How many of you are leaving money on the table without knowing?
You could be leaving 1000’s of dollars each month without really knowing it. All because you’re not leveraging your material to it’s fullest potential.
When people talk about Kindle publishing they think of ebooks, but in recent years Amazon has expanded the possibilities for independent publishers to create paperbacks and audio books. Amazon does this by operating two subsidiaries, Createspace and ACX which oversees the production of each format respectively. Essentially, this means you can use the same content to create a minimum of 3 separate products. If you’re going to spend on average $300+ on one ebook, why not add $50 more to make an ebook, paperback AND an audio book?
In recent times, KDP has also incorporated paperback publishing on it’s platform but I wouldn’t recommend you using it and I’ll tell you why a little later down this post. But until I get to that point, let me get back to explaining why you have to read this post if you haven’t expanded your publishing business into paperbacks and audio books yet.
Paperback books command a higher selling price and that means bigger profit margins for each sale. Not only that but the price flexibility and control over paperback books are far greater than ebooks. Even with the new trend of Kindle books being more than $2.99, paperback books give you more control over the monetary potential of each publication. Why would you not want more control over your business???
Apart from the greater profit margins, a lot of people still enjoy a paperback and won’t buy an ebook. It doesn’t matter if the paperback is 10x more expensive and they have to wait a few days for delivery. A lot of people, myself included, just like paperback books more. This fun fact alone make’s it so important to have that paperback option for these customers, otherwise they just quickly move on by to the next book. It doesn’t matter if you have great reviews or a great cover. You simply don’t have what they’re looking for, and to think you could have easily given them that option for no extra cost on your part.
I’m not joking, changing your ebook to paperback costs you $0 if you know how to do it. Or a maximum of $10 if you want to outsource as much as possible.
The easy way would be to go to fiverr and get someone to convert your Kindle cover design to meet the Createspace cover requirements, which pretty much means you just need a spine and back designed. Than you’ll need to hire another fiverr gig to format your kindle book to createspace requirements for printing. You can search a designer by typing “Createspace cover” into Fiverr’s search bar. You’ll find a bunch of gigs for $5. And then for the formatting, you can type in ” Createspace formatting” into search. It’s as easy as that. The whole thing should take no more than 3 days.
The hands on approach entails you designing the spine and back cover yourself. If you know a thing or two about Photoshop, then this can be done within 15mins. Then you download Createspace’s readily available formatted templates to convert your Kindle format to Createspace. This can take anywhere from 30min to a few hours. It depends on how you structure your book. I personally use the hands on approach since 45 minutes of my time really isn’t much, especially since someone else already wrote, edited, formatted and designed the book for me…
By adding a paperback option to my books, I’ve easily doubled my publishing income. In fact paperback sales are more than my ebook sales for most months.
Do yourself a favour and get ALL of your ebooks converted to paperback on Createspace ASAP.
Which brings me back to why you should use Createspace and not KDP to create your paperback. KDP is very tempting, since you can get away with doing less work, but this convenience comes at a price. Paperbacks on KDP, just like the ebooks, are exclusively distributed on Amazon websites ONLY. Now, it doesn’t mean you have to sell them exclusively to Amazon, but it does mean KDP will only DISTRIBUTE them to Amazon sites.
Createspace on the other hand has something called expanded distribution, so they’ll do all the hard work for you in getting your paperback in as many places as possible. That means, more sells. The more places your book is available, the bigger the chance for someone to buy it. It’s simple math guys, so until KDP is distributing books on other platforms, stick with Createspace with your paperback.
Now that you understand why paperback is important, it’s time to learn the potential of audiobooks.
ACX is the distribution and production platform of audio books for Audible.com. I’m fairly sure you’ve heard of this website a few years ago. They were aggressively promoting Audible.com everywhere online. To be honest, audible.com still isn’t a big thing outside USA. Audio books are still in it’s early stages when compared to paperbacks and ebooks, but it IS gaining traction. The more people are adopting the act of listening on the go, the more audiobooks are selling. Just think of your average podcast listener, no matter the topic. They’re most likely listening while commuting, on the go, in-between A and B. And that’s going to be true for any sort of audio consumption, including audio books. But this isn’t the only type of consumption we see with audio books. There’s immense potential for children’s early reader books as a reading aid. Or your run of the mill romance novela for the stay at home house wife that can play it in the background, while doing all the chores around the house. The potential is huge, and like with anything with huge potential, you want to get in as early as possible to stake a claim on the market.
It’s not too late to do it now, since a lot of publishers are still hesitant and or lazy to convert their content to audio. I don’t know why they would be hesitant, since I’ve consistently been getting an extra $100+ from ACX every month. My best month has been $256, not a lot but also not nothing either. Some people have this attitude of not bothering with such chump change when they conduct their business activities. They tell themselves that it’s not worth the time or extra effort. But any GOOD internet marketer will tell you that chump change scattered around the internet is A LOT of money when you add it all up.
Don’t ignore ACX! It takes minimal amount of extra effort and money on your part to create an additional stream of PASSIVE income. You got to be some next level lazy if you think it’s not worth your time.
So let me guide you through how to get your books onto ACX. You cannot create an audio book on ACX without first publishing an ebook on Amazon, because you need to “look” for your ebook on ACX search and claim it as your own. Once you do, you are ready to post the book up for auditions. The audition process is how you’re going to find a great voice talent to read the entire book out for you and format it to meet ACX requirements. The whole process is very straight forward, but just a few key points I want to provide are:
- Put your pen name whenever they ask you for the copyright details. You don’t have to put your own name in it, and I don’t recommend it if you want your books to look professional.
- You have to upload an audition script instead of copying and pasting. It gives you that option, but it never works so just upload a file and be done with it.
- Provide a 2 week timeframe for the book to be completed. You don’t want your producer to drag a project out and ultimately delaying the profits. Time is money guys.
Additionally, you want to pay attention to the payment. ACX provides a 50/50 royalty split, which means you can get your audio books produced for free at no extra cost. But any royalties for that audio book will be split half way between you and the producer. Or you can pay your producer outright for the number of Finished Hours by providing an hourly rate.
Most people will jump at the 50/50 split since it means there’s zero risk, but I’m here to tell you to think very carefully before you go down this route. I started ACX with this strategy and have become a lot wiser since then.
To avoid making this post 5 pages long, I’m going to summaries the payment strategies I use below: (Just follow them and you’ll be good)
- If your book is technical but has very little images – pay your producer by the hour
- If your book is non-fiction but it very instructural – go 50/50 split.
- If your book is fiction and not part of a well established series already – go 50/50 split
- If your book is in various bundles – pay your producer by the hour
- If your book has many images – go 50/50 split
You’ll increase your earnings in the long run if you follow the above to decide how to pay your producer. But you still need to know what’s a good hourly rate to pay your producer.
The lowest possible.
That means marking your auditions as $50/pfh and then negotiate with producers when they audition. $50/pfh is fine, but the ideal situation is to get the whole book produced for no more than $35 IF your book is around 10,000 words long. That $35 number didn’t come out of nowhere, there’s a real reason for this particular number. (If your book is longer than you can get away with a higher production cost, but that’s way too technical information to try to squeeze in this one post)
If you can get the WHOLE book produced for $35, it means I can guarantee, you will make that $35 dollars back by using a simple trick. Which essentially means you can get your audio books produced for FREE and not need to forfeit half your royalties. (but I still use the 50/50 split structure for some books since the trick does take a good month to execute)
I’ll share the trick with you guys, but this post is getting too long already so I’ll make the ACX trick a separate post. Please sign up to my newsletter below if you want to read it when it gets posted. I’ll also teach you how you can earn the $50 sign up bonuses on ACX.
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