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Author Topic: My Kindle ebook experiences - share yours  (Read 1369 times)

BillyOceansEleven

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My Kindle ebook experiences - share yours
« on: September 21, 2012, 08:52:12 AM »
I wanted to share my experiences thus far with my first ebook on Kindle and solicit thoughts and comments from others publishing for the Kindle. I published by first ebook on Kindle in mid-July, and thus far I am moderately encouraged by the results.

My book is titled The Ultimate Guide to Finding Silver in Circulation (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008L6RLIY) and discusses the concept of coin roll hunting, which is searching through rolls of coin from banks for silver and collectible coins. It is a hobby I picked up about 18 months ago, and I noticed through several message boards I frequent that there are always newcomers to the hobby looking for guidance, thus the idea for the book. With minimal promotion (a small low-traffic blog and a couple of forum signature links) it has earned about $40 a month, which considering the lack of promotion and the relatively specialized topic doesn't seem too bad.

As for creating the book, I drafted the whole thing in Microsoft Word and used the KDP site to generate previews of the ebook file to find formatting errors. I found bullet points to be problematic, but otherwise I didn't have any big formatting headaches when converting to the ebook file. The cover was my own creation using a photo I took of a pile of silver coins and adding a text box using my photoshop software. The entire process took about a total of 40 hours over 3 months, with most of the delay coming from having to put the project on hold due to obligations from my 9-to-5 job.

Here's a few observations and things I've learned thus far.

  • I signed up for the KDP Select program, which makes your book exclusive to Kindle for 90 days. The benefit is that you are allowed to do 5 free promo days and Amazon Prime members can borrow your book which earns you a small royalty (so far has been a little better than $2 per borrow). About 20% of the royalties thus far have been from borrows, but I don't think I will continue with KDP Select after the initial 90 days. It just seems like I could earn more through sales on other outlets than I get in borrow royalties.
  • As a single book author I don't think the free promo days I did at launch (2 days within the first week of adding the book to Amazon) did much. I had a total of 432 free downloads, but in the week or so that followed only 2 paid sales. It didn't even really create a lot of reviews, as I have just one review that appeared just recently (probably not from the freebies, but no way of really knowing). Perhaps it is something I will do again when I have several books (1 freebie to promote paid sales of other books), but with just one book I didn't see much of a benefit.
  • The section on the product page showing other items your readers bought is very interesting. I should have realized this in writing the book, but this section very quickly showed that my readers interests skewed towards survivalist topics. If I had realized this before I may have written more specifically towards this audience. In any case I think it gives me a good insight as far as how to promote the book. On that note if any other Kindle authors that write on survival/self-reliance topics want to work together on promotion, feel free to PM me.  :)
  • I published before I decided to use a pen name, which was a bit of a mistake. I simply used "Editor of SilverInCirculation.com" as the author name, and now that I've chosen a pen name I'm having trouble getting that name to show up on the product page and my Author Central page.
  • A price drop in my case did nothing to boost sales. I experimented by dropping my price from $4.95 to $2.95 for a week and got no sales in that period. In the week that followed back at the $4.95 price point I had 2. It is hard to make conclusions based on a single week, but it would appear that in this instance a couple of bucks difference in price doesn't really matter.

So far it has been a great experience and I have several other ideas that I want to develop into ebooks. I find it to be much easier than trying to make money with a blog and much more rewarding. I genuinely enjoy writing these books which makes it a lot easier to keep going.

I would be curious to hear from other Kindle authors and their experiences, especially those who write nonfiction. It seems there is a lot on the web geared towards fiction writers but little specific to nonfiction. I'm also looking for promotion ideas and how you guys have used Hubpages/Squidoo/Web2.0 and your own blogs to promote your work.
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r00tbeer

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Re: My Kindle ebook experiences - share yours
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2012, 08:01:59 PM »
Good info, thanks for sharing!

I guess the biggest thing preventing me from buying the book would be that I wonder how many silver coins are left in circulation?  It seems like I'd have better luck with a metal detector...

BillyOceansEleven

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Re: My Kindle ebook experiences - share yours
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2012, 07:24:01 PM »
Good info, thanks for sharing!

I guess the biggest thing preventing me from buying the book would be that I wonder how many silver coins are left in circulation?  It seems like I'd have better luck with a metal detector...

Trying to sell my book wasn't the reason for my post, but since you asked you would be surprised how many silver coins are still out there. Since May of last year I have found over 100 troy ounces, and this was taking a few long breaks dealing with personal issues (son born premature and in the hospital for the better part of five months, thankfully home and doing well now). When I was searching coin I would probably invest about 2 hours a week, a good portion of which I probably would have spent just watching TV anyway. I usually search halves since they don't really circulate, meaning it is less likely the silver halves have been pulled from circulation. You can also find silver dimes pretty regularly since they are small enough to go unnoticed, but you have to find a lot to build up a decent stash. Quarters circulate so much you almost never find silver quarters.

Back on the subject of ebooks, surely there are others on here that are selling books on Amazon or on other online booksellers. Anyone else want to share what they have found works or doesn't work?
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