Lawrence (from Alaska) asks via email: I am a retired guy who has a number of books published by traditional companies and self-published on Kindle and other platforms. I would like to write two to four books a year and bring in a modest $1,000 to $2,000 a month while not working full-time. While I realize this is at the other end of the spectrum from your business accomplishments, what would a minimalist marketing plan look like for a guy with my modest goals?
This is a great goal, and it’s totally doable. A lot of authors start out and hit that goal within their first few months. When it comes to self-publishing, people tend to get bogged down in everything they have to do. You really only need to worry about a few core tasks. Continue reading
Marie asks via email: “I released my book on Amazon on April 7. I did the KDP Free promotion and am now doing a week for $0.99. I will gradually move it to $2.99. I know you said to keep writing books, but when is the best time to move on to the next book? I feel that I’m chasing the ‘Amazon Best Sellers Rank’ on my current book, trying to keep it “above water.” How do you balance and not go crazy?”
Marie’s book is “Just a Little More Money.” Steve took a look at the book, and he noticed it’s currently at a 12,000 ranking. That’s great for a first book. It’s currently listed at $1.99, so Marie should consider changing it to $2.99. It won’t make much of a difference in sales, but it will make a big difference in her earnings. Continue reading
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.
It’s great to hear that Dekel is focusing on list building and thinking about maximizing the effectiveness of his list. 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
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?
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
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.
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
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
Jane is a new author who wants to build her platform while she writes a book. She wants to know a simple step-by-step plan for building and maintaining an author platform.
Steve feels all of his success is due to having an established author platform.
He recommends following the 80/20 rule when building a platform: focus on what works and ignore what doesn’t. Steve says the focal point of every independent author’s platform should be an email list. Continue reading
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.
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