Is writing a bestselling book a dream of yours? There's no better way to spread your message, help other people, earn credibility in your industry, and even earn author royalties for your efforts.
But for most people, that's where the dream ends; as they wake up to the daunting reality.
They don't know where to begin, how to publish their work, or how they can possibly get noticed in the sea of 3 million competing titles.
This course puts an end to the confusion and shares the proven, systematic way to take a book from idea to Amazon bestseller.
I've done it myself -- with a book I didn't even have any particular qualifications to write, and I'm confident you can too. That title earned me over $1400 in author royalties in its first month and continues to make sales every day!
We'll walk through step-by-step what's required to get your book to the top of the Amazon charts, starting at the ground level and working our way up.
This course is specifically for people WITHOUT an established "audience" in the form of a big email list or social media following.
You'll learn how to:
95% of other Kindle authors don't know or don't execute on these tactics, so you'll have a huge advantage and be able to win the top positions -- and the authority and income that come with it.
Ready to begin your journey to bestseller status? Let's get started!
In this course you'll learn how to leverage the reach of the world's largest store to build authority and make money with your book.
It may sound cliche, but failure to plan is planning to fail. When I launched my first book, I didn't have a gameplan or strategy, and the results reflected that. Sure, it was downloaded a couple thousand times, but that didn't translate into hardly any paid sales, and I wonder how many more buyers I could have reached with a little more planning ahead of time.
I was just excited to get my work out into the world, and that rush probably cost me a ton of exposure and sales. I've since learned the errors of my ways and now know that the pre-launch component is actually the most crucial element of a book's long-term success.
It may help to think of Amazon as a giant marketplace (which it is). Their 200+ million active users collectively determine the success and failure of the products on that marketplace, but there are specific actions you can take to influence your positioning and give your book the best chances.
For instance, your book needs to serve a proven market need. If no one is writing about your topic, it may look like a clear blue ocean, but that can actually be a red flag. I like to see at least on other book in a particular genre -- let someone else be the guinea pig and test the market demand first!
If they're making sales, you can make sales too.
Click here to download my competitive research template, which will help you see what other books are in the market, how well they're selling, and what customers like and dislike about them:
You can also use the Kindle Sales Calculator to input the sales rank of the competition and get an estimate of how many copies they are selling each day:
Click here to download my daily writing habit tracker, which will help you keep count of the words you produce each day:
I try and aim for 500 words a day, though some days I'll get rolling and pump out 3000 words or more. I find that if I have a detailed outline to work from, the book almost writes itself. It's like filling in the blanks, which becomes kind of a game.
I use AWeber for my email management, but MailChimp is another popular choice and allows you free access until you top 2000 subscribers. But there are dozens of other options to choose from including:
Feel free to reach out with any questions on this section or any other throughout the course!
Shh! Here are a couple sneaky ideas for you can get more natural exposure from Amazon through similar titles and in the search results.
One of the most important elements of your book launch is your network, which is probably larger and more supportive than you realize. One way to "formalize" your network into a group of book launch ambassadors is to create a private Facebook group or even just a spreadsheet tracking those who you know would be interested in the subject matter and who you know would help you out.
I highly recommend having a second set of eyes read through your work before you publish, and if you can afford a professional editor or proofreader, all the better. You can find excellent proofreaders starting around $0.01 per word on platforms like Elance, Fiverr, and Writer.ly -- ready and willing to go through your book with a fine-toothed comb and find all the errors.
That means a 20,000 word book would cost around $200 to get edited, which I think is a worthwhile investment. You'll be amazed (and probably a little embarrassed) by what they find!
CreateSpace also has a done-for-you editing service for around $0.03 per word, which is more typical for "professional" editing rates. If you can afford it, this really is a service that's worth every penny.
And the final thing to keep in mind is that any changes an editor suggests are just that -- suggestions. At the end of the day, it's still your work and something you have to be happy with putting your name on. If you like it better your way, you're under no obligation to change it.
Here's the exact script I used when I submitted my first editing job post on Elance:
Hi, first-time author here so not entirely sure what to expect. I have a draft of a book written I'd like to publish on the Kindle platform. It is a non-fiction work on the subject of virtual assistants, coming in around 14,000 words.
I'm looking for an extra set of eyes to go over the text and make suggestions to get it ready for launch. Also, if any formatting issues are needed to make it Kindle-ready, it would be great to address those as well.
At the time, I didn't really think I would be writing several more books, so I didn't include anything about the possibility of future work, which is generally attractive to freelancers. I just made sure to give an overview of the subject matter and the length, so I could look specifically in the responses for people who mentioned any interest or past experience on the topic, and whether or not they could help with formatting as well.
If the formatting is giving you a hard time, I wouldn't beat yourself up over it. Instead, see if you can find some help. There are tons of Kindle formatting pros on Elance, Fiverr, and Writer.ly ready and willing to get your book publish-ready.
Click here to download my keyword research template, that you can fill in with the data from MerchantWords.com:
I would also ask my friends or Facebook group members which title they prefer.
Here's another cool way to improve the sales power of your listing page on Amazon.
It's almost go time! This section is all about how to get your title into Amazon's system and set up the behind-the-scenes data to give yourself the best chances for a successful launch.
I recommend first-time authors "check the box" for KDP Select and give Amazon exclusive rights to their book for the first 90 days. Doing so unlocks a number of important marketing perks, including the ability to promote your book for FREE for up to 5 days. This is a powerful sales tool and is what I used to gain massive exposure during my last book launch.
The book description is one of the most overlooked elements of many first-time authors' Kindle books. They're so spent after writing the book they can't be bothered to put much effort into the book description and indeed I've been guilty of this as well. Still, this section enjoys VERY prominent placement on Amazon's listing pages and has to sell the book on your behalf.
While the cover and reviews are crucial, I think it would be rare for someone to buy without at least glancing at your book description. Give it some thought and use the tips in this section to create a killer description that sells for you.
Click here to download my category competitiveness template, which will help determine which categories to select for your book:
On Amazon, you can charge as much or as little as you like, starting at $0.99. However, Amazon's royalty structure for authors more or less pushes prices to a narrow band between $2.99 and $9.99. In that range, they'll pay you 70% of the book's price in royalties, but outside that range -- above OR below, they'll only pay you 35%.
You can adjust the price of your book at any time and the price on Amazon will update within 12-24 hours, so you can test which price performs best for your title.
Don't neglect this free piece of online real estate that Amazon affords Kindle authors!
Whew! Once you hit the publish button on KDP or CreateSpace, your creation will be live to the world within 12-48 hours. Take a deep breath and get ready because the fun is just about to start!
This is where the rubber meets the road. All your hard work and preparation up to this point built the foundation to crush it with your launch. This section will walk through in detail the specific marketing actions you can take to drive your book to the top of the Amazon charts.
Your ONE job during your launch is to build enough initial momentum toward your book that the great big Amazon machine begins to work for you. Consider your efforts the initial boost, and then Amazon's built-in traffic, audience, and customers the energy that keeps it going. Once you prove an interest and people begin downloading your book, it will climb in the charts and be exposed to more and more people organically.
In that sense, the phrase "you have to sell books to sell books" rings true, and it's kind of like the old GM saying, "being #1 sells cars." Let's get into it!
If you want to send people a demo of how to leave a review on Amazon, here's a quick YouTube link you can send them: http://youtu.be/5MnPICbTFjs
In the Supplementary Material you'll find a sample outreach email script along with the Book Launch Ambassador Tracking template. I've only filled out a few rows of the tracker spreadsheet, but ideally you'll have a dozen or more people "on your team" for your launch.
This lecture covers the pros and cons of launching your book for free. If you have an existing audience, you probably don't need to go this route, but if you're a relative "no name" I think it makes sense to use the KDP free promo option to cast a wide a net as possible during your launch.
Click here to download my checklist file of 30 different places to submit your book while it's on free promo:
Click here to download my checklist file of 15 different Facebook groups to submit your book while it's on free promo:
Odds are your network is much larger than you imagine, and there are a ton of people you know who would LOVE to support your work and be interested in your book launch.
Here's how you can find the email addresses for all your LinkedIn contacts. Again, I would strongly urge against bulk mailing as that can get your account in trouble with SPAM complaints, but instead send one-on-one messages to those you think would be interested in your book project. Alternatively, you could just message them through the LinkedIn platform.
If you have your own website or email list, no matter how small, here are a couple quick hacks to make the most of the traffic and subscribers you already have.
With your social media push, be sure to include relevant hashtags on Twitter, such as:
Hashtags allow you to potentially reach a much wider audience than just your followers. It might also make sense to include hashtags relevant to the subject matter of your book, such as #productivity, #dogtraining, #goldfish, #baseball, etc.
In addition to the hashtags, you can also tweet at these Kindle promotion accounts to see if they'll retweet your book link to their followers:
Regarding Pinterest, like I mentioned, I won't pretend to be an expert. Instead, check out this handy reference guide for authors: http://www.yourwriterplatform.com/use-pinterest-to-market-book-and-author-brand/
Using a little creativity, you can find other platforms where your target readers are already congregating and get in front of them. Again, when you come to the table offering something for free, it's much less spammy than if you were trying to sell something.
Hat tip to Scott Britton for sharing this little hack. We all get a ton of email every day -- why not turn that into an automated marketing machine on our behalf with a clever little "out of office" message?
Marketing tip: During this transition period, you can also update the first line of your book description to read “Just $0.99 for a limited time!”
You can make this text bold in you KDP description by adding <b>tags around your text</b>.
Here's the breakdown of what went into my launch.
Whew! You did it! No it's time to try and keep the momentum alive as a paid book. That means continuing to promote your work anywhere it makes sense and continue to ask for reviews. With any luck, your book will prove to be the authority-building and income-building asset you set out to write.
Here's a link to download the 6-Step Formula I try to use when writing book descriptions:
Nick is an author and online entrepreneur featured on The New York Times, Forbes, Fortune, and speaking at a TEDx event.
His latest role is as Chief Side Hustler at Side Hustle Nation, a growing community of aspiring and part-time entrepreneurs, where he also hosts the top-rated Side Hustle Show podcast.
He's the author of 4 books, including Work Smarter: 350+ Online Resources Today's Top Entrepreneurs Use To Increase Productivity and Achieve Their Goals, which became an Amazon bestseller in 2014.
On the virtual assistant front, Nick has been working with virtual staff since 2005. His free course on how to hire a virtual assistant shares his step-by-step process for sourcing high-quality, long-term hires. Nick also runs the web's leading virtual assistant company directory and review platform, Virtual Assistant Assistant, with more than 100 VA companies and 700 user reviews.
He's helped thousands of readers identify their outsourcing opportunities and take action.
In his own business, he's outsourced:
But it's not all rainbows and puppy dogs. Nick's also been on the short end of $10,000+ worth of outsourcing mistakes, and wants to help you avoid the same fate.
After recruiting dozens of virtual team members for himself and for clients, he's learned what separates a strong candidate from a weak one.