“The Ultimate (and free) Guide to becoming an Amazon Best Selling Author”
The goal of this post is to teach you how to become an Amazon Best Selling Author, but First, you need proof that I know what i’m talking about. My student, Nancy Bos did it using this exact formula. Take her word for it, not mine.
Join this Facebook Group and ask Nancy about it directly.
Since that’s out of the way, let’s get started.
The absolute best program that Amazon has to offer, and a personal favorite of mine as far as digital products go, is their e-books program (Amazon Kindle Publishing). This is where I’ve really had a lot of success with very, very little effort.
When I first started utilizing this program, I literally wrote two simple e-books and one of them was only eleven pages. From these two little eBooks, I was literally earning five to eight hundred dollars of passive income per month, for the first eight months. Those figures did drop to between four and six hundred per month, after the first eight months and has remained consistent for the last year. That folks, is true passive income.
When it comes to eBooks, content is king. You don’t have to be super fancy and you don’t have to write 300 pages, but you do need quality content that makes someone else’s life easier. There are hundreds of thousands of people that are willing to pay for information that saves them a little time.
What I like about selling eBooks
- It’s an easy way to establish yourself as an authority figure in any field.
- There is no inventory to keep up with and no dealing with overseas suppliers.
- All of the work is up front and it’s completely passive income after the launch.
- It cost you zero dollars and a little time to launch a new product. Compare that to any physical product.
Ready to Learn? Let’s get started.
Let’s start simple.
If you get confused at any point during this post Like this Facebook Page and send me a message there. I’m glad to help and know that some of this stuff can get confusing.
Step 1 – Just Start
Sign up for an account here. See, that wasn’t so bad. You’re already on your way to becoming an Amazon Best Selling Author. Starting is the step that 90% of people never get to. It’s time to stop making excuses.
Step 2 – The Idea.
You’re going to have to come up with what you want to write about.
Your idea or topic needs to be a few things, to be successful.
- Topics people are already looking for.
- Something that is profitable. We are not selling 99 cent eBooks.
- A category you can compete in.
Having these three things in your idea phase means you have an existing audience you can sell to, there are no big brands that will keep you from connecting with this audience and the existing audience is willing to pay enough to make writing this eBook worthwhile.
You should ensure you have ALL of these things before writing even the first sentence. If you are missing even one, YOU ARE WASTING YOUR TIME! Keep in mind there are exceptions to every rule. For example, if you are a Fiction writer, number one probably wouldn’t apply to you and while it’s possible to be very successful with Fiction eBooks or without number one in general, you would need a much different and more intense launch strategy. So for purposes of this article, we are focusing on Non-Fiction.
I’m sure you are wondering at this point how to accomplish all of these things. I’m going to show you my process that has created many Amazon Best Selling Authors for free.
Keyword Research – Everything starts with keyword research. This is how you determine how many people are searching for an existing concept which allows you to calculate the number of estimated sales per month. There are many tools you can you for this. Personally I use Moz Keyword Explorer, but you can use whatever you like.
For this example I’m going to say we are considering writing an eBook on the topic “how to fish.” Here are my steps for establishing number one, which I like to call “establishing demand.”
Steps for establishing demand
- Go to Moz Keyword Explorer.
- Then type “how to fish” in the search bar and wait for the results.
- Click “See all suggestions” in the keyword suggestions box. (shown above in small font – Bottom right hand corner of “keyword suggestions box”)
- Filter by volume (largest to smallest)
- Pick out relevant keywords that people would search if they were looking for this information. In this example, as you can see in the image, based on common sense we have, how to fish, fishing 101, how to fish for bass, how to fish for trout, how to fish a jig.
- Add up the total monthy volume using the lowest numbers. In this case we have a total of 1,955.
- Multiply by 30%. In this case 1,955 * .30 = 586.5
- Multiply by 3%. In this case 586.5*.03 = 17.59
Woah, woah, woah!! What was all of that about?
Ok, calm down. It looks much harder than it actually is. I think you were with me until we started multiplying percentages, so let me explain.
MOZ Keyword Explorer is showing search volume numbers from Google. I have found that whatever the Google number is, that Amazon search volume is approximently 30% of the google number. So by multiplying our Moz / Google numbers we are converting them to an estimated Amazon number.
In the example above after we converted our Google number of 1,955 to our Amazon number, we were left with 586.5. This is the estimated number of searches per month for these exact keywords on Amazon. This means that there are 586.5 people per month looking to buy something to teach them these things on Amazon.
Then what was the 3% about? This is me saying that I believe in a worst case scenario I can take 3% of the total sales, which isn’t that hard to do. So our calculations show us that if we were to write this book, we should be able to easily get (586.5*.03) 17.5 Sales per month (#8).
Note: Amazon pays us a 70% royalty on eBooks priced between 2.99 and 9.99 on eBooks.
You can then determine how much you can profit per month by multiplying your estimated monthly sales by your royalty price. If our book was selling at 9.99, we would earn 9.99*.70 = $6.99 on each sale of pure profit. Simply put, we would earn $6.99 per eBook sale.
NOTE: You can eliminate some of this math by using a keyword research tool specific to amazon. If you do that, #7 would be skipped.
Now we have to determine if this eBook could be profitable. This one is simple. We go to amazon and type in one of our keywords. In this case, I typed “how to fish” and the image below shows the top results on Amazon.
You see, you do not want to sell a book for .99 cents, but you do want to stay in the $2.99 to 9.99 price range on eBooks to get the 70% royalty. In this case, we would have no problem selling a book for 9.99, which is great.
HOWEVER!! LOOK AT THE RESULTS! We have one book by the “dummies brand” and one by field and stream. Those are pretty big brands!
Conclusion of this section
- Demand – People are already looking for this topic, but in reality we are only estimated to make 17 sales per month. I don’t typically look at anything that comes out to less than 45 sales per month. If I can’t make $300 per month on an eBook, it’s not worth my time. However, our estimates are based on very low end numbers and if I could write a book like this in a day (maybe two) or I had a reliable source I could outsource it to, I would maybe consider moving forward with it based on demand alone.
- The sales price is certainly in a good range.
- Can we compete in this category? Probably not due to the fact that there are already several big brands on the first page of the Amazon search results. Even if we could get ranked right underneath the big brands, they would still take a majority of the sales.
In this category, I would pass and go to my next idea. I typically look for a Google search volume of somewhere between 3,000 and 10,000. If you go much lower than this, there is not enough money to be made. If you go much higher, you won’t find anything without a big brand already scooping up all of the sales.
When you go through this process for yourself, keep this example in mind. You are looking for something with a good demand (3,000 – 10,000 searches per month), a higher price range and no big brands. If you find this, you have a winner and its time to start writing because at that point, you are certain that you have a good idea. If you are missing any of the three (demand, higher price, a place you can compete), It’s a no go.
If there are no big brands, take a look at the completion. Look at titles, eBook covers, reviews and figure out what you can do better or where you can bring in a competitive edge. If you are doing something different than everyone else, then you could have a higher perceived value and can successfully price your eBook higher without losing sales.
Step 3 – Writing your book
- This one is simple as well. If you are not a writer (like me), then it’s important to write about something you already know or something you are interested in and don’t mind learning about.
- I’ve gotten the best results from writing my eBooks just like I’m teaching a friend.
- Quality content is the difference between short term sales and long term sales. You can write a horrible eBook and if you do everything else right, you will get some initial sales, but eventually you will get a negative review and you sales will come to a screeching halt. Provide great content.
- Templates are the biggest help because formatting is hard. You can get templates directly from Amazon here for free.
Step 4 – eBook Cover
If you are not a designer, pay someone to design an eBook cover. Many people overlook the importance of a quality eBook cover. If your cover is sloppy, people will assume your book is sloppy as well and will not buy it.
You NEED a professional eBook cover.
I typically design my own, but I have been designing for almost ten years now. If I do pay someone else, I pay somewhere between $5 and $20 to design my eBook cover on Fiverr.
Step 5 – Bringing your eBook together and Listing on Amazon KDP
At this point you have verified your idea/topic has the necessary demand, it’s in the higher pricing brackets and you can compete in that category. You have written your eBook and have paid someone to design an amazing eBook cover.
Now, you go to Amazon and publish your eBook. While you are publishing, it’s going to ask if you want to enroll in Kindle Select, say YES.
When you are listing your eBook you want to ensure you all of your key words are spread out through the listing. If I was writing the eBook I used in the example above, I would have named my book something like “How to Fish”, something simple, but strategic. I would also put the other key words in my subtitle and all in my description while ensuring it sounded natural. If your targeted keywords are not spread out through the listing, you may not be able to rank for them.
Remember the math we did above? Well, if you can rank for each of the key words we identified, then you will not get the traffic we calculated above and in turn, you will not get the sales you calculated.
The goal is to rank on page one for each of the keywords we identified and take a much larger piece of the pie than 3%. It’ll take a few weeks, but you will get there.
Step 6 – The Launch
Once your book has been published and you enrolled in Kindle Select, you have the option to give your book away for up to 5 days. You’ll want to give your book away in two or three day increments. Our goal is to get the number of reviews we need. Once we have the reviews, we stop giving the book away.
During this book giveaway time, you need to get your friends, family, co workers or anyone else the in the world to download and review your book (hopefully leaving you five star ratings).
YOU NEED REVIEWS – The initial goal in at least ten reviews that are all five star. It’s the day and age that people won’t buy anything without social proof. If you want sales, you have to get the reviews first.
Hopefully at this point you are at least showing up for your keywords and your listing is increasing in page rank each day.
The number one way to rank is to have a higher quality listing than the other people selling similar eBooks and targeting the same keywords. Most people on Amazon Kindle Publishing are not tech savvy. Which also means that their listings are not great. If you have the better eBook cover, the better description, at least ten reviews that are all five star and your keywords spread throughout your listing, chances are (depending on your category) you will get to page one without doing anything else.
What we didn’t discuss
This is truly a beginner post. There is no possible way I could teach you everything you need to know about Amazon Kindle Publishing in one blog post. However, this should get you off and running and on your way to a successful self publishing career.
Here are some things we didn’t have time to talk about.
- Paperback Books & Royalties on Paperback Books
- PPC – Pay Per Click Advertising
- Analyzing the competition
- Brainstorming Ideas
- In depth launch strategy
- How to write long books faster
- True Amazon Search Engine Optimization (we briefly touched on this, but not nearly enough)
- Much much more
This process can seem overwhelming, but it’s truly not that hard. Once you have done it a few times, it’ll be like second nature.
Here is what I recommend moving forward
- Like this Facebook Page and send me a message there anytime. I’m glad to help out when I can. It’s also where I share great articles like this one.
- Join this Facebook Group. We have over lots of experienced and successful self published Authors there that are always wiling to help you when you run into issues. I’m in there as well.