Kindle book authorship as a way to get rich quick
“Psst! Hey, buddy…c’mere! You look like somebody who’d like to make a lot of money without a lot of work. Am I wrong? I thought not. Here’s all you gotta do…just follow this advice, publish your book on Amazon, and watch the royalties roll in…”
I don’t think any of the advice books in the Kindle store on how to publish a book there say that exactly…but it sort of feels like some of them should. ;)
I did a
USA Kindle store “publish Kindle” search (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)
and got 2,339 results.
The first couple are free and published by Amazon…sure, those make sense? Why not?
After that, though…
You start investing something. Not just your money, but your time, and yes, your heart.
I don’t think this is how the average person imagines authors getting started, or what they think that their goals are (or should be).
Let’s take a look at a few of these books:
How To Publish More Kindle eBooks Faster: How To Write 7,000 Or More Words Every Day by Marc Guberti $2.99 4.5 stars out of 5, two customer reviews
Yes, because when we’ve all read books, we’ve often thought, “I wish this book had been written faster!” ;)
7,000 words would be a lot, but if you weren’t working you could do it. I told myself (not my readers) when I started this blog that I would average 1,000 words a day…and I do that. However, that’s on top of a family, a full-time job, and volunteering as Kindle Forum Pro. If I was a full-time writer instead? I suppose I could write 7,000 words a day…but they wouldn’t be my best words. ;)
These blogposts, of which I am proud, are much more stream of consciousness than I do when I am writing a book.
How To Publish and Sell 100 Copies of your Kindle Book with No Money Down: Detailed Step By Step Plan by Diana Heuser $2.99 4.9 stars, 10 customer reviews
This is a realistic goal…but it wouldn’t surprise me if half of the Kindle Direct Publishing books don’t make it. If this author helps people do that, that is impressive…but I am alos looking at these listings as a reader. What I hope the advice in all of these books is going to at least include is, “Write well.” ;)
Behind the Kindle: How I Published Four Best Selling Books on Amazon, Made Money, and Only Told A Few Lies by Prentice Prefontaine $3.01 4.5 stars, 20 customer reviews
The fact that the author admits to lying would simply make me reject this. While there can be a lot of definitions of lying, if we are going by the simple one of “deliberately saying something which is not true with the intent of someone believing it in order to take advantage of them”, I don’t do it. When I’m training people, I certainly may say things that are intended to get their thoughts going in a certain direction, and which may even lead them to conclusions which are not correct…but I won’t do it by lying to them.
Self-Publishing: How to Publish like a Pro for a Fraction of the Cost by Donna Joy Usher $0.99 5 stars, 5 reviews
This one cuts to the heart of the matter for many people…how can I publish a book more cheaply? I don’t have a problem with that…one of the great things about the e-book liberation is that people can publish and reach readers when money matters would have made it extremely unlikely before.
How To Select Best Selling Nonfiction Ebook Ideas To Publish On Amazon’s Kindle (Kindle Self Publishing Clinic Series) by Lisa Angelettie $2.99 5 stars, 3 reviews
Again, looking at publishing as a mercenary endeavor, I guess it makes sense to pick topics which will sell…rather than writing about topics which you know well and for which you have a passion, and hoping they sell. We had a cat who had to go to a feline cardiologist. I was curious, so I asked the vet: how did you pick feline cardiology? The vet basically said, “I went down the list of specialties, and it was the one that made the most money. A cat can have a cardiac condition for a long time. They can do okay, but still treatment. A dog just doesn’t last as long.” That was a practical choice, I guess, but not what I imagine as the motivation.
Kindle Free Promo Hacks for Authors – 10 Sure Shot Ways to Reach the Top #100 Free & Make a Killing! by Andrew Scott $3.49 4.6 stars, 50 reviews
That’s relatively a lot of reviews. I just wonder how many of the authors we see in the forum making missteps with self-promotion are following advice from other people. I’m not saying that about this book (I haven’t read it), but it would be pretty easy to give advice which would take more than seven days to test…and then the book couldn’t be returned for a refund.
In fact, this topic is so big that I found a free book parodying the whole idea!
J’APE: Just Another Publicity Excuse – How to Publish Your (Kindle) Book for Shameless Self-Promotion and Profit Robert C. Worstell, Richard Saunders free 3.7 stars, 11 reviews
The title is a play on Guy Kawasaki’s
APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book (at AmazonSmile)
which I had sort of mini-reviewed here.
According to at least one review, it’s not a direct parody of that, though.
Looking at the reviews, I’m guessing some people didn’t get the joke…
I’m not going to pretend to be able to give advice about how to make your Kindle book a bestseller. Yes, some of my titles have been bestsellers…my book of quotations (at AmazonSmile) was number one of all quotation books (including paper) when it was first released, but that didn’t last long. Others of my books have also done pretty well.
This blog? It’s been a bestseller in the Kindle store for more than four years.
That doesn’t mean, though, that I can tell you how to do that.
I write because I like to write. :) I like to help people…that’s the most personally rewarding thing I do. Is the money nice? Sure, it’s a validation…but I couldn’t come close to living on my royalties. I spend some of it buying Kindles and such…so I can write about them. ;)
If the royalties stopped, would I keep writing? I’d do something creative…I always have. Writing seems likely, sure. I might not be able to devote as much time to it, though. I justify the time it takes away from the family in part because the royalties contribute to the family. The same could be said for my day job (which I also enjoy).
I don’t mind people writing for the purpose of making money…as long as they want to do that by giving the readers something of value. If you just “gotta write”, write. If it makes money, that’s a bonus. If you want to make a living as a writer, you do need to approach it a bit differently…and hey, if you aren’t sure what to do, there are plenty of people with books in the Kindle store who would be happy to give you advice…not give away, mind you, but give. ;)
* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help!
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.