SPQ 032: Can You Build a Book Business and Generate $10,000 Per Month?

american dollars in the handsThe Question…

Sherese asks, “What advice do you have for someone who wants to get into the Kindle business and has a dream of making $10,000 per month in residual income, but without an established platform?” She has always been attracted to Kindle and the idea of producing content for the Web.

Steve’s Answer…

A lot of people ask Steve how to make a certain amount of money per month. He says it’s very hard to make $10,000 per month. Even if you do everything right, it doesn’t always happen. Many full-time authors still haven’t reached their income goals. It’s not something you can do in a couple of months. Continue reading

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SPQ 031: What is the Best Way to Format an Ebook?

spq31 format an ebookThe Question…

What’s the best way to format my first book? Is it best to go to Fiverr, or is it better to learn how to do it yourself? I have an older version of Word that doesn’t seem to work with what’s out there. It seems very complicated.

Steve’s Answer…

Steve feels formatting is his Achilles heel. It’s the one aspect of his business he hasn’t totally nailed down, so he recently hired someone to format his books for him. When he first started out, he was really frustrated by the MOBI format, so he created books without formatting. He would use asterisks instead of bullet points so the formatting didn’t look all over the place. It didn’t give readers a quality experience. Continue reading

SPQ 030: Dozens of Ebooks, Low Review Numbers. What Can I Do?

Magnifying glass focused on the word reviewThe Question…

Dennis has about a dozen books on Kindle and CreateSpace. It’s like pulling teeth to get people to review them, even on books that have been downloaded for free on KDP several thousand times. He wants to know Steve’s secret for generating reviews.

Biggest Takeaway…

Steve’s Answer…

In episode 2, Steve talked extensively about generating reviews. It’s not a secret; just talk to people and build an audience. He feels it’s all about getting organic reviews and telling people why reviews are so important. Make sure you tell people exactly what they need to do to leave a review. Continue reading

SPQ 029: My Presentation – The 80/20 of Building a Nonfiction Author Platform

spq29 author platformSteve’s Presentation

In one week, Steve is participating in the Author Marketing Live event. The virtual event, which runs from January 26 to January 30, has 20 speakers giving one-hour presentations. Learn more or register for Author Marketing Live at www.amlticket.com.

Steve will cover the following topics during his presentation:

  • How to identify what works for your business
  • Email marketing
  • Which platforms to focus on
  • How to maximize your book launch
  • Simple marketing tricks that have a long-term impact on sales
  • How to scale your business into a full-time income

Continue reading

SPQ 028: What Are the Requirements to Be a New York Times Bestseller?

spq28 new york bestsellerThe Question…

Som wants to know what the parameters are for determining if a Kindle book will be a New York Times bestseller (number of copies sold, etc.). He also asks if non-US authors are eligible for inclusion.

Biggest Takeway…

Steve’s Answer…

Non-US residents are absolutely eligible for the New York Times bestseller list. Many authors from outside the United States have been on the list. Steve has never personally achieved this goal, but in May 2014, he sold 16,000 copies of “Habit Stacking.” With a more strategic promotional plan, he may have been able to hit the list, but it’s not a major goal of his. Continue reading

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SPQ 027: How to Organize Book Research Using the Evernote App

spq27 newThe Question…

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.

Biggest Takeaway…

Steve’s Answer…

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

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SPQ 026: Should I “Americanize” My Author Name?

spq26 americanize name

The Question…

“I have a very ethnic name. Should I consider changing it to something more Americanized to help influence sales on Amazon? If I’m trying to brand myself as a writer, author, and entrepreneur, should I just leave my name the way it is and hope people focus more on the quality of my content than the ethnicity of my name?”

Biggest Takeaway…

Steve’s Answer…

Steve says Hung should not Americanize his name. In episode 9, Steve talked about some of the challenges he’s experienced with using a pen name. Continue reading

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SPQ 025: How to Set Up a Podcast for a Self-Published E-zine or Magazine

SPQ 025: How to Set Up a Podcast for a Self-Published E-zine or Magazine

The Question…

How would I set up a podcast for an e-zine or newsletter that I am planning to self-publish?

Biggest Takeaway…

Steve’s Answer…

Steve doesn’t consider himself the go-to person for podcasting, so he’s going to share some resources he used to prepare for the Self-Publishing Questions podcast. They are not affiliate links; he simply wants to support the people who did a great job talking about their experiences with podcasting. Continue reading

SPQ 024: Increase Book Sales by Testing One Variable

SPQ 024: Increase Book Sales by Testing One Variable

Simple Book Marketing: Testing Variables

This is the first episode in a series called “Simple Book Marketing,” where Steve covers simple strategies to help increase your book sales.

In July 2012, Steve had two books in the marketplace. One of them was selling about five to 10 copies per day. He decided to update the book cover, change the keywords, write a new book description, and change the categories on Amazon. As a result, book sales plummeted.

Biggest Takeaway…

Continue reading

SPQ 023: Can You Promote Fiction Books to a Nonfiction Audience?

SPQ 023: Can You Promote Fiction Books to a Nonfiction Audience?

The Question…

Brad of LifeOnPurpose.com has a moderate-sized list on living your true life purpose. His other passion is speculative fiction and talking about his writing experiences on www.wbradfordswift.com. How can he leverage his list as a life coach?

Biggest Takeaway…

Steve’s Answer…

This is a hard question to answer because everyone has their own tastes when it comes to fiction vs. nonfiction. Steve loves to read personal development books and business nonfiction, but his fiction tastes tend to be in the horror, fantasy, and science fiction niches. Continue reading