amazon kindle logoFor a short while, people were making money hand over fist with the Kindle while doing very little work. The idea was that you would purchase PLR books and then publish them using the Kindle Digital Publishing service. All you’d do is add a new cover and a catchy title and away you went. People really did make money on it, but that’s all over now.

What Is PLR?

PLR stands for Private Label Rights and it’s kind of like purchasing a large quantity of canned goods and then slapping your own label on it.
Kroger’s doesn’t actually manufacturer canned peas for example – they contract out with a company which does it for dozens of supermarkets (and often for name brands too – as an aside, often the generic and brand name version of a product are literally identical except for the label, but that’s something for my personal finance blog) and then slap a label on it which says Kroger.
In fact, the next time you visit the supermarket, look closely at a can of store brand food. Somewhere, it should say “manufactured by xxx for yyy.” Anyway, when you buy a PLR book, you are in essence purchasing the right to slap your name (or any name) on it and then republish it and sell it as if it’s yours.

What Happened with the Kindle

People had quickly realized that they could make a fortune by selling eBooks on the Kindle and other eBook readers, even if they didn’t make many sales. All they had to do was to buy the rights to a PLR book (often for as little as $1), reformat it, set up a new cover and title and upload it to the Kindle Digital Publishing service. Put up a price that it will sell at (maybe $2.99) and you can make a profit after the second or third sale (Amazon did take a cut).

The Market Becomes Saturated

As with any “get rich quick” scheme, those who got in first made the big bucks in this business and even turned around and sold $1,000 “courses” to explain how to do it. However, it had gotten to the point where there were millions of these low quality PLR books floating around in the Kindle store and many of them were identical, save for the name and cover (and many didn’t even bother changing the name or cover).

Amazon Wises Up

I myself had done an experiment where I took a freebie PLR book and put it up there with a different cover. I didn’t really pay much attention to it and I never made a sale. Then again, I had other ways to make money online. Anyway, a few weeks ago, I got an e-mail from Amazon that they were taking down my book and others like it because they were all similar or identical to each other. In other words, the PLR scheme is now caput.

How to Make Money Now

I personally have not tried this and have no interest in doing it because I have enough to do with other revenue streams. However, it does occur to me that it’s possible to still make money on Kindle with PLR content, but you’ll need to invest more time or more money to do it. In essence, you can take a PLR book and do what you’re meant to do with it – use it as the basis for a unique work all your own.
In essence, you would re-write the PLR eBook and publish it. Then, it’s unique and Amazon won’t take it down. The catch of course is that it’s a lot more work. The alternative is to hire a writer on a site like eLance or Guru to do the re-write for you, but of course, that costs more money.

Bottom Line

The free ride is over, but for those willing to do real work, there is still money to be made from eBooks. So keep publishing on Kindle and keep using PLR. Just make sure your work is unique before you put it up for sale.