How to Use Kindle Comic Creator to Convert your Graphic Book into a Kindle Book

By Bruce Jones

I am really excited about this new application from Amazon called Kindle Comic Creator. This free application allows you to produce Kindle books from your pdfs, PowerPoint presentations, jpg, really any kind of file you have that can generate a graphic file.

It was one of my goals for 2013 to move my books over to the Amazon/Kindle platform. The problem is that my books are graphic books with lots of images, charts or maps. These work great as print-on-demand books using CreateSpace but don’t work very well on the Kindle. Making a book that is all text and using MS Word, such as a fiction story, isn’t such a big deal, fairly easy to convert. But with pictures you need to re-make all the graphics, make them certain sizes, specific resolution etc. Then put the graphics into Word and upload. Sometime they work often they don’t. Trying to find this information is crazy hard. Earlier this year I spent months testing different graphic sizes, layouts, Word files all kinds of things. I read blog posts, watched videos, contacted people on Facebook, so confusing. I was downloading at some Kindle books looking great and others looking crappy. Mine were on the crappy side.

Watch the video and see me build a coloring book using the Kindle Comic Creator.

Then I found the Kindle Comic Creator from Amazon and OMG, this is amazing. Kindle Comic Creator is a free program from Amazon that will convert a wide range of graphic files into Kindle Mobi files. Originally designed for converting comic books and graphic novels to the Kindle, it is also amazingly good at really any kind of graphic book like mayb a children’s book, or an atlas. The tool supports .pdf, .jpg, .tif, .ppm and .png files. You can upload a full pdf file of your book that you might have made using InDesign or individual graphics that you exported from PowerPoint or Google Presentation.

You can’t believe how easy it is to use this free program. And the quality of the pages is amazing. You can literally have a book done in 20 minutes. The program is available for both Mac and PC and can be downloaded at https://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1001103761 When you download Comic Creator you will also download Kindle Previewer for reviewing your book. I think this happens automatically.

Some of the features of it are:
• Create guided navigation experience with Kindle Panel View, great for graphic novels
• Create books with double page spreads or facing pages. I tend to pick unlocked orientation, so the page can be turned portrait or landscape.
• Import artwork from jpg, pdf, tiff, png and ppm formats
• Preview content across a number of Kindle devices before publishing

Steps to set up a graphic book for Kindle Comic Creator
1. You need an interior book file and a cover file. The interior file can be a series of jpg images that you upload or a full pdf book. For page size the Comic Creator basically works around the Kindle Fire page size but I have found really anything works. Books look great on any device

2. Start the application, select “Create a New Book” you will be asked a few questions about it, such as the orientation, if the book is a graphic novel, etc. For the canvas size put in the pixel size of your page, for an 8.5 x 11 book it is 612 pixels x 792 pixels. 8.5 x 72 equals 612 pixels per inch.

3. Then drop in some metadata, author, title, etc., the cover image (a jpg file) and where you want the book stored on your hard drive while processing.

4. They ask if you have an html Table of Contents. This is one of the areas that doesn’t quite comply with a standard Kindle book, having a clickable table of Contents. Kindle really wants a TOC and Comic Creator isn’t quite there yet with that. You can drop in an html one but I don’t know how to do that. Also if you look at children’s books, or graphic novels, they very often don’t have TOCs. At this point I am not worrying about it. They will get there. A lot of Kindle books don’t have TOCs. Graphic books aren’t usually 300 page books, mostly we are looking at 24-70 page books, easy enough to get around.

5. Then upload your pdf book file or a series of images into Comic Creator. You also have the ability to shuffle the images around, delete, and add more. If your book is a graphic novel then you can set up the individual panels to view in order. If not you are basically done. You also have some text editing ability. They also have a pretty good user guide on the same page as the Comic Creator.

6. Next you choose Build and Preview from the tool bar. Comic Creator processes a little and when done it opens your book in the Kindle Previewer for review. Make sure it all looks good and then Export as KF8. This creates a mobi/Kindle file ready for uploading.

7. Upload your book on the Kindle Direct Publishing site. Make sure you fill in all the necessary boxes and you are publishing on Amazon.

In the upload process you will need to select your royalty amount, 35% or 70%, and enter a book cost. Kindle actually charges authors for the downloading of books on Kindle. Books that are all text have very small file sizes and you don’t really notice the charges. But graphic books have pretty large file sizes and Amazon charges you for their download. Except if you select the 35% royalty figure there is no charge. I figure any royalty is just fine by me and 35% is ok. We tend to forget that we are selling and delivering books pretty much world wide for almost no costs.

In my rush to get all my books up for the holidays I didn’t pay a lot of attention to my file sizes. I am sure I could back and build some smaller files. Another cool thing about Kindle and print-on-demand you can update your file.

Final Comment on the Kindle Comic Creator
What is really amazing is the quality of the images on the Kindle screen. They are fantastic. Depending what device you are on you can finger pinch and enlarge them also. For the amount of effort it takes to get your book on the Kindle this program is so easy. There are a few things is doesn’t do, like a clickable Table of Content or the flowing text that a regular Kindle has. But for getting complicated graphic pages up on the Kindle platform for almost no effort it is just fantastic. That you can take a standard pdf file or a bunch of jpg images and make a book in about 20 minutes, how can you beat that.

 

How to Self-Publish Your Book: Publishing 3.0

I just read an excellent article on TechCrunch.com by James Altucher called How to Self-Publish a Bestseller: Publishing 3.0. Altucher walks the reader through how he published his latest book, Choose Yourself! and turned it into a bestseller. This is his 11th book and he writes about how a self-published book is the new business card. I also like his definition of this new term Publishing 3.0

  • 1.0 is the old way, using a traditional publisher
  • 2.0 was the early days of self-publishing and into today, we could lump vanity presses into this area. Do you know that there were 15,000,000 million books published last year, almost all of them self-published.
  • 3.0 is self-publishing today, with better editing, design, distribution everywhere, better marketing, and doing it independently. Hiring all the services that used to be supplied by the publishing houses.
52 Blog Ideas for Your Business

52 Ideas to Inspire Your Business Blogging. Now Available on Amazon.com

James Altucher walks us through all the steps, how he did it, what it cost, and what happen. The article is excellent and pretty much covers all sides. I recommend reading it, some excellent lessons. My major issue with the article is that Altucher has a lot of money, or at least spends a lot of money to bring his book to market. He spent around $31,000 to sell 44,294 copies. He spent the money on editing, design, marketing, promotion. That is cool if you have it. I also have published a lot of books, I am about to release my 21st book, 52 Ideas to Inspire Your Business Blog. I have also had some Amazon category bestsellers, never a big time bestseller but some category ones. I don’t sell anywhere near his numbers but I am pretty pleased with my results so far.

How I Publish My Books
What I thought I would do is break down Altucher’s article subject by subject and tell you how I do it. Some of my lessons and results. I am a huge fan of self-publishing. I have all kinds of books; music chord books for guitar, mandolin, ukulele and banjo, geography text books, map coloring books, business books, fun kids coloring books, picture books and my new blog book. Most of my books are published using CreateSpace.com which is the  print-on-demand side of Amazon.com. I don’t spend anywhere what he does to bring my books to market, so I thought I would share.

I agree with James’ self-publishing benefits; more money, royalties are way higher, control over design, speed, content control, and no one can say no.

The Keys to Publishing Your Book
1. Build Your Platform

Free US and World Maps.com

FreeUSandWorldMaps.com

This is key today, you need to have a following. Your followers are your platform. They are your fans, your customers, your followers. Build out your Facebook fans, set up websites for all your book categories, Pinterest pages for each book, set up a blog, Twitter, whatever your do, build out your platform and keep engaged with it. For two of my categories I have websites where I highlight the pages from the books, give away samples, build out related products. On AcousticMusicTV.com, my music site, I put up a web page for every page in the book. I make it easy for people to find and download, I describe every graphic on the page and in alt tags. Along the side I run ads for my books that link directly to Amazon.com. Not everyone is going to buy, but I reward every visitor with the information they were looking for. I also do the same thing on www.FreeUSandWorldMaps.com for my World of Maps clip art.

AcousticMusicTV.com

AcousticMusicTV.com

2. How Do You Build Your Platform?
Your platform are all the places and people who follow you. Your Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, email list, your YouTube subscribers. Everyone that you have the ability to connect with. Publishers really like all these people because they are your first line of buyers. Marketing isn’t just one effort, it is a continual effort to build a fan base and a lot of followers for the things you say and do.

3. Write
Some people write a certain number of words a day or number pages a day. What I do is try to just chip away at my projects. I have learned even small amounts like 20 minutes a day adds up and before you know it you have completed your project. I try to work on my writing projects between 8:00 and 9:00 am every morning before I go to work. I am happy if I get a solid 25 minutes. The other thing I do is schedule what I call “A Day of Thinking” I go off and just think or write for a day. I also love writing on airplanes. I find it a great place to write, no one bothers you. You have a fixed time to work and you can be really focused. I will often set up projects for myself to work on if I know I will be flying. One of the big keys that I have found to success is having fixed chunks of time. 30 minutes in the morning, 3 hours on a plane, 5 hours sitting in a coffee shop. I wrote the first draft of my new blog book sitting in the coffee shop in the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego while I waited for my plane. Having a stop time makes the go time much easier to manage. I told the wait staff to just keep bringing me food. They got a nice tip and I hand wrote the first draft of the book.

If you want to learn the basics of producing books quickly I would check out Daniel Hall’s Real Fast Book course. Click Here to Visit the Site. I took this course when I start writing books and it really helped me to speed up and understand a lot of the basics. Daniel takes the point of view of a non-graphic designer which is great. He leads you through each step of the process of getting your books up on Kindle. I recommend this product as a great way to get started. Also see my recommendation in the section 7 below on making Audio books.

4. Know What You Want
James Altucher writes about knowing what you want to ultimately do with your book. What is its purpose? Once you know that you can then determine how much work and money you want to put into it . Don’t spend a ton of money making the book if you are just going to publish it using a quick print shop. Most of my books are produced as print-on-demand through CreateSpace/Amazon. I am not after the book store market. I am not building a large distribution system. I just like writing and publishing and CreateSpace works just fine.

My next world to conquer is getting all my books up on Kindle. The average book doesn’t sell over 150 copies in its lifetime. Hard to believe but that is true. What that tells me is, don’t go crazy spending a lot of money, you will never get it back. But what I do know is that most of my books sell copies every month. My best sellers sell 40-50 copies a month and my worst sell 1-2, and lots in between. I can make nice short 30-70 page books, get them up on Amazon, do a little promotion using free social media sites and make some money. I currently make $5-600/month selling my books and it just continues to grow. It is very steady and very cool. Update for July 2013, 235 books sold, over $700 in royalties, cool.

5. Editing
Altucher hired a professional editor. I agree, having an editor makes a huge difference to your book. I am amazed how many things my editor found that I never saw. You don’t have to go crazy on this, in fact I used my sister who is a former reporter and a freelance writer/editor. Someone needs to look at your book. Editors are also available on outsourcing services like Fiverr.com or Odesk.com. Also take a look at the included editing/design packages that most of the print-on-demand services use.

I also recommend for your own writing process, write today and edit tomorrow. Your writing will move along much faster if you don’t try to edit while your write. Giving your writing a little breathing space will really help.

6. Design
A professional designer makes a big difference. My day job is being a graphic designer so I am able to handle my own book covers and interiors. But just like for editing you want someone to handle the design and also the preparing of the files. I design my books using the Adobe Suite of products, InDesign, PhotoShop and Illustrator. I write in MS Word and Evernote. These are the standard programs design, layout and writing. Remember books have front and back covers so you need one of each.

If money is a concern you have some nice options, you can use outsourcing services like 99Designs.com. Designers all over the planet will bid on your interiors and covers and give you some great options. Also each of the print-on-demand services have both templates that you can use or relationships with designers and set packages.

We get caught up in the cover designs but don’t forget the interior. If you are releasing a print book the inside of the book also needs to be designed and produced. CreateSpace and the others take a pdf file. These files can be created very easily from the page layout programs like InDesign and also from word processing programs like MS Word. Either way you will need a file. If you are doing a Kindle ebook or Nook/iBook epub book these will also need to be set up in a program like MS Word. A great trend that is starting to happen is that you can build your book right on line. Kobo the international epub reader now has a site called Kobo Writing Life that lets you assemble the books live. I think this will be the trend of the future, it will make producing a book just so much easier.

Along with the cover you want to make sure you also have the designer give you cover graphics in a variety of sizes for your blog, social media, Pinterest, Facebook etc. pages. The success of being an author these days is going to be about how well you manage your social media and on-line presence.

Here is a really important thing to keep in mind. Most books these days are sold on Amazon. Most books are marketed with a book cover the size of a thumbnail. The covers are very small and will be mixed in with many other small covers. Your book title needs to read when the cover is about 1.5 inches wide. Make sure you view your cover design tiny to make sure you can still read the title.

7. Audio Book
Well yes, we need this. People travel a lot these days and many of them listen to audio books and podcasts in their cars. They aren’t that hard to do, the script is already done, basically you just read your book. For distribution you can use a service like CreateSpace. Not only do they do print books, they also host audio books and streaming video. You can use programs like Garage Band that comes with every Macintosh computer, or applications like Audacity. Audacity which is a free, open source, cross-platform audio recording and editing program for audio. It is very popular and has everything you pretty much need. You will also need to download the mp3 module. What I understand is that it best to record the book in chapters and then upload them to CreateSpace along with a cover graphic. (see Design above) I will be working on my own audio version of 52 Ideas to Inspire Your Business Blog so I will be able to give a lot more info on the process.

Real Fast Audio Book Course

Course for learning how to make audio books

If you want to learn more about how to produce audio books, check out Daniel Hall’s Real Fast Audio Book course. I have done several of Dan’s courses and he leads you very clearly through all the steps. Nice and simple.

8. Title
Titles are super important for blog post, email subject lines, videos and books. People need to be able to figure out what your book is about. Titles and subtitles are key. Don’t fall in love with the working title. We all have a working title for our books when we are writing them. We might have them for a long time and we forget that while we know what our book is about, our readers don’t. Spend some time on the title. A great exercise is to drop your book title into the Google and Amazon search boxes and see what comes up. Do books similar to yours come up or something completely different. Watch the words that appear as you type the title into the search box. This is instant search and it can be very helpful to see how people phrase things. Some great key words will appear. Look at the example below and how close it comes to my new book title.

Google Instant Search

Relevant words drop down as you type in the Google or Amazon search box

I also really like the suggestion that Altucher mentioned in his post. He used Facebook ads to see what people clicked on. On my current book I posted a question on 4 different Facebook group pages that I am in with about 4,000 people to ask for help with my title. I gave them 5 different titles and subtitles and ask to everyone to pick one or make corrections. I had a great answer within 2 minutes of posting on the subtitle. The person just flipped a couple of words around and fix a big problem. I have also used this technique for picking cover designs. I put up an A and B option and let people select. This alone is a great reason to be active on Facebook, fantastic resource. Remember how people perceive your book has a huge impact on its success.

9. Marketing
We are back to the Platform again. Remember your Platform is all of the places where you have expose to your fans and followers. Your email list, blog, Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads etc. This is where you connect and let people know about your book and hopefully they will buy. I use websites to highlight the content of the book and then wrap ads around the edges with direct connections to Amazon.com. Books can be stand alone things or part of an entire package. On my current book, 52 Ideas, I am planning a series of videos that are mentioned in the book as bonuses but also sit on YouTube and will drive traffic to the book webpage and to Amazon.

Writing the book is just the beginning, success takes a plan and constant effort. An idea I hadn’t ever thought of for this current book was the one mention by Altucher. Set up a SlideShare presentation. SlideShare.net is kind of like YouTube for PowerPoint presentations. You can load your presentation up and it gets distributed to the world. My book is a business book, SlideShare is a business site, what a great idea. I just need to take each of the 52 ideas, drop them on a slide, add a footer with a picture of the cover, drop in some calls to action and people will be able to view it.

Every book these days needs several videos on YouTube. Don’t go crazy, just talk about the book and what benefits it brings to the reader. I even saw one author that read chapters from his book right into the video camera and put those up. Check out Don Georgevich’s YouTube channel, and look at some of his older videos. It really is quite amazing and such a simple way of marketing a book. Remember to have a live link back to your website as the first word in the video description and drop as much of the book’s text into the description area as you can.

You can do a virtual book tour with other similar blogs that you have set up relationships with and do guest posts or video interviews based on your book. A great resource for how to do a virtual book tour is D’vorah Lansky and her VirtualBookTour21Ways.com. 

10. Foreign Rights
I don’t know really anything about foreign rights but I do know that selling on Amazon or Kobo or Nook is selling to the world. These are global platforms. Remember Act Local Think Global. I sell a lot of books in England and ebooks sell everywhere and more countries all the time. I always take the full distribution package in CreateSpace. It is only $25.00 for full exposure. How can you beat that. My websites pull in visitors from all over the planet. Don’t just rely on a single listing on Amazon, be everywhere. You can set up your own sales page on your own website, I model mine off of Amazon. Have one link to Amazon, have another link to the other ebook sites like Kobo and Nook. Have a link for a pdf version, use a site like e-Junkie.com or Gumroad.com to sell your book. Have all versions available all the time. Here is an example of how I set up one of mine. I show the book, have specs, do a video, have related books, show examples. I just copies Amazon. They pay big bucks to figure this out, why not use their knowledge.

61 Ways to Market a Book

An excellent book to help with your online marketing

An excellent book to help you market your nonfiction Kindle book is 61 Ways to Sell More Nonfiction Kindle Books by Steve Scott, it is available at Amazon.com and contains many excellent tips on what to do. Especially helpful are his 10 Pillars of a Rock-Solid Kindle Business (Strategies 1-10). I would use a lot of this book to help with fiction books also.

11. Other Merchandise
This is a cool one. You have written your book, what else can you do with it. On my AcousticMusicTV.com music book site I take the art from the book and upload it sites like Zazzle.com and CafePress.com and made t-shirts, mugs, clocks, pillows, iPad cases, waterbottles. On Cafepress I have over 50 products for each illustration. On Zazzle I made information posters from the music chord charts from my book Essential Chords for Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele and Banjo book. All of these sites are actually print-on-demand sites but instead of printing on paper they are printing on physical products. I am not getting rich doing this but it all contributes to the mix.

12. The Numbers
Ok so how much can you make writing and publishing books. I think it can be from nothing to millions. But generally it seems to add some extra thousands to your pocketbook. The average book doesn’t sell over 150 copies in its life time. So what does this mean, it means that you need to make lots of different kinds of books until you figure out what works. Don’t just do one book. Even if you are doing one big book, release it in smaller pieces. Instead of one 500 page book, how about 5, one hundred page books and then a compilation book with all five. Now you have 6 books and 6 times more ability to attract a reader.

The average book distributed by a traditional publisher pays about $.70 for each sale to the writer. Most writers make most of their money from the advance. These days this is getting harder and harder. My books on CreateSpace make about $2.50-$3.50 per book and I don’t have to chase anyone for the money. I also retain full rights to the books and can do anything I want with them. Make an audio version, a video version, pull out the art and slap it on waterbottles. How about make a simple version and a deluxe version. and ebook version, it just goes on and on. I am a huge fan of CreateSpace.com but you should also check out Lulu.com and Blurb.com. Both sites are excellent and have options that CreateSpace doesn’t have such as hard cover and super high quality photo printing.

I currently sell about 200 books a month spread over 20 different books. Some books sell 40 a month and some sell 1. No one tells me I can’t publish a book. Sometimes the odd ball book is the best seller. My books pull in about $500-700/month. They just continue to grow and grow, slowly but continually. I have many more books coming. Below is my sales report for July 2013, 235 books sold, over $700 in royalties, US, England and Europe. All paperback.

CreateSpace July Report

CreateSpace Sales Report for July 2013, 235 books sold, over $700 revenue

My cost for most books is basically just time and the $25 I spend for the expanded distribution on CreateSpace. I am lucky, I am a graphic designer so I don’t have to hire someone like me. I choose CreateSpace’s ISBN numbers, at this point I really don’t care, I just want to sell books. I don’t worry about books stores at all though occasionally one will call and I ship them 10-20 copies. Book stores don’t really like print-on-demand books because you can’t return them. I give the stores a really good price and they never come back. You can see all my books on my book page here on the blog.

I do run several websites with my books featured on them. I did the html programing in Dreamweaver myself, learning how from YouTube videos. I am a huge fan of doing this, you have to promote your books. Working with Amazon is excellent. They take care of everything, selling, hosting, printing, shipping, and dropping the money into my bank account every month. My job is getting customer to my book pages. If I had to do all the selling stuff it would never happen. It is amazing that you can just upload a pdf file and be selling everywhere.

Ok enough for now, the article by James Altucher on making his books How to Self-Publish A Bestseller: Publishing 3.0 is excellent, I highly recommend reading it. It is just one of many ways to bring your books to market. I hope I have been able to show you another.

I would love your comments and thoughts and if you liked this article I would love a like on my Bruce Jones Design Facebook page. See this is called building your platform.

 

Resources for Publishing Kindle and CreateSpace Books

Kindle Book ResourcesI have been a conversation today with some friends of mine on resources for publishing Kindle and print-on-demand books using services like Kindle/Amazon, CreateSpace/Amazon and Lulu.com. I thought I would start pulling some of this together in a post so others can access this info.

Kindle Book Resources
Amazon has a number of their own resources for pulling together your Kindle book, I found them quite useful along with some other sources. I found I need to read these books several times to get it to really stick. My books have a lot of images in them and it became very difficult to get the pictures to act and look the way I wanted.

  • Building Your Book for Kindle, from Amazon/Kindle, free download from Amazon, very useful, for the PC usersAaron Shepard Kindle Books
  • Building Your Book for Kindle for Mac, from Amazon/Kindle, free download from Amazon, for the Mac users, MS Word works differently on a Mac than a PC, you need this info especially for building your Table of Contents. Building the clickable TOC can drive you nuts

Aaron Shepard’s Books, excellent

Other Books

InDesign has Kindle and epub plugins for making ebooks, I started working down this path as I am an huge InDesign user but eventually went back to MS Word. A lot of people use InDesign to make their books, I just got frustrated mostly because of the heavy picture needs that I had and couldn’t figure it all out. If you are mostly text then life will be easier.

Youtube Resources/Playlist for ebook publishing
In my search for Kindle and epub knowledge I put together a YouTube Playlist called Kindle and Self Publishing

CreateSpace/Amazon Print-on-Demand Publishing Tips
I have another blog called How to Make and Sell Your Book and I did a long post on Using CreateSpace and Print-on-Demand called Publish Your Book Using Print On Demand with CreateSpace.com and Amazon.com, clever right. This article has a ton of info, including some guidance on building your cover. CreateSpace has upgrade the cover process some since this was written but it is still pretty helpful. There is also lots of other ebook publishing info on this site. How to Make and Sell Your Book

Other ebook and Print-on-Demand Links

  • Kindle Direct Publishing has a ton of tips on their site that are very helpful. Take a look at Preparing Your Book and Publishing Your Book
  • CreateSpace/Amazon, CreateSpace is the print-on-demand side of Amazon, it is where you upload and manage your books. Just paperback books, but you are on Amazon. I have over 20 books through these guys. They are excellent, great service.
  • Lulu.com, another print-on-demand book site, Lulu has more options for your books, including hard cover and spiral binding. Excellent quality

Kindle Direct Publishing has released an amazing tool for creating fixed formatted books for the Kindle called Kindle Comic Creator. This tool can also be used for creating picture books. I have just started to mess around with it but one of the things it can do is convert pdf files. It is free and works with both Mac and PC. I make a lot of image based books, music books, maps, and coloring books. My initial test is that it converts these book really well. It seems adding a TOC is a bit of an effort and maybe beyond me at the moment, but all the positives look really cool. Here are some of the things it can do:

  • Create a guided navigation experience with Kindle Panel View
  • Create books with double page spreads or facing pages
  • Import artwork from jpg, pdf, tiff, png and ppm formats
  • Preview content across Kindle devices before publishing

 

Book Review: The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen

The Innovator’s Dilemma, by Clayton M. Christensen
I just finished a fabulous book called The Innovator’s Dilemma, The Revolutionary Book that Will Change the Way You Do Business about how established companies try to and often fail to deal with new and innovative products and ideas. Calling these new ideas “disruptive technology” he explains how these ideas and products often push aside and often crush the existing companies.

The Innovators Dilemma by Clayton Christensen

The Innovators Dilemma by Clayton Christensen

A disruptive innovation is a term often used in business or technology that describes innovations that improves existing products in ways that are unexpected. He describes how successful companies are successful because of the relationships that they have in house with their managers and employees and with their customers. Companies and their customers are unable to deal with the new ideas because they are so ingrained with the existing ones.

The new ideas and products are usually simpler, have less features, much lower profit margins and usually need a very different customer base to be successful. Christensen takes us through the entire process with many suggestions and insights. This book gives you a lot to think about.

I found this book very interesting and relatable to the changes I am currently experiencing in the print side of graphic design as the world shifts from paper to the web. Christensen who is a professor at Harvard and a businessman, walks us through the process of a disruptive innovation using actual case studies. This book was originally published in 1997 so the examples are a little dated but the theory and conclusions are dead on. The book focuses on disc drive technology, hydraulic excavators and backhoes, and the mini steel mill industries. Writing about the failure of many businesses that focus heavily on their existing customers while ignoring what is coming up behind them. But one of the points brought out in this book is that it isn’t always their fault that they don’t see it. It is more the way businesses are structured internally and with their customers.

Christensen does write about companies that do successfully handle the transition from one technology to the next but they usually do it by setting up an independent business group away from the major company. Basically a group that isn’t tied to the same profit margins, customers and goals of the existing business. A start-up that was able to develop and grow the new ideas on their own terms.

I really enjoyed this book a lot and it has give me much to think about. I recommend it.
To read more about disruptive innovation check out this excellent article on Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disruptive_innovation

The book is available on Amazon.com (affiliate link)
The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business

Show 8, Envelopes that we use for business, Bruce Jones Design Show

We use all kind of envelopes for business from the regular #10 to A7 and A6, Catalog, Book, all kinds. Show 8 takes a quick look at some of the most popular.

We continue to use Google Hangout OnAir to produce our show. Our blog idea is to take some images of your office, business, store and post them on your blog.

Show 6, Print on Demand, Bruce Jones Design Show

Print on Demand topic for Show 6 of the Bruce Jones Design Show. The future of publishing is here with print on demand. POD as it is called allows you to inventory your book on different book publishing sites as a pdf file. When your book gets ordered, it gets printed, shipped and the money is deposited right into your account. How cool it that

Print on Demand sites mentioned in the show:
https://www.createspace.com
https://www.lulu.com
https://www.blurb.com

Blog Idea for Show 6, Kick start your blogging with our Blogging Ideas
“Today I want you to write out some cool or favorite tips for using your product or services. The right tool, how to prep, clean up, answer the main FAQs.”

Post the answer on your blog, Facebook page, Linkedin update, twitter, how ever you get out to the world.

Understanding Google Analytics

Getting a sense of what is going on with your website can be a challenge, how much traffic, who is coming, where are they going, how long are they staying. One of the best tools for this is the free application from Google called Google Analytics. It is free and pretty easy to install on your site. I highly recommend it and I use it all the time to see what is going on with my sites.

Analytics can be overwhelming because it is kind geeky and has a huge number of reports. But I basically just look at a few areas for that quick snapshot.
1. daily traffic (general trends, web, mobile, tablet)
2. landing and content pages (for me the most important reports)
3. referrals (where traffic is coming from, how do they get here)
4. keywords (what are people using to search for your kind of content)
5. I like the traffic flow charts, (how people move through your site)

After this I move through other areas like time on site, mobile, insights, etc. But mostly it is the quick view that I do.

Below is a quick video I found on helping you understanding a little how it works.  I highly recommend installing Analytics on your site and start getting the big picture.

Resources

Author Resources for Writing, Design, Layout, Publishing and Marketing Your Book

Disclosure:  Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.  Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something.  Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.

Writing
Some of my favorite writing and publishing resources, all available on Amazon.com

Making Your Book
These two free books by Amazon on formatting your Kindle book are excellent and in my opinion are all you really need. The secret is to follow their instructions exactly. The only real difference between the PC on and the Mac one is on how to build a table of contents.

 
Finding Content Ideas for Your Book
There are a number of ways to come up with content quickly. I talk about this in my Top Ten Book Creation Technique.
• Google Alerts
• Do a Google Search and watch the drop down menu for Google’s suggestions. Also look at the bottom of the search results for additional ideas. This also works very well with Amazon and YouTube and Bing. All of these search engines attempt to figure out what you are looking for based on crowd sourced searches.
• Type this phrase into Google Search, “Top Ten Tips on XYZ” or Top 5 . . ., or Best Tips . . . any of these will generate a list of top ten lists that you can use to generate ideas on your topic
• Using the See Inside feature of Amazon and looking at the Table of Contents
• Check out AnswerThePublic.com. an amazing idea generator based around key words.

Design

Book Covers
There are lots of places to get your book cover made, here are some popular resources in order of costs
• Canva.com, Canva has some really cool pre-made templates that you can customize https://www.canva.com/

• Fiverr.com, probably the cheapest, you will need to dig around some but very popular https://www.fiverr.com/categories/graphics-design/ebook-covers/

• 99Designs.com, a little more money but you can get a really cool from their pool of designers https://99designs.com/book-cover-design

• Making 3D covers for marketing and promotion BoxShot.com http://boxshot.com/3d-pack/

Book Insides 
You can also connect with 99Designs.com and Fiverr.com for interior designs, along with finding a local freelance designer or also do the book yourself. For a Kindle it isn’t that hard to do, paperback is a little more work and you might need help.

• If you want to format your Kindle book yourself you can check my course Easy Kindle Book. I take you from initial formatting all the way through to hitting the publish button. Includes formatting, table of contents, working with images, making your cover, uploading to Kindle and hitting the publishing button. http://bruce-the-book-guy.usefedora.com/courses/easy-kindle-books

Choosing Colors 
Need help coming up with your books color pallet, check out Coolors.co. Thousands of color options
https://coolors.co

Book Layout
My go to program for all book design and layouts is Adobe Indesign. It is a big, powerful program that is the leader in graphic design. Maybe to much for just one book, but if you are designing and producing many books this is the program. Also goes with PhotoShop and Illustrator. You can rent it monthly.

Don’t want to go that far try PowerPoint. Upp, this works also and almost everyone has it. Great for children’s books and journals. I call this the poor man’s graphic design program. It is powerful and saves in jpg and pdf.

Programs to Use for Book Design and Layout
MS Word, this has been the standard for ever for writing. It is great for writing but also for layout for Kindle ebooks. What else can I say. It is what everyone uses.

Google Docs, if you want to be online and have full access from anywhere, Google Docs works great. You can even create the book completely here, writing and Kindle ebook files. Learn more at https://docs.google.com

Scrivener, a popular word-processing program and outliner program designed for authors. Allows you to keep all your image files, pdf documents, movies, sound files and web pages right inside Scrivener. Learn more at https://www.writersstore.com/scrivener/

Adobe InDesign, InDesign is the premier page layout program. Different versions of it have been around for over 30 years. InDesign can handle any kind of graphic design project from business cards to books, flyers, brochures, newspapers. Really anything related to design. If you are at all serious this is the program to use. It does have a learning curve but will cover everything. Is now purchased on-line and rented monthly under the name Adobe InDesign Creative Cloud. I use and highly recommend this program. To learn more, http://www.adobe.com/products/indesign.html

Quick link for InDesign Mac and PC keyboard shortcuts
https://helpx.adobe.com/indesign/using/default-keyboard-shortcuts.html

Adobe Illustrator, What InDesign is to page layout, Illustrator is to illustrations. This is the premier illustration and drawing program. Part of the same Creative Cloud package these two programs go hand in hand. To learn more, http://www.adobe.com/products/illustrator.html

MS PowerPoint, PowerPoint has been the premier presentation program forever, but what most people don’t know is that it is also a pretty good book creation program. If you don’t have InDesign and are creating, coloring books, picture books, children’s books or journals you can make pretty good version using PowerPoint. Not perfect but pretty good, especially for the insides. The covers can be a little tricky but the insides are work just fine. It also works for any other graphic you might need like a little flyer or book mark.

Online Programs
Canva.comCanva online graphic design templates, beautiful designs, free and very small pay options. Tons of templates and ideas for everything online. They also have a great Kindle cover template

Relay, like Canva, this is also an on design program for everything social media wise. Upload the graphics and you get tons of customizable options to choose from. https://relaythat.com/

Book Categories 
When you select a category for your book you use what is called the BISAC subject categories. It categorizes where the books go in Amazon. The BISAC codes loosely apply to the Amazon categories but not quite. It is all kind of mysterious in the background as to how and where a book ends up. To learn more about the BISAC codes you check out this link. https://www.bisg.org/bisac/complete-bisac-subject-headings-2015-edition

Jane Friedman from Jane Friedman.com has some excellent Publishing Checklists on her website, great for planning out your book
The Self-Publishing Checklist: Editorial, Production, and Distribution

Along with some other articles on marketing and publishing for writers
Marketing and Publishing Checklist for Writers

STOCK PHOTOS

Stock photos, Clip Art Sites
 • iStockphoto.com http://www.istockphoto.com/
• Shutterstock.com http://www.shutterstock.com/
• CorbisImages.com http://www.corbisimages.com
• FotoSearch.com http://www.fotosearch.com/
• GettyImages.com http://www.gettyimages.com
• JupiterImages.com http://www.jupiterimages.com
• GraphicsFactory.com http://www.graphicsfactory.com/ yearly fee, almost unlimited uses, unlimited downloads
• Dreamstime.com http://www.dreamstime.com/
• ClipArt.com http://www.clipart.com
• AnimationFactory.com http://www.animationfactory.com/en/

Use the rights free ones
Google and Wikipedia

Online Free Photos
Pixabay.com, this site is fill with royalty free photos, vectors and art illustrations that you can use for all kinds of things. https://pixabay.com/
Unsplash.com, Free High-Resolution photos, all of the photos are copyright free under the Creative Commons Zero license. Pretty cool images
VisualHunt.com, a very cool site with commercial, non commercial, public domain photos of all kinds, https://visualhunt.com/ 
Pexels.com, more free images, https://www.pexels.com/
99Designs Free Images, 99 Designs.com  has put out a fantastic list of 30 public domain photo websites. You always need to check to be sure but this is great place to start, https://99designs.com.au/blog/resources/public-domain-image-resources/ 

Royalty Free Maps 
Editable Adobe Illustrator and PowerPoint Maps for Illustrations, Presentations, Graphic Design, Web, and Education
World of Maps http://www.bjdesign.com, • http://www.mapsfordesign.com

Online Photo Editing
• Pixlr.com https://pixlr.com/editor/ jpg
• FotoFlexer.com http://fotoflexer.com/ jpg
• Lunapic.com http://www.lunapic.com/editor/ jpg and tif
• Fotor.com http://www.fotor.com/ jpg
• PicMonkey http://www.picmonkey.com jpg
• Canva, one of the best image creating sites, https://www.canva.com/

Vector Graphics
Artboard Drawing Softward, alternative to Adobe Illustrator http://www.mapdiva.com/artboard/

Auto Drawing by Google
If you need a quick drawing for your book you can have Google do it for you with their Auto Drawing tool. Take a quick stab at drawing the outline and then let Google finish it off. It is pretty cool how it figures out what you are trying to draw. https://www.autodraw.com/ 

Image Converter
Sometimes you need to convert files from jpg to png or to something else or you need to change the dpi but you don’t have Photoshop. Online-convert.com is a pretty good place to go. They can also do a lot of other conversions. http://www.online-convert.com/

Turning Photos to Black and White Outlines for Coloring Books
This video isn’t perfect but gives you a pretty good idea of how to turn a photo into an outline image for a coloring book, https://photoshop-tutorials.wonderhowto.com/how-to/convert-photo-into-line-art-drawing-photoshop-160046/

Fonts
Books don’t work without text of some kind, but where do you get them? The first place to look is right on your computer. Both PC and Macs come with a very nice selection of fonts. If you want more options then check out the sites listed below.

eBook Fonts
My recommendation for fonts for your Kindle publishing is to use Times and Arial fonts. These are probably already on your PC or Mac and they will work just fine. In reality the reader selects the font that they want for their reading device. You want to keep your ebook formatting as simple as you can. It is different than a printed book. With print you can do whatever you want but with your ebook simpler is better.

Printed Book Fonts
Again our computers today come with a very nice selection of regular serif (Times) and san serif (Arial, Formata etc.) fonts. Fonts like Baskerville, Adobe Garamond, Minion, Bookman, Times, Janson, Minion, Century Schoolbook and Calibri. Fonts that are easy to read and work well. But there are lots more especially if you need a decorative font for a chapter title or cover. I will often purchase my fonts but there are also many free sites. My go to pay site is Fonts.com, they carry all major type houses.

Pay Fonts Sites
Fonts.comhttps://www.fonts.com/
Adobe.com Fontshttp://www.adobe.com/products/type.html
Myfonts.comhttp://www.myfonts.com
FontSpringhttps://www.fontspring.com/

There are also lots of free fonts out there. Be careful with them and make sure they work correctly when creating your pdf file. I do not recommend using any unique font that you download or that isn’t already on your computer for your Kindle ebooks, but for print it is ok, just test first. And be careful not to download any fonts with spam connected to them

Free Fonts Sites
1001Fonts.comhttp://www.1001fonts.com
Fontsquirrel.comhttps://www.fontsquirrel.com
Google Fontshttps://fonts.google.com
Dafont.com, http://www.dafont.com/

Publishing

e-Books, breaks down to two areas, Mobi for Kindle, and epub for everyone else

  • Kindle/Amazon Publishing, is the biggest and where you should start first with your e-book publishing

Kindle has a new service that walks you through the e-book publishing process called Kindle Jumpstart. They break the process down into 4 areas, Getting Started, Book Details, Manuscript & Cover and Rights and Pricing. Click here to start with the Kindle training, Kindle Jumpstart

Amazon/Kindle has an excellent book on setting up your MS-Word file for Kindle. It is simple and direct. The tricky parts are dealing with images and the Table of Contents. Follow exactly what these books say to do and you will succeed getting your book up correctly.
Kindle PC, Building Your Book for Kindle
Kindle Mac, Building Your Book for Kindle Mac edition

There are a lot of other e-book publishing sites. Some of these will interface with Kindle and then with a lot of other e-book sellers and readers. Every site other than Kindle uses the epub format.

  • Bookbaby.com, integrates with a number of platforms
  • Kobo.com
  • Smashwords.com, integrates with a number of platforms
  • Draft2Digital.com, integrates with a number of platforms
  • Apple iBooks

Physical Book with Print-on-Demand Publishing

  • Createspace.com/Amazon. Free to use and allows you sell your books on Amazon, Amazon’s Print on Demand site for books, DVD, CDs, Video download, I have 4 books on this service, it works great. CreateSpace/Amazon is the main site for self-publishing
  • Lulu.com, lots of options for sizes, and binding, has a relationship with Amazon
  • Blurb.com, great for photo books, cool online software, Bookwrite
  • Bookbaby.com, distributes books to many ebook and print outlets
  • Books-A-Million D.I.Y with BAM! Publishing, write, publish, print and distribute in print or ebook
  • Draft2Digita.com
  • MagCloud, another option that I just discovered for printing and selling your books. It looks like they have paperback, hardcover, saddle sitch and spiral binding-cool. Plus a variety of other things they can print such as books, flyers, posters. Might be a nice alternative to the high prices of Blurb. Plus they have an 14×11 tabloid book.
  • The Bookstore Route. If selling in bookstores is part of your marketing and distribution plan then you need to go in a little different path. I am a huge fan of CreateSpace.com/Amazon and their print on demand model. It works great. But if you want to be in bookstores not so much, Createspace doesn’t really distribute to brick and mortar stores. An alternative is to use a service likeIngramSpark.com. Ingram is the worlds largest book distributor with over 39,000 outlets and retail stores. They also have a print-on-demand side called IngramSpark.com Similar to CreateSpace but they also give you access to their bookstore catalog and stores worldwide. They are a little more money and a little more effort but this is the direction to head if you want to sell in stores. If you are thinking of being a publisher this is the direction. I recently interviewed Robin Cutler on how they work and you can check that out in this video.

Put ingram video here

PDF Digital Publishing Platforms

  • Scribd.com, a PDF publishing site, kind of like YouTube for pdf files
  • Issue.com online publishing, magazines, heavy into fashion and style

How to Self-Publish
Here is an excellent article by Jane Friedman on How to Self Publish Your Book, covers all the basics, and some excellent resources on publishing

How Much Does it Cost to Self Publish
The author community website Reedsy published an article in August 2017 on price ranges for self-publishing your book. How much does a copy-editor, a proofreader, designer, formatter, cover designer in different genres and word counts. The bottom line is between $2,500-$4,000, which I think is about right. Check out How Much Does it Cost to Self-Publish a Book

Comic Books
Digital printing for comic books Ka-Blam Digital Printing

Audio Recording
You can publish your book in print, but you can also publish your book as an audio book. If you are going to distribute your book on Amazon then you are probably going to sell through Audible.com. To submit your book to Audible you will need to go through another company called ACX.com. ACX manages the process of recording your book and moving it over to Amazon for sale.

But you don’t have to do this if you want to just record your book and sell it on your website or turn it into a pod cast on iTunes. To record your book you can use a $100 microphone like the Blue Yeti and a free software like Audacity. It is a little more complicated than this but it is actually pretty simple. You can also record your book as a series of videos and host them on YouTube and your website. A teleprompter can be very useful if you are going to record your book as a series of videos. There are a number of free ones that work pretty well. I recently use EasyPrompter to record a series of book videos. CuePrompter is also pretty good.

Audible http://www.audible.com/
ACX http://www.acx.com/
Audacity http://www.audacityteam.org/
Blue Yeti USB microphone
EasyPrompter http://www.easyprompter.com/
CuePrompter http://www.cueprompter.com/ 

Video on Using Audible https://youtu.be/PrN9mYXvrsk  

Legal Rights and Copyrighting Your Book
All books should be copyrighted when they are completed. Just by being created and put on paper they are copyrighted but they are not registered. What most self-published authors do is at a minimum is add the copyright notice on the bottom of the title page and/or on the disclaimer legal page that sits behind the title page. This is important to do. It should be written like this:

© Copyright J. Bruce Jones 2018

Have the little © the word copyright, your name and then the year.

You can also go the full step and register your book with the US Copyright office
https://www.copyright.gov/registration/

The advantage of registering your book is that you can sue for damages if your book’s copyright has been violated. Your book is copyrighted without registering but you can’t get any legal damages. Most books never have any copyright issues, it is pretty rare. If you do have issues it is also very expensive to take someone to court for copyright violation. But you can only do it if your book has registered. It is a choice, but to register isn’t very expensive. Online is $35 and on paper $85.

Click here to learn more about copyrighting your book
https://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/index.html

Public Domain
This question comes up all the time. Can I use someone else’s content? When does the copyright expire? What is public domain? What is royalty free? What is patent and trademark? How do I register my book? Public domain and copyrighted content is a confusing topic and is different in every country but there are some laws and treaties that govern it.

In the US pretty much everything published before 1923 is in the public domain and can be used however you want. After that date things get confusing and you need to be careful. Europe is governed by the Berne Convention which the US only joined in 1989.

It is best to read some of these articles and if in doubt it is best to check with an intellectual property attorney. Don’t ask a general lawyer, they don’t know, find an IP attorney.

Stanford University Copyright and Fair Use, this is an excellent resource
https://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/public-domain/welcome/

Copyright.gov, go right to the source, the US Government
https://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/

Public Domain Wikipedia, also pretty good, but the Stanford article is a bit clearer
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain

Royalty Free Wikipedia, does not mean it is copyright free or in the public domain, it just means you don’t have to pay royalties or license on it. Usually applies to clipart art, video or music
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royalty-free

Trademark, Service Marks Wikipedia, applies to logos, packaging, brands, products, that kind of thing
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trademark

US Government Trademarks and Patent Office, search their database
https://www.uspto.gov/

Marketing
Marketing Checklist

Some excellent articles on launching your book

I also include my own book in the mix. Book Marketing Checklist for Self-Publishing. I put in all the things I have learned from creating and selling over 40 books. Available at Amazon.com

Tim Grahl’s Book Marketing Checklist
Book Marketing Plan, The Definitive Checklist
Tim also has an excellent post on building a Author Blog
How to Build the Ultimate Author Website 

Also How to Create The Perfect Book Media Kit by Tim Grahl the what and the how
The elements include:

  • Book Description
  • Author Bio
  • Book Cover Images
  • Author Headshots
  • Blurbs and Testimonials
  • Sample Interview Questions
  • Shareable Media
  • Contact Information 


I would also include

  • A Book Trailer Video
  • Links to the Sales Locations, Like Amazon and Kindle



An excellent set of marketing books for publishing from Tim Grahl
https://booklaunch.com/best-book-marketing-books/ 

Rob Cubbon, Kindle Launch Schedule of an Amazon Bestseller, excellent article on building your Street Team and launching your book

Side Hustle Nation, Nick Lober, Here’s Everything I Did to Launch a Bestselling Book 

Launching with out Social Media, Sandra Beckwith and Daniel Hall
How to Promote Your Book Without Using Social Media

Build Book Buzz with Sandra Beckwith, excellent book marketing tips

Lots of excellent book marketing ideas in this blog post from Author Media.com,
89 Book Marketing Ideas that will Change Your Life

Printful.com the print-on-demand product site put out an excellent marketing challenge called the #PrintfulChallenge. It gives you 30 different tasks to do to market and promote your store, or products or books. Looking for great marketing ideas, check out the PrintfulChallenge.
https://www.printful.com/blog/printful-ecommerce-challenge/ 

 

Virtual Book Tours 
Putting together a virtual book tour for your launch can be a great way to gain exposure. Setting up interviews, writing articles, and doing videos that will appear on different blogs, podcasts and social media are all very doable. You need to start working on building these relationships weeks if not several months before your book book launched. You can’t just contact people and ask them to talk about your stuff, you need to build relationship.  For more details I talk about entire strategy for getting in-front of influencers in my How to Market Your Book course

One resource to get started is to get yourself listed at sites like Podcastguest.com and Interview Guests Directory.com which are a sites for either finding good guest to interview around your topic or listing yourself as a good guest to be interviewed around your subject.
http://www.podcastguests.com/
http://www.interviewguestsdirectory.com/ 

Animated Gif Graphics for Your Web Site
Lets say you want to make an animated graphic of your book illustrations on your blog or maybe Pinterest. How would you do that? Well there is a cool site called ezgif.com that will do it for you. Check the link and a training video below
ezgif.com
YouTube: How to Animate your Zazzel Collection for Printerest Using ezgif.com
Ezgif.com: https://ezgif.com/

Press Releases

• Getting interviews is a great way to let the world know about your book, check out RadioGuestList.com for a ton of places to connect with

To see a great example check out the media page that Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner did for his book launch http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/launch/media.html

An excellent article by Michael Hyatt on How to Launch a Best Selling Book
http://michaelhyatt.com/bestseller-launch-formula.html 

Building and author website, all the parts by Tim Grahl
How to build the ultimate author website in 1 hour

Media Page for Your Book
Every book should have a media page on your book blog or website. This is central place for everything about your book. Contained here should be:
• Author name, about the author and description
• Book name and description, different lengths, short, medium and long
• Who this book is for
• Include a sample chapter in pdf and word-.doc format
• Pull out some key facts from your book or good opening paragraph from the book
• Images of the book that people can download, include captions, author etc. with each image
• Videos about the book that people can embed
• Press Release
• Press mentions
• Quotes and testimonials about the book
• All the contact info for the author and where to buy the book

Video Book Trailers
Having a video book trailer(s) is essential for your book marketing these days. They are easy to make with your smart phone, iMovie on the Mac or Movie Maker on the PC, or some of the on-line and phone apps. Even PowerPoint has a Make Movie option to turn a slide presentation into a video. You can be in them or not.  Your video should contain 4 parts:
1. Who you are, your name
2. What you have got, your book, included the title, show the book
3. What it does for the reader or viewer, the benefits, look at your table of contents
4. What you want me to do next, call to action, “Buy at Amazon”

Here are some on-line services
Ripl a smart phone app for making animated videos. http://ripl.com/
Animoto, for making videos and animated slide shows. https://animoto.com


Building your author email list
http://timgrahl.com/email-marketing-101-for-authors/

Free eBook Promo Sites
There are zillions of free ebook sites that you can share your Kindle/ebook out to the world through for promotion. Books are submitted and shared. For many authors this is part of their launch and promotion process. It is an ever changing group of sites, they come up and then go down, don’t be surprised if they disappear. There are also sites that you can pay to spread your book.

Here is a pretty good one of 90 plus sites from BookMarketingTools.com
http://bookmarketingtools.com/blog/top-free-ebook-sites/

Book Review Sites
Getting your book reviewed and exposed can be an effective way of spreading the love about it. Here is a pretty good list from Erica Verrillo’s blog, Publish to Death
http://publishedtodeath.blogspot.com/2013/09/top-5-sites-for-finding-reviewers.html

Book/Author Blog or Website
I am a huge believer that every author should have a home on the web. Either a blog or website. I am more a fan of a blog because it is easier to update, manage and add content than a website but either works fine. If you have a website make sure you have a blog page that you yourself can edit and ad content to. Below are some good examples of author blog/website. One of the advantages of having a site is that this is the home for your book and any other product or service you can create.
Prose on Fire with Monica Leonelle
The Creative Penn with Joanna Penn
Mandala Happiness Coloring Book by J. Bruce Jones

Marketing Books
Email Lists Made Easy for Writers and Bloggers, Kirsten Oliphant

Landing Pages
Landing pages as places to send interested people to when you are running some kind of book promotion or launch. Landing page enable you to collect an email address and sell or direct someone to purchase something. Most of them cost money such as ClickFunnels or LeadPages, but there are some free ones like ONTRAPages. I have also just used a blog post with an email sign up box on it.
https://ontrapages.com/

Social Media Posts
Social media is a very powerful tool and needs to be used for exposure, building your platform and marketing your book. One of the questions that comes up is what channels should I be on? And how do I make the graphics and what size should they be for the posts and just opening your account.
Here is a great resource on all the social media graphics
Louise Myers Social Media Check Sheet https://louisem.com/2852/social-media-cheat-sheet-sizes

Piracy, Someone put my book on line, what do I do?
Here is an excellent article by Tim Grahl on ebook piracy and book marketing. This article will change your views on this.
https://booklaunch.com/ebook-piracy-and-book-marketing/
Tim also recommends that you can get infront of this by putting your own books up on the piracy sights, take command, https://torrentfreak.com/top-10-most-popular-torrent-sites-of-2017-170107/

WRITING AND PUBLISHING RESOURCES

Jane Friedman’s Blog for writers and publishers https://janefriedman.com/blog/

Pat Flynn and the Smart Passive Income Blog

Michael Hyatt, Your Virtual Mentor

Joan Stewart The Publicity Hound, Excellent practical advice on how to promote and market yourself and your products, excellent e-newsletter, https://publicityhound.com/

Amazon Author Insights, resources blog from Amazon on writing, publishing, marketing and tools for bringing your book to market. http://amazonauthorinsights.com/

CreateIfWriting.com by Kirsten Oliphan, marketing, Facebook and publishing info
• How to Create a Freebie for Your Email List, excellent article

ON-LINE AND OFF-LINE SITES TO SELL YOUR CONTENT

It is so easy to sell your content on line, make stuff and start selling

• Gumroad.com, one of my favorite sites for selling content. Kind of like an electronic bucket. Load up your content, pdf, mov video, zip files. mp4, mp3 any kind of file or combo of files. Plus coupons, affiliates, pdf stamping and much more
https://gumroad.com/

• Teachable.com. Teachable lets you build an entire school with courses. I use this site for my Book Publishing School. It is affordable and gives you the next step up when your products have more parts than are comfortable on Gumroad. I use both sites and like them both.
https://teachable.com/ 

• Sellfy.com Very similar to Gumroad.com. An ecommerce site to sell your digital products.
https://sellfy.com/

• PayHip, it is like a British version of Gumroad. Many of the same features, different files, coupons, affiliates, pdf stamping https://payhip.com/

Selling Physical and Digital Packages and Bundles Including Through Amazon
Do you have a digital download product and would like to sell a physical version such as a DVD along side?
Do you have a series of books and would like to bundle them and sell them as a collection on Amazon?
Would you like to capture the customer details such as email and the physical address?

Selling physical goods along with digital goods can be a powerful sales combination. How do I do this? One way is to use a fulfillment service like Acutrack.com. Acutrack works with Amazon to fulfill the orders. Inventory is sent to Acutrack, your product is shown and sold on Amazon and Acutrack fulfills, ships and collects the customer data.
To learn more check out https://www.acutrack.com/blog/

Re-Purposing Your Content into Products
Take your content and make a workbook or journal from it. Make a course. Make t-shirts, cups and pillows. Record your content and make an audio book, or podcast. Read your book into a video camera and use it for promotion and education. There are many ways to extend your book’s content.

One of the easiest ways to make a product is take your book’s illustrations and create products with them such as t-shirts, mugs, hats, clocks, pillows. All kinds of things. There are a lot of sites that you can upload your artwork and turn it into products and then link them to your website. You don’t need to print or create inventory or ship anything, just use one of these sites.

CafePress.com, One of the original product sites, I have products here

Zazzel.com, All kinds of things, great for making posters, I use this site, works great

Printful.com, Online printing, fulfillment and shipping, can be integrated wth your website

Redbubble.com, Products designed by independent artists



People or Sites to Follow

Pat Flynn and the Smart Passive Income Blog

Michael Hyatt, Your Virtual Mentor
Steve Scott
Joan Stewart 

Business Services and Tons of Other Cool Resources
This came by way of the great Andy Falco, a fantastic list of resources of all kinds but many along the publishing and images direction, most of these are freehttp://growthsupply.com/free/ 

Courses and Sites with Publishing Training
Author Marketing Club with Bryan Cohen, member site with a lot of book marketing training courses
7 Steps to Publishing Your Book, by Bruce Jones. Online training course taking from writing to design, publishing and marketing of your book. (this is my course-shameless plug)

Online Learning for Writers, Writers Digest University, learn from a variety of current and successful writers, part of the Online Writers Workshop.

Learn how to make children’s pictures books and sell them on the Amazon Kindle. Using popular software that we probably already have on our computers and the Kindle Kid Creator app from Kindle it is pretty easy. Learn how with the online course, How to Make Children’s Picture Books for Kindle, by Bruce Jones

Online Broadcasting
Broadcasting tools now for your smart phone, Facebook Live Video which you can broadcast to your pages and groups. Get involved in Facebook Live. There are also many other broadcasting platforms that are constantly popping on the market, Bluejeans, BeLive.tv, ECamm. It is constantly changing but if you want to get you message out there are lots.

Giving Back
Want to support a classroom, check out DonorsChoose.org. As they say support a classroom, build a future.
Skype-in-the-Classroom, connect with classrooms and education all over the world. Have something to teach, this is a great way to connect. https://education.microsoft.com/skype-in-the-classroom/overview

My Big List of Resources
Over the years I have compiled quite a list of resources that I use for researching, producing, publishing, distributing and marketing my print, web and video projects. I thought it might be fun to let you see it and it might help you in your projects.

This list is a work in progress and will change over time as I add or subtract resources. Love to hear about your resources, send them over.

Product Research
Research/Keyword Resources for Web Sites and Products
Google, Blogs, YouTube,
Google Keyword Tool/external, phrase match
• WordTracker  https://freekeywords.wordtracker.com/
• Word Tracker Questions  http://labs.wordtracker.com/keyword-questions/

Web Traffic Research
• Alexa.com  http://www.alexa.com/
• Quantcast  http://www.quantcast.com/

Google has many fantastic tools to use for learning about and keeping track of your market area, competition or products
• Gmail, search on gmail, signup, Start here I opens you to the Google world
• Google Alerts http://www.google.com/alerts
• Google Analytics http://www.google.com/analytics
• Blogger, an easy place to start with your web presence http://www.blogger.com
• Google Trends http://www.google.com/trends
• Google Images  make sure your images are here, great place for research
• Google Places, making sure your business is found, list it here
• Google Adsense, make a little money along the way
• Google Keyword Tool/external, find your keywords, learn what new keywords you should be using and paying attention to, because of recent changes I like the phrase match option now.
• Learning the process via Ed Dale, the four pillars, Research, Traffic, Conversion, Product  http://www.challenge.co

Product Creation
How to Write a Book Using a Blog
• Pat Flynn  http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/
Pat’s ebook is the best I have seen on how to pull a book, ebook or regular book, together using a blog.

Print/Web Site/Product Creation
Print and publishing is in constant change right now. Sometimes we are designing and printing on paper with ink, other times we are designing and publishing to the web, and often we are doing both. Either way most of the resources below are working with both.

Design and Layout
• Adobe Indesign http://www.Adobe.com/InDesign/
• Adobe Photoshop http://www.Adobe.com/Photoshop/
• Adobe Illustrator http://www.Adobe.com/Illustrator/
• QuarkExpress  http://www.quark.com/
• Apple Pages http://www.apple.com/iwork/pages/
• Microsoft Publisher  http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/publisher/
• Microsoft Word http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word/
iPad
• Apple Pages http://www.apple.com/ipad/features/pages.html

Tools for Making Kindle Books
• Kindle Kid Creator, turns pdfs into Kindle books, fantastic app from Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1002979921

Stock Photos, Clip Art Sites
• iStockphoto.com  http://www.istockphoto.com/
• Shutterstock.com  http://www.shutterstock.com/
• CorbisImages.com  http://www.corbisimages.com
• FotoSearch.com  http://www.fotosearch.com/
• GettyImages.com  http://www.gettyimages.com
• JupiterImages.com  http://www.jupiterimages.com
• GraphicsFactory.com  http://www.graphicsfactory.com/ yearly fee, almost unlimited uses, unlimited downloads
• Dreamstime.com http://www.dreamstime.com/
• ClipArt.com  http://www.clipart.com
• AnimationFactory.com  http://www.animationfactory.com/en/

Use the rights free ones
Google and Wikipedia

Royalty Free Maps 
Editable Adobe Illustrator and PowerPoint Maps for Illustrations, Presentations, Graphic Design, Web, and Education
• World of Maps, Adobe Illustrator, PowerPoint, JPG http://www.bjdesign.com,
• Maps for Design, editable PowerPoint Maps http://www.mapsfordesign.com

Copyright Free Images You Can Use on Your Website,
Creative Commons 0, CC0

• Pixabay, over 600,000 photos, https://pixabay.com/ 

Photoshop: Resizing and Resampling Images, Lynda.com
The entire resizing, 300 to 72 dpi, and resampling of an image can be super confusing. This video does a pretty good job of explaining all this

Online Photo Editing
• Google Photo Editor https://support.google.com/photos#topic=6128857
• Pixlr.com https://pixlr.com/editor/
• PicMonkey.com https://www.picmonkey.com
• FotoFlexer.com http://fotoflexer.com/
• Lunapic.com http://www.lunapic.com/editor/
• Canva.com http://canva.com
• Online-Converter http://www.online-convert.com/
• Working with collages, posters, social media graphics and photo cards, check out https://www.fotojet.com/ a free photo collage site. Lots of templates to choose from.

Signature Generator
This is just kind of cool, sometimes you need signature for a recommendation on your site or somewhere. Here is one that does a great job, http://signature-maker.net/signature-generator

Print on Demand Sites
• CreateSpace, an Amazon company, gets your book into the Amazon.com system, excellent quality http://www.CreateSpace.com
• Lulu.com, one of the major players, lots of options, excellent quality http://www.lulu.com
• Blurb.com, used by a lot of artists and photographers for excellent quality with images http://www.blurb.com

National Printing Services
• 48HourPrint.com http://www.48hourprint.com/
• USPress.com https://www.uspress.com
• VistaPrint.com http://www.vistaprint.com

Make a Physical Product Around Your Subject, t-Shirt, Mug, Bag, etc.
CafePress http://www.cafepress.com/
Zazzle Products http://www.zazzle.com/

Web Books
Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition, by Steve Krug. Excellent book for figuring out if your website is working. Short and to the point, personally recommend.

Web Sites for Ideas
http://www.smashingmagazine.com/

Google Images, I use Google Images all the time for ideas,

Video Creation
Equipment for making actual videos
You Smart Phone actually works great
On your computer you can use the included camera or if you want to go a little better the Logitech 920 is excellent

Mics
There are a ton of options for microphones.  Sennheiser makes great professional microphones, they aren’t cheap but will give you a great sound. Want more affordable take a look at Audio Technica. Make sure your microphone will work with your camera. Check the connectors
Sennheiser MKE 400, small shotgun microphone
Sennheiser ME66 short shotgun microphone
Sennheiser also has great wireless mikes as well
For a more affordable microphones check out Audio Technica
Audio Technica ART-3350 Lavalier Omnidirectional Condenser microphones
Audio Technica ART-55 Condenser Shotgun Microphone

B & H Photo Video are very helpful if you call with guiding you to the best option. Amazon is also a great place to look but there is no personal service. Pricing is often about the same.
Lighting
Portable
Standing

Editing Software
Apple iMovie  http://www.apple.com/ilife/imovie/
Movie Maker
Finalcut
Sony Vegas
YouTube  You can edit clips right in YouTube now  http://www.youtube.com/editor

Suppliers/Stores
Apple
B&H Photo Video  http://www.bhphotovideo.com/
Amazon.com

Stock Video Footage
iStockphoto.com, http://www.istockphoto.com/
Shutterstock.com, http://www.shutterstock.com/
Corbis Images http://www.corbisimages.com
FotoSearch http://www.fotosearch.com/
Getty Images http://www.gettyimages.com
Jupiterimages.com http://www.jupiterimages.com

Stock Music
RoyaltyFreeMusic.com http://www.royaltyfreemusic.com
IStockPhoto.com
Gettyimages.com/music  https://secure.gettyimages.com/Music

Screen Capture Videos
Making video right from your computer with no camera

Computer based screen capture
• ScreenFlow, a Mac based program that captures the computer screen and the video that comes from the iSight video camera. Screenflow is a game changer in terms of a simple program that allows you to record and edit how-to-videos from your computer almost easier than anything else on the market. The editing is very straight forward line editing but with the added feature that you can zoom in and around to highlight areas, add text, additional media including more screen sharing into the current project. What is really cool is that each track of video is independent and can be customized however you want. All of those how-to-videos you see with a shot of the person in them have been produced with Screenflow. I personally have done hundreds of videos with it, it is an amazing product and only $99. If you are producing how to videos or recording a broadcast and have a Mac or better yet go buy a Mac, this is the product to use. http://telestream.net/screenflow/overview.htm

• Camtasia Studio, Windows and Camtasia for Mac, captures the screen but not the video camera http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia/

Web based screen capture
• Screenr.com http://screenr.com/
• Jing http://www.techsmith.com/jing/

Animation
Dragon Stop Motion  http://www.dragonstopmotion.com/
Stop Motion Pro  The basic version begins at $70, but more sophisticated editions, which offer higher definition and the ability to connect with high quality digital S.L.R. cameras, can cost up to $295.

Other programs from free to hundreds of dollars
AnimatorDV and Animator HD  http://animatordv.com/
iStopMotion, Mac Based program  http://stopmotionpro.com/   http://boinx.com/
iKITMovie, includes a version with over 2,200 sound, good for school kids, http://www.ikitmovie.com/

Online Resources for Video/Video Marketing
Will Video for Food, Kevin Nalty http://willvideoforfood.com/
Video Maker.com http://www.videomaker.com/
Web Video University  with Dave Kminski
http://webvideouniversity.com/podcast/
http://webvideouniversity.com/blog/
AskMrVideo.comv http://www.askmrvideo.com/
HowToSellYourVideosv http://howtosellyourvideos.com/Steve Garfield.com  www.SteveGarfield.com

Online Video Tutorials and Training
• VideoMaker.com http://www.videomaker.com/
• Web Video University  with Dave Kminski  http://webvideouniversity.com
• Lynda.com, one of the longtime standards for online training for all kinds of software, http://www.lynda.com/
• DovS-Simens’ & Hollywood Film Institute’s Web Film School
http://www.webfilmschool.com/index.htm
• Video, video production training videos, this is a paid member site but is a great place to learn, http://www.izzyvideo.com/

Product Tutorials
iMovie 11, learn from Apple’s site http://www.apple.com/ilife/imovie/
Final Cut Express, learn from Apple’s site, http://www.apple.com/support/finalcutexpress/
Final Cut Pro, learn from Apple’s site, http://www.apple.com/support/finalcutpro/
Final Cut Studio, learn from Apple’s site, http://www.apple.com/support/finalcutstudio/
Microsoft Windows MovieMaker
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/moviemaker/default.mspx

Actual Live Video Courses
Bill Gentile  http://www.billgentile.com
Maine Media Workshops, video and photography  http://www.mainemedia.edu/workshops
www.videomaker.com courses

Books on Producing Video
• Web Video: Making It Great, Getting It Noticed by Jennie Bourne and Dave Burstein, Excellent book on producing video, how to, tips, equipment. Personally recommend (amazon affiliate link)
• Get Seen: Online Video Secrets to Building Your Business by Steve Garfield and David Meerman Scott (amazon affiliate link)
• You Made Your Video-Now What? 10 Essential Tips for Marketing Your Video, by Bruce Jones, download our book, just sign up over on the right.

I have had great luck with the Dummies Books on pretty much any subject, available at Amazon.com

Product Publishing/Distribution

Publish a Book Using Print on Demand
Lulu.com http://www.lulu.com/
Blurb.com  http://www.blurb.com
Createspace.com/Amazon https://www.createspace.com/
Print on Demand site for books, DVD, CDs, gets you in the Amazon system
Scribd pdf publishing site  http://www.scribd.com/
IngramSpark.com. Largest book distributor in the world, prints using print-on-demand

Video Distribution/Sharing Sites
YouTube.com  http://www.youtube.com
TubeMogul.com  http://www.tubemogul.com/
Blip.tv  http://blip.tv/
Vimeo.com  http://vimeo.com/
UStream.tv  http://www.ustream.tv/
DailyMotion  http://www.dailymotion.com/us
Amazon S3 video distribution

Livestreaming Video on the Web
Broadcasting our messages using video has change dramatically in the last couple of years. Using web cams built into our PCs or small video cameras we can now create, broadcast, distribute and record for later our video content all in one unified step and send it out to the global community. Plus once we have broadcast our message, our content is stored and displayed for anyone to view whenever they want, basically for free.
Personal Broadcasting Channel, live streaming
Facebook Live
BeLive.tv
UStream.TV  http://www.ustream.tv/
Livestream your events, http://www.livestream.com/

Web Based TV
Mevio.com  http://www.mevio.com/
Facebook Live and YouTube would be my two options

Product Marketing
To Keep Up and Learn about Social Media
Mashable.com http://mashable.com/
Social Media Examiner.com is a fantastic site on social media info, it is my go to site for info http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/

Email Marketing Management
Aweber.com https://www.aweber.com/landing.htm
MailChimp.com http://www.mailchimp.com/
Constant Contact http://www.constantcontact.com
SurveyMonkey.com http://www.surveymonkey.com/
PR Resource, Great PR tips
Subscribe to Joan Stewart’s weekly newsletter http://www.publicityhound.com/
Web/Blogging/Social Media

Webhosting
Hostgator, Web hosting http://www.hostgator.com/
Web.com http://www.web.com

Domain Registor
DirectNic.com http://www.directnic.com/
GoDaddy http://www.godaddy.com

Blog Platforms
Blogger https://www.blogger.com/start
Wordpress,  free.com or paid.org  http://wordpress.org/
Tumbler  http://www.tumblr.com/

Photo Sharing Sites
Flickr http://www.flickr.com/
Picassa, Google site http://picasaweb.google.com

Social Media
Linkedin for professional contacts  http://www.linkedin.com
Facebook  http://www.facebook.com
Twitter  http://www.twitter.com

Books on Social Media
• Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk, a great short, right to the point read on building your own personal brand using social media. Personally recommend (amazon affiliate link)
• Social Media 101: Tactics and Tips to Develop Your Business Online by Chris Brogan (amazon affiliate link)
• Trust Agent by Chris Brogan (amazon affiliate link) • Social Media Bible by Lon Safko (amazon affiliate link)
• Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs by Brian Halligan, Dharmesh Shah, and David Meerman Scott. These are the HubSpot guys (amazon affiliate link)
Social Media Web Sites www.chrisbrogan.com www.mashable.com

Online Freelancing and Outsourcing
• Elance.com  http://www.elance.com/
• Fiverr.com http://www.fiverr.com
• Guru.com  http://www.guru.com
• RentaCoder  http://www.vworker.com
• 99Designs.com http://99designs.com

Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links to products that will earn me a commission. I am recommending these products because they are helpful. I have also used most of them on a regular basis over the years and are worthy of making this list.

Simple Techniques to be Found Online Using Social Media and the Web

The Bottom Line in 3 Steps to Stand Out Online

First: Cultivating visibility on line is a process of putting yourself and your content out on a variety of platforms with a variety of active and passive techniques that get you in front of the people and organizations that need to know about you. The content must be original. It must matter to your readers, with all the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed and it must be accessible to the search engines with clear links back to you, your business or organization.

To be successful, this process takes constant and consistent effort across many different platforms over a long period of time. You must also be able to measure the content and know where you are starting from, what is happening and then adjust, and do again.

Second: It is essential to build market leadership and connections to the leaders and organizations in your market. The goal is to go from following the market to leading the market and becoming an authority in it.

Third: One of the results of the first two stages is that you develop exposure, products and services that you can promote and sell in your market.

We live in an amazing time; For almost no cost at all, we can spread our message around the globe.  Everyone, from the biggest companies to the smallest one man businesses, gets access to the same pieces of real estate, the same basic web page, video sites or social media platforms to send out their messages. What we do with it is up to us and how hard and smart we want to work, but we all can do it.

An excerpt from our newest book, How To Stand Out Online, available at Amazon.
https://www.amazon.com/How-Stand-Out-Online-Techniques/

New Book from Bruce Jones, How to Stand Out on Line

I am proud to release my newest book, How to Stand Out Online, Simple Techniques to Be Found Online Using Social Media and the Web.

Cultivating visibility online is a process of putting yourself and your content out on a variety of platforms with a variety of active and passive techniques that get you in front of the people and organizations that need to know about you.  The content needs to be original, matter to your readers, accessible to the search engines and connected with clear links back to your home site. In this short read, How to Stand Out Online takes you through this process from the Keys to Being Found Online, Your Web Home and the Active and Passive Sites one needs to have to be successful.

My book is broken down into three parts, in part two I cover how to build market leadership and connections to the leaders and organizations in your market. The goal is to go from following the market to leading the market and becoming an authority in it.

Part three gives you a brief overview of how we can use this platform to not only promote ourselves but also allow us to develop, market and sell products online.

This book developed out of my consulting on social media with my design clients and as the social media consultant to Bill Gentile’s Backpack Journalism Workshops.

Available in paper back at Amazon.com and shortly on Kindle.

How to Stand Out Online: Simple Techniques to be Found Online Using Social Media and the Web