How to Sell Your Self Published Book on Amazon
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How to Sell Your Self Published Book on Amazon

For Authors Using Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)
4.0 (1 rating)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
7 students enrolled
Created by Heidi Thorne
Last updated 3/2020
English [Auto-generated]
Current price: $23.99 Original price: $34.99 Discount: 31% off
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This course includes
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 6 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • How to sell books on Amazon that have been self published with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).
  • Set realistic sales goals for self published book sales.
  • Gain an understanding of the market for self published books.
  • Evaluate and build an author platform (fan base).
  • Become familiar with Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) advertising opportunities.
  • Experience with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), preferably with a self published book or eBook already completed or in progress.
  • Basic office document skills for using Excel, PDF files.

Once you hit the button to publish your self published book on Kindle Direct Publishing, you’re not at the end of your publishing journey. In fact, you’ve just started it! The most difficult thing about self publishing is selling your book. And it’s only getting tougher to do so.

How selling self published books really works (or doesn’t!) is explained. While many of the principles apply to all self publishing platforms, the main focus will be on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) self publishing platform for your print books and Kindle eBooks.

Here’s just some of what we’ll discuss:

  • How many people could realistically buy your self published book.

  • Why is selling self published books so difficult?

  • What do self published authors really make from their books? (Real survey data!)

  • What is your author platform? And how do you build it?

  • How to figure out how big your author platform is. (The included worksheet is a helpful tool you’ll use again and again.)

  • Using Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) for advertising your books on Amazon.

  • Kindle Free eBook and Countdown Deal promotions, and Pre-Orders.

  • Selling “games” that actually hurt your sales.

Is This Course for You?

This course is for new authors using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) for self publishing their print books and/or Kindle eBooks. It will not cover how to prepare or format your manuscript for uploading to KDP. (I have another course here on Udemy, How to Self Publish a Nonfiction Kindle eBook Like a Pro, which covers that.) This course is also for self published authors who are struggling with their book sales on Amazon. We’ll concentrate solely on issues relating to selling your book after publication.

About Me

I’m your instructor, Dr. Heidi Thorne, MBA/DBA, a self published author of several business books and host of The Heidi Thorne Show podcast on self publishing (on iTunes and YouTube). In addition to my personal publishing endeavors, I was a trade newspaper editor and advertising director for over 15 years, and spent the majority of my career in sales and advertising. I hold a master’s and doctorate in business, and taught at the college level for 5 years.

Disclaimer: The information provided is in this course for educational and informational purposes only and your results are not guaranteed.

Disclosure: Heidi Thorne and her company, Thorne Communications LLC, are not associated with or hired by Amazon or Kindle Direct Publishing. However, she and her company receive royalties and revenues from sales of their products on Amazon and its companies.

Who this course is for:
  • New or soon to be self published authors.
  • Self published authors who are struggling with book sales.
Course content
Expand all 19 lectures 02:11:13
+ The Self Publishing Market
4 lectures 12:58

Your instructor, Dr. Heidi Thorne, MBA/DBA, welcomes you to the course and gives a very brief overview of the course agenda.

Preview 00:36

In this lecture, I share income answers from my Self Publishing Survey research. It's definitely a reality check!

How Much Do Self Published Authors Make?

Struggles with self published book sales aren't always the author's fault! In this lecture, I share some of the biggest trends that are impacting self publishing incomes.

Preview 07:36

Don't believe the hype that you'll automatically make lots of book sales! I share my estimate of how many books you could realistically sell.

How Many Self Published Books Will You Sell?
+ Your Author Platform
9 lectures 01:18:30

Find out what an author platform really is.

What is an Author Platform?

This is a demo of the Author Platform Worksheet that helps you quantify your own author platform. The demo shows how to use it in MS Excel. Download the Excel or PDF version of the worksheet under Resources.

Author Platform Worksheet Demo - Part 1

While you may wish to only review your book unit sales data annually, sometimes it's helpful to watch your sales throughout the year to spot trends. This video reviews an optional, but helpful, worksheet to analyze your book sales data monthly. Excel version of the worksheet is in Resources.

You can get your book unit sales data at any time from your KDP sales dashboard.

Book Unit Sales Worksheet Demo

Learn how you get paid (or don't!) from Kindle Unlimited subscriptions, Kindle Owners' Lending Library, and Kindle eBook Lending programs. An advanced KU/KOLL Analysis Worksheet (Excel .xlsx) file is provided to help you analyze your KENP (Kindle Edition Normalized Page count) reads, and what that means for your sales.

Kindle Unlimited, Kindle Owners' Lending Library, and Kindle eBook Lending

So how accurate is the sales estimate created with the Author Platform Worksheet? I share and compare my own sales, and show you how to do it with the Author Platform Worksheet for your own stats.

Author Platform Worksheet Demo - Part 2

Authors who do speaking or other events may sell many copies of their books as part of the event. Should that be considered part of your author platform? And, if it is factored in, how should that be forecast?

What About Bulk Book Sales?

Now that you know what your author platform is, discover some ways to grow it so that you can grow your book sales.

Building Your Author Platform

Authors can get so excited about launching their books, that they don't think about how they'll market the book in the future. This lecture explains what backlist titles are, why they're valuable, and how to build sales of older, previously published books.

Thinking Beyond the Book Launch: Promoting Your Backlist

Just a quick personal message from me. I hope that by this point in the course, you're already starting to get a better understanding of the market realities and possibilities for your book and author business. Would truly appreciate your rating and review here on Udemy. Thanks again for joining me in the course!

Course Check-In
+ Understanding Amazon Book Sales Opportunities and Challenges
6 lectures 39:45

Being able to sell your self publishing books and eBooks in one of the world's largest marketplaces is certainly an advantage. However, there are some mysterious aspects of it that can frustrate self published authors which I discuss in this lecture.

Preview 03:32

Royalties you get from Kindle Unlimited/Kindle Owners' Lending Library (KU/KOLL) KENP Page Reads are confusing! We talked in detail about KU/KOLL in earlier lectures. But in this lecture, we'll talk about your overall KENP Page Read results and the royalties you'll get (or not!) from them. Worksheet to monitor your KENP Page Reads is in Resources.

Understanding Your KENP Reads Royalties for KU/KOLL

There are several programs available through Kindle Direct Publishing to assist authors in promoting their print books and Kindle eBooks. In this lecture, we'll discuss:

  • Key elements of your book upload that impact your visibility on Amazon.

  • Amazon Author Central.

  • Kindle Countdown Deals.

  • Kindle Free eBook Promotions.

  • Pre-orders.

Free and Low Cost Promotions through Kindle Direct Publishing

Playing games with best seller status and book launch teams can have a negative effect on your reputation and, ultimately, book sales. Discover how they can impact your sales!

Best Seller Games You Shouldn't Play

IMPORTANT: This is a key lecture of the course! Please read all the lecture notes before watching the lecture video and accessing the resources.

In the lecture video, I review the basics of Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) advertising for books. Covered topics include:

  • AMS CPC (Cost Per Click) ad bidding system.

  • Types of AMS ads for books (Sponsored Products, Lockscreen Ads)

  • Targeting options available.

  • A targeting trick to help get your books seen by the right readers.

  • Advertising metrics you need to watch, and how often to watch them.

  • My personal experience using AMS ads for my books and eBooks.

There are several companion resources for this lecture that you'll want to check out!

  • Advertising Acronyms Explained. My article which explains some of the confusing terms you'll encounter as you start advertising online.

  • Amazon Marketing Services Advertising for Kindle eBooks: Are You Winning Ad Bids, but Losing Money? In this article, I discuss what you need to be careful of when using AMS ads. Most articles and resources don't talk about this stuff! I also share how I figure a maximum ad bid and why even that may be too high.

  • Amazon Advertising - Introducing your Campaign Manager. This is a link to a quick video from KDP on YouTube that goes over the Campaign Manager. Get it right from the source!

  • Amazon Advertising - Interactive Performance Dashboard. Another quick KDP video on YouTube that reviews some of the interactive features on the AMS ad dashboard. Again, get it from the folks who developed it!

  • How to create, review & optimize your Amazon Advertising campaign webinar. This is about a 30-minute webinar replay from KDP that dives into evaluating your ad performance. It's a deep dive into working with the dashboard. So worth a watch. However, I would caution that their statement that anything less than a 100% ACoS is a positive return on the campaign. It is not in the larger picture as I discuss in my article, "Amazon Marketing Services Advertising for Kindle eBooks: Are You Winning Ad Bids, but Losing Money?" which is also a provided resource link in this course.

  • Amazon Advertising - Accessing your campaign manager from KDP. This shows an alternative way to access your ad campaign dashboard.

Introduction to Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) Advertising for Books

Just some closing thoughts and my thanks for your participation! Please rate and review the course so that I can make it even better for you.

Also, let's keep the conversation about self publishing going! Add your questions to the Q&A section.

In the Resources is a list of other courses I offer that may interest you. Hope to see you again in another one of my Udemy courses!

Thank You, Congratulations and What's Next