In this interview, Emeka sits down and talks with the self-proclaimed Self Publishing Nerd himself, Mr. Dale L. Roberts. Dale is quickly become what some would consider an expert when it comes to the world of self-publishing. He is an international bestselling author, has over 40 fitness and health books and is passionate about helping others win the self-publishing game!
This interview covers so many topics that you might just want to watch it twice! During it, we cover topics such as,
– Should you stop using KDP?
– The best way to get organic reviews!
– Other options than Amazon for your e-books and paperbacks
– How to format your books so they stand out and sell well!
– When the right time is to outsource your Kindle publishing business
This was by far one of the most enjoyable and fun interviews I have ever done, you won’t want to miss this!
This interview is all about thinking not where your business is but where you want it to be!
In this interview with Dewan Bayney, he shares his thoughts on how and when to scale up your Kindle publishing business. When is the right time to think about Incorporating and how hiring Virtual Assistants can make you more money as your business grows.
What first attracted me to Kindle Publishing was the thought of making passive income. That is where you generate an income without doing much or any work for it after the initial stages. With my Kindle books, I have them outsourced every step of the way. I do this for one main reason, time. It takes a lot of time to sit down and write a book, and at this point in my life I choose to use my time focusing on other things in my business. Don’t get me wrong I do wish to write a book at some point, but right now my focus is generating a more passive income lifestyle.
The mindset you want to have is one of a publisher and not as an author. An author sits down writes books, finds a publisher and then the publisher would market the book. By outsourcing the writing, you can have multiple books written at the same time that it would take to have one book written personally by yourself. If you want to write your own book you most certainly can, I know lots of people who write a book in a day or two,but the way I have made my money through Kindle is by outsourcing all my writing, outsourcing my cover designs and doing all the marketing myself. This is what I am more comfortable with because the books that sell the most, are not the best written, they are the best marketed. You might be wondering about how much does it cost to have somebody write a book? I’ve had books written as low as $30 (5000 words) and I’ve also paid as high as $175. For most books, I have found the sweet spot is anywhere from $60-$80. As you make more money and get further along in the process, paying $100-$150 for a 5000 word book means you’re going to be getting a much higher quality book.
My mentality in the beginning was, let’s keep costs as small as possible and I can always improve my books later. I didn’t have a lot of money to start so I focused on producing the most quality books I could for as little as possible.
You can get a book written for you for as low as $30
When you are new keep cost as small as possible
Outsource your weaknesses
Books that make the most and the best marketed, not the best written
Step 1. How To Find Writers
Ghost writers are a very common thing among the publishing world.Lots of famous people have their books ghostwritten by somebody else for the simple fact that they don’t have to time to sit down and write a book themselves. There are many different ways to find people to write your book for you, I’m going to give you my experience of what I have found works the best. There are two avenues that you can go down, finding freelancers or using companies. There are benefits to both. With companies, you are basically paying for a done-for-you service. Your book will come formatted, edited, ran through Copyscape, proofread and ready to upload to Kindle. With freelancers, you will have to make sure its 100% original, edited and proofread and will have to format it for Kindle. This is why companies do charge a bit more than freelancers. Having said that when you find a great freelancer, they can do all of that for you if you teach them how you want it done. I only bother with this when I am working with a freelancer for long terms projects (multiple books).
Upwork (freelancers)- This is the website where freelancers go to find work. What you do is simply post a job that you want to have fulfilled and people will apply for that job. You then interview them and you select the very best candidate to work with. I love Upwork. I have found my best writers throughout there. I’ve also found some not very good writers there as well. It is a learning experience that everyone goes through so don’t let it scare you. Personally, for me, I have found the quality of people to be much higher on Upwork then any other source I’ve used.
Warrior Forum (freelancers and companies) – this is another website that I’ve used to finding ghostwriters for my books. It’s an online Internet marketing forum. The section you’re looking for is called warriors for hire and you simply have to browse the forum, read the reviews and select the people that you would like to work with. Here is the direct link to the area of the forum where you will be searching for writers. http://www.warriorforum.com/warriors-hire/
Other Writing Sites – There are so many options to get your book written by ghostwriters. Epic Write, The Writing Summit, Blue Pen Articles are just a few of the other ones that I know of. I haven’t tried out these specific companies yet, but I know quite a few other publishers who have and they haven’t complained. The key is to test out a few of them and then just start working with the one that you really like.
Try multiple companies, its the best way to find the right one for you
Give lots of details to the writers so they know exactly what you are going after
The more you pay the better the quality of book you will get
Reminder – Only use Paypal or Escrow when sending money. Never send money via bank transfers or wire transfers. These are the best and most secure ways that I send money.
For your first 2 books, try two different writing companies/sources
Step 2. – How To Get A Cover Designed
You know that saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover?” That does not hold true in the real world. People will be judging your book by its cover, if you don’t have a great-looking cover nobody’s going want to purchase your book. You need to create an eye-catching cover in order to create interest about your book. The cover is one of the most essential parts of your book that will actual sell your book.
The turnaround time for your cover is usually anywhere from 3 to 5 days depending on the how busy the designer is. Unless you are a graphic designer by nature you do not want to design the cover yourself. For most of my books, I got my covers done for $5. Two main places that I look for when finding someone to design my covers are Fiverr and Upwork.
Fiverr – Fiverr is the place to go for finding cheap, quick and entry level cover designs. There are so many different gigs to use that listing them here would do no good as they change all the time. For $5 you can get a pretty decent cover made. Don’t forget that once the book is selling well you can always upgrade the cover to something more high quality. I have done that with various books and it has helped a ton, but I always start with a basic cover. When searching for a gig, just type in ‘ebook cover’ and sort by rating. When selecting someone I look for ones that offer unlimited revisions and has a 5 star rating.
Upwork – This is where I go for my more high-quality covers. I enjoy the aspect of working with a designer one on one and working with them to create my perfect cover.
These are the 2 main things that I outsource currently in my business. In the next few weeks, I am going to be looking into hiring a VA (Virtual Assistant) to help take care of some more tasks that I don’t need to be doing personally. The only reason I don’t hire one now is cause I don’t think its necessary until you have at least 10-15 books coming out each month. Once I do I will be sure to document the process of that as well. My goal is to be able to completely (95%) remove myself from my kindle business so I can spend more time on creating content and helping others live a more passive income lifestyle.
I hope this short blog post was able to help you in some way and if you have any questions or comments please ask away!
Selling ebooks on Kindle is a fantastic way to make extra income, or even replace your current job with a passive income which allows you to build the life that you really want to. The great thing about selling through Kindle is it has a relatively low barrier of entry which means you can turn a profit fairly quickly. As with anything, there are certain steps you need to do to help increase your chance of success. Below I am going to give you a basic guide on what it takes to find a profitable niche for selling on Kindle.
Step 1. Think of your passions and interest
This is important for a few reasons. There are 2 ways to make money through Kindle ebooks; a shot-gun approach and the second is more of the long-term sustainable approach. With the first one, you find a whole bunch of niches and put out books in those and keep doing that over and over again. Will you make money? Yes, of course, but you are not building any long term relationships with you clients and we all know the saying that it’s more expensive to get a new client than to sell to an existing one.
The second way is to pick a niche and dive down deep in it. By that I mean building relationships with your readers, bringing them value and producing high-quality books. By doing these things your readers will trust you and when you have their trust they will also buy more books and products from you down the road, this is the route that I have chosen to go with. I picked one niche that I really enjoyed and starting building books around that niche. My readers connect with me on social media, as well as through emails and look forward to my future books.
Here is what I would do if I was starting all over again.
Write down all your passions and interests. No matter what your passions and interests are, write them down. Having some interest, knowledge and passion behind your books is what helps you stay motivated longer and will be more fulfilling to you as you connect and engage with your readers.
Be as specific as possible. I love driving for example, pretty much anything with cars. I would try and think about all the areas that surround driving and cars and find keywords related to those things.
If you need ideas check out Amazon’s Best Seller List (provide pic). You can get ideas for categories that your passions and interests fall in.
Step 2. Come up with Keywords.
Keywords are main words that people are going to be searching for when looking for your book. Amazon, like Google, is a search engine. So you need to make sure that you have optimized your book the best way possible to be found when people are searching for it.
For example, if your book is going to be on Weight Loss, your keyword might be Weight Loss, that is what people are going to search for. Now Weight Loss is a very broad topic, so it would help to go deeper and more specific into what about Weight Loss do you want to focus on? Such as dieting, walking to lose weight ect. There are many things that you could do here, the key is to get as specific as possible, but there still needs to be a large enough demand for your book.
Step 3. Validate your ideas
Now that you have a few niches and keywords selected its time to see if those are already selling on Kindle. This is important because you don’t want to come up with a book that’s not already selling on Kindle. If the books not selling that means there’s no market for it, so you need to make sure that you can find other books that are already selling on Kindle to help validate your idea. We’re going to do this by taking look at two different things. The first thing we’re going to look at is what’s called the Amazon Best sellers Rank. The Amazon Best seller Rank (BSR) is located in the product details section of the book. What you’re looking for is a BSR of under 100K. A book with the BSR of under 100K is the book that will earn anywhere between $30-$50 per month. Personally, I look for a BSR of under 30K. For me when my books are under 30K BSR I’m selling anywhere from 4 to 7 copies or more each day.
The second thing we’re going to check on is the competition. What’s the competition like? Competition is a good thing if there’s no competition it means that there’s a very high chance that there’s no real market for your particular niche. The best way to view competition is to look at the reviews. Out of the top 10 for your keyword on the first page how many reviews do they have? If the top five all have like 100, 200, 300 or more reviews chances are the competition is just going to be too heavy for this particular keyword. Whereas if there are only 20 or 30 reviews per book, then I know I can easily put out a book and gather 10 to 20 reviews or more in order to help stand out in this particular niche.
The more time you spend validating and researching your ideas the higher chance you have to have a successful book. Don’t however, get so caught up with this that you put off putting a book out for a month cause you want to find the perfect niche. There is no perfect niche, the practice that you get from publishing books and going through the whole process is what is going to make you successful in the end.
Step 4. Always start with two
When you are brand-new and just getting started with Kindle the best advice I can give you is to launch two books simultaneously. The reason we want to do this simple, your first book might be a dud (like mine was) but if you have a second book going out at the same time that book might do really well. This way you are increasing your chances of success. If you only started with one book and that book didn’t do very well, finding the motivation to do your second book is a lot harder. This is the tip that I used myself personally when I started. My first book did not have the success that I thought it was good to half I was definitely disappointed with it. I launched my second book shortly after and that book started generating some sales right away. It was a great reminder to me not to put all of my eggs in one basket so to speak.
Remember all success starts with just getting started. So many people just put off getting started at something for one reason or another. Don’t be like them, follow these steps, publish your book and go after what you really want from life.
I have been talking to lots of people who have been thinking about getting into Kindle publishing in 2017. If you are on the fence or considering getting into Kindle publishing in 2017, stop thinking and just do it!
Publishing with Kindle has never been better. I can say that from my personal experience and also from the success that friends of mine are having with it. In this video, I talk about some of the reasons you should get started with Kindle publishing in 2017.
As always if you like it please subscribe to the blog for all the latest updates and videos.
How great have the last five months been?! I have a had nothing but a great time working, learning and finding out what it takes to build a business online. Internet Marketing is far more exciting then I could have imagined and I am still only in the very shallow end of the pool so to speak, heck you could say I am just in the kiddie pool with my floaters on, I still have so much to learn.
I am happy with the progress that I have made over the last few months and this blog post is going to outline the successes that I have had and my thoughts on them.
Income – $2.79
Got my first book published and made a few sales, mostly just to friends and family (thank you) but this could have been the most important book as it was the first step to creating everything else.
Expenses – $327.29
I paid for the K Money Mastery, course set up my blog, and got my first (and it was also my most expensive) book published this month.
KMM Course– $94
Domain Name – $23.48
Book Publishing – $209.81
Income – $8.57
My second book got delayed, so just some sales from book 1.
Expenses – $132.64
Website Hosting – $48.14
Book Publishing – $84.50
Loss – $124.07
Income – $16.28
My second book gets published and I get a few more sales
Expenses – $139.85
I paid for 2 books this month and they both got released early in November, I also updated the cover of my second book. Notice that I am not publishing books for much less then I started since I learned how to hire better writers for less money.
Book Publishing – $139.85
Loss – $123.57
Income – $551.53
Book #4 was a massive hit and was the reason for such a large increase in income for November. Not only that but I had been learning so much over the last few months that things really start to click. In November alone put out and published 4 books. More books = more sales.
Expenses – $327.96
This month I really turned it on for book #4. I did some Amazon PPC and paid to be able promote it in a Facebook group. The PPC was a learning opportunity, I know how to run it more effective next time, which should bring the cost down significantly.
Advertising/Marketing – $170.76
Book Publishing – $157.20
Profit – $223.57
Income – $2944.46
December was a breakout month for me. I set up my goal of making $1000 in passive income by the end of December and I am just thrilled that I not only hit it, I more then doubled it. This was due to a few factors; having more books out defiantly helped but more specifically it was having them on different platforms. Createspace has been extremely profitable for me for my main book. From now on when I am launching books I will publish them on both platforms right from the start. No point in leaving money on the table.
Expenses – $291.90
Some of my first books that I published, I also wanted on Createspace so I had to get some new covers made. I also paid for a book that is not quite ready yet, but will launch early in the new year. I upgrade my membership to the Kindle course that I took to get the advance lessons and access to some other things now that I have more money coming in. That has been extremely helpful already.
KMM Full Disclosure – $67.52
Book Publishing – $196.47
Advertising/Marketing – 27.91
Profit – $2652.56
Profit 2016 – $ 2303.99
Looking back to my first few months on creating a passive income from nothing have been just incredible. Its not a ton of cash right now and of course it’s all saying in the business to scale it up to 6K plus by the end of January.
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