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SPQ 012: How Do I Find a Book Editor?

How Do I Find a Book Editor?

The Question…

Eric of ThirtybyForty.com wants to know how to find an editor and how much money to budget for editing.

Biggest Takeaway…

Steve’s Answer…

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

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SPQ 011: Should I Submit a Book to Amazon.com or Amazon.ca?

Should I Submit a Book to Amazon.com or Amazon.ca

The Question…

Patrick, a writer based in Canada, says he struggles with deciding where he should put his content. Should he use Amazon.ca or Amazon.com? Is there is a difference?

Biggest Takeaway…

Steve’s Answer…

There’s really no difference between Amazon.com and Amazon.ca. If you create an account in your home country, your content can be distributed on Amazon.com, Amazon.de, Amazon.uk, and all the other Amazon platforms. You don’t need multiple accounts to distribute your books all over the world. Continue reading

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SPQ 010: How Do I Deal With Negative Kindle Book Reviews?

How Do I Deal With Negative Kindle Book Reviews?

The Question…

Andrew wants to know how self-published authors should handle reviews when reviews are so integral to success in self-publishing.

Biggest Takeaway…

Steve’s Answer…

It’s difficult to put a lot of effort into a book and then get negative reviews, but there’s not much you can do about it. Everyone gets negative reviews, even famous authors. Steve says there are three ways to handle a negative review: Continue reading

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SPQ 009 – How Do I Publish on Amazon Using a Pen Name or Pseudonym?

SPQ 009 – How Do I Publish on Amazon Using a Pen Name or Pseudonym?

The Question…

Daniel wants to know if it’s possible to publish a Kindle book under a pseudonym and how to do it through Amazon.

Biggest Takeaway…

Steve’s Answer…

Many people wonder whether they should publish under their own name or use a pseudonym. Steve is especially qualified to answer this question because Steve Scott is actually his pen name. Back in 2005, he used his real name and home address on the World Wide Web. One day, a stranger knocked on his door and started asking questions about things Steve had written. It was a scary experience, especially when he thought about what might happen once he got married and had kids. He decided to use a pen name to insulate his personal life from his professional life. Continue reading

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SPQ 008: How Do You Manage Multiple Book Projects?

SPQ 008: How Do You Manage Multiple Book Projects?

The Question…

A reader asks how many projects Steve typically has in his publishing pipeline. In this episode, Steve explains how he moves from idea to completed project.

Biggest Takeaway…

Steve’s Answer…

Steve usually works on no more than two or three books at a time. He doesn’t sit on any finished titles; he publishes them immediately. If he has an idea for another book, he writes it down and then continues working on his current project. Continue reading

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SPQ 007: What are the Best Email Marketing Practices as an Author?

SPQ 007: What are the Best Email Marketing Practices as an Author?

The Question…

Alexis of AlexisGrant.com asked about best practices for email marketing. In this episode, Steve gives a behind-the-scenes look at how he markets his habit books via email.

Biggest Takeaway…

Steve’s Answer…

Email marketing is the lifeblood of Steve’s marketing, but there’s a lot that goes into it. The first thing you need is a lead magnet, or something you give to people who sign up for your email list. Steve uses AWeber, LeadPages and an opt-in box to collect email addresses and market to his list of subscribers. He currently has several traffic sources: Kindle books, SlideShare, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. In the future, he wants to test YouTube, podcasting, and paid traffic. Continue reading

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SPQ 006: Perma-Free vs. KDP Select – What’s the Best Way to Market a Book Series?

Perma-Free vs. KDP Select – What’s the Best Way to Market a Book Series?

Is it better to sign up with KDP Select or make a Kindle book permanently free? Find out in this episode of Self-Publishing Questions.

The Question…

Antara wants to know Steve’s opinion on whether it is better to make a Kindle book permanently free or sign up for KDP Select and run free promos every 90 days. Steve has only used the “perma-free” strategy once, but a lot of fiction authors do it successfully. There is a way to get Amazon to list a book for free, but it does take a little bit of work. When publishing the book on Amazon, do not sign up for KDP Select. Set the price to 99 cents on Amazon; then publish it on Smashwords and other platforms.

Biggest Takeaway…

Steve’s Answer…

Here’s the process for creating a perma-free book…Set the book’s price to free on other platforms. Once your book is live, tell Amazon the book is free on another website. When Amazon sees that your book is free elsewhere, it will match the price for Kindle readers. It will take a few weeks before the price match goes into effect. KDP Select allows authors to give their books away for free for five days during every 90-day period. Continue reading

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SPQ 005: What’s Better – KDP Select or Going Direct to Your Audience?

What’s Better – KDP Select or Going Direct to Your Audience?

There are many advantages to publishing on the Kindle platform, but is it better for some authors to sell directly on their own websites? In this episode, Steve discusses the advantages and disadvantages of selling on Amazon versus selling directly.

The Question…

T Alan is a traditionally published author who is interested in turning his paperback books into ebooks. He has no Web presence or online following and wants to know if he should sell books on Amazon or sell them directly, as recommended by Pat Flynn.

Biggest Takeaway…

Steve’s Answer…

Kindle does have some major advantages. It is a mass-market platform, so authors have access to a bigger audience there than they would if they sold via their own blogs or other platforms. People trust Amazon, so they are more likely to buy books and other items there than on unknown websites. The Kindle platform also gives authors the opportunity to run free promotions and Countdown Deals. All of these things make it easier to build an email list for marketing. Continue reading

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SPQ 004: Should I Focus on One Book Niche at a Time?

Should I Focus on One Book Niche at a Time?

Some independent authors publish in multiple niches, while others focus on just one topic. In this episode, find out which strategy Steve recommends.

The Question…

Mia from SkinBrushingDetox.com asks,

“Do you think people should just focus on one niche? How many niches should you focus on? How about people with a lot of different interests?”

Biggest Takeaway…

Steve’s Answer…

Steve says he made the mistake of focusing on multiple niches early in his publishing career. Had he focused on one niche and built one audience, he could have been more successful. Continue reading

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SPQ 003: How Do You Determine the Profit Potential of a Niche or Book Idea?

How Do You Determine the Profit Potential of a Niche or Book Idea?

Picking the right niche is essential for self-publishing success. In this episode, Steve outlines his process for choosing a profitable book niche.

The Question…

Thom asks, “Do you have a specific step-by-step system in place for determining the profitability of any given niche or title?” People ask Steve this question all the time. Early in his publishing career, he made the mistake of creating books based on what people were already writing about. This was a mistake because it doesn’t add much to the marketplace. Instead of doing the same thing everyone else is doing, target a specific niche and focus on providing solutions for that audience.

Biggest Takeaway…

Steve’s Answer…

Once you have a niche in mind, think about the problems people in that audience face. In the self-publishing niche, people want to know about writing books, formatting books, selling books, building author platforms, and using social media as a marketing tool. There are five book ideas right there. Really drill down into one niche to come up with a lot of ideas that provide value for readers. Continue reading