If you're still not publishing on Kindle, you might want to consider it. Even small books that only sell a few copies a day can still earn you a $100 or more per month in passive income. And if your book becomes a hot seller, you can do far, far better.
Here then are some tips for making your next Kindle book a best seller:
Choose a topic that is in demand. Choose something in health, romance or finance, and then niche it down. For example, How to Feel Young After 60, How To Find The Love Of Your Life After Divorce, How to Retire Rich On A Teacher's Salary would all likely be good titles.
Consider writing a series of books on the same topic. For example, you might write a series on how to start and run an online business. The series could include books on choosing a niche and getting started, setting up your business, creating a product, building your website, getting traffic, doing joint ventures, using social media, etc. Every book should stand on its own and also work in harmony with each other. This can get you many customers who keep coming back and buying more books in your series. And this is especially helpful if you are in a smaller niche, since getting those repeat buyers will be that much more important.
Once you finish your series, you might bundle them all together in one money saving volume. Then at the beginning of each individual book description, let them know they have the option of getting all the books in one shot and saving money at the same time. “BUYERS: This book is included in the 'Everything You Need For Parasailing Bible' at a discounted rate.”
This might sound obvious, but make your book interesting. Writing about the eating habits of the some obscure animal isn't likely to hit any bestseller list. Nor is a list of facts about that animal. But if you can regale the reader with an interesting story about that same animal that holds readers spellbound, it's possible you might have a bestseller. Better still, pick a hot topic and weave a story around that. For example, the trials and tribulations of Tonya as she goes through a divorce and loses 60 pounds. There you've got a book on weight loss as well as starting over.
Edit with fresh eyes or hire someone who can be ruthless in doing the editing for you. Not only do you want crystal clear sentences and as few typos as possible – you also want to cut the fat. This means if any word, sentence or paragraph isn't moving the book forward, then it needs to be cut. If you can write something in 100 words or a 1000 words, choose the 100 words every time.
Hire someone to create your book cover and format your book. Incidentally, the money you spend on getting a professional book cover will be well-spent – a book with a cover that looks like a New York best seller is much more likely to become a best seller. UPDATE: On April 3rd Amazon launched a free cover creator in the KDP dashboard. Try it – people are having some remarkable results with it and best of all, it's free.
Create or update your author page. Yes, your author page can sell books for you – or not. When someone goes to your author's page they should find copy that brings them running to buy your books. Don't use your boringly dry resume. Instead, establish massive credibility and deliver it with a healthy dose of entertainment. “Mark and his dog Brutus are the gardening masters of Roanoke, Virginia. Known especially for his roses and rhododendrons, Mark is a contributing editor for Eastern Gardening magazine and has won 42 different gardening awards. Meanwhile, Brutus is especially good at digging up Mark's latest prize winning plants and presenting them to the neighbor's lady dog, Daisy.”
Lay hooks for your prospects. Your book description is a mini-sales letter, as is the first 10% of your book. Just in case you don't know, Kindle buyers can actually read the first 10% of your book online for free in order to decide if they want to buy it and read the rest of it. So make your first 10% shine with a benefit laden table of contents and a first chapter that gets off to a roaring start.
Your book description should include bullet points that convey the benefits of reading your book while building up curiosity. For example, “The 5 magic words that get you an instant 12% off your grocery tab.”
Switch categories to stay in the top 100. While you always want to be in a relevant category, you also want to choose a category in which you can rank in the top 100. If you don't, Amazon customers will likely never see your book. So if it's selling well, you can choose a broad category. If sales are dropping, change your book category to a smaller but still relevant one in which you can still rank in the top 100.
Ask for reviews. You can ask at the beginning of your book and at the end. Ask for reader reviews on Facebook and any social media site where you have a following. Give them a reason why they should, such as: “If you've read my book ___, please post a review on Amazon because it will make me a better writer and I'll love you for it.” Insert your own personality into the request.
Choose a title that rocks. Make a big, bold promise that people find irresistible. This is no different than writing a headline for a sales letter or blog post. If the title doesn't catch their eye, then they will read no further and they won't buy the book.
When titling your book, you can choose between targeting keywords, making it captivating or doing both. If you can do both, it's the way to go. For example, “How to Pick Up Women” is a keyword title. “How to Get Women Chasing You Like You're a Hollywood Movie Star” is certainly captivating. And “How to Pick Up More Women Than a Hollywood Movie Star” is both.
Deliver exactly what your title promises. For example, if your book is titled “Insider Secrets to Restoring Classic Cars of The Fifties,” but you only cover Fords, then people who like Chevys are going to be disappointed. And some of those disappointed people will leave you a bad review of 1 to 3 stars that says something like, “This is not what I was expecting.” So be clear about what you are offering, and then make good on your promise.
Give your book away on KDP select. This is optional, but it can really rev up your sales numbers and give you the momentum to continue to appear in search results once you start charging again. To give your giveaway extra momentum, submit your book to these websites 1-2 weeks prior to your KDP launch:
Advertise your book. You can do this on your KDP giveaway days or even when you are selling it. Again this is optional, but it can dramatically increase the number of downloads. Go to http://www.bookbub.com to sign up and for a fee they'll promote your book to their massive email list of people who have said they are interested in hearing about books in your specific niche.
Just like any other form of marketing, Kindle takes some effort. You can't just slap any old book up there and expect results. But with the right effort, you may just create a very tidy passive income maker with your very first try.