This past week I finally pulled the trigger on an idea that I’ve been mulling over for a while. I figured I’d share how I got the idea, why I went through with it, and how I’ll make money with it.
What it is
The site is called fkb.me, and on it I post links every day to Kindle ebooks that are free that day (“fkb” stands for “free Kindle books”). Unfortunately, the ebooks are free only for those located in the United States.
Before I go on, let me say that you don’t need a Kindle e-reader or tablet in order to read Kindle ebooks. You can read them on Windows PCs, Macs, iPads, iPhones, Android devices, BlackBerries, Windows Phones, and online in any web browser.
Every day there are hundreds of Kindle ebooks that are temporarily free. Their authors give them away for free so that more people will download, read, and review them. Every day I list a selection of Kindle ebooks that are temporarily free. I sort them into the following categories:
- Language Learning
- Internet Marketing (So yes, go here for free Internet marketing books every day)
People can subscribe to the individual channels that interest them most.
Why I started it, part I
The problem is that so many of the hundreds of daily free books are garbage. I’m not interested in reading romance novels, erotica, or vampire stories, and it was hard finding stuff worth reading. Moreover, I mostly read nonfiction, and I couldn’t find a good daily source of free nonfiction Kindle books.
I figured that if I had this problem, others did too, and that other people would find this information useful.
Why I started it, part II
I already have a blog called Amazopia where I talk about Amazon and Kindle news and tips, so I already have an audience that would be receptive to this kind of thing. I can promote fkb.me on Amazopia and Amazopia on fkb.me.
And while not every reader of The Backlight has a Kindle, a large chunk of my audience here is into ebooks and continuing self-education. So there’s yet another chunk of people who would be interested in fkb.me.
I rationalized that since I already have audiences that would be interested in this (and that I wouldn’t have to spend hours a day trying to drive traffic to the site), it was worth a shot.
Why I started it, part III
But I guess at the end of the day, the biggest reason I started fkb.me is that I thought I’d be able to make money from it. Which brings me to…
How fkb.me will make money
Well, that should actually be “How fkb.me is already making money” because, well, fkb.me is already making money. I’ve posted links to it on Amazopia and on Facebook and Google+, and the site made $12 its first day (more than covering the cost of the domain name registration) and $45 on its second day. I have to say that that’s more than I’d expected (and undoubtedly an outlier), but that’s obviously not the kind of thing you complain about.
All of the Kindle books I link to are 100% free for people in the US, no strings attached. They might be free only for one day (so if you see one you like, download it right then), but for that day that I link to them, they are totally free. That means that I make no money when someone downloads one of the free ebooks.
The thing is, though, that each one of those links to a free book is an Amazon Associates (that’s what Amazon’s affiliate program is called) link. If someone clicks through to Amazon to download a free book and then buys something on Amazon within 24 hours, I get a small commission (usually between 4% and 7%) on the order.
But it gets better.
In the future, once fkb.me gets more subscribers and views, I’ll offer a special service to authors and publishers. I’ll highlight their free ebook for a small fee (maybe $10 for the day). This 1) gives me a great additional revenue source, and 2) gives authors/publishers great exposure for barely any money.
There’s some more behind the scenes stuff I wanted to talk about, too.
Why “fkb.me”? Because the name was short, easy to remember, and available. Though I generally don’t care for domain name extensions other than .com, I’ve been on a .me kick recently (I also run infographics.me, climbs.me, and vowels.me).
Why did I choose the book categories or “channels” that I did? The nonfiction one was the nexus of the whole idea. The others are mostly things that I’m interested in, except for food (I don’t really like cooking). I just thought that food might be something that would draw people in. We’ll see. I might remove channels if I find out that no one is interested in them, and add new ones in the future if I feel like they’d be valuable.
How will I drive traffic to the site? Mainly by linking to it from sites I already run. Since most of the site is built off of Tumblr, there will always be new people finding the site that way, too. I might do the occasional guest post for it, but this isn’t something that I’m going to be pouring hours into every day.