make money with kindle publishing
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Kindle publishing on Amazon, or Kindle Direct publishing (KDP) has been around for more than a decade now. The industry has seen countless changes in this time but one thing has always remained true. You can make money with Kindle publishing.

The real question is not whether you can still make money with Kindle publishing, (we already know there’s lots to be made) it’s WHO can make money and by WHAT means?

I hear many people constantly talk about Kindle publishing not being “worth” it. Or that it will “die” out in the future, and to those people, it may be true. Because those people are the ones who think making money online is easy, effortless and all about scamming people.

Kindle publishing isn’t about that anymore, it hasn’t been about that since 2015.

A quick Kindle timeline on its profitability


When KDP first came out, Amazon just wanted to give the unknown, wannabe writer a chance to publish their books on their own. Unfortunately the writing community never caught on to the idea.

The idea of an independently published book didn’t provide the validation a traditional publishing house can provide them. And so, KDP quickly became an internet marketer’s world.

Internet marketers were quick to recognise the potential of publishing a book on KDP because of two things:

  1. Amazon’s organic traffic is huge and it’s internal search engine for the Kindle store is unsaturated
  2. There was no quality control over the ebooks

What did this all mean? Kindle was a get rich quick scheme in the early years of 2009. You could upload content that was full of spelling, grammar mistakes and still make a lot of money because there was virtually no competition.

Could you make money with Kindle publishing back in 2009? 

Yes. It was incredibly easy.

Fast forward a few more years and the Kindle store search engine on Amazon was getting a little fuller for all the easy keywords. Publishers had to start niching down on topics to keep making money. You began to see publishers focusing on specific Kidnle niches to build portfolios under pen names.

It was no longer as easy as uploading bad quality content on the platform to make money. People had to start doing Kindle keyword research.

Could you make money with Kindle publishing back in 2011?

Yes. And it was still very easy.

Then Amazon released KDP select fund that allowed publishers to enter their books in a lending program. Instead of royalties from books sold, you will be paid by the number of pages read by readers. The amount you get per page read would depend on that month’s total fund of customers in the lending program.

It got mixed responses from the publishing community UNTIL someone gamed the system.

Marketers looking to make a quick buck figured out how Amazon tracked the pages and it was majorly flawed.

The result?

Many publisher were making $30,000, $50,000 per month during this period of time. One well known publisher famously made $10,000 in one day.

Could you make money with Kindle publishing back in 2015?

Yes. It was incredibly easy, but you might have gotten your account banned.

2015 marked the first time Amazon started to regulate the KDP platform. It was starting to become too much for Amazon to ignore. During the next 2 years the Kindle industry will go through a lot of growing pains.

Book quality shot up, you could no longer write your own books or not proofread them. Hiring ghostwriters became common practice.

Book cover quality also went up because the public was also becoming more aware of marketers selling bad quality books on the platform. It became necessary to look as professional as possible.

Could you make money with Kindle publishing back in 2017?

Yes, but it’s no longer a get rich quick scheme. It’s a legitimate business and because of that, a lot of internet marketers exited the industry. What was left were real publishers and entrepreneurs.

one of my recent dashboards for paperback books

Can you make money with Kindle publishing?

The simple answer is yes. There’s still a lot of opportunities in the Kindle store to start publishing in. But the situation today is a lot different than in 2009.

People looking for a quick buck, internet hack, get rich quick scheme is going to have a bad time. You’re not going to be making $50,000 USD per month. You’re not going to be making thousands within your first month. And you’re not going to be making money with zero effort.

(yeah, believe it or not, but you still need to work at the beginning to make passive income)

Kindle publishing is a proper business now, and unless you approach it as such you won’t make money with Kindle publishing anymore. BUT if you do, then Kindle publishing is the best online business to start for beginners.

Here are the reasons why Kindle publishing is the best online business for beginners:

  1. The business model is simple – The learning curve is small compared to other forms of online businesses such as blogging, e-commerce, drop shipping or affiliate marketing. You could effectively learn everything you need to know within 1 week of dedicated studying, and then you just need to put it into action to start maturing your skills.
  2. The initial investment is small – The initial start up cost is just around $450 to get your first book published. $450 is so small that it makes Kindle publishing accessible to almost everyone. You may be thinking a blog costs less, and it does if you’re blogging as a hobby. It actually requires a higher initial investment to do it profitably. Same goes for drop shipping and all other forms of “low investment” businesses online. They don’t take much to start but they do take a lot to make it successful. Kindle publishing is by far the easiest business to enter in terms of investment.
  3. You only need to do two parts of the entire business – One of the biggest reasons Kindle publishing can be turned into a passive income is because all you need to focus on is the production and the ranking of the product, everything else is taken care of by Amazon. And in regard to the two parts you do need to focus on, you don’t even have to be hands on about it. You outsource those areas out as well, which means you only need to orchestrate the whole business model and ensure it runs smoothly. A.k.a you just need to organise and manage.
  4. The ROi is bigger than anything else I know – Not only is the initial investment low, but the return on investment is huge. I don’t know any other business that allows you to 10 times your investment as quickly as 1 year. Making money with Kindle is not just easy but it’s fast compared to anything else. A normal big name franchise will see you breakeven in 5- 10 years, before any profits are made. A blog can take up to 1 year before any revenue starts generating. A Kindle publishing business on the otherhand can breakeven within months and 10 times your investment within 1 year.
  5. The risk is low – ROi is heavily dependant on your individual actions as a publisher, but Kindle publishing is so simple that most people end up getting similar results. This makes your business risk low. You will make mistakes when you first start publishing, but that’s all you have to fear. Mistakes. Not business failure.

Kindle publishing will be the first suggestion I make to anyone who wants to:

a. Make a full time salary online

b. Make a passive income stream in their lives

And who doesn’t have much:

a. Money

b. Business experience

How much can you make?

I say all of the above, because that was pretty much me when I first started Kindle publishing. I wanted to make passive income online but I had little money and no experience. It took me a year to reach $1000 per month and I now make $2000+ per month with my Kindle business.

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It’s 100% passive income, which means I don’t do anything to it on a daily or weekly basis. The most I ever do is check if things are still running smoothly and whether Amazon made changes to the Kindle store platform.

So if I can do it, I’m very confident everyone else can too.

If you’re like me, who only wants passive income and doesn’t believe in active income, then $5,000 per month would be the realistic maximum.

I know those aren’t crazy numbers you see everywhere else online, but unlike everywhere else online, I’m being very honest.

If the thought of making a passive income equivalent to a full time salary isn’t appealing and you’re looking for seven figure number potentials, then Kindle publishing isn’t right for you.

But if it DOES sound appealing, then great! Start today and don’t procrastinate. You can get started by learning from a video course to fast-track your success. 

How to self-publish on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform


Here’s a beginner’s guide to how someone can start self-publishing on Amazon’s Kindle store. I won’t get too technical here, because you can find a lot of information to start learning on this site. You can begin by clicking on one of the many links at the bottom of this article.

Step 1: Market research

Market research is vital to making money online, or making money in general. You need to confirm your product idea is wanted by people willing to pay for it. You can easily start making money with your first self-published book, if you do your market research correctly.

Market research includes, Kindle keyword research, competitor research, and product research. The most important of the three is Kindle keyword research because this will determine how well your ebook will rank on the search results in the Amazon Kindle store.

Step 2: Production

After confirming there is a demand for your book idea, and understand what your target customer wants from the book, it is time to create it. 

You may choose to write your own book if you wish, or you can also hire qualified ghostwriters to do the job for you. Hiring ghostwiriters means you can self-publish in a wider range of topics and niches, which gives your more earning potential. 

You’ll also need a book cover design ro complete your ebook. You can easily get a cover designed for you on Fiverr, or by hiring a freelance graphic designer online. 

Step 3: Marketing

 Once your ebook is ready for sale, you need to upload and submit it to Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform for review. This doesn’t take long, and its a good way to do some quality control on the Kindle store. 
 When you first publish your book, you’ll need to promote it to ensure all that market research gets put into good use. This is really important to get your book climbing the search results page fast so you can start making money with your book. 
There are many different marketing strategies you can use to get your book ranking high on search, each one has its merits and downfalls. It’ll be your job to identify which one is best for your Kindle keyword situation.


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This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Danielle

    Hi Winnie! Thanks for the article. This was really authentic and well written. I’m wondering what your thoughts are on how it is to sell on the kindle market now in 2020. Has it become much more challenging to launch new books and make $ than it was in 2018 when this article was written?

    1. Winnie MD

      I wouldn’t say the challenge has increased exponentially. But every industry gets increasingly competitive with time, which is actually a good thing, because if an industry doesn’t get more competitive than its a sign the industry is dying and you shouldn’t enter.

      Though to give you a clear answer. Yes it’s more difficult because it takes more resources to ensure the same success rate now.

  2. Lee

    Nice article. I didn’t know that self publishing in KDP cost $450 as first investment? is that for marketing or to print copies of paper book?

    1. Winnie MD

      It doesn’t have to cost $450. You can start publishing for free if you do everything yourself, or as cheap as $30 if you use certain strategies, but the safest estimate for the most hands-off experience is $250. And I always advise people to publish 2 books at a time to increase their odds of success and keep themselves motivated.

  3. waqas

    Great Article and simple way to understand

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