Author Topic: Making A Living As A Kindle Book Author  (Read 2801 times)  

Offline Ghoststorywriter

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Making A Living As A Kindle Book Author
« on: July 21, 2014, 06:59:32 pm »
Have any of you here managed to make a successful living from publishing your own Kindle books on Amazon? If so, I would be very interested to read your stories, as I have started my own business as a Kindle author and am doing my utmost to try and make a living from my books.

Cheer.

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    Offline Sara C

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    Re: Making A Living As A Kindle Book Author
    « Reply #1 on: July 21, 2014, 07:34:33 pm »

    Offline Jim Johnson

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    Re: Making A Living As A Kindle Book Author
    « Reply #2 on: July 21, 2014, 07:38:31 pm »
    You might want to give this thread a read too, over at The Passive Voice (one of the major self-pub discussion blogs).


    http://www.thepassivevoice.com/06/2014/indie-authors-quitting-their-day-jobs/

    Offline Ghoststorywriter

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    Re: Making A Living As A Kindle Book Author
    « Reply #3 on: October 21, 2015, 08:29:03 am »
    Thank you for the advice, everybody. It was much appreciated.

    By the way, sharing the great dissatisfaction many Kindle authors have with this new paid-by-page-read system on Amazon Select, I have now taken the step of taking one of my books out of Select and making it available on other platforms like KOBO. Have any of you done this? If so, how is it going?
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    Offline SasgoraBooks

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    Re: Making A Living As A Kindle Book Author
    « Reply #4 on: October 21, 2015, 10:04:59 am »
    I'm in the process of preparing to go wide with my first short story, my 90 day period ends on the 27th. I'm going direct on Nook, Kobo, Apple, and maybe Smashwords (but no additional aggregation). I really like the Kobo and Nook dashboards, very simple and straight forward. The Apple interface is a bit less user friendly when setting up your account and payments. Uploading direct to Apple also requires using the desktop app iTunes Producer which requires a Mac running OSX 10.9 or higher, which creates a cost barrier for those without Macs. I'm making the conscious effort to do every channel I choose direct and not use any aggregators because I want to maximize my royalties and have total control.
     

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    Re: Making A Living As A Kindle Book Author
    « Reply #5 on: October 21, 2015, 10:13:15 am »
    Thank you for the advice, everybody. It was much appreciated.

    By the way, sharing the great dissatisfaction many Kindle authors have with this new paid-by-page-read system on Amazon Select, I have now taken the step of taking one of my books out of Select and making it available on other platforms like KOBO. Have any of you done this? If so, how is it going?

    I'm using Draft2Digital to go wide with my first series. Well worth the 10% commission for me because I don't have the patience to fight with the less user friendly sites like Apple and D2D is SO easy to use!

    Offline Casper Parks

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    Re: Making A Living As A Kindle Book Author
    « Reply #6 on: October 21, 2015, 10:42:58 am »
    I'm using Draft2Digital to go wide with my first series. Well worth the 10% commission for me because I don't have the patience to fight with the less user friendly sites like Apple and D2D is SO easy to use!

    I use D2D for everything, expect Google Play and Kindle. D2D has great customer service...

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    Offline Doglover

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    Re: Making A Living As A Kindle Book Author
    « Reply #7 on: October 21, 2015, 10:48:21 am »
    Thank you for the advice, everybody. It was much appreciated.

    By the way, sharing the great dissatisfaction many Kindle authors have with this new paid-by-page-read system on Amazon Select, I have now taken the step of taking one of my books out of Select and making it available on other platforms like KOBO. Have any of you done this? If so, how is it going?
    What great dissatisfaction? I love the new system, it is much fairer and I am not alone. Many authors are putting their books into Select since they changed the system. As to the other platforms, I had my books in there for a while, lost more than half my income. I had my permafree on all the other outlets, 200 download versus 50,000 on Amazon. I still have my non fiction there, but that is only because I cannot include it in select because it matches my website.

    Many people do well on going wide, but others get nowhere. I think an awful lot depends on the genre.


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    Offline scribblr

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    Re: Making A Living As A Kindle Book Author
    « Reply #8 on: October 21, 2015, 10:56:37 am »
    I have now taken the step of taking one of my books out of Select and making it available on other platforms like KOBO. Have any of you done this? If so, how is it going?

    I never joined Select at any time, but I did make the decision to go wide right after Amazon announced the program. Prior to that I was exclusive and totally committed to Amazon. Their announcement that any book enrolled in Select had to be exclusive to Amazon sent chills down my back. I believed I saw where they were going with that first step. I've seen nothing to change that opinion since Dec. 2011.

    I've been a full-time author since 2010, and have had a very successful career in self-publishing. When an author makes a decision to go wide (which I highly recommend) they have to understand that they are now trying to sell to an entirely new audience. From my discussion with readers, most stick to one book seller unless they can't get a book they want from that seller. So it takes time to build a following on that new venue, and each of the other venues. Although I was highly successful on Amazon when I went wide, it took the better part of a year before I gained real traction on the other sites and my monthly sales were consistently four figures at the major sites of Kobo and B&N. I've read a lot of posts from authors who gave it a try for a few months and then returned to Amazon exclusivity because they weren't able to make as much money with the one or two books they sent out wide as they had been making on Amazon. I attribute the major problem to size of the available selection. The more books you offer, the more you are seen as a professional author, and so they become more willing to give you a try.

    This year my income will, for the fifth year in a row, be six figures, and sales at Amazon now account for less than twenty percent of that. In my not so humble opinion, anyone who places all their eggs in one basket is going to be angry and disappointed when, not if, Amazon again shakes the ground beneath them by again reducing the payouts. And it will happen. 
    « Last Edit: October 21, 2015, 10:59:00 am by scribblr »

    Offline unkownwriter

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    Re: Making A Living As A Kindle Book Author
    « Reply #9 on: October 22, 2015, 03:53:40 am »
    Welcome to the wild and crazy world of self-publishing. As to your questions, yes. There are lots of threads here loaded with great information, so set aside some time to read them. You'll find people with varying opinions of all things indie, so there's no fear of not having enough information before you make a decision, that's for sure.

    Offline Gentleman Zombie

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    Re: Making A Living As A Kindle Book Author
    « Reply #10 on: October 22, 2015, 04:29:26 am »
    Well if you're really committed to this. It can happen. I've seen too many authors from this very forum make it to think otherwise. I've also done just about everything wrong you could do over the past six years.

    Here's some of my mistakes..

    - Not putting in the hours.. this is a job.
    - Not having Professional looking covers and editing
    - Not learning about Facebook Ads
    - Not including a mailing list link in the front and back of every book.
    - Not sending out ARCS to get advanced reviews
    - Choosing a poor performing niche.

    Do all those things and just like me you'll be scratching your head and wondering why. Or do the exact opposite and see if you can make a go of it.
    « Last Edit: October 22, 2015, 04:30:57 am by Urban Mogul »

    Offline Steve Vernon

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    Re: Making A Living As A Kindle Book Author
    « Reply #11 on: October 22, 2015, 04:56:33 am »
    Welcome to the zoo, Alan.
    :)

    Making a living at this game is entirely possible. It can be a tough go for us horror writers but there are those out there who make it work.

    Me, I have still got a day job but I am attempting to evolve as fast as I can.

    Do NOT expect this to turn into an instant cash cow.

    *****************
    As for going wide - well that is where I am at, but I am seriously considering going the other direction. This next month or two I am dedicating towards serious wide promotion of several of my books - but I still seem to be doing better with my Amazon sales than anywhere else - so I still might jump whole hog into Kindle.

    I'm not as bothered by the KU2 per-page rate although I did better with the original KU system. The KU2 feels like a big old penny jar that a fellow throws his pocket change into. Give it a few months and all of that clinking silver begins to add up. And some of the folks here in the more profitable genres are getting page reads in the thousands and hundreds of thousands, or so I have heard.

    So - wide or not wide is still a question of trial and error. Going wide works for some folks. It doesn't for others. Sometimes it is pretty hard to figure out just what to do. Pick a path and stick on it for a few months and see how it goes for you.

    *****************
    If I could give you anything to go on I would suggest working on getting a few more books out there - and you might also want to work on your covers as well. Take a look at what the dudes putting out that ONE BUCK HORROR are doing with their covers. You need something that will catch the reader's eye and make them stop and stick their dirty thumb down onto your single cover on a page of a couple of dozen other thumbnail covers and say "Dang, I want that one!"

    Good luck and have fun. This is a long game, find a comfortable seat.

    Offline Ghoststorywriter

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    Re: Making A Living As A Kindle Book Author
    « Reply #12 on: August 25, 2019, 11:47:42 am »
    Thanks for the replies, guys. I may just take the step of going wider with my Kindle books, and by that I mean opting out of the Amazon exclusivity clause and publishing them on platforms like Kobo, Apple etc. To this end, I have bought Notjohn's Self Publishing book and downloaded his Epub template.
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    Offline verysecretsquirrel

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    Re: Making A Living As A Kindle Book Author
    « Reply #13 on: August 26, 2019, 02:14:40 am »
    You might want to give this thread a read too, over at The Passive Voice (one of the major self-pub discussion blogs).


    http://www.thepassivevoice.com/06/2014/indie-authors-quitting-their-day-jobs/


    That link gives me a 404.  Although it is an interesting and informative blog, for sure.

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    Re: Making A Living As A Kindle Book Author
    « Reply #14 on: August 26, 2019, 06:35:27 am »
    Thanks for the replies, guys. I may just take the step of going wider with my Kindle books, and by that I mean opting out of the Amazon exclusivity clause and publishing them on platforms like Kobo, Apple etc. To this end, I have bought Notjohn's Self Publishing book and downloaded his Epub template.

    If you're not in KU, going wide is a good thing to do. YMMV with some retailers, but still.... You gotta get the product out there if you want it to sell.

    Offline Arches

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    Re: Making A Living As A Kindle Book Author
    « Reply #15 on: August 26, 2019, 07:18:24 am »
    Thanks for the replies, guys. I may just take the step of going wider with my Kindle books, and by that I mean opting out of the Amazon exclusivity clause and publishing them on platforms like Kobo, Apple etc. To this end, I have bought Notjohn's Self Publishing book and downloaded his Epub template.

    Am I missing something, or did you wait four years to respond to the earlier comments? Things have changed more than a little since Steve Vernon posted his reply, including the fact that I think he stopped posting when Kindle Scout died.

    Offline CaptnAndy

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    Re: Making A Living As A Kindle Book Author
    « Reply #16 on: August 26, 2019, 09:06:29 am »
    Over the last 3 years, I have gone wide twice (Smashwords and then D2D) Both times I concluded that my KU income was higher than the income from wide. I've been exclusive since January, and my KU income equals my paid sale income.
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    Offline Wayne Stinnett

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    Re: Making A Living As A Kindle Book Author
    « Reply #17 on: August 26, 2019, 10:50:17 am »

    That link gives me a 404.  Although it is an interesting and informative blog, for sure.

    Probably because the link is to a blog post from more than five years ago. It's a pretty good bet that it's been archived by now.  ;D
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    Offline Wayne Stinnett

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    Re: Making A Living As A Kindle Book Author
    « Reply #18 on: August 26, 2019, 11:00:18 am »
    Since this thread was dredged up from the depths, originally posted just after I quit my day job and went full time, let's see... July 21, 2014 to present... Yeah, I think I've earned enough to keep my head above water.   ;)

    To the OP: What have you been doing these last five years to further your writing career?

    My Bestselling, 18-volume Jesse McDermitt Series and the spinoff,  5-volume Charity Styles Series, also bestsellers, are available in ebook, audiobook, and paperback, wherever books are sold. In my motivational non-fiction, Blue Collar to No Collar, I provide tips, advice, and strategies for new authors, also available in the same formats. Don't forget to visit the Ship's Store for Jesse McDermitt swag.
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    Offline Corvid

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    Re: Making A Living As A Kindle Book Author
    « Reply #19 on: August 26, 2019, 11:20:17 am »
    Since this thread was dredged up from the depths, originally posted just after I quit my day job and went full time, let's see... July 21, 2014 to present... Yeah, I think I've earned enough to keep my head above water.   ;)

    To the OP: What have you been doing these last five years to further your writing career?



    I like seeing posts like this. It encourages me to keep working, keep pushing. Reinforces the belief that I can succeed as a writer. I appreciate you sharing that, Wayne.  8)


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