As I told you yesterday, I had been somewhat disappointed with my sales results on Amazon. First, I did a bunch of Kindle books and sales were steady, but slow. I made a little money almost every day, but nothing like what I expected.
Next, I came out with paperback books on Amazon. When I published my all time best selling book “49 Ways to Make a Living” in paperback on Amazon, sales were pretty good at first, but later became very disappointing. As part of publishing this new edition of the great selling book, I changed the title of the book, removing “Philippines” from the title, so that the book would sell better for other locations in the world.
The more I thought about it, I figured that removing “Philippines” from the title was a mistake. People in other countries had never heard of the book, so they were not familiar with it and were not buying the new book “49 Ways to Make a Living Without a Job” – and people in the Philippines noticed that it was no longer called “49 Ways to Make a Living in the Philippines” and must be figuring that this new book did not really apply to the Philippines. Changing the title of the book had the exact opposite effect that I was looking for.
So, what would I do?
As I also pointed out yesterday, I had started following another expat writer on Amazon. She had written multiple books about how to become an expat in various countries. I could see that she was doing quite well in sales, I figured that she had residual income going of about $1500 per month. That is not bad as supplemental income on an ongoing basis.
I started thinking that there must be a way that I could apply what she was doing to my own products and really boost my income from Amazon publishing.
The more I thought about it, the words of my friends and reviewers of my book kept playing in my head:
Your book is not about earning a living in the Philippines… every idea in the book can work anywhere in the world…
Hmm… Quickly I realized that I could come out with many different books instead of just one. I previously had 49 Ways to Make a Living in the Philippines. Then I changed it to 49 Ways to Make a Living Without a Job. What if I had 49 Ways to make a Living in…. Costa Rica? Panama? Thailand? Ecuador? Spain? and so on. I saw no reason why it would not work, so I figured I would give it a try.
One thing that I realized, though, was that it would be a big job to write a new book for every country that I wanted to include. I had come up with a list of 25 countries to make the book for, plus the “Without a Job” version. So, I needed to write 25 more books, so I figured I better hunker down and get to work.
But, the words kept haunting me…
Every idea in the book can work anywhere in the world…
Hmm… again. A thought hit me. Does every book have to be completely different? Well, maybe not… I started researching again.
I found out that it was a common practice that publishing houses would publish the exact same book in different countries using different titles. For example, a publisher might publish a book in the USA called “The President’s Lover” (I am just making this up, so if any such book exists, it is only by coincidence). Then, they might publish the exact same book in Britain and entitle it “The Prime Minister’s Mistress”. Same book, two different titles, because one will sell better in the USA and the other title will sell better in the UK. Makes sense to me, and it is a common thing that publishers do.
So, I came up with a plan. I did have a few specific ideas that would apply to some countries and not to others. So, I wrote about 10 more chapters (10 more ways to make a living), so now I had 59 Ways to Make a Living. I included 49 ideas in each of the books, so there was some duplication, but no two books were exactly the same, just similar.
Yes, there is duplication of some ideas from book to book, but the truth is, it is very doubtful that people will buy more than one of the books. In other words, is somebody going to buy the Spain edition and also the Thailand edition? It might happen, but it is doubtful that anybody would do that. In fact, most people would never even see that a similar book is available for multiple different countries. If somebody does get duplicate books, they can always be issued a refund. But, I doubt that would even happen, and as I said, it is a common practice in many publishing houses.
A month or so ago I launched all of these new books and now I have 26 books of “49 Ways”. So far, about half of my sales are for the “Without a Job” edition, and the other half of sales are mixed among the other titles. So, in other words, I basically doubled my sales of the book overnight. I get a smile on my face every time that I see a Spain book sell, or a Thailand. I have sold several copies of the Italy version.
Why would this increase sales?
Well, simply because it helps people find the book easier. For example, if somebody searches Amazon for “how to earn money in Italy” they won’t find the book if the title is “49 Ways to Make a Living without a Job” but if I have a book called “49 Ways to Make a Living in Italy” then they will find that book. Same for Costa Rica, Colombia, Thailand and all of the other countries for whcih I have an edition. It is just a matter of using different titles to get the book noticed by people all around the world.
From what I can see so far, the method is very effective and is working well. If you have a book that would benefit from this type of marketing, you might want to give it a try. I know I am quite happy so far.
Kindle also ties in
When I came out with all of these new books, I decided to give Kindle a second chance. So, whenever I published the paperback through CreateSpace, I also selected the option to also publish a Kindle version of the book. Now, here is the kicker, and a big surprise to me. When I did the Kindle version, I did two things that I had been afraid to do on my previous Kindle books:
- I set my price at $9.99 for these titles on Kindle
- I did not enlist these books in the KDP Select Program
As I said in yesterday’s article, I thought that I needed to be at $2.99 on Kindle, but I decided this time to try out the other end of the spectrum, and went $9.99. So far, Kindle sales have been really great! I often sell 3 or 4 copies of the 49 Ways books per day on Kindle. At a $9.99 price on Kindle, you get a royalty of just under $7, so you can figure that my Kindle royalties run $20 to $25 or so on many days. Sometimes I earn ZERO, but not usually. Another interesting thing that I have noticed is that all of my $2.99 books are selling MUCH better now that I have these premium books available on Kindle. Often I will sell a few Kindle versions of the 49 Ways books, and a couple of the $2.99 books as well.
So, this move has not only brought me some nice royalties from paperbacks, but also has rejuvenated my Kindle sales as well. I am very happy!
More ideas are popping
Over the last few days, I have thought of two brand new ideas that I can do using my series of 49 Ways books too! Sorry, folks, I am not yet prepared to share those new ideas yet. Let me get them up for sale first and see how they do, and then I will be sharing more. Maybe around February or so! Hope to see you then!