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Amazon Kindle Publishing 2018: The Coming Changes

Amazon Kindle publishing is an evolving beast for most Kindle publishers.   They’re chasing the next new fad, tactic or strategy to make their business easier when at the end of the day, they’re just running on the same hamster wheel and fighting at the lowest levels.

These old publishing shortcuts and strategies are slowly being squeezed out as Amazon stamps its foot down and eradicates the loopholes and raises the standard of what you need to enter.

If you really think about it, it is what Amazon wanted from the start.

Entering is easy but to compete will be a whole different ballgame.

Amazon-Kindle-Publishing-2018

 

Pre 2017

In the years up till 2017, it was a dream for most publishers.  They were able to manipulate the borrows, KENP, review swaps and much more.  Most of those are closed now with the last one review swaps, being squeezed to death little by little.

Pre 2017 was a wonderland for most publishers as they could put out any old book and fully manipulate the Amazon algorithm and start to earn handsomely. The Amazon marketplace was flooded with books which had scrupulous quality issues but seemed as if they were legit because of the glowing 5-star reviews.

Out of these books, the majority were just put out there by people trying to make a quick buck without caring about the quality.   After they’d made $500 profit they didn’t care about the book losing its rank as they had already made their investment back and some profit.

I am not saying all the books published were of low quality as some are still making good money today.  But you just have look at someone who has published hundreds of books and only makes a few thousand dollars a month.  It says something about their strategy and how their royalties will soon be down to a couple of hundred dollars a month if they don’t change their ways.

 

Amazon Will Clean Their House In 2018

Before you get out your pitchforks and hunt me down just because you’re using some black hat method, I’m telling you this for your own good.

One of the predictions I made about Amazon banning people for review swaps came true.  Amazon has now started suing people for manipulating their system, which you can read here.

Amazon’s main priority is their customer.  They want to make sure the customer has the best experience on their platform, and they rely on that trust. You are in their house and if they don’t like what you’re doing, they will kick you out, and probably won’t let you back in.

Amazon knows that if they lose the trust of their customers they have no business. Amazon is like a parent and we’re their children. If we misbehave they give us a warning, if we do the same thing again they’re going to give us a whooping so we remember not to do again, in your case, it’s a ban.

My advice start going white hat or lose a lovely passive income.

 

The Start of Account Bans

I feel the account bans are going to start small to make people understand that Amazon is not messing around and if people don’t take heed it will get worse.

Now I personally wouldn’t want to manipulate the system, then have my account banned and have Amazon on my ass with a lawsuit.

As many publishers have shown you can get reviews without manipulating the system for your own benefit.  You do this by building an email list and marketing to your customers.

 

Review Swaps Harder But Not Dead

Review swaps are still going to be around till I think mid to late 2019, but what will happen is more and more publishers will start to abandon review swaps to build an email list and market via email marketing.

This will make it easier to get started as a publisher because you won’t have to compete with books that have 100’s of fake reviews.  Your book quality will stand a stronger chance as it won’t be pulled down by the crap being injected into the marketplace.

 

New #Guru’s Will Rise

Every year a new authority rises to teach people about Kindle publishing as the old #guru takes their foot off the gas, stops publishing, stop shooting videos on Kindle, or their methods become outdated and people see through what they’re saying.

It’s mainly to do with not publishing relevant free content online or their content becomes outdated and that allows someone new to rise up.

I have seen it every year since I started:

With the way things are going, I see Emeka will still be there in 2018.  He is currently on the rise, hungry and every month keeps on improving. I don’t see him moving onto any new business venture for the time being.

Now while we’re on the subject of publishing videos and people to follow.  I highly advise you follow these people as they’re always coming out with relevant content on YouTube.

  1. Emeka Ossai: Simple and straight to the point helpful videos on Kindle publishing.
  2. Self Publishing with Dale L Roberts: His zany video offer fun and relevant advice on up to date Kindle publishing subjects
  3. Marta Magdalena: As the top authority for Email marketing for Kindle publishing, her white hat methods are something she stands by.

 

As for websites, I highly recommend:

  1. KindlePreneur: The authority in Kindle publishing, for educated and knowledgeable advice

 

 

2018 Is The Year To Profit

You’ll always have people who say Kindle publishing is dead, but it’s not dead to the millions of dollars in revenue made every month for Kindle publishers.

Every year Amazon’s customer base and revenues increase meaning that your chance to get a piece of the pie is ever greater. You need to, however, put in the right puzzle pieces to have success as the old tactics and strategies don’t work as well as they used to.

 

Book Quality

The most important factor of all is your book quality.  This needs to be high as you want to be making money from your book long term, not just the next few months or weeks.

Make sure:

  1. Your book content is on point
  2. It’s been proofread and edited correctly
  3. Your cover stands out
  4. The title is unique and gives the reader something to be curious about
  5. The description is able to sell the book

amazon kindle publishing

 

Branding

One of the most important things you will need to focus on is branding. This doesn’t mean just pumping out books in one niche and hoping for the best.

You will need to look at what you can offer people, what solutions do you have that are different to everyone else’s while giving your unique view on the subject.

You want people to start associating with you and your brand so they become repeat and loyal customers.  All of that initial hard work you put in will pay off.

REMEMBER: “It’s easier to resell an existing customer who you’ve already sold to than a new customer who knows’s nothing about you”

 

Launch Strategy

The launch strategy will become essential. I’m not talking about put your book out there, do some swaps and hope for the best.

What I’m talking about is launching your book and making $1’000+ in its first week.

This is something I see only the big publishers do.  They’ve planned it out weeks in advance so their efforts give their book a fantastic initial boost at the start.

A great example of this is by Emeka Ossai who helped Jon Vroman make $1,500 on the first day with a real launch plan

 

Ads

Ads are going to be a huge part of growing your brand and book base. So many people rely just on Amazon search to gain their traffic. Why would you just rely on one source to gain traffic when you can use several points to bring people in.

I’m not saying use external traffic besides Amazon to send traffic straight to your book, you’re better off using external ads to drive traffic to an email opt-in, why? Because you can track that! If you send, let’s say a Facebook ad to the Amazon page it is near impossible to track what ad brought in the sale.

My two options for ads is using AMS to drive traffic on the Amazon marketplace to your book and using external traffic sources to drive traffic to an opt-in page to gather emails.

 

AMS

AMS (Amazon Marketing Services) is amazing even with its faults.

The reason why I like it so much is you are only charged when someone clicks on your book cover if they do that they’re showing buying intent and they’re interested to go further to your book.

Not all customers are going to buy your book after clicking on your ad but what a lot of people fail to realize when using Amazon ads is that you’re either targeting the wrong demographics or your book description is not good enough. Some people want to know what the book is about before they buy.

The power of this is on one of my books I spent $11.08 and made $47.87 ($33.51 after Amazon takes 30%), I made a total of $22.43.

To get this right you have to monitor your ads: remove keywords which are not converting, optimize your ads and product page to see what is working right

ams-amazon-ads-results

To learn more on AMS Ads I highly recommend Kindlepreneurs free course on AMS Ads

 

External Traffic To an Email Optin

Email marketing has been around since the dawn of the internet and it isn’t going away anytime soon.

The reason why I say you need to send traffic to an opt-in page to capture someone’s email is you 1st want to acquire that customer for repeat business but also you have the opportunity to put them onto your ARC team (people who will review your book on launch) and book checking team.

If you send people straight to your book on Amazon from Facebook you would never know if they bought it or not.  At least with Email marketing, you can send them to your book via the thank you page after they’ve signed and track whether they buy or not via an Amazon associates link.

Just a quick pro tip: You want to add your best selling books on your thank you page as this is a way to cover the traffic costs, then it’s a win-win as you’re getting these leads for free essentially.

 

Email Marketing Will Become Essential

As I mentioned above email lists have been around forever and to tell you the truth they’re not going away anytime soon. And you need to learn this as part of your business, not only will this skill set you up in Kindle but it will also set you up for more ventures you take on in the future.

Your email list is the beating heart of your business, this is where you build relationships with your readers and get to know them.

They will know you’re a real person and start to associate with you.  Think about it, if you like someone and they provide a lot of value your more likely to go straight to them for your solution and that means their latest book.

If you need some help understanding email marketing for Kindle specifically I highly recommend Publishing Email Success. (Currently, Marta has put the course on hold to update the course so click on the link to get on the pre-waiting list)  Not only will it help you with the Email marketing side but it will also help you understand how to connect with your readers and connect with other authorities in your niche.

Here is a full depth review I did of the course

Upgrade your email marketing skills with Publishing Email Success

publishing-email-success

 

Video Thoughts

How You Can Succeed In 2018

Kindle publishing is a fantastic opportunity for anyone to start making money online, all you need is to write a book, create a cover and you’re ready to go. There are a few more steps but those are the two basic ones.

Your success is going to come in the form of building a brand around one niche and building a fan base of customers that you can nurture, help and sell to.

No longer will it benefit you to take the shortcut black hat tactics.  They have nearly all been eradicated and you will be punished for trying them with your account being banned and even a lawsuit on your hands.

Branding has always been here and it will be here to stay as the go-to method of 2018.  Not only good for you as a publisher but it will raise the quality and standard of branded books.

If you need some inspiration of authors who have done this check out Steve Scott, S.J. Scott, Patrick King, Martin Meadows, Gundi Gabrielle, see how they’ve built their brands and get some ideas flowing.

 

Final Thoughts

Kindle publishing has been through some torrid times and only the high-quality Kindle publishers and their book will stand the test of time.

Now is the time to start going white hat, this is true for the top-selling publishers who have been doing this for years. They haven’t used any black hat methods, they’ve only used white hat methods to build their audience showing that’s who we should follow.

All of the methods above methods are tried and tested by the best in the business.

Not only have they built 6 figure incomes but they didn’t need to use any shady tactics. That shows that you don’t need to cheat the system to benefit.

 

If you enjoyed this and want to start your own Kindle publishing business check out my FREE course below.

 

Talk soon

Michael

 

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  • 20/10/2017
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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 4 comments
Dean SF - 25/10/2017

Great article Michael, good to see you’re still going in the Kindle biz, I remember you posting in both the Kmoney and PublishingRevolution FB pages. I’ve been out the publishing game since February, was worried about review swaps but now my passive incomes taking a dip I’ll be sure to check out all the new resources, gurus and strategies you’ve shared.

Onwards and upwards, thanks for outlining the new direction.

Reply
    mike - 02/11/2017

    Hey Dean
    t7he best piece of advice I can give you is be your own guru. I was being sarcastic when I called the #guru because every man and his mother is a guru nowadays.

    I recommend learning about getting organic reviews and launching your book, they are the way to launch a book, trust me the methods taught in all the course I.E. KMM, SPR and Blueprint don’t have a launch strategy, it is
    1) Publish on Amazon
    2) Change to 99c and get some swaps
    3) Change to free and get more swaps
    4) change to $2.99.

    That is put on Amazon and hope for the best launch.

    I will be testing a review and launch strategy in the future so that will be interesting.

    Please don’t just follow someone else, test, test, test things yourself

    Reply
Dean Barker - 06/11/2017

Thanks Michael good points about the gurus, going to a lot of resources and taking the best ideas from each is definitely better. I followed Lucas method to a tee and made a lot of money from it but now the games changed I see the need to step up our game and really focus on book marketing, as publishers should. Before I just felt like there was never really any other way, always hated review swaps so glad I looked into all this again.

Going to launch a new book this week to an email list I’ve been building so will see how that goes. After that I’ll be planning the launch at the same time I plan the niche/ keywords etc to make sure I get it spot on. Check out the book Launch To Market if you haven’t already, it’s a good read.

Good luck with your review/ launch strategy, looking forward to hearing your results.

Reply
    mike - 06/11/2017

    Hey Dean
    Your welcome, it was something on my mind and I needed to get it out. Too many people just follow the words of people blindly, some of the advice is good, some is not. Review swapping is my biggest gripe that I was taught. Even though it worked I was never comfortable with it.

    Book marketing is going to be key going into 2018 as well as building a list. I plan to build a brand around the book so it won’t just be books I will be doing.

    Yes, I love Chris Fox’s stuff, gained a lot of ideas from him.

    Reply

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