Archive

Monthly Archives: January 2015

SPQ 028: What Are the Requirements to Be a New York Times Bestseller?

spq28 new york bestsellerThe Question…

Som wants to know what the parameters are for determining if a Kindle book will be a New York Times bestseller (number of copies sold, etc.). He also asks if non-US authors are eligible for inclusion.

Biggest Takeway…

Steve’s Answer…

Non-US residents are absolutely eligible for the New York Times bestseller list. Many authors from outside the United States have been on the list. Steve has never personally achieved this goal, but in May 2014, he sold 16,000 copies of “Habit Stacking.” With a more strategic promotional plan, he may have been able to hit the list, but it’s not a major goal of his. Continue reading

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SPQ 027: How to Organize Book Research Using the Evernote App

spq27 newThe Question…

Rick is a prolific researcher who has trouble trimming extra information from his books. He wants to know how Steve decides how much research to do. Rick also wants to know how to use Evernote to organize his research.

Biggest Takeaway…

Steve’s Answer…

Ideas pop up at random times, so make a habit of writing down all of your ideas. Steve does this with his Kindle publishing checklist. The checklist has all the steps needed to move from initial idea to published book. Continue reading

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SPQ 026: Should I “Americanize” My Author Name?

spq26 americanize name

The Question…

“I have a very ethnic name. Should I consider changing it to something more Americanized to help influence sales on Amazon? If I’m trying to brand myself as a writer, author, and entrepreneur, should I just leave my name the way it is and hope people focus more on the quality of my content than the ethnicity of my name?”

Biggest Takeaway…

Steve’s Answer…

Steve says Hung should not Americanize his name. In episode 9, Steve talked about some of the challenges he’s experienced with using a pen name. Continue reading

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SPQ 025: How to Set Up a Podcast for a Self-Published E-zine or Magazine

SPQ 025: How to Set Up a Podcast for a Self-Published E-zine or Magazine

The Question…

How would I set up a podcast for an e-zine or newsletter that I am planning to self-publish?

Biggest Takeaway…

Steve’s Answer…

Steve doesn’t consider himself the go-to person for podcasting, so he’s going to share some resources he used to prepare for the Self-Publishing Questions podcast. They are not affiliate links; he simply wants to support the people who did a great job talking about their experiences with podcasting. Continue reading

SPQ 024: Increase Book Sales by Testing One Variable

SPQ 024: Increase Book Sales by Testing One Variable

Simple Book Marketing: Testing Variables

This is the first episode in a series called “Simple Book Marketing,” where Steve covers simple strategies to help increase your book sales.

In July 2012, Steve had two books in the marketplace. One of them was selling about five to 10 copies per day. He decided to update the book cover, change the keywords, write a new book description, and change the categories on Amazon. As a result, book sales plummeted.

Biggest Takeaway…

Continue reading

SPQ 023: Can You Promote Fiction Books to a Nonfiction Audience?

SPQ 023: Can You Promote Fiction Books to a Nonfiction Audience?

The Question…

Brad of LifeOnPurpose.com has a moderate-sized list on living your true life purpose. His other passion is speculative fiction and talking about his writing experiences on www.wbradfordswift.com. How can he leverage his list as a life coach?

Biggest Takeaway…

Steve’s Answer…

This is a hard question to answer because everyone has their own tastes when it comes to fiction vs. nonfiction. Steve loves to read personal development books and business nonfiction, but his fiction tastes tend to be in the horror, fantasy, and science fiction niches. Continue reading

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SPQ 022: CreateSpace vs. Kindle (Should You Pick One Over the Other?)

CreateSpace.com vs. Kindle

The Question…

Barry asks if you should publish on CreateSpace and then Kindle or vice-versa?

Biggest Takeaway…

Steve’s Answer…

CreateSpace is a print-on-demand service. If you upload a digital file, people can order a print version of your book. One good thing about CreateSpace is that it syncs with your Kindle account. When people come across your Kindle book on Amazon, they also have the opportunity to buy a print copy of the book via CreateSpace. Continue reading

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SPQ 021: 7 Ways to Stand Out in a Crowded Book Market

SPQ 021: 7 Ways to Stand Out in a Crowded Book Market

The Question…

Christian of Unpopular Tales asks how it’s possible to stand out in a market that’s saturated and full of competition.

Biggest Takeaway…

Steve’s Answer…

Amazon and other eBook platforms have become very crowded with authors. You need to up your game to stand out from this crowd. There are seven ways to do thisContinue reading

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SPQ 020: How to Craft Compelling Book Titles

SPQ 020: How to Craft Compelling Book Titles

The Question…

Thomas Lau of Kindle Bestseller Empire asks:

Can you share your thought process when deciding on the titles for your books? What tips can you give for authors who can’t fit keywords with high search volumes into their titles?

Biggest Takeaway…

Steve’s Answer…

The title of your book is really what helps it sell on Amazon and other ebook platforms. In episode 19, Steve explained why he doesn’t think keywords are all that important. He advises authors to avoid creating keyword-rich titles with a bunch of random words. Continue reading

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SPQ 019: Why Keyword Tools Don’t Sell Kindle Books

Why Keywords Tools Don't Sell Kindle Books

The Question…

A reader asks: “You come out against Kindle keyword search programs, but I would have thought that they would enable an author to more accurately find those precious seven keywords that Amazon allows? Surely these programs would offer more accurate results, and therefore more sales, than human opinion and guesswork? There are a number of programs on the market claiming to be able to identify the most effective Kindle keywords. As you suggest using the Google keyword tool, which is designed to help with Google searches, not Amazon searches, I don’t follow your logic on this point.”

Biggest Takeaway…

Steve’s Answer…

Steve’s opinion on this topic is pretty controversial, and a lot of authors and marketers actually disagree with him. He says keywords aren’t all that important for selling books. You want to find a good keyword for your main title and spend a bit of time finding seven keywords to use on Amazon, but keywords aren’t very important otherwise. Continue reading