2018 is coming around the corner fast and internet businesses are changing at an incredible rate. Kindle publishing being one of those business models that never stop changing, and if you plan to succeed in kindle then you need to be prepared to change with the system. My predictions for kindle publishing in 2018 are positive and I can’t wait to increase my foothold on the industry next year.
Amazon has been constantly changing its algorithms, policies and regulatory practices since it first started it’s KDP program for indie publishers. A multitude of changes have been made in these handful of years already, and every active publisher who’s been in the game since the early days will tell you it’s a completely different ball game now.
The general timeline of events for kindle publishing is separated to:
2007 – 2010
Kindle publishing started in late 2007 and at the time it wasn’t well known to anyone but wannabe writers wishing to publish their work. A lot of people ignored the platform at this time and didn’t pay much attention to it since independently published books still had a stigma of being lower quality.
2011 – 2014
This period of time was when Kindle publishing rapidly grew with the help of online marketers trying to take advantage of Amazon’s traffic. Waves upon waves of low quality books were being pumped out onto the platform to make a quick profit. This was the gold rush of kindle publishing where almost everyone was able to make money with zero to minimum effort.
You genuinely didn’t really need to learn how to run a kindle publishing business since Amazon’s size was enough to get people to buy your books. But Amazon started to wise up and began policing the platform for better user experience.
By the later part of this period, K Money Mastery made absolute waves throughout the industry as the course to join. The success rate from KMM was infamous and it was the first time someone actually put the whole process together in a manageable, easy and effective manner.
KMM was actually the course that got me into kindle publishing and it helped me learn all the basics needed to wrap my head around everything involved.
2015 – 2017
Customer complaints were on the rise and online articles were starting to call Amazon out on it’s inability to push out internet scammers off the platform. There was a period of time where Kindle really had a bad reputation for shoddy books full of grammatical errors being published and that every book was just full of fake reviews.
Amazon really had to step up their game in policing the platform to ensure a standard befitting of their reputation as a world mega retail power. And they did. They stepped up the game massively in leaps and bounds.
Just in 2017 alone, I have witnessed at least 3 big periods of change to the system.
- Amazon’s algorithm has changed drastically on how they rank books
- Amazon has started to ban publishers for fake reviews
- Amazon has filed 2 lawsuits on publishers for gaming the system
Up until this point Amazon has taken a very passive approach to regulating the platform, not wanting to dictate the market too much and potentially lose money. But Amazon is realizing the stakes of losing goodwill from customers is a bigger lost then having fewer publishers on the platform.
Before, Amazon didn’t actually want to close the doors on anyone who wanted to join since indie publishers are the backbone of the entire system. However, it’s becoming obvious that they can’t turn a blind eye to it anymore as more and more customers are refusing to buy independently published ebooks.
So the last two major changes to Amazon’s behaviour has been rather shocking and drastically different to it’s past behaviour. It’s obvious to assume Amazon is going to continue to have a more direct approach in regulating kindle publishers in 2018.
Review swapping is just simply not going to work by the end of 2018 and your efforts are much more wisely spent on developing another way to rank your books. Amazon’s tolerance for gaming the system is almost near zero now and it’s been obvious to me that the changes they’re making to the search engine algorithm is to better help them identify who is getting fake reviews.
This inability to quickly rank will also mean low quality books are going to be a thing of the past. If you think you can publish a book without proofreading it at least once then you’re going to have a horrible awakening when 2018 comes along.
I personally have both an editor and proofreader to go through all the material before publishing, and I never get a review complaining about the quality of writing. Those reviews are the last thing you want, because even if you correct the errors later the review is still going to be on there for every potential reader to see.
Kindle publishing is going to be harder in 2018 if you wish to succeed. There’s no way anyone who is honest will tell you otherwise. There’s no more shortcuts and only people who put in the work are going to be rewarded by Amazon’s massive amounts of organic traffic. But if the only bad news for 2018 is that you have to actually create books that satisfy people’s needs. Then, well, it’s not exactly bad news. It’s just simple business ethics that everyone should be following in the first place.
Add that to the fact that a lot of kindle publishers are in the industry to get rich quick, and you get a whole bunch of people exiting the game. Every time Amazon makes gaming the system harder a wave of publishers exit the industry and this has continued since 2014 onwards. There’s currently a wave right now as I write this. A lot of publishers have stopped publishing since none of them want to put in the work.
I don’t know when it became normal for people to think you can make money without any real effort, but kindle publishing is no longer going to be one of those methods. I’ve been experimenting with Amazon paid ads and have gotten great results this way to rank my books. Another method to market your books would be e-mail marketing, but I only advise this method if you publish fiction books.
My take on kindle publishing for 2018 is really positive. I’m so excited that Amazon is both pushing a lot of the competition out and a lot of the competition is leaving without a fight. All this means is there’s a lot of keywords and niches open for me to take over. Keywords that were just not even possible for me to think about entering before, will now open up.
The reputation of independently published books will take a turn for the better as customers start to see the positive changes on the platform, which will also increase sales. And as Amazon continues to regulate and police publishers behaviour it’s creating a higher barrier of entry for anyone thinking about entering.
The fact is, Kindle publishing won’t be attractive for anyone looking for a get rich quick scheme and this is great news for all the publishers willing to put in the honest work needed. If you’re prepared to make books that people enjoy reading and market them with honest methods then 2018 is the best time to enter the industry. You no longer need to compete with the massive amounts of spam being uploaded, and wonder why your quality work isn’t selling compared to another book that was obviously written by an underpaid freelancer who isn’t a native English speaker.
I think if you are completely new to the business and want to to save yourself a lot of time and silly mistakes then take Luca’s publishing course. UPDATE: Luca’s course is no longer available because he officially retired from Kindle Publishing.
His course was $599, which was very over priced. You can check out my videos lessons which covers all the same things with more detail at a fraction of the price.
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