How to Make Your Kindle Book Successful

I am not a bestselling author, nor do I play one on television.  I do, however, take a great deal of interest in how those who have managed to make it big with their self-published Kindle books have managed to pull it off.  It’s a tough environment and authors don’t have the soft of support system that traditional publishing offers, so there is often a great deal of creativity that needs to come into play.  If you are looking to follow in the footsteps of the KDP success stories that we have seen so far, however, there are a few things that are best kept in mind.

Treat Your Audience Well

You already know that social networking is considered the key to self-publishing success at the moment.  What a surprisingly large number of authors seem to think this means is that you need to send out scores of random connection requests on Facebook and Twitter, then repeatedly advertise your book over and over again.  This is the wrong way to do things.

Anybody who has access to a Kindle will already know that there are more eBooks out there than they can ever hope to read.  Make yourself stand out by doing something besides badgering.  Answer questions, share anecdotes, build up a conversation about your writing process, or just offer the occasional preview of your newest work.  If you treat your readers like people, they will be more interested in what you have to say than any 140-character ad could accomplish.

Be Inclusive

Unlike with traditional publishing, you will not accomplish much on a book tour.  Instead, harness the power of the internet to make your connections as virtual as your Kindle publication.  Set up online gatherings, have a community forum on your personal site, make a Facebook fan page, and generally just keep your options open.  Under no circumstances should you decide to buy into one social network at the expense of all the others.  It doesn’t take much extra effort to at least cross-post news or check comments in a variety of places and you cast a wider net that way.

Build A Network

It is important to go beyond direct advertising as well.  One of the best ways to accomplish this is by developing connections with other authors.  Readers tend to take their favorite authors’ recommendations seriously, so it is definitely possible to form a circle of reliably interconnected readership with your peers.  This is mainly just a way of directing the force that is the customer recommendation, but that can be tricky to get a hold on.

Write Well

This should go without saying, but often needs to be said.  You are writing for an audience.  Whether it is a Kindle eBook or a paperback, that audience expects a certain amount of professionalism from you in return for their money.  This means that you should exercise some care with your work.  Give it an extra

Kindle FAQ

The Kindle team over at Amazon.com’s Kindle discussion forums have posted this FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) up on the message boards. They answer a lot of questions if your interested in purchasing a Kindle, or if your interested in learning about the Kindle and how it works.

In an effort to make finding information about Kindle as easy as possible, the Kindle team has created this forum for you to post Kindle-related questions. Due to the volume of responses, we will not be able to reply to each individual one, but every effort will be made to address the most commonly asked questions and get you answers. Our goal is to satisfy your curiosity, make you an informed consumer, optimize your experience as a Kindle user, and learn how we can make that experience even better.

If you need a more immediate response, please email customer service at [email protected] or use the “Contact Us” feature to speak directly to a Kindle representative located here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/di

splay.html?nodeId=200212360.

We would like to start by pointing you to our Kindle Support page, where you can find frequently asked questions (FAQs) and guides on using Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/kindlesupport

Here are some answers to a few common questions we’ve found across the forums.

Q: Is it possible to copy text from kindle to paste in other documents?
A: Yes. All of the bookmarks, highlights, notes, and clippings you have made while reading content on Kindle are saved in a “My Clippings” file which you can find in your Home screen. The contents of the “My Clippings” file are available to read later or to copy to your computer if you want to further edit or send them to someone else. The “My Clippings” file is stored as a TXT file so you can easily import it into one of your computer applications using the provided USB cable or an SD card. For more information on clipping text, visit our help pages: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200127490&#clipping

Q: When can we read PDFs, please?
A: PDF document conversion is experimental. The experimental category represents the features we are working on to enhance the Kindle experience even further. Due to PDF’s fixed layout format, some complex PDF files might not format correctly on your Kindle. Each Kindle has a unique e-mail address, allowing you and your contacts to send PDF attachments for conversion into a Kindle compatible format. For more information on personal document conversion, visit our help pages: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200140600

Q: Can I buy a Kindle book, and, instead of delivering to my Kindle reader, push to my friend’s Kindle reader as a gift?
Q: How can I read books that I legally own on my different kindles? Can I? Should I be able to?
A: At this time, you cannot share or give your Kindle books to Kindles that are not associated with your Amazon.com account. If you are the owner of multiple Kindles, or have multiple Kindles registered to your account (i.e wife, husband), your books can be re-downloaded to each of these Kindles, up to a limit of 6 Kindles. Subscriptions to periodicals can only be downloaded to one registered Kindle.

Q: When is the Kindle going to be available elsewhere in the world? If I buy one in the US, can I use it when traveling abroad?
A: Currently, Kindle is only available in the US. Whispernet wireless delivery is also only available in the US (see a coverage map here: http://www.showmycoverage.com/mycoverage.jsp?id=A921ZON). But Kindle can also be used without activating the wireless feature while you are traveling outside the US or wireless service area. All content you purchase from the Kindle Store is saved to Your Media Library on Amazon.com. This allows you to download your books, newspapers and magazines to your computer and transfer items via Kindle’s USB connection. For more information about moving content to and from your Kindle, visit our help pages: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200127510&#manager

Q: with 91,000+ volumes to choose from how come only 1 book by John Grisham? Are some top authors not giving rights for kindle to market them?
A: We are constantly working with both publishers and authors to improve our selection of titles available in the Kindle store, and it is possible that we can use your feedback to help expand the available selection. I encourage you to check the Amazon Kindle store again at a later date to see if the item is available: www.amazon.com/kindlestore

Q: I know Kindle allows you to adjust [text] to an extent, but I from the illustrations I can’t determine how it would really appear. Any information on this?
A: Kindle offers six different font sizes which correspond approximately to the following Microsoft Word standard font sizes:
1 = 7pt
2 = 9pt
3 = 11 pt
4 = 14 pt
5 = 17 pt
6 = 20 pt

Q: What’s the USB cable for? I’m wondering if you can’t just hook it up to your computer and drag files…?
A: If you are traveling outside of a wireless area, you can use the USB cord to copy files from your computer to read on Kindle. All content you purchase from the Kindle Store is saved to Your Media Library on Amazon.com. This allows you to download your books, newspapers and magazines to your computer and transfer items via Kindle’s USB connection. You can also use the USB connection with your computer to transfer personal files. Your Kindle can natively read the following file types: documents in text (.txt), and Amazon Kindle (.azw), and unprotected Mobipocket books (.prc, .mobi), Audible Audio books (.aa), MP3 Music files (.mp3).

Lastly, you can e-mail attachments to be converted and then e-mailed back to your computer, which you can then transfer to your Kindle. The following file formats can be converted via e-mail and viewed on your Kindle: unprotected Microsoft Word (.DOC), Structured HTML (.HTML, .HTM), JPEG (.JPEG, .JPG), GIF (.GIF), PNG (.PNG), BMP (.BMP). Conversion of PDF files (.PDF) is experimental. For more information on using Kindle with your computer, please visit our help pages: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200137060

Q: How do I read in the dark after my partner has gone to bed?
A: eInk does not use a backlight, which allows us to give Kindle the appearance and readability of printed paper, even in bright sunlight. Customers who want to read at night can use any form of bedside lamp or purchase the Kindle’s reading light accessory here: http://www.amazon.com/Mighty-Bright-XtraFlex2-Light-Black/dp/B000TXZIDM

Q: What if you already have a subscription to paper magazines such as Time or Newsweek? If I wanted to read it on the Kindle, would I also have to pay additional to read it on Kindle?
A: Kindle Editions of periodicals are formatted and optimized to read on Kindle. At this time, Kindle Edition subscriptions are sold separately from the publications’ related online and/or physical versions.
You can view and order the Kindle Edition of the New York Times directly from the Kindle Store or from our online store here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/ref=kinw_ddp/B000GFK7L6

Q: How many times are you allowed to download a particular book to your kindle? For instance if I run out of room (in the off chance this happens), I delete a book to make room for another book, and later on decide I want to read that book again, how many times can I go back to the website and get that book back onto the Kindle?
A: All of your Kindle books are automatically stored on Amazon.com in Your Media Library. So, you can remove books from Kindle’s internal memory (for example, to free up space and/or organize your Home screen) and re-download them again – as many times as you want. You can do all this directly from your Kindle using Content Manager. For more information on moving and removing content, visit our help pages: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200127510&#manager

Suggestion from a customer (Thank you!):
A number of people have complained that it’s impossible to close the flap of the Kindle’s cover without pressing one of the navigation buttons. I’ve found an easy solution for this: I simply put my Kindle to sleep before closing the cover. To do this, simply press Alt+AA as though you were waking it from sleep. (I wonder how many other undocumented features we’re going to discover!)

Q: Will the kiindle be able to play audio books or is this in the works for future?
A: With Kindle, you are able to download and enjoy thousands of audiobooks from Audible.com. Due to their file size, audiobooks are downloaded to your PC over your existing Internet connection and then transferred to Kindle using the included USB 2.0 cable. Listen via Kindle’s speaker or plug in your headphones for private listening.

Q: Can I read kindle books on my laptop?
A: Kindle books, newspapers, magazines and blogs are formatted to be optimized for reading on the Kindle. You will not be able to read these Kindle (.azw) files on your PC.

Q: Where can I search for and find books for my Kindle on Amazon?
A: We built a Kindle Store both on the Kindle device and on the website at www.amazon.com/kindlestore. For those Kindle buyers waiting for your shipment, you can get started building your library by purchasing content from the Kindle Store on the website (much like you’d find and buy a physical book on Amazon). Your Kindle content will be ready to read right out of the box.

Q: What is the Kindle’s return policy?
A: You can return Kindle for a full refund within 30 days. Click here to get more info on our return policy: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200144510

Q: What do I need to know about purchasing Kindle as a gift for someone else?
A: You can designate a gift purchase when you are going through the checkout process on Amazon. Designating your Kindle purchase as a gift ensures that the device is not automatically registered to your Amazon.com account, which means that purchases from the Kindle Store made by the gift recipient will not be charged to you, and prices for the Kindle purchase will not appear on the packing slip. When the gift recipient opens Kindle and turns it on for the first time, he or she will need to register Kindle to an active Amazon.com account.

Q: What are wireless features and corresponding charges? So, are there any other charges beyond what I pay for books, newspapers, magazines and blogs?
A: Here’s a breakdown:
– Shopping and downloading from the Kindle Store: FREE
– Wireless delivery via e-mail of personal documents to Kindle: ($.10 per attached document).
– Experimental Basic Web: This feature is currently FREE while under development.
– Experimental NowNow: This feature is currently FREE while under development.

Q: What’s NowNow?
A: (from a customer review) You pose a question and hit submit. Within a few minutes, you get several responses – for free sent to your Kindle. This was extremely helpful when I was away from a computer and just needed a quick answer. This was actually easier than googling because I got three very good answers for every question that I asked.

Q: I’m not clear on what file formats the Kindle supports and where charges apply for conversion . .?
A: (from Computerworld)The Kindle can read only four text-document file formats: .AZW (Kindle-specific), .TXT, .MOBI and .PRC. In addition, every Kindle gets its own e-mail address for receiving Amazon-converted Word, HTML, TXT, JPEG, GIF, PNG, and BMP files for 10 cents per document. You send the original to your Kindle’s address and your device receives the converted document (only e-mail addresses you authorize can send to your Kindle).

Source: Amazon.com Kindle Discussion Forums