It’s something I’ve been looking at for a number of years now: how to make a living as an indie author on the Kindle platform, and how to increase the sales of my ebooks.
What I’ve learned: there are no shortcuts. Success takes time and hard work, and these tips may not be fast but they are effective.
1. Write more books.
We’ve all done it – convinced ourselves that our first book is going to be The One and bag us a fortune. There’s a lot more work involved. Self-publishing success stories like J A Konrath, Amanda Hocking and Hugh Howey all say the same thing: to sell more books, rule number one is that you need to write more books. As in, have so many books in the Kindle store that shoppers can’t really ignore you. And because it’s the only way to get better at writing books, which is another great way to sell more books.
2. Invest in a good cover.
Whether through control freakery, impatience to publish or an over-abundance of self belief, many Kindle authors become overnight Kindle cover designers. Despite the fact that it’s a completely separate job with a completely different skill set, authors love to create their own covers. New authors always do it, and 99% of the end results are terrible. I did it myself too, until I saw the error of my ways. It’s never been easier to connect with an artist or book designer. Fork out the cash initially for an engaging professional cover, and there’s a good chance you’ll see your sales increase.
3. Stick with free promotion.
No paid advertising I’ve ever carried out on Twitter, Amazon or Goodreads has given me a decent return in sales, and I’ve spent a lot. It’s far better to use free promotional methods like review sites, interviews, Q&As, blog posts and simple, frequent, targeted social media posts to generate buzz around your books organically, and to unite people who share your interests and like your writing. (Plus a Kindle royalty in exchange for free content is a much better return on investment). Just don’t forget to author more than you promote – refer to tip number one and repeat.