If you want to be a successful author you need to think seriously about making real money from your books. In this section we're going to look at how to really make your books work for you, and create a long-term income.
One Book Isn't Enough
Writing just one book isn't enough to live off if you want to make money with your writing. You need a whole shelf of books for people to buy to make real money as a writer.
It's also worth pointing out that the more books you write, the less you have to market each one, because you'll be reaching a bigger audience of people with different subjects and genres.
Don't think less is more, think more is more when it comes to making a living from your writing. The more you stretch yourself as a writer writing in different genres, the more money you'll make in the long run.
Write Books People Want to Buy and Read
You can market your book until the cows come home, but if it's not in a category that sells you won't make any money.
There'll always be times when you write a book and it's a real labour of love, and you just want to write and get it out to the world no matter what the genre or subject matter. But that doesn't mean it's going to become a bestseller.
That's why you need a string of other books that cover popular categories that really sell.
Make Time to Look Into the Sub-Genres and Sub-Categories on Amazon
I really enjoy writing non-fiction books, and self-help books, and I'm always curious to see what other authors have written on the same or similar subjects.
When you start self-publishing on Kindle you'll see all of the sub-categories on offer, this will give you a better idea of what to look out for when you're on the main Amazon website.
It's an ongoing job trying to think of new and different things to write about, but once you get into it you won't be able to stop.
Use Keywords on Amazon and See What People Are Looking for When They're Looking for a Book
Punch in a search term in Amazon and you'll come up with all sorts of results, but narrow it down to books or kindle and you can really see what people are looking for.
You could start by typing in 'a guide to' or 'how to', and see what comes up.
Most of the time you'll be given a drop down menu that will point in the right direction.
Enroll on Amazon's KDP Select and Give Your Book Away for Free
KDP Select offers two different tools to help give your books traction:
The Free Ebook Giveaway
Every ebook you publish through Kindle you can enrol on their KDP Select program. This allows you to run a Free Book Promotion by offering it for free for up to 5 days out of each 90-day KDP Select enrollment period. If your ebook does really well it will start ranking high on Amazon's Top 100 Free list.
The Countdown Deal
Discounted books are included on the Top 100 Paid list, which means if any of your books reach this particular list it will end up doing really well, and will carry over into the sales rank of your book when it eventually goes back to it's original sale price.
Think Outside the Box
The market for selling books has changed so much since the days of walking into a bookstore and purchasing a book, or going down to your local library and borrowing one off the shelves.
By signing up to a self-publishing platform like Amazon you have the world at your feet when it comes to book sales, especially if you own the rights to your own material.
People the world over are connected to the internet, whether it's through a tablet, mobile phone, or laptop. There are always going to be people wanting to learn new information or read new stories.
So don't worry about your US book sales not being that great, if you're selling your books on Amazon you have 13 online marketplaces around the world that could be doing really well. Covering everywhere from the US to Mexico, and everywhere in between.
Don't Just Write in One Genre or Subject
The wider you throw your net the more fish you're going to catch. It makes sense really, when you think about it.
The more subcategories and genres you start delving into, the more people are going to be interested in your writing.
Just because you're a fiction writer doesn't mean you have to permanently stick to it.
The same goes for all non-fiction writers, take a step outside of your box every now and again and write a story or two. You never know it might become a bestseller.
Never Undersell Your Books
Many first-time authors undersell themselves thinking people won't buy their books just because they're new to the genre.
This is even more apparent in the non-fiction arena of books, where valuable information is given away so cheaply.
With non-fiction you have the added advantage of being able to repackage your book into different formats, such as audio or video. Selling at a much higher price point than you would in book form. This is because people will pay more for these mediums than they would for text.
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