Amazon allows any individual or business to self-publish their own Amazon eBook on Amazon’s Kindle platform. This is a great way of earning passive income as you don’t have to spend money on publishing costs like printing and distribution, Amazon will take care of all that for you.
And as a blogger, live streamer or podcaster, this is a fabulous way to further repurpose your content. Today’s article will teach you everything you need to know to leverage Amazon.
How to Get Started
Amazon Author Central
Amazon’s Author Central is the place to start your Amazon publishing adventure. Creating an account and filling in your details on Amazon Author Central gives Amazon permission to publish eBooks using your books. Signing into Amazon Author central also allows you to set up a biography, track sales figures, monitor reviews and earn royalties from Amazon purchases of your eBook
Here’s what my Author Page looks like:
Amazon KDP Dashboard
Once you’ve created your Amazon Author Central account you need to login and get started with publishing. The Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) dashboard is where all the action takes place when creating a new eBook on Amazon.
Here are my three easy steps for getting your first eBook published on Amazon’s Kindle platform:
Step 1: Setting Up Your Amazon eBook
Select a book type (I would recommend using the Amazon KDP Select option) Amazon’s KDP is a fast way of getting your eBook listed in Amazon’s search results. Once it’s uploaded to Amazon you can have Amazon sell your eBook as an Ebook, or download it free as part of their Kindle Lending Library. Amazon has teamed up with a number of publishers and authors to offer Amazon Prime members the ability to download your book for free, which is amazing exposure for your work. Amazon pays authors according to how frequently their books are borrowed as part of Amazon’s Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Amazon will pay you 55% of revenue earned from the Amazon Prime lending library option (the amount will vary depending on how frequently your book is borrowed). Amazon KDP Select allows authors to give away their Ebooks for free, and in exchange Amazon will provide them with 5 days of Kindle sales each month which can be tracked through Amazon’s KDP dashboard.
Amazon KDP Dashboard
Click the ‘Get Started’ button and Amazon provides a series of pop-up forms to complete.
- Amazon will ask you to fill in your book details and select how many pages your eBook has.
- Amazon will then ask if Amazon can set the price of your eBook.
- Amazon will then ask if Amazon can set up a Createspace (Amazon’s print book publishing section) account.
- Amazon will then ask if Amazon can publish your eBook on multiple devices like Apple iBooks, Nook, and Kobo.
- Amazon will request you to select keywords relevant to your eBook and do some basic SEO.
- Amazon will ask you to upload your cover.
- Amazon will request that you write a short description of your book.
Amazon will then complete the publishing process and list your eBook in Amazon’s search results. We’ll dive deeper into these points in a moment.
Step 2: Getting People to Buy Your Amazon eBook
Amazon has over 468 million active Amazon users! There are plenty of ways to get more exposure for your book, but if you want Amazon to sell your book then it’s got to be good. Amazon has a complex algorithm that weigh sales and reviews of books when assigning them their Amazon ranking – the higher Amazon ranks your book in search results the more likely people are to buy it. Amazon recommends that new authors focus on keyword research for Amazon SEO.
Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing Dashboard – Keyword Essentials
The Amazon KDP dashboard gives you access to all sorts of interesting data relating to your eBook, such as how many times your book has been read, purchased or borrowed from Amazon Prime (your free downloads for Amazon Prime members). You can use this data to help make decisions about how you market and promote your eBook going forward.
Amazon also provides a list of Amazon search keywords that readers use to find books on Amazon. Amazon recommends that you focus on a small number of Amazon relevant keywords for your eBook, instead of trying to cover every keyword possible in your book’s description. It’s all about quality over quantity with Amazon SEO.
Use Amazon KDP Keyword Research Tool
If you want help choosing the right Amazon SEO keywords to target, Amazon provides both an Amazon Keyword Tracker and a free Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Keyword research tool. The idea is that you enter a series of positive and negative keywords related to your particular eBook into these tools which will then return data relating to how many times people have searched for each keyword on Amazon.
Amazon KDP Keyword Tracker – Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing Keywords
The Amazon KDP Keyword Tool is a simple way to find out how many times people are searching for books similar to the one you’re about to write, and then use this data to make informed decisions when it comes time to publish your book. So, let’s say you want write a Computer Programming eBook. You could enter various computer programming SEO keywords and Amazon’s Amazon KDP Keyword Tool will return Amazon search data for each keyword.
You could enter the following positive and negative Amazon terms into this Amazon tool: ‘Computer Programming’, ‘How To Learn Computer Programming’ , ‘C++ How To Program’, etc. The idea is that this Amazon KDP keyword research tool will return a list of Amazon suggestions related to people searching for books about computer programming on Amazon.
Your Amazon KDP dashboard also gives you access to alternative categories (that people can use to find Amazon books) which is an excellent way of getting more eyeballs on your work, especially if you’ve only got one eBook listed.
Amazon has over 468 million active Amazon users! There are plenty of ways to get more exposure for your book. Amazon allows you to tap into Amazon’s pool of affiliate marketers who are able to drive targeted traffic towards Amazon. Amazon Affiliates receive a commission for all sales that they make on Amazon, and can choose which products or services they want to promote. Amazon Affiliates can also earn part of the advertising revenue generated by Amazon Associates (Amazon’s marketing arm).
Beyond the Amazon platform itself, you have your own website, blog and social media channels where you can promote your eBook.
Step 3: Getting Reviews and Making Sales
Amazon allows you to reach out to Amazon customers via email and ask them for a review of your eBook. Amazon recommends that you only send Amazon customer requests for reviews on books that have been purchased in the last 60 days. When Amazon users purchase books, Amazon gives their Kindle devices permission to access their Amazon account information (so they can download more books). An Amazon user who is logged into his/her Amazon account will receive an email when a new book by one of their favorite authors is released.
Asking Amazon customers to post honest reviews on Amazon will improve your Amazon SEO and Amazon ranking. Amazon customers can give you honest feedback about your eBook, people will read these reviews to help them decide whether or not to purchase your book.
Amazon charges $0.15 for Amazon customer orders resulting from Amazon’s referral traffic – but we’re going to show you how to get Amazon customer reviews for free with Amazon book samples. With Amazon book samples, you’re able to request payment (in the form of an Amazon review) from interested Amazon users who signed up for a sample of your eBook. You then provide this sample and ask them to leave a review on Amazon (a win-win situation). It doesn’t matter if the user purchases the entire book after receiving an Amazon book sample, as long they post Amazon reviews for your Amazon book.
Amazon has recently updated their Amazon Book Samples feature to include two components: 1) Amazon Book Sample Request Forms and 2) Amazon Book Reviews. Amazon Book Sample Request Forms are used for online marketers who want to invite Amazon customers to request a free Amazon customer sample of an eBook based on positive feedback received from existing Amazon book reviews. Instead of sending your Amazon clients the entire eBook (which is how it used to be), now you can provide them with a custom link that will direct them towards a shortened version of your eBook – which they can then download and review (if they liked what they read). The second component we’re focusing on here is Amazon Book Reviews where you must accept both negative and positive reviews – Amazon customer feedback is important regardless of whether you got a high Amazon review score or low Amazon book reviews. Amazon Book Reviews are helpful because they tell Amazon customers the truth about your Amazon eBook, and help to improve your Amazon SEO (and Amazon ranking).
Getting traffic from other websites means tapping into real people – not Google bots! If you have an Amazon product for sale then someone somewhere must be talking about it on their website. You need to find these people and convince them to post links back to your Amazon book page where users can purchase or download it. One way of doing this would be to use the Bing Webmaster Tools web crawler as crawlers will follow internal links on sites in order to find new sites to index (and then Amazon will also have a chance of having the link discovered by Amazon customers).
Another way is to reach out via social media. If you can find other Amazon authors and ask them for links, they may be willing to help. Or if you’ve published a book on Kindle before, Amazon might show your book in their related eBook products section when you publish another one – so helping each other can benefit us all.
Best practices: Amazon rankings vs Amazon reviews- what do people really buy? Some say Amazon rankings are more important than Amazon reviews, as people often rely on Amazon search results pages to decide whether or not they should purchase an item on Amazon (rather than directly going into the books category). Amazon rankings (and Amazon sales) are important because Amazon SEO = Amazon ranking. Without Amazon book reviews, Amazon search results will become less accurate and reliable.
Amazon rankings vs Amazon book review scores (overall average)
What does it mean? It means that out of all the Amazon book ratings, 4.5-star Amazon reviews are more helpful to someone thinking about buying an Amazon eBook than any other Amazon ranking. A good way of determining whether or not you have a high quality product is by checking the overall average star rating given for each title within a category; however, this is often affected by the proportion of low or 1-star reviews to higher rated reviews for each title. Another important thing to keep in mind is Amazon SEO (Amazon ranking). Getting Amazon book reviews is one thing, but getting Amazon sales is another.
Sales vs Reviews
To determine which Amazon ranking you need the most (Amazon SEO), simply divide your Amazon book review average by your Amazon sales rank. The reason why we’re looking at the figures this way is because it’s too simplistic to just say “I want a 4.8 star rating”, as 5-star ratings are often given out for free within Amazon groups and communities. For example, we sometimes see authors with over 100 5-star reviews on their titles – so these might be inaccurate or even fake!
Why isn’t my Amazon book better ranked? If your title has low customer feedback and little or no traffic, Amazon will not rank your Amazon book highly. Amazon wants to make sure that customers are satisfied with what they’ve bought and to avoid situations such as Amazon reviews being used as a bargaining tool, so Amazon rankings have been designed in order to weed out low-quality Amazon books.
However, it’s important for an author or publisher to keep in mind that just getting more Amazon sales isn’t always good if we’re after high quality (realistic) Amazon reviews. We can’t expect all of our titles on Amazon to be #1 – or even ranked within the top 50 results – but this does not mean that we should give up on trying either. Rather than abandoning the problem, one alternative would be to try adjusting our advertising methods so that we can try and attract more Amazon customers to our Amazon books.
It’s also worth noting here that Amazon book reviews are not just helpful for the Amazon eBook being reviewed – they can be extremely useful for other Amazon books by the same author or publisher. For example, if someone has read and liked one of our Amazon titles, but finds that another title has a lower Amazon ranking than it should have (based on the number of Amazon sales), we might be able to get them to leave an Amazon review in exchange for an Amazon coupon code / discount.
Most people start writing an Amazon eBook and then they get stuck. They don’t understand how to publish their eBook or how to market it. Amazon has made publishing eBooks very easy. All you need to do is follow the steps outlined above and you’re well on your way to making passive income from Amazon’s Kindle Program
The key points you should take away from this article:
1. First, you must have a story or concept in mind Amazon only accepts Amazon eBooks that are original and do not infringe on the copyright of other Amazon publishers Amazon also requires your Amazon eBook to be professionally edited and formatted Amazon will promote your Amazon Kindle eBook in return for an advance payment of $1,500.
2. You can publish your Amazon eBook by using Amazon’s Kindle Scout Program Once Amazon scouts one of your books, they’ll present you with a contract to sign, outlining their terms To accept this offer, you must be within 5 days If not, then Amazon has rights to use your work without paying you.
3. Promote your Amazon eBook on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn Use these free sites to advertise yourself as an author.
4. If you want to advertise your Amazon eBook, Amazon provides Amazon Marketing Services for doing so Use Amazon’s free keyword tool to find out what other Amazon publishers are searching for when buying an Amazon eBook.
5. If you’re serious about selling your Amazon Kindle eBook, then it’s worthwhile spending $0.00 to promote it on sites like Goodreads.com or LibraryThing.com.
6. Don’t forget that you can charge customers to download your Amazon eBook. Customers will pay up to $3.99 per sale These payments are sent directly into your Amazon Payments account.
7. Once you get the hang of things and begin receiving sales, remember that there is always room for improvement. Keep making changes until you see a rise in sales, indicating positive growth.
8. Amazon may present you with another Amazon Kindle eBook contract. If you accept it, Amazon pays out a larger advance payment of $5,000. Amazon also guarantees over $500 in royalties per month using this method.
How to build and edit your Amazon eBook
Now let’s dive into some details. Amazon Kindle eBooks are made up of works that Amazon calls Amazon pages. Amazon page length is usually somewhere between 250 – 300 words. Amazon allows you to make changes to your Amazon eBook once it goes live on the Amazon platform. You can edit anything from the title and author name, to description, keywords and book cover.
Editing Your Amazon eBook Description
The description describes what your Amazon eBook is about. It’s a summary of your Amazon eBook. Amazon recommends that you keep the description to 350 words. Amazon allows you to use HTML code on Amazon pages. Amazon page length is not a restriction when it comes to your Amazon eBook’s description.
Editing Your Amazon eBook Amazon Kindle Cover
Amazon Kindle covers must be at least 2,500 pixels × 2,500 pixels AND in JPEG format. Here’s a tip. If your images are too large for uploading onto Amazon, try shrinking them down to 75% of their current size and upload them again. Online graphic editors like Easil have wonderful templates for Amazon book covers, or you can of course use the services of a professional designer.
Amazon Pages & Amazon Page Length
The number of Amazon pages needed for an original (not previously published) book is between 50 – 1500 pages. Amazon allows you to include Amazon Kindle page breaks.
Edit Your Amazon eBook Manuscript
How do I go about editing my Amazon Kindle eBook manuscript? If you’re using Microsoft Word, then it’s easy. You can highlight a section of your text and click on ‘Page Break’ (in the ribbon). The dotted lines will appear before and after your selected snippet of text; this is an Amazon Kindle page break. Now edit the part of your text that appears on the next page. Once complete, repeat steps 1 & 2 until you’ve finished editing any out-of-place information within your manuscript.
You can also use Google Docs and save your manuscript as a Microsoft Word file for uploading.
How to Price Your Amazon eBook
The Amazon Kindle Store will let you set your Amazon eBook’s price from $0.00 to a maximum of $200.00 This price can be changed at any time. Amazon uses an Amazon sales rank for each Amazon eBook sold so that readers can see the Amazon books that are selling well on Amazon, as well as those which aren’t selling at all. The Amazon sales rank is based upon a complex algorithm developed by Amazon itself and it takes into consideration of several factors such as price, item condition, best seller status, rating score, shipping options and Amazon customer reviews.
Amazon has a free Amazon KDP Amazon Kindle book price calculator which makes determining how much an Amazon eBook should cost almost effortless. Amazon also offers Amazon eBook royalties at 35% for books that are priced between $2.99 – $9.99, and 70% for books that are priced higher than this range.
Amazon charges Amazon Kindle publishing fees in two ways: per Amazon eBook and by Amazon pages.
A fee of $0.15 is charged for each Amazon page (up to a maximum charge of $10,000). This Amazon royalty payment system can be confusing, so here’s an example of how it works from my own Amazon eBook sales experience:
If I sell my 200-page book with the introductory price of 99 cents, then the Amazon commission would total up to approximately $14.00 ($0.14 x 200 pages = $28; minus introductory offer = $14). The author receives this Amazon royalties payment when their Amazon eBook is sold on Amazon. If you want to learn more about the royalty calculation formula that Amazon uses for e-books, Amazon provides more information here: Amazon KDP Amazon Kindle Publish on Amazon Pricing Page
Amazon does not charge any Amazon eBook publishing fees for books priced at $2.99 or higher (in the USA). Keep in mind that Amazon takes an extra 30% commission if your Amazon eBook is discounted during promotional activities. This may seem like a lot of money to Amazon, but an author can easily give up their 70% royalty income for just five days of promotional activity. If this happens, it’s possible that you may not have received any Amazon royalties from one day’s book sales because Amazon has already taken its 35% share before your cash payment is sent to you.
As you can see Amazon is an excellent Amazon eBook publishing platform for Amazon writers. Amazon pays Amazon royalties every time their Amazon eBook is downloaded (or read from Kindle Unlimited), so it’s easy to see why Amazon has become such a successful e-book publishing and selling business in the USA.
As a blogger or content creator, turning your existing articles or even collections of articles into original eBooks is a smart plan! Give it a try and let me know how it goes.
To learn more about effective content marketing and how repurposing can fit into your overall strategy, sign up for the Blogging Bootcamp.