Nicholas asks: How long are your ebooks vs. booklets? I am curious about the number of words rather than pages.
Josiane asks: I just read your book “Writing Habit Mastery,” and I loved it! How many words should one aim for when writing an ebook like yours? As an example, how many words were in that book?
The subject of word count is really important for authors. You need to know if your book is too short or long enough compared to other authors in your niche.
At first, Steve followed the “inch wide, mile deep” rule. He took a specific subject and drilled down to cover every possible topic. Since it was a very specific subject, the books were about 12,000 to 14,000 words each. Continue reading
Nick asks: I have heard you, on several occasions, talk about your “street team” in regard to how you get reviews for your books when you launch them. I understand the concept with asking your list for the review, but how do you go about it? Do you just simply ask them to post favorable reviews if they enjoyed the book? I have been building lots of lists with Kindle and haven’t really tapped into them for reviews yet; I would really love to hear your thoughts on that.
Reviews are really important. Not only do they tell people good things and bad things about your book, they also affect Amazon’s ranking algorithm. There are a lot of paid promotion sites that require a certain number of reviews before they will even consider promoting your book. Finally, if you don’t have any reviews, people might not be willing to give your book a try. Continue reading
We’re starting a new segment called “Five Questions.” Steve will take five of the questions he’s gotten and answer them in a rapid-fire manner. He’s doing this because some questions only require a simple response, so he can’t devote an entire episode to them.
Some of the questions have already been covered, so he also doesn’t want to dedicate another full episode to something that has already been discussed. Right now, Steve has 120 questions in the queue, so this is a good way to make sure everything is covered. It can also help this podcast provide more value for listeners.
Even though there are a lot of questions waiting to be answered, Steve will get to them all, so don’t hesitate to submit a question via SpeakPipe or email. Continue reading
Eric of Copy Dojo, and author of “Mastermind Your Business,” asks: My question is about translating your self-published books. Is this something you’ve done? If yes, what languages have you focused on? If not, is it something you’re considering for the future? Finally, is translation something you’d recommend to other self-published authors as a means of generating additional revenue?
Steve loves this question because this is something he’s currently testing. He thinks the ebook market is growing outside the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia. The short answer is yes, it’s something he’s testing and he recommends that people do it. Continue reading
Marcella of The Writer’s Monthly Review magazine asks: My book hit the stands in March 2014; it was full of typos and mistakes, labeling me as unprofessional and sloppy. I wish I could pull it from the market, but I signed a five-year contract with the publisher. With the last proofing, they apparently didn’t fix the typos and other mistakes. What can I do about it? I have all but quit marketing it because of all the typos—not one, but many. If I saw the mistakes immediately, so will my readers.
Marcella is in a tough situation because she worked hard on her book, but she doesn’t have the creative control necessary to update it. This is why Steve doesn’t really like dealing with traditional publishing companies. You lose the ability to control how you present and market your book. Continue reading
Jon Haws asks: I just noticed that Amazon is allowing authors to use Amazon Marketing Services. Have you had a chance to play around with it yet? I wanted to get your take on using AMS before I set up a promo.
Jon Haws is another example of a person doing a great job building a business. Steve plans to meet up with Jon and his cousin Spencer at New Media Expo. He’ll share what he learns from Jon and Spencer on a future edition of this podcast. Continue reading
George asks: I have a question about reusing content from a Kindle book. I have a niche site idea using affiliate marketing that is based on the same content in my book. Am I allowed to copy and paste chapters as blog posts, or is that a violation of KDP terms?
Steve really likes this question because it shows George is thinking beyond the Kindle platform. You really need to sit down and think of different ways to reuse your content. You can reuse content in the following ways: Continue reading
Steve has a special offer for listeners of the Self-Publishing Questions podcast. He is having a St. Patrick’s Day sale featuring seven of his titles, five of which are especially helpful for listeners of SPQ:
Each book is on sale for $0.99 in the U.S. or 99 pence in the UK. The sale runs from March 11 to March 18. You can find out more on the SPQ website.
Book sales are an important part of Steve’s overall strategy, especially between launches. If you release a book in February and won’t have another one ready until April, it’s good to have a book sale sometime in March. This can help you generate a lot of sales between new releases. Continue reading
Michal Stawicki asks: Do your audiobooks actually add revenue to your business, or do you just use them to get more subscribers? How much money in Kindle sales do you need to make to make it worth investing in audiobook creation?
Michal is an active Amazon author and a good example of someone who is trying to build a solid business. One of his recent books is “Trickle Down Mindset.”
Alex Kirby of the “Life After Football” blog asks: When it comes to itemizing deductions on your business taxes, do you consider the entire price of the book as revenue, then deduct the cost of printing and whatever Amazon takes out before you get your cut, or do you only start with the royalty you get for each book? For example, if I have a book that sells $19.99 and costs $2.50 to print, do you deduct the $2.50 as an expense?
Self-Publishing Questions has been on hiatus for two weeks. Steve had a rough transition when he got home from hiking Mount Kilimanjaro, plus he had some trouble getting back into the swing of things in terms of motivation. He apologizes for the unscheduled break.
From now on, the podcast will run Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Continue reading