What a year it has been in the Amazon self-publishing space. With so many changes that we would never have expected, it’s truly been an exciting time to be a publisher.
Most of the changes have been for the better and made not only myself but many publishers step up their game and being rewarded in the process.
The number of people’s lives that are being changed by self-publishing is truly amazing to see. How people go from having next to nothing to living fantastic lives just from publishing is mind-blowing to see.
Throughout the year many different things have happened but some things I could have never predicted and some were obvious.
Before you go any further if you prefer the video version here it is.
If not, here is the glorious post for you to read.
Before we go any further, I have this quick announcement.
The links in this post are affiliate links meaning I will get a small commission if you go through them but won’t cost you anything extra. If you do click and buy through my link, message me as I have some nice bonus or bonuses for you depending on the course, program or software 😉
Here are just some of the things that came unexpectedly to me in 2018
- New authorities coming into frame.
- Old authorities gaining more power.
- New types of books being published
- First $3000 day in our community.
- Audible becoming the new thing.
And some which were inevitable
- AMS becoming a game changer
- High book quality becoming standard
- Minimum page length for Non-fiction books increasing.
These are just a few.
Where is My Post Focus?
There are a variety of different types of self-publishers, but I will be focusing on the self-publishers who run their business without writing a single book in the Non-fiction genre.
There are a lot of other self-publishing authority figures such as Mark Dawson and Steve Scott who have become authorities in their own right but they write their own books and encourage others to do so too which is not what I do or many people in the publishing circles I am in do, we outsource most of the process if not all of it.
- What Did I Get Wrong About 2018
- Amazon Self Publishing 2019 Predictions
- Audible Is Rising!
- New Self Publishing Authorities
- Publish Absolutely Any Kind of Book!
- Brand Building Is Key But Not Everything
- Angle Is More Important than Ever
- Huge Book Launches
- AMS Is King!
- The Self Publishing Community Will Explode Like FBA, Dropshipping and Ebay Selling Did
- Review Swaps Will Be in Its Dying Stages
- First $5000 Days
- Where To Focus Your Efforts?
- Final Thoughts
What I Got Right About 2018
I made some predictions for 2018, you can check the post out here. These were things I felt were going to happen based on movements within the publishing community. Some things I got right, some things I got wrong, but the main emphasis of what I said did happen in some unexpected ways.
Review Swaps Harder
When we think of review swaps this is a very old practice but still used today but I think Amazon may now have an algorithm which detects the process people use to get fake reviews. Instead of banning the users Amazon decided to delete 99% of the reviews making the publisher realise that their efforts are futile and they’re just wasting your money, forcing them to use more white hat methods.
This is a win-win situation because Amazon will now have more genuine reviews and publishers will start to go white hat.
New #Guru’s Will Rise
When I predicted a new guru will rise I never thought there would be a few who we could call authority figures for 2018, but there have been several that have come out and shown us different things that can ultimately help our publishing businesses to earn more royalties in the process.
Here are just a few who have helped for 2018:
- Emeka Ossai has been building his authority since 2017 but he hasn’t stopped and that momentum just got bigger in 2018. He has built what we can only call a massive community around him. The community isn’t just about the A-Z of publishing but everything in between from Copywriting, AMS Ads, Keyword research which has all funnelled off Emeka and his course My Self Publishing Blueprint.
- Ollie El-Gorr is a copywriting genius who has applied his copywriting skills to self-publishing with amazing effect. Ollie came out publicly making $13,000 with just 30 books, which isn’t bad and I’m yet to see someone do something similar. People were curious how he did it so he released Double Your Kindle Sales to show just how effective copywriting is to sell anything.
- Marco Moutinho has become the guy to go to for AMS Ads in the publishing community. Through extensive experimentation, he has got the ability to make vasts amounts of profits from AMS Ads. He has been able to go from $1000 to $4000 with no extra books back in 2017, just using AMS ads, which is pretty impressive. He revealed all of his methods and techniques to the world in The AMS Ads Profit Formula.
- Jacob Rothenberg the keyword magician himself has always been known for finding some hip and trending keywords and making money from them, his input has been second to none in the publishing community with his insight and knowledge on how to find keywords. If you want to learn how he does it check out The Elite Keyword Mastermind.
- Mikelson Twins have come to the self-publishing community with a bang, pushing up the community to new heights, with their enthusiastic and positive approach it’s hard not to want to see them a bit more, but it’s not all fun and games, there is a serious business they have developed to help them with Audiobooks being their main focus.
- Dale L Roberts is still a prominent figure helping people run their publishing businesses effectively. He consistently provides high-quality videos and he runs a free Facebook group for all self-publishers.
- Dave Chessen is the man behind KindlePreneur.com which gives high-level advice for self-publishers.
Although there are other self publishers who have a huge authority I feel these people have had the biggest voice in the self publishing community.
If you feel I have missed anyone please comment below and I can add them in.
Book Quality and Length
Book quality has always been something you should have been aware of, but the Amazon customer of 2018 isn’t a 2013 customer, this isn’t a business where pamphlets or some Google rehashed information will work anymore, there are too many quality books on Amazon now.
People are wise to this and more educated than ever before. You must be producing high-quality books which will help people with their problems, but this can’t be another book, the same as the hundreds of other books out there, you must come up with your own angle to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Books have steadily been getting longer and the quality is much higher through the publishing community seeing profits drop due to bad quality books.
When I talk about length,
- 2013-2015 = 5000 words
- 2016-2017 = 8000-12000 words
- 2018 = 12,000+ words
- 2019 = 28,000 words
You can still produce books which have fewer words, but if you want to focus where the money is longer books are needed this year just for Audible.
Ads have started to become vital to the success of some books and many publishers have now started adopting them in their publishing strategy to earn more royalties, a huge reason why I earned over $8,000 in December is that I used AMS and the strategies taught in The AMS Ads Profit Formula.
Here is a screenshot of the royalties I earned. 2x isn’t a bad investment in any marketplace. I look to do 5x during the next holiday seasons.
Experienced publishers already know the importance of email marketing and how you can use a list to launch a book, gain reviews and sell consistently using this tool.
With how publishing is evolving and Amazon is cracking down on bad practices this has become a tool which is vitally important to the success of your business and doing everything the white hat way.
What Did I Get Wrong About 2018
People Getting Banned
I really thought Amazon was going to start banning people left right and centre for review swapping but I was wrong, they did ban people for poor quality books.
Amazon Self Publishing 2019 Predictions
Now we’ve been through what I got right and wrong in 2018 let’s dive into 2019 and see exactly what is set to come within the self publishing space for this year.
Audible Is Rising!
If you don’t know about Audible yet you must! This sleeping giant is slowly starting to wake up and you need to be aware of it because right now it is like Kindle eBooks were back in 2013, that is why it was called the wild west of self-publishing.
It is so untapped that the potential is huge if you get in right now.
Consider this, the keyword ‘keto meal plan’ has 753 results in the Kindle store but only 73 in Audible, which one do you have a better chance of ranking for?
The 2nd option of course! The Audible store of course, and that’s where your efforts should be focused in 2019, getting aboard the Audible train, creating yourself passion income for years or even decades to come.
The potential has already been shown by the Mikkleson Twins and their incredible explosion onto the publishing scene. Not only did they bring high value in regards to common publishing practices but they also revealed the secrets behind Audiobook publishing business success and how lucrative it has been for them with their Audiobook Income Academy.
Ebooks and Paperbacks Are Here To Stay
Despite audio books increasing in popularity lets not forget about one of the main bread and butter’s of the publishing business, e-Books and paperback.
Although they are both declining compared to audible they are still both very profitable and should be one of the 3 pillars to your publishing business as you will be losing out on a lot of sales if you don’t at least publish on these platforms.
Heck, you can make a lot of money from them using paid AMS ads if you know what you’re doing, whereas Audible you have to rely on organic search.
If you want to go a step further and do yourself worth I would create the whole brand around one niche and have all three options to purchase because some books may sell well as audiobooks, but other books sell fantastically well as paperbacks and e-Books respectively.
New Self Publishing Authorities
Just like every year, a new person with knowledge to share will come on to the scene. 2019 will see many more experienced publishers coming out sharing their knowledge. Who will rise to become the top authority is yet to be seen as most of the top publishers don’t publicly post and keep to themselves or just post in Facebook groups.
I do predict 2 more A-Z how to self publish courses will be launched, of course, they will have their own angle on them, but will they be able to compete with the current top course for outsourcing most of your publishing business My Self Publishing Blueprint?
That is yet to be seen.
And as we know it only takes one moment for the tides to shift or we could see multiple top authorities in the publishing space.
Publish Absolutely Any Kind of Book!
There has shown in 2018 that there is so much variety in what you can publish in 2018 that nothing is impossible now. Most people’s focused on non-fiction books, which is the stable of most self-publishers, but we also have the option of low content books, children’s books and much more.
I have yet to see it but I do believe there will be another type of book that will go main stream this year and become one which everyone will get on board.
What you have to take into consideration is when to produce what type of book as some books sell better than other based on the season and time of year.
For example, I published some books which the demand leading up to Christmas is extremely high, meaning I could profit very easily, however, I expect those sales to drop dramatically come January.
Brand Building Is Key But Not Everything
With Amazon clamping down on bad practices and the competition stepping up it will be important to build a brand around your books, but it won’t be 100% key. What will be important is to have several related books under one pen name.
The process is quite easy to start all it takes is to:
- Choose a niche
- Select keywords for that niche
- Write quality books
- Publish the books
- Build an audience
- Rinse and repeat
It’s really that simple, people just make this process harder for themselves. The advantage of it is you can focus your energy in one place instead of being scattered and unfocused.
You can build an audience before you publish your first book but this is for more experienced publishers.
Angle Is More Important than Ever
Using a certain angle for your audience is the basic 101 of marketing and without it, your book will blend in with all the other books.
With more people starting a publishing business every week you don’t want your books to be the 50th beginner’s guide and selling for a week or a month before it drops off and stops selling forever, that is where your own angle comes into play.
By differentiating yourself from the competition people will be more drawn to your book as they feel the book has been written just for them.
Someone who does this really well is Ollie El-Gorr, he has got outstanding copy writing skills and knows how to find an angle to use.
I learned a lot of this not just from copy writing books but his course Double Your Kindle Sales which shows you how to create your own angle by discovering what really drives a customer to buy a book in the first place.
Huge Book Launches
I believe that more publishers will start to see the power of building a list before they launch a book and use that to have some huge book launches. We’re talking getting into the top 1000 or even 100 of the Amazon bookstore.
Not only will it be a game changer, but once the first person does it I believe many more will follow suit as the number of download and revenue they will make will be in the hundreds if not thousands of dollars plus the after effect of continued sales for the coming days or weeks after it takes off.
They will not only use their own email list but also start to use paid book promotion services such as book bub and book gorilla which will send their e-book to their list of thousands of people. In doing so there is a high likely chance that this will boost the books ranking and position in the Amazon store.
This, however, has to be done strategically as Amazon’s algorithm sometimes screws with your book because it thinks you are manipulating the system, so that is something that publishers will have to overcome also.
AMS Is King!
AMS ads have become a huge part of how publishers run their businesses now. You can essentially pay to be number one in the search.
With the surge in popularity of AMS Ads in 2018, I can only see it getting bigger in 2019 as it is currently one of the best ROI’s for your publishing business if you know what you’re doing. But can be a serious money drainer if you don’t!!
The amazing thing is if you run AMS campaigns right and spend far less than what you make you can double, triple, quadruple or 10x your investment. As I said earlier, I was able to 2x my investment over Christmas for some pretty competitive keywords. Without AMS I would have made a lot less and been a very grumpy man for Christmas this year.
Knowing how to run a campaign successfully is vitally important and currently, there is one resource to make yourself an AMS master and that is The AMS Ads Profit Formula which will show you how to start running profitable campaigns from the get go.
The Self Publishing Community Will Explode Like FBA, Dropshipping and Ebay Selling Did
Just like Amazon FBA, Drop Shipping and Ebay Selling all had their time of popularity, self-publishing is next.
It has been steadily growing in popularity over the last few years and now with the business model becoming solid it has never been a better time to get involved.
Every part of the publishing business has been taken care of from keyword research, A-Z publishing process, copy writing, AMS Ads and Audible books you really can’t go wrong.
I’m not saying you have to buy all the course available, that would just give you analysis paralysis, but what I am saying is start with one, and the first step is keyword research.
To get started you can grab my free guide on what makes a keyword profitable, grab the guide here.
Review Swaps Will Be in Its Dying Stages
I do believe Amazon will be victorious in removing review swaps from its platform in 2019 whether it is:
- Publishers stopping review swaps in fear of bans.
- Amazon’s algorithm working out the review swap pattern and restricting accounts.
- Publishers knowing how to get organic reviews
- Publishers main focus on Audible.
Whichever one it is I do believe there will be a dramatic drop in the number of publishers using review swaps to gain social proof for their books meaning it will be better for the customer and self publishers will have to learn how to get organic reviews properly.
First $5000 Days
Yes, you heard that right.$5,000 in 1 day.
We have already seen $3000 days from the keyword magician Jacob Rothenberg but I truly believe that this year someone will surpass that figure, especially with the help of AMS ads.
All you need is the right combination of:
- keyword Bid
- Low aCos
And you have a recipe for success.
To get this you will have to find a book in demand which can easily be done through keyword searching but to get a solid foundation on how to get the last 3 right I recommend diving into the AMS Ads Profit Formula which will give you a blueprint on how to run your AMS campaigns.
Where To Focus Your Efforts?
I believe that two things will be vitally important in 2019.
- Brand Building
As I said earlier, Audible is the most lucrative platforms to be on right now and I believe this is where everyone should be focusing their efforts to get the best return on their investment. So many publishers are raving about audiobooks and it’s no surprise.
While at the same time you should not ignore the fact that consumers are hungry for more and more information and by creating one or two books for a niche is OK but you are damaging your chances of truly profiting from your efforts. You’re much better off creating 10 or 20 books under one pen name and cross-selling them to get more sales.
That way you put less effort in for more effect.
You must do ‘Audible Brand Building’!If you do anything in 2019 it should be this.
Not only will it encompass many things I mentioned above but it will give you the ability to set yourself apart from your competition on Audible, don’t just think of Audible as a platform to make money but a tool to connect with people to help them solve their problems and in the process make money.
Self-publishing is growing at such a rapid rate, that the start point for any publisher is much easier than it was a year ago.
With all the information now available for free and through courses, it is easy to get started with publishing and create a profitable business for yourself.
Despite the increase in competition and quality, it has never been a better time to get involved in publishing as it is now.
The overall amount of money new publishers are making is astounding and I do see that by 2020 it will have made another huge leap.
With all that said it will be a very interesting year for self-publishers and how they progress and to see who comes out on top this year.