5/27/14

Can You Leverage Amazon’s Kindle Publishing to Boost Your Freelance Writing Income?

Can You Leverage Amazon’s Kindle Publishing to Boost Your Freelance Writing Income?

Did you know there are more than 18 million Kindle devices worldwide? There are almost half a billion Android devices out there as well, along with almost 400 million Apple iOS devices, all of which can download and read Kindle ebooks. Of course, you’re also able to read Kindle ebooks right from your desktop computer screen, using the right software to make reading accessible.

That’s certainly a lot of people around the world with access to downloading and reading ebooks. Of course, Amazon lists almost 2 million ebooks in their e-bookstore for you to browse and choose from. When you combine the sheer number of people browsing for something to read with the massive traffic Amazon generates, it’s easy to see why so many writers are jumping onto the Kindle publishing bandwagon.

So how can a freelance writer leverage the power of Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform to boost freelance income?

It’s much easier than you think….

Write Your Knowledge

No matter what your clients might pay you to write, it’s very likely you’ll have a hobby or passion that you enjoy writing about in your own time. Think about what you already know a lot about. You might have a great way to help moms think up healthy meals that kids love. You might know a good way to train dogs to be perfect puppies.

You might love gardening and have plenty of knowledge to teach others who have never even pulled a weed before. Your hobby might be golf or fishing or sailing or jogging or….

You get the point. Think about what you already know. Make some notes about your knowledge. Compile those notes into some kind of logical order and turn them into an ebook.

Write Your Research

If you’ve been a freelance writer for any length of time, chances are you’ve written about some strange, bizarre, fascinating, obscure, interesting, helpful and truly weird topics for your clients. I still get surprised by some of the odd topics my clients order from me at times.

Of course, before I write anything at all I spend some time researching the topic. I always keep my research filed for future reference, just in case.

When I’m out of ideas for something new to write, I’ll go back through my research files. It’s sometimes entertaining to see the variety of topics I have lots of information about. Collate your information. Sort it into logical order and turn it into an ebook.

Write from Imagination

Yes, there’s always room for a freelance writer to get creative. Spark that imaginative flair and write a short story or a short novel. Write the type of stories you love to read. Format your story nicely and turn it into an ebook.

Why Bother with Kindle Publishing?

When I first heard about writers making decent incomes on Amazon via the Kindle ebookstore, I screwed up my nose and decided it wasn’t for me. After all, if ebooks are selling for .99 cents per download, that’s mere pennies.

Surely my time is better spent writing highly paid articles, right?

Boy, was I wrong.

You see, a friend of mine jumped onto the bandwagon a few years ago (yes, it’s my regular friend and mentor, Lee. Hi, Lee…) She wrote some simple ‘how-to’ ebooks and published them under a pen name. Her sales were steady, so she wrote some more in a different niche under a different pen name.

Two years later, she has a series of best-selling novels and a huge collection of ‘how-to’ series generating more income than she used to earn writing full time as a freelance writer. If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you’ll know Lee has a team of 12 freelance writers working for her almost full time just to keep up with orders.

Many of her smaller titles don’t make significant amounts of money on their own. In fact, she has a couple of titles that maybe churn $40-$50 per month each. Nothing to write home about, surely.

But then she released those big profitable best-selling fiction titles that blew her monthly income through the roof! Rather than write another series of high-paying fiction, she promptly released another quick series of how-to books again.

My first question to her was: “Why didn’t you focus on writing the more profitable fiction stuff to start with?”

Her answer surprised me. She said “I write full time as a freelance writer. Orders from the clients come first. In my spare time I put together well-researched chapters about information that people need or want or find helpful. It’s all I had time to do.”

Then she said: “Besides, if you write something straightforward like a how-to instructional book, you’re working from reference material. You can have it finished in a matter of days, spend another couple of days editing it for quality and then publish it right away. Writing fiction takes time. A LOT of time. And patience. And creativity. And more time.”

In essence, those short simple non-fiction books and how-to books might only earn $50 per month. But imagine if you had 10 of them selling comfortably every month. Imagine if you had 20 of them. Or 50. Or 100! That would be cool.

And then you’d have income coming in that would allow you to focus on the more time-consuming fiction writing that has the potential to earn even more money each month.

By diversifying the types of books she has for sale, her income can’t be affected if sales of one or two slow down, or if a particular topic goes out of style. She spread her risk and guaranteed her income.

Why All the Different Pen Names?

Now, my friend has an easily-recognizable name in the writing industry. Yet she released a large percentage of her ebooks under different pen names.

I just couldn’t work out why she wouldn’t want to capitalize on the recognition of her own name. Again, I asked her why.

She said: “I chose to use different pen names across different genres to keep them separate.”

If you love to read romance fiction from one author and she also wrote nasty, gory horror books, or books about making model trains, or wrote about cooking with gluten-free ingredients, or wrote about cultivating a worm farm in your back yard, would you buy those too just because her name is on the cover?

Or would you stick to the genres and topics you prefer and follow individual authors across your chosen niches?

Why Start with Simple Books?

That first series of basic how-to books taught her the intricacies of Kindle Publishing. It taught her about the formatting requirements and how Amazon’s formatting can sometimes skew your paragraphs and page breaks. She learned  how to tweak her book descriptions to boost sales a bit more. It taught her about book promotion and marketing tactics. And it taught her how to work through the payment systems Amazon has in place for earnings in different currencies.

I really thought about my friend’s advice long and hard. I definitely saw the benefits of learning the industry and the publishing platform with a series of simple books. I also saw the benefit of having a consistent income rolling in each month on books that were faster to write, giving me some freedom later to write more detailed work.

How Do You Promote Your Kindle Books?

I asked my friend how she promotes her books. She promptly wrote an article for her own blog so everyone can learn some marketing basics. You can find her article about Kindle book promotion here: http://fictionfactor.com/articles/book-promotion-tips-for-marketing-your-amazon-kindle-ebook/



So….

When is your first Kindle ebook being launched on Amazon’s ebookstore? Let me know your thoughts on the whole ebook publishing idea.


;)

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