Self-publishing Kindle eBooks on Amazon KDP 9: Rights and Pricing | Brian Jackson | Skillshare

Self-publishing Kindle eBooks on Amazon KDP 9: Rights and Pricing

Brian Jackson, Author/Publisher/Educator

Self-publishing Kindle eBooks on Amazon KDP 9: Rights and Pricing

Brian Jackson, Author/Publisher/Educator

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3 Lessons (21m)
    • 1. Price Your Book to Optimize Revenue

    • 2. Always Enter the Kindle MatchBook Program

    • 3. You Have Little Choice But to Allow Lending of Your Book

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About This Class

Self-publishing Kindle eBooks on Amazon KDP 9: Rights and Pricing

In this class we deal with the second screen of KDP input which involves specifying your distribution rights and pricing your book.  Find out how to do it right, watch the class series from the beginning.


Meet Your Teacher

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Brian Jackson



Born in Los Angeles in the middle of the last century, I have always wanted to be a writer. After twenty-five some odd years spent working in the computer industry in the heart of the Silicon Valley, first for Lockheed as a Systems Programmer and later for Cisco Systems as a test tool developer, I managed to retire early and begin my next career as a self-published author.

Along with writing and publishing my own novels I also publish the works of my wife, Melanie Jackson. During the past four years I've published well over 100 books in paperback and eBook formats. Oddly enough this includes eBooks on how to self-publish books and how to create professional looking book covers using the GIMP. I've also recorded and distributed a pair of audiobooks available for purchase on Amazon... See full profile

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1. Price Your Book to Optimize Revenue: Hello and welcome to my lecture entitled Price. Your Book Toe Optimize Revenue. This is going to be an author's introduction to the business of self publishing books. I'm going to talk to you about a pricing strategy that's worked particularly well from me and explain it to you. So we're going to go through a lot of numbers and calculations, and I'm gonna show it to you. So let's begin. This is the field that will be filling in. And during this lecture, I'm going to convince you that you should set your royalty to 70% the max that you could get and set your price 2 to 99. The rest of this lecture discusses why to 99 is such an important price point. Let's begin by looking at word count and traditional book length. Now we're gonna wander through several topics here, But don't worry, we're gonna pull it all together, and it's all gonna make sense in the end. So we're wandering far, but we're going to come back close again. The most meaningful measure of your writing output. His word count now 250 words equals about one page. That's the traditional calculation. And then there are industry standard links for various traditional forms of writing. For instance, along novels. About 100,000 words. Once you get beyond 100,000 words, you're writing a long novel or 400 pages. A standard novelist. More like 80,000 words or 320 pages. Now a short novel, which you see a lot in mysteries and things like that is about 65,000 words, or 260 pages a novella. 30,000 words are 120 pages. Technical God's more and more of them out there that are very short on Lee. 20,000 words. Air about 80 pages. And then finally, there's a short story on Lee. 5000 words in length or about 20 pages. You might want to take a while and look at this particular slide and memorize some of these lengths because they're going to come into play more and more as you right. Remember that readers think in pages. While writers think in words, I want to point out something about book length in the electronic age. The numbers that we just went over provide a useful reference and readers air familiar with these traditional lengths. However, many of these links were imposed by print publication requirements that no longer apply in an electronic age. What's my point? Right? Any length you'd like an e book format, but try not to stray too far away from the traditional expectations of your readers. Now, having said that, I want to put in a little aside on how you track your word count. Using word located in the lower left hand corner of the Microsoft Word screen, it tells you after page number of page. It tells you the number of words in your document. If you select a number of words, it will put the number of words in the selection before the number of words in the total document. Now a good way to tell how many words you're writing in a day or during the writing period is to make note of the number of words of the start of your writing day and then make note of the number of words at the end to tell you how many words you're writing in a writing session. Now I want to start talking about writing speed and duration. This is an important part of making money and writing. I can easily attain my personal daily goal of an average of 1000 words per day, or about four pages. The minimum that I write might be 500 words, the maximum closer to 2000 words, but the average for a day and I do this every day when I'm writing is about 1000 words or four pages. That would mean that a long novel of 100,000 words would take about 100 days. A standard novel. 80 A short novel, 65 days. A novella. 30. A technical guide only 20 days in a short story, five days to write the's air, some numbers that I can calculate out of my writing speed. I write and revise at a rate of about 500 words per hour for two hours a day. Now, one of the reasons I write so slowly is that I kind of revise as I write. I go through this a whirlwind of right and revise, and I keep spinning through the document until I make it to the end. So by the time I'm done with the first draft. It's in pretty good shape, but it makes me write slower. It's probably a bad habit to cold of it now. What I encourage you to do is to determine your own writing pace. To do this record the count at the start of your day. The word count. If you're using word, it's in the lower left hand corner of the screen. After you're done writing for an hour, record your word count again, then subtract er starting word count from your ending Word counted to turn the number of words per hour that you write, Determine your day ling writing commitment. If you're willing to commit to two hours per day and you write it 542 words per hour, then that means that you write 1084 words per day. Determine the number of days that are required to produce a work in your chosen genre. Let's say you want to write a 65,000 words Short novel at 1084 words per day means about 60 days would be required to write a book. Now I'm going toe shift gears again, and we're going to talk about the Amazon royalties, how much they're willing to pay you and what the rules are in their royalty structure. Amazon awards a 70% royalty to any author who will do these things. 70% is a lot. Barnes and Noble only offers 65% so Amazon is offering a premium. But they want you to follow these two rules. Price your e book from to 99 to 9 99 and off your book for no less through a competitors. Now, if you can follow those two rules, you'll get 70% royalty on your book. Otherwise, Amazon defaults to a 35% royalty. In other words, you'll only make half the royalty if you don't price your book between 2 99 and 9 99 or sell it for less and a competitors. Amazon also only offers a 35% royalty for certain countries. If you're not in the select program, the minimum price that you can offer for an E book is 99 cents. Now one of the things that we can do with these numbers is we can start looking at e book prices. There are three important price points in Amazon E Books, 99 cents is the minimum that you can charge for an e book, and you only get a 35% royalty so you get 35 cents per book. Note that 30 or 99 cent books have become the new free because Amazon doesn't track free books the way they used to. If you want your book to be inexpensive and be in the public view, 99 cents is pretty much the least that you can charge for it to 99 is the least that you can charge and get a 70% royalty or $2.9 per book. This is the sweet spot, and then 99 9 99 is the most that you can charge. I've never even come close to that. I recommend that you don't notice that between 2 98 where you make a dollar for and to 99 where you make a dollar nine, you are doubling your income by raising the price of your book by one cent. The sweet spot is to 99. That's where you want to price your book. You want to struggle and work to try and get the 2 99 price point. This is where you're going to make your most money. Other prices I use well for three book bundles. I do a two for three offer where I offer them for 5 99 or you make 4 19 for a bundle, and also I charge a premium or a buck more for the latest release. You want to charge a premium for the hottest stuff out, especially when in a Siri's when you have readers hooked. So let's take a look at what the sweet spot looks like. Here's a curve of your revenue from various price points. Weaken C zero or free, where you get nothing. 99 cents you get 35 cents up to 70 cents up, 2 to 89. And then once you make it to to 99 you jump to 209 Notice this green line. That's the sweet spot to 99. That's where you want a price. Your book. It's the minimum price you can charge and still receive a 70% royalty from Amazon. Now why not set your price higher? You keep getting 70% right up to 9 99 price point. Why not keep on going? Went on. Increase your book a little beyond to 99 to generate even more revenue. And the answer in a word, is competition. You want to see your price of the minimum that will receive a 70% royalty. Take a look at the books that are popular in your genre. Notice that most of them are priced to 99 or maybe even 99 cents. Price is the first item under your control, which you're going to be able to use to compete right away with the competition. So why not set your book at the minimum you can to receive a 70% royalty to 99 is the pre a price point that you're shooting. For now, let's look at a sample publishing strategy. Assume that we're going to write short books, which I recommend 50 to 65,000 words or 50 to 65 days of writing and my pace, and you're gonna write a series of books, charge 99 cents for the first book as a lead magnet. This lures people into reading your Siri's charged to 99 for subsequent books. This is your meat and potatoes price, and you want that for most of your books, Then bundle books two through four and five through seven. Bundle three books for 5 99 You're giving them one book free, but you're still making quite a bit of money. And, of course, charge a premium for the latest book. Ah, pricing strategy like that might look like something like this where your first book is 99 cents. You're only gonna make 35 cents sale, but books two through four you're making 209 and that premium latest book you're making to 79 per sale. And then you bundle books two through four for 5 99 where you make for 19 and you might sell quite a few books through bundles rather than buying the individual to 99 bucks. This is a lure to you're trying to sell books. This is about generating revenue. Now let's look at the waterfall published self publishing process. One of the things you might be asking yourself is just how long is it going to take me to get these five books out there? That sounds like a lot of writing well, given that you're writing a 60,000 word or 250 page book, let's say it takes two days for outlining 60 days for my right and revised process, and then I take about three days to edit. It goes to a copy editor for seven days, and then I do one day of publishing, and I repeat this process overlaying the releases of books. Note that you need to include research time as need in your calculations. Now note that I can repeat this process every 66 days. Dividing 365 days in the year by 66 means that using this health publishing waterfall, I can release about 5.5 books per year. So how long is it going to take me to get those five books out there? Not quite a year. Not very long what a waterfall might look like. Well, let's say you start writing in January by March, you'll have your first book out, and you charge to 99 for it. In May. Your second book comes out. You charge to 99 for your second book and drop your first book to 99 cents is a lead magnet by July 2 months later, you got your third book out. Now you've got 99 cents to 99 a premium price for that third book of 3 99 in September. Book One is 99 cents, Book two and 3 to 99 Book four is the premium price 3 99 book By November, you have Book one out. Your lead magnet is 99 cents the majority of your books for 2 99 the Meat and potatoes books and the Premium book Out Book five. And he also release a bundle of books two through four for 5 99 Here's what you got after a year is the complete money making machine. What I encourage you to do is determine your own publishing rate. How do you do that? Well at all the factors that you personally work on like, let's say, two days of outlining two days of research, 60 days of writing, 10 days of self editing if you can't afford Ah, professional copy editor and then one day of publishing, the total turnaround time is 75 days, so you can release a book every 2.5 months, or about five books a year. Go through this math yourself and figure out what you're publishing. Rate is now. Another strategy that I've seen very effectively used is called Serial Publishing. It was used by Dickens. It's been used by Stephen King, and many modern self publishers use it. You published 10 to 20 word chapters in some continuing saga every month and charge 99 cents for it. And then every six months, you accumulate all the chapters into a bundle in charge to 99. For it that would look something like this. Books one through six are only 99 cents. You're only gonna make 35 cents a copy, but the bundle you're gonna make to 99 on and people are making a significant savings by buying the bundle, they're gonna want the bundle so effectively you're selling a book every six months and you're making a little money along the way with your 35 cent releases. Now let's look at technical guide publishing strategies. Most technical guides. The short ones tend to 20,000 words, sell for about 99 cents and they focus on a very specific topic. Popular guides sometimes sell for 2 99 or 6 99 so you might be able to hit that to 99 price . Point eventually with your technical guide by raising the price. Bundle technical guides to get to the 2 99 sweet spot. If that's what it takes, remember to 99 is your aim for every book. Use cheaper, shorter guides as lead generators for your more expensive works. So let's look at money matters. Just how much do you have to sell to make certain amounts of money? Well, at the 99 cent price point, we're only making 35 cents a book. If you sell 100 copies, you're only making $35. Note that if you jump to to 99 you're making 209 per copy or six times more. Ah, 100 bucks will make you $209 this just keeps going up. If you charge more, let's look at another aspect. How Maney sales would be required to make $1000 Well, at the 99 cent price point, you're talking about having to sell 2800 and 57 books. To make $1000 you only have to sell 478 or 1/6 the number at 2 99 to make the same amount. That's why to 99 is such a sweet price. Okay, now I know you're probably dying to ask this, so I'll slip it in any way. My best book sales per month for a single book I published was a book called Moving Violation. This was in March of 2011. I sold it for 3 99 which got a 70% royalty, or to 79 per book. And I sold 3000 and five copies in one month for $8384. So it's possible to make a lot of money with this publishing strategy. Now what I recommend, choose an appropriate word count for your project. Whatever your genre is, don't stray too far from customer expectations for the John genre, but do right as short as you possibly can, right as short as you think that you can toe get that to 99 price point. That's what you're aiming for if you would normally price your book at 4 99 or 5 99 right shorter instead and charged to 99. Write more books, right in a Siri's publish a book about every two months for 5 to 6 books a year. You should be able to publish a serial chapter or a technical guide every month. So we're talking about that. You're gonna publish a lot really fast pick up publishing strategy that applies to your situation. Okay and charged to 99. Here it is. Here's the field that you're filling out, said a 70% royalty and set to 99 as your book price. That's what you're going to do for your first book. And that's about all that I have to say on that topic. I'll see you in the next lecture. 2. Always Enter the Kindle MatchBook Program: Hello and welcome to another short lecture entitled Always Enter the Kindle Matchbook program and then give your book away. This is a special program where people who buy your paperback book can get a discount on the E book version. So here's the field that you fill in. You won't see the drop down box where you get to select your price unless you check the box that says Enroll in the Kindle Matchbook program. And what I'm recommending is of the two choices 99 cents and free. You make your book free. Okay, so let's discuss what the matchbook program is. We actually already did. If your book is in the matchbook program than every time that someone buys a paperback copy of your book, they can purchase the E book at a discount. The discount prices that you can offer or 99 cents and free. Okay, and what do I recommend? I recommend that you enter the matchbook program and make the book free. The reason is, is that this is a huge show of goodwill, dear readers, and it will enhance your Amazon Book description Page. Just the fact that your book is in the matchbook program. Also, anyone who pays the inflated price that I recommend you charge for your paperback should get the e book for free. So I recommend Andrew the Matchbook program and make your book free. And to do that, you just check the box and select free. And that's about all that I've got to say on the topic, so I'll see you in the next lecture. 3. You Have Little Choice But to Allow Lending of Your Book: Hi. Okay, this one's a real no brainer because you don't have any choice but to lend your book. This is another side effect of the 70% royalty, but it's still a good idea, and this is the field will be filling in. It's the Kindle eBook lending. Are you going to allow lending of this book? So what is this all about? What is this? Kindle lending. This program allows a Kindle e book purchaser toe lend their book to a friend for up to 14 days, so it gives them a little lending period. You can pass the book around after you're done reading it. Now what I recommend you must allow lending of your book to receive a 70% royalty. It's another side effect of 70% royalty. And since I recommend that you set your royalty to 70% that means that you'll be lending your book. You have no choice. You can't opt out that Littlefield will actually be grayed out of you. Set your royalty to 70% and you won't be ableto uncheck it. Notice that this is another tremendous show of goodwill, though. So even if it was checkable, I would recommend staying in the lending program so that your book will show is being in the lending program on your book description page notice that we're always striving to optimize our books. Amazon Product Page This is just another step in doing so. So here's the field. Allow lending of your book. You have no choice. You're going to do it so I'll talk to you again in the next lecture.