Kindle your blog: Journalism.co.uk news and blog feed on the Kindle
Not only will you see your blog on a much-used device, bloggers can also hope to earn a little money. Amazon sets the £0.99 or £1.99 monthly subscription price it charges Kindle owners, of which the blogger gets 30 per cent.
Okay, so you are unlikely to become rich, but you are offering readers the ability to access your content on another platform for very little time and effort.
This guide explains everything you need to know.
What do I need to do to submit my blog?
The first thing you need to do is to sign up for a "Kindle publishing for blogs account". Not all browsers are supported so you will need to use Firefox or Internet Explorer.
You then need to enter the following the following:
- The RSS feed of your blog.
- The blog's name, tagline and description.
- A screenshot of the blog (GIFF, JPG or PNG format, minimum 800 x 600 px and less than 1 MB).
- An image of your logo or masthead (GIFF, JPG or PNG format, maximum 430 x 50 px).
- A list of keywords to help people find your blog in the Kindle store.
- Your bank account details for Amazon to deposit your earnings (US only).
Amazon is not forthcoming in revealing the numbers of Kindles it sells.
It leaves analysts to debate the numbers while the company, which first launched the e-reader in the US in 2007 and in the UK two years later, reveals only limited information.
In this media release from the end of last year Amazon said "throughout December, customers purchased well over one million Kindle devices per week".
That included sales of the Kindle Fire, the device due to be released in the UK in the coming weeks or months.
With the numbers of Kindle sales in their millions the device becomes and attractive place for publishers.
Newspapers and magazine publishers can submit content with a lead in time of around three to four weeks. There are details of how to submit a newspaper or magazine here.
For blogs the process is much quicker and simpler process.
How long will I have to wait until my blog is available on the Kindle?
Amazon says it takes between 48 and 72 hours to approve new blogs. We submitted a mashup of our Journalism.co.uk news and blog RSS feed late on Friday and found the blog was available on Kindle by Sunday morning.
How much money do readers pay?
Amazon decides whether readers pay £0.99 or £1.99 a month to read your blog, tempting them in with a 14-day free trial period.
How much money do I get?
Amazon keeps the lion's share, the blogger gets 30 per cent.
How do I get paid?
Non-US bank account holders get paid by cheque, US bloggers are asked to submit their bank account details.
You will be able to see how many people are subscribing to your blog by logging in to your Kindle publishing account.
Why would anyone pay to read a blog when they can get the same stories online for free?
It seems that Kindle users will pay for convenience. With a credit card linked to the user's Amazon account, the company believes a monthly charge of £1 or £2 sounds a reasonable amount to pay for the convenience of reading a blog on the device.
1. How do I create an RSS feed of my blog?
If you are a WordPress user, create/sign in to a Google account, search for Feedburner and enter the URL of your blog.
Most blogs and news sites will have an RSS available already.
If your blog or news site does not display correctly on the Kindle then take a look at the XML of your RSS feed. Do this by pasting the URL of the RSS feed into a browser, right click to "view page source", select all of the code and paste into this "xml toolbox" and click "format xml". You will then be able to see the commands for the various fields listed. Compare with any WordPress or other RSS feed to see if your feed has missing fields.
2. Blog name, tagline and description
You will be asked to provide the name of your blog and a description. You will also have the option to enter a tagline.
The description is important as it is what the reader will see when deciding whether to pay to subscribe to your blog.
3. A screenshot of your blog.
Save your screen shot, go to the upload section in your "Kindle publishing for blogs" account, drag the file to the blank field and then click "upload image".
4. Your logo or masthead
If you are using Photoshop or similar, ensure that you create a white background as transparent logos will show as black / grey on the Kindle.
Think about the keywords a reader will search for to find your blog.
You will be asked to fill in a couple of additional fields, including how frequently your blog is updated. You can then preview your blog and publish.
US bloggers can receive payment directly into a bank account or, for an $8 fee, can opt for a cheque. Non-US bloggers are all paid by cheque and are exempt from the $8 fee.
According to Amazon's terms and conditions, the company pays 60 days "following the end of the calendar month during which they make the applicable sale".
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