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Okay, I don’t really staple anything to my forehead.
But only because I have an aversion to self mutilation, unneccessary pain, and think I’m probably a bleeder. But, if I wasn’t – I would.
Because if you really DO want to write for Amazon profitably, these are the most important simple lessons I’ve learned so far with my own books (both the ones featured here, and the ones I’ve written in a pen name for some more entertainment oriented niches…..which is largely where I’m focusing for the next year)
1 – Write A LOT of Q and A oriented content for speed and ease of comprehension.
If you follow my content cornerstone model and start this approach in the morning, you can literally write a killer ebook outline in a few hours, answer the questions your audience is already asking, and have your book ready to be formatted by the time Bill Orielly gets his first ferociously frustrated FOX face flush of the night. (usually around 9.05EST)
2 – Write in sequence. Or in a series.
The first pen name book I published with a partner, sold just about 2 copies…….until we wrote the second. Each new book, using the same basic protocol, continues to add and extend and enhance the influence of the others. (all short, all easy to write, and all alot of fun)
3 – MOST importantly……
I’ve learned the hard way to tell people EXACTLY what they are going to learn, right in the beginning.
Tell them the ONE killer takeway they should get from your book….even if it’s just a few hours of laughs and entertainment. Why? Because if you get ferociously focused on JUST providing that, and you tell them that’s the ONE big thing they get from having consumed your content (or read your book) and you deliver…..it’s amazing how much more people appreciate and acknowledge the experience.
More importantly though, there are people who DON’T want that one big takeaway, and don’t feel like their time (or 3 bucks) is worth that which you promise to deliver. If you put this up FRONT…..in the part of the book that falls in the “free sample chapter” section, you’ll find folks who aren’t going to be your ideal audience, for that particular piece of prose…..won’t buy it. And therefore won’t be disappointed when they wanted something different. (especially relevant for shorter, enterpreneurial or informational style books that many of us in this space like to write)
With that in mind, here is a short article I wrote for EzineArticles this morning on building a little bit of buzz for your brand using Amazon below, restating some of the ideas above. I’d love to get some feedback from Amazon authors who are struggling to grow their audience, or build a brand around their books….as this is a BIG part of where I’m focused in the next year in a separate community….where content creation, especially content creation that focuses on writing books that cater to a very specific community, is a BIG part of our monetization model.
(meaning – if my books don’t sell – i probably won’t eat much for a while – which is fine considering I have a pretty skilled history of borrowing from the bulk food bin at the supermarket)
I’m hoping it doesnt’ come to that 🙂
The EZA article is reprinted below.
Who else would love to write books for Amazon and make GREAT money from home? Does the idea of creating content for cash excite and inspire you…..but you think that you need to be a professional writer, or uber talented artist…..or waste weeks or months laboring over every book you write?
The truth is, writing ebooks for Amazon CAN make you rich. But more importantly, it can also help you build BUZZ for your brand, build a readership for your blog, and build an evergreen and ever-growing group of fans, friends and followers for your business to boot.
The good news?
You CAN write ebooks really, really quickly….and you can start earning amazing money sharing your flare with the world, especially in niches that you have tons of PASSION, feel a sense of purpose and really DO have valuable ideas and angles to offer.
And like most other content marketing campaigns, those who do really well with self publishing on Amazon are consistent content creators. And THEMED content creators. The chances of hitting a “home run” with your first book and getting famous and retiring to the Galapagos Islands aren’t all that great. (believe me, I’ve tried..:-)
BUT, writing 4, 5 or even 10 short books that are informative, inspirational, educational and entertaining is a great way of building an audience, cross selling everything that you’ve written, and exploding your income in rapid fire turn around time.
(every time I sell one of my books – I usually can count on selling 2 or 3 more in the same niche within a matter of hours to the same person, especially in niches that I write in a “pen name” outside of the entrepreneurial or income oriented niches)
Here are 3 quick rules I created myself about 6 months ago when I decided I wanted to write faster, obliterate writers block and start churning out copious amounts of quality content on a regular basis for the worlds largest market for authors and entrepreneurs like you and I.
- Every book should have a how to (especially books that are designed to share something that can help folks succeed in an area that you have experience or expertise)
- Every book should have a Q and A. Why? They are super easy to write, flow well and can fill valuable and informative real estate in your book. The truth is, if there is ONE simple meta strategy that I recommend to everyone, it’s write at least 10 common Questions and Answers that folks in your niche typically have, and address them. My first book was almost ENTIRELY Q and A, and it’s the only one I’ve written that has gotten nothing less than 5 star reviews every time! (it’s helpful, short and really DOES solve the problems most of the people who are buying the book will face)
- Every book should start with a story – and should tell your audience what they are going to learn when the book is complete. If you can quantify exactly what they should expect to know by the end of the book…and you DELIVER that, your satisfaction quotient will go UP exponentially.
Alternatively, if you stick this in the beginning, in the sample chapter section that people will often get for free…..if they DON’T want to know what it is that you promise, or don’t value this all that much in the first place, they WON’T buy your book, won’t be disappointed, and won’t negatively review it when they’re done.