I thought I’d do another quick AMAZON KDP income report here – even though we are halfway through July right now!
June was really surprising actually because I thought it may take a nose dive coming into the summer months. Last year, my lowest month was in August so, that’s what I’m likely anticipating this year.
While it was lower than the super high month I had in May, I still made over $5000 and my Ad spend was also low, (I will run through that in a moment).
So far in 2021, I have had two months that have reached over $7000 and every other month has been around the 5k mark.
With the experience I had in my first year, I think I was expecting a bit more of a rollercoaster type experience. While I certainly can have that day to day at times, overall the months have been pretty solid.
I feel this also comes down to most of my niches being evergreen. (So far) I haven’t gone for seasonal niches all that much.
On the downside, it means you may not get as big of a peak on certain months, that other people do. For example; some people did really well for mother or fathers day.
While I do create the odd book for these types of events, they haven’t generally been big sellers for me.
This is one thing I would like to work on in time for Q4, as I would like to have more gift related items that will sell well during this time of year.
Below you can see a snap shot of June:
It says I have 510 books – but that’s the total amount of books I have published.
The amount I actually still have published is 487 and that is because I have unpublished some over time – particularly those that were date specific.
Unlike some other months, all days in June were under the $300 mark – although the lowest day I had in June was still over $90. If you divide the total royalties by 30, it still works out at around $175 a day.
Did I Publish Any New Books?
I published 3 new books in June, but I spent quite a lot of time updating some of my older books.
Recently, I’ve started trying to improve the covers and keywords of some of my older books.
I do this with books that either haven’t sold, or haven’t sold that many.
While in many cases, it hasn’t made too much difference – I have had success with updating the cover on one particular book, which has started making some sales most days and this was without Ads.
It’s an additional reminder really about just how important a cover is.
I have a new book I published in July that I spent a really long time on and tried to make both the cover and interior as good as I could.
Despite Amazon having a problem right now enabling the “look-inside” feature, I was so happy to see I’d made a sale on that new book yesterday, having published it around a week ago.
Unfortunately, Amazon aren’t even showing the back of some books at the moment, which means that even having the interior pages pictures on the back won’t be of benefit.
I have contacted Amazon about the issue and they say this is a big ongoing thing that they will eventually resolve.
While I don’t think the look inside feature is essential to sell a book, (you can’t even see this via mobile, where many people buy) I do think it helps when it comes to selling a brand new books, without any reviews.
Also, if you want to run Ads, there is a small window of opportunity where amazon will label your book as a “brand new release.”
So, having either the look-inside or at least the back cover available to view, would be useful during this time if you want to run Ads right away.
Despite these issues, I am planning on creating more books now in preparation to Q4 and also have a go at some new niches.
Until now, I’ve tended to really go quite deeply into a few broad niches and have multiple pen names within an umbrella of related sub-niches.
I’ve stuck with this for a majority of the time, as I always felt there was more I could do and different audiences I could potentially target.
However, I do feel it’s time to experiment and branch out a bit at this stage, so I will share with you how that goes.
Did I Run Ads With KDP In June?
I did run Ads and June was my most profitable month to date since I started with regards to Ads.
Since January, I had generally been either breaking even or taking a small loss with my Ad spend.
But this month, I was making a profit and I will explain what changed in a second.
I also spent LESS on Ads than I had in previous months.
So, how much did I spend on Ads?
- $93.59 in the US – with an overall ACOS of 22.69%
- £92.81 in the UK – with an overall ACOS of 16.7%. (Around $128 dollars).
- The total Ad spend was around $221.59.
However, because I’m in the UK, I also have to pay VAT on top of this and this is an additional 20%.
I don’t see a lot of people mention this additional 20% when they talk about their Ad spend – in some cases, this will be because they are VAT registered.
But in the UK, you do not need to be VAT registered until your annual turnover is above £85,000, (over $117k per year). Due to the fact it seems a bit complicated, I have opted not to register for VAT quite yet.
So, with the additional 20% I had to pay around the $265 mark in Ad spend.
If you need to pay that 20% VAT, you really need to work this in to your ACOS at the very start.
So, it’s not just the ACOS that you see on your dashboard you need to take into account. You need to work out what ACOS you need to break even, after that additional 20% is taken off.
For example; I worked out that I personally need an ACOS of 28 in the UK just to break even.
You will need to work out your break even ACOS amount for every marketplace you use.
The good news is that all of your Ad spend can be deducted as expenses come TAX time!
Why Has My ACOS Now Improved?
I have a bunch of Ads now that have become profitable after tweaking over a long period of time.
After a while, if you keep tweaking an Ad you will ideally find that it is eventually profitable and you may only have to tweak it a little bit now and then.
At this point, you can start with new Ads.
The main difference this month was that I decided to run some AUTO ads on books that were already established, (books that already had good reviews).
I also started off with a low bid of around 0.10 and increased a small amount gradually, if there were limited impressions.
What I found though, was that I did start getting impressions, bids, clicks and sales on these books and at a very low cost.
Some were only around 7 or 8 cents per click and this was vastly lower than the cost per click of my exact match Ads, or product Ads.
They were also converting well and I found it quite straight forward to add any irrelevant search terms and products to the negative keyword list.
I’m unsure if the Amazon algorithm just starts to know what works for your books once you’ve been doing Ads for a while, but certainly running ads on well established books seems to have been working pretty well for me recently.
Again, experimentation comes into play. It won’t always work for every type of book and you just need to find that out over time.
Do You Need To Run Ads?
Because I feel that it is harder now to rank and sell new books, I run Ads on most of my new books when I can.
I spent the first year without doing so and even now, my Ad spend is low and only attributes to less than couple of hundred sales per month on it’s own right now.
The thing is, it’s impossible to really tell how many sales it truly attributes to, because you will get more organic sales with Ads as well.
What Tools Do I Use For KDP?
One of the most common questions I get asked, is what tools I personally use for KDP.
Investing in particular tools has certainly made the whole process much simpler for me and in particular, finding unique graphics and illustrations that you have a full print on demand license for, can give you peace of mind.
The tools below are the ones I currently use & recommend the most.
Canva PRO – for design, (as a PRO member you can now use their graphics on KDP. However, this is a recent change to the licensing and I imagine this can change at any time and therefore, perhaps cannot be relied upon 100%).
Creative Fabrica – for all there amazing fonts and some of their graphics, as well as their transparent and straight forward licensing.
I have also been loving Creative Market recently, as the quality of their graphics and illustrations is fantastic.
Although you need to purchase individual items and there isn’t a subscription with Creative Market, their items are such high quality that it’s worth investing in here and there.
I also use Publisher Rocket in combination with the data I collect from Amazon, (for keyword & niche research). What I really like about this tool, is it’s currently a one off price and no subscription is required.
Tangent Templates – I mainly use their listing helper and tangent builder, but they have so many great features.
Affinity Publisher – this is an amazing software if you want to really put the time and energy into learning the features. There was quite a learning curve with this for me and while I am using it for some projects, I’m still more comfortable with CANVA overall!
Have you got started with KDP yet? If not, what’s stopping you?
Let me know in the comments!