Guide To KDP: Selling Kindle eBooks As A UK Fiction Author
The UK Kindle eBook market is fiercely competitive. As a UK fiction author, here is my guide to selling kindle eBooks in 2020.
In this UK Fiction Author, Guide to KDP blog article, you will find information on the following areas:
- Kindle Direct Publishing is a simple way to publish your own novel, helping you gain access to the world’s largest bookstore – Amazon,
- Write your eBook and don’t feel anxious about finishing it quickly, as your readers will appreciate a quality product,
- Believe in yourself as an author, as it gives you confidence as you work and you will write better as a result,
- Be realistic about how many books you will sell as set achievable targets as you will feel better as you meet those goals,
- Set realistic promotions so you can get paid even a little for your efforts as you will feel awesome when you get some royalties.
Read the rest of the UK Fiction Author, Guide to KDP blog article to see how you can use KDP to publish your next novel.
UK Fiction Author: How To Use KDP
In September 2018, I published my debut novel, Inside Iris, and established myself as an independently published author. When it came to selling Kindle eBooks in the UK, I knew very little. I was someone who worked in education as a primary school teacher for 10+ years and had almost turned his back on the thought of being a UK fiction author.
On the other hand, I had been to university three times, studied hard to get three degrees, had a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing, and worked and trained in management in education. I had planned, developed, and integrated strategies to improve educational attainment and curricular requirements across a school in ICT.
These skills were vital to me being able to not only market and sell Kindle eBooks as a UK fiction author, they also were instrumental in changing career to become a freelance digital trainer and SEO copywriter in Belfast.
As I look back towards a career that I walked away from, I do miss aspects of it greatly. Teaching, interacting, and developing relationships with children and young people is the key area of my former career that I miss. Children, teenagers, and young adults are amazing. I loved trying to develop confidence within them as people and show them that chasing dreams is never pointless.
Now, as I sit here at my desk in my office, listening to the 40mph wind and rain batter the window, I can’t help but feel that my decision to chase my own dreams if poignant. I had a former pupil message one of my SG Fiction author accounts out of the blue.
It dawned on me that my choice to leave a ‘safe’ career to become a UK fiction author and promote and sell Kindle eBooks in the UK young adult fiction market, was a bold one. It is a move that many of my friends have signalled as brave and courageous.
Now, after training in Digital Marketing, I look to push forward into 2020 with a bold approach to develop myself even further as a person and as a businessman. With my future career with Big Rock Digital Media blossoming and starting to take off, I wanted to compile a few strategies that a fellow UK fiction author could use to market and sell Kindle eBooks in the UK.
It All Starts With The eBook Itself
As with all online products, whether it is a games console or a Kindle eBook for Young Adults, it all starts with the eBook itself. In this case, I am talking specifically about selling books as a UK fiction author. However, it doesn’t matter which market you are selling to, you need to ensure that the Kindle book you are selling meets a certain standard in relation to those you are competing against in a crowded UK eBook marketplace.
When I had finished writing Inside Iris, I paid for professional critique, editing, and cover design. At that time, I wanted to make sure I made some attempt to approach my decision to become an indie UK fiction author with some form of professionalism. I knew I needed to:
- Get a critique of the novel,
- Have the novel formatted for KDP,
- Pay an artist for the book cover,
- Get an Amazon KDP author account set up.
At the time, this was the approach I knew I needed to take as I was teaching full-time and wouldn’t have been able to set aside the time required to do it myself.
When looking to publish your own Kindle eBook into the UK KDP market, you should focus on the eBook itself. There is no need to rush the publication for the sake of it or skimp on the cover or blurb. Remember, you are trying to make a mark in an area that is already crowded and making sure your product, the novel, is as good as you can make it is vital.
In summary, upon reflection, we all know that we would do things differently as time passes. The well-worn saying, ‘hindsight is 20-20’ is always true. As UK fiction authors, we are never happy with our work and would tweak it until we pulled it apart at the seams.
All I know is that I am proud of the debut novel I could write, produce, and market at that particular time in my life. There is nothing more I could have done and, if anything, I learned from the process. As you enter 2020 with the decision of whether to publish your own Kindle eBook as a UK fiction author, remember to analyse your process for when you publish book 2 or 3 in 2021.
We’re always learning!
Become The UK Fiction Author
I know the subtitle is somewhat obvious, but this points to what I continue to feel is an epidemic on social media with lots of young and aspiring authors. As you look to enter the Kindle eBook market, you need to be ready to become the UK fiction author you see in your mind as soon as you click the button to publish your debut book on Amazon KDP.
As I look at SG Fiction 18-months ago, I know I wasn’t prepared for what it took to market and publicise my first Kindle novel. I was learning at a near-vertical rate, and there was no way that I could possibly have done it all myself to the highest standard that it would have taken at the time. I also was going through personal issues at the time and didn’t feel I was ‘good enough’, not just as a UK fiction author, but in life in general.
Comparing this to social media, I know there are tens of thousands of young and ‘aspiring’ authors out there who feel they are not good enough:
- To write and finish a novel of their own,
- To publish a novel once it’s done,
- To publish due to rejections from agents or publishers, and MAINLY
- To call themselves an author!
If you look to become a Kindle eBook author in general, you need to be an author – that starts from within. You need to call yourself an author, whether you are:
- Traditionally published,
- Seeking an agent for representation,
- Independently published,
- Self-published, or
- In the process of writing a debut novel.
Six months ago, I started the Type Cast Young Authors’ Blog with this very point in mind. I had so many people online feeling that they were not authors, but ‘aspiring authors’. I always took exception to that phrase and wondered, ‘If they can’t see themselves as an author, who else will?’
As I pen this blog, I know I see myself as an author now. It took me a long time to realise it, but I am an author. I am also a professional copywriter and digital trainer, but I am an author.
My advice to you as you consider entering into the UK Kindle eBook market as a UK fiction author is to look yourself in the mirror and see yourself as an author. You may not write full time, but you are an author. You may not be published yet, but you are an author.
When you wake up tomorrow, it is vital that you start the rest of your life as an author and practice that thinking before you hit the button to publish that wonderful debut Kindle eBook of yours. Become the UK fiction author you want to be and chase that dream.
The UK Kindle eBook Market Is Tough
My final part of this guide to Kindle eBook writing is one that many eBook authors underestimate – the UK Kindle eBook market is tough. This point cannot be understated. I will reiterate the point for good measure – the UK Kindle eBook market is tough!
There are a multitude of reasons why that is. They include:
- Many people see KDP as a swift road to publication,
- Authors drop Kindle eBook prices as soon as sales don’t register on their KDP author account,
- Authors release Kindle eBooks for free – this then leads to Kindle readers expecting books for free,
- ‘So-Called-Authors’ release tens of books written by freelance ghostwriters. These eBooks flood the market, are sold for very little and are turned over as a business model for certain ‘authors’ to make a fast ‘buck’. I know this because I was approached by these ‘authors’ on freelancing websites offering me £100 to write a 10,000-word manuscript in a week. These people prey on writers from poorer countries to work for incredibly low rates, so be aware of this,
- Competition from ‘real authors’. I love the ‘real author’ label from those elitist literary types. It always makes me laugh. However, what we indie and self-published authors don’t have is a marketing budget and a publisher name behind us to sell additional Kindle eBooks.
I have listed only a few of the reasons as to why the UK Kindle eBook market is to hyper-competitive. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for this other than to consider your pricing and online selling tactics carefully.
If you followed the two steps above by writing, packaging, and marketing your Kindle eBook beautifully, cross that step off the list. You then convince yourself that you are a UK fiction author who is determined to take the Kindle eBook market by storm in 2020, cross that step off the list. Then, once you publish your book and see sales dip, you sell your novel for very little or give it away for free, how are you ever going to be a self-sustainable UK fiction author with a successful Kindle eBook?
One tactic I used, was to offer price promotions on your novel at set times. I did this on the Kindle eBook copy of Inside Iris, where I reduced it over time to a price of £0.99. This helped to increase sales and get me some more awesome five-star reviews. However, it was for a short time and as part of a business plan that I had in mind.
If you take this approach, always go it for an allotted time and return the price to a competitive rate in relation to similar authors and books in your genre. If you are ever to become the UK fiction author you see yourself as being in years to come, you need to make some money. It’s that simple.
UK Fiction Author: The Takeaway
As 2020 approaches and I look to release the second instalment of The Iris Trilogy – Anna’s Awakening, I look to use what I have learned over the last 18-months to move one step closer to becoming the UK fiction author I see in my mind.
By using what I have learned, I also know that the task I have ahead of me is a mammoth one and I need to use SMART targets (yes, that’s the teacher in me coming out once more). We all need to be aware that progress is slow and, so long as we take steps in the direction we aim to be as an author, we have to call that progress.
I hope that my Guide To KDP: Selling Kindle eBooks In The UK creative writing blog has been of use to you. I hope our 2020 is one with much success and get closer to achieving our dreams as UK fiction authors in the years to come.