Kindle Publishing: How to Make $4,000 in Six Months

By Sean Ogle •  Updated: 11/01/21 •  25 min read

Note from Sean: I was first contacted by Adrian years ago as he was just starting to think about building a lifestyle business. So when he got back in touch recently to share all the success he’s had with Kindle publishing – I got really excited to share his story.

In this guest post, Adrian is going to share how he went from zero to $4,000 a month publishing niche Kindle books.

Take it away, Adrian!

It was a few years ago when I first contacted Sean. I still remember exactly where I was…Kindle Publishing- How to Make $4,000 in Six Months

I was sitting on my bed in a hostel in Phuket Thailand. I typed that I’d been following him for years and I was going to change my life just like he did.

Well, the short story is I did, and I did it by Kindle publishing. I wrote and self-published books for Kindle. But it took me another six months after that first contact before I took any action.

I was on a six-month trip traveling around the world, and the whole time I was thinking;

How can I build a business that makes me money while I sleep, without being a computer or internet genius so that I could travel all the time?”

Well after getting home from that trip and having to go back to my HORRIBLE day job as a welder, it hit me…

I HAD to find a way no matter what, to get out of my job, start making some side income and start living life the way I wanted. Or I would end up stuck in the rat race forever.

Just so you know, I was a welder, a ‘tradie’ in Australia and I didn’t even know the difference between copy and paste and cut and paste several years before I started this…

Anyway fast forward to now, and I have a thriving little Kindle publishing business that supports my adventurous lifestyle.

Adrian Landsberg Kindle Publishing

And today Sean is giving me the opportunity to show you exactly how to build the same kind of publishing business that I have, even if you have very little knowledge of the internet.

How Kindle Publishing Works: Publisher Or Author?

The way that I teach Kindle publishing as a business is by positioning yourself as a publisher rather than an author.


Well for one, because we can scale 10x quicker and we are in the business of building a lifestyle business, not necessarily a full-time job.

And two, because we want to position ourselves as marketers to other Kindle publishers, the ones who ‘steer the ship’ so to speak. We don’t want to get too bogged down in the day-to-day duties. More on that later.

Now, that’s not to say that you can’t be a Kindle author. Everything you’re about to read will work whether you’re an author or a publisher, it’s just as a publisher we create more freedom for ourselves quicker.

In my business, we outsource nearly everything. The writing of the books, book cover design, promotion and also getting about 80% of the business run by virtual assistants (if you want to you can do this too).

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s begin with where this all starts…

How To Find The Profitable Niches To Write About

How to do niche research is by far the biggest question I get asked about Kindle publishing, so I’m going to show you how I do it.

Finding these super profitable niches on Amazon is one of the biggest things you can do to have success with Kindle publishing. If you get this wrong, then a lot of your time (and money) can be wasted.

So how do we do it?

Amazon works a lot like Google, it’s a giant search engine. We just need to learn how it finds books so we can position ours in the limelight.

When you search for something on Google, it pops up with auto-suggestions of what you might be looking for. These are phrases that people are looking up and typing in. Amazon does the same thing.

This is how we start finding keywords and potential titles for our books. (More on keywords later).

So let’s say we want to write a book on ‘Dog Training.’ We start typing in the word just ‘dog, ’ and then many other suggestions start popping up.

TIP: Before you start typing anything in, make sure you are in the Kindle store first. Click the little down arrow in the search bar, scroll down to the Kindle store and click on that. Now you’re ready to search.

dog training kindle publishing

Here’s an example of typing in dog training.

We have ‘dog training,’ ‘dog treat cookbook,’ ‘dog training book’ and the list goes down the page.

Now if we want to do a book on that subject then it would be a good idea to include one of those phrases in our title. But we can also niche down. And you’ll probably want to because a term like ‘dog training’ is a widely used one and it’s a very popular (and competitive) niche.

If we start writing in the whole phrase ‘dog training’ then we start getting a few more ideas for what other people are typing into Amazon like these: ‘dog training for beginners,’ ‘dog training tricks,’ etc.

There are other suggestions like these too:

‘Dog training revolution,’ ‘dog training for dummies,’ ‘dog training 50 interesting dog behaviours explained’ and ‘dog training complete strategy guide.’

You can be pretty much guaranteed that these search terms are for famous books and authors with a large following on their blogs or social media.

TIP: You DO NOT want to target these search terms. That could get you into legal trouble, and you don’t want that.

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Finding Ideas

So that’s how we start finding certain search terms to target for keywords but how about finding a niche when you have no idea what to look for? I’ve got your back, my friend; you just need to use a little imagination.

The cool thing about Amazon is they suggest stuff to buy all the time. This can be our little gold mine for ideas.

But first, you need to type something into the search bar to get some ideas right? Well here are a few ways to spark some ideas:

With what I’m about to show you, you can type in anything, and it’ll give you a place to start.

There are tons of ideas to get you going. I know that they all sound super simple so far, but I’m going to show you how with one simple idea, it can spark a LOT MORE.

Now that you have an idea you need to type it into the search bar in Amazon. Just type anything and hit the search button.

Now, whatever books pop up, just click on any of them, yes any of them. Once it’s opened, you need to scroll down to the area that says; ‘Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought.’

kindle publishing customers

Pick any book about dog training, and you’ll see some of these “Customer Also Bought” options.

This is our goldmine.

Here we can get tons of ideas for book titles and niches. And the great thing about this area is that people are buying these books, so you know they’re popular.

At some stage, you’ll come across ‘Best Seller’ tags which are of course a great sign (but can also mean a very competitive niche, hence making it harder to rank your book).

The other great thing about this area is it doesn’t just show you books about what you originally searched for. It will be at first, but as you keep scrolling across looking at more books, it will suggest other niches too.

This is where you need to start jotting ideas down with a pen and pad or on file on your computer. Anything that catches your eye, great titles, best seller tags, write them down. We’re going to go through how to prove if they’re worth pursuing or not, next.

How To Prove Whether Your Niche Is Worth Pursuing

Ok, so now we need to justify whether your niche ideas are good enough or not. There are a couple of ways to do figure out if you’ve got a good niche.

Seller Ranking

We do this in several ways, but we’re going to start with the most important; the seller ranking.

So if you click on a book again, you need to scroll down to the ‘Product Details’ section.

Now, look at the section that says; ‘Amazon Best Sellers Rank.’ You should see something like this: #9,500 Paid in Kindle Store (or whatever number is listed).

kindle publishing

Pay attention to the “Paid in Kindle Store” number.

Forget about all the other numbers.

This number is gold. I always tell my students to aim for a best seller rank number of under #100,000, but this is not a hard rule to go by, though. I’ll tell you why.

This number only represents the Kindle store ranking, not the rank of the book on Create Space (print version of the book) or ACX (audio version). (More on these later).

Sometimes you may have a much higher seller rank number which would result in a lot fewer Kindle book sales, but you may get a lot more print or audiobook sales.

It just depends on the niche, and it’s not always something that you’ll know.

So I just say look at any books that are even under a #200,000 seller rank, but the smaller the number, the better.

Amount of Reviews

The next way we justify a niche is through the number of reviews other books have in the niche.

This is a pretty simple exercise, all you need to do is look at about the top 6-10 books or so (because that’s where we want our book to potentially be) and see how many reviews each book has.

kindle publishing reviews

Examples of reviews.

If each book has over 50+ reviews, then it’s going to be tougher to compete and rank your book. This is not to say you won’t be able to, but you’ll most likely make fewer sales, and your book will end up further down the page.

If however, the top book has let’s say, 60 reviews, the next one has 30, the next 20, the next one 10, and the next has 5, then to me, you can potentially compete with that.

When you’re starting out, reviews are slower and harder to get, so you need to keep this in mind till you grow a bigger email list.

Using Keywords Properly

Another huge factor when it comes to ranking your book is to figure out if your competition using keywords effectively? If they haven’t then that equals a bigger chance of you slotting your book into a space higher up the rankings.

Like I mentioned earlier, you’ll be targeting some search phrase for your book’s title. For instance, let’s say you’re going to do ‘Dog Training For Beginners.’

kindle publishing titles

Check the titles for the keyword.

What you want to do is type that exact phrase into the search bar and see how many of your competitors are using that keyword phrase for their title. Are they?

Or are they using random titles like; ‘How to have the most amazing dog ever’? This is your opportunity to use keywords better than they are.

While we are on the topic of keywords I want to also touch on how else to use them.

Be sure (if possible) to try and fit a keyword into your subtitle too. So you may have ‘Dog Training For Beginners’ for your title, but in your subtitle, you might also try and mention the phrase ‘dog tricks’ or something similar.

Go back to your list of search terms that popped up when typing in search phrases, could you use any of them in your subtitle?

TIP: DON’T stuff your subtitle with keywords. Amazon doesn’t like it. You don’t even have to get a keyword in your subtitle, it’s not paramount but if you can, great. If not that’s ok, just try to make sure you’re using a keyword for your title.

So finding the right ideas, checking seller ranking, reviews and using keywords right are your biggest success tools in Kindle publishing.

Use these correctly, and you’re well on your way to a good ranking book that makes sales.

How To Get Someone Else To Write Your Books

Sean has talked before about using UpWork on Location Rebel, and for a Kindle publishing business, this is where we find our writers.

There are also a number of other freelance job boards you can use as well if you strike out with UpWork.

This is a pretty simple process and involves posting a job on UpWork saying you’re looking for ghostwriters to write for you on a long-term basis.

Make sure you have an eye-catching headline that uses words like ‘Writer’ ‘Ghostwriter’ etc., plus your keyword so that the right kind of people are going to apply for your job.

I just write a short blurb about what I’m willing to pay, that I’m looking for a long term writer, sometimes I’ll mention the kinds of books I want to be written too.

Now once you post your job, within 24 hours, you’ll usually have a bunch of people apply. After the 24 hour period, I usually find that you get very few applicants trickling in.

So if you don’t get anyone that you’re happy with, delete the job and re-post it. You can do all this very easily, and it’s a quick way to get more applicants.

So how do we find good writers? This can be a bit of trial and error, but there are a few things you can do to reduce the chance of getting a bad writer:

Once you’ve hired your writer, you can move on to the next stage…

How To Get Book Covers Designed For $5

Having a bad book cover can be very detrimental to your book’s success. You know that saying; “Don’t judge a book by its cover”? Well, people usually do so you need to make yours outstanding.

Most of all, it needs to be better than your competitor’s covers.

You’ll need to go over their covers and see what stands out to you. What makes you want to click on a book? What catches your attention?

Compile these things and write them down. You’ll use these later.

Now you can, of course, design the cover yourself but this is all about building a lifestyle business and outsourcing as much as you can so that’s what I’m going to show you how to do.

If you haven’t used Fiverr before then, I highly suggest you get onto it. It’s another little gold mine where you can get tasks, jobs, and things are done for as little as $5. And this is where we find our book cover designer.

Like any search engine just type in ‘book cover designer’ or ‘ebook cover’ or something similar, and you’ll get a ton of results. Like UpWork, you’ll want to search through everyone, look at their reviews, their previous work, and their guidelines for how long they’ll take and whether they do revisions.

Now at this stage, you have two options. Find the picture or pictures for your cover yourself using either Flickr, Google images, or any other picture site but be very sure to use the advanced search features for pictures that you can use for commercial use and modify.

Or your other option is to pay your designer to do this. Usually, they add another ‘gig’ bringing your total order to $10 or so.

So then all you need to do is choose your gig, give them any directions (and pictures), pay, and wait for your cover to come back.

It’s up to you which you choose, but if you’re not good with the visual design, then I suggest you hire a professional.

How To Launch, Promote And Get Reviews On Your Book

Launching Your Book Effectively

As part of using the Amazon platform to sell on, you get an option of making your book free for a period of up to 5 days every 90 days, if you include it in the Kindle Unlimited program.

This is a great chance for you to launch your book and get a lot of downloads, which in turn helps your book shoot up the rankings.

So first, as soon as your book goes live, you can set it free. We like to do this within several days of it going live so as to get the book downloaded as soon as possible.

TIP: Amazon gives every new book a bit of a spike when it first goes live. It’s up to you to take advantage of that.

The days we set the book free are usually from Tuesday to Saturday. The reasoning behind this is Monday is the biggest download day on Amazon, so by the time our book comes off free promotion on Saturday; it’s sitting higher in the rankings waiting to be downloaded (and paid for this time) by readers.

Promoting Your Books

For all of our promotions, it’s free apart from paying a virtual assistant to do it for you (but you can do it yourself when you start out or get some software).

Social Media

First of all, we can utilise Facebook and Twitter. Now for both of these platforms, there are many book groups and handles that you can post your book on. The thing with a lot of these book groups is they aren’t full of a lot of actual readers, and these groups get spammed a lot.

So a better strategy is to find groups that are in your niche to go and post your book in. Ask the group moderator if you need to, to see if it’s ok. These groups will be full of actual people interested in your book, and if you’re offering it for free, well it’s a no brainer right?

TIP: There are also many types of software that will post in Facebook groups, and Twitter handles for you too, all automatically. We use this we use Kbook Promotions.

Book Directories

Next on the list for promotion and one of the more effective ways to promote your book, is through book websites (or book directories). These sites have thousands of people visiting them looking for the latest free (and paid) books to download.

The great thing about these book directories is they’re mostly free to post your book. And again, like stated above, there is software that can do this for you to save you the time. Otherwise, it is INCREDIBLY time-consuming!

Paid Advertising Using Fiverr

Fiverr is an awesome marketplace and there are a lot of options for you to get your book promoted here.

There are many people offering ‘gigs’ to promote your book to their email list, in their Facebook groups, their Twitter handles, on their book websites, etc.

These can be really good and well worth it as they’re mostly targeted readers and eager to find new books all the time.

Email List

Now if you’re new to this you’re not going to have an email list but this is one of the best options you can use, plus it’s free.

This is something you’ll want to start building straight away. I put off starting my email list for way too long (idiot!) so make sure you start doing that asap.

To do this, you want to offer your readers some kind of special download or gift. Maybe it’s a free book/s, alternate endings (if fiction book), a cheat sheet, PDF download, checklist, the list goes on.

But either way, you need to have some kind of offer in your book somewhere to entice your reader to join your mailing list and give you their email.

Do this as soon as you can.

Getting Reviews On Your Kindle Books

Getting reviews on your books is one of the best things you can do for its success along with using keywords and having an awesome cover. It can also be a bit of work, but I’m going to show you a few ways to do this.

Utilizing Social Media

There are a ton of Facebook groups out there, you can find them on any topic. Go into targeted Facebook groups (in your niche) and post your book. Check to see if this is ok first.

You can also message some people directly in the group and tell them about your free book, and that you’d like to give them a copy in exchange for an honest review of it on Amazon.

Do the same process for Reddit. Also, don’t forget to jump into other social media channels as well. TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter are all valuable tools for promoting your book and asking for reviews.

Remember, a more personal approach is a lot more work, but it will also result in more reviews because of that. So, in many cases, it may be worth the time and effort if you can make a splash.

Within Amazon

If you go to Amazon and start looking for other books in your niche (your competitors) you can start looking at the profiles of people that have reviewed their books.

Now a lot of the time, the people that have reviewed these books won’t have a contactable profile, but if they do, well, that’s your opportunity.

Just like in Facebook, you know these people are interested in the niche, and because this person has reviewed this book, you know they leave reviews.

So now it’s your job to message these people (if possible) with a short message, basically saying that you’ve seen that they reviewed ‘X’ book and that you’d like to offer them your free book. And then ask if they do like it, could they leave an honest review on your book.

TIP: Amazon doesn’t allow you to ask friends and family to leave reviews on your books, so don’t do that.

So since you can’t ask your family and friends, you’ve just gotta hustle your butt off and anyone you come in contact with that you think might be interested in your book, ask them to read it and leave a review.

This all takes time, and this is where having a virtual assistant REALLY comes in handy. And this is also why you want to start your email list ASAP.

How To Scale And How To Outsource 80% Of The Business


Scaling this business is not so hard when you think about it, but it depends on three factors:

  1. How much money do you want to make?
  2. How much money can you put into it?
  3. How much effort and coordination do you want to put in?

If you just want to make an extra $500-$1000 a month as some side income to cover more bills or give yourself a little bit of freedom, then great. Doing it this way won’t cost you as much, and you’ll be able to handle more tasks yourself (if you want to).

But if you want to make say, $5,000 a month, so you can quit your job, then you’ll need to put more money into and put more systems in place. That’s if you want to scale quickly anyway, and I assume you do.

And of course to scale you just have to publish more books.

The other incredible and cool way to expand your business is to publish your book on Create Space and ACX.

Create Space

Amazon has made this so ridiculously simple for us now. You can now publish your print book (Create Space) right from your KDP account where you publish your Kindle book.

All this takes is a few extra files made up to suit the platform (a reformat of your book file and a cover made specifically for your book). You can get this done on Fiverr again too.

Then all you have to do is publish it. See, told you it was simple.

And the other cool thing about Create Space is you don’t need to buy upfront inventory or a giant pile of books. It’s all print on demand, so if you get an order, your book gets printed up, sent out to the customer, and you get a cut of the profits. Cool right?


ACX is where you create and upload your audiobooks to be sold on Audible, Amazon, Itunes, etc.

With your audiobooks, you have two options; you can either pay a narrator upfront to narrate your book, or you can do a profit share with them where you go 50/50 splitting the profits (Amazon takes their cut first).

Getting your book narrated upfront can either be done through ACX by posting the job in the ACX marketplace to get narrators to audition, or you can also find narrators on UpWork which can sometimes be cheaper.

Or you can just do profit share which costs you nothing upfront.

Either way, this is another great way to expand your income. If you create your Kindle book and then do both a Create Space version of your book and an Audio version (and why wouldn’t you?), then you now have three sources of income from the one book you created.

Pretty cool right?

Outsourcing the Business

Ok so this is the fun part, and although it does take some work to get it all working nicely, it is a great feeling to have your little publishing business grow and be run (mostly) by someone else.

But how do we do this?

So the key thing here is having a virtual assistant/s to help you out. We hire these virtual assistants through UpWork, and I typically hire people from the Philippines.

This can be done quite inexpensively, but if your virtual assistants end up doing a great job, then reward good work. Increase their pay and give them yearly bonuses.

To get a VA to run your Kindle publishing business effectively, you need to train them correctly.

The way I do this is with screencast training (recording your computer screen). I use Screencast-o-Matic, and it’s super easy to use. Loom is another option.

I find the best way to do these screencasts is to record them when you’re doing the tasks yourself. That way you’re not putting as much time into it, and besides; you have to do the task anyway, so why not teach it at the same time and create more future time for yourself?

You can also create written documents of all your training videos too if you want, so your virtual assistants have something to refer to quickly.

Final Thoughts on Kindle Publishing

That about wraps it up and is about all the detail I can go into here (this is already well over 4500 words!).

The big key to building up an income using Kindle publishing is just sticking to the core principles, continuing to learn, and just keep immersing yourself in it.

Keep applying, adapting and you’ll have success.

If a welder like me can do it, then you can too!

This post was updated in November 2021 for accuracy.

Sean Ogle

Sean Ogle is the Founder of Location Rebel where he has spent the last 12+ years teaching people how to build online businesses that give them the freedom to do more of the things they like to do in life. When he's not in the coffee shops of Portland, or the beaches of Bali, he's probably sneaking into some other high-class establishment where he most certainly doesn't belong.
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29 comments on "Kindle Publishing: How to Make $4,000 in Six Months"

  1. Raza says:

    I love it.

    I’m a 35 year old systems engineer in Chicago with 3 young kids and am using this same strategy.

    It works no matter what your age is.

    1. And that’s the cool thing about it hey Raza!

      Nice work on balancing it all with three kids too!


  2. James Ranson says:

    Solid business idea on a few different levels. I like that it works for people who don’t have the bandwidth or desire to write their own books, that it’s almost completely outsource-able, and that it incorporates idea validation into its process. I can appreciate all of those aspects, and I’m glad it’s working for you.

    But as a ghostwriter and editor, I also have a few problems with it. One is that there’s no mention of editing anywhere, and an unedited book is a recipe for disaster. Two is that paying writers $1.50 for 100 words nets them $300 for a 20,000 word book, the equivalent of writing 40 500-word articles for $7.50 apiece, which is sweatshop work for any writer not based in the third world. You said “pay more to find good writers” but at those rates, you aren’t. Good article and blog ghostwriters get paid five to ten times that much, and really good book ghostwriters charge fifty times that or more.

    Three (building on the first two) is that the goal of this business seems to be to sell books, not to create books people want to buy. This may be a subtle difference, but it’s a powerful one. By your description, it doesn’t seem to matter whether the books produced are at all original, helpful, or value-adding for their readers–and trust me, if there’s one thing Amazon doesn’t need, it’s more books that don’t add value to anyone. It’s one thing to find a niche where you can sell, and another thing entirely to create something for that niche that’s worth buying.

    So I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the quality of these books, and whether that quality is considered at all in the process of niche-write-publish-promote-repeat. I’d be curious to know about how many books it takes to make the amount of money you do, and how often you need to create new ones. And I’d be intrigued to find out if this business is ultimately benefiting or helping anyone other than you and a few people who can afford to work for what you pay them.

    P.S. Apologies if this came off as harsh. I tend to get a bit worked up over these kinds of issues within our industry. Don’t get me wrong–you sound like a good guy, you’ve got tangible excitement in your writing, and you’ve worked hard to learn everything needed to run this business as described, all of which I totally respect. You definitely deserve your success and lifestyle. I’d just like to challenge your viewpoint a bit, since my perspective on what makes a successful book business is clearly somewhat different than yours. Thanks for your consideration.

    1. Xavier Clark says:

      I got pretty excited reading this post based on how straightforward the process seems – but the further I read the more I was wondering when the post would address quality of content. I think ¶¶ 3-4 of James’ comment above sum up my thoughts/concerns best.

      More than ever, if you’re hoping to operate a lifestyle business in any sort of “niche” field, it seems quality of content needs to be given much more weight if you’re going to enjoy sustainable success, versus just flashes. (That’s what led me to choose LR versus other programs – Sean’s content was a level deeper than many other programs available.)

      I once bought a kindle book on a very niche topic, it didn’t cost a whole lot and it was well reviewed – but it turned out to be poorly written and edited, and the content was extremely weak. It was as if the “relative expert” idea, which works well for a site, had been hastily applied to an e-book and sold as “expertise”. Needless to say I was disappointed, and because the experience left me feeling burned I haven’t purchased a niche topic e-book since (just major titles).

      Also like James, I’m not intending to come off as harsh or hypercritical – I’m actually very intrigued by this technique, am excited to hear how well it’s working for the Adrian, and so really appreciate the guest post. But, before I dive in it would be good to learn more about the content creation, editing, and other QC aspects (costs) of the process.

      Thanks for sharing!

    2. Hey James and Xavier,

      Guys, very valid questions, and these things are honestly just parts I forgot to include in the article (there is only so much detail I can go into in a blog post)! But yes as for editing, every single book is edited (mine are anyway) and that is exactly the way I teach it. You can’t afford to not edit a book, because like you said, we don’t want rubbish out there in the market place because there is enough of that.

      Every book that is created by us is of very high quality, I believe so anyway. I ask every writer to write me an original, high quality, PAGE-TURNING book. This is of utmost importance because bad reviews on your book will eventually turn it into a non-seller. Different readers will always have different views on this. When I first started, my books weren’t so good, and I learnt that because I was getting bad reviews on them. This taught me to always go for quality over quantity.

      As for plagiarism, all my books are checked through copyscape for any duplicated content and I tell all my students to do the same.

      Trust me guys, I could easily have written a whole book about this instead of just a blog post but at 4500 words already there are some things that I can’t always fit in! There’s only so much I can cover before it gets too long.

      Remember: Quality is everything. You have to have a product that people will want to read. All my books have got to entice the reader to turn the page. That is actually the words I tell my writers.

      And as for benefiting people, then yes I should hope anybody’s books are! That is our aim and how I teach it to my students; to always focus on adding value to the reader. Always asking yourself; what could my book have that others don’t? Why is my book better?

      Trust me the whole; pump out a rubbish book, put it up there and let it make sales is a thing of the past.

      Its up to you how many books you want to publish but as for myself I publish around 1 book a week (like I said, I’m not writing the books) to continually grow the business. If you want to grow this quickly when you’re first starting out then you need to scale. Sales can vary massively from niche to niche also so sometimes in certain niches you won’t need to put out as many books, and some you will. In this business if you want to scale you need to produce more books (while always focusing on quality). This DOES NOT mean that quality is compromised. Why would it? You scale up your team at the same time so no one is rushed to complete crappy work. It’s simple math. Keep the ratios the same for everything and quality is maintained.

      The goal of this process is to CREATE BOOKS THAT PEOPLE WANT TO BUY. Not create books that scam the reader. Books that people actually get something out of and informs them of whatever subject the book is on.

      QUALITY, QUALITY, QUALITY. You will not last on Amazon if you create a rubbish product trust me. There are a lot of publishers out there doing this and as long as you do a better job than them, then in the long run you’ll be better off.

      I make a living off this. And when you quit your job to pursue this, you make damn sure that you’re putting out quality! I don’t want the stress of thinking that I was scamming people and putting out rubbish books.

      Sorry if these things weren’t mentioned in the article, a silly oversight on my regard!

      I hope that all makes sense guys. Every little detail of this business I teach in my own program, but you can only go into so much detail in a blog post.

      Any more questions, let me know!


  3. Mike says:

    So how do you go about creating content? Do you just give a list of things to cover?

    1. Hey Mike,

      Yes that is the best way. I like to give my writers an outline of what to write about, points to cover, how many chapters sometimes, the length, etc etc.

      As I’ve developed a relationship with my long term writers, they understand what I want more and more and hence usually don’t have to go into quite as much detail as when I first start with a writer.

      Hope that helps 🙂


  4. Shiv says:

    Very nicely written article, covers all aspects of Kindle publishing business. Thanks for publishing this Sean and Adrian! I liked this as a crash course in publishing since I’ve published few myself. There are a couple of pointers that I’ve picked up, will implement them soon.
    I also think that this should reach more people, so I tweeted it. Thanks again!

    1. Hey Shiv,

      Thanks a lot!

      Glad you got something from it!


  5. Jeff says:

    I agree with everyone else about quality for the prices quoted. However, my big concern and main problem has always been marketing of a book after publishing on Amazon. I get being an established presence on the web with a “list” or social media following is the way to go however I’m betting most of us here don’t have a list let alone a website or large social media following.

    The question becomes for those of us just starting out how to successfully and *profitably* market our books on Amazon? I have yet to find a good answer.

    Lots of people mention Fiverr, FB groups, etc. however I’d like to see some hard numbers and recommendations. MARKETING is the primary key, in my opinion, assuming the book being published is of high quality and good information. I’ve found Fiverr to be hit or miss and trying to write FB or Google ads that are *profitable*. Consider profit is between $1.50 and $2 US per Kindle book sold (at the $2.99 selling price) means at in industry standard of a 1% click-through rate and say a 5% conversion, where you net $1.50/book and only want to pay $0.75/book in marketing costs, that makes your cost per click at a maximum of a little under 4 CENTS/click.

    The last time I checked FB or Google ads for decent keywords in any niche, one would be very hard pressed to get them at 4 cents/click…and that’s eating 50% of your royalty per book!

    I’m all ears if anyone has any suggestions for profitable marketing of Kindle books when one does not have a social media following or email list.

    1. Hey Jeff,

      Great questions. When you don’t have an email list then yes things are harder but trust me if you get a few things right like I mentioned in the article, then you are going to have far more success.

      Did you know that one of your biggest success factors is using your keywords correctly?

      If you’re not using keywords correctly then your book will not get seen. Simple as that. The marketing methods I’ve mentioned in the article are mostly free (unless you’re doing a paid gig on fiverr). Book directories are a great way to go, they’re full of actual readers.

      As for pay per click advertising for books, you have to remember that the profit you’re making is not just from your kindle book. If you have a Create Space book and audio book as well then your profit can be larger.

      Also there is now Amazon pay per click advertising for books. This is great because people seeing these ads are already inside Amazon, they’re not seeing an ad from outside the platform and then being taken to Amazon.

      Anyway, like I said in the article, I focus on free promotion techniques or at most a fiverr gig (Amazon PPC is whole other subject). With the CORRECT use of keywords and promotion through social media and boo directories you’re going to give your book a very good boost.

      People just too often neglect the keywords. YOU CAN’T. Even without an email list, if you do all the things above you can launch a book very successfully. I know because I’ve done it.

      But if you want to go down the paid ads route, then yes you can sometimes expect to lose, break even or even cost you money. This also depends a lot on how well you’ve done the other things.

      I hope this may help in some way!


  6. Igor says:

    Hey, Adrian, great article.

    I have 3 important questions about translations on ebooks:

    1 – What do you think about them for an online business (a niche blog)?
    2 – How do you consider them useful?
    3 – Regarding copyright: how do you see it?

    Thanks in advance,

    1. Hey Igor,

      Thanks for your questions.

      1. Do you mean translating your own books that are in English into another language? Or do you mean starting a blog offering this as a service? Not exactly sure what you mean that’s all.

      2. As above. Let me know what you mean exactly 🙂

      3. Copyright as I wrote above in a previous comment is very important. You don’t want to be copying other peoples books. That’s why plagiarism checks are absolutely mandatory before you publish anything.

      Let me know about the above questions mate and I’ll get back to you!


  7. Very good information. I am a person, who is bit careful in spending money. So, I am writing the small books myself to learn the trade myself as I belief in knowing what your doing. Once you know how to run the business it will be better to outsource the work as you dont want to be let down by the people. Thank you

    1. Hey Vathani,

      Thanks for the comment. Writing the books yourself is a great way to save money and also great if you are trying to build your own personal brand.

      Everything I teach can be used whether you are a publisher or an author, I just choose to be mostly a publisher as that way I can work on other projects as well which saves me time.

      I’ve even written a few books myself which is fun and something I want to do again!

      Good luck mate, I wish you a ton of success!


  8. Abdul says:

    Hi Adrain

    Thanks a lot for this post its great. If you don’t mind me asking, one thing I’m confused about if other people are writing the book and we are publishing them who’s name do we put on the book?
    I’m a little confused. Also how many books would you have to publish to earn a full time living?

    Thanks Abdul

    1. Hey Abdul,

      Great question. We use a pen name. So with your Amazon account, you can start an Author Central account. In there you can make a profile for your pen name author, you can give them a photo, bio etc.

      You can have up to 3 pen names within your Author Central account but you can actually have as many pen names as you want on your books, just anything over 3 and you won’t be able to make a whole bio etc for them within the Author Central account.

      Hope that makes sense!

      As for how many books do you need to publish to make a living,well what’s a living to you? How much do you need per month? I’ve seen some people earn several thousand dollars a month with only 20 books, but then I’ve seen other people publish 50 books before they reached $1000 a month. It all depends massively on the niche, your research etc etc. For me I can’t remember the exact amount of books I had but I think it was around 80-100 books when I hit around $4000/month. Again some people will do it with less, some people will do it with more.


  9. Jon Lee says:

    Literally speaking everything contained in this article is true . However, after having spent a good part of the last two years trying to make this work, I can tell you it’s not that easy.

    Not that easy at all.

    It’s funny that the example used is a book on dog training, because I did my research and had a book written for me I that subject that I had to edit extensively after paying for the service. I’m still not positive cash flow on this one, even after running the free promotion the $.99 promotion etc.

    Reviews? I can tell you this …almost none of the reviewers list their contact email anymore and those that do are so saturated with requests to review books that your odds are not very good. I sent out more than 500 emails to reviewers and ended up with one review from it.

    I really don’t like going negative, but this is one method that I feel like I’m pretty qualified to weigh in on.

    I have one book that I wrote myself and bears my name that is my bestseller and that frequently goes well into the top 100,000 list. I think on my best month that book is fetch me about $75

    1. Jon Lee says:

      Sorry about the typos

    2. Hey Jon,

      Like I’ve said in the above comments, there is only so much detail I can go into in a blog post, even with 4500 words. I’m sorry to hear that you haven’t been able to make this work.

      But if you do things the right way this can be done. Doesn’t mean EVERYONE can do it. And it doesn’t mean that it will happen overnight. Starting is the hardest part. There is a whole host of things that you may or may not be doing to get to your desired result.

      If you really want to make something work, then you’ll find a way. If you’re an author then I’d be out there authoring more books and learning more to become better at marketing my books.

      Like I’ve said, I can’t add everything I’ve learned in this article from the last few years I’ve been doing this, it would take a book!

      Thanks for the comment,


  10. Roy says:

    Great actionable article, I definitely want to try this out. I had a couple of questions:

    1) I read somewhere the minimum number of words on a book should be 10,000 for non-fiction. Do you have a minimum number you recommend?

    2) If I outsource every part of the process from Kindle keyword research to marketing on Upwork, how much does it cost in total ? Sat $200-$250 ball-park? And if it takes 80 books at least( I know you said some bring in with less and some with more) to bring in $4000 monthly, that equates to around $50 a month.

    So in 6 months if someone did publish one ebook every week, its going to cost them around $6000 and they could hope to bring in $1200 a month roughly.

    If I were to not publish anymore , how long could I sustain with an avg income of say around $1000? What I’m trying to ask is how long do I need to keep publishing to have a side income of $1k a month?

    1. Hey mate! These are all very subjective answers and will vary MASSIVELY for each person so I really can’t give you perfect figures or perfect ‘calculations’ to get the exact result you require, the world unfortunately doesn’t quite work like that!

      But I will do my best!

      1) I would recommend no less than 10,000 words especially when you’re first starting out as you may have some books that flop before you get better. Then definitely start doing bigger books.

      2) I personally wouldn’t be outsourcing the kindle word research, especially when you’re starting out. This is the stuff you want to learn yourself. But I’d say if that’s what you were doing and you were going to outsource EVERYTHING then I would say at very minimum $250 but that would be the low end. Depends on length of book, quality of writer, editors, cover designers, your VA cost etc etc…

      Very roughly mate, yes it could give you those results. It could also give you only $200 a month. It ALL DEPENDS on you following the right process and getting your niche research right. Lots of different factors to consider here, too many to list. But that can give you a bit of a benchmark (I don’t like giving these kind of benchmarks because then people expect it). It all comes down to the individual.

      As for how long do you need to keep publishing… not sure I completely understand your question but if you mean how often would you need to publish a book (once you’ve $1k a month) to maintain $1k a month then again, this can vary but I will say if you published a book a month then you should be able to maintain that – give or take, this isn’t exact math.

      Usually over time certain books will fall in ranking, there is of course things you can do to help it as much as possible but some will maintain their ranking. So for those books that don’t, you look to publish new books to offset that.

      Hope that helps!


  11. Don Fantry says:

    Great article Adrian! I just had some basic questions.

    How many words are in your typical books?

    What is your average outsourcing costs when you have the book written for you: ghostwriter, assistants, editing, covers, marketing, etc?

    What percentage of your books have you earned a net profit from? What percent do you think give you a positive cash flow and how long does the typical cash flow last?

    Thanks for your time.


    Don F.

    1. Hey Don,

      Please see above answers to Roy’s questions, they pretty much answer your questions!


  12. Robert says:

    Hey great post. I published quite a few books in the past maybe about 20 or so. I found sales were great for about 2-3 months but died down to almost zero. What’s the key to long term success? I have private label products by comparison that I can keep selling forever . Thank yiu

    1. Hey mate this can happen for sure, depending on the niche. The key here is to keep driving traffic to it via promotions, your own email list, and trying to get reviews on it. Plus you want to be making sure you are doing a Create Space version and an Audio version of your book too. That way if kindle sales fall off you can still have other sales coming in from them.

      There are also other things you can do to, like experimenting with changing keywords, changing the price etc.. And of course you can just keep publishing!

      Hope that helps.

  13. Emeka Ossai says:

    This was a great article! I started Kindle publishing only a few months ago and its been nothing but a thrill ride. I have managed to get up to the $2000/month level so far and slowly but surely will keep increasing that.

    Thanks for producing great content Adrian.

    1. Hey Emeka, thanks man! I’ve seen how you’re doing and you’re smashing it! Good to see you having success with it 🙂


  14. Boom. Just right. Gives the basics without complicating everything.

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