Before I left for my nomadic journey, I stumbled upon Adrian Ingram, founder of Driven Living. He makes YouTube videos documenting his progress with his Kindle book business as well as his travel adventures. I watched some of his stuff back in California when I was setting up my own Kindle books. So when I got to Chiang Mai, I reached out to him to say what’s up. We ended up getting work done at Jangkub Coffee a few times, and I later asked if he wanted to participate in a DNQ Interview! Check out our interview below:
How Adrian Ingram Earns Over $10,000/Month Passive Income with Kindle Books
Sharon: Tell us about yourself!
Adrian: I’m your regular 23-years old guy from Melbourne Australia, though these days I spend most of my time travelling overseas. I’ve been working online for a few years now, and it allowed me to quit my job almost 2 years ago! Since then, I’ve mostly spent my time publishing books to Amazon Kindle and slowly building up more online income streams.
Sharon: How old were you when you first started working on your kindle business? The market seems pretty saturated now – was it already saturated back then?
Adrian: I started about 3 years ago now, when I was 20 years old. It was definitely a lot less saturated back then, but I had no idea what I was doing either. It is definitely more competitive right now on Amazon, but I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily saturated. I’m finding it easier now than ever to do well with Kindle, and it’s still a great time for people to get involved!
Sharon: What made you choose kindle books out of all passive income streams (kindle books, drop shipping, Amazon FBA, courses, niche sites, affiliate marketing, etc.)
Adrian: My first online business was actually selling things on eBay. The trouble with that was I had to be there to physically ship products. I then started researching a few different methods of making money without physical products, and I randomly stumbled across Kindle publishing. I heard about a couple of others doing it, and it seemed to tick all of the boxes – so I gave it a go!
Sharon: You must have tested a lot before you found a profitable book. How much do you think you spent on writers before you found a book that made maybe $50/month or more? How many books did it take?
Adrian: I made way too many books before I had one succeed. I had no real niche selection criteria, and was blindly choosing book topics. I was of the opinion that publishing 1,000 books that each made $10 a month was the way to go. In reality, it’s way easier to publish 10 books that make $1,000 each.
I must have spent thousands and thousands before it finally clicked. It’s a lot, but it was definitely a learning experience and I’m glad I stuck with it.
Sharon: Around how much passive income do you think you earned before you made the decision to quit your job?
Adrian: At the time, I was making $1,500 a month working part-time. Once I consistently hit that figure [with Kindle books], I put in my notice.
Sharon: Was it scary moving abroad to Chiang Mai? Did you know people doing the same thing?
Adrian: Yeah it definitely was a bit scary. The first time, I left for one month and it was my first time travelling alone. Everyone at home asked me “why are you going for so long?”. Then, once I got to Chiang Mai, everyone [there] asked me “why are you only staying for one month?”. It was an interesting difference in perspective!
I didn’t know anyone personally living this lifestyle, and had just heard about it from people’s blogs and YouTube channels. Once I was out here though I quickly realized that I had nothing to be worried about. Everyone I’ve met out here has been nice, and I actually feel a lot safer here than at home!
Sharon: Is there anything you wish you did differently?
Adrian: I wish I focused on quality over quantity from the start. Putting out 1 high quality product can be a lot more lucrative than 10 mediocre ones, especially over the long-run!
Sharon: How many pages are your books normally or what is your general word count? How much do you pay your writers normally?
Adrian: Typically between 10,000 – 15,000 [words]. I pay $1.50 per 100 words, so each 10,000 word book ends up being $150 USD.
Sharon: Do you have any outsourced writers you work with long term or do you have new ones each time? What sites do you recommend to hire writers?
I’d recommend either of them! Otherwise, you can hire writers privately on www.upwork.com
Sharon: Do you have any other VAs you need to automate your business? If so, what parts do you automate and where did you hire those VAs?
Adrian: Right now, I have 6 virtual assistants working on my business. They promote my books, and I organize for them to get reviews. I hire all of them through www.upwork.com
Other than that, I use www.fiverr.com a lot! I use Fiverr to get covers created, and for all of the book formatting.
Sharon: How can you tell if a niche is too saturated to compete in, if their bestseller rank is good (under 100,000)?
Adrian: If other books have a BSR of 100,000 or better, it’s typically a good niche. The other criteria I look at though are the number of reviews the competitors have. If they all have 50+ reviews, it can be a lot harder to compete.
Also, I’ll check if the books are written by anyone famous or with a big online following that could be contributing to their sales.
Sharon: I know you have some landing pages for your books to gain email subscribers. What platform do you use to create those web pages?
Adrian: I initially made some pretty basic ones for free using www.wix.com
For my newer ones though, I use www.optimizepress.com
It’s $97 for the basic package, and has some awesome templates for opt-in forms.
Sharon: How many books and accounts do you have now?
Adrian: I have over 200 books published right now. Most of them though, are terrible, and are on my first Kindle account which makes the least amount of money of all my accounts.
My best account is my second one, which currently has 18 books. I have a third account also that now has 8 books.
Recently, I started a joint account with my sister also, which only has 2 books in in right now!
Sharon: Are you working on any new business ideas or projects outside of Kindle? What are your next steps or goals with either kindle or anything else?
Adrian: I also sell a course teaching Kindle Publishing, but most of my focus is spent on publishing books right now. Later in the year I would like to learn about SEO though, and start a niche website. I’m also interested in trying Amazon FBA when it arrives in Australia in September.
Right now though, I’m looking at selling my second Kindle account, whilst publishing more books to my 3rd account, and the one I am sharing with my sister.
Sharon: Do you feel like Kindle is still a viable income stream even to this day? What advice do you have for beginners? Any last words?
Adrian: Absolutely! Amazon is making it a lot harder now for people to get reviews for their books, which is putting a lot of people off from getting started. This higher barrier to entry means that there is less competition. Personally, I’m finding now easier than ever to do well with Kindle!
My advice to beginners would be to be very selective when choosing a niche to publish in. It may take a long time to find a good one, but keep on searching! Once you’ve found a good topic to write about, make sure that your book is high quality. Make your books good from the start, and they should continue to sell well for years to come!
I really enjoyed interviewing Adrian and love his transparency on everything from where he hires his writers to how many books he’s published. He’s super open to helping out, so check out his Freedom Self Publishing course if you want to get into the Kindle business, as you’ll have personal access to his help and teachings! I highly recommend his guidance as he’s very invested in his students and always tries to help out in the DN community.
Landing Page Creation: