Have you ever dreamed of writing a book for the Kindle Store but didn’t know how to go about it?
Today I’ll share with you what I’ve learned after publishing 5 books of my own this year. You can trust me because everything I’m about to tell you I’ve done myself. My efforts have resulted in over 6200 downloads since April of this year. And I’ve done very little marketing aside from using KDP Select and social media.
Just the Facts, Ma’am
Now it’s time to separate the reality from the fiction. Here are some cold, hard facts I’ve discovered:
1. Don’t expect to make a fortune.
But you say, you sold over 6200 books!
It’s like a friend of mine said: I “distributed” over 6200 books. The vast majority of them were downloaded during free promotions. Most of the time when the books did sell, it was a combination of factors that made it happen.
My best-selling book has a price of just .99. Why? Because testing has shown me this is the price that moves it from the store to the customer’s screen.
There is another benefit you’ll miss if you’re just in it for the money, though.
2. It can be a great way to get your message out.
My bank account isn’t bursting at the seams from book sales. But there are over 6200 people who have access to my message. And I have to say that nothing else I’ve done so far has been as wildly effective as that.
This happened because I was able to write a compelling sales page.
But remember too that just because your book was downloaded, it won’t necessarily be read.
One more thing…
3. Hitting the publish button is the easiest part of the process.
If you can come up with a good title, tagline, and everything else you need to fill in the blanks, you’re ready to hit the publish button.
The truth is that you can put absolutely anything in the blanks and hit publish.
But you want to do better than that, don’t you?
Let’s take a look at how you can…
4 Golden Guidelines for Creating a Great Kindle Book
Here are the things I’ve found are vitally important if you want your book to appeal to readers.
1. Write what you know about.
Ignore the advice of those who tell you to find out what’s trendy and write about that. If you’re not deeply interested in what you have chosen to write about, nobody else will be either.
You’ve got some experience that will solve a problem that keeps someone else up at night. Find out what that is and write about that. Or at least find something that your passion will drive you to learn well enough to teach to others.
2. Have a great title and a good-looking cover.
When you scan your local paper, what influences you to read what you do?
The title of your eBook is the headline that draws the potential reader in. Does yours do that? If not, write it again until it does.
The cover needs to look professional if you want anyone to download your book. You can take a photo and arrange some text on it and presto, you have a cover. If you can’t do that with the aid of some photo editing software, get someone who can to do it for you.
The time you spend here will make a bigger difference than anything else.
3. Test your keywords first.
In case you don’t know, keywords are the words people use in the Amazon search box to shop for books. Test some that address the topic your book is about. What shows up in the results? Take a quick look at the top 5. What is their sales rank? How many reviews do they have? Does their page look good or does it look like a five year old put it together? Things like this will determine what chance your book will have in the Kindle store.
4. Format it well.
A) Write your book in a Microsoft Word document. If you don’t have the software, don’t worry. You can download Open Office for free and create one. Word docs have the best chance of looking the same after conversion than other formats.
B) Put in a working table of contents, complete with links. You can find out how to do this in the help files on the Open Office website or in Microsoft Word’s help files. Links to individual chapters are more convenient than making the reader guess where that place in the book might be.
C) Have an outline and write from that. This will keep you on track. There’s no better weapon against writer’s block than planning what you want to write before you type the first word.
D) Get someone else to proofread it if you can. You can do this yourself if you want. If you do, wait a while before you look at what you just wrote. You’ll be fresher and will be more likely to catch your mistakes.
5. Remember that if you don’t like anything about the finished book, you can change it.
Your book won’t be carved in stone when you hit publish. So, don’t sit around waiting for everything to be perfect. Do your best, hit publish, and see what happens.
A Final Word
You can find out specifics about how to format a book on Amazon’s KDP page. What you’ve just read are some things I’ve learned that you probably won’t hear anywhere else.
Now you know what to do. So go ahead and publish that book. I’d love to hear how it goes! And if you have any questions, feel free to ask.