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How to Make an Extra $500 a Month or More by Self-Publishing on Amazon with the Help of AI

Maximizing Your Income

Spoiler alert: The answer is self-publishing! Scroll down for 10 handy AI prompts.

How to Make an Extra $500 a Month or More by Self-Publishing on Amazon with the Help of AI
Table of contents

This article isn’t going to tell you how to outsource 100% of the publishing process with AI because that’s not how we roll, but we CAN show you how to produce a high-quality book in a fraction of the time as ethically and professionally as possible with AI as a co-pilot. 

By using AI tools the right way, you can significantly reduce the time and effort required to create content without violating any ethical or legal guidelines, which opens up opportunities to earn an extra $500 a month or more. 

In this article, we’ll share the best ways to integrate AI into all the various steps of the self-publishing process, including writing, editing, formatting, and keyword research, to produce even better content. We’ll also cover things like navigating copyright laws, terms of service, and other regulations to ensure your income stream remains uninterrupted and compliant.

See the AI-powered framework that’s generated millions of dollars in royalties in action. Stop by our free publishing webinar!

What Are the Initial Steps to Start Earning Through Self-publishing?

The most important step in any new self-publishing project is to choose a niche that readers are actually looking for and willing to spend money on. Otherwise, all your work on the manuscript might go to waste. AI can help with this! 

What Can AI Do? 

AI tools like ChatGPT are great co-pilots for things like: 

  • Content Creation and Idea Generation: You can use AI to assist in creating books with outlines, generate thorough customer research, or even write first drafts of your content to get you over the initial hump of resistance that many first-time publishers and authors face. Tools like AI writing assistants have made writer's block a thing of the past by giving you access to a constant stream of new ideas and suggestions.
  • Formatting and Design: AI software can automate the layout process of your book, from formatting paragraphs to suggesting fonts that your ideal audience might enjoy. This reduces the time you spend on the “busy tasks” and lets you focus more on the higher-level aspects of growing your publishing business. AI can also create professional-looking cover designs (or, at the very least, mock-ups) that captivate potential readers.
  • Marketing and Promotion: AI tools can analyze market trends and reader preferences, giving you a better idea of how to reach your target market. Keyword research that might have taken you weeks before can now be completed in days or even hours. This lets you write better book descriptions and choose the best categories for your book to help it show up in the Amazon search results.
  • Editing and Proofreading: AI-powered editors can offer a preliminary review of your work, highlighting grammar mistakes, typos, and stylistic issues before a human editor looks at it. This improves the overall quality of your text at a much, much lower cost.

You can exlpore all of the ways you can use AI to earn money.

What AI Can’t Do 

Here’s what AI still struggles with:

  • Thinking for Itself: AI can imitate our thought process really well and spit out instant responses to basically anything you can imagine these days, but it can’t take over critical thinking for us just yet. That means you’re still responsible for fact-checking everything and looking at the bigger picture rather than taking any outputs at face value. 
  • Feeling Human Emotions: A lot of AI content is missing the light-hearted humor and banter we use to connect with each other. The models don’t fully understand the human experience, which will become obvious to readers if you rely on the tools too much. 
  • Generating Perfectly Realistic Images: The tools are improving every single day, but don’t be surprised if you try to generate a picture of a happy family and they all come back with extra fingers or eyeballs that look a little too wonky to be human. 
  • Guarantee 100% Original Content: Generative AI works by combing through its database to combine ideas and output unique iterations. Unfortunately, that means accidental plagiarism can happen with certain models that aren’t trained on massive datasets, so you should always be doing your due diligence and running any final work through plagiarism detectors just to be safe. 

Creating Content with AI

If you’re interested in giving AI tools a try, here are some tips for getting the most out of them. 

Writing with AI

You can utilize AI writing tools to generate articles, blog posts, or even full-length chapters and manuscripts (that will still require editing on your part). 

Start by inputting a topic or asking the AI model for an optimized outline tailored to your ideal reader. 

Don’t forget to: 

  • Choose AI tools specialized in your genre or content type.
  • Provide clear directions and examples to the AI to align with your desired tone and style.
  • Follow up with specific feedback about what you liked or didn’t like from the outputs. 

Editing, Proofreading, and Formatting

AI can significantly expedite your editing and proofreading tasks, helping you deliver error-free content to your readers.

Remember to:

  • Run each chapter through the AI for grammar and style suggestions.
  • Use AI formatting tools to apply consistent styles across your content (this includes things like font style, sizing, and spacing among the headers and body text).
  • Use AI to generate citations for your references page based on the style you’d like (i.e., APA, MLA, or Chicago). 

Design and Illustration

For the visual aspect of your content, AI-assisted graphic design and illustration tools can create covers, diagrams, and promotional materials. 

You should:

  • Use AI design tools to brainstorm different compositions and styles for your front and back cover. 
  • Explore AI illustration programs to produce images for inside the book to complement your writing.
  • Consider combining AI images with licensed stock images or sending your AI-generated covers to a graphic designer for improvement. 

10 Sample AI Writing and Publishing Prompts 

Not sure where to start? These sample AI writing and publishing prompts might help. 

  1. Generate a list of book topics in the [INSERT TOPIC] niche. 

  1. Now, give me a list of subniches for [INSERT TOPIC].

  1. I am writing a book about [INSERT TOPIC]. My ideal reader is [DESCRIBE AUDIENCE]. Ask me relevant questions to better understand my audience and generate customer research to improve my book.

  1. Act as a publishing coach and copywriting expert. Give me feedback on my book titles: [INSERT TITLES] 

  1. Generate a template that I could use to ask readers to review my book. 

  1. Generate a list of keywords I should use in my book description for a book about [INSERT TOPIC] on Amazon. 

  1. Generate an author bio for an Author Central Account with the following details: [INSERT 3-5 FACTS ABOUT YOURSELF].

  1. Generate 10 author pen names for a non-fiction author in the [INSERT NICHE]. 

  1. Make this text more academic/friendly/engaging: [INSERT TEXT]

  1. Help me rephrase this: [INSERT TEXT]

Marketing Your Content with AI

AI tools can amplify your reach and help you target the right audience for a nice boost in your book sales. 

Here’s what to know: 

AI Social Media Tools

You can use AI-driven social media tools to optimize your posting schedule, analyze your audience’s behavior, and generate more engaging content. Platforms like Buffer and Hootsuite integrate AI to suggest the best times to post, while tools like ChatGPT help create personalized responses to engage with your followers.

Email Marketing with AI

AI enhances email marketing by personalizing content and analyzing your readers’ data. With services like Mailchimp, AI can predict the best subject lines and tailor content based on the preferences of your subscriber list, leading to higher engagement.

Using AI to Find Keywords for Amazon Ads

AI tools like ChatGPT can analyze search trends to suggest keywords that can increase your books' visibility through ads and searches.

For the record…You don’t have to be an email expert or social media whiz to make money publishing. These are more advanced techniques that you might eventually incorporate to diversify your income, but they’re definitely not required by any means. 

Setting Up Your Self-Publishing Business

Before we talk about how to get your publishing business off the ground, let’s talk about what tends to get in the way first.  

Most Common Concerns About Business Registration and Legalities

Many first-time publishers and authors tend to get paralyzed before even starting their business because they’re too afraid they won’t “make the right decision.” 

If that sounds familiar, we’re here to assure you that there’s no such thing. Even if you make a decision and find out that you could have made a different one, you gain the experience to keep moving forward. Mistakes are a fundamental part of every business. 

Here are three things that we see our students get hung up on: 

  • Registering Your Business: There is absolutely no rule saying you have to officially get your LLC started before self-publishing your first (or second or hundredth) book. Sure, the legal protections and tax benefits can come in handy later, but this is NO reason to shy away from jumping right in. 
  • Understanding Copyright Law: If you start reading blogs or Facebook posts about self-publishing, you’ll eventually come across posts that try to scare you about copyright laws. There are really two basic things you need to know: 1) The content produced is original, and 2) You have the right to sell it. As long as you’re working with a professional ghostwriter or taking on the work yourself, and you’re not ripping images straight from Google or text straight from other sources, you should be fine! 
  • Figuring Out Tax Obligations: We always recommend consulting with a tax professional to understand and fulfill your tax responsibilities, but as long as you keep your business expenses separate from your personal ones, there’s really no need to overcomplicate things before you even get started.

Travis struggled with procrastination for almost two years before buckling down and getting serious about self-publishing. 

Meet him here:

The Only Two Things You Need to Get Started Publishing 

There are only two things you need to get started publishing: 

  1. A computer 
  2. The desire to make a change 

Everything else can be taught, regardless of your age, background, or experience. 

This case study serves as proof!

A Basic Publishing Workflow

These are the same basic steps every self-publisher follows, whether they use AI, outsource most of the work to other creatives, or take on 100% of the work themselves: 

  1. Content creation: Set aside brainstorming and writing time or team up with a ghostwriter.
  2. Review and edit: Allocate time for editing and making the content ready for publishing.
  3. Plan for reviews: When you have a solid manuscript ready to share, start reaching out to readers who are willing to review your book during its upcoming launch.
  4. Publishing: Decide on self-publishing platforms for distribution, like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing or Draft2Digital.
  5. Marketing: Keep building up a solid base of reviews so your book can start generating steady sales on its own. In the meantime, also consider running Amazon ads to keep the momentum up. 

Scaling Your Business with AI

Once you've established a foundation for your AI-assisted self-publishing business, the next step is to grow and scale (if that’s what you want).

Analyzing Performance

To scale your business, you’ll need to understand what's working and what’s not working. 

AI tools can track metrics like:

  • Sales Data: Number of copies sold and revenue generated per book or book format. 
  • Customer Feedback: Reviews and ratings that can guide improvements.
  • Traffic Sources: How readers are finding your work, such as SEO results or social media.

Reinvesting Profits

Reinvesting your earnings will grow your business even faster. Consider doing the following: 

  • Upgrading AI Tools: Invest in better AI book writing software for content creation or marketing.
  • Professional Services: Hire editors, cover designers, or marketing experts as needed.
  • Shift Priorities: Try to prioritize the expenses that have the potential to increase sales and improve book quality.
  • Advertising: Use targeted Amazon ads to reach potential readers.

Expanding Your Content-Range

Diversify your portfolio to capture a wider audience. Actions to take:

  • Explore Genres: Publish in various genres to reach different reader groups.
  • Series Development: Create series that keep readers coming back for more.
  • Additional Formats: Offer your works as audiobooks or interactive eBooks.

How Much Can One Realistically Earn from Self-Publishing Books Monthly?

Of course, earnings can vary widely, but it is possible for a self-publisher to earn an extra $500 per month after establishing a catalog of books that attract consistent sales. This depends on your marketing efforts, book quality, and audience engagement.

If you want to hear from self-publishers who consistently earn five figures per month from a single book, head on over to our Student Success portal. They don’t hold back on sharing the secrets that helped them get there! 

Can Self-Publishing Be a Sustainable Side Income Source?

Self-publishing can be a sustainable side income source if you set out to produce the most valuable content you can and target it to a specific audience rather than trying to sell to just everybody. Self-publishing isn’t exactly a get-rich-quick-scheme and requires dedication and research, but you don’t need any experience to get started. It’s an ongoing learning process that can and will produce long-term results if you stick with it. 

How to Make an Extra $500 a Month or More without Breaking the Law 

By now, you’ve probably realized that we like to hype up self-publishing a lot around here, but we have our reasons. Stumbling upon self-publishing is how our founders, the Mikkelsen Twins, were able to leave the jobs that made them miserable and provide for their families—even during medical emergencies with their kiddos that no parent should ever have to go through. 

By sharing their experiences, the AIA community has grown to over 36k freedom seekers all over the world. The majority of these students had ZERO publishing or writing experience when they met us (and most still don’t have the latter because it’s not necessary). 

We can show you the #1 framework that ethical publishers use to harness the superpowers of AI + Amazon.

It all starts with one free training

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