How to Make More Money with Amazon Self-Publishing
Self-publishing is easy! I’ve got 12 books published on Amazon and make over two grand a month. Now publishing is easy but making that money passive income every month, that’s where more than four million authors on Amazon fail.
In this video, I’m revealing the three hacks that will keep your books ranked and making money every single month!
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Amazon Self-Publishing: The Easiest Passive Income Source
Self-publishing on Amazon is by far my favorite passive income source and easier to start than most people know. In the last four years, I’ve published 12 books, making almost $108,000 and averaging over $2,100 a month in the last year.
In this video, I’ll show you exactly how much I make on each book self-publishing on Amazon from my most profitable books to the least. I’m then going to reveal three secrets to make self-publishing passive income you collect every single month.
That’s the real trick to self-publishing a book. Anyone can write and publish a book on Amazon. The real secret is following these three steps to make your book a source of passive income, generating cash flow every month.
If you’re just starting out, I’ve got a free handout on nine tips that will help you write your book and publish as fast as possible. You’ll find everything you need in these nine tips to get your book done and publish within two months. Now I want to get to those three secrets to passive income publishing so click through this link to get your FREE checklist.
How I Started Self-Publishing
So self-publishing was one of my first income sources when starting my blogs in 2014 and this is a natural fit for anyone with a blog or YouTube channel. You’re already creating content, it takes almost no work to repurpose it into a book and self-publish.
And the income has been astonishing over these last four years. I started with just one book in 2015 and have built it to a library of 12 books including one on how to self-publish that I just launched. I added another full-length book and a series of four guides in 2015. I followed that with another book in 2016, three in 2017 and two this year.
If I hadn’t taken my focus off publishing to do other things, I could easily have another four books published and be making even more a month.
I sell around 670 books a month on Amazon Kindle, print paperback and audio version. Over the last 54 months, I’ve collected almost $108,000 in book sales with my oldest book making almost twenty grand so far.
Now you can see that not every book is going to be a huge success. I’ve got five books that have made over $10,000 so far and three that have made less than $1,500 so there’s a bit of a numbers game going on.
Publish at least a few books and you’re going to have some big money makers as well as a few on which you don’t make as much but look at this average. I average $200 a month on each of the 11 books here, almost $2,200 a month and what I’m going to show you next will make this almost completely passive income.
Honestly, I do almost nothing to keep these books ranked on Amazon and making money every month. It’s a check I know will be in my bank account on the 29th and 30th of every single month, money I can rely on.
Three Hacks to Make Self-Publishing Passive Income
Now I want to share three tips to getting started self-publishing, three ideas that will guarantee you make that passive income every month. But first, I want to get your feedback on this. What is your biggest roadblock, that one thing that’s keeping you from self-publishing a book. Scroll down and let me know in the comments and I’ll make sure I create a few videos out that can help.
So I’m going to give you three steps to make your self-publishing income totally passive and this is more important that most new authors know. A lot start out thinking writing and publishing the book is the hardest part but then wonder why they don’t make money after that first month.
There are millions of books on Amazon and a lot of them have put tens of thousands in marketing dollars behind the launch. Writing your book is the easy part, keeping it ranked every month to generate cash flow, that’s the hard part.
We’ll cover these three tricks but understand the idea is to get enough sales each month to jumpstart the Amazon sales machine, right? Amazon is a sales machine. Millions of people search on the platform for their next book every day. If you can drive a handful of sales each month, your book is going to show up higher on the search results and capture more of those readers.
How to Advertise Your Books on Amazon
The first step here is to use Amazon Marketing Services for sponsored ads on your books. I spend about $20 a month on each book here and this works on two levels. Not only is the advertising profitable, you see here I’ve spent just over ten grand to produce almost $25,000 in sales, not only is it a positive return on my investment but those sales help keep the books ranked.
If we scroll down you can see I’ve got quite a few ads going, usually two or three per book, and I’ll show you how to set one up here. The Amazon dashboard here is really helpful in showing your ad spend on each campaign as well as the sales and your average cost, so how much you’re spending for every dollar earned.
We can click through one and so I’ve spent just over $2,600 on this ad to generate $6,100 in sales for a return of about 134% which is pretty amazing when you think about it. Up here in the menu you can see for which book this is, so my book on the nine source of income I use for my blogs, and the keywords I’ve targeted on the ad. This is really helpful after you’ve started your ad, you can come back in here and see which keywords are driving sales, which you want to increase or decrease the bid.
So let’s run through real quick on how to create an ad. So I’ll go back to the main dashboard and click Create Campaign and then click on this sponsored products on the next page.
Name your campaign and make sure you include the book name here so you can tell it apart from other campaigns when you have more than one book. I would just leave this end date open to let the ad run continuously.
You can put just about anything in on this daily budget because you won’t use it any day anyway. I set mine at $15 but have never spent more than $10 in a single day and that was across all my ads. There just isn’t the number of impressions and clicks to use the whole budget.
Next you’ll either let Amazon pick the keywords with this automatic targeting or you can pick your own. I usually pick my own and you can get a list of good targets by using the Google Adwords Keyword Planner to just download a list of related keywords.
This bidding strategy is fairly new and just let’s Amazon adjust your bid up or down to help it rank better. It will mean spending a little more money but will also mean more sales so I usually allow both up and down bidding.
Next you pick the book you want to advertise and this will automatically populate with the books you have claimed in your Amazon Author Central account.
Now while you’ll go in later and adjust individual bids on keywords, you start out with a default bid on all your keywords. Amazon likes to suggest a bid but I usually start with something like $0.32 or so and will adjust when I start seeing how the keywords are doing.
Finally here, you’re going to put in the text for your ad. If you’re not used to writing ad copy, I’d look around Amazon at some examples to get a feel for what to write. Anytime you search, the ads will say “Sponsored Ad” by the book so you can check out what they’re writing and kind of model your text after that.
Now you just hit launch campaign and you’re all set. It will usually take about four to 12 hours to get reviewed and start serving up ads.
On my 12 books and spending about $20 each per month, that’s enough to drive about 130 in book sales each month. Now that alone is going to give you an advantage against millions of other books that don’t use this ad strategy but I want you to use these other two tricks as well.
How to Sell eBooks on a Website
Another really powerful way to drive those few sales you need to stay ranked is by leveraging a blog or a YouTube channel.
Now I know, running a blog or YouTube channel doesn’t sound much like passive income and it’s not. These are legit online businesses and I make six-figures a year on four blogs and my channel, but it does take some work each week.
If you can spend five or ten hours a week though, you’ll have a great place to advertise your books and you’ll make money from other income sources. And while running that blog might not be passive income, it will be a passive source of marketing for your books.
So if you go to one of my blogs, here we see the blog which is where I share everything I do to make money online, you’ll see my books advertised in multiple places.
I usually have a banner here at the top advertising a book or one of my courses. You can scroll down and I usually have a few books shown in the side bar as well. These images are all linked directly to my Amazon sales page so again, driving that handful of sales from the blogs to keep each book ranked and producing more sales on Amazon.
If you click through to a post, you’ll see that a lot of the individual articles have a callout and link to a book as well if it relates to the topic. Here in this article about how to make money on YouTube, I’ve linked my new book Crushing YouTube along with a discount.
Finally here, another good place is to create a page of book recommendations highlighted in the top menu and add your books in there.
On a YouTube channel, you can do videos covering specific parts of the book or anything related to the topic. Then you just mention the book and refer to a link in the video description. Even if someone doesn’t click on the link but looks for your book the next time they’re on Amazon, it’s a great source of brand building for your business.
I’d say the blogs and channel probably drive another 60 copies sold each month and it’s hard to tell because you’ve got so many other things going on but it’s a good chunk for each book. Again, you don’t need to be getting hundreds of sales from any one of these sources but put them all together and it’s enough to juice that Amazon ranking algorithm.
I probably sell around 200, maybe 220 copies of my books through these three hacks I’m sharing including the next one but that’s enough to keep the books ranked and sell another 400+ copies through Amazon without having to do anything else.
How to Launch a Self-Published Book for Instant Success
This next self-publishing trick is just to build a list of friends, family and other authors that you can use strategically to boost your book sales.
Now I know everyone puts on their Facebook page when they launch a book. The post on there about their new book and say pretty please for the support…and then crickets chirping.
The problem is, we’re all blind to these kinds of social media requests. We see dozens of them every day from hundreds of our “friends” and we ignore them all. This kind of passive plea for support, even with your closest friends and family, isn’t going to do much for book sales.
Instead, what you need to do is be strategic and direct about it. Every month, reach out to 10 people in your contact list and ask them directly through a direct message to buy your book. You can drop the price to maybe $1.99 for a few days or just offer to pay them back. You just need those few more sales to help that Amazon algorithm keep humming.
Don’t be afraid to be direct here, reach out with a private message and tell them how much it means to you and you’d be happy to return the favor when they need it. This is a great source for those initial book sales and reviews but you have to be direct.
Amazon self-publishing is easy but you need to know the process to make it a successful income source. Don’t fall into the trap of just publishing a book and thinking it will sell. Use these three marketing strategies to make your book passive income. Don’t forget to get your free checklist, the 9 Steps Anyone Can Use to Self-Publish a Book FAST!