How My Amazon Book Portfolio Crossed $180,000 in Royalties

Greg Lim
4 min readMay 24, 2022


My Amazon book portfolio (18 books) has crossed $180k in royalties ($170k from Amazon & $10k from IngramSpark). My journey took several years. But here are some things I’ve learned:

  1. You don’t need an audience to get started on Amazon.

I had 0 social media platforms throughout the journey. Till today, almost no sales come from Twitter. I didn’t blog or tweet. The only thing I did consistently was writing books. I outsourced marketing to Amazon.

2. I chased ‘trends’

If Angular was popular, I wrote about that. If React was popular, I wrote about that. If people are talking about Ionic, I wrote about that. Not every book sold. E.g. books on Ionic and React Native didn’t work out for me.

3. I provided support to readers I had 0 social media presence.

But I had an email for readers to contact me for issues. I tried to respond to most of them. That helped to establish a relationship with them. Many returned the favor & left good reviews & became repeat customers

4. I charge the max of $9.99

I am fortunate to be writing in tech which has a ‘premium’. You normally can’t charge $9.99 for fiction. But for a technical book, you can especially when competing books go for >$30. Why don’t I charge >$9.99? The royalty decreases from 70% to 35%.

5. I don’t compromise my work & family time

Whenever my main work piles up, or my family needs me, I will drop all my writing. I am in control to prioritise family. Manage your marriage well. Love your children. These are what really matters. You are in it for the long haul.

6. Don’t worry about competition.

There will always be new trends and topics to write. Don’t limit yourself saying you can’t pick up new tech. When I was doing my CS degree, there wasn’t asynchronous programming or blockchain. The human brain can adapt and learn amazingly.

7. There are times of failure.

If you look at the royalty chart, there is an obvious valley. I didn’t write programming books from the start. I started with Singapore Math books which sold well. But I was then issued a cease and desist letter from a competing company.

All my books were taken down by Amazon. I was devastated. What could I do? I had to re-start. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t dare go back to Math books for fear history will repeat itself. I started from zero and went back to my programming roots.

8. I built my brand with each increasing book

As I published one book after another, readers came to recognize that my work is known for short, concise, straightforward explanations of complex code. I started to build an authority and brand name around this.

9. Requesting for reviews

I was initially hesitant to ask for reviews from readers, thinking that I help them with an ‘agenda’. But reviews are the most important for Amazon books. I had to get over this, & first provided value to them, then asked for reviews. Quite a number did

10. Next Steps — Tryout Amazon Manual ads

I’ve only recently turned on Auto ads. Though it’s very little increase in royalty (about $100–200/mth), it’s still an increase. I’ve heard success stories abt manual ads, & I plan to research this more & share my lessons with you.

Finally, I am excited to help others embark on their own Amazon journeys. I created a part-time authors cohort-based course to share even more detailed and concrete lessons I’ve gained in this wonderful journey. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

And if you would like to sign up for my course on publishing & selling on Amazon, you can do so here:

Thanks for reading.

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Greg Lim