My KDP income report: how to make 2500€ a month writing ebooks

Looking back at this amazing year, I can’t help but think of November 2016. I was full of doubts, not sure whether to go through with this “writing thing”, wondering if success stories I read on the blogosphere were really true…

kdp income reportSo, for all those aspring indie writers carrying the same heavy load of self-doubt, I would like to post my first annual KDP income report, a detailed account of my first year’s earnings.

 

You can follow each month’s progression with a summary of key steps taken.

Ps: Amazon KDP pays its authors two months after the sales period. So in reality, I only got the monthly income of January in March.

 

KDP income report – 2017

 

KDP income report – November 2016:

*aha moment*.

I got an idea for an ebook about programming and started working on a plotline (See this article for more details)

monthly income: 0

 

KDP income report – December 2016:

I sat down each night after work to write my ebook. My goal was to have my first vomit draft ready by beginning of january 2017.

I did not aim for a particular length, but I was secretly hoping to hit the 100 pages mark. See here for more details on my writing approach.

monthly income: 0

 

KDP income report – January 2017:

I think I read my final manuscript at least 20 times before handing it to a freelance editor on upwork.com.

I got it back by the 25th of January, and published it two days later on Amazon KDP, both in ebook and paperback formats.

The ebook was free for the the first three days and got 610 (free) downloads. In the last day of January I sold 1 ebook and 2 paperback copies.

monthly income: 14€

 

KDP income report – February 2017:

I set up a Website and Twitter account. I was busy promoting my ebook on several board messages and forums about programming.

I saw my sales slowly increase with a few surges when people retweeted or reacted to the (very) controversial title.

In the meantime, I began entertaining the idea of a second ebook about another programming topic. In the end, this writing thing was not that bad at all!

monthly income: 991€

 

KDP income report – March 2017:

I had my plotline for a second ebook (Tips on how to structure your plotline for non fiction ebooks). I closely followed my everyday sales and even got depressed some days when I could barely sell 4 units.

I decided to put permanent Twitter and Amazon campaigns to promote my ebook. In parallel, I was busy  writing my second ebook every time I got a chance (long flights, commute, at night, etc.)

monthly income: 1367€

 

KDP income report – April 2017:

My first ebook hit number one in its category in the UK! Yey!

I was getting positive comments that encouraged me to finish and publish my second ebook in the middle of April.

I did not make it free, the title was hardly visible due to a poorly designed cover (my fault), the description did not contain enough keywords..all in all it barely sold any copies.

monthly income: 1264€

 

KDP income report – May 2017:

I change the title of my ebook to put a controversial teaser, changed the cover to better contrast with the title, and reworked the description. I also gave it away for free for exactly two days and reposted in forum messages and bulletin boards.

433 free downloads. Ok now we are talking!

monthly income: 1724€

 

KDP income report – June 2017:

I decided to publish a freebie to drive my sales. I expanded the first paragraph of my first ebook, which was about a developer’s technical environment and made a 25 page ebook out of it.

I put it for free and used it to advertise the other two books. 775 free downloads.

At the end of June, I was working on a plotline for a third major ebook about programming (so many languages to cover, plenty of material to write about)

monthly income: 1568€

 

KDP income report – July 2017:

I had the idea to set up a training course on my website. It is more like a challenge or programming puzzle to solve in all autonomy.
I wrote a handbook of 32 pages to explain the solution. The handbook was free if someone registered for the training (15€). Otherwise, it would cost 10€ on Amazon.

Of course the handbook advertised my two main ebooks.

Whenever I could get a chance, I studied and worked on my third major ebook. It was a bit tougher than the previous ones.

monthly income: 2260€

 

KDP income report – August 2017:

I published my third “big” ebook (more than 100 pages).
This ebook scored 473 free downloads, but I realized something: I was fed up with writing about programming. At least for the time being.

I concentrated on promoting the books (quora, adjusting Twitter ads, trying reddit ads, etc.)

monthly income: 2582€

 

KDP income report – September 2017:

Nothing…abso-fucking-lutly nothing! I mean, I fired up Twitter to respond to a comment, or maybe help someone finish the training, but that was it!

monthly income: 2678€

 

KDP income report – October 2017:

I am working on a plotline for my next major ebook. I was mainly busy preparing a couple of conferences related to my day job. I was happy to set writing aside and concentrate on something totally different. Then of course there was this blog that I always dreamt of having 🙂

monthly income: 2660€

 

KDP income report – November 2017:

…Still counting, but it looks good 🙂
Will update it in time.

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