Making money with ebooks on Amazon Kindle

In August this year Amazon UK announced that their Kindle ebooks were out-selling actual books for the first time. For every 100 hard and paperback books it sold, 114 ebooks were downloaded.

A couple of months later, I imagine ebook sales have increased even more. It’s a quiet, polite revolution and it’s changing the face of publishing profoundly.

Kindle money-making experiments

As a writer I’ve tried my best to get published via traditional publishers several times over the years. They don’t make it easy. Getting a manuscript in front of someone is like pulling teeth. Dinosaur teeth. Then again, they’re bombarded with thousands of manuscripts a year…

I’ve been writing ebooks for ages and this week my bloke and I created our first Kindle ebook for sale on Amazon. The process of turning text and images into the Kindle format is a bit of a nightmare and it takes some getting to grips with. But we managed it and my book went live for sale sometime in the middle of last night. Exciting!

We’re aware that we need to market the book, so we’ll be doing plenty of that. But we’re also aware that it’s much easier to generate a decent amount of cash if you publish a collection of books rather than just one.

The money bit – it’s a numbers game

Say, for argument’s sake, you sell your ebooks for £2 each. If you sell one a week you earn £8 a month, £96 a year. But if you have ten ebooks and sell one of each per week it stacks up to £960 a year.

Things get pretty exciting when you start to sell more. Sell 5 of each of your ten ebooks a week and you earn £100 per week, £400 a month, £4,800 a year. Double your sales and you’re suddenly raking on almost ten grand.

All of which means if you’ve got something to say and you can say it clearly in an interesting and professional way, you could turn your skills and knowledge into a nice little earner. I have ten ebooks ready, created in the last five years then left to languish, and over the next few weeks we’ll be uploading them all to Kindle.

What to write about?

Most of us can’t write fiction, myself included. But how about writing a dummies’ guide to building a website or a garden wall, making hand-made paper, knitting, tree identification, car or bicycle maintenance, credit control, book keeping, hair loss, hat making, cheap weddings, DIY divorces, bringing up a child, how to play conkers or poker?

If you know about something that other people will find useful, pass the knowledge on.

I’ve written ebooks about DIY garden design, how to keep your cat happy, freelancing tips, crazy overheard conversations, funny online directory submissions, marketing and SEO, ghost stories and how to be happy, a guide to making up your own deity-free  ’religion’.  I’ve also written a poetry book.

How to upload your ebook to Kindle?

How to find your way through the Kindle conversion process? No doubt there’s an ebook about it. If you don’t know already, now’s your chance to discover the Amazon Kindle Store and find out exactly how it works.

Marketing your ebooks

I’ll look at ideas for marketing ebooks tomorrow.