Aug 192012

Easy Money With Kindle – Do me a favour!!

I don’t know about you, but I have been bombarded lately with offers telling me how easy it is to make pots of money by churning out dubious nonsense on kindle. Let me tell you now that it is all a load of old codswallop!

I’m just about sick to death of chancers trying to lure the unwary into parting with their cash, on claims such as these. The fact is that yes, when Amazon first turned out the whole idea of kindle books, they were desperate for content. Likewise people that bought the kindle reader were also desperate for something to read on it, and so the results were predictable; crappy books by the bucket-load produced from PLR (private label rights) material that left much to be desired.

However this scenario is no more, and Amazon are on the warpath against crappy ebooks loaded on to their system. If you have a PLR ebook on your account, the smart move would be to remove it NOW before Amazon finds it and removes not only your book – but closes down your account for violations of their terms.

What does this mean for the kindle book publisher?

Well there is good news and bad. The good news is that since Amazon are getting more ‘professional’ in their book selection, it means that serious authors are once again hogging the lime-light. Real authors producing good quality work, can hope for a more level playing field with the dodgy books kicked out of the shop. The bad news? Well it just makes it that much harder to get a new book ranked, and there-fore get any sales at all unless you are already a recognised author of some distinction.

How does Amazon rank books?

To be honest, if I knew that I could write my own book and make a fortune! However we can make an educated guess without too much trouble.

  • Book sales: Everyone recognises that this is the strongest ranking element in Amazon’s algorithm. The more a book sells, then the higher it will rank in the relevant categories. Conversely if your book does not sell at all – it’s a long way down!
  • Categories: Choose the correct categories if you really want to see your book perform. If you have a book on children’s fiction for instance, don’t put it under bible studies just because you think it may be easier to rank in that category!
  • Traffic: This is one that is usually missed by the pundits, but it is without doubt that even if your book does not get a lot of sales but does get a lot of interest via traffic, Amazon will up the rankings to reflect the interest.
  • Tags: Make sure your books are tagged properly, as when a search is made in the Amazon search these tags are picked up by Amazon as relevant.
  • Reviews: Reviews are again important for the book rankings, but not overly so. I have seen many books ranking at the top of their category with little or no reviews at all. However it is without doubt an advantage to have a few good 4 or 5 star reviews on your book.

What about KDP Select?

This is again something that has changed quite dramatically since about March or April 2012. I’m amazed at the people still punting the idea that iof you enroll for kdp select then put your book free for a couple of days, this will have a dramatic effect on your rankings and the sales will flood in!

This is absolute TOSH! Yes there will be (usually) a positive effect on your rankings, but not in the way that it used to be. In the ‘good old days’ Amazon used to count your free downloads as actual sales; consequently if you had a few hundred sales in a day then you would shoot to the top of the charts – thereby guaranteeing you more real sales when the offer ended.

This is NO LONGER THE CASE It is reconed at best, 10% of free downloads count as sales, as far as ranking is concerned. This however can still make a very good impression on your ranking stats – especially if your opposition has not sold much at all over the same period.

Choosing your categories:

Strangely enough, everyone recognises the importance of choosing the correct category when you are uploading your book to kindle for the first time. You are allowed to choose just 2 categories – so you must choose wisely (you can change these later).

There is a snag however that few people seem to mention in the ‘easy money with kindle books‘, and that is simply this.. The categories that kindle allow you to choose from are almost completely different from the search categories you will see in the Amazon search! Yes it’s a kicker I know. I spent many a frustrated hour in the early days wondering if I was missing something – apparently not.  There is however a way around this, and that is to choose the kindle category that is nearest to the one you see on the search, and add the search category to the choices of  keywords that you may choose (up to seven)  in the kindle upload box.

On the subject of the chosen keywords to add. As well as adding your category names, a little tip is to find your best selling competition and add their name to the list 🙂 Do the same with the tags you choose on your page for maximum effect.

So, is there easy money to be made with kindle?

I suppose to answer that, you must define just exactly what we mean by easy? If you think writing a quality 50,000 word novel is easy, or indeed a 5,000 word ‘how to’ book is easy – then the answer is yes, it’s easy to make money with kindle books 🙂

The hard fact is that yes, money can (and is) be made by writing and publishing your own books through kindle, but unless you manage onto the best seller lists or at least get to the top of your category, the income is likely to be quite sparse. As for easy money – these days are long gone!