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SPQ 072: Should You Pay to Launch a Free Book (and What Sites Get the Best ROI)?

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The Question

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?

Biggest Takeaway

Steve’s Answer

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

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SPQ 071: How Do You Research and Write a Book on an Unfamiliar Topic?

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The Question

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?

Biggest Takeaway

Steve’s Answer

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

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SPQ 070: 13 Essential Tools All Authors Need

essential tools for authors

The Question

Thomas Lau asks: What are the absolute essentials and good-to-have tools (online or offline) for authors?

Biggest Takeaway

Steve’s Answer

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

SPQ 069: Teams 101 – The Best Way to Scale Your Author Business

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The Question

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?

Biggest Takeaway

Steve’s Answer

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

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SPQ 068: Perma-Free Book – Do I Need to Pull the Others From KDP Select?

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The Question

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.

Biggest Takeaway

Steve’s Answer

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

SPQ 067: 3 Books – Should I Launch Them All Together?

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The Question

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.

Biggest Takeaway

Steve’s Answer

It’s great to hear that Dekel is focusing on list building and thinking about maximizing the effectiveness of his list. Continue reading

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SPQ 066: Free PDF vs. Kindle Book

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The Question

Chris asks: I’m working on my first book and free PDF. It hit me that I could also make my free PDF a Kindle book and just give away the PDF to my newsletter subscribers. Do you have any thoughts on this idea?

Biggest Takeaway

Steve’s Answer

Chris is talking about a lead magnet, which is a free piece of content you use to build your email list. Steve covered this in detail in episode 7. It’s not clear if Chris is talking about selling the second book or giving it away for free. If you want to learn more about the perma-free strategy, check out episode 6. Continue reading

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SPQ 065: Facebook Ads: 5 Ways to Target Your Ideal Book Reader

Hands are making indecision signals

The Question

Tim asks: Do you have any good advice for using Facebook ads to promote your book?

Biggest Takeaway

Steve’s Answer

This is a great question. It’s impossible to cover everything about Facebook ads in just one episode, so Steve is going to cover five strategies he’s currently testing on the Facebook advertising platform. He’s not an expert in Facebook advertising, so try some of these strategies on your own to see what works for you.

Tim is talking about the advertising platform available on Facebook. There are several challenges associated with using this platform, especially for authors. Continue reading

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SPQ 064: 6 Common Mistakes Many Authors Make

Hand pulling out wodden block.

The Question

I’m a first-time Kindle author. I’m almost ready to publish my first book on Amazon, and I’m a little nervous about it. What are the common mistakes you think every author should avoid, whether it’s a first-time author or a seasoned veteran?

Biggest Takeaway

Steve’s Answer

Steve sees people make a lot of mistakes when they publish their own books. There are too many mistakes to cover in one podcast, so this episode covers six of the most common mistakes. Steve has covered some of these topics in previous episodes, so there are a lot of links to help you find more information. Continue reading

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SPQ 063: How Many Words Are in a Standard eBook?

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The Questions

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?

Biggest Takeaway

Steve’s Answer

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