Frequently Asked Kindle Questions
Posted On: 2013-08-07
by: James Jones

07, 2013
In this series I will answer some of your most pressing self-publishing queries. This particular newsletter will focus on common Kindle questions. If you have any questions you would like me to answer, please click here or shoot me a message via facebook.

Question: I am new to Kindle publishing and I'm wondering if I should start with a fiction book or a non-fiction book. I have some really good ideas for some children's fiction, but I'm not sure where to start.

My advice is that you start with non-fiction. Fiction books can sell much better than non-fiction. However, it's much easier to get a non-fiction book completed and out there and selling than it is a fiction book. So I suggest your first book be a non-fiction and then once you get that under your belt then you can work on your fiction books.

The best thing to do is to go to Amazon and search for Kindle books that are already doing well and then have a non-fiction book written in that niche. You can do the research yourself and outsource the writing or you can outsource the research and the writing. But keep your book simple, keep it short, and keep it focused on one specific topic. If you're just starting out, the diet niche and the health and fitness niche are great. Just pick a niche within the health and fitness topic that is doing well already on Kindle and publish a book on that niche.

Question: There are so many different platforms for publishing out there now. I haven't even published my first book yet and now I hear that there are other platforms such as Nook, iBook Store, Smashwords, and tons of other ones out there, even audio books, and my mind is just completely overwhelmed. What do I do?

The first thing you need to do is get one book published and the best place to publish it is on Kindle. What I suggest you do is get your first book completed. Like I mentioned in the previous question, I suggest that you focus on a non-fiction book, get it done, get it completed, get it listed on Kindle and get some sales going and, if the book is doing well then take that book and publish it on the other platforms. If it's not doing well then don't waste your time publishing it on other platforms. Go ahead and create another book and try to get it successful.

The key here is to get one book successful and then, once that book is successful, publish that book on the different platforms and then go back and publish another book on the same topic. Do this because if you've got a book that's selling well in a particular topic then you need to explore that topic in more depth because, obviously, there's interest there. And so, instead of trying to go back and reinvent the wheel and find a brand new subject to publish a book about, just publish it on the same topic, but just a different twist.

For example, if you're publishing a book about how to cure acne, then the second book might be something about recipes for foods that help to cure acne. Now, I'm no acne expert so I don't know if that's even possible, but something along those lines. Just explore the subject in more depth and create more books on that subject.

Question: My book is in what should be a good niche and it's on the first page for the keyword phrase, but it's not selling at all. In fact, I've only sold a couple of copies even though I've reduced the price all the way down to 99 cents. What should I do?

Well, the first thing you should do is submit the book for a Book Hotseat and let me go over the book and see if I can see anything obvious that's wrong with it. But a couple of things you need to look for are the cover image. You need to make sure that the cover image is enticing and that you can read the title of the book from the thumbnail that shows up when someone does a search for books on Amazon. The second thing is reviews. Make sure that you have at least three reviews that are at least four star that show up on the first page.

Now beyond that, if you've tried all that and nothing is working, what I suggest you do is raise the price of the book up to $9.99 and then just forget about it and leave it. Leave it in KDP Select. KDP Select is the program that Kindle has that allows your book to be borrowed by Amazon's prime customers. So the reason you want to raise your price is the catch with the prime select is people are only allowed to borrow one book per month and so they're selective on the books that they borrow. So that's why you want to raise your price because people typically aren't going to borrow a 99 cents book. They're going to look for something more expensive. So if your book is $9.99 then it's going to be more enticing to them and then you'll make a little bit of money for the royalty that Amazon pays when your books are loaned out.

Keep Those Questions Coming!
James J. Jones