Amazon says only forty (40) of their kindle authors are successfull

67 replies
I hate to be a Negative Nancy over here but I've been trying to tell people for some time that writing is a poor man's occupation, especially so with the high expectations after buying one of those 'make a million bucks on kindle' coaching programs or ebooks and finally it seems the cat is out of the bag.

https://claudenougat.wordpress.com/2...s-says-amazon/

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/31/bu...n-imprint.html
#amazon #authors #forty #kindle #successfull
  • Profile picture of the author danieldesai
    " 40 self-published authors “make money” "

    " “Making money” here means selling more than one million e-book copies in the last five years. "

    ^^^

    If selling over a million books is the benchmark by which you determine that someone is making money, I think the person who wrote that blog has an inflated idea of what it means to have a successful publishing career.

    The notion that there are only 40 successful Kindle authors is absurd.

    Sure, it's a tough business but with good content, some promotional skills, branding (especially in the context of creating multiple books within one genre), there have been MANY Kindle publishers who have gone on to make a full-time income and beyond.

    This post tickles me so much, heh.

    Regards,
    Daniel
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    • Profile picture of the author goindeep
      I don't think the author of the article was the one creating the benchmark mate, he was certainly editorializing the piece but who cares.

      Amazon were the ones that were quoted as saying that by the NYT article.

      And it's not the first time things like this have been reported.


      New Guild Survey Reveals Majority of Authors Earn Below Poverty Line

      Stop the press: half of self-published authors earn less than $500 | Books | The Guardian

      I have done my own independent research some time ago and it is actually very difficult to earn a full-time income via Amazon/Kindle and even harder to earn enough so that you can work passively and comfortably.
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      • Profile picture of the author danieldesai
        Fair enough but the same can be said of any business you get into online.

        It's the same harsh tale; I've read so many reports that indicate that most freelancers, affiliate marketers, and pretty much everyone else who try to make an income online end up earning peanuts.

        I suppose my gripe with this thread was just the way it seems to be kind of pointless if you're arguing from a point of view of what most people make.

        Most people make squat, and I don't just mean in Kindle Publishing.

        However, you are 100% right in saying that it's hard to earn a full-time income via Amazon/Kindle.

        I see where you're coming from, I just find the angle to be a pointless one (as most people don't make money at pretty much everything online).

        Thank you for the sources, though.

        Quite an interesting read.

        Regards,
        Daniel
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        • Profile picture of the author goindeep
          Righto....how is it pointless if we are discussing it in an online discussion forum dedicated to internet marketing?

          The point being discussions like this are all too uncommon and people should know what they are getting into before they dive in head first. I think the WF does a great job at hyping coaching programs, ebooks and in general getting people to hand over money for pie in the sky type dreams but there is for too little intelligent debate and discussion around these sorts of topics.

          For example don't you think that there is something wrong in the fact that all of the reviews and testimonials for products sold on this very forum are provided in the very sale thread for said product itself? Wouldn't it add to the legitimacy of said product if for example we had more independent threads of those products in the Product Reviews & Ratings section?

          Wanting to improve that is a good thing IMHO.
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          • Profile picture of the author Mark Singletary
            Originally Posted by goindeep View Post


            For example don't you think that there is something wrong in the fact that all of the reviews and testimonials for products sold on this very forum are provided in the very sale thread for said product itself? Wouldn't it add to the legitimacy of said product if for example we had more independent threads of those products in the Product Reviews & Ratings section?

            Wanting to improve that is a good thing IMHO.
            Last I knew it was against the rules to post reviews of WSOs anywhere on the forum except in the sales thread.

            No one needs to sell a million of anything to make a living. If we are going to discuss it let's have a fair and balanced discussion instead of going to extremes to prove a point. If a million is the standard for success then there are tons of failures online and real world including many/most doctors, lawyers, CPAs, etc.

            Mark
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            • Profile picture of the author goindeep
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              • Profile picture of the author goindeep
                Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

                You aren't telling the whole story, and neither are your sources.
                I am telling what I know to be true and what my own research suggests. And I can keep linking to those sources because there are plenty of them (more below). The numbers do not lie and although I partly agree with you that most writers suck we can't just stick them all in the same bucket.

                The problem is and always has been that people focus on what they want to hear and there are folks out there exploiting that.

                People will read stories such as:
                How much money can one Kindle book make? (1 year case study) | Up Fuel

                Or:
                Confessions from the Underground World of Kindle eBooks

                Or:
                This 26-Year-Old Is Making Millions Cutting Out Traditional Publishers With Amazon Kindle - Business Insider

                But these are completely anecdotal. You are far better off looking at the entire picture to gain a better understanding. And report after report keeps suggesting the same...that most kindle authors will never ever quit their day jobs writing for kindle we can speculate and say that part of that could just be that the barrier to entry is now extremely low and the writing is terrible but we don't know that for a fact and like I said before I don't think that discussing the realities of publishing on Kindle is a bad thing. Or is it?

                Couple more articles:
                Self-Publishing Debate: A Social Scientist Separates Fact from Fiction | Digital Book World

                Most writers earn less than £600 a year, survey reveals | Books | The Guardian
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                • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
                  No one needs to sell a million of anything to make a living. [snip] If a million is the standard for success then there are tons of failures online and real world including many/most doctors, lawyers, CPAs, etc.
                  How true! Anyone who says only millionaires are making a living needs to have their head examined.

                  And looking at the numbers for all Kindle authors is like bundling together the earnings of law school graduates who pass the bar with those who don't. Because as another post in this thread said, at least half of all Kindle efforts aren't worthy of having readers - they would never have been published if anyone exercised any editorial selectivity.

                  Marcia Yudkin
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          • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
            Originally Posted by goindeep View Post

            Righto....how is it pointless if we are discussing it in an online discussion forum dedicated to internet marketing?.
            The fact that someone discusses something doesn't mean there's a point to it. This is, in fact, one of the more pointless threads to take up bandwidth on the forum in quite awhile.

            Disagree? Tell me... what was the OP's point? That very few authors earn big money with Amazon Kindle publishing?

            Really? Not exactly man bites dog level news, eh?
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by goindeep View Post

        I don't think the author of the article was the one creating the benchmark mate, he was certainly editorializing the piece but who cares.

        Amazon were the ones that were quoted as saying that by the NYT article.

        And it's not the first time things like this have been reported.


        New Guild Survey Reveals Majority of Authors Earn Below Poverty Line

        Stop the press: half of self-published authors earn less than $500 | Books | The Guardian

        I have done my own independent research some time ago and it is actually very difficult to earn a full-time income via Amazon/Kindle and even harder to earn enough so that you can work passively and comfortably.
        You aren't telling the whole story, and neither are your sources.

        >"The majority of authors earn below the poverty line."

        Based on my own experiences, especially in the Kindle marketplace, the majority of authors are unskilled hacks with a lack of both writing and marketing skills.

        >"Half of self-published authors earn less than $500"

        Again, half of self-published authors (especially those who believe in the 'get rich on Kindle' myths often taught) are making what they deserve.

        All the online publishing world did was make access to the marketplace easier. You still have to have something people want to buy, and most authors don't.
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        • Profile picture of the author irawr
          Banned
          Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

          You aren't telling the whole story, and neither are your sources.

          >"The majority of authors earn below the poverty line."

          Based on my own experiences, especially in the Kindle marketplace, the majority of authors are unskilled hacks with a lack of both writing and marketing skills.

          >"Half of self-published authors earn less than $500"

          Again, half of self-published authors (especially those who believe in the 'get rich on Kindle' myths often taught) are making what they deserve.

          All the online publishing world did was make access to the marketplace easier. You still have to have something people want to buy, and most authors don't.
          I was thinking about just vomiting out books with Dragon and putting them up there. So I talk to my computer a little bit each day and make 500$? Not bad?

          I decided against it when I couldn't figure out if you are allowed to use links in the books (I don't think you are.)
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      • Profile picture of the author Dan Riffle
        Originally Posted by goindeep View Post

        I have done my own independent research some time ago and it is actually very difficult to earn a full-time income via Amazon/Kindle and even harder to earn enough so that you can work passively and comfortably.
        Do some more research and you'll find it equally difficult to earn a full-time income from traditionally published writing.

        What you're ascribing to Kindle writing is nothing more than a subset of the writing game in general. The fact of the matter is if it weren't for Kindle and other self-publishing platforms, the vast, vast majority of the writers you speak of wouldn't even earn pocket money from their writing.

        The Writer's Dream has been sold since the printing press was invented, probably even before that. There's nothing new here.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
        Originally Posted by goindeep View Post


        New Guild Survey Reveals Majority of Authors Earn Below Poverty Line

        Stop the press: half of self-published authors earn less than $500 | Books | The Guardian

        I have done my own independent research some time ago and it is actually very difficult to earn a full-time income via Amazon/Kindle and even harder to earn enough so that you can work passively and comfortably.
        You are being blasted needlessly because of the title but your point is solid. Whether its kindle or actual in print writing very few people are successful at it (as in can support themselves and family from it). I don't know what all the hub bub is about. Its pretty obvious and I don't see the people shouting you down jumping up with a whole lot of (or at this point ANY) people successful (by any standard) doing it here at WF.
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        • Profile picture of the author Steve B
          Goin Deep,

          Maybe the answer for you is to not try to compete as a writer on Amazon. You have been convinced that you can't be one of the forty.

          You have given some food for thought for the writers here and some articles to review so they go into this field with their eyes wide open.

          Beyond that, each marketer has to decide for her/himself the path to pursue. People that love writing should have the chance to use whatever platform they desire to distribute their creations.

          I'm guessing the majority of the people on this forum that sell their books at Amazon would be happy as clams to make a lot less than 200,000 book sales a year. That's nearly 17,000 sales a month!

          Would you be happy with a meager 1,000 sales a month for each book you published? I would consider that a huge success!

          Steve
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          SteveBrowneDirect

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    • Profile picture of the author ryanstevens93
      I would probably sell 1,000,000 eBooks on Kindle in 5 years if I consider the free ones too. Quite difficult to sell that number at full price, but it's not impossible.

      However, you can be "successful" with a lower number as well. 1,000,000 eBooks sold at the minimum 70% royalty threshold (at $2.99) would mean that an author would earn over $2,000,000 (if we take into consideration KU pages, CreateSpace units, and ACX units).

      If you make a quarter of that amount in 5 years ($100,000/year) you're still doing extremely well.
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  • Profile picture of the author jmferret
    I'm just fine selling a few hundred of each book. If it's successful or not, who cares?
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  • Profile picture of the author Businessdoc
    There is a lot that comes with being a bestselling author. One of which is content, and another exposure. Many people miss it in one category. Obviously if your content is uninteresting to the masses but loved by Oprah, it will be a hit :-)
    Successful is subjective as well, but there are ppl who make decent money monthly on there. I still get paid from books I put there years ago, and forgot about!
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  • Profile picture of the author James McAllister
    What do you consider successful? This headline was more misleading than a lot of the Kindle coaching programs.

    I don't doubt most authors don't make anything notable. I'm also willing to bet most authors don't publish from a business perspective - publishing fiction books (which are competing with every other single fiction book for the purpose of entertainment, with no real marketing plan) rather than proven in-demand topics.

    I have never published a book that wasn't worth my time.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      I am telling what I know to be true and what my own research suggests
      You seem to think people should stop writing books for Kindle because YOU have decided it's worthless....based on "research" but not on experience.

      I don't understand what your point is. If a requirement for "success" is $200k a year - who set that standard? Does that figure for "success" count for offline jobs and other online businesses....or only for Kindle?

      There are IMers talking about "earning money online" who have no clue how to work or how to market. There are Kindle authors who can't write worth a flick. So what? Not everyone needs $200k a year to feel like a success.
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      Saving one dog will not change the world - but the world will change forever for that one dog.

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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
        Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        You seem to think people should stop writing books for Kindle because YOU have decided it's worthless....based on "research" but not on experience..
        Only problem with your assessment is its total lack of any truth - he cited research and surveys from real experience not merely his own decision.
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      • Profile picture of the author goindeep
        Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        You seem to think people should stop writing books for Kindle because YOU have decided it's worthless....based on "research" but not on experience.
        Not at all Kay. I never once said people should stop writing for Kindle. This is a discussion forum and I have brought up this topic for discussion.

        I understand some people may have motives for supporting kindle authorship and publishing business models but it doesn't mean we as a community should not weigh the pro's and con's while having a healthy discussion regardless of whether or not we are discussing an editorialized piece or not.

        I have not decided it is worthless. What I have come to understand is that most kindle authors will never make enough money to quit their day jobs. Unfortunately this is not the story being told by many of the kindle coaching programs and I think it is important to discuss this.

        And yes you are correct that is based on research and not anecdotal experience.

        There was actually a very interesting write up done with lots of facts and figures by a reputable source showing the percentage of authors and what they earn. The figures where kind of shocking but nonetheless expected. I believe the article has been removed but I will check again to see if it was copied somewhere else. Would be interesting to post here.

        EDIT
        I can't seem to find a copy but I have found a similar list and review below in the two links:
        http://io9.gizmodo.com/most-amazon-b...m-w-1522482723
        &
        http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2014...sic-analytics/

        Interesting read, they discuss how the 'successful' author data is easily fudged by only looking at top percentile. If we look at new authors for example I think we'll find the results totally opposite to Howey's.

        If anyone is interested in reading Queen Mary Uni UK was commissioned by ALCS to do research into writer earnings.

        I have my own opinion based on the research and that came across quite hard and fast in the opening post, it might be a little extreme to some but it is what it is. Someone else looking at the same data might be a little more positive than me and in understanding the numbers might just use that to set their bar a little higher and lower some of their expectations to something a little more realistic. I think that's a good thing.
        And although I do come across as negative I subscribe to Stephen Kings words (I can't remember where I read this) 'if you can get paid to write, you're a good writer'.
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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    Hi go in deep:
    I use to make a lot of money on amazon. Sadly, they keep changing the rules of the game. Always in their favor not ours. This news should surprise no one. Well, I still remember how they rolled out their Kindle Unlimited and said it would help us. Actually, it cut my sales in half, but that was not enough for amazon. They then change the formula on how they pay us. Sadly, it is now per page.

    Jeff Bezos is a genius; Yeah, a genius at finding new ways to not pay us. First it is 10% or more of the book must be read to pay us. Then it is per page. What next is my question, and I do not want to hear the answer,
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    • Profile picture of the author TheBigBee
      I wrote my eBooks and published them to Amazon to generate leads. I'm also hoping that as the reputation of the content in the book grows, and it's shared, that I'll raise in search pages. Then I will have derived 3 benefits. The first benefit (the book sale itself) is the LEAST valuable. While the leads generated bring the MOST value. Amazon is simply off the mark here.
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  • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
    Here is a good, up-to-date resource regarding the opportunities in Kindle fiction ;-)

    February 2016 Author Earnings Report: Amazon’s Ebook, Print, and Audio Sales – Author Earnings

    And, I might add, a lot of members in Geoff Shaw's Kindling are happy to have you believe it can't be done, while they laugh their way to the bank ;-)
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  • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
    And here is a good post by a Warrior with numbers that further discredit the theory.

    How I Sold 978 Fiction Ebooks Per Day in 2014… (The Complete Breakdown) – MikeShreeve.com

    Now... Is it easy? Nope. It takes work and focus and work, but... It can be done.

    If you do your own writing, it can be done with a minimal financial investment beyond Butt In Chair time...

    The two elements that appeal to me --
    1) You end up with Intellectual Property that can be used/reworked for years to come... As opposed to AdWords sites, for instance <wink, wink>

    And...

    2) Fiction is entertainment, so, unlike NF where you solve a problem and they move on, your Fiction Fans generally purchase multiple books. ;-)
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by TinkBD View Post

      And here is a good post by a Warrior with numbers that further discredit the theory.

      How I Sold 978 Fiction Ebooks Per Day in 2014... (The Complete Breakdown) - MikeShreeve.com

      Now... Is it easy? Nope. It takes work and focus and work, but... It can be done.
      Not really sure how you see that as discrediting the theory since even the title of this thread admits that there are 40 people doing well at it. Its not no one makes money from kindle publishing - its that very few do. Frankly its not even a theory. Its just a publishing fact.
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      • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
        Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

        Frankly its not even a theory. Its just a publishing fact.
        No, it isn't. A quick look at the Author Earning Reports will quickly discredit it... ;-)

        There are MANY more than 40, no matter what your criteria may be...

        Million dollar earner? Yep. More than 40

        Solid five figures per month? Yep. More than 40

        Low five figures per month? Yep. More than 40

        But, as long as people believe that there are only 40, they don't bother with fiction writing, which is fine with me ;-)
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        • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
          I'd almost rather sell less copies of something that sells at a higher price point.

          I'm sure there are a few of those in there.

          That definition of "successful" is not all it's cracked up to be...
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Originally Posted by TinkBD View Post

          No, it isn't. A quick look at the Author Earning Reports will quickly discredit it... ;-)

          There are MANY more than 40,
          Yes it is a fact because 40 is not the whole point the OP is making. You are just getting hung up on the title which points to 40 . He has included many other references that indicate most people do not make much money off Kindle. That is a fact no matter how much you may wish to deny it.

          Frankly on this fourm there are probably more people making money off the kindle dream than there are people making money off Kindlle publishing itself.
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          • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
            Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

            Yes it is a fact because 40 is not the whole point the OP is making. You are just getting hung up on the title which points to 40 . He has included many other references that indicate most people do not make much money off Kindle. That is a fact no matter how much you may wish to deny it.

            Frankly on this fourm there are probably more people making money off the kindle dream than there are people making money off Kindlle publishing itself.
            Fair enough... You might be right, but I suspect that if you include those in Geoff's group, there might be the same number if not more.

            In the case of Kindle, for me it comes down to two issues...

            How you define success -- There are a lot of fiction midlisters running below the best seller radar and making life changing money, which I consider success ;-) YMMV, of course

            and

            Longevity of product... Again, personally, I see fiction as much longer lived that many/most IM paths/products

            Are there a lot of folks NOT doing well?

            Sure... and how may folks made beaucoup $$ back in the heyday of Adwords? ;-)

            I see fiction in the digital age on Kindle and other retailers as a far better bet with a far longer shelf life.

            As I said above, YMMV ;-)
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          • Profile picture of the author Kay King
            Frankly on this fourm there are probably more people making money off the kindle dream than there are people making money off Kindlle publishing itself.
            Of course there are....and more people making money off the IM dream than earn money working online.

            Look at the high-profit gurus so often mentioned here....where are they making their money? Off the dreamers. Nothing new there.

            He is drawing conclusions and advising others based only on his reading of some online sources - with no experience in publishing/promoting/selling on Kindle.

            Sort of like advising people not to get a drivers license because you've researched it and learned people get hurt in accidents every day.
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            Saving one dog will not change the world - but the world will change forever for that one dog.

            I wish offended people would react like fainting goats and quietly tip over.
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            • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
              Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

              He is drawing conclusions and advising others based only on his reading of some online sources - with no experience in publishing/promoting/selling on Kindle.

              Sort of like advising people not to get a drivers license because you've researched it and learned people get hurt in accidents every day.
              You keep ignoring that he links to real data from surveys of people with experience that disproves your claim. I can see why you are ignoring it but its not an intellectual honest way of approaching a discussion.

              The argument you make is silly Kay. To use your car analogy its like trying to rebut the idea that drag racing on local roads isn't dangerous because the person who is citing the evidence isn't a drag racer.
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              • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
                Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

                You keep ignoring that he links to real data from surveys of people with experience that disproves your claim. I can see why you are ignoring it but its not an intellectual honest way of approaching a discussion.
                .
                Mike -

                Have you taken a serious look at the Author Earnings Reports? There is a lot of good data there, taken from Amazon itself...

                And something to consider, the Authors' Guild survey is deeply flawed on a number of levels. With 64% identifying as traditionally published, I am not surprised that their responses paint such a dire picture.

                Thanks for an interesting discussion. I need to get BIC and quit procrastinating. I have a fight scene to write! lolololol
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                • Profile picture of the author Kay King
                  Mike - I'm not debating the research as such. Online, it's easy to find research that supports a theory - but without any EXPERIENCE all you have is theory.

                  I don't care if the OP writes books or not - but looking up some articles/facts online does not qualify him to tell others Kindle is a waste of time for THEM.

                  Back to work for me, too. Snowy here today and I find myself gazing out the window at the birds around the feeders instead.
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                  Saving one dog will not change the world - but the world will change forever for that one dog.

                  I wish offended people would react like fainting goats and quietly tip over.
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                  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                    Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

                    I don't care if the OP writes books or not - but looking up some articles/facts online does not qualify him to tell others Kindle is a waste of time for THEM.
                    and where does he say it is a waste of time for everyone or anyone in particular?
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                    • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
                      Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

                      and where does he say it is a waste of time for everyone or anyone in particular?
                      Ummm... Here?

                      I hate to be a Negative Nancy over here but I've been trying to tell people for some time that writing is a poor man's occupation, especially so with the high expectations after buying one of those 'make a million bucks on kindle' coaching programs or ebooks and finally it seems the cat is out of the bag.
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                      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                        Originally Posted by TinkBD View Post

                        Ummm... Here?
                        You must be better at language than that Tink. Since the OP states in title there are at least 40 successful authors how do you get to everyone and anyone in particular from that quote?

                        Answer? You don't. Kay fabricated it.
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                • Profile picture of the author DABK
                  There are only 40 successful attorneys in the USA.
                  There are only 40 successful bakers in the USA.
                  There are only 40 successful mortgage brokers in the USA.
                  There are only 40 successful dentists in the USA.
                  There are only 40 successful real estate agents in the USA.

                  Nothing new here. Nothing to see. Move along, people.

                  Success can be defined many ways, including a way that is true that only 40 kindle writers are successful.

                  Or in such a way that 1 writer who's titles a piece Only 40 Kindle writers make money is successful.

                  Unless you all decide what success is, you're just running around in circles.

                  If you want to impress your daughter by writing a book of fiction and having at least 1 person buy it, you are successful if you write a book of fiction and 1 person bought it.

                  A more interesting question is: if your definition of success involves kindle books, how do you achieve success? Which would entail: defining success and determining the steps to achieve it... Discussions of steps to achieve any number of variations of 'become successful with kindle' would be quite useful to a lot of people, besides the one(s) coming up with the steps.

                  Shall we dance to that song?
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                • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                  Originally Posted by TinkBD View Post

                  Mike -

                  Have you taken a serious look at the Author Earnings Reports? There is a lot of good data there, taken from Amazon itself...
                  Kindle is great......for the writer with something to say even without it. I have two writers in the family. One came close to being published a few time in the conventional publishing system and one just starting out. I am happy for both of them that they no longer have to get some overworked in a hurry editor to approve getting their work into print. HUGE revolution . Its TERRIFIC for them because writing is what they want to do,have a passion for it and would be a writer with the cash or without it.

                  for the person the OP talked about

                  "especially so with the high expectations after buying one of those 'make a million bucks on kindle' coaching programs or ebooks"

                  Its for most a pipe dream. Like all the rest of IM as Kay said?..Nope....WORSE. drive through any neighborhood and you will pass many homes of business owners. You may not drive past one author supporting a family on it. Why? Because writing involves more rare skills than marketing or running a business and you should at least have a unique message in some sense . By the nature of that people being told to enter it for the cash don't normally have what it takes. Its kind of like telling people they can be professional artists and make ton loads of money. How many people who never did any painting, sculpting etc said "alright I want some of that" and turned out to be a great artists?

                  starting a business just for the money work? Plenty of times. Writing and having a unique voice for enough people to want to read you just because you want the money? rarely
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  • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
    Isn't it great there are options out there for everyone.

    I'm happy to have a far better shot at a long term fiction business than most folks have with IM. But each of us is different and we need to follow the path that is best for us. ;-)
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  • Profile picture of the author Sumon2k7
    Writing may be a poor man occupation before but nowadays it has great value. A writer gets good payment at current time by writing a quality piece of content! If you write low quality content you'll get reputation of poor author that's for sure.

    So the Amazon Kindle authors are all great writers and they've worked hard to become successful in their career.
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  • Profile picture of the author nashvillegurl
    This is absurd. I felt the need to weigh in here because there is a lot of speculation, but no one seems to be providing an experienced point of view from the trenches of Indie publishing... So here is mine.

    I have not sold a million copies in the last five years, but I was shocked to discover that Amazon doesn't consider me to be making money. My first thought was... Only 40??? Who are the other 38? Because I KNOW I make money writing fiction. I have published 7 independent novels since late 2013, and I will pull 6 figures NET this year solely from book sales. Last year was over 90, and the year before wasn't far behind that. I'm publishing 3 quality novels a year and making what I consider to be a GOOD living. I have a close friend I KNOW also makes money writing nonfiction, also about 3 quality books a year. I also have plenty of friends whom I ASSUME make money in fiction. I haven't seen their banks statements, but I can make a good guess.

    The key is that you can't churn out garbage and expect to make money. If you can't write or produce quality content that people want to buy, then you're going to have to choose a different way to make a living. But I am right here, and I can vouch for the reality of indie publishing. If you write what people want to read, you CAN make money.

    ***My Advice:

    If you have any writing or storytelling talent, sit down and squeeze out 50,000 to 100,000 words. 80-90,000 is the sweet spot for fiction novels. It won't be easy, but you can do it! Choose a sub-genre that is slightly off the main parent genre but has a number of books in the top 2,000 on Kindle. Hire an editor if you can for a few hundred bucks. Good editors are used to all kinds of writers. As long as you're good at story/structure OR grammar/style, they can fix you right up. Join a large Facebook group about your chosen genre with plenty of READERS, and make a post asking for beta readers. Many readers who love your chosen subject will jump at the chance to give their input. Find a quality pre-made cover. There are plenty of designers offering them for about $60-$120 each. A great cover is gold. And finally, Kindle Unlimited is terrible for income and I have no experience with it myself, but I see other authors using it to build a following. There is DEFINITELY a ranking benefit with KU.
    ***
    That's all I can think of right now. Maybe my words will give some hope to those of you who truly have a dream of publishing, but who are discouraged by the conflicting or downright negative things you hear. There is no quick and easy get-rich-by-publishing-crap opportunity, but there is a REAL opportunity for people who make the effort to do it right instead of trying to cut corners and game the system.
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      Thanks for your input.

      And, see, you're not successful because you're making $100,000 and the threshold is $100,000.87. Time for you to up the number of books you write a year, right?

      Never thought of asking for pre-readers on facebook! Yet I have a brain, I swear!

      Originally Posted by nashvillegurl View Post

      This is absurd. I felt the need to weigh in here because there is a lot of speculation, but no one seems to be providing an experienced point of view from the trenches of Indie publishing... So here is mine.

      I have not sold a million copies in the last five years, but I was shocked to discover that Amazon doesn't consider me to be making money. My first thought was... Only 40??? Who are the other 38? Because I KNOW I make money writing fiction. I have published 7 independent novels since late 2013, and I will pull 6 figures NET this year solely from book sales. Last year was over 90, and the year before wasn't far behind that. I'm publishing 3 quality novels a year and making what I consider to be a GOOD living. I have a close friend I KNOW also makes money writing nonfiction, also about 3 quality books a year. I also have plenty of friends whom I ASSUME make money in fiction. I haven't seen their banks statements, but I can make a good guess.

      The key is that you can't churn out garbage and expect to make money. If you can't write or produce quality content that people want to buy, then you're going to have to choose a different way to make a living. But I am right here, and I can vouch for the reality of indie publishing. If you write what people want to read, you CAN make money.

      ***My Advice:

      If you have any writing or storytelling talent, sit down and squeeze out 50,000 to 100,000 words. 80-90,000 is the sweet spot for fiction novels. It won't be easy, but you can do it! Choose a sub-genre that is slightly off the main parent genre but has a number of books in the top 2,000 on Kindle. Hire an editor if you can for a few hundred bucks. Good editors are used to all kinds of writers. As long as you're good at story/structure OR grammar/style, they can fix you right up. Join a large Facebook group about your chosen genre with plenty of READERS, and make a post asking for beta readers. Many readers who love your chosen subject will jump at the chance to give their input. Find a quality pre-made cover. There are plenty of designers offering them for about $60-$120 each. A great cover is gold. And finally, Kindle Unlimited is terrible for income and I have no experience with it myself, but I see other authors using it to build a following. There is DEFINITELY a ranking benefit with KU.
      ***
      That's all I can think of right now. Maybe my words will give some hope to those of you who truly have a dream of publishing, but who are discouraged by the conflicting or downright negative things you hear. There is no quick and easy get-rich-by-publishing-crap opportunity, but there is a REAL opportunity for people who make the effort to do it right instead of trying to cut corners and game the system.
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      • Profile picture of the author nashvillegurl
        Originally Posted by DABK View Post

        Thanks for your input.

        And, see, you're not successful because you're making $100,000 and the threshold is $100,000.87. Time for you to up the number of books you write a year, right?

        Never thought of asking for pre-readers on facebook! Yet I have a brain, I swear!
        Yeah, I saw one new-ish author post a benign question recently. "So how many of you can read a novel in 24-48 hours?" or something like that. People started bragging (lol). He replied to each one, then started offering to let them to beta read for him. It was simple but brilliant.
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    • Profile picture of the author goindeep
      Originally Posted by nashvillegurl View Post

      This is absurd. I felt the need to weigh in here because there is a lot of speculation, but no one seems to be providing an experienced point of view from the trenches of Indie publishing... So here is mine.

      I have not sold a million copies in the last five years, but I was shocked to discover that Amazon doesn't consider me to be making money. My first thought was... Only 40??? Who are the other 38? Because I KNOW I make money writing fiction. I have published 7 independent novels since late 2013, and I will pull 6 figures NET this year solely from book sales. Last year was over 90, and the year before wasn't far behind that. I'm publishing 3 quality novels a year and making what I consider to be a GOOD living. I have a close friend I KNOW also makes money writing nonfiction, also about 3 quality books a year. I also have plenty of friends whom I ASSUME make money in fiction. I haven't seen their banks statements, but I can make a good guess.

      The key is that you can't churn out garbage and expect to make money. If you can't write or produce quality content that people want to buy, then you're going to have to choose a different way to make a living. But I am right here, and I can vouch for the reality of indie publishing. If you write what people want to read, you CAN make money.

      ***My Advice:

      If you have any writing or storytelling talent, sit down and squeeze out 50,000 to 100,000 words. 80-90,000 is the sweet spot for fiction novels. It won't be easy, but you can do it! Choose a sub-genre that is slightly off the main parent genre but has a number of books in the top 2,000 on Kindle. Hire an editor if you can for a few hundred bucks. Good editors are used to all kinds of writers. As long as you're good at story/structure OR grammar/style, they can fix you right up. Join a large Facebook group about your chosen genre with plenty of READERS, and make a post asking for beta readers. Many readers who love your chosen subject will jump at the chance to give their input. Find a quality pre-made cover. There are plenty of designers offering them for about $60-$120 each. A great cover is gold. And finally, Kindle Unlimited is terrible for income and I have no experience with it myself, but I see other authors using it to build a following. There is DEFINITELY a ranking benefit with KU.
      ***
      That's all I can think of right now. Maybe my words will give some hope to those of you who truly have a dream of publishing, but who are discouraged by the conflicting or downright negative things you hear. There is no quick and easy get-rich-by-publishing-crap opportunity, but there is a REAL opportunity for people who make the effort to do it right instead of trying to cut corners and game the system.
      I think your probably busy with your books or something because you kind of contradicted yourself several times... but that's not the main issue.

      No one said you can't earn money doing this sort of thing. My argument is that based on all of the statistical evidence most people will never be able to quit their day job AKA replace their income with kindle and self publishing. Now that may be down them being terrible writers, sure, I get that, but I feel some of it may just have to do with 'coaches' and people offering 'programs' who are kind of exploiting peoples desire to work for themselves, become financially free etc.

      I sincerely wish you all the best if you are doing well. Well done.
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      • Profile picture of the author DABK
        Most people don't make a lot of money with anything. Hence, that's not a good argument.

        Food for thought: half of the people in the world fall below the average income line.

        Originally Posted by goindeep View Post

        I think your probably busy with your books or something because you kind of contradicted yourself several times... but that's not the main issue.

        No one said you can't earn money doing this sort of thing. My argument is that based on all of the statistical evidence most people will never be able to quit their day job AKA replace their income with kindle and self publishing. Now that may be down them being terrible writers, sure, I get that, but I feel some of it may just have to do with 'coaches' and people offering 'programs' who are kind of exploiting peoples desire to work for themselves, become financially free etc.

        I sincerely wish you all the best if you are doing well. Well done.
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        • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
          Originally Posted by DABK View Post

          Food for thought: half of the people in the world fall below the average income line.
          Except for Lake Woebegone, Minnesota, where the men are pretty, the women strong and the children are all above average...
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          • Profile picture of the author DABK
            Well, yes. It's Lake Woebegone!

            Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

            Except for Lake Woebegone, Minnesota, where the men are pretty, the women strong and the children are all above average...
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            • Profile picture of the author NomadLifestyle
              40 people have sold 1,000,000 units of their product in an industry that's barely 5-years-old?

              Dang.

              That's a lot.

              [EDIT]

              Also, is Amazon saying 1,000,000 ebooks sold per pen name, or total KDP account sales?
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          • Profile picture of the author EnlighCity
            Just to throw my 2 cents worth in.

            I'm an author, I researched like all hell the pros and cons of self-publishing, going through a traditional publisher, printing books myself and sending them to international distributors, eBooks, printed books, online market places, etc.

            The first title I released managed to hit a few Bestseller lists on Amazon. I am proud of it, but let me give you some insight into pretty harsh realities surrounding many authors (whether you are published or self-published).

            1) Firstly the traditional publishing route is not as lucrative as it seems, unless you sell in the proximity of between 25,000+ books. Most traditional publishers only pay you a $3-$4 royalty per book sold. Beyond the advance, you only start to see royalties after roughly 25,000 books are sold.

            2) A majority of authors DO NOT manage to sell 25,000 books.

            3) Publishers are now focusing on authors who have a platform surrounding them-- which translates into ready sales as they want to pick up authors with the least amount of risk with marketing activities nearly completely placed back into the hands of authors.

            4) To be selling in the proximity of millions of books you would have to be doing at least one of the following: interviewed on major talk shows or radio stations, have a very popular or internet famous blog/website/youtube/tribe surrounding you, traveling around the world giving speeches/seminars/book signings/or events, or wrote a book that just went absolutely viral across the world for whatever reason.

            Most authors substitute their income with writing by creating additional materials such as audios, eLearning programs, giving seminars, conducting promotional events, or using their book as the promotional tool itself to raise awareness of their existing business.

            If the benchmark of "success" is selling a million books, then I agree, most authors are not successful by that single standard. My personal benchmark of success was quitting my job and creating a world of products to live on my own terms rather than surviving paycheck to paycheck. That to me was more lucrative than any other measurement.
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            • Profile picture of the author goindeep
              Originally Posted by EnlighCity View Post

              Just to throw my 2 cents worth in.

              I'm an author, I researched like all hell the pros and cons of self-publishing, going through a traditional publisher, printing books myself and sending them to international distributors, eBooks, printed books, online market places, etc.

              The first title I released managed to hit a few Bestseller lists on Amazon. I am proud of it, but let me give you some insight into pretty harsh realities surrounding many authors (whether you are published or self-published).

              1) Firstly the traditional publishing route is not as lucrative as it seems, unless you sell in the proximity of between 25,000+ books. Most traditional publishers only pay you a $3-$4 royalty per book sold. Beyond the advance, you only start to see royalties after roughly 25,000 books are sold.

              2) A majority of authors DO NOT manage to sell 25,000 books.

              3) Publishers are now focusing on authors who have a platform surrounding them-- which translates into ready sales as they want to pick up authors with the least amount of risk with marketing activities nearly completely placed back into the hands of authors.

              4) To be selling in the proximity of millions of books you would have to be doing at least one of the following: interviewed on major talk shows or radio stations, have a very popular or internet famous blog/website/youtube/tribe surrounding you, traveling around the world giving speeches/seminars/book signings/or events, or wrote a book that just went absolutely viral across the world for whatever reason.

              Most authors substitute their income with writing by creating additional materials such as audios, eLearning programs, giving seminars, conducting promotional events, or using their book as the promotional tool itself to raise awareness of their existing business.

              If the benchmark of "success" is selling a million books, then I agree, most authors are not successful by that single standard. My personal benchmark of success was quitting my job and creating a world of products to live on my own terms rather than surviving paycheck to paycheck. That to me was more lucrative than any other measurement.
              Thank you. Very realistic and experienced words.

              It may come across negative or whatever but i'm just trying to show the reality.

              It's not to say you can't do it, but be prepared, be realistic and don't expect to be working from home on a good income as a self published author by Christmas.
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        • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
          Originally Posted by DABK View Post

          Food for thought: half of the people in the world fall below the average income line.
          It's way more than half. The (relatively) few highest earners skew the average figure.
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          • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
            Originally Posted by Frank Donovan View Post

            It's way more than half. The (relatively) few highest earners skew the average figure.
            True enough. Substitute "median" for "average" and it's dead on. Can't seem to find the census figures for Lake Woebegone to see if it holds there, too.
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            • Profile picture of the author DABK
              That's true, but too depressing to contemplate, so let's stick with the optimistic half. If it helps, I've got a few relatives that are so underachieving, they skew the figures the other way, pinky swear!

              Originally Posted by Frank Donovan View Post

              It's way more than half. The (relatively) few highest earners skew the average figure.
              Now, if anyone were to bring up mode, we'd be ruining a perfectly good thread.
              Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

              True enough. Substitute "median" for "average" and it's dead on. Can't seem to find the census figures for Lake Woebegone to see if it holds there, too.
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        • Profile picture of the author goindeep
          Originally Posted by DABK View Post

          Most people don't make a lot of money with anything. Hence, that's not a good argument.

          Food for thought: half of the people in the world fall below the average income line.
          Uhh sure I guess but I can go and invest in a property tomorrow in a growing neighborhood where the house prices are growing, fix it up a little and am almost guaranteed to make a solid return within a year tops. "Most" people would in fact.

          Its the same thing with other business ventures which are far less risky.Lets take writing for example. Your much better off IMHO finding your niche and writing as a freelancer taking direct payment for your service instead of going down the Amazon river and hoping to catch a big one before the Piranha eat your ass.
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          • Profile picture of the author DABK
            Have been an appraiser and a loan officer. Many of the people who bought in an area with rising prices, fixed up, sold did not end up with a solid return. Some even lost. Most made some money but many not that much.


            QUOTE=goindeep;10545191]Uhh sure I guess but I can go and invest in a property tomorrow in a growing neighborhood where the house prices are growing, fix it up a little and am almost guaranteed to make a solid return within a year tops. "Most" people would in fact.

            Its the same thing with other business ventures which are far less risky.Lets take writing for example. Your much better off IMHO finding your niche and writing as a freelancer taking direct payment for your service instead of going down the Amazon river and hoping to catch a big one before the Piranha eat your ass.[/QUOTE]
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            • Profile picture of the author MValmont
              Ahhhh, Another poster with over 2000 posts that come here and is all negative because he probably failed to make money online...


              The fact is this: Kindle works. There are more and more money making money with it every day and it is in fact the easiest and fastest way to make money online.

              You recommend people to become Freelancers and write for other people? Are you serious? WHY would someone not OWN what they write and make passive income month after month instead of making just a one time fee?

              This is getting ridiculous. I just wished that people actually TRIED before they complained.

              The fact with Kindle Publishing is this: Marketers make money, not writers. There is a reason it is called a best SELLER book. So many people think they are great author, take one year to write their book, then publish on Kindle without any knowledge how to market it properly and optimize it, and then they fail. Why? Is it because Kindle doesn't work? NO, it is because they don't understand how Kindle work. You have to know how Kindle work, or you are going to end up like most ``authors`` that get mad at kindle publishing because they did not make any money with it.

              The fact is Kindle publishing is one of the best thing to ever happen in the online marketing world.

              ps: if you tried and you failed, PM me your book and i'll gladly tell you what went wrong and what to do in the future,


              MValmont
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              • Profile picture of the author goindeep
                Originally Posted by MValmont View Post

                Ahhhh, Another poster with over 2000 posts that come here and is all negative because he probably failed to make money online...


                The fact is this: Kindle works. There are more and more money making money with it every day and it is in fact the easiest and fastest way to make money online.

                You recommend people to become Freelancers and write for other people? Are you serious? WHY would someone not OWN what they write and make passive income month after month instead of making just a one time fee?

                This is getting ridiculous. I just wished that people actually TRIED before they complained.

                The fact with Kindle Publishing is this: Marketers make money, not writers. There is a reason it is called a best SELLER book. So many people think they are great author, take one year to write their book, then publish on Kindle without any knowledge how to market it properly and optimize it, and then they fail. Why? Is it because Kindle doesn't work? NO, it is because they don't understand how Kindle work. You have to know how Kindle work, or you are going to end up like most ``authors`` that get mad at kindle publishing because they did not make any money with it.

                The fact is Kindle publishing is one of the best thing to ever happen in the online marketing world.

                ps: if you tried and you failed, PM me your book and i'll gladly tell you what went wrong and what to do in the future,


                MValmont
                There is no need to be rude dude.

                I understand you make money selling kindle coaching programs, so of course you are going to defend, it you're biased and that's fine. But defend your position with facts and figures, would you be interested in sharing all of the earnings data of all of your customers if you have that data? I'd be interested to see it.

                As for taking a swipe at me because of my post count and making assumptions... righto dude. I'll happily admit much of the stuff here never worked for me, I can give a lot of reasons for that. I think the biggest one is that affiliate marketing, selling programs and eBooks or services and all that typical 'Internet Marketing' stuff was not really my style. I ended up getting involved in crypto-currency. Its a very exciting world and I haven't looked back.
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      • Profile picture of the author nashvillegurl
        Originally Posted by goindeep View Post

        I think your probably busy with your books or something because you kind of contradicted yourself several times... but that's not the main issue.

        No one said you can't earn money doing this sort of thing. My argument is that based on all of the statistical evidence most people will never be able to quit their day job AKA replace their income with kindle and self publishing. Now that may be down them being terrible writers, sure, I get that, but I feel some of it may just have to do with 'coaches' and people offering 'programs' who are kind of exploiting peoples desire to work for themselves, become financially free etc.

        I sincerely wish you all the best if you are doing well. Well done.
        Actually, I was not trying to address YOUR commentary at all, but AMAZON'S ridiculous claim that one must be selling such high numbers to be considered successful. I should have made that clearer in my reply.

        You are indeed correct that most people will not thrive on Kindle, especially if they are simply following advice from these courses that exploit their desire to work from home. Everyone is not suited to writing for a living, just as everyone is not suited to sales or management or the medical field, and a course is not going to change that. But for some, there is a real opportunity on Kindle.

        As for the alleged contradictions... I'd be glad to clarify anything you found confusing.
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        • Profile picture of the author goindeep
          Glad to see we agree. I created this thread essentially to highlight the fact that there are people out there exploiting people emotions and this idea that they can work from home writing for kindle which is absolute bollocks without a proper disclaimer i.e. If you read and write a lot and are really good at it you might be able to earn some money on kindle.
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          • Profile picture of the author Ames
            Originally Posted by goindeep View Post

            Glad to see we agree. I created this thread essentially to highlight the fact that there are people out there exploiting people emotions and this idea that they can work from home writing for kindle which is absolute bollocks without a proper disclaimer i.e. If you read and write a lot and are really good at it you might be able to earn some money on kindle.
            The genesis of just about every KDP slap in the last two to three years can be traced right back to the Warrior Forum and some get-rich-quick WSO on Kindle publishing, so you're in the wrong forum for posting common sense stuff like that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Engineer2Blogger
    I'm sure there are plenty more making 3-5k+/m that no one knows about.
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    • Profile picture of the author MValmont
      I have way more people than that in my program alone that are highly successful with kindle publishing...

      One thing i've noticed with Kindle publishing is every week or so, there is always some headline that predict the end of Kindle....the bottom line is these headlines are always wrong and me and the people in my program are making a lot of money.
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      • Profile picture of the author goindeep
        Originally Posted by MValmont View Post

        I have way more people than that in my program alone that are highly successful with kindle publishing...

        One thing i've noticed with Kindle publishing is every week or so, there is always some headline that predict the end of Kindle....the bottom line is these headlines are always wrong and me and the people in my program are making a lot of money.
        A) you are understandably biased and B) your evidence is anecdotal at best.

        Or are you happy to publicly share all the data you have?
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    • Profile picture of the author goindeep
      Originally Posted by Engineer2Blogger View Post

      I'm sure there are plenty more making 3-5k+/m that no one knows about.
      Turn over or revenue? And do you have evidence for this or is it just something you think?
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  • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
    Interesting thread; as someone who started writing for Kindle over two years ago I've connected with a lot of authors. I personally know ten authors who are earning well over 75k per year from their writing and 3 who earn well over 200k.

    All of them have shared that it was a lot of HARD work and going through a period of doubting themselves. I can relate to that because I worked my ass of with all writing, editing, proofing, coming up with blurbs and book covers that CONVERT and sometimes changing it up to see if I could beat the control group.

    Self-publshing isn't for the faint of heart or people looking for the fast buck. I think now and today is one of the best times to get into the writing business as long as you treat it like a business and write what your audience wants to read.

    One book isn't going to cut it, six is probably a good start, and having a long term view and a marketer's mindset is what separates the authors who SELL and the ones who don't.

    RoD
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    - Jim Rohn
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    • Profile picture of the author goindeep
      Originally Posted by Rod Cortez View Post

      Interesting thread; as someone who started writing for Kindle over two years ago I've connected with a lot of authors. I personally know ten authors who are earning well over 75k per year from their writing and 3 who earn well over 200k.

      All of them have shared that it was a lot of HARD work and going through a period of doubting themselves. I can relate to that because I worked my ass of with all writing, editing, proofing, coming up with blurbs and book covers that CONVERT and sometimes changing it up to see if I could beat the control group.

      Self-publshing isn't for the faint of heart or people looking for the fast buck. I think now and today is one of the best times to get into the writing business as long as you treat it like a business and write what your audience wants to read.

      One book isn't going to cut it, six is probably a good start, and having a long term view and a marketer's mindset is what separates the authors who SELL and the ones who don't.

      RoD
      Yeah I don't dispute that man.

      But again that's anecdotal. It doesnt really mean anything. Example, compare that to most office buildings of sales companies and manufacturers where at least a quarter of the people are specialists or managers of some sort and are earning 75K or more plus car, laptop, phone, credit card, benefits etc... and there's a shit ton more sales companies out there than there are groups of friendly authors.

      And by the way thanks for your true and honest insights, this is the sorta shit that people need to know. Its ******* hard, like really ******* hard.
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  • Originally Posted by goindeep View Post

    I hate to be a Negative Nancy over here but I've been trying to tell people for some time that writing is a poor man's occupation, especially so with the high expectations after buying one of those 'make a million bucks on kindle' coaching programs or ebooks and finally it seems the cat is out of the bag.

    https://claudenougat.wordpress.com/2...s-says-amazon/

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/31/bu...n-imprint.html
    It's probably more then 40 but very few in % just like most jobs. Authors (most of them) are poor just go on forums and you can figure it out in 5 minutes. I'm sure that 1% of them are very rich on the other side.
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    soon people... Relax...
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