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
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
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
Nigel asks, “When determining if a niche is profitable, does the 20,000/30,000 rule apply to the “Amazon Best Selling” rank in its entirety, or does it apply to any of the subcategories?”
In his question, Nigel referred to the “30,000 Rule.” Any book that has an Amazon ranking of 30,000 or below has at least five sales per day, which equates to 150 sales per month (or $300). In Steve’s early books, he recommended looking for a ranking of 20,000 or below, but Amazon is more competitive, so now he recommends a ranking of 30,000 as a benchmark. 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
Picking the right niche is essential for self-publishing success. In this episode, Steve outlines his process for choosing a profitable book niche.
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.
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