SPQ 073: Five Questions: Non-U.S. Reviews, Author Follow Button, Media Liability Insurance, Formatting, and Udemy

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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.

Question 1

Alexi asks via email: Is there a way to check out if you have reviews from the international Amazon pages without checking each one separately (which can be long and tedious)? Author Central seems to only show the US site. What about Amazon.ca, Amazon.uk, Amazon.fr, and other Amazon sites?

Steve’s Answer

That’s a good question. To be honest, it’s really not possible. What you could do is go to the individual country pages and do a search under your author name to see what books pop up. You can also go through your KDP dashboard. Click on Bookshelf, find the title of a book, and inside the title, you’ll see a list called “Store Links.” It’s very clunky and takes a lot of time.

Don’t obsess over looking at all of your reviews on international sites. Your time would be better spent writing books. This isn’t the answer you wanted, but maybe someone in the SPQ audience has an idea.

Question 2

Chad asks via SpeakPipe: First of all, thanks. Your book, “How to Write a Nonfiction eBook in 21 Days,” was a great boost of confidence. It helped me outline the table of contents and manuscript for a book I went on to sell about $10,000 worth of copies via Kickstarter. It was a book called “Veterans: Rebuild America.”

I’ve been publishing on Amazon, and I’ve noticed that on the author pages, they have a follow button now. So when you buy a book from an author, it appears that you’ve followed that author. It seems that about seven days after the author releases a new book, you get an email from Amazon that says they’ve published a new book. If you click “follow,” it says “See more recommended authors.” If you click on that, there’s a whole search page now for new authors. What are your thoughts on this, and where do you see this going?

Steve’s Answer

It’s awesome to see that you’ve had a lot of success. Ten thousand dollars on Kickstarter is incredible. Chad is talking about the big yellow button below the picture on your author page. If you click on it, you can check out authors similar to the ones you follow.

This is a great idea. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work. Steve has subscribed to a few authors, and he doesn’t always get emails about their new books. You should still ask people to follow you, but don’t count on it being a huge driver to get people to check out your next book.

You can ask people to follow you by adding a request to the back of your book or your email intro. You can even put a call to action in your author bio or at the end of your product description on Amazon.

The more decisions you give people, the less likely they are to take your most desired action. If they are on your product page, you want them to buy your book. You need to test this to make sure adding a CTA to your product description doesn’t result in a decrease in sales.

Question 3

Annie asks via SpeakPipe: Do you recommend getting media liability insurance? Do you have any guidelines?

Steve’s Answer

Media liability insurance is coverage for errors and omissions in the written or spoken word that results in the financial losses of another company. Steve is currently talking to his insurance company about this.

Steve talks about habits, and he’s very careful when he talks about income claims, but you always put yourself out there when you create written content, audio content, or videos. You run the risk of being sued if someone feels they lost money because of your advice.

Steve isn’t an attorney, so he recommends reading The Self-Publisher’s Legal Handbook. It has a lot of good advice regarding legal issues. You might want to connect with the author of this handbook and ask about media liability insurance.

Question 4

Greg Savage asks via email: I’m very intrigued by the information you post on your site. The question I have is, how do I go about creating an e-book or Kindle book? What software do I need, how do I format it, how do I do this from ground zero?

Steve’s Answer

This is a broad question, so check out past episodes of this podcast for more details.

You don’t necessarily need special software to write a Kindle book. Steve writes all of his books in Microsoft Word. There are some software programs to help you format your ebook: Scrivener and Calibre. Episode 31 covers book formatting in detail.

Question 5

Julie Steward via SpeakPipe: Suggestion: You might want to put a course on Udemy.

Steve loves the Udemy platform. It has courses to help you learn new skills or solve problems. From a product creator standpoint, Steve doesn’t necessarily want to post his content there.

Udemy controls pricing, so product creators don’t have control over discounts and sales. At the end of March, Udemy ran a sale on almost all of the courses on the platform. If Steve was a product creator on the platform, he’d be a bit upset that they discounted his course without his input.

Steve is currently creating a product on self-publishing. He hopes to have it out in August, but it will be on his own terms.

Resources and Links

Veterans: Rebuild America: Chad Grills shows veterans how to use their experience and skills in the new economy

The Self-Publisher’s Legal Handbook: Learn about contracts, copyright, and other legal issues that can affect your business

Scrivener: Formatting and project-management software for authors

Calibre: Software for converting your ebook to Kindle format

SPQ 031: Learn more about formatting your ebook

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