Make Money Publishing on Kindle


I first tried publishing on Kindle in 2009, by converting a couple ebooks I had already been selling. I also put my paperback, Secrets of Lucky People, into their system. I did nothing to promote the Kindle versions, and it took me only about an hour or two to convert each book. I figured I might make a bit of extra money, and I hoped that perhaps I could get that revenue stream up to $200 per month within a year. It has been a year, and just received a payment of $253 last week.

Kindle, in case you aren't familiar with it, is Amazon's proprietary e-book reader. My wife recently bought me one as a gift (yes, I was making money on my Kindle books for a year without owning a Kindle), and I like it. I was reading a book on it in bright sunlight the other day, with no eye strain. Amazon also make a Kindle reader available for free for your computer, and is working on making the software available in other formats.

Anyone can publish a book on the Kindle platform. Once you open an account (no cost), you upload your document and convert it. Then you inevitably try again and play around until you get the book to format how you would like it to. In the end is is a pretty easy system to use, and there is a forum that has other Kindle publishers who will help you out if you need advice.

KindleHow Much Can You Make?

I basically just loaded up eight or ten of my e-books and do no promotion of the Kindle versions. I have occasionally mentioned them in my newsletters, but it seems that mostly they are just found by Kindle users when searching keywords. My book on ultralight backpacking makes about $100 per month, the others less. With promotion I am sure many people are doing far better. In fact, I suspect that there are already a few people making a living from publishing on Kindle.

At the moment (2011) Amazon pays out a royalty of up to 70% if your book meets certain criteria, and 35% otherwise. They want their books to be mostly under $10, but this is not a hard rule.

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I know of one man here in Colorado who has been republishing old classics that are no longer protected by copyright law. I believe he adds some commentary, and he sells them for as little as 99 cents. He makes only 34 cents on those sales, but his brother tells me he sells thousands per month.

Qualifications / Requirements

If you have a book you have written or that you own the rights to, you can start an account and have the book for sale in two days.

First Steps

Read through the guidelines for publishing on Kindle that are provided by Amazon, and then give it a try.


Steve Gillman's Books - My own kindle books page at Amazon. - The official Kindle site. - Most of what you need to know can be found here.

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