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
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
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
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
This episode was recorded in late January, but it’s going live on February 4, the same day Steve flies from Newark to Amsterdam and then from Amsterdam to Tanzania. He’ll spend seven days hiking Mount Kilimanjaro and going on a safari. These are two things he’s wanted to do his entire life.
There are two reasons Steve is a self-published author: freedom and the ability to live life on his own terms. What is your “why”?
“If you use ideas you got from other people, how do you balance the need to credit your sources with the need to tell your own story?”
Steve is not a lawyer, nor does he play one on TV, so he recommends checking out The Self-Publisher’s Handbook by Helen Sedwick. She covers everything related to running a self-publishing business, from trademarks to libel and slander. You really need to understand the legalities of running a book-based business. Continue reading
Alex asks, “What are some of your favorite books?”
Steve says a lot of his success has come from reading books on a daily basis. It’s really difficult to pick a list of favorites from all the books he’s read, so this list is limited to books on self-publishing and business. These eight books have a lot of valuable information for authors. Continue reading
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.
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
What tools and processes do you use to help you be a prolific writer?
Prolific writing makes things a lot easier for your book-based business. When it comes to being prolific, it’s all about habits. The right habits help you take large projects and break them down into doable daily processes. Continue reading
Eric of ThirtybyForty.com wants to know how to find an editor and how much money to budget for editing.
Finding an editor is one of the most important things you can do as a self-published author. In fact, Steve says it is one of the two best investments you can make (the other is cover design). Investing in a good editor will turn an average book into a great book. Continue reading