ISBN Numbers, Do we need them, Yes or NO?, what are the and how do they work?

It is kind of mixed, ISBN which stands for International Standard Book Number and is manged by Bowker.com, and are the numbers that are used to track print books and help with distribution. You have to have one if you are going to be distributed to bookstores. They also indicate who the publisher is. They cost $125 each but you can reduce the cost if you buy a bundle of them. Most of the major print on demand companies, CreateSpace.com, Lulu.com, Blurb.com will supply ISBN numbers for free when you use their services, but you will have their name as the publisher. You can also buy them and use your own and the publisher will be your name. Kindle books don’t use ISBN numbers.

I think the decision comes down to if you are going to be a publisher or an author. If you are going to be selling physical books and distributing them through books stores then you have to have an ISBN number. If you are just going to stay on Amazon then you can use theirs. You can also do both, but distribution requires the number.

A couple of things to remember,
1. there aren’t a lot of book stores anymore and most book stores won’t take print-on-demand books from CreateSpace. If you are going in that business then maybe look at LightingSource.com for printing. You will be the distributor
2. Unfortunately most books don’t sell all that much so to taking a $125 hit right off the top might be the total sales of your book. Ouch.

What do I do? I just use the CreateSpace ISBN, it is way easier. I don’t really care who the publisher is, I just want to make books and sell them. You can always change, nothing is locked in, you retain all the rights to your books and content. Take the $125 and put it to marketing, especially on your first couple of books, then see what happens.

Ask questions at our FaceBook page, How to Publish Your Book

Make a Book Your Business Calling Card

make a book your business calling cardBooks are powerful tools for spreading your message. Why not make a book your business calling card, here are the 10 steps to making this happen. Create a book about the lessons you have learned in your career. Your book can be a great leave behind or an introduction to what you do and who your are. Simple to make, easy to produce. Here are the steps.

1. Write down the 10 best tips on your business, or your expertise or what you consult on. Keep these to one or two sentences each.

2. Write out one paragraph for each tip, just one paragraph.

3. For each tip expand that 1 paragraph to 3-4 paragraphs, flush out the concept.

4. Add an author bio along with a photo and contact info at the back of the book.

5. Add a resource list at the back of the book, an intro for the front, a table of contents and any additional info that might apply to your book. If you offer programs or consulting, drop that in also, give readers a call to action. We are talking 28-36 pages when done. This isn’t a manifesto.

6. Format your book in MS Word or some similar word processing application such as Google Doc, Pages, or Scrivner. If you are going to print, create a document that is the page size of your book in a page layout program. 51/2 x 81/2 is a great size and is easy to get printed at a quickie print shop for those first copies.

7. Create a separate file for the cover, for Kindle, front cover only and save it as a jpg. For a printed book, set up a full cover spread, back, spine and front, save as a high-res pdf. Both Kindle and CreateSpace/Amazon have online tools you can use to make a cover.

8. If sending your book to Kindle then save it as an html file for the web. If you are going to print, export or save as a pdf file.

9. Upload your book files to Kindle, or CreateSpace.com, CreateSpace is the print-on-demand, self-publishing side of Amazon.com, or take the two pdf files to a local quick print shop. On-line, add descriptions, author bio, categories and keywords.

10. Market your book though the popular social media channels; FaceBook, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, your website, YouTube; these lessons make great videos. Always carry several with you to give away, people love getting a book, they don’t throw them away.

Check out the podcast

 

Marketing, Selling and Repurposing Your Video Content.

I recently gave a talk at Bill Gentile’s Video Workshop in Washington DC on what do you do after you have made a documentary video. How can you make money with it, how can you take the content further.

Selling

The Traditional Ways of Distributing Your Film and Video Content
•    Documentary film festivals
•    Submit for awards
•    Pitch and sell to a network
•    Grass roots showings, small theaters or house party screenings
•    Education Licensing, school, libraries and universities, include a study guide

Web Based Marketing
•    YouTube and Vimeo
•    Social Media, FaceBook,Twitter-Vine, Instagram, KickStarter
•    Mailing Lists
•    Websites/Blogs
•    Product Launches, Jeff Walker, Product Launch Formula

Build Your Platform
•    Email List
•    Social Media Followers
•    People Who Buy Your Products
•    People Who Come to Your Events

Ideally you should start the marketing of your film before you start writing it. This usually entails building your filmmaker platform. A platform is essential for being an independent filmmaker. Your platform is your followers, people on your email list, your Facebook page. People that come to your events. Anyone that is connected to you in anyway. Some of your connections are stronger than others such as your email list. Your Twitter followers are connected but aren’t particularly strong. These are the people that will buy and watch your films. If you are really paying attention to building your platform, you should start the process the day you start working on your projects.

In reality very few do this. Most filmmakers finish their projects and then wonder how do I get it shown and then sell it. Or they are at the beginning of a project with a big pile of research and marketing is just not in their agenda.

In this section I will cover some basic simple steps you can take that will help give your films some notice.

Marketing

10 Tips for Marketing Your Film
1. Set up a producer/film blog/website,  a home port for your projects
The goal is to set up a central site for you and your films, lead people here and then link them back out to the sites you are using for distribution. Think of it like a wagon wheel.  The film blog/website is at the center and all of your marketing efforts are around the edge. This can be pretty easily done using a blog.

Google’s Blogger site will work very well. You can also use WordPress or Tumbler. There are many WordPress Templates available. Try to pick a relevant URL
– Have a general blogging page for posting about your film and what you are doing, keep fans up to date throughout the process.
– An about producer/filmmaker bio page, include quotes, contact info
– Project info page, trailer, maybe some key scenes, synopsis, specs, who is in the film, where to get it.
– Press/media page with images and sample bios and film descriptions. Descriptions and bios should be different lengths for different kinds of needs. Include sample questions for interviews
– Set up a resource page about your equipment, research, anything that might be useful to your fans.
– Opt-in form for collecting emails to build a mailing list.
– Sales Page, Have a BUY NOW button.

2. Build a mailing list using a sign-up box on your blog or website, give away part of your film, or make a short book on the project, or some other support material to help capture a name.
• Aweber – has auto-responders, very use, lot flexibility
• MailChimp –first 2,000 subscribers are free, no auto-responders

3. Produce a library of promotional content, jpg images of the film poster, 6” 4” 2” 300dpi and 72dpi. Make some stills of key sections to have at your ready for promotion. Come up with a standard filmmaker bio and film description text ready to go for a story or interview. Have several different lengths, 140 characters, 100 words, 500 words. If you are doing an interview send the bio and storylines to the interviewer. Also prepare some sample questions for the interviewer that you can easily answer. Make sure the branding all matches

4. Build out your social media presence, set up pages on the popular social media sites, FaceBook, Pinterest, Linkedin, Google+, Twitter and Instagram, be sure to crosslink between sites, with your sales site and your film/producer website. Post stills and videos on all these sites. A key task here is to make sure you have filled in all the contact info, description and any other boxes for every site you use. Be consistent with the names and numbers. Also have clear paths of contact for you and for how to buy your DVD or the site where you are streaming your video. Engage with your audiences, have two way conversations.

5. Setup your YouTube Channel and make a YouTube film trailer video for your project. How about a behind the scenes, people love watching these. Hosts interviews and scenes that didn’t make it into the film. When you post them have clear links to the sites that are distributing your film and for additional info about you. Have a call to action

Optimize Your YouTube videos a, add live http links, healthy descriptions, keywords and calls to action. Make an effective channel page. YouTube is the #2 search engine, make it work for you.

6. Put together a good press release, Include project descriptions, key people with short bios, release dates and any awards, very important-include your contact info and website, links for photos and trailer.

7. Rewrite all of your bios to include your project. “Bruce Jones, producer of the film “The Hills of Sample, Sample”, is a Boston based . . .” A finished project that is distributing changes how you present yourself, take advantage of it. Add your project title, and a link to your film sites, to your email signature line. Where ever your email goes it goes.

8. If you have a list or newsletter or any regular mailing, let people know your film is coming out or it is available and how to find it.

9. Add a picture of your poster or DVD to your business card, or at least put the name of it on your card.

10. Contact your local newspaper or other press organizations about your project. Maybe a trade publication for an industry group you are in.

Slides from the presentation

Additional Marketing Ideas
11. Set up a film launch either locally or on-line. Run a virtual film tour with other websites and blogs. Start early building these relationships

12. If you are distributing and selling on Amazon fill out your Amazon Author Central page, connect your blog and add this page address to other websites where you are marketing.

13. Make some selfie pictures or have a photographer take bio pictures of you with your poster. Hold your poster or DVD case up, be proud, tie it to you.

14. Make up a pdf one sheet about the project, be sure to include the basic story, images from the film, add a filmmaker bio and add a page with an ad for the film with a direct web link to the sales page.

Resources lists, additional info, behind the scenes of how the film was written or additional experiences about the journey you went through, also work very well to get people to sign up to your mailing list.

15. Customer images on your Amazon sales page. Anyone can upload images to Amazon on the sales page that relate to the DVD. This is a great way to highlight shots from inside your film. You can add a lot of keywords and descriptive text to these images.

Filmmaker Blog
Filmmaker blogs or websites are a great way to promote your documentary. It gives you a central place to write about and highlight everything about the project. You can have excerpts, bios, resources, press material, everything you need to connect to your fans and readers. It is a central place to connect and contribute to your community.

You can blog out your project scene by scene or at least post sections or images from your film. This can be a very effective way to bring traffic to your site. Have a picture on the side of the DVD cover or poster and link it to the Amazon or wherever streaming sales page.

A producer blog should have the following components
•     Blog page for new posts and updating your fans
•     About Page, Filmmaker bio with contact info, and images
•     Project descriptions and links to sites for purchasing or showing of the film
•     Press Page with you and your crew photos, film poster photos-different sizes-ready for downloading, different length film descriptions and bios. The press page should also include interview questions to help out a reporter
•     Videos, film trailer, interviews with the key players
•     A picture of the film poster on the side of the blog that links to the sales page, BUY NOW
•     Opt-in box for your email list with some kind of free give away-lead magnet, the story of the making, book of images from the film, access to extended sections of the film, and resources.  Aweber, MailChimp,
•     Resources page related to the film
•     Calendar of events of places that you might be appearing at or showings of the film

Start connecting with other filmmakers that you like and as you get close to your launch set up a Virtual Film Festival. Each filmmaker in your networks writes a short article about your film and sends it out to their followers. These articles also make great blog content. Connect yourself with these filmmakers and cross promote your work. Google+ is very good for this

You can also run a “meet the filmmaker event on Facebook.” Post an extend excerpt for the event and then be there to answer questions. You can also run film festivals this way with other filmmakers.

Basic Tools
There are many tools that you can use to market your films. The sites listed below are just some of the popular ones.

Marketing Tools, Sites, Blog, Social Media
Google Blogger, WordPress blog, Tumbler, website
YouTube, Google+, FaceBook, Pinterest, Twitter, Linkedin

Mailing List Program for Collecting Email Names
Aweber, MailChimp, Constant Contact, Lead Pages

Selling Your Content
There are a number of ways to sell your film on-line. There are many sites that can stream your film on including Vimeo, VHX.com for pay. I am going to just focus on two for this talk, CreateSpace.com/Amazon and Gumroad.com

Web Based Selling
•    YouTube and Vimeo Pro
•    Video on Demand,
– Amazon’s Create Space, video-on-demand, streaming
– Vimeo Pro
•    VHX.com, distrify.com, fillim.com, filmbinder.com
•    iTunes
•    Gumroad.com, YouTube connection
•    DVD Distribution, either yourself or using Amazon CreateSpace print on demand
•    Watch the streaming video on demand rights to your film
•    Important to build your email list

CreateSpace.com and Gumroad.com
CreateSpace is the print-on-demand side of Amazon. Not only do they do books but they also distribute print-on-demand DVDs on Amazon. Use the power of Amazon to distribute you film.

CreateSpace can also stream your video through Amazon.

Basically you just send them a copy of your DVD, the cover artwork, fill out the descriptions and filmmaker info and you are ready to go. Use your blog and other marketing efforts to drive traffic up to Amazon for buying. Amazon distributes content worldwide.

Gumroad.com
Gumroad is an ecommerce platform that allows you to upload basically any electronic file and sell it, including a pdf, zip files, and mp4s. Gumroad takes care of all the ecommerce and downloading or streaming of the files. The charge is 5% + $.25. Gumroad has a number of selling options including pay what your want, discounts, and bundling of different kinds of media.

Gumroad also has a relationship with Youtube that allows for direct links from the surface of the video. This allows you to run video trailers, interviews, behind the scenes videos, etc. on Youtube and then offer a a direct link to the sales platform for selling the final product.

They also allows you to offer packages of lets say the video, with a book, support materials, behind the scenes videos, etc. all in one package.

Re-Purpose Your Content

Repurpose Your Film Content for Additional $ Opportunities
You have finished your documentary and it is published and selling. Congratulations! Now what? Well first is to keep up the promotional activities across all your social media and blog sites. Keep posting your progress and accomplishments on your blog. Talk about your film on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.

What you have created with your documentary is one set of content. At the moment it is in video form, but it can be so much more. Take the audio track and produce podcasts with it, sell the on iTunes. Depending on the length it is one file or several. The average commute in the US is about 27 minutes, make your pieces work around the 20 minute length. This is a great way to bring in extended interviews or behind the scenes tales

Connect with ACX.com and Audible and you can sell it on Amazon as an audio file. Turn the film into chapters.

If you are putting together stories about the making of the film you can use Audacity. Audacity is a free recording and editing software for making podcasts or audio books. Audacity works on PC or Mac. To make an mp3 file you will also need to download a second piece of software but it is all pretty easy.

Take the audio files, transcribe them and make them into a book, add images from the film and you have a mini Ken Burns kind of project.

Depending on what kind of film you have produced, consider making a teacher workbook or discussion book that goes along with it. That would be cool. Education packages can sell for five to ten times the cost of the original film.

Or maybe you produced an informational film. Take it and create a PowerPoint presentation that gets uploaded on SlideShare and Linkedin. Take the PowerPoint and using Screenflow or Camtasia record it as a second video. Stream it on Amazon.

I hope you took photos of the areas that you went or the process of making the film, how about pulling them out and using them first off as content on your film blog. You can also use the art for calendars or mugs or all kinds of products at one of the print-on-demand products sites like Zazzle.com or CafePress.com? Take your images and create a children’s book version of your story.

It is all about repurposing your content. Create it once and use it over and over for different products.

All of this just emphasis the need for building your mailing list. More people you are connected to the more opportunities you have to sell your content.

Film Content Can be Turned into Any One of The Following Products:
• Physical Book
• E-Book/Kindle
• PDF book
• Workbook, worksheets, teacher lessons, study guide, educational material
• Audio recording of the film, mp3
• Audio program or course built around the film
• PowerPoint presentations
• Record the PowerPoint presentation and make a new video, preview on YouTube, link back to your sales site
• Annotated versions, director cuts, behind the scenes
• Webinar. Use some of these other products as a bonus or sell Seminars
• Google Hangout with other filmmakers or experts to discuss the film or topic
• Interviews and guest blog posts around your topic
• Video training courses around your topic.
• Cheat sheets, assessments, how-to sheets
• Take the photos or illustrations and make a picture book, children’s book
• Take the illustrations or photos and use the art on sites such as CafePress.com and Zazzle.com for products like t-shirts, mugs, clocks, pillows, etc.
• Use as content to start a monthly membership site or newsletter
• Resell the content for Private Label Rights or stock
• Film content can easily become blog posts or podcasts
• Build a resource guide to go with the film, readers love resource lists
• Break your film into sections and sell it as a series.
• Produce a course or workshop from the material,
• Use for consulting and lead generation for speaking opportunities
• Blog content.

Sites to Use for Creating Additional Products
Gift and Apparel Producers. On Demand Manufacturing:
• CafePress. https://www.cafepress.com
• Zazzle. https://www.zazzle.com
• Spreadshirt. https://www.spreadshirt.com/
• Printfection. https://www.printfection.com

Sites for Creating and Selling Physical Audio, Video, and Print-On Demand Products
• CreateSpace, they are more than just books, https://www.createspace.com
• Speaker Fulfillment Services. http://speakerfulfillmentservices.com/
• ACX.com and Audible.com. https://www.acx.com
• Gumroad.com, perfect for selling digital products. https://www.gumroad.com

Courses
• Udemy. https://www.udemy.com

Great ideas for re-purposing your content

50+ Places To Repurpose Your Content: The Ultimate Guide

Distributing Your Film
https://www.desktop-documentaries.com/distributing-your-film.html

Download My Sell Your Movie Checklist


https://www.backstage.com/advice-for-actors/backstage-experts/4-tips-marketing-your-indie-film/

Online Film Distribution 101 – Download or Stream Your Movie

How to Make a Picture Book and Sell it On Amazon, Part 1

I am in the process of putting together an actual and on-line course on How to Self-Publish a Picture Book. I have written a basic outline around how to self-publish a picture book on CreateSpace and Kindle and thought lets pull all this together right here in the blog and write the full version. One of the points I teach about marketing your book is to start the marketing at the same time you start the writing. One of the easiest ways to get started is to write your book right into your blog. Let it take shape here, attract some readers, have them sign up for your mailing list and build some followers.

1. The Type of Book You Are Making
One of the first decision you will need to make is what kind of book are you releasing. Is it a text only fiction book, a picture book, a non-fiction how-to-book, a children’s book, a paperback, an e-book, or both the list is pretty big. Depending on what you decide, it will determine where you will publish and the process you will go through to make your book. With all of the options available today you can very often pick several different ways to publish the same material. For my own books I often start with the print version and then move to e-book and then maybe a pdf. Some books start as e-books first others start as print.

2. Deciding on the Publishing Platform
At the top of everyone’s publishing list is Amazon.com. Pretty much the largest distributor of books on the planet. Amazon has two options for self-publishing. You can go with a print-on-demand paperback produced through their CreateSpace.com division or an e-book that is read on the Kindle e-book reader. Some books work great on both platforms and some a little better on one. Kindle works great on books that are pretty much mostly text. But more and more picture books are going that way also.

Lets define some terms:
Print-on-Demand: POD is a technology where the book isn’t printed until an order has been placed. Books are printed one at a time as orders come in.This has become a very efficient way of printing because you don’t need to have any inventory sitting on shelves. Print-on-Demand has also moved way beyond just books, it also includes mugs, t-shirts, posters, almost any kind of specialty item. Websites like CafePress.com and Zazzle.com produce all kind of products. For paperback books one of the largest POD printers is CreateSpace.com which is a division of Amazon.com. We will be using CreateSpace.com for our picture book.  The Print-on-Demand technology has exploded publishing and allowed small publishers and indie authors to print and sell books. Other popular POD printers are Lulu.com and Blurb.com.

E-book: E-books are full length books in digital form. The book can contain text, images or both. They can be read on e-book readers, computers, tablets, and smartphones. The most popular reader is the Kindle by Amazon.com. The Kindle comes as a physical device and as a reading app on pretty much any electronic device. There are two basic e-book formats, Mobi which works on just the Amazon Kindle and Kindle readers and ePub format which works on all the other devices such as Kobo, Nook, iPad and many others.

Most main stream books these day are released both ways, e-book and print and sometimes audio. A lot of indie authors and publishers release just on Kindle because it is pretty easy and inexpensive to do. Print takes a bit more effort but in reality is pretty straight forward. There are many ways to get your books published on Amazon and all the other platforms. You can do it yourself or hire people or services to do it for you. Generally most people recommend setting up your own book accounts on Amazon for both print and e-book and for all of the other platforms using a service like BookBaby.com or Smashword.com. Many of the print-on-demand services also have their own stores and are building relationships with Amazon and others to give you full distribution.

Lets Go Through the Thought Process
You want as big a distribution as you can get, world-wide would be great. Paperback black/white or color book, standard sizes, text or images, you go with CreateSpace.com/Amazon. E-Book, world-wide distribution, mostly text such as a fiction or romance book, Kindle/Amazon.com. Kindle will pretty much do anything. The books will play on any electronic device, and can be bought all over the world. More and more picture, children’s, rnon-fiction, really any kind of book now works this way. Where I have seen issues is when the book has extensive formatting, lots of charts and graphs, then things get a little strange. But Kindle is pretty flexible. One of the great things about CreateSpace is that the per book printing price is very competitive, in fact if you are printing extras for use at a conference or event the prices are excellent.

You want to kick your book up a notch. Give it a hardcover or maybe a cover wrap, you are going horizontal, or spiral binding. How about some really nice photos or maybe you want that thicker paper. Then you want to look at print-on-demand printers like Lulu.com or Blurb.com. Both of these companies do a great job and are now offering direct ties to Amazon.com for selling. Blurb.com can produce some really high quality books.

One of the cool things from Blurb.com is their BookWright software. To produce a designed, printed book you generally need some kind of page layout software like InDesign to build your book. But one of the trends is the development of book design and publishing software like BookWright. You don’t need anything, just your text and your images and you can build your book right on-line. This trend is also happening on the e-book side with on-line applications like Kobo Writing Life, Nook can do this also. I think this is the future, build your books on-line. there are also many other picture book sites that allow you to make the boo without any software.

For this project I am going to build a picture book that we will sell on Kindle and CreateSpace. To be a little different I am going to build it in PowerPoint. What did he say, yes PowerPoint. PowerPoint is a pretty amazing software that almost everyone has and can create a pretty nice book. I would normally use Adobe InDesign for my book layout software but I want to have as many people as possible be able to follow me.

3. Basic parameters of the picture book we will make
• 7″ x 10″, approx. 24 pages
• Layout and production, Microsoft PowerPoint
• Publishing CreateSpace.com/Amazon and Kindle. Ideally I would like to make a horizontal book because this is going to be a picture book, but because CreateSpace.com doesn’t really have this orientation we will go vertical. The Kindle works either way, and 7″ x 10″ fits pretty nicely with the Kindle 1:6 screen ratio.
• Pictures, 300dpi, color, jpg

To figure out the book size we look on the CreateSpace.com site and at the printing options for a color book. CreateSpace offers a wide range of sizes, I usually pick the Industry Standard sizes so I can take advantage of the widest distribution.
Visit here for book specs https://www.createspace.com/Products/Book/

General parts of a book
Cover
Title page
Front Matter
Copyright and legal disclaimers
List of illustrations and tables
Foreward
Acknowledgements
Introduction
Table of contents
Chapters
References
Index
Resources
Author bio, Contact info

For my picture book we will have a little simpler layout
Cover
Title page
Copyright and legal matters
Images
Author Bio

Sample Images for my Torrie Pines Beach Picture Book

Sample Images for my Torrie Pines Beach Picture Book

Make sure you sign up on our mailing list so you can keep up with this series of articles. Sign-up box is over on the right.

 

The text below here is still a work in process

Assembling your content
Pictures, drawings, illustrations
From a stock site, look at the rights issues, publishing, e-book, print-on-demand book, pdf book
Using images from you own camera, iPhoto,

Writing
Text for the book,
Title page text
Pick a topic

Images and Artwork
Collecting Images
Cleaning up images for the book, standard size and resolution
Any color adjustments
Match the picture size with the book page dimensions and layout

Picture book, kids
How to Book on a topic, pictures and images

Amazon book page
Understanding the basic sales page and the parts
How to research your book topic
Importance of book reviews

10 Ten technique for writing

Self Publishing Platforms Compared

We all know about the Kindle Publishing Platform but there are many other self-publishing platforms, in this article by Ben Macklin of BMWBooks.com we learn about some of the others.

The following article compares eight self-publishing platforms:

  • Kindle Direct Publishing
  • Smashwords
  • Lulu
  • Book Tango
  • eBookIT!
  • BookBaby
  • Vook
  • Press Books

Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) allows you to upload a Word (doc or docx),.mobi, epub, text, HTML (Zip), RTF and PDF file which they will convert into their own eBook format (.mobi). They accept files up to 50MB in size. The service is completely free, the interface is intuitive and simple and within 24 hours of a successful upload (manuscript and cover) your eBook will be published and available for sale.

The Kindle Previewer allows you to view your uploaded file to ensure it looks OK, and you can upload your file again if necessary. The author dashboard is also simple and easy to use for both editing your published eBook and viewing sales.

Amazon takes a 30% royalty cut on books priced between $2.99 – $9.99. For books priced out of that range or for buyers outside Amazon’s specified countries (like Australia) they take a 65% royalty cut on each book sale. Since Amazon is the biggest eBook player in town, you have to be on Amazon, either directly via KDP, or indirectly via the other services listed below.

KDP – Kindle Select: Kindle Direct Publishing offers authors the opportunity to enroll in their Kindle Select program. When your book is enrolled in the program it enables Amazon Prime subscribers to borrow your eBook. You receive a royalty on each borrow. The other nice feature of enrolling in the Select program is that within a three month period you are able to make your eBook free for up to five days. The advantage of this is that you can give your eBook a quick promotional boost. Each free download also raises your book’s ranking within its particular category, making it more visible as well as raising its ranking on Amazon’s search results. Furthermore, someone who picked up your eBook for free may review the book, which can then further promote the work.

The only disadvantage of the Select program is that you have to exclusively publish your book with Amazon within a three month period. So if your book is available elsewhere, you are required to unpublish it at that distribution point.

Smashwords is one of the largest indie eBook publishers in the world and your eBook will be distributed both on their website and through their premium distribution partners including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, Diesel, Baker & Taylor and others, for free.

Smashwords only accepts Word (doc) files for upload and your doc will have to get through their notorious ‘meatgrinder’ which converts your Word document into numerous eBook file formats. Smashwords has very strict style guidelines outlined in their Style Guide so first time users of Smashwords have been known to pull their hair out in frustration (been there done that) because of seemingly minor issues.

However, once you know the drill, the service is very good and if you combine premium distribution via Smashwords as well as publishing via Kindle Direct Publishing, your eBook will be available across most of the major retailers, and there is no up-front cost. Smashwords takes a 15% royalty cut on eBooks sold from its site and author royalties from its distribution partners are in the range of 40% – 60%.

One note of caution: Smashwords does not accept a Word file that is over 5MB in size. If your manuscript is image heavy then Smashwords is not for you.

Smashwords – Coupons & PayPal payments: A nice feature of the Smashwords service is the ability to create a coupon. A coupon allows an author to offer a promotional price for an eBook over a time specified by the author. So the coupon is a unique code which the author can distribute to people on their website, Facebook page, Twitter or directly via email. Those receiving the coupon just input the code when purchasing the eBook to receive the promotional price. This can be a useful way to get or ask for reviews and track where potential readers are coming from. An additional nice feature for non-US residents is that book royalties can be paid via PayPal. This is not the case with KDP which issues foreign cheques, which cost $10.50 to cash and take near 30 days to clear.

Like KDP and Smashwords, Lulu enables you to publish an eBook for free, while they take a percentage of the eBook royalties (10% in Lulu’s case). They will also distribute your eBook for free to the usual suspects – Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble. But unlike KDP or Smashwords, Lulu offers a variety of services in addition to eBook publishing including, print on demand, cover creation, promotional services and more. It is a full service eBook and print-on-demand conversion, publishing, distribution and promotion outfit.

Its paid services start from about $199 and rise from there. Lulu also has international sites including UK, Ireland, Spain, Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands.

Lulu – Range and Google Drive – Apart from Lulu’s shear range of services including, conversion, cover design, distribution, publicity and promotional services, Lulu has also partnered with Google to offer a One-Click Publishing app. The Lulu One-Click Publishing app lets creators collaborate with anyone on Google Drive, then easily publish content as a PDF eBook that can be sold or converted to a print book. While still early days, the app marks another advance in combining the cloud, apps and easy eBook creation and distribution.

BookTango is the eBook publishing wing of Author Solutions (a Penguin company). It is a relatively new service and enables you to publish and distribute your eBook for free and it takes no royalty cut. You receive 100% of royalties on eBooks sold on the BookTango site and 100% of net sales from its distribution partners. Its distribution partners include Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Scribid, Google, Books on Board and Sony.

The upload formats accepted are Word but the nice feature of BookTango is that you can edit your document online. It provides basic online editing and error correction features to both ensure your eBook is formatted correctly but to enable you to enhance the look and feel. It is not as sophisticated as Vook in this regard, but the feature is free, so one can’t complain too much.

If you don’t want to do it yourself, you can pay $49 for BookTango to format your book and distribute it for you and there are additional book cover and promotion services you can purchase.

BookTango – Hollywood Book to Screen: BookTango offers a variety of paid publicity and promotional services including press releases, social networking assistance, video trailers and author websites. But if you have a spare $599 lying around and you think your book would translate well to TV or Film then BookTango offers a service which prepares your book so it is suitable for submission to a Hollywood database viewable by industry writers, agents, actors, directors and producers.

eBookit! provides the full suite of eBook and print on demand publishing services. I’ve not used the service before but examining the website closely suggests to me that the service has a more personal touch than the larger Lulu, with human formatters used and phone numbers available to call.

Paid services start at $149 to convert a Word doc to an ePub and distribution partners include Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Google, Ingram, Apple and Sony reader. One of the unique features I saw were its audio book conversion service.

eBookIT! – Add an audio book with that: One terrific feature that eBookIT! offers is a conversion of your eBook into an audio book read by a computer generated voice. For $119 you can get your ePub file turned into an MP3 and distributed via Audible, Amazon and Apple iTunes. Now you might be thinking, computer generated voice, no way! But listen to the samples, they are not bad at all.

BookBaby has only been around a short while but now claims to be the world’s largest eBook distribution network of indie authors. Bookbaby has three main price points: $99 for distribution only (BYO ePub or Mobi file); $149 includes conversion plus distribution and $249 is its premium service.

It accepts Word, text, HTML, Quark, Pages, InDesign, RTF, PDF files for upload which it will then convert. They also offer book cover design services and author website and promotional services. While I’ve not used the service I’ve heard very good first hand reports. While they don’t offer a print on demand service, they do offer printing of books.

BookBaby – Accepts many file types, wide distribution:One nice feature I noted about BookBaby is that is accepts a wide variety of file types it can convert into an eBook, for example: Word (doc, docx), RTF, Text, HTML, PDF, InDesign, Pages and Quark. It also distributes is eBooks very widely: Amazon, Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Sony Reader Store, Kobo, Copia, Gardners Books, Baker & Taylor and eBookPie. Of the self publishing services reviewed, BookBaby accepts the widest variety of file types and has the widest distribution network.

Vook allows you to upload your Word file and then edit and style your eBook online. It has a variety of design and styling features which can take a boring looking eBook into something much more attractive and professional. While BookTango also allows you to edit and style your book online before final conversion, the feature set of Vook is far superior and more user friendly.

To distribute your title via Vook’s website is free but to distribute (or to just get unwatermarked eBook files) costs $99. Distribution partners include Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble.

Vook – Add Design and Styling to your eBook: No other self publishing service offers the range of design and styling features that Vook offers and you don’t need knowledge of HTML to implement them. You can do DropCaps for first letter styling, utilise a variety of different fonts, adjust letter and line spacing, add colours and highlight boxes and add video to your eBook. Manipulating images within your book is also very easy with a nice drag and drop feature.

PressBooks is unlike all the other services reviewed in this article. It is essentially a Web service built on the popular blogging platform WordPress. If you are familiar with WordPress you will feel comfortable with PressBooks. Pressbooks recently changed from being completely free to having both free and paid features.

At the moment, PressBooks, does not accept Word uploads. If you have created your manuscript in Word then the process of using Pressbooks would be to cut and paste each individual chapter into the Pressbooks site and you can then edit your document online. While this may sound a bit cumbersome, it is relatively painless and the WordPress platform provides significant flexibility in design, styling, referencing and using images and multimedia.

Pressbook basically turns your book into a website and you then have the ability to export that website into PDF, ePub and XML. If you are interested in print on demand as well as eBooks then the PDF file exports are suitable for you to use on print on demand sites like Createspace and Lightning Source, which can save you considerable time having to format for print as well.

One note of caution: at the time of writing this article Press Books was only offering one trim size 6″x9″ and one font size (10 pt) for its print-ready PDF exports. So if you want a smaller or larger book with larger font, then Press Books currently doesn’t offer this flexibility. This, I believe will be changing shortly.

The first five books on Pressbooks are free and then there is a sliding scale starting at $20/mnth to $200/mth depending on how may books are hosted on the site. Distribution to the usual suspects is an extra $100 per book plus $25 per year.

PressBooks – Format once, export Web, eBook & Print: The best feature of Pressbooks is that if you want to publish both an eBook and a print-on-demand title then you only have to format once and you can export files that will be ready to upload to Amazon’s KDP and print on demand services from Createspace or Lulu. Plus, your book will have a dedicated website raising the book’s online ranking across Google search. You can also make your Web book private or publicly available for people to read.

Verdict

The decision of which service to use depends a little on how much or little formatting or converting you want to do yourself and how much you’d be happy to pay someone else to do. If you are confident in formatting your document appropriately (use my Step by Step guide to help) and want to pay as little as possible, then services such as Kindle Direct Publishing, Smashwords, Lulu and BookTango are for you.

If you want the flexibility of adding additional design, multimedia and styling features to your eBook then services such as Vook, PressBooks and to a lesser extent BookTango may suit.

If you want to self-publish both eBook and print on demand yourself then PressBooks will enable you to export an ePub file (for eBook) and PDF file for print on demand services such as Createspace and Lulu.

But if you just want someone else to do the whole thing then you can of course use BWM Books, BookBaby, eBookIT! and Lulu.

A final point:

No matter which option, or options you chose, it is worthwhile preparing your Word (or equivalent) manuscript so it is ‘upload’ ready. This will ensure the conversion process goes as smoothly as possible. My step by step guide is designed to assist you with this. This is available from the BWM Books website

Further information on self publishing can be found here https://www.bwmbooks.com/self-publish or follow me on twitter @bwmbooks

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ben_Macklin

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7445296

“How to Publish Your Book” Releases Feb 15 in the Kindle Store

How to Publish Your Book, Beginners Guide

How to Publish Your Book, Available at Amazon.com

By Bruce Jones

I am pleased to announce the release of my newest book, How to Publish Your Book, A Beginner’s Guide for Print, Digital and e-Books. In this book I take you through an introduction and overview to self-publishing. The services, the different kinds of books you can create, the where, why and how. The power is in your hands and we can now publish, distribute and sell our writing around the world for almost no money or resistance. It is an amazing moment in time, and we can take advantage of it. This book shows you how.

How to Publish Your Book covers why you should self-publish, how you can make money from publishing your own books, and where you should publish. How to Publish Your Book talks about using the latest print-on-demand services like CreateSpace.com and Lulu.com for producing paperback, hard cover, photo and audio books. After discussing where to publish we turn to where to sell your book, the types of books you can make and then how you do it. The book also talks about the Kindle Comic Creator the new free application from Amazon that lets you publish graphic novels, comic books and children books super easy and very fast. After publishing and selling comes marketing and we have an overview of what to do before your start writing to build your platform and what to do after the book is out.

One of my favorite topics is how you can re-purposing of your content. Write it once and use it over and over in many different ways. We learn about some of the other product creation sites that you can use and how to extend your book.

In all of my books there is an extensive resource list of sites and services that you can use in creating your book and this continues that tradition. The list includes Layout and Design sites; including resources for; Clip Art, Color Palette Generators, Commercial Stock Photo Sites, Fonts, Online Photo Editing, and Public Domain Photo Sites. In the publishing resource we have Book Publishing, e-Book and Print-on-Demand Sites, e-Book Aggregators, and iPad publishing. Re-purposing Your Content includes; Blog Platforms, E-mail hosting, Google Resources, Video and Video Marketing, Photo Sharing, Single Subject Blog Sites and Social Media. The last section of the resources is about re-purposing your content, this section includes; Audio Recording Software, Screen Capture Software, Gift and Apparel Producers, Personal Broadcasting, Transcription Software, Video Distribution and Sharing, Web Based Screen Capture Software and Outsourcing.

How to Publish Your Book is available in the Amazon/Kindle Store. Shortly coming to print. Click here to see the Amazon page.

Why Do We Self Publish?

The Caxton Celebration - William Caxton showing specimens of his printing to King Edward IV and his QueenI highly encourage writing and publishing your own books. This is an exciting and ever changing time for anyone who wants to create and send their content out into the world. Publishing has changed a lot over the last several years. Authors have more control of the content and rights of their books and with the explosion of e-books, tablets, and print-on-demand there are more and more options for publishing and distributing your creations around the world. Below are highlighted some of the ups and downs of today’s ever changing publishing environment.

Upside

  • Control over your own destiny, the word no doesn’t exist. You have control over the editing, the book layout, cover design, inside design, the marketing and the rights.
  • Speed to market is very much higher, traditional publishers can take 1-2 years to get your book to market if you can attract the attention of a publisher
  • Much higher royalty payments from the print-on-demand sites like CreateSpace and Lulu.com
  • More opportunity to create additional products from your content because you keep control over all your rights
  • Publishing can be close to free and with print-on-demand there is no need to have excess inventory hanging around

Downside

  • No book advance
  • You have to do all the work yourself, editing, design, formatting, publishing and marketing
  • You don’t have a group of professional marketing people to support you. Often though these don’t really exist and a lot is put on the author to promote and market
  • If you are actually self printing physical books you would need to front all of the printing costs.

 

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.

 

Write, Design and Publish an Ebook in Three Hours

Can you write, design and publish an ebook in three hours? Yes you can, it is amazing how fast you can send your content out into the world. David Meerman Scott from WebInknow.com highlights the experiences of a class at BU College of Communication run by Edward Boches that did just this in a July 22 post. See the video and SlideShare below to learn what and how they did it. As I approach the launch of my 21st book using CreateSpace the Amazon print-on-demand service and Kindle and 5 other books coming shortly I love this stuff. Get writing and publishing.

To read the entire post check out Write, design, and publish an ebook in three hours by David Meerman Scott on WebInkNow.com. Great job of pulling together all the elements, video, slideshare, blog. Nice.

 

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