Is it possible to make a living from Kindle publishing?

I’ve published three Kindle books that are e-books.

I’m not sure I’ll be able to write an article about them after I’ve published them, but I’m curious to know if I’ll be able to live off the sales of my Kindle books.

Of course, to each his own, you never know until you try. However, as I mentioned in my book here, it’s certainly a tough situation for everyone.

It’s usually hard to win awards and become a novelist, so if someone is thinking about taking a shortcut with a Kindle book, it’s best to stop unless you have a good strategy.

It’s much easier to publish blog posts and other articles for free and make money from ad revenue.

In this article, I’m going to explain this area of the story based on the number of copies published and other factors.

Circulation and Revenue

First, here’s a boring but important “money story”.

When author Naoki Momota tweeted a few years ago, it went something like this.

“Nowadays, novels hardly sell at all. If 10,000 copies are sold, the publishers are in a world of hooray. So, if a book sells 10,000 copies, the royalties to the author are around 1.5 million yen. If it takes him a year to write that book, he will earn 1.5 million yen a year. It’s hard to feed your wife and children with this.”

A simple calculation shows that if one million copies are sold, it translates into 150 million yen. However, if you sell all at once, your income will increase and so will your taxes.

Kindle publishing is better than print media, but it’s not so easy.

General situation

First, here’s the status of print and e-book publishing.

As expected, paper-based books are still four times more popular than e-books. While it’s declining by 5-10% each year, ebooks aren’t making up for the decline. Both combined, circulation is down.

And when it comes to e-books, comics make up more than 80% of the total. This area is consistent with the situation I’m experiencing.

As you can imagine, even though the Kindle accounts for more than 20% of ebooks, it looks like it’s going to be hard to fight in print.

I have a gut plan, as described in my book here, but I don’t know if it will work until I really try it.

So, it’s a situation that is quite fun to try.

Those who fight the good fight.

Overall, Kindle publishing is a tough business, but there are people who are active in it.

In Japan, “Money Classroom” is famous for selling more than 10,000 copies.

By the way, if the total number of copies published exceeds one million, they are inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Of course, there are people who have had success with Kindle publishing because publishers weren’t willing to take them on. I admire them for carefully self-researching what kind of book they should write to sell and succeeding in doing so. I honestly envy them.

What makes these people unique is that they don’t rely on blogs or social networking sites to achieve this. Of course, they also utilize Amazon and other sales, but that’s a big deal.

What we’ll do.

Should we, like the members of the Kindle Million Club, rely solely on our own marketing skills and Amazon sales to increase sales?

For me, I think it’s a good idea to use social networking and blogging instead of thinking too rigidly.

However, what you should be prepared for is that, unlike blogs and social networking sites, the number of buyers is small.

I have achieved 100,000 PV/month on my blog, but this is because I can access it for free.

You should be aware that there are not many people who would be willing to pay money to read your blog.

It’s also advisable to be clear about your intended audience. For example, this blog is made up of short sentences and short paragraphs.

This is a style that is uncomfortable for traditional readers. For more information on this topic, please refer to Kensuu, the No. 2 note author.

Come to think of it, some people say that you can read a lantern (light novel) these days by hiding the bottom half of the book. You can actually check it out, but it’s made up of really short sentences.

(Well, I was instructed at work to write in 80 words or less.)

A kindle is easy to buy if you have an Amazon account, so the threshold is low in that sense. However, it is still an e-book. It’s important to take advantage of that characteristic to provide readers with as much satisfaction as possible.

Wrap Up

In this way, it looks like it’s still in its start-up phase, even for Kindle.

If you do well, you could make a living from Kindle books alone, like those who make a living from ad revenue posted on blogs and Youtube.

However… Japan is a very special place.

I feel that the future of Amazon Japan and Kindle authors will depend on how we can overcome this peculiarity.

Well, I guess that’s about it for now. See you soon.

Writer: Sei Yotsuba