of a saturated market is an opinion I suspect a growing number of people have… I’m not sure if it’s warranted.
I became interested in the whole kindle publishing frenzy some time ago, but only decided to get serious about it last year. It seemed like a great option to diversify my online business and I had always wanted to give it shot anyway. I published my first 36 page non fiction book at the end of October 2013.
The way I see it KDP Select is a platform or a tool that allows anyone to write, upload and publish their own digital ebook. It may not fit some people’s needs or it could be the catalyst they need to engage new readers and propel their book sales. At the end of the day it all boils down to how you approach it and what you expect to get out of it.
So How Did My First Book Do?
Before I go on, I must mention that, while starting my first kindle publishing campaign the amount of research and study with regards to picking a niche, formatting etc, was very minimal on my part… not a good idea, but I couldn’t wait to get my book completed and published. So I by-passed a lot of stuff that I should have done and prepared before publishing. One thing I was confident of was that I had researched enough to pick a potentially worthwhile niche. It took a total of 4 days to complete my book create a book cover (using Gimps free software) write my blurb and upload and publish to Amazon. I wrote it under a pen name, so I haven’t disclosed the book title or the pen name I used, sometimes that can have a negative effect with readers if they know a book is written by someone else… especially in the non fiction genre.
Screen shot of my books first monthly commissions (I priced it at $3.07 USD) I get the 70% royalty rate
Screen shot of following 3 months of commissions
My plan for my kindle publishing campaign was to get my first book up on Amazon, do some basic marketing for it that wasn’t going to cost an arm and a leg, then see how well it would do over the first 3-4 months, before I committed to writing more books in that genre. I spent a total of $60 on marketing and advertising, plus after the first week of my book being live, I did a 3 day free promotion run. Amazon has the option of running a free promo period of your book for up to 5 days during the 90 days that it is in KDP Select.
As you can see from the results in the screen shots above (That’s for one book) that there is definitely potential to earn a decent passive income from kindle publishing. During that 4 month period I began working on a fiction novel, but that’s another post. I have since published another 4 non fiction books in the same genre. Two are up there with the first book and the other two are not doing quite as well, but do bring in commissions.
The key to this business model is building your portfolio of books up. In saying that, they have to be good quality no one wants to read rubbish.
Tools For Your Kindle Publishing Campaigns
KD Pro was one of the first software tools I bought and I also posted a review about it… great piece of software. Because I still have a touch of the “Bright Shiny Object” syndrome I later on purchased another great software tool called the Ultimate eBook Creator. Both tools are good, but for me it’s like having two tennis racquets, both top brands but you inevitably get a feel and liking for one of them.
If you’re serious about kindle publishing the Ultimate eBook Creator is definitely worth taking a look at. It’s my preferred go to tool when working on my books. The creator of UEC is a guy called Nitin Mistry and one of the best things I’ve found is the personal support he gives to all his members. I highly recommend checking out the Ultimate eBook Creator, especially if you’re in the market for a tool that can manage, format and create the perfectly finished eBook ready for you to upload to Amazon.