My experience experimenting with Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing by selling a blog post as an eBook.
_After writing a fairly extensive blog post, I decided to experiment and convert the post to an eBook and sell it through Amazon.com’s Kindle Direct Publishing program._
The Amazon.com Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) program is awesome, and the fact that I could have an eBook published to Amazon.com and available for purchase in as little as an hour is pretty amazing! The hardest part was the cover, to be honest! I took the HTML that WordPress outputs by default (which in itself is pretty clean, thank goodness) and easily converted it to a .mobi file by using the software that Amazon makes available. Then I threw together a pretty lame cover and was on my way!
I edited the original blog post, added a little box about showing your love for the post by purchasing the ebook version, and did my usual round of social blasting the links.
That first weekend I got a tweet from @MongoDB which was awesome! When I first tweeted the blog post and ebook combo it went somewhat viral (as far as my personal experience goes) and it got retweeted and shared a lot and that was a really good feeling.
The blog post itself still gets a shitload of traffic and my monthly visitors continues an upward trend since the post and book launched.
The ebook received a handful of really positive reviews on Amazon.com which was awesome. I also got some shout-outs at work from people that saw the activity on twitter which was nice!
When I first started using the KDP program, I found that the reporting components were seriously lacking. Just the other day they released a slightly revamped dashboard with some nice analytics. The reporting is still a little confusing for the most part though.
Here are some numbers for the sales of the book so far (as far as I can reasonably tell anyway). Note that these numbers are only for Amazon.com (US) sales as, like I said, the reporting in KDP is kind of hard to make sense out of so its still a lot of manual work to try to come up with any real stats:
units @ $32
units @ $46
Considering I’m only selling the book for $1.99, I’ve already made over $400 a decent amount and it doesn’t look like the sales are going to slow anytime soon as they continue to pick up each month! I haven’t done any additional promotion at all for the post or book since that first weekend.
I could have sold the book for more, I could have taken the blog post down and sold the book exclusively through Amazon (and made 70% instead of %30), but I didn’t. Instead, I made it a point to mention whenever possible that the book could be read for free on my blog instead of buying it from Amazon – and that the ebook really was just a convenience factor and a simple way to show your appreciation.
All in all it has been a very rewarding experience and I highly recommend it as a great way to get into publishing if you’re at all interested. What started out as a simple blog post exploded into a whole lot more. I’ve learned so much during the process, interacted with a lot of people, and helped many more along the way!