In past articles, we’ve talked about outline and putting your book together and what you need to do in order to get all your content together, including proofreading and layout. Now is the time where we need to actually publish the book.
Technically there are couple general publishing methods. There’s, for lack of a better word, “normal” publishing (also known as traditional publishing) and self publishing. Normal publishing is where you go through a “Publisher” to get your book published. Self publishing is just like it says…you publish the book yourself. There are several different levels for both publishing models.
Right now, let’s talk about the most basic way to get your content printed, published and out to the world, which is Amazon Kindle. What is it? It’s just digital publishing using Amazon. Basically, it’s a standard ePub file known as an Amazon Kindle book. The first thing you need to do is get your content/book ready for program to format your book. It’s easy to do yourself, or it’s also very inexpensive to have someone do it for you.
Let’s go to Fiverr.com to get an idea what it would cost. I log into Fiverr and type in “Amazon Kindle Formatting.
I want to take the time to go over a few that came up as I was doing the live stream training…
NOTE: If you wish to view my screen as I do this, log into Marketing University and search on “Best Selling Author Training” (make sure you put the Quotation marks around the search term) Go to Session 5, and you’ll find this at about the two and a half minute mark.
In Fiverr we find a LOT of people who do Kindle formatting. Here are some samples of what we see…
- “I will do CreateSpace and Kindle formatting— worked with 553 people”
- “I will do Kindle formatting $10+”
- “I will do Kindle formatting and conversion of any files—worked with 1,000 people”
I like to look at the numbers because I want to find someone that has worked with hundreds upon hundreds of people because that make me confident that they know what they are doing.
Let’s look a little deeper into a couple of these. Here’s what one of them will do…
In three days, they will format the text, create a clickable table of contents. $15 for 40 pages. So, if we have 200 pages, it would cost us $75 if we hired this person. This is their “Basic” package. That’s not a bad price. We could do it ourselves, but it’s a process, so I’ll pay $75 to have someone do it for me.
In their premium package they add in ePub and four revisions and do 200 pages for $80. In this case the ePub format mean nothing to us because Amazon Kindle accepts a Doc format.
Let’s look at the next person… In three days, she will do formatting, layout, design, table of contents, unlimited revisions. They only charge $5 for 50 pages. So that’s only $20 for a 200-page book. She has done 209 orders for people already. In her $35 package she gives us unlimited pages. This is one is good, so I’ll bookmark it.
Let’s look at one more.
This next person has done 1,545 orders, all with five-star reviews, and they will do 75 pages for $10 so we could get our 200-page book for just under $30. This is one I will also bookmark.
One of the most useful features of Fiverr is their “bookmark” feature. Why? Because as you are searching, you can bookmark those you are interested in and come back and go through them again and again, each time narrowing the list down. Even if I don’t use any of these bookmarked people at this time, I can come back and easily find them for future projects.
A while back I wrote a bunch of reports to be used as chapters in a book I was planning on writing. They are just simple reports that I wrote long ago as I was preparing to write my book.
At the time, I was doing a test on Amazon publishing so I could teach it to my students. For the test I used these reports to create four short, 14 – 20 page Amazon Kindle booklets. Most people don’t realize this, but you do not need to write a huge book for Amazon; you can do small booklets.
If you want to see them search under Armand Morin on Amazon. “Accepting Success” was one of the booklets.
If you look at “Accepting Success” you’ll see that for the first page I inserted an image from the cover of my book. The second page is an “About” page where I put…
- The title of the book
- Author’s name
- Publishing Date
- A link to my website
- A link to my support center
- The standard disclaimer: All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical without permission in writing from Armand Morin Network.
My third page is a table of contents that links to the chapters. The chapters are just the subchapters that were in the file for the chapters in the main book. The first three of the four books were very similar, but I did something different with the fourth book…at the end of the book I put links back to the other three books.
When you click on the link it takes you to Amazon to purchase the book. I should have done this on all the books but, like I said, I was just testing Amazon Publishing to become familiar with it and didn’t think to do it until the fourth book. I learned as I went along.
The process was simple…
- We formatted the book. We used Microsoft Word to format it.
- We broke the book up into chapters.
- We created a table of contents that linked to the chapters.
- At the end of the book, we created a link that enable you to buy the other books in the series.
In the actual two-day training you’ll see in the member’s area, I pull up these files and explain, step-by-step what I did, why I did it, and how I did it.
NOTE: If you wish to view my screen as I do this, log into Marketing University and search on “Best Selling Author Training” (make sure you put the Quotation marks around the search term) Go to Session 5, and you’ll find this at about the 14 minute 30 second mark.
It’s fairly simple to add a new book to Amazon (The above- mentioned training allows you watch me fill out the form) I’ll try to walk you through the form in this article also.
- Language: You fill out the language you want the book in. I choose English.
- Book Title: Enter the “Title” of your book.
- Subtitle: Enter the “Subtitle” of your book. (I always recommend utilizing a “Subtitle” because it will allow you to use more keyword phrases in your book title.)
- Series: (Is this book part of a series? What book number is it in the series?) Most people leave this blank when not dealing with a series.
- Edition Number: Is this the first edition, second edition etc. of the book.
- Author: If this is a book written by someone else you can use their name, or your name (if your wrote it) or a pen name. For example, I have a book on Acne. I used the pen name Bob Davis as the author of this book because it doesn’t make sense for Armand Morin, Internet Marketer, to be writing books on acne.
- Contributors: this would be used if there were additional people writing the book.
- Description: You have 4,000 characters available to write a description of your book. Make sure your keywords appear a few times in the description. You can do some very basic HTML code to make it look better, but most people just use plain text.
- Keywords: There are seven keyword boxes. Some people try to stuff keywords here. I’m not a fan of this but here’s what they do…let’s, as an example, say our book was about acne. I would use a different keyword phrase in each box. I might use Cure Acne in box one, Remove Acne in box two, Clear Up Acne in box three etc. in each of the seven boxes. But what they do when they stuff keywords is try to get more keywords into each box. In box one they might, as an example, they might put, Cure Acne Clear Up Acne Remove Acne all in one box. They may put as many as six, seven or eight keywords in each box. At the time I tested this, I wasn’t able to put a comma between the keywords but I think you should be able to put a dash (-) between them. Rules change so if you want to use this method just try and see if commas or dashes work for you. I don’t do keyword stuffing, but I’m just giving it to you as an option that some people use.
If I go to Amazon ad type in the word “acne” I will see phrases such as…
- Acne just another four-letter word
- Acne book
- Acne free diet
- Acne eBook
- Acne answer
- Acne treatment
- Acne no more
- Acne cure book
- Acne remedies
- Acne treatment book
These are all searches that people typed in to find information on acne. I want to incorporate these actual search terms in my keywords. So, you can see why it’s so tempting to stuff keywords. And, I have friends who say it’s very effective.
Here’s a secret you can use to come up with search terms. Once again, let’s use the word “acne”. Type it in the Amazon Search Bar. You will see a list of search terms under it. Then type it in followed by an “a” and we’ll come up with a few different search terms. Then replace the “a” with a “b” (acne b)and search on it. Replace the “b” with a “c” (acne c). Go through the entire alphabet this way. You’ll get a few different search terms for most of the letters of the alphabet.
Let’s go back to filling out the Amazon Submission form.
- Categories: Choose up to two primary categories. Choose categories that make sense for your topic
Let’s take a time out here and talk about this.
Some people whos whole goal is to get a “best seller” status cheat here. They pick obscure categories that have nothing to do with their topic. These categories have very few books or sales so by only selling a few books, they can claim they were a best seller. But were they really a bestseller? I say “NO.” To truly count as a best seller you have to be ranked in the category that your topic is on. You have to be number one in the category that people were looking for when they searched on your topic. I wrote more about this in an earlier article in this series.
- Age and Grade Range: Choose from choices that apply to your book.
- Pre-order: If your book is not ready now, you can have it available for pre-order.
That’s it for this part of the form. Click “Save and Continue,” and we’ll be taken to the next part.
- Manuscript – Digital Rights Management: if you want people to pay for your book click “Yes.” Now, you click the button to upload your book.
- Kindle Ebook Cover: Next upload your cover. Your cover is usually a massive sized file, 2560 x 1600 pixels. You can go to Fiverr and hire someone who makes Kindle ebook covers for you, and they’ll make it the correct size. Once you have the correct sized cover, you click the button to upload it.
- Kindle Ebook Preview: You can check to see what you book looks like here.
- Kindle Ebook ISBN: (International Standard Book Number) Kindle eBooks are not required to have an ISBN, but use one if you have it.
Click “Save and Continue.”
This may take a while as the system scans your book and make sure it’s formatted properly.
You will then be taken to a “Pricing” page. The average basic pricing of books is $2.99. The last time I checked you will make about $2.17 (US dollars) for an Ebook priced at $2.99. If you go higher than
$2.99, they change the commission structure (at least at the time I did this training). So, you want to keep your price at $2.99 because that’s the price they are trying to promote. That’s the sweet spot. Traditional books have higher prices, but $2.99 is typical for books that are mainly being offered as Kindle books.
We’re now on the “Pricing” page.
- KDP Select Enrollment: I suggest you choose this by checking the little box.
- Territories: I would typically choose “All Territories.”
- Royalty and Pricing: Click the “View Service” button, and you can see how the different pricings and royalty structure affect your earnings. At the time I created this training, the chart shows that you make the most money selling your book for $2.99 at the 70% Royalty plan. If this is what you want to do, click “yes” and then choose the 70% plan. Basically, if you accept this, you are pretty much locked into only selling your book on Kindle. (If you are watching the video of this training while reading this, you can advance the video to the 44:14 and watch what happens as I adjust the price to more than $2.99.)
- Book Lending: I usually allow lending but the decision is up to you. This feature allows users to lend digital books they have purchased through the Kindle Store to their friends and family.
At this point you have the choice to Publish your eBook or save it as a draft. Of course, that choice is up to you. As you can see, it’s not difficult to upload and publish a book on Amazon Kindle. At one time if you wanted to publish a paperback, I would have advised you to use CreateSpace but CreateSpace is now part of KDP (Kindle Digital Publishing) which makes it even easier to publish your book in both digital and paperback formats.
These are not the only ways to publish your book, but the Kindle process we talked about is probably the easiest.
If you wanted to create a physical book, you can use 48-hour books (www.48hrbooks.com) to print your books.
Lightning Source (www.ingramcontent.com/publishers/print) is owned by Ingram Content. Ingram is the world’s largest wholesale distributor. They are a “Print on Demand” solution. They have an easy to use “Printing and Shipping Calculator” that will quote you a price once you enter some information regarding the book and the number you want printed.
You can experiment with book sizes, paper, quantity you want printed, etc. to see how it affects the price per book. If you want a book printed, this is a great way to do it. Just remember this does not include shipping the books to customers or anything like that.
The great thing about Amazon CreateSpace is they will put they book in their catalog, sell it and ship it to your customer…they take care of it all for you. They will NOT put you in stores.
Let’s talk about manipulation with Amazon. What I mean is understanding how Amazon works and using it to the fullest extent. One thing you need to understand is how to break the charts and get the number one position. It all depends on one thing…the number of purchases made within a 15-minute window. Knowing this, it’s easy to see that if you can get people to buy within that window of time, it’s easy to get to the top of the chart. And once you get to the top, other people take notice and you make even more sales!
There is another factor that enters in here and that factor is timing. We want them to all order at an “off time” for sales such as 7 to 7:15 on Sunday evening, or even as late as 7:30 to 7:45. This is a time when there are not many other sales competing with you. Major launches are usually made mid-week. I think Tuesday is the big day for major launches.
It’s very hard for a non-fiction book to reach the top of the chart… I’m talking about the main chart, not the little sub-category charts. But by launching and driving people to that time period you’ll need a lot less sales to be number one during that time period.
Then what do you do? You take a screen shot of you achieving number one status and ride it for all its worth. Put out “Press Releases” promoting the fact that your book reached number one. Once people see it at number one, they will start talking about it, and this keeps the sales coming in.
I know what you’re thinking now… “but Armand, I don’t know that many people that I can get to buy my book during that 15 minute window”. That’s fine, there’s another way to make it happen. For this to work you need to need to be a member of “Amazon Select.”
If you’re an Amazon Select member and publishing with Kindle you can give your book away for free. You can give your book away every 90 days. Why would you do this? You do it to spark interest in your book. You can get hundreds of people downloading your book. I’ve had as high as 1,000 people download my book through one of these promotions.
This increased interest in your book drives it up the charts and ranks it higher. There’s a way I can manipulate this even more. I use what I
call the secret weapon website, it’s called BookBub (www.bookbub. com/welcome).
BookBub has a massive number of people that want free or cheap books. What we can do is list our book here to be given away for free. Let’s look at an example. (These numbers were accurate at the time I did this live training. They may have changed by the time you read this).
From the dropdown menu on their Featured Deals and Pricing Statistics page, I just happened to choose the crime and fiction category. It tells me that for $569 I could list my free crime book and expect to get, on the average, 54,000 downloads. That would be cool. That works out costing me about one cent per book downloaded.
If I wanted to sell my book and it was priced under $3, they would charge me $2845. They claim, at this price range, I can expect to sell, on average, 3,380 books.
Let’s look at the number. It’s going to cost us $2,845 to sell, on average, 3,380 books. Using Amazon’s Royalty figures for a $2.99 book we find that we are earning $2.04 per book from Amazon. 3380 books sold x $2.04 (profit per book sold on Amazon) =
$6895.20. We now subtract the $2845 that BookBub charged us,
$6895 – 2845 = $4050 in profit! PLUS…it gives you a bunch of sales in a short period of time which helps you get to the top of the charts.
Granted this was for a fiction book. Most of their categories are fiction, but you can also find self-help, business, internet, etc. Please understand…these are average figures, your actual numbers could be more or less. Set up an account with them and log in and see if they cover your category. The pricing and average numbers are different for each category.
As a recap, we’ve covered the two different methods to get your book to number one position.
- The 15-minute window strategy
- Give your book away for free strategy
There is much more to this training. Log into the Marketing University Member’s area, do a search on “Best Selling Author” and watch the session five video for more examples and details. The video is about 60 minutes long.