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How a Self-Published Author Sells Thousands of Books on Kindle and Earns Millions - Publish with Amazon

Updated on November 12, 2015

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How a Self-Published Novelist Makes Millions

At 26 years old Amanda Hocking is doing what the rest of writers dream of. Writing for a living and earning money. How much money you may ask? Well, it is estimated that she earned about 2 million this past year with her books.

Most of us think in order to become a successful published author we must first land a book deal with a major publisher. But if Amanda's story story is any indication, all that could be changing with the magic of e-books and self-publishing.

Her 3 books in the Trylle Trilogy will be making the list of USA Today's best selling books list and she if the best independent selling novelist on the Amazon Kindle list. Around 100,000 copies of her 10-ebooks sell each month. Publishing through Amazon Kindle she receives 70 percent of the revenue earned from her books. The books are priced around .99 cents to $2.99 each. For every $2.99 book she sells, she keeps 70%, with the rest going to the online bookseller (Amazon). For every 99-cent book she sells, she keeps 30%.

If one author can manage to sell e-books through a non-traditional publisher than there is hope for other writers. As a self-published author myself, I only publish craft patterns and a couple of small "how to" books. Right now I a not earning millions but I am starting to earn some additional cash.

A recent survey according to USA Today states that about 20 million people read e-books last year. More and more authors are taking advantage of this growing trend.

Self-publishing is done without the involvement of an established publisher and authors use a publishing system such as Lulu, Smashwords, Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing or Barnes & Noble's PubIt! Many traditional media outlets do not review self-published books and it's up to readers to provide their opinion on the books to boost sales.

It is possible for authors to make their book available to the public with little or not cost involved. In the past it has been difficult and quite expensive for a self-published author to get recognition with a hardback or paperback book they published themselves.

Amanda Hocking credits her success to the aggressive self-promotion through her blog, Facebook, and Twitter. Also word of mouth, reader reviews, and writing in a popular genre featuring trolls, vampires, and zombies.

In addition to being featured in USA today and other articles she will also be featured in April edition of Elle Magazine.

If you decide you want to try out self-publishing for yourself skip down to the next paragraph and read more about publishing your book at no cost through Amazon.

Amanda Hocking Books

How to Self-Publish a Book Through Amazon Kindle

A few years ago I published a couple of How to books by having them printed and published myself. This meant getting and ISBN number, bar coding the books, having them printed and then finding a place to sell them. It was quite expensive and took time away from writing.

I was somewhat successful at the time and was able to get my book featured in several magazines such as Child Magazine, The New York Times and Woman's World Weekly. Also, some authors featured me in their books based upon my title.

Then I discovered publishing through Amazon Kindle and never looked back. Publishing an ebook is so much easier than having my book in print. Since my title was a subject that changed frequently I would have to update it and that meant additional costs if it were printed.

Kindle Direct Publishing is an easy way to publish an ebook. You don't need and ISBN number, it's free and fast. Books self-published through KDP are available for purchase on Kindle devices and Kindle apps for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, PC, Mac, Blackberry, and Android-based devices.

Another way of publishing is to publish your blog through Amazon Kindle. There is a link above to find out more about this.

On the Kindle direct publishing page you will find support and facts on how to get started. How to format your book. Read more about Kindle Direct Publishing...

Books can also be printed through the Amazon program and published in paper format.

Amanda Hocking

Getting your Book Ready for Publishing

Before publishing an ebook in any format have someone proofread and edit a copy. This is something well worth paying for before sending the book out in the real world. Set realistic goals and start with baby steps. Create short stories or how to ebooks for Amazon and see what happens.

Readers can be very opinionated even if your book if perfect. So be aware that not everyone will love what you write. Sometimes as writers we have to have thick skins and take compliments as wells as complaints.

An Amazon Kindle book can be 1 page or 300 pages. Subjects can be about anything you enjoy writing about. Non fiction and how to books seem to do well so if you are an expert on a subject think about writing a how to book. If you enjoy creating crafts, crochet, knit, quilt, or do woodwork you can create patterns that could be only 1 or 2 pages and sell them on Amazon. Gardeners can teach people about gardens, entrepreneurs could teach about business or whatever subject you choose.

Fiction books may be a little more challenging and you will have to find an audience. Test the waters and let readers read the first chapter before deciding to buy this may help them take more interest in your books.

Learn about promoting your book by setting up a free blog through blogspot. Make sure that you are on Twitter and Facebook and promote your book on those sites also. Write articles about your books, post links and information on forums and find resources and outlets to promote your work.

The best think to do is start off slowly and build up a library. Find out what other authors have done and keep a note book on what steps need to be done. Publishing a short ebook is one way to test the waters and get started on your way to becoming a full time writer.

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    • Anna Marie Bowman profile image

      Anna Marie Bowman 3 years ago from Florida

      This is great information!! I have thought about writing a book, but never really knew how to go about it, other than the writing part, of course.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 3 years ago from Taos, NM

      Great hub full of informative info on ebook publishing. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      Hi, yes I have read the trilogy, and she is really good. She just seems to have the knack of writing in the 'right' way. she keeps it interesting enough for us to want to read the rest of the books. If only I had the knack! lol!

    • MM Del Rosario profile image

      MM Del Rosario 3 years ago from NSW, Australia

      Thank you very much for this information. I am really interested in self publishing. You have given me an inspiration.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 3 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      Voting way up. Great topic. So glad I bumped into your hub. Sharing.

    • awordlover profile image

      awordlover 3 years ago

      Good hub with very good resource links. Voted up and shared.

    • HikeGuy profile image

      Bryce 5 years ago from Northern California Coast

      Thanks for the all the details and inspiration. I'm branching out, and your coverage of the topic saved me some time.

    • Daniella Lopez profile image

      Danielle Lopez Newcomb 5 years ago from Arkansas

      Very informative hub. I've been interested in self-publishing my novel for a while now. Thanks for the great info on the topic. Voted up! :D

    • andromida profile image

      syras mamun 6 years ago

      I've been thinking about publishing for a long time.Your hub is full of useful information.I am following the links that you provided for self publishing.Thank you so much.

    • Anaydena profile image

      Mia Trueheart 6 years ago from Arlington, TX, USA

      Amanda Hocking isn't the only one, check out my hub https://hubpages.com/literature/publish-an-ebook for possibly more authors to add to your hub, and I was wondering if you didn't mind me mentioning your hub in my other hub, https://hubpages.com/literature/Publish-with-Smash... .

      On another note, this is a very informative and AWESOME hub! Voting up and sharing!!!! AWESOME!

    • rachelsholiday profile image

      rachelsholiday 6 years ago

      Great hub! I'll be publishing my first short story "The Life and Times of Rebecca Walker" for the Kindle within the next few weeks.

    • Karen Wodke profile image

      Karen Wodke 6 years ago from Midwest

      Great article! We are offering our first book (a short story collection) for 99 cents on Kindle as a way of introducing our writing to readers in advance of the release of our first novel. I think it's a wonderful idea. We did have a little trouble with the formatting though (getting the indenting and spacing right).

    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 6 years ago from The English Midlands

      Very useful and worth looking into. Thanks :)

    • craftdrawer profile image
      Author

      craftdrawer 6 years ago

      Thank you for the comments! I really enjoy finding out who is succeeding with their writing and how they do it!

    • Nathan_U profile image

      Nathaniel 6 years ago from Poland

      Now this is probably the best hub I've read in past few months, congratulations!

    • devsir profile image

      devsir 6 years ago from Earth

      I think kindle is the future and a person with great writing skills can make millions from Amazon kindle. I have also published 2 books and 3 copies sold within a week. I am positive about kindle direct publishing.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Very informative hub on publishing alternatives...thank you!

    • craftdrawer profile image
      Author

      craftdrawer 6 years ago

      Sandy, I have my craft blog posted with Amazon Kindle I have about 40 subscribers and I just added it about 2 months ago. It's something to check out!

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 6 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Very interesting. I have thought about getting into the Kindle writing. I know people who share their blogs on Kindle. I will bookmark this. Need all the information I can get to start up.

    • chspublish profile image

      chspublish 6 years ago from Ireland

      Great information on the self publishing. Thanks so much. Cheers.

    • gr82bme profile image

      gr82bme 6 years ago from USA

      Wow, great hub! I will bookmark and be back to look in to all of this info

      Thank you so much

      voted up! and sharing

    • craftdrawer profile image
      Author

      craftdrawer 6 years ago

      Thanks everyone for the comments! When it comes to self-publishing it doesn't always have to be a book. You can publish how to guides, kids books, patterns and whatever you can think of!

    • Dumbledore profile image

      Dumbledore 6 years ago from Somewhere in Ohio

      This looks to be a much better opportunity than publishing through clickbank.

    • lorddraven2000 profile image

      Sam Little 6 years ago from Wheelwright KY

      Very cool stuff.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 6 years ago from USA

      Besides writing, I design crochet patterns. I really need to do this.