I think it’s safe to say that everyone would like a little more money on the side every month. It wouldn’t have to be a lot – just 100 or 200$ could make a world of difference to a lot of people.
What would this mean to you?
Most people would be salivating at the thought of buying more fancy clothes every month or subscribing to a cable deal with more channels…or whatever it is that non-financially savvy people buy.
But you, my dear readers, are not like that. You understand that money can grant you something much more powerful than fleeting pleasures; freedom.
Without further ado, let me introduce a business model that requires no previous knowledge, very little money, and can provide you with sizeable passive income for the foreseeable future; publishing on Kindle.
Thanks to Amazon’s incredible advancement of the e-commerce sector, as well as a shift by consumers towards electronic books, publishing them is now as easy as it’s ever been. Anyone can do it and, in this article, I’m gonna show you how.
How does it work?
The premise is simple; you publish several electronic books on various non-fiction topics, promote them correctly, and enjoy the subsequent royalty payments, straight into your bank account. While this can work with fiction too, I personally prefer non-fiction, as it’s easier to identify the customers’ pain points.
You can either write the books yourself or hire a ghostwriter from a freelancing website such as Upwork.com. This is what I do personally, as I can have several books written at the same time, about subjects I have little knowledge in. It’s an initial investment that usually (in my experience) pays for itself quickly and many times over.
Like any business, the key is to serve your audience and solve one (or more) of their problems.
Finding good topics to write about is as easy as scanning Amazon’s Kindle store for non-fiction e-books. The more specialised these topics are, the less competition you will face, and the easier it’ll be for your books to stand out.
At the same time, it’s important to see some competition. I always like to see competition in any business venture I start, as that is a great indicator that the business model has potential, and that someone is making it work.
Examples rock – so here’s one
For instance, if you were to publish a book on weight loss, you’d have a very hard time competing against the other 8 quadrillion books on the same subject – even if you book was actually better written and had better content. It would probably go unseen to most customers.
If you niched down into a more specific keyword, such as post-pregnancy weight loss for beginners, you might only have to beat a handful of other books, giving you a much stronger chance at publishing a successful e-book. Of course, there should still be people looking for books on the subject, and the best way to determine that is by seeing if there are other books out there on the same topic as your future book.
Researching the market
Amazon has a search engine, much like Google’s, which categorises books and e-books based on several factors. The most important one is the keyword.
As I’ve explained earlier, your book should be focussed on a primary keyword. It’s what customers will be searching when they want to learn about a certain subject.
When you search for a keyword, Amazon’s algorithm will show you what it thinks are the most relevant books to your search. For example, If I search for “weight loss “, I will find several books on the subject:
You can see that only a few books are shown, although this is only the top of the page. There are actually over 400 pages of books ranking for the term “weight loss”, but nobody is going to go through all those pages. I’d guess if a book is beyond the third or fourth page, it’s never going to sell any copies, as customers will probably find something close enough to what they were looking for in the first couple of pages.
If we use the last book in the image as an example, “Weight Loss: The 21-Day Weight Loss Challenge”, we can see that it’s doing extremely well for such a competitive keyword. If we click on it and see the books information and scroll a bit, we’ll see the following pieces of information:
The most important piece of information is the Amazon Best Seller Ranking, shown to be 24,200 in this case. You’ll notice that I’ve highlighted it in yellow for you. I’m nice like that 🙂
This is a very good rank, considering there are millions of e-books available for in the Kindle marketplace. This book is easily making hundreds of dollars every single month, if not more.
If you consider what I talked about in a previous post, finding a business that’s well established and already making money proves that it’s a viable market – in this case, the business is the book in that keyword. I would not personally try to compete with this particular keyword though, as it would be pretty hard for me to create a better book and get it to sell enough to get on the first page of the results for the keyword.
I could, however, try something more specific, such as “Weight Loss for Women Over 50”. The results show a couple of books with a Best Seller Ranking below 100,000, the minimum I tend to go for. If you were to release a book in in that niche, going for that particular keyword, and had a better book and a better cover than the competition, you’d likely sell more than them, and could easily make $50-$100 per month from it.
My own experience with Kindle Publishing
I started learning about publishing e-books on Kindle at the start of the year, and could only dedicate a few hours per week to it – this is when I still had a 9-5 job as an engineer, of course!
In that time I have learned so much – I have made mistakes, learned from them, made more minstakes and tried to improve my system with every new book that I’ve published.
So far, these are my earnings:
As you can see, I made steady progress until June, where I earned over $300. The figures above are the gross income only, there obviously were expenses involved in creating the books and marketing them, but I’ve covered about 150% of the expenses so far.
And that’s considering that a few of the books were in bad niches and didn’t get many sales. I’m convinced that I can do much better in the future.
It’s also important to mention that June was the last month that I did any work on my Kindle Business. Everything post-June has been completely passive.
I took a hiatus from publishing for two very good reasons:
- I was focussing all my attention into building and publishing this very website. Man, it’s harder than it looks – if you’ve never built a website I’ll say this; it’s not very hard, but it’s very time-consuming.
- I wanted to see what would happen to my earnings if I stopped putting the effort in.
After seeing my income slowly decrease, I can conclude that it’s a semi-passive income stream. That means that, while I will still keep getting paid if I do nothing, I won’t get paid as much as I would if I kept working at it.
Where do I go from here?
The most important part in any business is to make the first dollar. That proves that you can make money and that people are willing to pay for it.
In other words, if you’re making some money, you must be doing something right!
After that, it’s just a matter of optimising and scaling up. In this case, that means more books, more efficient automation, and better keywords.
That’s exactly what I’m going to do.
As you can read in my end of year goals post, I aim to earn $500 in December, from publishing on kindle alone. As nice and round as 500 sounds, it’s symbolic for another reason, which you may have guessed from the title of this post;
$500 will cover my side of the rent!
Imagine that you had a little side-business that would cover you rent or mortgage, each and every month. One of your biggest expenses would be sorted semi-passively.
If that idea made you smile – either internally or externally – that makes two of us! Having my rent covered by my Kindle business would be sweet! 😀
Thanks for reading! What do you think about Kindle Publishing as a business model? Have you given it a go? Would you be interested in me going into more detail about the method I follow?