How to Become a Self-Published Author on Amazon and Make Extra Money – Business Insider

  • Bryan Cohen started his writing career with a blog in 2008 before pivoting to books in 2010.
  • Cohen booked $138,000 in revenue last year from book sales, podcasting, and more. 
  • He shared three steps for starting out as a self-published author, including how to leverage data.

Bryan Cohen’s writing career began in 2008 with a blog called Build Creative Writing Ideas. There, he’d share writing prompts that were meant to help his readers beat writer’s block.

After realizing his blog was gaining traction, he compiled some of his most popular writing-prompt entries into a book and published it himself using Amazon’s platform Kindle Direct Publishing. Since then, Cohen has self-published more than 40 titles, from nonfiction books about how to start a blog to ones on how to balance writing with a full-time job. His most popular is “How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis: A Step-by-Step System for Enticing New Readers, Selling More Fiction, and Making Your Books Sound Good,” which has a 4.6 rating from 511 reviews on Amazon.

He also wrote a young-adult-fiction series, makes educational TikToks on self-publishing, and cohosts a podcast called the “Sell More Books Show,” which teaches aspiring authors how to make money from their books.

Cohen corresponded with Insider via email to share his three tips to becoming a self-published author on Amazon, including how to leverage data. The email interview has been slightly edited for length and clarity. 

Find your passion

In 2008, I didn’t know that self-publishing existed. But I did know I wanted to write.

Like many other early-2000s writers, I started a blog. Originally, my blog posts covered a variety of topics, but the creative-writing prompts I suggested for my audience really took off. Soon after I realized this, I continued to build out that section of the blog and ended up with more than 100 posts. 

In 2010, I compiled those 100 blog posts into one self-published book. I sold more than 30,000 copies on Amazon.

I pivoted from the blog when I realized that the books were my passion. Eleven years later, my strategy is relatively the same. And in 2020, I booked $138,000 in revenue from my income streams, including book sales and podcasting.

Use data to find your niche

Like business owners, authors need to pick a topic that they’ll be interested in for the long haul. One-hit wonders in self-publishing are very rare, so if you plan on writing six or more books in the same niche, then it needs to be something you care about.

I started out with books for writers. Through the numbers, I noticed that many of my readers were students. So I made a slight pivot to writing for students. When I noticed I wasn’t as passionate about students as I was about adult writers, I made another small pivot …….


RSS Feeds

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts