A few weeks ago I came across a thread on Reddit that both validates the things I talk about on this blog and shows exactly what can be done when you stay the course. It’s a pretty long thread, going through the ins and out’s of how this author started making $1K a day selling ebooks on Amazon.
The author doesn’t disclose his true identity, but knowing what I know about the ebook selling business his words ring true.
Here’s a summary of some of the main points:
$.99 Isn’t necessarily the sweet pricing spot everyone thinks it is
Though a lot of author have this $.99 Amazon pricing mentality, this author says that he does the bulk of his sales at $2.99.
For nonfiction books (which is currently the bulk of what I sell) this is very doable. As I said last week, I think you can go even higher for nonfiction (especially how to stuff) and still get sales.
I’m just beginning to dabble in fiction, so I can’t speak with absolute authority just yet.
I read fiction though, and I don’t automatically gravitate towards the $.99 titles any more. I have a bunch of $.99 titles and an even larger bunch of freebie Kindle books. A lot of them are just plain horrible.
If consumers are getting the impression that the really cheap ebooks are of substandard quality, it’s just a matter of time before sales become minimal. In that case it makes sense to start pricing at $2.99.
Sales come from five key areas
According to the anonymous author these would include: the cover, description, ranking, title and reference. (He goes into depth about reference in the thread. Very helpful stuff.)
Although I see some decent covers on Amazon, there’s an unbelievable amount of poorly written 1-2 sentence descriptions. It’s like the authors just get burned out at the tail end of the process and just throw up whatever when they’re uploading the book.
Your Amazon sales copy isn’t exactly a long form sales letter, but it should be more than a random sentence or two. This is especially true if you expect to generate sales directly through Amazon and not from your own marketing efforts.
The better you merchandise your ebook on Amazon, the better your sales. It’s really just that simple.
Yup… it’s all about volume
Said author has over 100 ebooks on Amazon, most of them are 10 pages or less. Only a handful are actual novels.
His financial yield? As of six months ago, $22K a month.
Here… don’t worry, I’ll say it for you – DAAAAMMMNNNN! If you can sit still for a 20 good hours a week you can do three 10 page documents. It takes practice in the beginning, but it gets easier the more you do it.
You might liken me to a broken record, but I keep telling you that volume is where it’s at. This is really apparent on Amazon.
Marketing is a moot point
I think you should do some marketing, but anonymous author says that if you have enough volume, your books start generating traffic for each other.
I find this to be entirely true because I’ve seen it happen right here on this very blog.
A customer will order one ebook, then come back for a second and often a third. A nice percentage of my sales come from repeat buyers. My priority is just getting customers into the funnel.
Fortunately when you’re selling ebooks on Amazon you’re already in a location where traffic is abundant. The funnel is ready to go. You just need to make sure that your cover, title, description and whatnot are all in order.
The first six months were s-l-o-w
Oh gosh, this isn’t something we get rich quick brethern like to dwell upon.
If you’re anything like me, you want that first ebook to go up, and be able to start planning your round-the-world trip within the next month. Anonymous author said that it took him a good six months to start seeing results worthy of a happy dance.
But it may not take you as long. He claims that over time he started doing better covers, better titles, and just improved the output of his work.
If you go into this process with the mentality that you’re going to do great work from the beginning, then you can cut that learning curve in half.
Want to see more of anonymous authors advice?
Read the entire Reddit post here. It’s truly an education.