Marie asks via email: “I released my book on Amazon on April 7. I did the KDP Free promotion and am now doing a week for $0.99. I will gradually move it to $2.99. I know you said to keep writing books, but when is the best time to move on to the next book? I feel that I’m chasing the ‘Amazon Best Sellers Rank’ on my current book, trying to keep it “above water.” How do you balance and not go crazy?”
Marie’s book is “Just a Little More Money.” Steve took a look at the book, and he noticed it’s currently at a 12,000 ranking. That’s great for a first book. It’s currently listed at $1.99, so Marie should consider changing it to $2.99. It won’t make much of a difference in sales, but it will make a big difference in her earnings. Continue reading
I know you’ve mentioned a few times that you tried to publish a series of children’s books on Kindle. I’m wondering if you’d do a podcast where you went into exactly why you decided not to move forward with it, and why you think children’s books don’t do well on Kindle. Is it because it’s harder to build a platform when you are trying to market kids’ books? I’m curious because I’ve published a series of kids’ books, and it’s definitely a challenge. I’m only selling about five books per day. I’d love to hear the lessons you learned.
Not many people ask about his experience publishing kids’ books. Surprisingly, he learned more from that failed experiment than he has by publishing some of his other titles. Continue reading
Tobias asks: I’m looking for quality ebook writers. I’m looking to outsource the writing of some Kindle books, and I’m having a hard time finding people who produce quality. I’ve been primarily using Odesk, and my experience so far is that they are writing the ebooks, but the English is not as good as the writers’ resumes and our conversations would imply. I’m frustrated with that. How do you acquire quality ebook writers to write your Kindle books, if you are using any?
Hiring a writer is not necessarily Steve’s recommended strategy for self-publishing. He hires writers for other aspects of his business, but to create the content, he uses other writers very sparingly. Continue reading
It’s time for another Five Questions segment. In this episode, Steve covers a variety of topics including finding your international reviews, if the Author Follow button works, media liability insurance, formatting, and putting a product on Udemy.
Daemon asks: If I was going to do a free book promotion, is it worth spending the money on certain advertisements? Which ones do you think have the biggest return on investment?
Steve launches his books at 99 cents each, so his strategy is a little different than the strategy Daemon asked about. If you don’t have an established platform, you definitely want to look into the free book strategy. Continue reading
William asks via email: I am a complete newbie with Kindle ebook publishing. Trying to learn and figure things out is proving to be overwhelming. Everyone has their “method.” I watched a YouTube interview with you and a couple of people. Once you’ve come up with a niche/topic, how do you actually research and compile the info for the book, especially if it’s not a topic you have a lot of experience with?
It’s great to see that William is taking his first steps into self-publishing. Everyone definitely has their own method, but getting into this industry is like sipping from a fire hose. There’s a lot to take in, and a lot of people have conflicting messages. Continue reading
Thomas Lau asks: What are the absolute essentials and good-to-have tools (online or offline) for authors?
Steve has a list of recommended resources on the SPQ Resources page. The tools on this page are really good for authors.
Thomas asked about the essentials, so Steve has a list of tools he uses pretty much on a daily basis. Continue reading
Gregg asks: I have a question about your business setup. Since you are publishing so many books, you must have someone on staff that helps with the editing and stuff, right? Do you have someone on your actual team, or do you just outsource the work?
Gregg helped put together the audio intro and outro for SPQ. Steve really appreciates his help.
Gregg asked specifically about editors, but he asked about building teams around books, so Steve decided to take this question and turn it into a larger question about building a team. Continue reading
Zach asks: When going perma-free on book one of a series, is it assumed that every book in your series needs to come out of KDP Select? I know to get perma-free status, you have to distribute to all of the platforms, so my first book would have to be pulled out of KDP Select. The thing is, I’m doing really well with borrows on Kindle Unlimited, so I’m not sure I’ll be ready to pull the entire series out of KDP Select once I write one or two more books and want to make the first book perma-free.
Zach’s covers and descriptions look great. Steve recommends spending $10 or so and having a redirect link for your email list. Zach is currently using a bit.ly link, which might change down the road, preventing people from finding his sign-up page. Continue reading
Dekel asks: I have three books. Should I launch them all at once or launch each one a few months apart? I have no list and I’m hoping to build one using the books.
It’s great to hear that Dekel is focusing on list building and thinking about maximizing the effectiveness of his list. Continue reading