Self-Publishing on Amazon

Self-Publishing on Amazon

So many people desire to write a book someday in their lifetime, even though they do not regard themselves as writers. The best time to write that book is now. Self-publishing is no longer stigmatized, and there are numerous success stories of first-time authors who are making a name for themselves. They accomplish this by publishing their ebooks on Amazon.

Forget everything you know about Amazon for a minute. It’s not just an online shopping web store or cart. Ask yourself why people like Seth Godin and Guy Kawasaki publish exclusively on Amazon. It is a big deal.

•    Amazon is the largest paid search engine globally.

•    Amazon has dominated the book industry.

•    It’s review system is an authority metric even when people plan to buy elsewhere.  

•    It is a marketing machine when you start selling a given number of copies, it will refer your work to users who do not know about you. 

•    It is easy.  There are only a few sites that can get your book online and published in a matter of hours.

Step 1: Write

The first step to publishing an eBook is to write it, of course. You can do it in three drafts;

•    The “Outline Draft”. This is self-explanatory in that, you “Outline” on a blank page. Here you write a rough idea of the Table of Contents; outlining every chapter, jotting down your thoughts, stories and scenes. It does not have to be pretty; just make it.

•    The Review Draft. Develop your story and how you want to tell it.

•    Editorial Draft. Here you have to get a professional editor to help your story structure and style elements.

Step 2: Format and Design

Once you like what you have written, do this;

1.    Format your book for Kindle. You can do this for yourself by using Amazon’s easy tutorship. Or hire someone. 

2.    Design your cover. Hire someone. 

3.    Double check. Get friends to check for errors.

Step 3: Publish

Do not be intimidated, this part is not as scary as most people think. Just sign in to (make sure you have an Amazon account).

Step 4: Promote

Before you start promoting your book, get reviews. Ask friends to leave a review of the book. 

Step 5: Launch

Every launch should be unique but some of the tactics that work include sending an email to friends, family and fans, offering incentives to those who will buy the book, marketing on social media and sharing your book with book directories and online forums among others.

Considering the effort and time you put into writing, editing and designing your book, it is only normal you find it priceless. However, if you are looking to sell your book, you have to price it reasonably. How do you know if the price you have set is too low, too high or just right? 

That said, you must come to terms with this one fact;

Selling Your EBook Will Not Make You Rich

Hurtful, but it is the truth. Very few authors have become rich selling e-books. The demand for e-books is on the rise, but the market is extremely saturated, and the prices are quite low, you can barely make a profit. 

Kindle Direct Publishing has parameters in place for ebook pricing depending on the size of the e-book. Amazon’s parameters can hardly help you price your ebook correctly, and it may end up on the worst-selling list. A wise thing to do would be to ensure that you meet the minimum file size requirements. 

The genre is probably the most important factor to consider when pricing your ebook. Is your book poetry, nonfiction, or fiction? Is the sub-genre well known? Make sure to have a look at other e-books in your genre and compare the prices. $2.99 is always a good starting price. 

Your book’s page count will determine its price. File size may be the primary concern when it comes to Amazon’s parameters, but the page count is what tells the buyer how much content they will get. In most cases, books with a page count of 400 and above are always priced higher ($4.99 and above), and those with 400 pages and below are priced lower (below $4.99).

Comparable titles are a great deal. Do a lot of research and find out how authors with similar books have priced them. These books will be your biggest competitors, and you need to price yours competitively. If you go with this advice, you may have to price your ebook lower (or higher) than you expected. But you have to get the price right. 

The same way you researched books identical to yours, now you must study the authors that are similar to you. Research the writers who have a catalog of work like yours (this is easier if you only write for a single genre). 

You may notice that your book is not selling yet you have promoted it tirelessly on social media, a fantastic website and other active campaigns—then you should consider lowering your price. 

Every time you raise or lower your price, check your competitors’ books and ensure that you are within the price range. Pricing your books high may benefit you because of “perceived value” but increasing the price too much will make buyers prefer your competition’s work over yours. Make a point of always pricing your books just right.  

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