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
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
Tobias asks: I’m looking for quality ebook writers. I’m looking to outsource the writing of some Kindle books, and I’m having a hard time finding people who produce quality. I’ve been primarily using Odesk, and my experience so far is that they are writing the ebooks, but the English is not as good as the writers’ resumes and our conversations would imply. I’m frustrated with that. How do you acquire quality ebook writers to write your Kindle books, if you are using any?
Hiring a writer is not necessarily Steve’s recommended strategy for self-publishing. He hires writers for other aspects of his business, but to create the content, he uses other writers very sparingly. Continue reading
William asks via email: I am a complete newbie with Kindle ebook publishing. Trying to learn and figure things out is proving to be overwhelming. Everyone has their “method.” I watched a YouTube interview with you and a couple of people. Once you’ve come up with a niche/topic, how do you actually research and compile the info for the book, especially if it’s not a topic you have a lot of experience with?
It’s great to see that William is taking his first steps into self-publishing. Everyone definitely has their own method, but getting into this industry is like sipping from a fire hose. There’s a lot to take in, and a lot of people have conflicting messages. Continue reading
Thomas Lau asks: What are the absolute essentials and good-to-have tools (online or offline) for authors?
Steve has a list of recommended resources on the SPQ Resources page. The tools on this page are really good for authors.
Thomas asked about the essentials, so Steve has a list of tools he uses pretty much on a daily basis. Continue reading
Nicholas asks: How long are your ebooks vs. booklets? I am curious about the number of words rather than pages.
Josiane asks: I just read your book “Writing Habit Mastery,” and I loved it! How many words should one aim for when writing an ebook like yours? As an example, how many words were in that book?
The subject of word count is really important for authors. You need to know if your book is too short or long enough compared to other authors in your niche.
At first, Steve followed the “inch wide, mile deep” rule. He took a specific subject and drilled down to cover every possible topic. Since it was a very specific subject, the books were about 12,000 to 14,000 words each. 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
This episode was recorded in late January, but it’s going live on February 4, the same day Steve flies from Newark to Amsterdam and then from Amsterdam to Tanzania. He’ll spend seven days hiking Mount Kilimanjaro and going on a safari. These are two things he’s wanted to do his entire life.
There are two reasons Steve is a self-published author: freedom and the ability to live life on his own terms. What is your “why”?
Tyler asks via email:
“Within Kindle books, can you use Amazon affiliate links to link to other products or books? And can you link out to other affiliate products?”
Affiliate marketing is a great way to generate income online. You recommend a service or tool, and if people go through your link and buy it, you get a commission. In a way, you act like a salesperson for other companies. Steve was very successful with affiliate marketing from 2006 to 2014. Even though he sold his last major affiliate marketing site in 2014, he still dabbles in it from time to time. Continue reading