Writing Kindle Books

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Purpose

The purpose of this lesson is to show you how to go about writing your Kindle books.

Writing Kindle Books

Principles

Whether you are writing yourself or having someone else do it, there are a few principles that need to be taken into consideration when the writing is being done:

•    Quality matters! – even just from a marketing standpoint, having good quality content matters because if the content is not good, clear or gives people what they think they are going to get when they buy the book, you’ll end up with a bad review and, as you know, bad reviews hurt your bottom line (e.g. sales).

•    … But it doesn’t have to be perfect – while quality matters, the content and the quality of the content don’t need to be perfect. For example, if you sell a $0.99 book, the quality has to be pretty bad for someone to go out of their way to write a bad review for it.

•    Need great grammar – quality matters but doesn’t have to be perfect. However, you should still make an effort to edit for glaring mistakes such as spelling, poor syntax, badly written sentences, etc. to help avoid receiving any bad reviews.

•    No affiliate links or over-promotion of other products/services – you’re not really supposed to be using your Kindle book to directly promote any products or services. What you can do is point them to something that isn’t a direct promotion but does point them to the product or service while providing value, e.g. point them to a free report, free video, etc. which in turn can point to the product or service.

•    Use existing resources – if you have existing resources such as a video interview or something you’ve written in the past, you can transcribe these into a Kindle book.

Length

There are some determining factors involved when trying to decide how long (in pages) your Kindle book should be. Two important ones are:

•    Pricing

•    Content

Knowing the price-point you want to work with will determine how many pages you’ll need in each book and, conversely, knowing how many pages are in your content will determine what price-point you can sufficiently work with. Whichever vantage point you start with, it’s important to make certain you are providing your customer with good value. This will encourage customers to buy more books from you while preventing any negative reviews on ones that are purchased.

For example, working from a pricing vantage point, a recipe book may require more pages than a report or group of articles at the same price-point because the per-page value is less (e.g. each recipe takes up half or full page).

A good rule of thumb for how long a Kindle book will be is that 10 500-word articles will equal a 30 page Kindle book.

Whether working from a pricing vantage point or a content one, a rough guide for determining the number of pages for a specific price point is the following:

•    $0.99    >    30-50    pages

•    $2.99    >    50-75    pages

•    $9.99    >    130+    pages

This guide is based on what other Kindle books are currently being sold for. Page count should be the bare minimum for the corresponding price point in order to avoid any bad reviews. If you price your book at $9.99 and it turns out to be a 20 page report, those who do buy it are not going to be very happy. Longer books in lower price ranges is okay, but try to avoid placing shorter books in a higher price range. This is just a rough guide and is entirely up to you how you want to handle it.

Content Ideas

When looking for content ideas, the first thing you want to find out is what people are looking for and what they want to know. To answer these questions, there are a few tools you can use and strategies that you can follow that should answer them.

Tools:

The first tool to look at is Wordtracker. You can get to this service by either searching Google for “keyword questions tool” (it should be the very first link in the results) or go directly here (https://freekevwords.wordtracker.com/kevword-questions).

I Results for: hair loss Download I
Question Times asked (2)
1 what causes hair loss 41
is loss of hair a side effects of taking phentermine 23
does bystolic cause hair loss 21

What this service does is allow you to search for questions based on a specified keyword. You enter a keyword then do “search”. The results are a list of questions related to that keyword (e.g. hair loss) and ordered by how many times the question was asked.

 The questions can guide you in creating your content or, at the very least, serve as an outline for your Kindle book. One idea is to use the questions as chapter headings.

Note: The tool is free to use and free to sign up. When using this without an account, you are only able to perform one search before being asked to sign up for your free account. If, however, you do not wish to sign up, simply clear your browser’s cookies, close and re-open your browser (unless using Firefox, which doesn’t require this) then access the page again (https://freekevwords.wordtracker.com/keyword-questions). This has been tested with IE9 and Firefox and works well in allowing multiple searches.

Another tool you can use is Google Keyword Tool (GKT). You can access this free tool by typing “Google keyword tool” in the search field then clicking the link in the results list (mostly likely will have “Google Adwords” in the title and “adwords.google.com” at the beginning of the URL).

At the top of the page you will see “Find keywords”. Simply enter your keyword and click “search”. Other than verifying the location you want the search performed in, you don’t have to change any other settings as all you’re trying to do is get a quick idea of what others are looking for. If you do want to change the location, you just have to click the “Advanced Options and Filters” link then select the location from the list.

Once you enter the captcha (if required) and click “search”, you will see a list of results under the “Keyword ideas” section. By reviewing these results you will get a pretty good idea of what people are searching on and can use that to determine your content.

Note: There are two ways to use GKT – either direct or by signing into the service using any Google credentials you may already have (e.g. email). If you do not sign in, the first time you use the tool you may be required to enter a captcha. After that, however, you should not have to enter a captcha for subsequent keyword searches, at least according to our experience with using the tool.

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 Also, don’t worry that it suggests signing in for a full set of ideas. You will get enough ideas without having to do so.

Other Sources:

Aside from using the tools described above, there are a handful of other sources you can use to get ideas for content:

• ClickBank books – scroll through their catalog and either buy the books or read the various sales pages to see what people are looking for or are selling on topics related to what you are interested in.

•    Physical books – as with ClickBank books, you can buy them or review them on sites like Amazon to see what they have to say. If there are some physical books on your topic but no Kindle books, you can either buy them or read what is said about them on Amazon, or review the table of contents to find out what the author has written about and what topics are covered.

•    Other Kindle books (download for free) – Using either your Kindle device or, if you don’t have one, “Kindle for PC”, you can download other books related to your topic for free just to see what others are writing about and get some ideas. Be careful not to copy anything but definitely use this to get ideas for what you can write about.

•    Google top 10 websites – check the top 10 sites that rank for whatever keyword you searched on in Google. Open these up and start making an outline of whatever they agree on. Although there is no guarantee, if the top 10 sites are agreeing on something then chances are it’s correct. This is a good way to get in on topics you may otherwise know nothing about.

•    Wikipedia references – if you scroll to the very bottom of the page of a Wikipedia topic (e.g. hair loss), you’ll see a collection of references where you could get some good references to put in your book to make you sound credible as well as gather some facts, figures, etc. that you might not get from the other resources.

Outsourcing

Once you’ve done all the preliminary work and are ready to write your book, you’ll now want to consider who does the actual writing.

You may want to do it yourself but it’s also possible to use outsourcing. If you do decide to use outsourcing, there are some things to consider:

•    Use only “English as a first language” (EOFL) outsourcers – As it’s likely that most of your customer base is English-speaking, you want to be assured the quality of writing is there. This is easier to achieve with EOFL outsourcers than with other-language outsourcers who happen to know English. It may prove a bit more expensive to get but in the end it’s worth it.

•    Review their work – this may not be a requirement if you have a trusted writer, but for ones less trusted and certainly for new ones, you want to make sure to review their work before uploading to Amazon. Remember, it’s your name that is going on the book, so if there is bad grammar, poor spelling, etc., you are the one that gets the bad reviews, thus “shooting yourself in the foot” almost from the beginning.

•    Have them write a 1-2 paragraph summary (for book description) – this is especially true if you have them write a whole book for you because then you don’t have to go back and write the book description yourself. After it is written, you’ll then want to

review/rewrite this because this is part of your marketing content, the part of your copy that you use to sell your book, so this is definitely the part you want to be focusing on.

•    Review/rewrite introduction – this is very important as the introduction is the very first part of the book people read. Even if all the customer is doing is looking for a book on a particular topic, chances are they will read the introduction, so if it is poor it lessens the credibility of the rest of the book.

•    Tell outsourcer you want “articles” or “short reports”, not a “book” – for example, instead of a 30 page book, you can have them write 10 500-word articles (e.g. remember the rule of thumb – 10 500-word articles = 30 page book). This will likely make it less expensive as writers would typically charge more (e.g. 5 times as much) for a whole book.

•    Available outsourcer sites – e.g. Elance.com, Odesk.com, Guru.com, TextBroker.com. Prices and options vary between these but for the most part you should have no problem getting articles written from these outsourcer sites.

TextBroker.com Expanded:

When considering which outsourcer to use, pricing, quality and timing are essential factors. As you’ll see in a moment, even the same site can offer different standards for these factors.

Of the 4 outsourcer sites listed above, Elance, Odesk and Guru are the cheapest for decent quality articles, costing you about 4-5 dollars per article.

Price Chart

All freelance authors on Textbroker are continuously evaluated by our own independent editorial staff.

price chart

 TextBroker, on the other hand, can be much more expensive, depending on the quality of writing you are looking for. The price chart to the right shows the quality levels available on TextBroker and the price you can expect to pay per 100 words for that quality.

TIP: When selecting a quality level for writing Kindle books, it’s recommended you avoid levels 2 and 3. Level 4 with a little bit of editing is usually good enough. You can go with level 5 but experience shows that, while the pricing increases substantially, the quality doesn’t necessarily do so.

Even though TextBroker is one of the more expensive outsourcers, the ease of use, level of quality and turn-around time for orders makes it a very good option.

For example, one of the great advantages of using TextBroker is that it uses a system called “crowdsourcing”. This is where you submit your order and instead of just one author working on it, multiple authors will do so, resulting in much faster turn-around times.

To illustrate how this can work, go to TextBroker.com and if not already there, click on the “Clients” tab. You are not looking to be an author but to buy the services of available authors.

The first thing you do is set up an account and then, once complete, you can go about setting up a new order. Setting up a new order is fairly straightforward, as simple as adding the different titles for topics you want written. If writing a book, these titles could represent the different chapters for your Kindle book or ‘articles’ that you will compile into chapters for your Kindle book.

Getting the topics can be easy too. Using “hair loss” as an example, recall that WordTracker can provide a list of questions related to that keyword. The image below shows a list (expanded from the previous example) of questions that were returned for “hair loss” and can be used for ‘articles’ or chapters for your book:

search Kindle Books

Typically the top 10 questions are the best available so what you would do is review them, remove any that were redundant, then paste them into your new order “titles” box and submit the order. A group of authors (remember “cloudsourcing”) will then get the work done and usually in a relatively short period of time. Using this technique, you could reasonably have a whole Kindle book written in a day.

That wraps it up for talking about outsourcing, but as you can see, taking advantage of outsourcing can allow you to create pretty good Kindle books very quickly, which is somewhat the goal as the more books you can create, assuming the quality is good, the better it is for you as you can use these to promote each other (covered in the “Kindle Sales Strategy” document and video).

Easy Book Creation

Now that you have gone through all of this information on creating a Kindle book, here’s a quick list that basically summarizes the whole process:

1.    Type keyword into keyword questions tool

2.    Gather the top 10 questions and have outsourcers (e.g. TextBroker.com) write one 500-word article for each question

3.    Do a quick review/edit of their work

4.    Write an intro & description

5.    Upload to Kindle

You are now a (self-) published author!!

Using Video/Audio to Create Content

Not yet covered but equally viable for getting content for your Kindle book is the option of using video or audio. As there are steps unique to this, it seemed best to cover this topic separately here.

A lot of times it can be easier to get people, especially experts, to talk about a subject than to get them to sit down and write about it. However, if you go and interview such people for about an hour or so, you’ll easily get enough content material to write an entire Kindle book on the topic.

Here are the steps you can take to use this approach in getting content for Kindle books:

1.    Interview an expert – find an expert, even yourself, on any topic you want to write on and record the interview. If you use video, the video can be used to market the final product.

2.    Get transcribed – using an outsource site (e.g. verbalink.com) to transcribe the audio to text.

3.    Edit or outsource editing – make sure the content looks good.

4.    Write intro/book description – put your best into this so people will want to read and continue reading your books (= more sales).

5.    Kindle book is done. Go upload it.

As you can see, this is a great and simple way to create read-worthy books that people are willing to buy. You don’t have to be an expert on any topic to be successful at this.

Conclusion

Having gone through this lesson, hopefully you get the sense of how successful you can be at writing Kindle books. By taking advantage of the different resources, following the various steps and tips, making sure the quality is good and adds value to your readers, you should have no problems making money selling Kindle books on Amazon.

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