The power of Amazon cannot be overstated. It’s why we’ve invested so heavily in building our Amazon Optimization suite for our authors. As the world’s #1 book retailer, Amazon makes it easy for anybody to publish, and for free. But how much does it cost to publish a book on Amazon, in all actuality?
While creating the publishing account with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and uploading your book are absolutely free, you are immediately in competition with all of the other offers.
In fact, in 2019 alone, Amazon published 2 million books. And with nearly one book being published every five minutes, you’ll have to work hard to stand out from the crowd.
Your actual spend will depend upon your own personal budget. But this is something that’s inversely related to just how much you want your book to succeed. Investing in making the book marketable will ultimately pay the dividends in the form of royalties.
Is Amazon Self-Publishing Actually Free?
Sure, you can definitely publish your book on Amazon for free. But if you want to guarantee some sales of your book, you’re going to have to take painstaking steps to make sure your book is not only marketable, but highly competitive against the millions of other books available.
We break down the full cost of publishing a book in this post here. Publishing a book is so much more than simply getting your book out and into the hands of readers. The true process of publishing the book and setting yourself up for success happens well-before anybody ever receives a book in the mail or a digital download.
Investing your dollars and time into editing, cover design, formatting, and promotional services will be the key to giving your book every advantage it needs to succeed.
How to Compete with Other Books on Amazon
Since you’re saving money on the actual “publishing” on Amazon, you’ll want to invest your budget into the other competitive factors that lead to increased performance and sales. Cover design, editing, and marketing.
Amazon (like many websites) is highly visually oriented. People scan through their search results for products that appeal to them.
Having a well-research SEO title for your Amazon published book will be critical to show up in the search results, but having a well-designed cover will be the driving force in getting them to make a purchase.
Make sure that you consider using a professional designer to help visually represent the valuable content that your book has to offer. Otherwise, many readers won’t bother clicking through to learn more.
Book cover design is very similar to conversion rate optimization in a website; if it’s not enticing to click on, you’ll receive fewer clicks. And fewer clicks on Amazon mean fewer sales.
A good cover design could be $50, $500, or $5,000. You’ll likely want to consider a middle of the road option, if you’re a self-published author.
Editing for Success
A book that hasn’t undergone any kind of editing is like a car that hasn’t been quality-tested by the manufacturer. In short, it’s not only dangerous, but people also aren’t going to be trusting of it.
Book editors come in different shapes and sizes, from extensive developmental editors to simple proofreaders.
Our team at Made for Success can flex to a variety of different types of projects. We’re happy to help counsel you on what type of editor would be best for your self-publishing project.
Marketing your Book
The marketing of your book is something that you can attempt to do on a lean budget, with all of the available tools for you. But know that it is difficult to be a self-published author without a sphere of people to market your book to.
We recommend having some of the most basic tools set up for marketing your book.
- Basic website highlighting the premise of your book and the value that it offers to readers
- Email list that allows you to market to whatever sphere of people you have
- Social media accounts set up and poised to promote your book
- Amazon advertising programs that help target more traffic to your book listing
Of course, at Made for Success, we’re particularly passionate about our Amazon Optimization program and how it can be the determining factor in getting an author to be a number-one bestseller on Amazon.
Mapping out your Budget
Even though you can publish for free using Amazon’s KDP tool suite, you’ll still need to spend money in order to sell books and win fans.
If you need advice on how to best allocate your publishing spend and how to calibrate your strategy, click to talk to one of our book marketing experts.