Kindle Ebooks, Fact or Fiction

32 replies
Hello All

I have read many posts regarding Kindle Ebooks. It seems to me that most people that really do well with Kindle are the Fiction Writers.

Is there real potential for the "How To" type ebooks sold at the $2.99 price?

How many books do you think you would need in your library to show a nice monthly profit of around $500.00 to $1000.00 per month.

I realize that there are many factors including quality, and marketing. I am just trying to get a good starting point.

Thank You

Al
#ebooks #fact #fiction #kindle
  • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
    Originally Posted by agmccall View Post

    How many books do you think you would need in your library to show a nice monthly profit of around $500.00 to $1000.00 per month.
    As a fiction writer, judging by my statistics, you would need around 500-1000 books available on the Kindle to make $500-$1000 a month.

    Start writing!
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    • Profile picture of the author Sandra Martinez
      Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

      As a fiction writer, judging by my statistics, you would need around 500-1000 books available on the Kindle to make $500-$1000 a month.

      Start writing!
      Really? that bad? darn...

      I´m kind of happy wit the way my lil fantasy novel turned out. It would be fun to be able to do more...

      Send me the link to yours. I buy!
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    • Profile picture of the author J Bold
      Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

      As a fiction writer, judging by my statistics, you would need around 500-1000 books available on the Kindle to make $500-$1000 a month.

      Start writing!

      Probably because your novel is supremely lame.
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    • Profile picture of the author mywebwork
      Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

      As a fiction writer, judging by my statistics, you would need around 500-1000 books available on the Kindle to make $500-$1000 a month.

      Start writing!
      So on average each of your books earns a dollar per month? That's either 3 sales per month of a 99 cent book (at 35% royalty) or 1 sale every 2 months of a 2.99 book (at 70% royalty).

      No offense in any way intended Dan but you seriously should look at making some changes to your marketing strategy, book descriptions or cover designs if your sales statistics are indeed that low. I've enjoyed many awesome posts from you in the time I've spent here so I know it's not your writing ability that is resulting in such poor sales.

      Bill
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  • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
    Originally Posted by agmccall View Post

    Hello All

    I have read many posts regarding Kindle Ebooks. It seems to me that most people that really do well with Kindle are the Fiction Writers.

    Is there real potential for the "How To" type ebooks sold at the $2.99 price?

    How many books do you think you would need in your library to show a nice monthly profit of around $500.00 to $1000.00 per month.

    I realize that there are many factors including quality, and marketing. I am just trying to get a good starting point.

    Thank You

    Al
    Yes, and your marketing funnel and actual promotion efforts are what's going to make your Kindle project successful. Yes, you'll get some of their own organic traffic, but you also have to know how and when to use their keyword system.

    Let's say you put out an e-book for $2.99. That's going to be your loss leader or it might make you a little bit of money. But really, it's going to be your lead generator. So test different price points and different kinds of content.

    I wouldn't worry too much about "how many" you need to crank out. Focus more on your sales funnel and your own promotional efforts.

    RoD
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeScantlebury
      Kindle says in its blurb that it has an Affiliate Programme. Does that help a new author?? It is a good way of promoting sales, do you know?
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      • Profile picture of the author Sandra Martinez
        Originally Posted by MikeScantlebury View Post

        Kindle says in its blurb that it has an Affiliate Programme. Does that help a new author?? It is a good way of promoting sales, do you know?
        I think so. If you can jv with other authors with lists. They can recommend your book.

        The earnings are very low for kindle books. But it might be a way to rub each others back without leaving reviews in public platforms - what eventually can backfire.
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  • Profile picture of the author evilbunnies
    It's absolutely possible with the right promotion, the addition of the lending of kindle books is an excellent addition as well. For those of you unfamiliar you can set your kindle books to be borrowed for free by Amazon Prime members. Whenever someone borrows your book you get a $2.50 per lend, which if your book is $2.99 you will actually make more than you would on a sale.

    The biggest thing is just how well you promote your book.
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  • Profile picture of the author LoneWolfMuskoka
    From what I've read, there are 2 major things you need to keep in mind.

    First is that you need to promote the book to a certain point until Amazon says "hey, this might be something" and takes over. That means you need to get a certain number of copies out there to become a "top seller" in your niche (aka categories). And you need some honest reviews that are mostly positive. The exact numbers of these things you need vary depending on your competition.

    The best way to get started is a well promoted 5 day giveaway with the KDP Select program. The downside is you can only do this if you register for 90 days in the Select program which means you're exclusive to Amazon. Can't sell it on any other platform (including your own blog) in electronic format during that time.

    You'll need to promote it as widely as you possibly can (there are tons of sites that help you promote free Kindle books).

    The other thing to keep in mind is that you need to have a funnel that starts inside the book. You don't get names, emails etc from Amazon, so you need to encourage the readers to register their book or sign up for a newsletter,etc. within the book.

    This is where you bring people into your world so you can build your customer/fan base.

    I plan to have the 2nd revision of my book available for the 5 days between Christmas and New Years after everyone has opened their new Kindle Fire from Santa. I figure it might be a good time for a second hit at the brass ring. I learned all this stuff too late for my first kick although I managed to get 500 copies given away over 2 giveaway periods.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Gram
    I have TONS of data to base my opinions on and I do think it's a bit easier making money with Fiction on the Kindle than Non Fiction.

    HOWEVER...

    That's not to say you can't make great money with Non Fiction...you absolutely can.

    For $500-$1,000 per month, you could absolutely do that with just 1 book but it totally depends on your marketing and branding plan etc.
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    • Profile picture of the author LoneWolfMuskoka
      Originally Posted by Paul Gram View Post

      I have TONS of data to base my opinions on and I do think it's a bit easier making money with Fiction on the Kindle than Non Fiction.
      I have a question Paul, that maybe your data can help with. Does having a print version of the book help with Kindle sales? Is it worth looking into CreateSpace or Lulu to help boost the Kindle end of things?

      And another question -- what niches of Fiction do you see as being most popular?
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Gram
        Originally Posted by LoneWolfMuskoka View Post

        I have a question Paul, that maybe your data can help with. Does having a print version of the book help with Kindle sales? Is it worth looking into CreateSpace or Lulu to help boost the Kindle end of things?

        And another question -- what niches of Fiction do you see as being most popular?
        Great questions! It's funny that you asked about the print book because it's something we have tested a few times (great minds think alike right!).

        We definitely found that having a print version of your book increased sales on the Kindle version by over 25%. That was our experience on various tests but it may differ for others.

        In terms of the Fiction niches, all you have to do is check out the top 100 "Paid" books on Amazon and that will give you lots of great information.
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      • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
        Originally Posted by LoneWolfMuskoka View Post

        I have a question Paul, that maybe your data can help with. Does having a print version of the book help with Kindle sales? Is it worth looking into CreateSpace or Lulu to help boost the Kindle end of things?

        And another question -- what niches of Fiction do you see as being most popular?
        Romance Market Share Compared to Other Genres
        (source: Simba Information estimates)

        Romance fiction: $1.368 billion in estimated revenue for 2011
        Religion/inspirational: $715 million
        Mystery: $709 million
        Science fiction/fantasy: $579 million
        Classic literary fiction: $467 million

        Romance Literature Statistics Overview | Romance Writers of America

        However, whether you are writing the fiction yourself, outsourcing it, or a combination , YOU as the Author/Publish need to educate yourself about the niche/subniche/microniche yourself and you MUST respect the niche and its readers.

        You also need to educate yourself about the readers' expectations.

        Is the cover in line with the niche norm?

        Are you writing in the proper voice (usually third or first) (Some, not all Urban Fantasy are written in First Person - not sure why but...)?

        Are you meeting any other expectations that maybe unique to that specific niche -- Example: Romance readers expect EITHER Happy Ever After (HEA) or Happy For Now (HFN)?

        I am in the fiction camp in terms of taking advantage of the Kindle opportunities, but it is still a business and should be treated like a business.

        As this evolves, I expect that the writer/publishers who exhibit persistence (like Big Mike said, this is for the long term) and who make decisions based on business strategies will be the ones succeeding.

        HTH

        Tink
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    • Profile picture of the author cashcow
      If you go and look at the Amazon best sellers list, you will see mostly fiction books. Way more people buy books to be entertained (fiction) than they do to learn stuff.

      But, certainly people do buy "How To" books. You could make $500 - $1000 per month with a Kindle "How To" Book but you're going to have to work hard at promoting it. Almost as hard as you'd have to work if you just sold the book from clickbank or your own website.

      One of the advantages of selling on Amazon is that people are already there looking to buy books. If you sell enough books, then your book becomes more visible and more people would buy it, thus pushing it higher in the rankings and giving it more visibility. (OK, thats two advantages.)

      If you have more books on the same topic AND your book is superior in quality and content, then the buyer might buy some of your other books (happens a lot easier with fiction as stated previously)

      One of the advantages of selling your book through Clickbank or your own website is that you can probably charge a hell of a lot more then $2.99 for it.

      Since you have to do a lot of the marketing anyway, you need to weigh only getting $2 or $3 per sale with the advantage of the Amazon marketplace. Keep in mind that most of the books there do not make many sales. What will make yours different?
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  • Profile picture of the author Amy Harrop
    If you want to bypass the KDP Select route, putting your book on other venues like: Smashwords, iBookstore, Nook, can def. increase sales. Also, you should have a print version as well, you can do that with or without KDP Select.

    Non-Fiction can do quite well if its targeted and marketed appropriately, but fiction really allows you to tap into repeat buyers and to build a fanbase faster.
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  • Profile picture of the author kengorden
    Originally Posted by agmccall View Post

    Hello All

    I have read many posts regarding Kindle Ebooks. It seems to me that most people that really do well with Kindle are the Fiction Writers.

    Is there real potential for the "How To" type ebooks sold at the $2.99 price?

    How many books do you think you would need in your library to show a nice monthly profit of around $500.00 to $1000.00 per month.

    I realize that there are many factors including quality, and marketing. I am just trying to get a good starting point.

    Thank You

    Al
    Al,

    It's good that you're asking these type of questions, most publishers, when first getting started do not have a goal in mind. It sounds like you have a goal of in mind and I can provide you some estimates that might make you're research a little easier.

    Let's use $1,000 as a monthly goal. $2.99 puts you at 70% royalty and making about $2.09 per sale.

    If you have 1 book published at $2.99 you'd need to average 16 sales a day to hit your $1,000 goal. 2 books published you'd need to average 8 sales a day for each book. 3 books published at $2.99 you'd need to average about 6 sales a day for each book. And 4 books published you'd need to average about 4 sales a day for each book.

    Remember these are just estimates, some books, depending on a number of factors, will sell more, some will sell less.

    Hope this helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author LilBlackDress
    Originally Posted by agmccall View Post

    Hello All

    I have read many posts regarding Kindle Ebooks. It seems to me that most people that really do well with Kindle are the Fiction Writers.

    Is there real potential for the "How To" type ebooks sold at the $2.99 price?

    How many books do you think you would need in your library to show a nice monthly profit of around $500.00 to $1000.00 per month.

    I realize that there are many factors including quality, and marketing. I am just trying to get a good starting point.

    Thank You

    Al
    Yes you can do well with quality non fiction books and with fiction. However, fiction is harder to copy, is generally more evergreen and can easily be built into story series where people buy each one.

    Just one book can generate $1000 + per month IF it is the right book and it can be either fiction or non fiction.

    Best practice is to have a series of books in a niche that people want to read and let each one piggy back off the next.
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  • Profile picture of the author miklanderson2
    Choose the right markets and you won't have to sell your book for $2.99. Some of my best sellers are going for a lot more than that. If you write books you can sell at a higher price point, it's going to take a lot less sales to reach your $1,000 a month total.

    So far, non-fiction books are my biggest sellers, but the fiction book I just uploaded recently has been doing fairly well. It takes me a lot longer to write fiction than it does to write non-fiction so I haven't decided yet whether fiction is worth it or not. It's more fun to write fiction, so I may continue to do it on the side for fun. Who knows...Maybe I'll get lucky and come up with something that's a big hit.
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  • Profile picture of the author WriterWahm
    The thing with fiction is that the readers can be very loyal. If they read one of your books and they like it, they'll most likely search out your other books - but that's only if they like it.

    With non-fiction you would have to be offering something no one else is offering, or giving the information in a totally different way. I believe that if readers feel that they are really getting the help they desire from your nonfiction book, they will recommend it and keep coming back for more, and that's what will make you sales.

    The quality of what you write is very important.
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  • Profile picture of the author miklanderson2
    When it comes to non-fiction, all you really have to do to drive sales is offer something in a prettier package than the books everyone else is selling. Your cover and your description are what drive book sales, not the actual content of your book. The quality of your writing comes into play on the back end. You don't want customers buying your books, then promptly refunding them. You also don't want bad reviews. A bad review or two can completely kill your sales.

    The book cover and your description are what most people look at when they buy a book. If you're able to convince them that you're an expert in your field AND you have a nice book cover, you can sell hundreds of copies a month in niches you'd think were too saturated to be worth your while. Add in a bit of promotion via KDP Select and a little Amazon SEO in your description and title and you'll be on page one in no time.
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    • Profile picture of the author kiwiviktor81
      Put it this way.

      The top 1,000 books on Kindle sell 100 copies a day. If you get 70% royalties at a cover price of $2.99, that's usually over two bucks (depending on what you pay for delivery).

      So, $200 a day if you can stay in the top 1,000 (out of 1,700,000). Of course if you go higher than this you get more. It seems that for every order of magnitude you go up in the rankings, you sell an order of magnitude more books.

      It's definitely a good way, but you have to work hard to get momentum behind it.
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  • Profile picture of the author lastreporter
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  • Profile picture of the author LilBlackDress
    My thought - many on here are thinking like marketers instead of authors by trying to focus on the sales funnel instead of the books themselves. If you put out top notch books people want to read and promote them properly you can make your money from the books not from pushing people to a landing page where you sell them something else.

    As marketers we have an advantage in knowing how to promote our books but lets not forget the essential of what a book should be. The books should be able to stand on their own merits and not be just a decoy for something else.

    That said, I think it is a great idea to capture the email addresses and not depend on any eBook platform for your business. But the idea to capture those emails would be to share more books.

    By focusing on providing quality books that offer genuine value that people want to read you can make your money from your books not from funneling them to some other product.
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    • Profile picture of the author agmccall
      Thanks for all the responses. I will have to go with my how to books as I do not have the talent for a fiction book.

      A few of the posts here mention getting the reader into my sales funnel. Would this be done with a simple link in the book or is there another way to do this?

      Thank You

      Al
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  • Profile picture of the author Anton543
    Those Kindle figures do not seem very impressive. You will probably make more with Adsense. How many word howtos are we talking here? If you do a how to, it has to be as comprehensive as possible. Can you publish a how to on a website as well see it as an eBook through Clickbank?
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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    Hi Mr. Bold:

    Well, you said -
    Probably because your novel is supremely lame.
    That is very mean. I can tell you from experience that it is hard to make money. Oh yes, especially when you are selling e-books for 99 cents and getting a tiny 35% royalty from amazing amazon. Promotion is the key as well as getting many good reviews.
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    • Profile picture of the author sweetbribes
      You have read all the positive posts here already about how profitable publishing on the Kindle platform could be and is for some of us.

      So, here is another positive post from yet another experienced Kindle author and publisher. It's almost hard to call myself experienced when I remember how I felt first starting out with Kindle books.

      Even though I write mostly fiction, I know other authors who write only non-fiction and do very well.

      I researched the particular niche in which I write fiction *very* thoroughly, to the point where I knew without a shadow of a doubt that my Kindle writing experiment would be both successful and profitable as long as I turned out quality (and entertaining) writing. I write under several pen names.

      After the niche and genre research, that was my next task. It seemed to take me forever (I won't lie, it took me three months to write my first Kindle book, which was also my first book ever), but it was *well* worth it.

      In a sea of badly edited and often lackluster books in the same or similar genres, I do not brag when I say that my book did really well, especially for a first time author. It gave me such a boost of confidence that I was able to finish my second Kindle book within a month.

      I actually had people leaving positive reviews for my book just because of the editing (lack of spelling, grammar, and first/third person errors).

      At first, before I experienced my own brand of success, I thought that if I took such a long time to write all of my Kindle books, it would take me a really long time to make enough income via the Kindle platform to finally enable me to make a full-time income.

      Instead I discovered that having an appreciative fan-base can make all the difference in the world. Within about seven months of writing my first Kindle book, I met my goal and was able to finally leave the depressing rat race behind.

      I am now in the process of helping my retired parents turn out some health books in some sub-niches of the self-help genre as well as a few recipe books. They just want to make a little extra to supplement their retirement income, and I actually feel quite confident that I can help them achieve their goals.

      I hope you persist until you meet your goal, too. I *guarantee* the feeling you get when you reach it will make the hard (or maybe just tedious?) work that you have to do to get it more than worthwhile.

      Don't give up!

      It's not a form of income stream that is suitable for everyone. I have tried to help friends, relatives, and former co-workers to get started on the Kindle or CreateSpace platform, but most of them either did not have sufficient and sustainable interest or did not have the self-discipline to continue (or even start). Such is life...

      If it were easy, a lot more people would be doing it. To me, each book is a labor of love - and I relish it.

      I wish you much luck, but even more, I wish you persistence if you truly want to be successful with this endeavor.

      Peace,

      Sadie
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      • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
        What Sadie said ^^^^^
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      • Profile picture of the author Elvis Michael
        Originally Posted by sweetbribes View Post

        It's not a form of income stream that is suitable for everyone. I have tried to help friends, relatives, and former co-workers to get started on the Kindle or CreateSpace platform, but most of them either did not have sufficient and sustainable interest or did not have the self-discipline to continue (or even start). Such is life...

        If it were easy, a lot more people would be doing it. To me, each book is a labor of love - and I relish it.

        I wish you much luck, but even more, I wish you persistence if you truly want to be successful with this endeavor.

        Peace,

        Sadie
        Spot on, Sadie.

        I published 3 short books on my dad's behalf and the guy is making about $100 each month. On the other hand, I had to publish many more books on my own account to reach that first $100, since i dont always write about profitable themes or markets. So in the end, your questions can't really be answered that easily. You could reach $1,000 with 5 books or with 500 books. It takes some research combined with an undying passion.

        What are your strengths and weaknesses?
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  • Profile picture of the author timpears
    I was thinking about giving Kindle a try, but after reading this thread, I find there is much I don't know about this niche. Maybe I should read more, or maybe I should just forget it.
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  • Profile picture of the author drtrowbridge
    I think you can do well with both fiction and non-fiction. I personally write non-fiction, but love to read fiction. As a fiction consumer few things have worked on me time after time.....great book description that gives you just a taste to what the book is about without giving away the ending is very important. Also...I love reading the series of books...If the first book is written very well, even if it was free, the reader will pay for the sequels to see what happens to the rest of the characters of the book. Just get them hooked!!! To do that, make sure your book is written well. Don't just write them to publish as many books as possible, concentrate on the quality first.
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