Makes Amazon Self Publishing money

Earning money with ebooks: 10 important questions and answers for beginners


Writing ebooks and thus creating a potentially lucrative source of income has become very uncomplicated. Because there are some platforms on the Internet on which you can distribute or sell your ebooks. Amazon's KDP platform is particularly popular with ebook authors.

The Kindle eReader came onto the market about 5 years ago and has been one of the most popular readers ever and really sparked the hype about digital books. The number of Kindle ebooks that Amazon sells for this reader on its marketplace is increasing all the time; the number of new products in the last 30 days alone is a good 100,000.

If you want to start as a Kindle ebook author, it is very easy, because Kindle Direct Publishing allows you to upload your Kindle ebooks to Amazon and offer them for sale without much difficulty.

Amazon's KDP platform is just one of several ways to sell your ebooks online. If you don't just want Kindle users as a target group, you can also offer your digital works for sale on epubli, XinXii, Hugendubel, booker .de, etc.


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In this article, I do not (yet) want to present various ebook sales platforms (I plan to do so soon), but rather address various points and questions from prospective ebook authors who come up with the topic.

Do I need a publisher to sell an ebook?

Many people think of publishers when they think of books and ebooks, because most books are printed and published by publishers. This is why some ebook authors believe that they need a publisher for their ebook. That's not the case.

You can offer and sell your ebook online without a publisher.

Do I need an ISBN for my ebook?

No, that's not necessary. Amazon awards an ASIN for its products - and Kindle ebooks are also part of this. An ISBN number is required for German shops and you can get it free of charge. by Tolino Media. An ISBN is only mandatory for print editions.

Where can I publish my ebooks?

There are some interesting platforms that you should check out: First there is the Kindle Direct Publishing Platform from Amazon (KDP), which is becoming more and more popular for publishing ebooks, which on the other hand also means that the competition is always going on gets bigger.

Using the bestsellers listed by Amazon in the various categories, you can find out which topics are very popular with Kindle ebook buyers.

Other platforms for the distribution of ebooks are epubli, XinXii, Digistore24, bue, Hugendubel, Tolino, neobooks, feiyr and many more. The individual platforms such as B. epubli offer authors a sales network. So if you sell your ebook on the platform, it will also be offered on numerous other book portals.

Also keep in mind that the Kindle ebooks are only sold on Amazon and can only be read with the Kindle e-reader. Amazon naturally endeavors to bind its self-publishers to itself.

So there is the Amazon “Select” program: Anyone who takes part as a Kindle author is not allowed to sell their ebook anywhere else, but only exclusively on Amazon. With the Select program, Amazon also offers various advertising options, such as 5 free days per quarter where you can give away your Kindle ebook or participation in “Kindle Unlimited”, Amazon's rental program. Also interesting: authors who belong to the Kindle top sellers regularly receive bonus payments of around 7,500 euros. The exclusive Select binding is always valid for one quarter.

To start with, it is advisable to start on Amazon, as the KDP program is very transparent and you can use the Select program to make a name for yourself with some readers in a short time.

How extensive does my ebook have to be?

The size of an ebook is initially not decisive. So-called niche ebooks can also contain 40 pages. But the price should match the scope of the content so that no one is disappointed by the readers.

With the Kindle Ebook you can change the font size, i.e. reduce or enlarge it, so that only an average value is given for the book size.

If you want, you can also specify in the ebook content description how many A4-size pages the Word script comprised. So every interested party can imagine the scope pretty precisely.

Can I also publish ebooks with a pseudonym?

Yes, you can also sell ebooks under a pseudonym or artist name. If you plan to do this on Amazon, your real name must be entered in the bank details so that you can also receive payments.

What should be considered: You should not choose an existing author name or a name of a public person as a pseudonym. It is also not allowed to use an academic title such as “Dr.” in your pseudonym. or "Prof." to record.

If you want to get yourself an original artist name, the best thing to do is to use Google to test whether it has not yet been used. You can manage up to three pseudonyms in parallel using Amazon's author management. If you are unsure about the choice, you should consult a lawyer.

What does the imprint look like?

The ebook needs an imprint, and that's where the pseudonym becomes critical. Because normally every work offered to the public in Germany should contain a note that can be used to contact the author personally. This would not be possible with a pseudonym.

If you do not want to give your real name under any circumstances, a publisher should be interposed who is listed as the publisher in the imprint. Otherwise you should publish ebooks with your real name.

The imprint should contain your contact details with your address and an e-mail address, the authors of the images used in the ebook (if you are not the author yourself, such as the cover image) and a note that the work is protected by copyright .

What do I have to consider with regard to content rights?

You have to be the author of the ebook, i. H. you should not copy any passages anywhere, use other people's pictures and forget to list the author, etc. Neither should you distribute content that is harmful to minors or extremist content or insult anyone's personal rights.

Likewise, when using primary and secondary (research) literature, you should name the sources in footnotes or endnotes.

There are also a few things to consider when it comes to quotations. So the quote must not be adopted for itself, but should serve a purpose. Everything that has to be considered when citing can be found in an article by medi en rechts -urhe ber rechts .de.

This topic is quite complex and requires extensive research into what you can and cannot do. In an emergency, you should seek legal advice.

What else do you need to consider when writing the ebook?

You can easily write the ebook in a word processing program such as Word or Writer. Of course, there are also special programs that make writing books or e-books a little easier, but a classic word processing program is also a good start.

Once the ebook is ready, you should thoroughly proofread it or have it read (four eyes are more than two) in order to track down spelling and grammatical errors, format the document and add a table of contents in front of it. With a Kindle ebook, you should output the automatically generated table of contents without page numbers.

You can find everything else you should consider when creating a Kindle e-book in the help area of ​​your KDP user account.

The Word document is converted into the appropriate format when it is uploaded to Amazon, you don't have to do anything yourself. Then, in the preview, you can see what the document will look like in a Kindle e-reader. A few improvements may then be necessary.

Cover: The cover image should have the size of 2,500 x 4,000 pixels so that it also looks high-quality in the zoom function. Also make sure that the title and the image are legible and easy to recognize in the small preview format (90 × 144 pixels). Therefore, I recommend using only one large picture for the cover and not putting many small and the title in large letters on the cover.

Author page: One marketing tool that you should use is the author page, which you can set up for free via Amazon's Author Central. Here you should introduce yourself personally and, above all, upload a high-quality photo of yourself.

How much can I charge for my ebook?

The pricing of your ebook is entirely up to you. You should keep in mind that you give a gross price on Amazon and other sales portals, i.e. 19 percent VAT is included in your price.

If you subtract it, you will have the net sales price and you will receive a maximum of 70 percent of this in the event of a sale. Then the gross price at Amazon must also be between 2.99 and 9.99 euros. If the price is higher or lower than the two values, you will only receive 35 percent of the net sales price.

Example: You sell your Kindle Ebook for 3.99 euros. If you now deduct the 19 percent VAT, then 3.35 euros net remain. From this amount, Amazon deducts a few cents for the file transfer of the download (the amount depends on the file size of your file, approx. 12 cents per MB). From the 3.23 euros you have to subtract the 30 percent for Amazon, which is another 97 cents. This leaves you with 2.26 euros per copy sold.

Of course you want to earn a lot with your ebook, but if you look at the average Kindle ebook prices on Amazon, you will notice that many of them cost little. Most of the time the authors are still unknown and then start with a low price between 1.99 and 2.99 euros.

You should stick to that too. Your first ebook on Amazon should be in this price range, unless it is a comprehensive textbook in which you have put a lot of research and other effort. Then the price can be higher.

If your first work is around 100 pages long, then you should orient yourself to a lower price level.

With epubli and XinXii you also get 70 percent of the net sales price, with XinXii the price of the ebook must be at least 1.99 euros. I have not yet taken a close look at what the author remuneration looks like on the other platforms. For an article on this topic, I will get precise information.

Do I have to pay tax on the income from ebook sales?

Yes, of course :-). The sales count as income and must be taxed accordingly. You should clarify more details with your tax advisor.


In terms of technology, publishing the first e-book is not rocket science. Nevertheless, certain points, especially legal ones, must be observed in advance and you should also make a few thoughts about the price.

To start with, you should publish your ebook on Amazon, because no platform is bigger or better known.

In another article I will shed light on which platforms are also worthwhile for selling ebooks. Just like marketing strategies to increase your and your ebooks popularity.

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