Making Money Self-Publishing Fiction: The Complete Guide

self-publishing Dec 04, 2020

Imagine this: you wake up in the morning, with the whole day ahead of you. All you need to do today is write your stories. Your bank account is healthy, and you don’t have to get up and go to work. Sounds like the dream, right? Well, if you make money Kindle publishing, this could really be your life! 

Making money with Kindle is a great way to give you more time, creative, and financial freedom, but it’s also not always easy. If it were, everyone would be writing full time. So, how can you be one of the lucky ones? Let’s look at all the components you’re going to need to be successful in making money Kindle publishing your fiction. 

How to Publish Your Own Book and Make Money 

Wondering how to make money writing a book? Here’s what you need to keep in mind: 

  • Pick your genre and subgenre: any popular subgenre offers a good opportunity to make money, so don’t write something you’ve never read or watched. If you don’t read or watch horror, then you’re probably not going to connect with horror fans. K-Lytics creates reports on what’s hot and not, so invest in those if necessary.

  • Do your market research: Here’s where you figure out what’s actually hot and selling in your preferred genre and subgenre. Tropes and trends come and go, so don’t feel like you have to write to meet the ones that are hot right now. Do be aware, however, that you’ll need to meet certain genre expectations. For example, romance readers (of all subgenres) will (99% of the time) want a HEA – happily ever after, or at least a happy for now. If you get this wrong, you better have prepared your audience for it. Browse bestseller lists on Amazon, and use tools like Publisher Rocket or KDSpy to help you.

  • Wide vs Amazon Exclusive: Going Amazon exclusive means you can benefit from their KU program and get paid for page reads. This is one of the best ways to make money with Kindle, but many authors believe going wide (being on all retailers) is a better long term strategy. Ultimately, this is a personal decision and will depend some on your genre.

  • Get your cover and blurb right: Your cover and blurb are your most important marketing materials, so don’t just throw something up. Look at what is working in your genre and replicate it. If you put your money into one thing, let it be your cover. We buy with our eyes first. A great blurb will seal the deal.

  • Consider your release strategy: Will your books be a part of a series? How quickly will you release? If you’re a slow writer, you may decide simply to publish when your books are finished, but if you can, try to think about how long between releases you plan to go. Rapid release (releasing books typically no longer than 8 weeks apart) is a legitimate strategy, but only works well if you have quality books readers want to continue on with.

  • Don’t underestimate the power of your backmatter: your backmatter is the links and call-to-action in the back of your book. Try not to ask for too many things at once. Do you want them to preorder the next book? Get the first in another series? Join your newsletter? You can include it all, but make sure there is an emphasis on the one thing you want them to do when they finish.

  • Build your newsletter: Your newsletter list is your one link to your readers, so make sure you start building it from the start. Setting up a basic newsletter isn’t difficult, and you don’t even need a website. You can choose how frequently you want to update them – once a week or biweekly is common, but you can also simply email when a new book is out. Just make sure you build that list! 

Making money writing fiction is like a dream come true, so don’t forget that you need to be dedicated. Some people knock it out the park with their first book, others don’t see significant results until their tenth. Keep going, and you will make money from your fiction! 

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