Learn how to use Amazon Kindle free eBooks to start building your author brand and platform so you can start writing eBooks for passive income.
Did you know that nearly a third of published authors earn less than $500 annually from their work, and over half of writers are dissatisfied with their writing income?
According to Kevin McLaughlin, a professional novelist and a double USA Today bestselling author, “Authors who keep working at their writing skills and producing new words constantly tend to earn a decent living, but it takes time to get there.”
The fact is, selling eBooks on Amazon is not easy and most authors struggle to sell books, so the few high-profile successes we hear about are outliers, not the norm.
If there’s anything we can take away from this dismal earnings report, it’s that writing eBooks for passive income is much harder than it looks.
- 3 reasons why free eBooks work so well
- How to write an eBook and make money with Amazon KDP
- How to make money with free eBooks for Kindle
- Book writing tips & tools
3 reasons why free eBooks work so well
One of the most successful personal branding techniques is building a list with free eBooks. If you’re writing an eBook to build an author brand, you want as many people to get their hands on it as possible.
The best way to achieve this is to make it almost impossible for someone to turn down your offer by giving it away for free. Here are some reasons why free eBooks are the best “Reader Magnets“.
#1. People hate being sold to
People have grown very tired of being “sold to”. If you hit them directly with a sales pitch, they will usually stop listening almost as soon as the pitch starts.
However, building a brand with free eBooks is all about a much more subtle sales pitch. The content in the book will serve as your marketing pitch disguised as content that your reader actually wants to read.
When you write a good eBook, your readers will be interested and intrigued to find out what additional knowledge you have that would be helpful to them and be more likely to click on the links in your eBook.
#2. Free eBooks build instant credibility
Perhaps the most important aspect of using an eBook is that it paints you as an expert in your field. If you blow your readers away with the great content in the book, you’ll develop instant credibility with them.
Being a “published” author also gives the impression that you’re a respected source of information on the topic of the book.
If you have your name on an eBook that can be downloaded online, people are much more likely to view you as a trusted source of information in your industry.
Writing an eBook is a great teaser to provide your readers with quality content that’s actually helpful to them on the topic they’re studying.
However, the key is to find the balance between providing quality content and leaving them with a few unanswered questions that will make them want to click over to your website or subscribe to your newsletter to find out what else you can teach them.
How to write an eBook and make money with Amazon KDP
So do eBooks make money? Can you make money from eBooks? And can you make money publishing on Amazon? The answer to all these questions is Yes!
But how much money you make depends on what your strategy is to make money with Amazon Kindle. Do you plan to make money by writing an eBook for Amazon and selling it right away, or by leveraging your Amazon Kindle eBook for long-term success?
You see, I wouldn’t recommend selling eBooks on Amazon as a brand-new writer with no author brand or platform to speak of. That’s a short-sighted goal; not one that will help you in the long term.
As a new writer, your goal should not be to start selling eBooks on Amazon right away, or even trying to figure out how to make money on Amazon using Kindle eBook publishing.
Rather, it should be to learn how to make money off eBooks that you give away for free, so you can start building an author brand and a writer platform that will bring you long-term book sales.
The strategy is to use a free Amazon Kindle eBook to get website visitors and build your mailing list, so you can start earning a passive income as an author.
You don’t even have to write your Amazon Kindle free eBooks yourself. You can find a ghostwriter to write them for you, or use Private Label Rights (PLR) content to become a book writer without having to write a book yourself.
Here are some things to keep in mind when creating free Amazon Kindle eBooks that you’ll give away free:
- When creating an eBook for Amazon, remember to embed links leading back to your author’s website and your Amazon Author Central page in your Kindle eBooks.
- Add a compelling call to action to make your reader more likely to click on the links and take the action you want them to take.
- If you use PLR eBooks as your base material, make sure you rewrite those eBooks completely using online paraphrasing tools, to make the content unique before uploading eBooks to Kindle.
How to make money with free eBooks for Kindle
In this post, you’ll learn how to use your eBook to build an author brand and how to make money from free eBooks on Amazon KDP.
#1. Use Amazon free eBooks to rank on Google
Did you know that Amazon is not just one of the biggest search engines in the world, but the largest search engine for eCommerce? In fact, it’s a digital channel that no author can afford to ignore.
Not only does Amazon dominate Google in product searches, but an Amazon product listing also ranks very well in Google, because of the investment Amazon makes in its search engine optimization (SEO) campaign.
Say you’re a life coach who wants to get more clients. It would take a lot of investment, not to mention months or years of waiting, for your website to rank at the top of Google for more competitive keywords in your domain.
However, if you wrote a few free eBooks for Kindle using your keywords in the book titles, and published them on Amazon, your Amazon eBook page would likely rank for those terms much more quickly, giving you top placement on Google with very little investment.
#2. Use Amazon Kindle free eBooks to build a mailing list
Marketers are familiar with the term “Lead Magnet” – a freebie designed to attract their ideal customers and get them into their mailing list, so they can follow up with them repeatedly in a bid to get them to purchase their products or services.
Book marketing coach and author, Nick Stephenson, coined the term, “Reader Magnets,” in his free eBook that outlines the system he used to add tens of thousands of engaged readers to his mailing list, using the same principle as a lead magnet.
You can download his free Reader Magnets eBook here and learn how to create your very own free eBook designed to attract your first 10,000 readers and add them to your mailing list.
There are so many benefits of having a mailing list, that it’s a no-brainer for building your author platform. Here are some things a mailing list can do for you:
- Build a community of rabid fans of your writing and books
- Keep in touch with your community regularly
- Get more reviews and feedback from readers
- Have more successful book launches and Amazon ebook promotions
- Have a ready list of readers to whom you can send an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC)
- Have a list of prospects to whom you can sell courses and affiliate products
- Make more book sales without having to spend money on advertising
You should offer your Reader Magnet eBook as a PDF download, a free eBook on Amazon Kindle, and also make it available for eBook readers other than Kindle.
Once it is on offer as a free download on your own website, and through eBook sellers other than Amazon, you can write to Amazon and ask them to price-match it and feature it in the Amazon Kindle free eBook store.
Inside your free Reader Magnet Kindle eBook, you must include a live link (preferably before the 1st Chapter) to a landing page on your website, where you can offer a second freebie that will get your Amazon Kindle readers to subscribe to your mailing list.
If you write non-fiction, you can offer a low-content eBook such as a report, checklist, or workbook as a freebie. If you’re a fiction writer, you can offer a book excerpt from an upcoming novel or one of your most popular short stories for free.
For more tips on building a mailing list, subscribe to Nick Stephenson’s free video training for authors on How To Find Your First 10,000 Readers, so you can learn how to grow your audience on autopilot and sell more books.
#3. Use Amazon Kindle free eBooks to sell affiliate products
You can even add affiliate links to your Amazon Kindle free eBooks, as they don’t violate KDP terms and conditions. This way, you can earn a commission every time a reader clicks through and buys something.
Just make sure you cloak your affiliate links or use the Rank Math SEO plugin for WordPress to add a 307 redirect to the original affiliate link.
This will allow you to modify the original link without having to edit and re-upload your Amazon free Kindle store eBooks every time the affiliate links change.
Although affiliate marketing is not the best way to earn money from Kindle eBooks, it can help you make money from Kindle publishing fast, because you can start making affiliate sales as soon as your eBooks get downloaded and read.
#4. Use Amazon free eBooks to build website traffic
Another way to leverage your Amazon-free Kindle eBooks is by embedding links to multiple articles on your website in appropriate places in the eBook. This will make your readers curious enough to click through and visit your website, increasing your traffic and page views.
To track the clickthroughs from your eBooks, you can add UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) codes to your links as parameters to tell Google Analytics where a hit came from, even if it came from an offline source.
Becoming a bestselling author on Amazon is a great way to build your author brand. It gives you bragging rights for a start, to the claim of being a bestselling author, even if it’s only on Amazon.
The definition of a bestseller is a book for which demand, within a short time of that book’s initial publication, vastly exceeds what is considered to be big sales. However, on Amazon, all you need to become a bestseller is to get into the list of Amazon best-selling eBooks for a short period of time.
You can do this by enrolling your Amazon eBook in the KDP Select program and running a free Amazon eBook promotion that allows you to offer your book for free, for up to 5 days out of each 90-day KDP Select enrollment period.
Once your Kindle book promotion starts and your Kindle eBook price is zero, send out a message to everyone you know asking them to download your Amazon Kindle free eBook.
Also post a promo on your social media profiles, asking your family, friends, and followers to help you get into the Kindle bestseller list.
If you don’t mind investing a bit of money, you can hire a virtual book marketing assistant to promote your Amazon KDP free eBook on a large number of book promotion websites and Facebook groups and get thousands of downloads as a result.
As most of these book promotion websites require advance bookings to send out a promo, you need to time your book promotions to go out at the same time as your Amazon KDP free promotion, for maximum impact, or you can keep your eBook forever free on Amazon.
If you get a large number of Kindle eBook downloads in a short period of time, you’re very likely to get into the top 100 Kindle Free eBooks section for a number of your selected book categories.
However, this rapid uptick in downloads will only as long as your Amazon KDP free promotion lasts, so you should screenshot your bestseller rankings in the Amazon KDP best sellers list and share it in a blog post (like I did for my science-fiction bestseller).
These are just a few of the ways to start writing an eBook for passive income so you can make money by self-publishing on Amazon. These Amazon KDP tips will help you use Amazon Kindle free eBooks for building an author brand and platform.
Book writing tips & tools
- Learn how to write a book with free book writing classes
- Best creative writing Masterclasses by Masterclass authors
- Best book writing software for beginners
- How to start writing a book for beginners
- Get book coaching from an expert book consultant
- 10-step plan to become the published author of a book
- How to curate content & filter information to sell more books
- How to write catchy book titles & compelling book content
- 7 tips for overcoming and dealing with writer’s block
- 7 habits of the most successful writers and famous authors
- How to become a successful self-published author
- How to build influence as a writer influencer
- Amazon Kindle publishing: How to publish a book on Amazon for free
- How to find the best Amazon keywords for KDP & sell more Amazon KDP books
© 2022, Priya Florence Shah. All rights reserved.
Priya Florence Shah is a bestselling author, an award-winning online publisher, and an online branding consultant. She is also the author of Devi2Diva, a book on emotional self-care for women. In her spare time, she writes science-fiction novels and poetry and chills with her two-legged and four-legged kids.