How likely is it for a new author to make money with the Kindle Singles program?

Answer by Candace Vianna:

A lot of your success is going to be tied to the category you’re writing in. Kindle Singles are limited to short story and novella length works. They are not accepting: how-to manuals, public domain works, reference books, travel guides, children’s books or story collections in this category. Submission guidelines can be found on the Kindle Singles page. Also you have to pitch your manuscript to an Amazon editor to be included in the collection. On the upside, due to tighter quality control requirements Amazon pays a flat 70% royalty even for works priced below the more general price caps. Although there are fewer competing works due to screening, the works that are there tend to be better written as a whole.

I just published my first novel a couple of weeks ago (it’s too long for the Singles category,) and my sales have been increasing at a fairly consistent rate as I get more and more reviews. One of the programs that has really helped me is the KDP Select program. It’s part of Amazon’s subscription service, kind of like Netflix for books. Every time a subscriber reads at least 10% of my book I get paid about the same amount I would get in royalties from a direct sale.

My advice to you, is to choose the category you write in carefully. Make sure there is a market. Self-help, get rich quick type books tend not to sale well. Pick a few books in the categories you’re interested in writing about, and look at their sales ranking. If the top selling books have numbers in the six figures, this tells you there probably isn’t a strong market for your topic. I chose to write in the romance market because it is one of the most active. Currently I’m ranked #28,972 out of the millions of books being sold in all categories.   Mysteries also seem to be a very strong category.

One other thing I would advise is to write well. It doesn’t matter how strong the market is if you have a bad product…. Good luck and happy writing.

How likely is it for a new author to make money with the Kindle Singles program?

Talk to me, dammit!

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