02 Apr Self-Publishing on Amazon Kindle Review- How I made my First $100
I’ve been experimenting with self-publishing on Kindle for over 2 years, but have only recently made over $100 in royalties for the month:
The first couple years of publishing on Kindle I was publishing very inconsistently- I only released about 12 books in 2 years.
Since I’ve released my first erotica about 2 months ago, I’ve published 12 more erotic stories. Now that I’m actually starting to make money on Kindle, I’m more motivated than ever to keep publishing.
The biggest factor in actually making money was learning how to do basic market research.
How to Quickly Find Profitable Niche Markets
Self-publishing on Amazon Kindle is the perfect way to get started with making money online. And writing erotica is the easiest genre to make money with. The market is huge, and there dozens and dozens of profitable niches.
But writing of any kind is a grind, and even as something as silly as erotica still needs some planning and research if you want to make money.
The easiest way to do research is to just go to the Amazon Kindle Search Bar and look for different types of fetishes and sexual interests.
Wikipedia has a good list to get started on researching niche sexual interests. And remember, you don’t have to be turned on by something to write a short erotica about it.
After you find a niche, you need to go see if the books in it are actually popular. See below on how to do that.
3 Ways To Publish 1 Story Each Week
A lot of days I’ll write for half an hour, feel good about myself, and then get up from my desk for a break. Then I’ll pet my roommate’s cats, package things up for eBay, and then I’ll make something to eat and workout.
Before I know it, it’s 9PM and I have still only written for half an hour.
Right now I have time on my side. I’m moving back in with my parents at the end of April, so I’m downsizing my massive eBay inventory and not buying more stuff right now.
I’m also not working much on my used book-flipping business with Amazon FBA because I still have a lot of stuff to send back to Amazon:
Publishing on Kindle is the perfect thing for me to work on for the next month because it requires no space, and can be done from anywhere.
I’ve been able to publish 2 stories a week most weeks. But a story a week is a good goal to start with.
Here are 3 things that’ve helped me publish at least 1 story each week:
Research & Plan
Like we talked about before, doing some basic research is necessary if you want your book to sell.
The furry vore example above is actually a niche (look up vore if you don’t know what it is).
I aim for a niche that has a few hundreds books, or less, in it. That means the niche above has a ton of potential since there are less than 50 books in it.
The next thing you have to check is the popularity of the niche. To do this you go down to the Amazon Best Sellers Rank and check the rank of the story. Anything that’s ~300,000 or less means that it’s selling a couple copies a month.
For some reference, one of my stories is currently ranked about 80,000:
This month it’s sold 17 copies.
2. Write in chunks
Hiring a ghost writer isn’t worth it.
A lot of people who market themselves as ghost writers only know English as a second language, and their writing reflects that- it’s not uncommon for sentences to lack basic grammar.
Even if you do find a reliable ghostwriter, the price that he/she will charge will be hard to make back with $2 ebook sales.
There’s no way around it. If you want to make money on Kindle the easiest and quickest (and cheapest) way is to write yourself. The good news is that erotica stories can be as short as 3,000 words (I usually aim for 4,500 words).
I find that at least an hour time window is good for writing. It takes a while to get into the writing mode, so an hour gives me enough time to find my flow.
Like working out, the hardest part about writing is forcing yourself to do it. Put your phone down, put on some house music to help you get in the zone, and just start typing. The faster the better so you don’t start second guessing yourself. You can always go back and edit.
An hour is ideal, but even 20 minutes is good- you can write a couple hundred words in 20 minutes.
3. Learn Cover Design
For Amazon Merch and Kindle I’ve been learning how to use Photoshop. Besides my first book, I’ve designed each one of my covers.
But I wouldn’t recommend designing your first few covers. I would just pay a freelancer $5 on Fiverr for a cover.
But eventually, to save money, it’s good to learn how to do some basic cover design. This is the course that I took to learn. Before I took this course I didn’t know anything about Photoshop, but now I’m competent (and getting better).
(If you signup for a course with this link I’ll get a small commission at no extra cost to you.)
There are a ton of free resources to learn Photoshop, but I find it’s good to pay to for a course because you’ll value it more if you pay for it. Plus the course is less than $20, but could be worth tens of thousands of dollars in return.
There are a few free design programs like Gimp and Inkspace, but I’ve found these to be really slow and clunky, even on my Mac.
Photoshop is less than $200 per year and it’s worth every penny.
Like anything there are some pitfalls to publishing on Kindle. Here are a couple I’ve found.
Because of the my newfound success on Kindle, I was excited for the royalties to hit my account this week. To my dismay, instead of a deposit for a couple hundred bucks, this was the only thing that got deposited:
After some frantic research I learned that you don’t get your royalties for the month until 2 months later!
I got my royalty payments from January when I hadn’t started publishing consistently- that’s why they’re so low.
2. KDP Select
Amazon will give you a choice to enroll your book in KDP Select– this option has some benefits like getting a small royalty on the pages people read.
But, if you decide to enroll, you can only have your book published on Amazon for the first 90 days.
So you’re giving Amazon exclusive rights on your work for the first 3 months.
You have to decide if KDP select is right for you work (here’s a good article to help you decide).
In general, I’d say it’s worth it to enroll your book. Amazon is the biggest and most profitable platform (by far) for self-publishing, so you’re automatically getting the majority of the market just by choosing to publish with Kindle.
Older generations moan about the pitfalls of the Internet. And they do have a point- our attentions spans are shrinking, we’re more sedentary now than ever, and we expect everything to be just a button click away.
Even though the internet is the ultimate instant gratification tool, making money on the internet requires the exact opposite traits.
Regardless of what the newest marketer on Youtube says, it takes more than 30 minutes of work to start a successful e-commerce business.
There are ways to make money quickly on the Internet, and I plan on discovering a lot more soon, but they all still require research, reflection, and a lot of changes in game plan.
To wrap up, self-publishing (erotica) on Kindle is a great way to get started with online business- it’s free to make an account and to publish, and it’s simple to knock out at least one 3,000 word story a week.
But, like selling on any platform, you’re playing by another company’s rules.
That’s why it’s good to have you own site so you’re completely in charge of your business. But, I’m still working on that one.
When I figure it out I’ll let you know.