Monday, April 30

$100+ On Amazon Three Months Running

I really enjoy the idea of constant, recurring income. Just the thought that I might write songs now that will someday  help my wife go shopping at Kohls long after I'm gone makes me feel warm and fuzzy. Like a legacy without having to save for it. But it also feels like any good fortune you might have in this kind of income could easily be jinxed. That's why I have not taken the time to find out how I am currently making $100+ each month with Amazon as an author or associate, and I just hope my ignorance is bliss for months to come.

I'd been making about $30-$40 a month with Amazon for a long time, selling maybe ten or so books, and it was a decent side income without having to do anything (except initially write the books). I monitored the sales a bit for the first year or two, and it was my ACT-like Catcher in the Rye teaching guide that did the best. Then I got some poor reviews from people who apparently believed a teaching guide is supposed to include a copy of the book. Surprisingly, my family and friends who could have come to rescue me by bumping the stars up a little just ignored my pleas. That's fine, I figured, since $30 a month wasn't a big deal, anyhow.

Then I suddenly made $200 for two months in a row, and then another $150 or so, and I'm wondering if anything changed. Perhaps one of my other books got more popular, or people just blew off the low star-rating on my best seller. My wife wanted me to check on it, but I figure as soon as I check on anything, I'll ruin the momentum. Actually, it's gone down each month since the initial influx, so the momentum is probably lost. Maybe some teacher recommended it in a forum post that is getting fewer and fewer hits. Or it was a different book entirely. It doesn't really matter, since I'm not going to change anything.

I know I should be out there marketing my Amazon items, and I tried it for a while, but I felt like I was spending too much time posting to websites for almost no return. Maybe that work paid off in someone seeing something a few years later, but I think I've moved on from trying to add new articles until I add a new book or ten. It's nice to know the writing is always there for someone to purchase and Amazon to take its cut. Actually, I'm totally good with it if I start selling 10 times the number of books per month. In the old days, I would have had to have ordered a truckload of books to store in my garage and try to sell down at the beach. I'm sure more than one Jacksonville author has tried that method, but Amazon is probably best for me.

Oh, and advice for potential Amazon authors? Write several books and get them on there--you can't sell them if they are not on the site. Promote them, but not just with family and friends, since those people probably think you suck at writing, anyhow. Hope for the best. Don't be surprised if the book that sells the most isn't the one you thought would sell the most, and don't assume that adding something very similar will also sell nearly as much. There's probably some kind of algorithm out there that decides all this. Like the algorithm that got you to this article.

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