Today we’re going to talk about Amazon self-publishing or self-publishing in general. You have your publishing houses and publishing houses are notoriously hard to get into, and even when you do, they don’t necessarily get you the results that you couldn’t already get for yourself. I mean, so many publishers, so many artists are moving to self-publishing anymore. Amazon self-publishing is as simple as uploading a book, writing.
The hardest part of self-publishing:
- creating your material
- brainstorming the thing that you are going to be writing
That’s really the hardest part about it, but once you brainstorm it and then you can sit down and fill in the blanks, then the rest of it is pretty easy. There are so many different ways to sell that thing. Of course, you can sell it on your website, on your Amazon, with Apple iBooks, and on Kindle.
What we’re going to talk about today specifically is selling on Kindle, just because it is the one that most people are the most familiar with because everybody has some sort of a tablet anymore or a Kindle reader. The process is as seamless as possible. If you can put together just a document if you can write a letter, then you can write a book and you can publish a book on Amazon.
I’m going to show you some of it because I have three up on Kindle. I’m going to show you how Amazon wants you to format your book and the software they provide for that. And we’re going to talk about some of the ins and outs of it. Now, this isn’t necessarily just a Kindle party or an Amazon party.
- You can write your book and then sell it as a PDF on your website.
- You can put it in iBooks.
There are so many different platforms, but Amazon is just really the biggest. That’s the one we’re going to concentrate on. Now, everybody, do I sound okay? So I am using a mic, a Level U mic. All right. It looks like I’m good. Nobody’s bitching yet. So, that’s good. That’s awesome.
With Amazon self-publishing, the good parts, the good aspects of Amazon self-publishing you control the pricing, so the pricing is 100% something that you control, and at the end of the day, you’re able to set whatever pricing you want. So if you want to charge a hundred dollars for an ebook, you totally can. I think you can charge up to $250. Not that you’re going to sell anything for $250, but you can charge up to that if you would like. You control the pricing, you also make more money per sale. Because you’re not sharing with anybody. Well, you are sharing it with Amazon, but you’re not sharing it with anybody else. So you’re able to charge whatever you want to charge. And it works out the same regardless.
There’s two different pricing, compensation plans that Amazon offers. There’s 30% and 60% pay to you and they each have their different parameters.
a. Everything is owned by you.
Also, you control the content. You’re responsible for it. The copyright, everything is owned by you. The book is owned by you. The publishing house quote-unquote is owned by you. You own the publishing rights are owned by you, everything is owned by you when you do Amazon self-publishing.
b. They run the distribution.
I mean with Amazon self-publishing, they distribute so that’s their role in it is they run distribution, and then they also can syndicate the book out to other booksellers too. You can use that content however you like. If you want to publish an ebook and then somebody comes along and wants to buy the movie rights or whatever, then you can sell them the rights because you’re the only one who owns it.
Just a weird little side note. One of the things that I have been watching a lot lately is these content libraries. Like Rogan’s content library. I think Spotify snapped it up for a hundred million dollars or something. There are these huge content libraries that are being purchased. The rights are being purchased to them for lots and lots and lots of money. Podcasts there’s actually, Apple is appointing a couple of people to do nothing, but listen to podcasts and then go out and figure out which of the podcasts can be turned into shows for Apple TV. There is just so much innovation that’s happening around content right now. You retaining the rights to the content means that you have a lot of upsides down the road that you can play with.
c. You don’t have deadlines for your editors.
Now, you don’t have editors breathing down your neck. So that’s a thing and a bad thing for when you are working on this stuff, because the good side is you don’t necessarily have the pressure that the editors bring. You don’t have deadlines. The bad part is some people respond very well to deadlines. If you don’t have somebody breathing down your neck, are you going to get it done? Hopefully, the answer is yes, but the answer might be no.
d. You control the publishing of your book.
If you’ve had a book that has been sitting on your hard drive for a long time, you need to make it a personal mission to get that thing done and upload it to Kindle, or you can publish it as serials. And that is the big chapter. One chapter, you have a chapter a week that you can, or a chapter a month that you can publish.
Somebody pays 99 cents per, or they can pay a dollar for the whole thing. It’s just a different way of publishing that might make a lot of sense for you if you are having problems just actually getting it done. You manage the buying process. So when you own the PDF, you manage the buying process, which is beneficial. So you can do whatever you want to do from a buying standpoint. However, you also manage the buying process. If you’re trusting Amazon for that, then what ends up happening is you don’t so you’re relying on all of Amazon’s backend fulfillment and all Amazon stuff, as opposed to controlling the upsell cycle on your own.
For instance, when I walk through some of Amazon’s stuff, you’re going to see that I have books on Amazon, but then I also sell the digital downloads on my website. Well, the reason is that we’re able to get some buyers and get some leads off of Amazon, which is fantastic. It’s the largest marketplace in the world, but at the same time, we’re able to upsell them more effectively on our website. We can upsell them from a book to a course, to whatever, as opposed to Amazon, which is just going to try to sell them complementary books. And then that’s it. It’s just a very subtle distinction to be aware of.
At the end of the day, Amazon self-publishing, you control the whole deal. That’s the good part, all the good things. The bad things are you control the whole deal.
There’s a disadvantage in controlling everything because you control everything.
1. You need someone to put all stuff in place.
If you don’t understand technology, if you don’t understand marketing, sales copy, and all these other things, then you need to have somebody on your team who does and that’s just a fact of the matter. If you want to do an upsell for a book, you absolutely can on your website or whatever, but you need to know somebody to put that stuff in place.
These are all the bad parts of Amazon self-publishing. Whereas if you worked with a publisher, you could just say, “Hey, I have an idea for a second book or a video course or whatever. They could figure out how to execute on that for you.”
2. Nobody’s pushing your book except you.
Nobody’s marketing that thing except you, you don’t have an agent. You’re not on podcasts. You’re not the one hustling for it. There it’s a drawback to the traditional side and you’ve got to figure out logistics when you have your books like distribution and printing and pricing and marketing. Distribution is easier because Amazon’s service also gives printing and distribution for you. You tap into Amazon’s printing presses and Amazon’s distribution network, which makes it super nice. You can set your pricing, but then you’ve got to give 30% or 60% back to Amazon, which is nice, but it pays for the distribution of the printing. And then, of course, you have your marketing on top of that too.
Now we’re going to go check out Amazon. We’re going to go look at some of the Amazon self-publishing resources, mostly though we’re going to start by kicking over into Amazon create. I got some awesome love. Man, very cool. All right, so let’s go over to, I’m going to share this Kindle create, let’s see if this works. All right. So this is Kindle create, and it is a book publishing platform. Basically, Kindle will let you create eBooks, textbooks, and then they have some new stuff like comic books. So your eBooks and you’re physical… Your eBooks, basically you can upload them to Amazon. You format them and create, them upload them to Amazon as a visual file. And then they take them. They let you preview them.
You can set the pricing for them and that’s it. I did a textbook for Funnel Factor, and I’m excited for it to show up. But so the textbook for Funnel Factor is it’s an eight and a half by 11 books. And how I formatted it was I uploaded the PDF to Kindle Create. Kindle Create, went through, let me format all the pages, and make sure that they all looked okay. I uploaded them to Kindle. The book is full color, which I’m excited about checking out, but it’s $22 to print every single copy, which is crazy, but at the same time it’s full-color and it’s huge. I’m just looking forward to checking it out. So there’s a proof coming on the seventh.
We’re going to create a new project from a file. You have the option of creating novels, essays, poetry, narrative, or nonfiction, or you can do textbooks, travel guides, cookbooks, music books. So your novels, essays, poetry, narrative, nonfiction, those are going to be all your books. Like the stuff that you’re going to write and upload. And then your textbooks are going to be, well they’re textbooks. So something like this guy.
If we go here, all right, you can see that. This book was created inside the KDP, inside Amazon. The nice little book, basically it was formatted inside this Kindle create, but by and large, nice book, black and white, it’s got a matte cover. And then you can see the table of contents, which was all formatted inside of Kindle Create too. And then ultimately the book cover.
The nice little piece that was done up in here. So we are going to start by choosing the language, which is going to be English. We’re going to choose a file. So the file that we’re going to create… So Kindle Create basically you take a doc file and then you’re able to, you’re able to edit it. You’re able to space it and make sure that the page breaks were okay. Make sure that the table of contents is where it needs to be. Let me just go and let me find the Funnel Factor or one of the other eBooks that I put together. We can look at what it looks like from creation. So Create, which is the paperback that you just saw. I’m going to open this guy up.
We have Kindle packaged the books. All right. So, and then we’re going to do this one. So the Kindle…
It might not let me do it. That’s okay. So Kindle Create is going to let you… You import your doc into Kindle Create, and then you can do the page breaks, bolds, table of contents, and all that other stuff. And then what you do is you flip over, so once you’re happy with it, then what you do is you flip over into, let’s see, application window, we’re going to go to Kindle Create here. So this is Kindle Create, and you have lots of different format options, your table of contents, and all that stuff. And then what you do is when you’re happy with it, you go to Kindle direct publishing. So if you’ve never seen Kindle direct publishing, basically what it is is it is your bookshelf. So you can create eBooks and paperbacks. For book content, you can upload your manuscript.
You can upload a PDF if you want, you can upload your .doc file, but it’s better to format it inside that Kindle Create and then upload it because what it does is it takes your document and then packages it together real nice and tight. And then it uploads to Kindle in a format that Kindle understands. Same with the Kindle or same with the paperback. The paperback used to be published through CreateSpace. CreateSpace was purchased by Amazon a long time ago. And then it was brought into the fold, into this Kindle visual publishing.
Here you can see that I have four books out. There’s Phoenix formula, which I wrote a long time ago. And then there is Convert, there’s Create, which is the one that you just saw. And then I just uploaded Funnel Factor. Funnel Factor is going to be that eight and a half by 11 textbooks. It’s 270 pages long, it’s full color, it’s $20 to print. I have it priced, the paperback priced at $99. And then the Kindle eBook is priced at $29 and then Create and Convert, or both at 14.95 USD. And then here we have a paperback 19.95 for create and 9.97 for convert.
So now if we go into, let’s go into the Kindle eBooks. And since we’re talking about Amazon self-publishing. So we’re going to go into Kindle ebook and just look at ebook details. So log in.
Let me pull up my browser, which is just going to be fun because… All right.
There we go.
So these are the Kindle. These are the ebook details of my Create book. The book you just saw. So basically book title, we just have defined as create. Then we have a subtitle, “Transform What You Know Into How You Get Paid.” We can give this thing a series. So if we want to do a series, earlier I talked about serial books. If we wanted to do serial books, we could give this thing, a series name, and a series number. So it might be the first book in a series.
You think of Game of Thrones, or, any of those guys. So it’s part of a series. Then we have an edition number and then we have the author. So the author is my name. Any other contributors you want to mention and then the description. This description is what shows up in Amazon on the listing. Then we have publishing rights. I own the copyright. We have different keyword phrases that we can rank for, or that the book shows under. And then we have age in the grade range. I don’t have anything selected there.
I’m going to show you this real quick. These are the four books that I have up there. Now we’re in Create. So let’s go look at Create real quick. To learn how to monetize your skills, talents, and experience online. Now, look in here, if we go into the ebook details, we have, “Learned how to monetize your skills, talents, and experience online.” So it’s just some copy. You need to write here. And then publishing rights. I own the copyright. Categories, we can pick two categories, and then we have the grade range and then preorder. So obviously it’s already released. So there’s nothing to preorder here. Now, if we go to the Kindle ebook content, this is the harder part. Not the harder part, but the part that Kindle Creates software makes easy. So basically we have our ebook manuscript here, so we upload it.
Now, notice this PDF file format. This PDF file format is what Amazon Create, the Kindle software, outputs. It’s a project file, Kindle project file. So when you upload it, then it’s the PDF. It’s a PDF, but it’s a format that Kindle recognizes. So you upload it and everything appears the exact way that it should be appearing for your folks. Now, then we have uploaded a cover. You already have. So I already created the cover and you can also use a cover creator if you want to make it a little bit easier. With an ebook, it’s just the front cover. Because that’s all, it’s a digital file so that’s all anybody sees. When it’s a physical book, it’s front and back. So you actually, it’s front and back with the spine down the middle.
You just design a wider graphic. And that graphic wraps around the book when it comes out of the printer. Then we have our online previewer. So you can grab this preview we’re here. You have to preview it and sign off on it. Graphically, like in the browser, before you can get approved. And then once you get approved… Well, once it’s approved graphically, you can actually… It goes through approval, which takes a day or two, and then it’s for sale on the website.
You can order proof for your cost, or you can order as many of them as you want. But the proof is the thing that you signed off on. Then we have our ISBNs. So eBooks do not require ISBNs, but physical books do. So if you’ve never purchased an ISBN, BOWKER, B-O-W-K-E-R is the place you need to go purchase ISBNs. It’s been a long time since I have purchased ISBNs.
I bought a 10 pack years ago and I still have that 10 pack. I don’t, I don’t quite know how to get back to the ISB numbers, but books in print. Yeah. I’m not real sure, it’s somewhere here. Because Bowker controls the ISBNs. So years ago when I bought my first, it was like $135 for one ISBN, or it was like $195 for a pack of 10 ISBNs. And I was like, “Well I hope to be writing more books. So I should probably just grab this 10 pack while it’s here.”
I don’t know if it was a sale or a discount or what, but that was eight years ago or something. So I’m still filling up those ISBNs. But this is where you would go and get them. All right. Now, so Kindle ebook, you have your ISBNs. I have ISBNs for my Kindle books. You don’t necessarily have to, but, as I said, I have 10. And then for pricing, this is the pricing piece.
When you’re setting up your Kindle book, we have all territories, worldwide, is where our book gets purchased or gets sold. Now this particular book, I have a 35% royalty plan. So if you mouseover. Let’s see. So select a royalty plan and set your Kindle ebook list prices below.
You have a 35% plan and a 70% plan. Now the 35% plan lets you price your eBooks between 99 cents and $200. Whereas the 70% plan has to be priced between two 99 and nine 99. So, you have your different rates and then you have your royalty at 14.95. My royalty on this ebook is $5 and 23 cents. It’s quite a bit better than the 25 cents that I would have been paid as a publisher, this book is also available for Kindle book lending. If somebody has the book, they can lend it to somebody else. And then it’s also in KDP select. So KDP select means that other people if you are part of Amazon subscription, Amazon’s $10 a month unlimited subscription then you can check out this book too. Because at the end of the day, it’s not about making money from the book.
It’s about attracting buyers, attracting readers, attracting people who want marketing into our field, into our sphere of influence. They can start seeing videos and re-targeted ads and all that other stuff and moving them through a buying process. I think that about covers today for the Kindle digital publishing and setting everything up. The hard part of this is writing the book. Once you write the book, then the rest of it can be accomplished in an afternoon, but it is the process for Amazon self-publishing.
For Questions and Guide
If you have any questions, go to doneforyou.com/blog and I’m happy to answer. And if you would like to talk about putting together an action plan for your business, where we talk about your sales funnels, your digital marketing, your products, your creation, all that other stuff, go to doneforyou.com/start.