Amazon and the Self-Publishing Revolution – By Jim Kukral

by Colleen on April 19, 2012

I remember getting my first check in the mail from Amazon over ten years ago. I still remember the check. It was for about $51, and at first I couldn’t figure out why Amazon sent it to me. I quickly realized that the check was because I had, on a whim, added some of their books with my affiliate code to my one of my more popular websites at the time. This was the beginning my career as an affiliate marketer.

The first check was an amazing feeling that every affiliate marketer remembers. The concept of being able to earn money from recommending things was astonishing, and the ability to create Web content and use the power of the search engines to drive traffic made it even better.

Over the past ten years, I have earned a majority of my income from affiliate commissions or from the affiliate industry in some way or another. It’s been life-changing for me and my family, to say the least, and I’m grateful.

So here we are in mid-2012, over ten years later, and I am having the same feeling that I had way back then, as my checks started to roll in from Amazon. But this time, it’s not from affiliate commissions, but rather commissions from my self-published books.

This time, the check is a bit bigger; $497 from one month of commissions from my self-published books. Not life-changing money for me today, but neither was the $51 way back when, and look what that led to years later as it grew and grew every month.

Make no mistake; the publishing world has experienced an earthquake of epic proportions, directly caused by Amazon themselves. To call it a game-changer is an understatement. With Amazon’s Kindle Direct Platform, now anyone can upload a book to Amazon and become a published author in 24-hours or less for free.

No longer do you need an agent or a publisher to get published. The retail bookstores are on the way out, and digital books are on the rise. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, has said they sell 180 digital books for every 100 print books they sell.

Imagine what that stat is going to be in one, two or three years from now. Imagine what that stat will be when there are as many eReaders as there are MP3 players. Wow.

Authors can now earn up to 70% from their digital book sales, rather than the 17.5% that most authors get from a traditional publisher deal. This has helped authors, who were never able to get a publishing deal, to earn a living with their writing. Some writers are making millions.

Sound familiar? Amazon has done it again. First leading the way with affiliate marketing; now changing the world for authors. This author couldn’t be happier. Let’s check back in ten years and see where that $497 led, shall we?

Jim F. Kukral is the CEO of a book marketing agency called Digital Book Launch.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Azul Terronez May 11, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Fantastic Post! I am so encouraged by the change in global power with e-publishing. Finally, people will produce content worth reading, or it will fade away. Anyone can be an author, the trick now will be to see who will be willing to step up and produce. 

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