Bookshelf | Reports | Community | KDP Select

Home » Amazon KDP Support » Ask the Community » General Questions

Thread: Is it Still Possible to Earn a Living as a Writer without AMS?


This question is not answered. Helpful answers available: 2. Correct answers available: 1.

Reply to this Thread Reply to this Thread Search Forum Search Forum Back to Thread List Back to Thread List

Permlink Replies: 13 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: Jan 26, 2018 10:16 PM Last Post By: wirdmonger
Upscale Enterpr...

Posts: 1
Registered: 07/07/14
Is it Still Possible to Earn a Living as a Writer without AMS?
Posted: Jan 22, 2018 2:46 PM
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Hi -
I'm not here to blame or hate on anyone.

I've written 10 well-written ebooks/books in good niches.
I do keyword research and place in different categories trying to find an audience.
I test new keywords and categories every month or so.

After 2 years - I barely earn enough money to keep a bird alive. Almost no money.
I also wasted money on courses - but still no luck. I can't seem to get the books
below above a ranking of 250,000. I also have a few great reviews.

I change titles and covers about every 90 days. I've tried everything I can
think of and work on them daily. I really want to be a successful bookseller.
I 've written several romance books and non-fiction books.

Any suggestions? I have not spent money on advertising. Is AMS now
the only way to be successful selling books on Amazon without being famous?

Thanks in advance.
Francis Campagna

Posts: 6
Registered: 06/09/16
Re: Is it Still Possible to Earn a Living as a Writer without AMS?
Posted: Jan 22, 2018 3:07 PM   in response to: Upscale Enterpr... in response to: Upscale Enterpr...
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Have you tried building a mailing list? Have you done any marketing for your books. There are millions of books out there. You need to do something to make yours visible within a crowd.
Jonathan B

Posts: 4,612
Registered: 10/23/12
Re: Is it Still Possible to Earn a Living as a Writer without AMS?
Posted: Jan 22, 2018 6:24 PM   in response to: Upscale Enterpr... in response to: Upscale Enterpr...
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Ther short answer? Yes. You do not have to use AMS to make a living selling books.
cdalebrittain

Posts: 11,841
Registered: 03/05/11
Re: Is it Still Possible to Earn a Living as a Writer without AMS?
Posted: Jan 22, 2018 8:47 PM   in response to: Upscale Enterpr... in response to: Upscale Enterpr...
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Those who make a living writing spend full-time writing and promoting. You really need to advertise and promote, though there are many ways to do so besides AMS. You also need to keep producing new books, and especially need to write books that readers want to read.

To make a living as a writer you can also do lots of other kinds of writing, including writing advertising copy, writing documentation and users' manuals, writing newspaper columns, etc. etc.

I'm afraid non-fiction doesn't sell very well unless you're an expert in the field and your topic is one a lot of people want to know about. Romance is the best-selling genre on KDP, but contemporary-romance especially is a fiercely competitive field, so even a good book may never be found in the haystack. Romance is also not a good field for someone who doesn't already love romance and read it themselves, because the readers have very clear expectations.

Read the thread in the Voice of the Author/Publisher forum, "Why is my book not selling?" It may give you some insights.
C. Gold

Posts: 1,309
Registered: 02/17/15
Re: Is it Still Possible to Earn a Living as a Writer without AMS?
Posted: Jan 22, 2018 10:51 PM   in response to: Upscale Enterpr... in response to: Upscale Enterpr...
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
If you are brave, post your ASIN to one of your books so we can see if it has the basics covered - professional looking cover, exciting blurb, and captivating Look Inside.

If you are sure your book matches good selling books in your genre, then yes, you can advertise using buck a day Facebook ads, or get on Book Cave, Instafreebie, and Book Funnel and get involved in group giveaways and build a subscriber base. You can use a sample of your books or pick a book to make a freebie giveaway (make sure it isn't in Select if you do this).

You can also find paid and free promotions like BargainBooksy/FreeBooksy, ENT, BKnights, Robin Reads, The Fussy Librarian, Bookbub (the Holy Grail of promos). Check out the Writers' Cafe in kboards.com and search for marketing to find a whole slew of options.
Notjohn

Posts: 24,169
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Is it Still Possible to Earn a Living as a Writer without AMS?
Posted: Jan 23, 2018 2:20 AM   in response to: cdalebrittain in response to: cdalebrittain
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Romance is also not a good field for someone who doesn't already love romance and read it themselves, because the readers have very clear expectations.

This truth always occurs to me when I read posts asking what is the current "niche" that's selling well. And it's a truth that applies not only to romance but every other field, from porn to philosophy. If you don't love it, you probably will fail at it.

(Speaking of porn, I just read an interesting factoid: when that fake missile alert was broadcast to Hawaii, traffic to a popular porn site declined by 70 percent. Apparently people have better things to do when death is imminent!)

(Don't trust KDP to publish a print edition. Don't trust CreateSpace to publish an ebook. Each does one thing well and the other thing poorly.)

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting (2018 edition)

The blog: https://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com
Gary O'Riley

Posts: 1,112
Registered: 09/24/12
Re: Is it Still Possible to Earn a Living as a Writer without AMS?
Posted: Jan 23, 2018 4:28 AM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Notjohn wrote:
(Speaking of porn, I just read an interesting factoid: when that fake missile alert was broadcast to Hawaii, traffic to a popular porn site declined by 70 percent. Apparently people have better things to do when death is imminent!)

When Britain declared war on Germany in 1939, the fancy London psychiatrists and psychoanalysts saw a huge decline in patients. The big worry forced out all the smaller worries. And you could hardly go to a shrink and say I am anxious and depressed about the war, because the reply would be: "We're all in the same boat, chum, what makes you so special?"
chris

Posts: 149
Registered: 09/26/14
Re: Is it Still Possible to Earn a Living as a Writer without AMS?
Posted: Jan 23, 2018 1:45 PM   in response to: Upscale Enterpr... in response to: Upscale Enterpr...
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
You can look on the bright side: you have books around 250K in rankings, you're doing OK. You're in the top 10 percent.
Jonathan B

Posts: 4,612
Registered: 10/23/12
Re: Is it Still Possible to Earn a Living as a Writer without AMS?
Posted: Jan 23, 2018 2:26 PM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Notjohn wrote:
Romance is also not a good field for someone who doesn't already love romance and read it themselves, because the readers have very clear expectations.

This truth always occurs to me when I read posts asking what is the current "niche" that's selling well. And it's a truth that applies not only to romance but every other field, from porn to philosophy. If you don't love it, you probably will fail at it.

(Speaking of porn, I just read an interesting factoid: when that fake missile alert was broadcast to Hawaii, traffic to a popular porn site declined by 70 percent. Apparently people have better things to do when death is imminent!)


But what you might have missed as that as soon as the all clear was sounded, the traffic to that site jumped dramatically, 48% higher than what would be normal for that time in the morning. :)
Gary O'Riley

Posts: 1,112
Registered: 09/24/12
Re: Is it Still Possible to Earn a Living as a Writer without AMS?
Posted: Jan 24, 2018 1:44 AM   in response to: Jonathan B in response to: Jonathan B
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Jonathan B wrote:
Notjohn wrote:
Romance is also not a good field for someone who doesn't already love romance and read it themselves, because the readers have very clear expectations.

This truth always occurs to me when I read posts asking what is the current "niche" that's selling well. And it's a truth that applies not only to romance but every other field, from porn to philosophy. If you don't love it, you probably will fail at it.

(Speaking of porn, I just read an interesting factoid: when that fake missile alert was broadcast to Hawaii, traffic to a popular porn site declined by 70 percent. Apparently people have better things to do when death is imminent!)

But what you might have missed as that as soon as the all clear was sounded, the traffic to that site jumped dramatically, 48% higher than what would be normal for that time in the morning. :)

If I'd been in that situation, my first thought after the all cleared sounded, would have been to have a stiff drink, not a J. Arthur...

STEPHEN W BENNETT

Posts: 320
Registered: 10/12/12
Re: Is it Still Possible to Earn a Living as a Writer without AMS?
Posted: Jan 24, 2018 10:57 AM   in response to: Upscale Enterpr... in response to: Upscale Enterpr...
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Upscale Enterprises wrote:
Hi -
I'm not here to blame or hate on anyone.

I've written 10 well-written ebooks/books in good niches.
I do keyword research and place in different categories trying to find an audience.
I test new keywords and categories every month or so.

After 2 years - I barely earn enough money to keep a bird alive. Almost no money.
Any suggestions? I have not spent money on advertising. Is AMS now
the only way to be successful selling books on Amazon without being famous?


I have 10 books in Sci-Fi, accumulated over 5.5 years of writing, and AMS for me has proven all but worthless. Nevertheless, I sell relatively well, and have decent reads from KU. I think I could support a decent sized ranch of large birds from what I've earned in those years (~470K$), although I might need to sell their droppings as fertilizer to help. I don't know anymore about that sort of business than I did writing when I started.

My audience found ME, and my books clearly needed work to polish them to what is even now only above average and not perfect by any stretch. Plot, story line, imagination, and interesting characters apparently were my keys. If you don't please a lot of readers, in whatever niche or genre you chose, advertising and tweaking keywords and categories won't draw them to your books. I can't offer words of wisdom to reach the modest level of success that I reached only by accident, and which I still don't understand. There are posters here that have had considerably more sales that I have, and probably can't tell you how YOU can succeed with your books.

Good Luck,
Steve Bennett
resteasy

Posts: 991
Registered: 07/02/12
Re: Is it Still Possible to Earn a Living as a Writer without AMS?
Posted: Jan 24, 2018 4:39 PM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Notjohn wrote:

(Speaking of porn, I just read an interesting factoid: when that fake missile alert was broadcast to Hawaii, traffic to a popular porn site declined by 70 percent. Apparently people have better things to do when death is imminent!)

Usually, running like hell for cover!
Mary Peebels

Posts: 592
Registered: 01/07/16
Re: Is it Still Possible to Earn a Living as a Writer without AMS?
Posted: Jan 26, 2018 12:58 PM   in response to: Upscale Enterpr... in response to: Upscale Enterpr...
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Upscale Enterprises wrote:
Hi -
I'm not here to blame or hate on anyone.

I've written 10 well-written ebooks/books in good niches.
I do keyword research and place in different categories trying to find an audience.
I test new keywords and categories every month or so.

After 2 years - I barely earn enough money to keep a bird alive. Almost no money.
I also wasted money on courses - but still no luck. I can't seem to get the books
below above a ranking of 250,000. I also have a few great reviews.

I change titles and covers about every 90 days. I've tried everything I can
think of and work on them daily. I really want to be a successful bookseller.
I 've written several romance books and non-fiction books.

Any suggestions? I have not spent money on advertising. Is AMS now
the only way to be successful selling books on Amazon without being famous?

Thanks in advance.


I only have two books through KDP right now, so I'm still learning. Others have already voiced great suggestions.

I've used AMS sponsored ads which have led to good results. I'm not earning a living at it though (I have a day job).

I've also used BargainBooksey, BooksButterfly and Facebook, and had good results with the first two mentioned.

With that said, there's been two times when the AMS ads did not earn a profit compared to what I paid. But would you pay for a college course to learn new skills to possibly land a higher paying job? That's the way I see experimenting with the marketing and promotions of my books. I'm learning new skills as a publisher.
wirdmonger

Posts: 1,138
Registered: 01/07/12
Re: Is it Still Possible to Earn a Living as a Writer without AMS?
Posted: Jan 26, 2018 10:16 PM   in response to: Upscale Enterpr... in response to: Upscale Enterpr...
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
My 21 year old student daughter could live on what I earn. I'm used to the luxury of a good wage so I don't expect to live off my author earnings. Perhaps because I have alternative income I write what I love and follow up my crazy ideas. I like the money and the extras it buys but if it all stopped tomorrow I have had a really good time. Some of my books are lemons and some are little troopers that sell a few every month. When I'm an old lady on a pension I suspect the royalties will mean more to me than they are now. Writing is a long game. A really, really long game. Very few make quick wins.
Legend
Helpful Answer
Correct Answer

Point your RSS reader here for a feed of the latest messages in all forums