Up to this point, I’ve mostly discussed working on short web content pieces. However, you don’t want to overlook the potential earning power of longer work. Writing and publishing a book is a great way to set up a passive income stream: you write the book just once, but get paid for it repeatedly. Doesn’t that sound better than getting paid just once per article or content piece? And while you still have to market your book, it’s a lot less work than constantly advertising and marketing an affiliate site, and a lot more lucrative than ad revenue.
The next step after writing your book is to get it published. Since you don’t have a proven record of success, a publishing company is going to be hesitant to back your work. Thanks to the Internet, however, you don’t need a publishing company. You can do it all yourself.
One of the best platforms for selling an eBook is Amazon.com. Their platform is available for anyone to use and they offer a range of ways for you to promote sales of your book. You get to keep 70% of the cost of every book sold; this is nearly ten times the royalties offered by most traditional publishing houses. This means that you can price your book lower than books on the same topic offered by the major publishers, draw in their customers, and still make more money than their authors.
You don’t have to write the next blockbuster hit to make real money using the Amazon.com Kindle Direct Publishing platform. Let’s say you write a cookbook, based on your grandmother’s recipes, and you price it at $2.99. That’s not going to sell tens of thousands of copies, but with some marketing efforts, you could probably get sales in the range of 500 a month. With Amazon.com’s 70% royalty rate, you’re getting around $2.09 per copy sold. Doesn’t seem like much, right?
Wrong. In that scenario, you’d be bringing in an income stream to the tune of $12,000 a year for one book. I bet this is starting to seem like a pretty good idea.
There are some barriers to self-publishing on Amazon.com, but they can all be overcome with a little bit of effort. You need to make sure that your book is formatted in a way that works for all of the various Kindle e-readers, for example; the hardware in those readers is high-quality and the software is stable, but they still have some quirks. Testing your book on a variety of screens is a must, and you should do it before you go live. Otherwise, you’ll have upset customers posting bad reviews about your formatting, and you’ll probably have to issue some refunds.
If you have an account with Amazon.com already, either as a seller or a customer, it’s easy to sign up for the KDP platform. Amazon.com uses your existing account information to set up your publishing account, though it keeps the two separate. Your KDP earnings will not appear in your Seller account, or vice versa.
There are a lot of nuances to publishing a book through KDP, and I can’t cover them all here. The best thing to do is just go try it out. If you start feeling overwhelmed, you should consider purchasing the Kindle Kash course for $27, as it covers all aspects of the process, from selecting a genre or topic to uploading, pricing, and marketing your book, and everything in between. If you price a book at $3 and manage to sell even 150 copies over its entire lifetime, you’ve more than paid for the course. (Full disclosure: I am an affiliate for the program, but I don’t promote products I don’t believe in. This really is a great deal for the price.)