Kamal asks via email: I am a budding author and already a blogger. I am stuck on whether I should write fiction or nonfiction.
A lot of authors struggle with the issue of whether they should write fiction or nonfiction books. This is a hard decision to make because it can have a long-term impact on your business.
Steve recommends weighing the advantages and disadvantages of each tactic. Continue reading
I know you’ve mentioned a few times that you tried to publish a series of children’s books on Kindle. I’m wondering if you’d do a podcast where you went into exactly why you decided not to move forward with it, and why you think children’s books don’t do well on Kindle. Is it because it’s harder to build a platform when you are trying to market kids’ books? I’m curious because I’ve published a series of kids’ books, and it’s definitely a challenge. I’m only selling about five books per day. I’d love to hear the lessons you learned.
Not many people ask about his experience publishing kids’ books. Surprisingly, he learned more from that failed experiment than he has by publishing some of his other titles. Continue reading
When Steve started the Self-Publishing Questions podcast, he assumed people wanted new episodes seven days per week. Then he thought about the “Ask Pat” podcast. Steve travels a lot, so when it comes to a daily podcast, he tends to lose track. Then trying to catch up on past episodes is too much work, so he ends up listening to a one-day-a-week podcast so it’s easier to keep up.
He started to wonder if daily episodes were overwhelming for the SPQ audience, so he sent an email with two questions. How many episodes per week do you prefer? What information product would you prefer?
Surprisingly, 76 percent of the people who responded said they want three episodes per week. Therefore, Steve is switching to three episodes per week to see how it works.
Steve would love to hear your opinion, so please take the poll and let him know what you think.
The lesson here is that you should never assume you know what your audience wants. If you ask questions, your audience members will tell you things you have never even thought about. 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
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.
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
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
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.
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
Some independent authors publish in multiple niches, while others focus on just one topic. In this episode, find out which strategy Steve recommends.
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?”
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
Staying productive isn’t always easy when you have a lot of ideas. In this episode, Steve gives tips for getting things done without stifling your creativity.
Kristi wants to know how to allocate enough time to get work done but still allow room for inspiration when it strikes. She has seven different ideas, including her dissertation topic, and she often falls down a rabbit hole while she is doing research.
Steve says it’s good to have a lot of ideas because it shows you have inspiration. The key is turning ideas into something tangible. He suggests: Continue reading