The dream of every blogger, online business owner, and internet marketer – me included – is to be able to spend time creating in our area of expertise and to have hungry buyers ready and wanting to buy what we have to sell. And have those buyers find us in the mass of online content. But it’s a dream, right?
Instead the reality might look more like this. You start a blog. You write a few posts, you get your friends to comment. You get on Facebook. You get a couple of hundred likes. You work really hard to build up an email or subscriber list of a few hundred. Or maybe you do some advertising to boost your numbers. And then – finally – you’re able to launch your first online product or program. It feels fantastic to get to that stage and get your first pay check. But how much time (and money) have you invested along the way?
I’ve been down that route. I know exactly what it takes. And I know what it takes to sustain that success as well.
And then, by happy accident, I discovered Kindle publishing. I put my first book out onto the digital platforms (nine to be exact) in 2011. It sold 37 copies in the first month. I wasn’t ecstatic but I thought that was OK. But then sales tapered off and I realized there was more to it than just pressing publish.
So I started to experiment. I tested and tweaked with some under the radar books. And what I found is that Kindle publishing is an untapped online marketing and publishing gold-mine for people who are serious about their content. For bloggers and authors just like us.
Amazon’s Kindle is the perfect platform to get fast sales, grow your brand and reach more people. And not just for me. Anyone who has a content-driven business – a blogger, a consultant, a trainer or pretty much any kind of expert can get their content into book form and up and selling on Amazon practically overnight.
But before we dive into the ‘how-to’ let’s take a step back and have a look at what we’re talking about and why it might be a smart business move to create a Kindle book in the first place.
Everyone wants to stand out from the crowd. And if you’re the person with the book, then you become the “go-to” person in your field. The expert. The person whose advice will be listened to.
Whether you sell online training, want to get more speaking engagements or want to promote your service business, a book will position you as an authority in your field. It really is the ultimate business card.
Traffic and Lead Generation
We all want traffic to our websites. We want to be found. But everything either costs us time or money. You can advertise. You can do social media. You can blog and reach out to other bloggers. You can spend time in forums or create videos.
But how many places do you know where you can put something up for sale and have it sell without doing any additional marketing? A good book on the Kindle platform will be found and bought by hundreds or thousands of readers – if you do a couple of things right (it’s OK I’m going to tell you what they are).
The Biggest Book Retailer in The World
It amazes me why so many of us in the online world want to do it all ourselves. When it comes to physical products, the ambition of most entrepreneurs isn’t to set up their own shop and sell products one by one in their small corner of town. It’s to have their stuff in the big retailers. To be everywhere. And that’s exactly what Amazon is. The single biggest retail outlet for digital books.
And, if you’re anything like me, then the back-end business processes probably doesn’t excite you. In fact they probably turn you off. Well with Amazon you are part of their e-commerce platform. No worries about the tech stuff. No need for a shopping cart or affiliate platform, etc, etc… You’ll more than likely want to build out your back-end business, but you don’t have to – not right away.
And what about refunds and fulfillment? Those customer service questions when someone wants their money back or can’t download the book? Is that how you want to spend your time? And even then there’s the hassle of what happens if the site goes down (GoDaddy anyone?). With Kindle publishing, all you need to do is upload your book and get paid. That’s it. Amazon takes care of the rest.
But I Don’t Have a Book!
But what if I don’t have any content, I hear you cry. It will take me ages to write a book. At least a year!
No, it won’t. You’re a blogger. You have content. Lots and lots of it. You just need to take part of it, develop it and put it into a book format. I bet you could even do that in a weekend, or a couple of weeks at the most, if you put your mind to it.
This Is Working For You But Will It Work For Me?
Just this week, one of my students emailed me to say that she had gone from having seven sales in one and a half months, to 1500 downloads in a day and hitting the #1 bestseller slot in her category.
She had invested nothing in her book but the time it took her to write. She’s not a native English speaker. She did the cover herself with a photo she took on holiday. She has no website, no marketing experience, just a desire to write. I know it’s a phrase often thrown around online but, really, if she can do it, you can too.
OK, I’m Convinced. Now What?
Well, there are more steps than we can talk about here. But none of them are hard or time-consuming. And the three that will give you the best chance of success with Kindle Publishing – the biggest return – are these:
STEP ONE: The First Thing You Need Is a Plan
Not a detailed, thoroughly researched plan. But an outline or vision of how your book is going to impact your business. This isn’t about making fast cash on Kindle. This is about building a solid business and positioning you as an expert in your field. This is about you as an author.
Don’t think about your Kindle book in isolation. Think about it as part of your marketing (marketing for which you get paid by the way). And like any good marketing piece, it needs to lead your customer gently but confidently back to your business.
So sketch out what that route is and what path you want a prospective customer to take before you press ‘publish’. Ideally before you even write your book. You want one clear outcome for your reader to take. Know what it is and arrange your content to make that inevitable.
It might be as simple as buying another book from you. Or it might be to ‘like’ your Facebook page. Or to come over and download a resource sheet from your website.
STEP TWO: You Need To Be Where The Buyers Are
You need to be in a category where books are selling. One that’s popular and big enough to make an impact for you. Sure, it’s easy to get ranked in one of those small categories where no-one is buying. That’s like getting ranked on Google for a keyword that no one is searching for. Nice to say you’re on Page #1, but it won’t help your business.
So do your research inside Amazon. What other books are out there? Which category are they in? What are they teaching? Are they getting decent bestseller rankings? You don’t get sales numbers from Amazon, so use the Kindle bestseller rankings instead. Look at categories that are actively selling, that are on the radar.
STEP THREE: Give More So That You Sell More
I find that many new authors and many new business owners are very reluctant to give their book away. “But I don’t have anything else to sell!”
Don’t worry. On Kindle people expect that books will be free some days and paid the next. I’ve tested and tested this and I can tell you that giving your book away is probably the one single thing that will get you more sales in the long run, and sometimes sooner. The student who just emailed me jumped from seven sales in six weeks to seven sales a day right after she ran her free promotion.
That’s about a forty-five fold increase in sales.
Ready To Go For It?
Now, of course, there’s more to writing a book and creating a great business on the back of it than seven sales a day. But I hope I’ve shown just how easy it can be to get started with Kindle publishing and to make sure that your book gets written, gets seen, and gets sales.
What Do You Think?
If you enjoyed this article, I’d love you to leave a comment and maybe even answer a couple of questions for me.
- Are you inspired to write your first or next book? Or maybe you have one that’s half-written already and you’d love to get it finished?
- Is there anything that’s stopping you? Any doubts or lingering questions that I can help you with?
I’ll be answering questions as they come in – just leave a comment below, tick the “Notify me of follow-up comments by email”, and I’ll get right back to you.
And if you want to check out the my full training program that walks you through this process step-by-step, then it’s all here at Publish Your Book On Kindle.
When you join, make sure to say hello in the question panel, and let me know that you came from David’s blog so I can welcome you personally.
Let’s get you published!
Cathy Presland teaches entrepreneurs how to create a great business with a clear business strategy and a sustainable income online through developing online products and programs. Her site is over at http://cathypresland.com and her new training on Kindle Publishing is available here