K asks: Based on your own experience in getting set up, how do you use virtual assistants in your self-publishing business?
Using virtual assistants and freelancers is a major part of Steve’s business. He does almost all of his own content creation, but he uses teams to take care of a lot of the moving parts. Unless you systematize everything you do, you’ll make mistakes if you try to handle all of these tasks yourself. Continue reading
Ruth of SuperBabyFood.com asks via email: If you update your Kindle book, do people who previously bought the book automatically get the updates?
This is a great question because it shows you’re thinking about providing great customer service. Updating books is a great tactic if you write about topics that are constantly changing. Continue reading
What do you do about authors who publish books extremely similar to the ones you publish? I have noticed books with very similar covers and content in the marketplace.
This is a very touchy subject, and a lot of people get very emotional about it. No one likes to see their hard work get ripped off by someone who outsourced the work to a writer in a foreign country. Steve understands what this is like because his content is ripped off all the time. Continue reading
Mark of FragthePlanet.com asks: Do you think it’s better to use your real name as your brand? My name is a bit difficult to spell. Is it better to use a pen name, or should I stick with another name, such as bookcompany.com?
A lot of authors don’t think of a book as part of their brand. They put books in the marketplace, but they don’t think long-term. Steve recommends thinking of each book you publish as part of your author platform. Episode 13 explains the importance of building a platform in detail. Continue reading
Is it okay to use trademarked names, like Steve did with his Evernote book, when writing a book? How can I legally use trademarked names in my book titles?
A lot of authors struggle with using trademarks in their titles, so this is a great question. Steve has a book called “Master Evernote,” so he went through the same experience of wondering if he could put the name of a product in his title. Many books use trademarked names in their titles, so it’s really confusing. Continue reading
Leslye Penelope, a fantasy romance author, wonders why Steve points his URL directly to Amazon instead of sending people to his author website. As a reader, she usually researches an author before buying a book. It seems his URL should go to a place where readers can learn more about him and then figure out if they want to buy his books.
Steve is glad Leslye asked this question because it challenges a piece of advice he has been giving to listeners. This type of question makes him think about his responses and the “why” behind everything he recommends. Continue reading
When Steve started the Self-Publishing Questions podcast, he assumed people wanted new episodes seven days per week. Then he thought about the “Ask Pat” podcast. Steve travels a lot, so when it comes to a daily podcast, he tends to lose track. Then trying to catch up on past episodes is too much work, so he ends up listening to a one-day-a-week podcast so it’s easier to keep up.
He started to wonder if daily episodes were overwhelming for the SPQ audience, so he sent an email with two questions. How many episodes per week do you prefer? What information product would you prefer?
Surprisingly, 76 percent of the people who responded said they want three episodes per week. Therefore, Steve is switching to three episodes per week to see how it works.
Steve would love to hear your opinion, so please take the poll and let him know what you think.
The lesson here is that you should never assume you know what your audience wants. If you ask questions, your audience members will tell you things you have never even thought about. Continue reading
Derek Doepker of ExcuseProof.com wants to know how long you should keep a book at 99 cents and promote to your list before you let Amazon take over and start driving organic sales.
Jon Jorgenson just published his third book, but it’s his first book through KDP. Members of his audience are having a hard time understanding how they can order the book if they don’t have the Kindle app or a Kindle device. He thinks this is limiting his sales. What is the best way to educate an audience that is used to buying print books on how they can easily buy Kindle books?
The obvious answer is to use CreateSpace to give audience members the chance to buy a print version of the book. Some people want print books and don’t enjoy the ebook reading experience. Tom “Big Al” Schreiter makes 30 percent of his income from print books, so there’s nothing wrong with offering a print option to readers. It only costs about $50 to $200 to get a print book on CreateSpace. Another option is to use Lightning Source to distribute to larger platforms. Continue reading
You’ve talked about how to build your actual platform, but what do you do with an email list once you have it?