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Friday, September 14, 2012

Review: Killing It With Kindle

Killing It With Kindle is a new guide to Kindle publishing recently released by Kim Thomas and Benjamin Norman.

It has been widely promoted online and has been receiving some excellent reviews, so I thought I'd buy a copy myself and see what I thought.

Killing It With Kindle is currently available as a low-price Warrior Forum Special Offer (WSO). You get a number of items for your money...

1. The main 53-page PDF guide.
2. Five videos titled Research, Content, Chapters and Formatting, Publish Your Book, and Sell Your Book
3. A PDF resources guide
4. A Kindle book template in Word format

I thought the PDF manual was well written and presented. There are plenty of screengrab illustrations, which always helps!

The manual is divided into eleven chapters and takes you from setting up an account with Kindle Direct Publishing, through researching and writing (or outsourcing) your book, to publishing and promoting it.

As a published Kindle author (and creator of the Kindle Kash course) myself, much of the advice was obviously familiar to me. I did get a lot of new ideas from it as well, though, especially methods for researching potentially profitable niches.

There is also a useful chapter on how to use KDP Select to boost your book's profile. For those who may not know, KDP Select allows authors to make their e-books available for lending to US Amazon Prime members. Authors receive a payment from Amazon every time their book is borrowed under this scheme, and also enjoy other benefits (as explained in this blog post a few months ago). I was interested to read about the strategy Kim and Benjamin are using to make the most of KDP Select, and very impressed with the results they are achieving.

Other topics about which I took notes included the advice on outsourcing, using (multiple) pen names, getting your book reviewed, and the 'piggyback method' for choosing pen names and book titles. I can see that the latter could be an effective way to capitalize on the success of other authors, though some might regard it as a bit unethical. Still, many writers are using it successfully, and it's certainly well worth knowing about.

The videos cover similar ground to the manual, so if you prefer learning this way they are a good option to have. They are quite detailed and long (typically 20 to 30 minutes). One small criticism is that on my computer the volume was very low, so I had to turn the volume on my speakers almost up to the maximum to hear the commentary. It might be different on your computer, so check first before you do this!

The resource list and Word template are nice additions. Using the Word template in conjunction with the advice in the manual should get your book formatted and ready to upload via the KDP website in double-quick time (with no other software required).

At certain points both the videos and the manual say that non-US authors can expect to have 30 percent of their income withheld for tax by Amazon. I would just comment that this should not be the case if you live in a country that has a tax treaty with the US - please see my recent blog post on this subject. You don't want to be handing 30% of your money to the IRS if you don't need to!

Overall, I think Killing It With Kindle is a great value guide for anyone interested in publishing to this platform. Inevitably it's not as detailed in some areas as my own Kindle Kash (which I still highly recommend, of course!) but there are lots of great ideas and resources here you can use.

It's also bang up to date, and the fact that one of its authors (Benjamin Norman) is earning a residual income of $10,000 a month from his Kindle books has to be a strong recommendation in itself.

My advice is to buy Killing It With Kindle while it's still on special offer via the Warrior Forum.

Photo Credit: Kindle and Coffee by preetamrai on Flickr. Reproduced under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic licence

Disclosure: The links to Killing It With Kindle in this review include my affiliate code, so if you click through and make a purchase, a proportion of the fee will go to me. This hasn't influenced my review in any way, but you should of course complete your own due diligence and read the sales page (and this review) carefully to determine whether this product will be relevant to your needs.

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Anonymous Lucy Pireel said...

Nick, thanks to your post I'm even more convinced to do more research before deciding to go exclusive with KDP Select.

I will continue reading your post about the 30% the IRS wants, which I do not have to allow for because of a tax treaty my country has with the US. But I need to look into how to obtain a--I believe it's called and ITIN--before I can properly decide on whether or not going through the hassle of getting one.

Anyway, you've shed more light on the topic and for that alone thanks!
Lucy Pireel

6:21 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

You're welcome, Lucy. Good luck!

6:34 PM  

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