Below is a quick article I submitted earlier today to EZA that sort of gives an overarching look at how I created and published a new Amazon ebook this past week that quite literally, cost less than $50 or so to publish and promote, that I did very, very little to push…..
and yet still, in only about 24 hours, went to #1 on Amazon in the “Free” Business/Motivation category,and #1 in the “Free” Small Business/Entrepreneurial category, and I really have very little idea what I’m doing when it comes to the in’s and out’s of full time publishing on Amazon. (many other folks I’m finding know all of the right lists to submit to, the right Facebook pages to use, etc, etc, etc…:-)
But the one thing I have, that you should have TOO is a PLATFORM.
An engaged audience of readers, subscribers and a community of people who are passionate about your topic – and maybe passionate about your perspective too, and are curious enough about what you have to say to check out what you’ve said.
Simply stated – while I’m not paying attention to WHERE the book downloads are coming from, that very first day…..(Wed of this week) I had a TON of people download the book – and that coincided immediately after I emailed my list to let you know it was live and available for free, should you want it.
By Wed night it was #1 in the categories I had specified for free books…..and I’d be lying to say I wasn’t surprised. (because I really haven’t been emailing my list anymore, maybe once or twice over the last 60 days or so, and other than my small group of clients – and my next “LAUNCHiT” platform, I pretty much have no interest in the general online marketing niche anymore)
Of course all of this, thus far has made me ZERO dollars.
…as the thousands of downloads have all been free.
But tommorow, the book will be back to normal price – and hopefully will continue to be popular, and even if only a fraction of a fraction downloads it now – it could be a pretty profitable experience.
Other disappointments are I’ve only received 2 reviews, too – which surprises me a bit – as I had hoped more people would share their experience, good, bad or in between. (although some very nice readers have emailed me directly, or sent messages on Facebook, all of which lifts my spirits a bit and tells me it was enjoyed)
But all in all, this has been a fun and interesting experience – and there is a big part of me who would love to keep pumping these books out, an in a wide swatch of subjects – as I really do love the process of creating something new.
And while I continue to learn, absorb and explore the various ways that successful publishers are promoting their books….as I always try to recommend to others, the BEST approach is to dive in and do it YOURSELF.
(and not just pay attention to all of those who tell you they know best)
As an aside – a guy I like and respect said – “don’t even mail your list – an email list is way over-rated” for publishing on Amazon. Of course, I hadn’t planned on taking that advice, but it did make me a tad worried that maybe I was over-valuing my own when “launching” this on Wed with an email to you.
In the end, not only was that advice wrong…..my email list – or the “mini-platform” that is my blog and brand was the central piece of the process – and promotion – and for that, and all of you who checked it out thereafter – i thank you.
The article I submitted to EZA is below if you’d like to read it – of course, it’s not really written for my blog audience in mind – but it details some of the super simple steps I followed that you may care to know, if you’re about to write your own.
Who else would love to publish a top ranked book on Amazon, but thinks it’s going to take you a ton of time, money or effort to make it happen?
Think you’ve got to be “Shakespeare” to write a best selling book? Or, maybe you think you’ve got to be a “guru” in your niche, market or industry to write books that appeal to a HUGE global audience? The truth is, you need none of the above, and I’m going to share with you the simple formula I used last week to write a book, publish it, and literally….watch as it went to #1 in MULTIPLE categories, in just the last few days. (and launched it for the most part, 100% for free)
The funny thing is, the EASIEST part was actually writing the book. It took me a long weekend to complete, and runs about 140 + pages altogether.
(I included and modified a few blog posts as examples for the book, which added about 20 pages, so realistically it was 120 of new content)
The secret is, to OUTLINE everything well in advance. I do what I call a “content cornerstone” which is tantamount to a niche knowledge data dump, where I took a book of sticky notes and simply wrote a chapter title, or topic on each one.
(then I just organized them into a good sequence, set them down next to my keyboard, and quite literally, “riffed” on each topic until I was exhausted the information listed each note)
Once the document was completed, I simply went to FIVERR, and paid for both a cover, and for a kindle conversion to be completed. (in other words, a nice looking cover makes a BIG difference and I had my .doc file converted to EPUB, so it could be uploaded to Amazon)
I literally did all of that in about 3 days. It was a pretty long weekend of work, and believe it or not, for a day and a half I barely left my office.
The good news?
I got the cover and conversion work done by Monday (by the FIVERR workers I picked) and my book was actually live on Amazon by late Monday night. (they approved it in about 12 hours)
Here it the KEY to my promotion strategy. I’m almost embarrassed how rudimentary this is…..but it goes to show you how POWERFUL a platform can be.
I made the book “FREE” for 3 days. When you enroll in the Amazon KDP program like many of you know, (which is totally free) they allow you 5 free promotional days every 3 months. So making my book free, allowed it to get maximum exposure across a number of fronts. (people who list and re-publish free books everyday, free book Facebook pages, etc)
I actually paid someone on FIVERR to do a little bit of this for me as well, although I’m not 100% sure how important that was to my results.
BUT, the BIG thing I did that I could control, which certainly helped was THIS:
I simply emailed my blog and newsletter list, and told them I had a new book up, and that it was free, and that they had 3 days to download it without having to pay.
My book is in the Entrepreneurial and Motivational marketplace…which is pretty competitive, especially by other marketing types.
Within 24 hours, on the POWER of my “platform” (my list of subscribers) my book was #1 in business motivation, and small business entrepreneurialism in the free offer section. (right next to Mark Cuban’s new book!)
It has stayed #1 in Motivation for 3 days now….and has been in the top 3 in a whole bunch of other categories as well. (of course, again….it’s FREE, so I’m not making money yet, but that’s not my goal for week 1)
More important for me at this stage, because I don’t care all that much about relying on the book for income…..
it positions me as an expert to MY target audience, higher income and budget bloggers, brand builders and business owners, and adds one more simple accomplishment to my resume, when I sell myself, and our services to them.
(because of course, if I can do that for ME in a matter of a few days of work, I can certainly help THEM do it far more professionally….with a lot more effort as well)
The key takeaway for YOU should be this:
- You CAN write and publish a book in a very short time, even if you are not a professional author or writer.
- You CAN (and should) be leveraging your list to build your brand, your business and your bank account.
- And if you are NOT building a list in your niche, market or industry…..you are losing out in a major league way to your competition who is.
The whole launch cost me under $30 bucks – and now, with a book that’s sitting at top of the Amazon charts, I have an incredible amount of flexibility to REALLY promote it, and to explore and experiment with some unique strategies Ive always wanted to try! (and if you are PASSIONATE bout your niche, so too can you)