a course in miracles have been around for over a decade but until recently, they hadn’t contributed much in the way of book sales. This all changed when Amazon, the world’s largest book seller, released a proprietary e-book reader called the ‘Kindle’ in November of 2007. Since then, things have turned 180 degrees for the struggling e-book market.
Authors, especially unknown, self published authors are the ones who have most benefited from this emerging market…and for good reason. Because Amazon owns the Kindle, they constantly need new books to include in the Kindle library. All an author has to do to take advantage of this is to produce his book in the Kindle format. A paperback version would compliment it, but it isn’t necessary. Amazon distributes both.
Notice I said, distributes, not publish. Publishing and distribution are two completely different things. You can sell your book without a publisher. In most cases, ‘you’ will be listed as the publisher. But it’s hard to sell books without someone to distribute them. This is where Amazon shines. After all…that’s what they built their business on, selling books.
Distribution is the main problem new authors face. They have no way to get their books in front of potential buyers. Sure, they can sell them on their website and maybe through some local bookstores, but neither of these channels usually have much selling power. Getting a book into major brick and mortar bookstores is nearly impossible without an established publisher.
By making your book available for Amazon’s Kindle, it can be seen by millions of potential buyers and for virtually nothing. Remember, if people can’t find your book, they can’t buy it. By having it on Amazon, people will find it.
Converting your book into Amazon’s format can be a little tricky, but with the right help, it shouldn’t be much of a problem. Your book can be uploaded to Amazon’s DTP (digital text platform) directly from your computer. If you’ve written it in Word, you can save it as an HTML file and the DTP will perform the conversion in a minute or two.
There are several steps to consider along the way though. You’ll need to know how to strip out the extra control codes that Word inserts into your file. You’ll need to know about copyrights, ISBN numbers, setting up your Amazon account, business license, direct deposits, title pages, author credits, and a few other things that though they’re not mandatory, they are still worth knowing about.
Most aspiring authors think that they’re going to have to spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars to get their book out in the market place. That’s just not so…if you know how to do it. The bottom line is…you can get your book online and for sale in Amazon’s store for nothing.
Amazon isn’t the only player in the e-book arena. Sony, Apple, Barnes & Nobel, and several others are getting into it too. Just under 2 million E-book readers were sold last year. In 2010, this is projected to jump to between 7 and 8 million, and the trend is expected to continue.
If you’ve ever thought about writing a book, you couldn’t have picked a better time. It’s hard to go wrong when you can get it into the world’s biggest book store, for nothing.
The best way to get detailed information on how to get your book into Amazon’s bookstore is to log onto Amazon and type, “how to publish kindle” into their search engine. Several pages of ‘how-to’ books will come up. The most useful books will be those listed first. Look for the least expensive with at least a (3) star rating and you’ll be good to go.
Here’s the icing on the cake. Since its inception, Amazon authors have been getting a royalty of 35% of the retail selling price for each Kindle book Amazon sells. As of June 30th, 2010, this royalty will be ‘doubled’ to 70%. That’s a 100% raise!
This is an exciting time to be a new author. Never in the history of writing could an author get a book in front of millions of readers so easily, if at all! As e-book readers drop in price, e-book sales will grow exponentially. If you’ve written a book but never thought you could get it to market, think again. With Amazon, the Kindle, and little knowledge of how to do it, the next time someone asks, “What do you do for a living?” You can tell them, “I’m an author!”