There are many great reasons to write and publish your own Kindle book. Maybe you want to boost your authority and build a bigger platform. Perhaps you want to increase your brand’s visibility or use the book as a launch pad for your speaking career. Or perhaps you just want to create a lucrative side hustle for yourself. Many people have done just that by creating and selling their books on the Amazon Kindle platform.
Whatever your reason for writing a Kindle book, you shouldn’t blindly jump into this new project. Instead, you’ll want to take your time and do your research. With the proper research, you’ll be more likely to reach your goals. Here’s how to begin your research…
Check out the Best Seller List
Amazon keeps a list of best-selling books for almost every genre, which makes it the perfect place to start researching. Click the link above and you’ll see the top 100 best-sellers on Amazon right now.
On the left side of the screen, you’ll see a list of genres and book categories. You need to click on the category that your book will be featured in. For example, if you’re writing a book on branding, then you’d click the topic for Business & Money.
Once you have the top 100 books in your category, you should see another list on the left side of the screen. This list allows you to further drill down to the topic that your book is really about.
Using the example above, you’re writing a book about branding. You clicked on Business & Money. Now, look at the left and decide which category your book would be under. In this case, your book would probably be found under “Marketing & Sales”. You could also go one step further and click the category for “Sales & Selling”.
Now that you know where your book would be located, look over Amazon’s top 100 books in that category. These books will be your competition, so you need to study them.
Start by looking at the top ten. You’ll want to write down how many pages long each book is as well as the price. Pricing and length both have a direct impact on your sales number. After all, many readers don’t want to pay $9.99 for a 15-page eBook.
The only exception to this rule is if you’re publishing an eBook within a very narrow niche with little competition. In that case, you may be able to write a short eBook and still charge more for that content.
Next, take some time to read the reviews of the top books in your category. Begin with the 5-star and 4-star reviews. This can give you insights into what readers expect and what they enjoy.
Don’t skip the negative reviews when reading. Often, the negative reviews can show you what writing mistakes to avoid and how to reach your audience more effectively than other authors do.
Finally, take a look at the covers of the best-selling books. Observe the colors that are used most frequently. What images are on the covers? What style fonts are most common? Do you see serious fonts that make the book seem authoritative? Do you see playful fonts that encourage creativity?
Doing your research before you write and publish your Kindle book is important. When you know what the market expects, you can deliver a product that’s perfect for your community.
How to Outline Your New Book
The easiest way to write a book is with an outline. An outline is like having a global positioning system (GPS) as you work. You always know where you are and where you’re going. If you accidentally go off-course, your outline will show you where you went wrong.
But if you’re not use to producing a lot of content or if you’ve struggled with organizing your ideas, then you may wonder how to get your outline started. Here’s what to do…
Set Aside Time to Brainstorm
Before you can begin an outline, you need to have plenty of ideas to work with. This means you’ll want to plan a brainstorming session. Most writers only need an hour or two for their brainstorm.
However, it’s important that you schedule this time in your planner. That’s because you need to minimize distractions while you’re coming up with ideas. So pick a time of day or night when you’re less likely to be disturbed by outside interruptions.
You may also want to mute your phone if possible. Next, plan to close your inbox and social media networks. It’s difficult to get into a creative space if you keep stopping to check notifications or reply to text messages.
Choose Your Brainstorming Style
Some people find it’s easier to brainstorm by doing a simple mind map. If your book will be about art then you might want to write that word down on a sheet of paper and begin writing other words that come to mind when you think of art. For example, you might add words like “draw”, “paint”, or “pottery”.
You can also take index card or sticky notes. On each note or card, write just one phrase or word. Keep in mind that these ideas don’t have to be logical. Your goal is to continue generating ideas. You can evaluate them later.
Another possibility is brainstorming with other people. Try to choose someone who understands the topic of your book and is supportive of you. When you have several people who are also generating ideas, it can inspire you in new ways.
Take a Break
When you’re done with your brainstorming, put your ideas away. Spend a few hours doing other tasks. While you’re busy, you may get more ideas bubbling up to the surface. Write these down and add them to your notes but don’t go back into brainstorming mode.
Evaluate Your Ideas
Once you’ve had some time away, come back to your brainstorming notes. You’re now ready to sift through them and create your outline. Start by organizing your thoughts. You can think of this like creating links in a chain. Which idea should come first? What should come after that? Where do you need to mention that point?
As you work on sorting ideas, you may notice holes in your outline. You can fill them in now or wait until the solutions come to you later. You don’t need a perfect outline before you can start work on your book.
Outlining your book can be a fun and exciting process. Remember that there are no rules when it comes to your outline. You can make it as detailed or as simple as you want. Do what works best for you.
5 Tips for Writing Your Book Quickly and Easily
Denise had worked hard to fine-tune the subject of her book. She had an outline ready to go but she hadn’t written a word of her book. After a month, she reached out to her business coach. She asked, “How can I get this done?”
Sharon, Denise’s business coach, had written several books herself and agreed to share a few of her own writing tips. Here’s the advice she gives to business owners who are struggling to get their book completed…
Break It Down
Start by choosing the date you want to have the book completed by. Then count the remaining days and divide that number by how many pages you want to write.
If you want the first draft completed in two months and you plan for your book to be 200 pages, that’s 100 pages a month. That might sound difficult, but it’s only 3-4 pages of content a day.
If you’ve already outlined your upcoming book, then don’t feel like you have to start your writing session with chapter one. Begin writing the chapter that catches your eye, even if it’s in the middle of your book.
This tip helped Denise start work on chapter 7 of her book. It was a topic she was already familiar with and she knew what her main points would be. She was surprised when she quickly finished chapter 7 and was looking forward to writing more.
Get an Accountability Partner
Sharon encouraged Denise to text her each night with the number of words she had written. “This will create accountability and make you more likely to stick to your goal,” Sharon said.
Of course, you don’t have to text your business coach. It could be another digital business owner, a good friend, or even a family member. Just make sure the person you choose to text is supportive of your efforts.
Create Writing Appointments
You keep putting “write my book” on your to-do list but it never seems to get done. You’re constantly shuffling that task from one list to the next. If this is a problem for you, create a writing appointment on your calendar.
Treat this writing session like you would a doctor’s appointment. You wouldn’t show up late or decide to skip it at the last minute. If you work from home and your environment is too distracting to focus on your work, consider switching locations. It might be that you feel more focused and inspired at your local library or inside a coffee shop.
Turn It into a Game
Another way to encourage yourself to keep writing on your book is to turn it into a game. One writer gives herself a gold star on the calendar for each day she writes. She hates the thought of breaking her streak so she makes sure to write at least a few paragraphs each day.
You can also give yourself rewards after you reach a milestone. Maybe after you finish that chapter, you can take a walk around the neighborhood. Perhaps when you’ve shown up for 10 writing sessions in a row, you get to go see a movie at your local theater.
The important thing with turning your writing into a game is to give yourself a reward you’ll actually want. If you pick something you don’t care about, you won’t work as hard and you may still find yourself avoiding your sessions.
Writing a book is like going to the gym. It’s hard to do at first but once you adjust to the routine, it can quickly become your favorite part of the day!
Choosing Your Book Cover Design
Like it or not, your readers will judge your book by its cover. They’ll glance at it long enough to read the title and register the image. But if your cover doesn’t capture their attention, they’ll move on.
The truth is your book cover isn’t just about looking pretty. Your book cover is actually a sales tool. That’s why taking your time and getting it done right is so important. Here’s how to find a professionally-designed cover that helps your book sell…
There are hundreds of freelance designers that specialize in book covers. If you belong to a business group on Facebook or LinkedIn, share about the book you’re writing right now. Ask the other members to recommend a good designer that they enjoyed working with.
Keep in mind that you want your cover designed by someone who works with book in your genre or category. For example, you wouldn’t want a science fiction cover designer to create a cover for your book on success and leadership.
Consider Pre-Made Covers
Some cover designers create pre-made covers. You buy the cover design and the designer adds your name and the book title to the image.
The advantage of doing this is that pre-made covers are much cheaper than hiring a designer. They’re also faster since the designer has already done the work. Using this method, you could have a cover designed and uploaded for sale within just a few business days.
But the trade-off is that your book may look similar to other books. This can make it harder to stand out in a crowded market place. If you’re considering a pre-made cover, ask the designer if she’s sold similar images before and which books they appear on.
Hire a Cover Designer
If you don’t have any recommendations from friends or other digital business owners, there are still lots of ways to find a cover designer. One of the coolest websites for doing this is 99 Designs.
The site works like this: you describe what you’d like your cover to look like. Graphic designers from around the world create covers and send them to you. Then you can pick a cover you like and use it on your book.
The site can be pricey but if you’ve had difficulty explaining your ideal cover, this could be a good place to start. Depending on how much you pay, you can see 30, 60, or 90 designs per project.
Make It Yourself
Another option for cover design is to create it yourself. All you need is a few hours of time and some graphic design software like eCover Authority. You can design your cover using elements the software already has like backgrounds and fonts. You can even insert your own pictures.
If you want, you can make a flat book cover in another program like Adobe PhotoShop or Canva. Then upload it to eCover Authority to create a beautiful 3-D effect that will make it stand out on Amazon’s digital shelves.
When it comes to your cover, don’t settle. Keep looking until you find one captures the message you want to share with your community. Remember, a good cover doesn’t just sell your book. It makes you feel more confident, too.
Launch Day & Beyond: How to Promote Your New Book
You’ve done all the hard work of writing, editing, and formatting your book. You have a gorgeous cover that makes your book look professional. You’re excited and ready to launch right away.
Some authors think if they write an amazing book and click the publish button, adoring fans will show up to buy it. But that’s rarely the case.
Readers are overwhelmed with advertisements and promotions. They see dozens of book mentions a day. Unless you cut through the clutter and noise, your book release will be ignored. So, plan your launch strategically by following these tips…
Plan a Week of Promotions
If your book does well, then it may climb into the best-seller charts and Amazon will take notice. They’ll promote it to their customers on their website and sometimes, Amazon even sends out an email to readers of your genre letting them know about this hot-selling book.
In order to get noticed by Amazon, you may cram as many activities into launch day as possible to make a huge splash. But Amazon doesn’t look at your rankings for a 24-hour time period.
They pay attention to your ranking for the past seven days. That means if you want Amazon to notice your book, you have to focus on heavily promoting your book for a week.
Get Early Reviews
In the publishing industry, there’s something called an ARC. This stands for “Advance Reader Copy”. It’s an early copy of the book that’s sent to a reader in exchange for an honest review. Publishers give ARCs away because it’s a way to generate early buzz and excitement about the book.
You can use this industry practice to your advantage, too. Try to give out 10-15 copies of your book for free.
Ask for a review in exchange and see what happens. If possible, try to get reviewers who already read in your genre or category. For example, if you’re publishing a book on parenting toddlers, then you’d want reviews from people who are parents of toddlers. This lends credibility to their reviews.
Email Your List
If you already have a mailing list, email them about your book release. Remember, your list opted-in to receive messages from you. Your subscribers are usually your biggest fans and can help boost the visibility of your book.
Not only should you share about the book release, but you should also ask your subscribers to post about it on social media. Have some social updates already prepared that they can copy and paste. This makes it easy for your community to share the news of your release.
Use Facebook Groups
Facebook has plenty of book groups that you can join. Some of these groups allow and even encourage you to post news about your own book. Try to post an eye-catching graphic along with a short teaser (2-3 lines) from your book. Then include the link to your book on Amazon.
When it comes to promoting inside a Facebook group, bigger isn’t always better. You may find a book community with over a million members who read all genres. You may get some interest from the group but you probably won’t get a lot.
A smaller Facebook group that focuses on your genre or category with only a few thousand members may result in more traffic. That’s because you’re not competing with as many authors for attention and the group is filled with people who already care about your genre.
Keep in mind that launching your book is only one step in your publishing journey. You’ll need to continue to promote your book for weeks and months to come.
After you’ve written you’re book you’ll need to go here to get started.
https://kdp.amazon.com, create an account, add your address, business or personal information, tax information, bank account information and upload your book.
For more detailed instructions, read The Kindle Formatting Bible full of very helpful information.