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“This isn’t about PASSION.  This is about selling.  And selling out.  Yuck.”

And so began the nicest part of the email I got a few weeks ago from a Woman who apparently didn’t like my book.

The funny thing is – she is really right.    And she taught me something super simple, glaringly intellectually obvious but that I tried to blissfully ignore anyway.

There are ONLY 2 rules when writing anything for sale.

1 – Know your audience.  Understand your audience.  And write specifically for them.  (don’t get cute)

2 – See Rule #1

While my recent book is certainly about my PASSION and hopefully YOUR passion too……at it’s core, it’s really about transmuting that sense of excitement and energy and enthusiasm for what you LOVE into a living.  (and a good percentage of the book deals with strategies for doing exactly that)

But somewhere deep down in my own psyche and spirit, I really crave a deeper connection with people of genuine purpose and passion, and not the “how to make money online” crowd.

Somewhere deep down, I want to be Eckhart Tolle with a better tan and whiter teeth.

So I decided to focus my own energy and intentions in getting the book into the hands of folks who probably are not my ideal audience – and rather than targetting, tagging and categorizing PASSION for online entrepreneurs who I usually seek, I tried to sneak into the wild and wonderful and often wacky world of self help and spiritual success seekers.

My intentions were good.  And on some level it seems to have worked (as I’ve received about 10 emails just in the last few weeks from these sorts of people who now want to “DO” what they love) I’ve also had a mixed back of some other surprises as well.

Including, as of about 2 and a half weeks ago – about 8 or 9 “refunds” as well.

Before this book – I never had anyone ask for a refund for anything I’ve ever written or published for sale before….and to be honest with you, at first….it stung.

(and I thought at first- is that a “1” in my refund column or a small, thin, vertical scratch on my computer screen?)

That denial works for a day – until you realize that “2” is far too complex of a shape for a scratch to emulate.

And while it’s still a very small fraction of the transactions overall, it was painful to think that 8 people read my book….and then thought – “Not only was this NOT worth 2.99 – I’m going to ask Amazon for a refund. “

A 3 dollar refund. 

Until I stepped back and really took an honest look at the book – what it was REALLY about – and who was REALLY for – and what my own ulterior motivations truly were.

So rather than stay stuck in that space – I doubled back – re-edited the book with MORE online marketing and entrepreneurial ideas rather than less – and simply re-categorized the book back to where it belonged and embraced my ideal audience once again.

No more refunds.  (fingers crossed)

No more Dali Lama fans wondering why they need to write articles, build a list or need power words for converting their content into clients.

Here is a pretty good article below on some simple techniques for selling more Amazon books – (including a good section on categorization, as above….with which, I now totally agree 🙂 – and the idea that having multiple books for sale in highly related areas of interest, or expertise -is really a key ingredient for driving future success.  (e.g. – in my own case – every time I start selling more of ONE book – the other goes up as well – and when I’ve given away FREE copies of the former…..I see a dramatic “bump” in the latter overnight, too)

Check out the full article at the link following the short excerpt below.

this will help your target reader find your title—but only if you’ve categorized it in the places where he most likely will be searching for your kind of book. In addition, if you can get your book to show up prominently on some Amazon subcategory bestseller list, it will further boost its visibility to readers.So, how do you do this? When you first publish your book, Amazon allows you to list it in two separate categories or subcategories. But to make it easier to discover, don’t just list it in the broadest, most generic categories, like “Romance” or “Mysteries” or “Thrillers.” Dig down into the less-populated subcategories with fewer titles (e.g., “Romantic Suspense,” “Technothrillers,” “British Mysteries”), where your book will stand out better.You want to choose subcategories that, first of all, are most likely to be searched by your target reader. But then, to make it easier for your book to get onto some subcategory bestseller lists, pick appropriate subgenres with the fewest competing titles. You can find out exactly how many books are listed in each genre category and subcategory by searching the category “tree” on the left side of many Amazon book listing pages. And if you have trouble listing your book in the subcategories you want, just email Amazon. Their staff will be more than willing to help you.

10 Winning Marketing Strategies for Your Self-Published Book | Robert Bidinotto, The Vigilante Author

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I am an author, artist and entrepreneur. My 2 passions are writing about, and teaching Marketing and Meditation. I like to think I’m a lot like Eckhart Tolle, if only he was taller, and a much better tennis player. (it turns out in person, he’s super short, has a terrible backhand and wears this weird scottish hat thingy that makes it really difficult to concentrate while serving) Plus he refuses to keep score and says ” it’s always NOW” when you ask who is up. Enough about me. We barely know each other. Stop staring. You’re making me nervous.