Alexis of AlexisGrant.com asked about best practices for email marketing. In this episode, Steve gives a behind-the-scenes look at how he markets his habit books via email.
Email marketing is the lifeblood of Steve’s marketing, but there’s a lot that goes into it. The first thing you need is a lead magnet, or something you give to people who sign up for your email list. Steve uses AWeber, LeadPages and an opt-in box to collect email addresses and market to his list of subscribers. He currently has several traffic sources: Kindle books, SlideShare, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. In the future, he wants to test YouTube, podcasting, and paid traffic. Continue reading
Is it better to sign up with KDP Select or make a Kindle book permanently free? Find out in this episode of Self-Publishing Questions.
Antara wants to know Steve’s opinion on whether it is better to make a Kindle book permanently free or sign up for KDP Select and run free promos every 90 days. Steve has only used the “perma-free” strategy once, but a lot of fiction authors do it successfully. There is a way to get Amazon to list a book for free, but it does take a little bit of work. When publishing the book on Amazon, do not sign up for KDP Select. Set the price to 99 cents on Amazon; then publish it on Smashwords and other platforms.
Here’s the process for creating a perma-free book…Set the book’s price to free on other platforms. Once your book is live, tell Amazon the book is free on another website. When Amazon sees that your book is free elsewhere, it will match the price for Kindle readers. It will take a few weeks before the price match goes into effect. KDP Select allows authors to give their books away for free for five days during every 90-day period. Continue reading
There are many advantages to publishing on the Kindle platform, but is it better for some authors to sell directly on their own websites? In this episode, Steve discusses the advantages and disadvantages of selling on Amazon versus selling directly.
T Alan is a traditionally published author who is interested in turning his paperback books into ebooks. He has no Web presence or online following and wants to know if he should sell books on Amazon or sell them directly, as recommended by Pat Flynn.
Kindle does have some major advantages. It is a mass-market platform, so authors have access to a bigger audience there than they would if they sold via their own blogs or other platforms. People trust Amazon, so they are more likely to buy books and other items there than on unknown websites. The Kindle platform also gives authors the opportunity to run free promotions and Countdown Deals. All of these things make it easier to build an email list for marketing. Continue reading
Some independent authors publish in multiple niches, while others focus on just one topic. In this episode, find out which strategy Steve recommends.
Mia from SkinBrushingDetox.com asks,
“Do you think people should just focus on one niche? How many niches should you focus on? How about people with a lot of different interests?”
Steve says he made the mistake of focusing on multiple niches early in his publishing career. Had he focused on one niche and built one audience, he could have been more successful. Continue reading
Picking the right niche is essential for self-publishing success. In this episode, Steve outlines his process for choosing a profitable book niche.
Thom asks, “Do you have a specific step-by-step system in place for determining the profitability of any given niche or title?” People ask Steve this question all the time. Early in his publishing career, he made the mistake of creating books based on what people were already writing about. This was a mistake because it doesn’t add much to the marketplace. Instead of doing the same thing everyone else is doing, target a specific niche and focus on providing solutions for that audience.
Once you have a niche in mind, think about the problems people in that audience face. In the self-publishing niche, people want to know about writing books, formatting books, selling books, building author platforms, and using social media as a marketing tool. There are five book ideas right there. Really drill down into one niche to come up with a lot of ideas that provide value for readers. Continue reading
Many readers don’t realize how important interviews are for independent authors. In this episode, Steve outlines his process for encouraging readers to review his books on Amazon.
Rama from PublicSpeakKing.com wants to know how many sales an author needs to make before readers start leaving organic reviews. Organic reviews are very important, especially for independent authors. These are reviews written by people who don’t know you. Steve says he has seen it take up to 1,000 downloads to get one review while doing free promo does, but he uses a process to increase his chances of getting organic reviews from readers. He feels this process is 100 percent white hat (ethical) because he’s not asking readers for positive reviews.
There’s a lot you can do to get organic reviews on your self-published books. Continue reading
Staying productive isn’t always easy when you have a lot of ideas. In this episode, Steve gives tips for getting things done without stifling your creativity.
Kristi wants to know how to allocate enough time to get work done but still allow room for inspiration when it strikes. She has seven different ideas, including her dissertation topic, and she often falls down a rabbit hole while she is doing research.
Steve says it’s good to have a lot of ideas because it shows you have inspiration. The key is turning ideas into something tangible. He suggests: Continue reading
Welcome to the Self-Publishing Questions show, where bestselling author Steve Scott answers listener questions related to building a successful book-based business. In the inaugural episode, Steve introduces the podcast and explains how to submit questions.