Stan Dubin of TheHiringTips.com asks: I’m going to be uploading a collection of hiring tips on Kindle. How appropriate would it be to have an almost-imperceptible link at the bottom of each page to take people back to our site? If that’s not appropriate from your point of view, what kind of link to a website should a Kindle book have?
Congratulations to Stan on his first book. He asked if you are allowed to put links at the bottom of every book, or if it’s generally a good practice.
Steve isn’t sure, but he thinks it’s difficult to put a link at the bottom of every page. Someone who knows formatting very well might be able to do it, but it would look very weird to the reader. Continue reading
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?
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
Marcella of The Writer’s Monthly Review magazine asks: My book hit the stands in March 2014; it was full of typos and mistakes, labeling me as unprofessional and sloppy. I wish I could pull it from the market, but I signed a five-year contract with the publisher. With the last proofing, they apparently didn’t fix the typos and other mistakes. What can I do about it? I have all but quit marketing it because of all the typos—not one, but many. If I saw the mistakes immediately, so will my readers.
Marcella is in a tough situation because she worked hard on her book, but she doesn’t have the creative control necessary to update it. This is why Steve doesn’t really like dealing with traditional publishing companies. You lose the ability to control how you present and market your book. Continue reading
Ruth of SuperBabyFood.com asks via email: If you update your Kindle book, do people who previously bought the book automatically get the updates?
This is a great question because it shows you’re thinking about providing great customer service. Updating books is a great tactic if you write about topics that are constantly changing. Continue reading
Jon Jorgenson just published his third book, but it’s his first book through KDP. Members of his audience are having a hard time understanding how they can order the book if they don’t have the Kindle app or a Kindle device. He thinks this is limiting his sales. What is the best way to educate an audience that is used to buying print books on how they can easily buy Kindle books?
The obvious answer is to use CreateSpace to give audience members the chance to buy a print version of the book. Some people want print books and don’t enjoy the ebook reading experience. Tom “Big Al” Schreiter makes 30 percent of his income from print books, so there’s nothing wrong with offering a print option to readers. It only costs about $50 to $200 to get a print book on CreateSpace. Another option is to use Lightning Source to distribute to larger platforms. Continue reading
Tom asks via email:
“If people buy your book, and later you give it away for free or discount it, do you get any negative feedback from those who purchased at full price?”
This question is from Tom “Big Al” Schreiter, who is a very prolific writer and a great example of someone who takes action. One-third of his sales come from print books, one-third from audiobooks, and one-third from Kindle. He does a great job finding a good balance with all of his different product lines. Continue reading
“If you use ideas you got from other people, how do you balance the need to credit your sources with the need to tell your own story?”
Steve is not a lawyer, nor does he play one on TV, so he recommends checking out The Self-Publisher’s Handbook by Helen Sedwick. She covers everything related to running a self-publishing business, from trademarks to libel and slander. You really need to understand the legalities of running a book-based business. Continue reading
In episode 36, Steve talked about some of his favorite books. One of those books is “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. Although Steve disagrees with a few aspects of Kiyosaki’s brand, he does agree with the idea of building assets.
Steve defines an asset as any item that generates cash flow. Your goal should be to build as many assets as possible. At the time of this recording, Steve technically has about 90 published assets, from Kindle books to audiobooks. He would like to add about 50 more assets to his portfolio in 2015.
Joanna Penn covered this topic in a blog post titled “It’s Not Just One Book: Your Rights and How to Exploit Them.” She talks about how you can exponentially grow you portfolio with just one book. You can put the book in Kindle format, print format, or audio format; leverage foreign rights to the content; use the books to create information products; turn small pieces of content into apps; or license your content to other people. Continue reading
In episode 17, Steve explained how to use an easy-to-remember URL to direct people to your Amazon author page. His URL, HabitBooks.net, redirects to his author profile and makes it easier for people to find his books.
Your author bio is your personal landing page, or a page designed to sell something, so it should always be helping you sell more books. It’s easy to set up your author bio on Amazon; simply go to Amazon Author Central and follow the steps. You should also set up author pages at Kobo, iBooks, and other platforms.
No matter where you have a bio, you must write something that engages readers and (hopefully) gets them to buy more books. Many readers check the “About” section of the author bio first, so you need to think carefully about what you write. Continue reading
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 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