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Passive Income With Kindle Publishing

by David Ford on February 20, 2013 · 24 comments

Kindle publishing has been a great way for affiliates to diversify their business. It’s not a magic bullet,  but it can provide consistent, stable income if done correctly. In the forum we’ve been discussing how to approach Kindle publishing from a business perspective and not an affiliate perspective. There’s an important difference!

Publishing is one of those things that not many affiliates get right. That’s unfortunate because it has the potential to offer mostly passive income after the initial work is done. I wanted to give you some insights into getting started in this post.

What is Kindle Publishing?

Come on, really? ;) Kindle publishing is nothing more than selling a book on the Amazon marketplace. In short – you write a book, publish it on Amazon, and collect the commissions. Of course, it isn’t quite that easy but still close.

An Affiliate Walked Into a Bar..

…to write a Kindle book…ok, I’m obviously not going to earn much money writing comedy books, but think about how an average affiliate would approach Kindle publishing. They would probably do something with spun content, PLR, cheap overseas writers, etc. To make up for the lack of quality, they would just do hundreds and hundreds of books.

This approach won’t work well, if at all. First, Amazon is pretty strict about the PLR thing. Second, real people will actually review your books. Your books probably won’t get a ton of reviews (at least initially) so if people see a 1 star review you can expect sales to grind to a halt. It’s also safe to assume that Amazon will become stricter on publishers in the future.

Kindle publishing is not something to do unless you are willing to put in the work to make it viable long term. This means (to some of you) it’s going to be boring, you won’t see a lot of money for a while, and it will feel like you aren’t making progress. This is something you build over time that has the potential to last ‘forever’ with almost no upkeep or maintenance.

What’s the potential?

Will you become a millionaire publishing books on Amazon? Doubtful. Can you make a very steady, and relatively easy 4 and maybe even 5 figures per month? Absolutely! It will take months to get there though. This isn’t like an affiliate campaign where you can hit your first $100/day in a short matter of time.

What do I write about?

You can write about literally anything, but some stuff works better than others. A novel might take you a long time to write, where a basic ‘how-to’ book might go much faster.

This is key – You’re not trying to write one magic book to make all your sales. Some of your books will sell well, others will flop. You want to be constantly writing and publishing books. No one single book will generate enough sales to make it worth having just that one. Another benefit of writing lots of books is cross promotional possibilities. You can actually have a significant effect on your books exposure through various promotional efforts in the Kindle marketplace.

Spend some time researching what people write. Download some books and see how they’re structured, how long they are, etc. Keep in mind, a lot of the self published books are crap so don’t necessarily copy their style.

But I hate writing!

This is probably not what you want to hear, but it’s the truth – you can outsource your writing but it’s not going to work well. The problem is that most books won’t make a ton on their own, so what you would have to pay to have something (of the quality it needs to be) written will be more than the book would potentially make for years.

That doesn’t mean you have to do all the writing yourself. You might be able to partner with someone and each do half, you might have a relative who’s a good writer, etc.

There are tools to make writing faster too, like Dragon Naturally Speaking. Once you get into a good writing rhythm, it actually doesn’t take that long to crank something out.

Not all books need to be super long. Spend some time looking at Kindle books, and you’ll discover some formats that enable you to put a book together relatively fast.

There is so much potential, not just with selling the books themselves but promoting products inside the books and building email lists. All that is stuff for a possible future post! In the meantime, you can read more about Kindle publishing here

If this sounds interesting to you, I would encourage you to start writing and publishing books asap. You’ll look back on this post in 6 months and be glad you did.

full disclosure

About the author...

– who has written 1 posts on

David Ford has been involved in affiliate marketing for over 10 years. He is the owner and founder of the forum.

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1 Gaurav Bidasaria

I recently started with kindle and the best thing you can do is keep on pumping books after books but have a marketing plan of action in place. Amazon does a great job of marketing but you need to put some efforts to get amazon’s eye balls to your books.

Forums and blogs are a great place to start and slowly you can build it up from there. Small or big, you must have a plan. Period.

2 Matt Baran


3 David Ford

Definitely! People get too hung up on perfecting one book and then get discouraged when it doesn’t sell well. It’s a numbers game for sure..but you still need to keep the quality up.

4 Donnie Plunkett

I have been working on an investing book for a while. Hopefully reading this article helps kickstart it for me.

5 Steve Smith

Great advice… for 2005!

6 David Ford

Haha! It’s cool that, unlike most things in online marketing, Kindle publishing remains steady.

7 HipHopper

You are late to the game. Ruck talked about this a year ago.

8 Matt Baran

I wouldn’t think its that bad to write a book. Look if you have a set blogging schedule (say one post per day) set an extra half hour aside and churn out a page of your kindle book per day. 3 months and you have a passive income stream for the future.

I would think the harder part would be to differentiate yourself from the 10000 make money ebooks out there.

9 David

That’s a great way to think about it. Write consistently a little bit and becomes less daunting. Like you said, you’ll look back in a few months and have books written.

Who says you have to write MMO ebooks? Not one of my Kindle books is a make money online type book.

10 Elvis Michael

To help alleviate the “writing yourself Vs. outsourcing” issue, it’s worth noting that some genres/topics do not necessarily require a vast amount of words to be considered high quality on the Kindle. For example, my main focus is erotica/romance, and I can personally say that 4,000 to 6,000 words has become the norm when it comes to word count. This is a blessing for those who absolutely hate writing or have a short attention span. This can often prevent you from outsourcing your books.

Additionally, factual (non-fiction) books are only as long as they need to be. Cover all the information there is to cover and ensure the reader would be satisfied — whether the book ends at 3,000 words or 50,000 words.

The main thing about getting the most out of your Kindle books is research. Analyze which topics are constantly ranking well within Amazon. For example, look into the “Amazon Best Sellers” rank located within the Product Details section. If you notice multiple books with a ranking of, say, #10,000 or fewer, this topic may qualify as a potential winner. I wrote a quick erotic book and published it at the beginning of February at 99 cents, and so far it’s made me $18 this very same month. I had chosen a certain theme that seems to be trending right now. Imagine if I write 5 more books under that same theme, each one delivering $20 every month. I could easily give myself a raise by $100 in a single month (because, again, they are fairly short.)

Lastly, also publish every single book in multiple places, including B&N and Smashwords, which distributes your books to even MORE outlets. Once your book is all over these places, you could potentially make $30 to $50+ every month with that one.

Hope this helps anyone who is just starting out with the whole Kindle publishing journey. I’d love to hear from everyone’s experience.


11 David Ford

Great comments Elvis! I agree you should publish at all those outlets. I get about 90% of my sales through Amazon, but that other 10% is basically free money. Since the book is already written, it only takes a few minutes to post it to B&N, etc.

12 Maurice

im starting to notice a guest posts Wednesday theme going on here.

13 Myles

Is this information really that old to you guys? This is all news to me, guess I better step my game up.

14 Dario Petkovic

Great content, gets you slightly pumped up however your content really needs to be awesome to have any chance and still, nothing is guaranteed by a long shot. It is hard work and nor idea about meaningful returns

15 David Ford

Your content does need to be good, but it doesn’t need to take forever to write. Some types of books I can do in a few days. A few days to make something that can make money for years down the road is pretty cool!

16 faisal

Kindle has a nice platform to allow for publishing quickly.

17 Tung Tran

Kindle publishing is the killer idea to make passive income. But I don’t treat it as a main stream of income. I’m working on my first ever book and hopefully it will come out soon this year. Thank you David for the awesome article!

18 Michael

David, thanks for the insight! I have been looking at publishing what I’ve written in the Amazon store, but need to do more editing. Writing the actual book is the hardest part, though. Once it’s up, the promotion is easy!

19 Rio Breville

Very interesting article. I just started earning a good bunch of money with Amazon and am thinking what to do next. Now that I quit my job and have enough monthly income coming from Amazon affiliate program I am thinking of exploring new ideas: Clickbank and other affiliate networks paying better fees than Amazon or writing some Kindle books (how to guides mainly).

Thank you for the insights.

20 Kevin

I really enjoyed your blog on the subject of passive income. You obviously have great experience and would probably be an effective Coach and Mentor to those who want to take ACTION. I intend to bookmark this site and come back to view it often. Thanks again and keep up the great work!

21 Keral Patel

Writing a book to promote other stuff is a great idea. Gives double the returns.

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