How to Create a Book and Sell it on Amazon
I woke up one morning with a very strong urge to create a coloring book for adults. I’m not kidding. I was dreaming about it and woke up out of a dead sleep at 4 o’clock in the morning. I just finished raising six baby goats, so my subconscious was telling me to do more art with goats. It’s rare that I wake up with such a strong sense of direction to do something.
I immediately took to Amazon to search other coloring books for adults. Man, there are tons out there! Then I dove a bit more into research and looked for goat adult coloring books. To my surprise, there was only one out there! ONE! In all my business experience, that tells me I need to create the book just for competition reasons.
I was determined to see if money was to be made with this process. I wanted to know how hard it would be to do it. I was on a mission. I wanted answers. I had an idea and this was a test.
I was off to create my Goats Adult Coloring book! There is a process to this madness and steps to take.
How to Self-Publish a Book:
- Write or design your book
- Decide on publishing options: Publishing Companies vs. Self-publishing
- Formatting your book
- Cover art book design work
- Editing / Proof your book for errors
- Create a title for your book
- Assign an ISBN number
- Print your book
- How to get paid for your work
Write or Design Your Book
In this example, I created an adult goat coloring book. The creative process is what will take the longest in this process. You can hire this out or do it yourself. If you do it yourself, you will need some art and design skills. You can create coloring book pages in Adobe Illustrator. I think this is the most popular tool artist use for this type of work. Or, you can do hand drawn designs too. Just scan them and upload them. I know people who do this option also.
Decide on publishing options: Publishing Companies vs. Self-publishing
I used Amazon’s CreateSpace platform to self-publish my book. (Update: Amazon did an update and moved all the books we created on Createspace over to the Kindle Direct Publishing platform. You will need to use the KDP platform to upload your books on to Amazon instead of CreateSpace as noted in this article. The platforms are very similar in many ways.) CreateSpace is a print on demand site where I can submit a digital copy of my book and have them print it for me. CreateSpace allows me to earn royalty earnings on my artwork. There are other platforms such as Lulu and Ingram you can use also.
Tip: You may want to search Facebook for groups that specialize in these platforms. It will become helpful to quickly learn what you need when you have a question during the book creation process.
There are a few advantages of going with a self-publish platform such as CreateSpace.
- The printing of the book is handled by a vendor who handles all of the production processes.
- CreateSpace distributes to other major sellers worldwide (My Goats Adult Coloring Book can be found on Barnes & Noble site here!)
- Creating a physical copy of your book
- Automatically placed on Amazon.com (which is one of the largest selling platforms today)
There are a few disadvantages of publishing on a print on demand:
- cost more money
- formatting the book to the print on demand specifications
- You still need to market your book
Formatting your Book
There are formatting rules and guidelines you need to follow when you use CreateSpace. Find the CreateSpace Submission Guidelines here before you start. I do know that CreateSpace requires two different uploads. One upload for the book itself and a separate upload for the cover design. There will be a chance to preview the book once it’s uploaded.
Tip: Don’t let the rules or guidelines stop you. Hire this out if you need help. I found many people who offer this service on Fiverr or Upwork. Both of these websites are places to hire freelancers for particular jobs. If you have a skill, you can become a freelancer here too!
Cover Art Book Design Work
I outsourced this task to a professional on Fiverr. I knew exactly how I wanted the design to look so this was easy for me. The job was done is about 24 hours! Easy, peasy!
Tip: To do a bit of research for your design cover you may want to look at competitors in the same niche that is successful. There are tons of adult coloring books out there. I found the top 10 selling on Amazon all had black backgrounds. They were visually appealing, and all had simple designs. I based my cover off of my content with those design rules I saw in the top selling categories.
Editing/Proof Your Book For Errors
Even though my book is a coloring book, I still have to look for errors in my design.
Create a Title For Your Book
This part was easy for me because I already did the research before I started creating this coloring book based on the keyword research I found.
Go to copyright.gov website online portal to register copyrights for photographs, sculptures, and written works.
Assign an ISBN Number
First, the ISBN number is a 13 digit number that uniquely identifies books and book-like products that are published internationally. It identifies the title and edition of the title from the publisher. When creating my Goats Adult Coloring Book on CreateSpace, I had CreateSpace assign my ISBN in the process. You can read more about ISBN numbers from ISBN.org.
Print Your Book
Once the book design is complete, you are ready to upload the design for the approval process on CreateSpace. This took me just under 24 hours for approval. If you’ve uploaded your design based on the guidelines given, you shouldn’t have any problems. If you do run into a snag, CreateSpace does offer professional services to help you or you can hire out help on Fiverr also. CreateSpace will tell you exactly what is wrong, to help you fix any errors found yourself too.
Here’s a photo of my printed book:
How to Get Paid for Your Book
CreateSpace has a dashboard that allows you to see exactly how many books you’ve sold and the royalty payments you’ve earned. Here’s a screenshot of my earnings about a month after my book went live. I’ve already sold 107 copies in just a little over a month! I’m not sure how this rates towards other self-published books but I am ecstatic with this result! This book took me just over two weeks to make from start to finish. Can you imagine if I have 20 books like this? That could easily be about $5000 a month income, and I’ve done the work one time! It’s called passive income baby!
I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to tracking my progress as you can tell by my spreadsheet below. Remember, this was a test to see how easy (or hard) this process was and if there was money to be made in the process. Of course I have to track it.
I’ve made just over $250 in a month! Not bad for a beginner I think. But how does my book rank on Amazon compared to other books in the same niche? Right after I had my idea, there was another goat coloring book that just went live in March. There was only one the day I researched it. By the time my book went live in the system, there were 2 other competitors. Amazon has a rank process. The lower the number, the better you are found in search for sales. This number is driven by sales and reviews I believe. As of today, I rank at 45117 out of all the books on Amazon. This number goes up and down daily. Not bad considering the rank of the other two people who come up first when I search my keyword.
This was the first book I have ever self-published. I am not an expert by any means, but I have learned a few things along the way. I always tell people that I am just a simple Mom, like any other, but with love for goats. If I can do this, anyone can. The best part of this whole process is my daughter wants to create a book of her own.
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