The 'Kindle Gold' Book Creation, Launch & Marketing Strategy

What’s working right now in 2016/2017 - Steady book sales without the need for continual social media marketing
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  • Lectures 78
  • Length 17.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 7/2016 English

Course Description

Introduction

With all the enthusiasm of a child opening their presents at Christmas, many authors new to Kindle get so caught up in the excitement of getting their beloved manuscript published online, that they do so in a hurry and miss some vital steps.

When this happens in such a rush, the product manual can sometimes be lost amongst the glitzy wrapping of online publishing.

Just in the same way in which a rocket needs to be constructed carefully stage by stage with the aid of the instruction manual in order to fly straight and true, the same can be said for launching a Kindle book.

What This Course is About

I have been publishing on Kindle now for almost 5 years and over that time I have been paying particular attention as to how Kindle actually works! For the simple truth is that if you give Kindle what they are looking for i.e. you play by their rules, they will in turn reward you by making your book visible to their massive buyer friendly audience.

This course reveals Kindle's hidden formula and sets out the critical steps required in order for your book to achieve a successful launch.

Additionally there are some cutting-edge strategies which will help fine-tune your book launch in order to keep it in high orbit.

Who Is This Course For?

This course is aimed at authors who have already written, or are planning to write a ‘quality’ book and want to ensure a stream of steady sales without having to invest significant personal resources in terms of time and money participating in ongoing book marketing.

The course will also benefit authors with books which have become stagnant in the Kindle sales book store, generating little or no sales… Perhaps you might have even given up? The course will give you a plan to kick-start your book sales…

Ultimately, using key principles contained in this course, you will achieve the best possible visibility on Kindle and, given the sheer number of competing manuscripts now published on Kindle and other similar digital platforms; it is now more than ever so important to understand this foundation principle of ‘book visibility’.

Whether you are a newcomer to online publishing or a more seasoned publisher, whether your book be fiction or non-fiction, this course will both cover the basics and explore brand new marketing tactics, all leading to assured publishing success on Kindle and beyond.

Publishing Beyond Kindle?

Once you have achieved success publishing on Kindle, why stop there?

I talk you through the pros and cons of whether you should stay exclusive to Kindle, or whether it would be in your interests to 'go wide' and publish to all the other major digital publishing platforms such as Barnes and Noble and the iBook Store. I then show you how to easily take your same content and publish to these alternative publishers.

And finally I show you how you can go one step further by once again taking your book, but this time publishing as a 'physical' paperback, using Amazon's print on demand service, Createspace.

Reasons for Taking This Course

If you want your writing to generate a passive income for many years to come, it is not necessary to follow some of the short-lived fads, including some social media quick fixes. Instead this course advocates obliging Amazon's Kindle's rule book, and simply giving them what they are looking for.

There is no need to buck the system with clever gimmicks. Simply put, if we scratch Amazon's back, then they will scratch ours, by helping to promote our books for us...and believe me; they are very good at marketing and promotion.

How Is This Course Structured?

The core rules to achieve best-seller status will be delivered mainly by the use of step-by-step videos, based on my own published material on Kindle.

There will also be PDF documents to support the videos where necessary as well as resource guides.

Feel free to jump around the course modules to find specific training relevant to the stage of publishing which you have currently reached.

And finally, to demonstrate that I practise what I preach, I even take one of my brand new manuscripts and turn it into a Kindle bestseller 'live' as you watch over my shoulder with my step-by-step videos, leaving no stone left unturned.

What are the requirements?

  • In order to take this course students need to have access to the Internet, a word precessing application, such as Word, and a burning ambition to write and publish a book for all the world to see.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • At the end of my course students will have a clear understanding of how to identify book niches which buyers are looking for at the moment. They will be able to create their own structure in order to create their own book within one of these 'winning' niches. Further, students will learn how to launch and successfully market their book on Kindle, enjoying a regular 'passive income'.

What is the target audience?

  • Students who should take this course will be those who are either considering writing and publishing a book for the first time, or are part way through the process and have encountered problems, for which they need guidance.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Module 1 - Introduction to Kindle Gold
02:50
    This Section Covers:
  • Who This Course is for
  • My background & proof of sales
  • My $100 per Book, per month, Kindle Income Strategy
  • At its core my formula involves
  • How this course is structured
Section 2: Module 2 - What Type of Books Customers are Buying Right Now
3 pages

- Module 2 - What Customers are Buying Right Now

The biggest mistakes newbie authors make (and a few experienced ones too) is to write about what interests them, rather than what the majority of the buying public like to read.  It is essential to qualify a book topic before you even think about putting pen to paper.

Before we jump into my videos on how to qualify your selection of topic, here are some interesting statistics based on what the most popular genre of eBooks are with the buying public right now:

Ø  Fiction – The most popular genre categories (in order) for self-published titles are:

o   Romance

o   Science Fiction

o   Fantasy

o   Mystery/Thriller/Suspense

o   The four genres above comprise approx. 70% of Amazon’s eBook sales, and about half of these sales emanate from self-published Indie authors.

Ø  Non-Fiction – This is a much smaller sector than the Fiction niche, both in terms of overall book sales, but it does benefit from having many more sub-categories, allowing new authors a certain degree of discoverability and visibility within these smaller sub-niches. The most popular eBooks in the non-fiction genre are those which are problem/solution orientated.  These books can also sell for the highest prices compared with most other genres.

Ø  Smashwords eBook Customer Sales Data – One of the largest publishing distributor hubs (discussed later) provides some interesting supporting data:

o   The Romance genre dominates across their network, accounting for 70% of their top 100.  Their Romance genre further sub-divides as follows:

§  Contemporary – 54%

§  Paranormal – 13%

§  General – 10%

§  Young adult – 7%

§  Adult – 6%

§  Erotic – 4%

§  Action/adventure – 3%

§  Historical – 2%

§  Suspense – 1%

o   Series Books earn more than stand-alone books.

o   Book Length Data

§  Longer books sell better – As word count drops, sales and sales rank also drop.

§  The average word count for their top 70 romance books is 96,197 words.

§  Longer series books sell even better.

Section 3: MODULE 3 - Videos 2-3 - How to Find Topics With High Demand and Low Competition
16:47

- Module 3 - How to Find Topics with High Demand and Low Competition See Videos 2ABC & 3

If you want to turn eBook publishing into a business, you need to treat it like one. That means working out where the demand is before you go to the trouble of creating a product.

It’s not good enough to guess what people want, or focus only on what you’re interested in.

Rather than rush in with the first idea that comes into your head, or make an assumption about what’s popular, you need to qualify the topic for your book. That is, make sure there’s a willing audience out there seeking this information on Amazon.

Understanding the Kindle Algorithm

For many authors, the burning question is:

“Why do some books sell steadily day after day, month after month, with very little marketing effort, whilst other books seem to drop away into obscurity just a few short days after publication?”

The answer is that the successful books comply more fully with the Kindle algorithm, and in doing so become highly visible within the Kindle store, and achieve consistent and popular sales.

Put simply, the Kindle Algorithm combines:

Customer orientated:

  • Category Research.
  • Topic/Niche research.
  • Keyword research and placement.


The aim of this course is to fully understand the mechanics of the Kindle algorithm, and then craft our books so that they match Kindle requirements.

In return, Amazon Kindle will reward us by hitching our books to their massive, sales producing, marketing machine.

But first…

Fiction or Non-Fiction – The road forks here…

  • If you are an author, and love writing fiction, then this course will help with topic selection and the mechanics of getting your book published the right way.
  • This course assumes for the most part that you are not an author or fiction writer.  As such, our main focus within this course will be on non-fiction books.

Outsourcing Your Writing?

It is perfectly acceptable and ethical to outsource your writing if you so choose.  I have a special section in this course which will show you how to outsource in such a way that you keep control of both cost and the final quality of delivered content.

Non-Fiction

If non-fiction is our top level genre, we need to drill down to uncover:

  • Hot Categories/Niches e.g. Relationships…and then drill down to discover:
  • Hot topics as sub- categories or niches e.g. How to get your ex girl/boyfriend back…We then need to:
  • Qualify our chosen topic – to see if your topic is popular i.e. it’s selling well, without too much competition.
  • Keywords – We then need to find buyer keywords which resonate with the Amazon algorithm, to give your book instant ‘visibility’ within their 4,000,000 strong book catalogue. 

Bestselling Non-Fiction Niches

The very best non-fiction niches are those which address a problem, or problems, by providing solutions.  The more urgent (house on fire) the problem, the better.

Sometimes a category / niche may not appear urgent on the surface e.g. “How to learn German” but sometimes it’s possible to drill down deeper to find the urgency e.g. “How to get by in an Interview in German”.

Depending upon the urgency of the problem, and the quality of your solution, the more likely your book will sell consistently, in good numbers, and for a decent price.

47 PROVEN BESTSELLING NON-FICTION NICHES

…Along with possible sub-topics to get you started:

  • Acne – Teenagers, embarrassment.
  • Adoption – Understand and streamline the process.
  • Anger Management – Meditation to reduce anger.
  • Anti-Ageing - List of natural remedies.
  • Anxiety – Bye anxiety, hello peace.
  • Arthritis – Needn’t be a pain!
  • Asthma – Top foods to avoid.
  • Back Pain - Natural solutions.
  • Beauty - Quick tips for the party season.
  • Chronic Fatigue – 12 ways to re-energise.
  • Cooking and Recipes - Sugar free, low fat on a budget etc.
  • Credit Problems – How to eliminate poor credit scores.
  • Cure for Haemorrhoids
  • Cure for Bad Breath
  • Depression – Mood lifters.
  • Divorce – Coping methods.
  • Dog Training - Stop dog barking/biting etc.
  • Eating Disorders
  • Gardens – Simple solutions e.g. how to get rid of: wasps, moles, mice etc.
  • Get Your Ex Back – Proven Methods.
  • Hair Loss – Review best remedies on the market.
  • Happiness – Tips for a happier way of life.
  • Headaches – Natural relief without pills.
  • Homes – Simple Solutions e.g. How to put up shelving, de-cluttering tips.
  • Horseracing – Simple betting strategies.
  • How to be Confident – At work or in social situations.
  • How to Get Rid Of Panic Attacks 
  • How to Make Money – Home business ideas.
  • Interior Design – Tips to help sell your house/flat.
  • Investing – Tired of the stock market? Alternative investment tips.
  • Marriage Advice – Tips for a happy marriage.
  • Memory Improvement – Boost confidence and job prospects.
  • Motherhood – Simple wisdom from mothers who have been there and done that.
  • Muscle Gain – Without pain.
  • Parenting – Perfecting bedtime routines for a peaceful evening and night.
  • Pet Problems – Choosing the perfect pet for your household.
  • Relationship/Dating – What men/women are looking for in women/men.
  • Running – How to prepare for a marathon
  • Remedies – Alternative.
  • Skincare – Skincare for busy people.
  • Speeches – How to give the prefect speech – best man, work presentation etc.
  • Stop Snoring – What really works?
  • Stress – How to avoid or cope with stressful situations.
  • Tattoo Removal – Advice, do’s and don’ts.
  • Time Management – Achieve more, using less time.
  • Wedding Planning – Wedding planning for small weddings.
  • Weight Loss – What works and what doesn’t.

Where to Go to Research a Profitable Topic or Niche

Offline

·         Family, Friends and Colleagues – Find out what their biggest problems are (those that they will talk about) and the kind of solutions they are looking for.

·         Talk Shows on TV and Radio – Shows such as the Jeremy Kyle Show, or radio chat shows generate some great ideas.

·         Visit Your Local Library – Confide in your local librarian.  They will be able to tell you what people are borrowing the most within the non-fiction market.

·         Magazines and Newspapers – Visit your local newsagent and browse the covers for inspiration.  Women’s magazines are particularly good in this respect.

Online See associated Module 3 pdf for further resources

·         

18:50

- Module 3 - How to Find Topics with High Demand and Low Competition See Videos 2ABC & 3

If you want to turn eBook publishing into a business, you need to treat it like one. That means working out where the demand is before you go to the trouble of creating a product.

It’s not good enough to guess what people want, or focus only on what you’re interested in.

Rather than rush in with the first idea that comes into your head, or make an assumption about what’s popular, you need to qualify the topic for your book. That is, make sure there’s a willing audience out there seeking this information on Amazon.

Understanding the Kindle Algorithm

For many authors, the burning question is:

“Why do some books sell steadily day after day, month after month, with very little marketing effort, whilst other books seem to drop away into obscurity just a few short days after publication?”

The answer is that the successful books comply more fully with the Kindle algorithm, and in doing so become highly visible within the Kindle store, and achieve consistent and popular sales.

Put simply, the Kindle Algorithm combines:

Customer orientated:

  • Category Research.
  • Topic/Niche research.
  • Keyword research and placement.

The aim of this course is to fully understand the mechanics of the Kindle algorithm, and then craft our books so that they match Kindle requirements.

In return, Amazon Kindle will reward us by hitching our books to their massive, sales producing, marketing machine.

But first…

Fiction or Non-Fiction – The road forks here…

  • If you are an author, and love writing fiction, then this course will help with topic selection and the mechanics of getting your book published the right way.
  • This course assumes for the most part that you are not an author or fiction writer.  As such, our main focus within this course will be on non-fiction books.

Outsourcing Your Writing?

It is perfectly acceptable and ethical to outsource your writing if you so choose.  I have a special section in this course which will show you how to outsource in such a way that you keep control of both cost and the final quality of delivered content.

Non-Fiction

If non-fiction is our top level genre, we need to drill down to uncover:

  • Hot Categories/Niches e.g. Relationships…and then drill down to discover:
  • Hot topics as sub- categories or niches e.g. How to get your ex girl/boyfriend back…We then need to:
  • Qualify our chosen topic – to see if your topic is popular i.e. it’s selling well, without too much competition.
  • Keywords – We then need to find buyer keywords which resonate with the Amazon algorithm, to give your book instant ‘visibility’ within their 4,000,000 strong book catalogue. 

Bestselling Non-Fiction Niches

The very best non-fiction niches are those which address a problem, or problems, by providing solutions.  The more urgent (house on fire) the problem, the better.

Sometimes a category / niche may not appear urgent on the surface e.g. “How to learn German” but sometimes it’s possible to drill down deeper to find the urgency e.g. “How to get by in an Interview in German”.

Depending upon the urgency of the problem, and the quality of your solution, the more likely your book will sell consistently, in good numbers, and for a decent price.

47 PROVEN BESTSELLING NON-FICTION NICHES

…Along with possible sub-topics to get you started:

  • Acne – Teenagers, embarrassment.
  • Adoption – Understand and streamline the process.
  • Anger Management – Meditation to reduce anger.
  • Anti-Ageing - List of natural remedies.
  • Anxiety – Bye anxiety, hello peace.
  • Arthritis – Needn’t be a pain!
  • Asthma – Top foods to avoid.
  • Back Pain - Natural solutions.
  • Beauty - Quick tips for the party season.
  • Chronic Fatigue – 12 ways to re-energise.
  • Cooking and Recipes - Sugar free, low fat on a budget etc.
  • Credit Problems – How to eliminate poor credit scores.
  • Cure for Haemorrhoids
  • Cure for Bad Breath
  • Depression – Mood lifters.
  • Divorce – Coping methods.
  • Dog Training - Stop dog barking/biting etc.
  • Eating Disorders
  • Gardens – Simple solutions e.g. how to get rid of: wasps, moles, mice etc.
  • Get Your Ex Back – Proven Methods.
  • Hair Loss – Review best remedies on the market.
  • Happiness – Tips for a happier way of life.
  • Headaches – Natural relief without pills.
  • Homes – Simple Solutions e.g. How to put up shelving, de-cluttering tips.
  • Horseracing – Simple betting strategies.
  • How to be Confident – At work or in social situations.
  • How to Get Rid Of Panic Attacks 
  • How to Make Money – Home business ideas.
  • Interior Design – Tips to help sell your house/flat.
  • Investing – Tired of the stock market? Alternative investment tips.
  • Marriage Advice – Tips for a happy marriage.
  • Memory Improvement – Boost confidence and job prospects.
  • Motherhood – Simple wisdom from mothers who have been there and done that.
  • Muscle Gain – Without pain.
  • Parenting – Perfecting bedtime routines for a peaceful evening and night.
  • Pet Problems – Choosing the perfect pet for your household.
  • Relationship/Dating – What men/women are looking for in women/men.
  • Running – How to prepare for a marathon
  • Remedies – Alternative.
  • Skincare – Skincare for busy people.
  • Speeches – How to give the prefect speech – best man, work presentation etc.
  • Stop Snoring – What really works?
  • Stress – How to avoid or cope with stressful situations.
  • Tattoo Removal – Advice, do’s and don’ts.
  • Time Management – Achieve more, using less time.
  • Wedding Planning – Wedding planning for small weddings.
  • Weight Loss – What works and what doesn’t.

Where to Go to Research a Profitable Topic or Niche

Offline

·         Family, Friends and Colleagues – Find out what their biggest problems are (those that they will talk about) and the kind of solutions they are looking for.

·         Talk Shows on TV and Radio – Shows such as the Jeremy Kyle Show, or radio chat shows generate some great ideas.

·         Visit Your Local Library – Confide in your local librarian.  They will be able to tell you what people are borrowing the most within the non-fiction market.

·         Magazines and Newspapers – Visit your local newsagent and browse the covers for inspiration.  Women’s magazines are particularly good in this respect.

Online See associated Module 3 pdf for further resources

15:09

- Module 3 - How to Find Topics with High Demand and Low Competition See Videos 2ABC & 3

If you want to turn eBook publishing into a business, you need to treat it like one. That means working out where the demand is before you go to the trouble of creating a product.

It’s not good enough to guess what people want, or focus only on what you’re interested in.

Rather than rush in with the first idea that comes into your head, or make an assumption about what’s popular, you need to qualify the topic for your book. That is, make sure there’s a willing audience out there seeking this information on Amazon.

Understanding the Kindle Algorithm

For many authors, the burning question is:

“Why do some books sell steadily day after day, month after month, with very little marketing effort, whilst other books seem to drop away into obscurity just a few short days after publication?”

The answer is that the successful books comply more fully with the Kindle algorithm, and in doing so become highly visible within the Kindle store, and achieve consistent and popular sales.

Put simply, the Kindle Algorithm combines:

Customer orientated:

  • Category Research.
  • Topic/Niche research.
  • Keyword research and placement.

The aim of this course is to fully understand the mechanics of the Kindle algorithm, and then craft our books so that they match Kindle requirements.

In return, Amazon Kindle will reward us by hitching our books to their massive, sales producing, marketing machine.

But first…

Fiction or Non-Fiction – The road forks here…

  • If you are an author, and love writing fiction, then this course will help with topic selection and the mechanics of getting your book published the right way.
  • This course assumes for the most part that you are not an author or fiction writer.  As such, our main focus within this course will be on non-fiction books.

Outsourcing Your Writing?

It is perfectly acceptable and ethical to outsource your writing if you so choose.  I have a special section in this course which will show you how to outsource in such a way that you keep control of both cost and the final quality of delivered content.

Non-Fiction

If non-fiction is our top level genre, we need to drill down to uncover:

  • Hot Categories/Niches e.g. Relationships…and then drill down to discover:
  • Hot topics as sub- categories or niches e.g. How to get your ex girl/boyfriend back…We then need to:
  • Qualify our chosen topic – to see if your topic is popular i.e. it’s selling well, without too much competition.
  • Keywords – We then need to find buyer keywords which resonate with the Amazon algorithm, to give your book instant ‘visibility’ within their 4,000,000 strong book catalogue. 

Bestselling Non-Fiction Niches

The very best non-fiction niches are those which address a problem, or problems, by providing solutions.  The more urgent (house on fire) the problem, the better.

Sometimes a category / niche may not appear urgent on the surface e.g. “How to learn German” but sometimes it’s possible to drill down deeper to find the urgency e.g. “How to get by in an Interview in German”.

Depending upon the urgency of the problem, and the quality of your solution, the more likely your book will sell consistently, in good numbers, and for a decent price.

47 PROVEN BESTSELLING NON-FICTION NICHES

…Along with possible sub-topics to get you started:

  • Acne – Teenagers, embarrassment.
  • Adoption – Understand and streamline the process.
  • Anger Management – Meditation to reduce anger.
  • Anti-Ageing - List of natural remedies.
  • Anxiety – Bye anxiety, hello peace.
  • Arthritis – Needn’t be a pain!
  • Asthma – Top foods to avoid.
  • Back Pain - Natural solutions.
  • Beauty - Quick tips for the party season.
  • Chronic Fatigue – 12 ways to re-energise.
  • Cooking and Recipes - Sugar free, low fat on a budget etc.
  • Credit Problems – How to eliminate poor credit scores.
  • Cure for Haemorrhoids
  • Cure for Bad Breath
  • Depression – Mood lifters.
  • Divorce – Coping methods.
  • Dog Training - Stop dog barking/biting etc.
  • Eating Disorders
  • Gardens – Simple solutions e.g. how to get rid of: wasps, moles, mice etc.
  • Get Your Ex Back – Proven Methods.
  • Hair Loss – Review best remedies on the market.
  • Happiness – Tips for a happier way of life.
  • Headaches – Natural relief without pills.
  • Homes – Simple Solutions e.g. How to put up shelving, de-cluttering tips.
  • Horseracing – Simple betting strategies.
  • How to be Confident – At work or in social situations.
  • How to Get Rid Of Panic Attacks 
  • How to Make Money – Home business ideas.
  • Interior Design – Tips to help sell your house/flat.
  • Investing – Tired of the stock market? Alternative investment tips.
  • Marriage Advice – Tips for a happy marriage.
  • Memory Improvement – Boost confidence and job prospects.
  • Motherhood – Simple wisdom from mothers who have been there and done that.
  • Muscle Gain – Without pain.
  • Parenting – Perfecting bedtime routines for a peaceful evening and night.
  • Pet Problems – Choosing the perfect pet for your household.
  • Relationship/Dating – What men/women are looking for in women/men.
  • Running – How to prepare for a marathon
  • Remedies – Alternative.
  • Skincare – Skincare for busy people.
  • Speeches – How to give the prefect speech – best man, work presentation etc.
  • Stop Snoring – What really works?
  • Stress – How to avoid or cope with stressful situations.
  • Tattoo Removal – Advice, do’s and don’ts.
  • Time Management – Achieve more, using less time.
  • Wedding Planning – Wedding planning for small weddings.
  • Weight Loss – What works and what doesn’t.

Where to Go to Research a Profitable Topic or Niche

Offline

·         Family, Friends and Colleagues – Find out what their biggest problems are (those that they will talk about) and the kind of solutions they are looking for.

·         Talk Shows on TV and Radio – Shows such as the Jeremy Kyle Show, or radio chat shows generate some great ideas.

·         Visit Your Local Library – Confide in your local librarian.  They will be able to tell you what people are borrowing the most within the non-fiction market.

·         Magazines and Newspapers – Visit your local newsagent and browse the covers for inspiration.  Women’s magazines are particularly good in this respect.

Online See associated Module 3 pdf for further resources

19:57

- Module 3 - How to Find Topics with High Demand and Low Competition See Videos 2ABC & 3

If you want to turn eBook publishing into a business, you need to treat it like one. That means working out where the demand is before you go to the trouble of creating a product.

It’s not good enough to guess what people want, or focus only on what you’re interested in.

Rather than rush in with the first idea that comes into your head, or make an assumption about what’s popular, you need to qualify the topic for your book. That is, make sure there’s a willing audience out there seeking this information on Amazon.

Understanding the Kindle Algorithm

For many authors, the burning question is:

“Why do some books sell steadily day after day, month after month, with very little marketing effort, whilst other books seem to drop away into obscurity just a few short days after publication?”

The answer is that the successful books comply more fully with the Kindle algorithm, and in doing so become highly visible within the Kindle store, and achieve consistent and popular sales.

Put simply, the Kindle Algorithm combines:

Customer orientated:

  • Category Research.
  • Topic/Niche research.
  • Keyword research and placement.

The aim of this course is to fully understand the mechanics of the Kindle algorithm, and then craft our books so that they match Kindle requirements.

In return, Amazon Kindle will reward us by hitching our books to their massive, sales producing, marketing machine.

But first…

Fiction or Non-Fiction – The road forks here…

  • If you are an author, and love writing fiction, then this course will help with topic selection and the mechanics of getting your book published the right way.
  • This course assumes for the most part that you are not an author or fiction writer.  As such, our main focus within this course will be on non-fiction books.

Outsourcing Your Writing?

It is perfectly acceptable and ethical to outsource your writing if you so choose.  I have a special section in this course which will show you how to outsource in such a way that you keep control of both cost and the final quality of delivered content.

Non-Fiction

If non-fiction is our top level genre, we need to drill down to uncover:

  • Hot Categories/Niches e.g. Relationships…and then drill down to discover:
  • Hot topics as sub- categories or niches e.g. How to get your ex girl/boyfriend back…We then need to:
  • Qualify our chosen topic – to see if your topic is popular i.e. it’s selling well, without too much competition.
  • Keywords – We then need to find buyer keywords which resonate with the Amazon algorithm, to give your book instant ‘visibility’ within their 4,000,000 strong book catalogue. 

Bestselling Non-Fiction Niches

The very best non-fiction niches are those which address a problem, or problems, by providing solutions.  The more urgent (house on fire) the problem, the better.

Sometimes a category / niche may not appear urgent on the surface e.g. “How to learn German” but sometimes it’s possible to drill down deeper to find the urgency e.g. “How to get by in an Interview in German”.

Depending upon the urgency of the problem, and the quality of your solution, the more likely your book will sell consistently, in good numbers, and for a decent price.

47 PROVEN BESTSELLING NON-FICTION NICHES

…Along with possible sub-topics to get you started:

  • Acne – Teenagers, embarrassment.
  • Adoption – Understand and streamline the process.
  • Anger Management – Meditation to reduce anger.
  • Anti-Ageing - List of natural remedies.
  • Anxiety – Bye anxiety, hello peace.
  • Arthritis – Needn’t be a pain!
  • Asthma – Top foods to avoid.
  • Back Pain - Natural solutions.
  • Beauty - Quick tips for the party season.
  • Chronic Fatigue – 12 ways to re-energise.
  • Cooking and Recipes - Sugar free, low fat on a budget etc.
  • Credit Problems – How to eliminate poor credit scores.
  • Cure for Haemorrhoids
  • Cure for Bad Breath
  • Depression – Mood lifters.
  • Divorce – Coping methods.
  • Dog Training - Stop dog barking/biting etc.
  • Eating Disorders
  • Gardens – Simple solutions e.g. how to get rid of: wasps, moles, mice etc.
  • Get Your Ex Back – Proven Methods.
  • Hair Loss – Review best remedies on the market.
  • Happiness – Tips for a happier way of life.
  • Headaches – Natural relief without pills.
  • Homes – Simple Solutions e.g. How to put up shelving, de-cluttering tips.
  • Horseracing – Simple betting strategies.
  • How to be Confident – At work or in social situations.
  • How to Get Rid Of Panic Attacks 
  • How to Make Money – Home business ideas.
  • Interior Design – Tips to help sell your house/flat.
  • Investing – Tired of the stock market? Alternative investment tips.
  • Marriage Advice – Tips for a happy marriage.
  • Memory Improvement – Boost confidence and job prospects.
  • Motherhood – Simple wisdom from mothers who have been there and done that.
  • Muscle Gain – Without pain.
  • Parenting – Perfecting bedtime routines for a peaceful evening and night.
  • Pet Problems – Choosing the perfect pet for your household.
  • Relationship/Dating – What men/women are looking for in women/men.
  • Running – How to prepare for a marathon
  • Remedies – Alternative.
  • Skincare – Skincare for busy people.
  • Speeches – How to give the prefect speech – best man, work presentation etc.
  • Stop Snoring – What really works?
  • Stress – How to avoid or cope with stressful situations.
  • Tattoo Removal – Advice, do’s and don’ts.
  • Time Management – Achieve more, using less time.
  • Wedding Planning – Wedding planning for small weddings.
  • Weight Loss – What works and what doesn’t.

Where to Go to Research a Profitable Topic or Niche

Offline

·         Family, Friends and Colleagues – Find out what their biggest problems are (those that they will talk about) and the kind of solutions they are looking for.

·         Talk Shows on TV and Radio – Shows such as the Jeremy Kyle Show, or radio chat shows generate some great ideas.

·         Visit Your Local Library – Confide in your local librarian.  They will be able to tell you what people are borrowing the most within the non-fiction market.

·         Magazines and Newspapers – Visit your local newsagent and browse the covers for inspiration.  Women’s magazines are particularly good in this respect.

Online See associated Module 3 pdf for further resources

Section 4: Module 4 - Videos 4-9 Keywords - The Key to The Kindle Algorithm
15:14

- Module 4 - Keywords: The Key to the Kindle Algorithm - Essential for successful sales -

For your books to be visible on Amazon (detailed later in the course - see my ‘10 Windows of Visibility’) you not only need to have a well-researched hot topic…

..You also need well researched keywords associated with that topic.

Qualifying Your Topic Selection Using ‘Buyer Keywords’

So many people skip this step, but it is so crucial that you identify ‘buyer keywords’ if you want to tap into a stream of steady book sales. It is easy to identify hot buyer keywords using simple Google and Kindle verification techniques.

 Google & Kindle ‘Keyword’ Verification Methods  [See Videos 4-9]

See module 4 pdf for further resources

The (now discontinued online) Amazon Tag Cloud - As promised in my ‘Tag Cloud Update Video’ – here is the full most recent list of Amazon’s Top 1000 Tags.  It is presented in vertical format, but if you have difficulty reading the individual keywords within the list, I will also be adding the same list in landscape format – much larger:




14:09

- Module 4 - Keywords: The Key to the Kindle Algorithm  - Essential for successful sales -

For your books to be visible on Amazon (detailed later in the course - see my ‘10 Windows of Visibility’) you not only need to have a well-researched hot topic… ..You also need well researched keywords associated with that topic.

Qualifying Your Topic Selection Using ‘Buyer Keywords’ 

So many people skip this step, but it is so crucial that you identify ‘buyer keywords’ if you want to tap into a stream of steady book sales. It is easy to identify hot buyer keywords using simple Google and Kindle verification techniques. 

 Google & Kindle ‘Keyword’ Verification Methods   [See Videos 4-9] 

For more resources please see associated Module 4.pdf

The (now discontinued online) Amazon Tag Cloud - As promised in my ‘Tag Cloud Update Video’ – here is the full most recent list of Amazon’s Top 1000 Tags.  It is presented in vertical format, but if you have difficulty reading the individual keywords within the list, I will also be adding the same list in landscape format – much larger.

08:07

- Module 4 -
Keywords: The Key to the Kindle Algorithm 
- Essential for successful sales -

For your books to be visible on Amazon (detailed later in the course - see my ‘10 Windows of Visibility’) you not only need to have a well-researched hot topic…
..You also need well researched keywords associated with that topic.

Qualifying Your Topic Selection Using ‘Buyer Keywords’ 

So many people skip this step, but it is so crucial that you identify ‘buyer keywords’ if you want to tap into a stream of steady book sales. It is easy to identify hot buyer keywords using simple Google and Kindle verification techniques. 

 Google & Kindle ‘Keyword’ Verification Methods 
 [See Videos 4-9] 

For more resources please see associated Module 4.pf

The (now discontinued online) Amazon Tag Cloud - As promised in my ‘Tag Cloud Update Video’ – here is the full most recent list of Amazon’s Top 1000 Tags.  It is presented in vertical format, but if you have difficulty reading the individual keywords within the list, I will also be adding the same list in landscape format – much larger.

 
 
 
 
 

14:56

- Module 4 - Keywords: The Key to the Kindle Algorithm  - Essential for successful sales -

For your books to be visible on Amazon (detailed later in the course - see my ‘10 Windows of Visibility’) you not only need to have a well-researched hot topic… ..You also need well researched keywords associated with that topic.

Qualifying Your Topic Selection Using ‘Buyer Keywords’ 

So many people skip this step, but it is so crucial that you identify ‘buyer keywords’ if you want to tap into a stream of steady book sales. It is easy to identify hot buyer keywords using simple Google and Kindle verification techniques. 

 Google & Kindle ‘Keyword’ Verification Methods   [See Videos 4-9] 

For more resources please see associated Module 4.pf

The (now discontinued online) Amazon Tag Cloud - As promised in my ‘Tag Cloud Update Video’ – here is the full most recent list of Amazon’s Top 1000 Tags.  It is presented in vertical format, but if you have difficulty reading the individual keywords within the list, I will also be adding the same list in landscape format – much larger.



19:57

- Module 4 - Keywords: The Key to the Kindle Algorithm  - Essential for successful sales -

For your books to be visible on Amazon (detailed later in the course - see my ‘10 Windows of Visibility’) you not only need to have a well-researched hot topic… ..You also need well researched keywords associated with that topic.

Qualifying Your Topic Selection Using ‘Buyer Keywords’ 

So many people skip this step, but it is so crucial that you identify ‘buyer keywords’ if you want to tap into a stream of steady book sales. It is easy to identify hot buyer keywords using simple Google and Kindle verification techniques. 

 Google & Kindle ‘Keyword’ Verification Methods   [See Videos 4-9] 

For more resources please see associated Module 4.pf

The (now discontinued online) Amazon Tag Cloud - As promised in my ‘Tag Cloud Update Video’ – here is the full most recent list of Amazon’s Top 1000 Tags.  It is presented in vertical format, but if you have difficulty reading the individual keywords within the list, I will also be adding the same list in landscape format – much larger.

18:29

- Module 4 - Keywords: The Key to the Kindle Algorithm  - Essential for successful sales -

For your books to be visible on Amazon (detailed later in the course - see my ‘10 Windows of Visibility’) you not only need to have a well-researched hot topic… ..You also need well researched keywords associated with that topic.

Qualifying Your Topic Selection Using ‘Buyer Keywords’ 

So many people skip this step, but it is so crucial that you identify ‘buyer keywords’ if you want to tap into a stream of steady book sales. It is easy to identify hot buyer keywords using simple Google and Kindle verification techniques. 

 Google & Kindle ‘Keyword’ Verification Methods   [See Videos 4-9] 

For more resources please see associated Module 4.pf

The (now discontinued online) Amazon Tag Cloud - As promised in my ‘Tag Cloud Update Video’ – here is the full most recent list of Amazon’s Top 1000 Tags.  It is presented in vertical format, but if you have difficulty reading the individual keywords within the list, I will also be adding the same list in landscape format – much larger.

16:33

- Module 4 -
Keywords: The Key to the Kindle Algorithm 
- Essential for successful sales -

For your books to be visible on Amazon (detailed later in the course - see my ‘10 Windows of Visibility’) you not only need to have a well-researched hot topic…
..You also need well researched keywords associated with that topic.

Qualifying Your Topic Selection Using ‘Buyer Keywords’ 

So many people skip this step, but it is so crucial that you identify ‘buyer keywords’ if you want to tap into a stream of steady book sales. It is easy to identify hot buyer keywords using simple Google and Kindle verification techniques. 

 Google & Kindle ‘Keyword’ Verification Methods 
 [See Videos 4-9] 

Web resources:

https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner

http://www.semrush.com/   
  
https://www.librarything.com/tagcloud.php

The (now discontinued online) Amazon Tag Cloud - As promised in my ‘Tag Cloud Update Video’ – here is the full most recent list of Amazon’s Top 1000 Tags.  It is presented in vertical format, but if you have difficulty reading the individual keywords within the list, I will also be adding the same list in landscape format – much larger:

Amazon’s Top 1000 Customer Tags
 - You won’t find this list on Amazon anymore -
 
 
 
 
 

05:10

- Module 4 - Keywords: The Key to the Kindle Algorithm  - Essential for successful sales -

For your books to be visible on Amazon (detailed later in the course - see my ‘10 Windows of Visibility’) you not only need to have a well-researched hot topic… ..You also need well researched keywords associated with that topic.

Qualifying Your Topic Selection Using ‘Buyer Keywords’ 

So many people skip this step, but it is so crucial that you identify ‘buyer keywords’ if you want to tap into a stream of steady book sales. It is easy to identify hot buyer keywords using simple Google and Kindle verification techniques. 

 Google & Kindle ‘Keyword’ Verification Methods   [See Videos 4-9] 

For more resources please see associated Module 4.pf

The (now discontinued online) Amazon Tag Cloud - As promised in my ‘Tag Cloud Update Video’ – here is the full most recent list of Amazon’s Top 1000 Tags.  It is presented in vertical format, but if you have difficulty reading the individual keywords within the list, I will also be adding the same list in landscape format – much larger.



Section 5: Module 5 Videos 10-11 Book Discoverability (part A) Publish on Kindle
19:02

- Module 5 -
Book Discoverability (Part A) 
- Publish on Kindle –


The Benefits of Enrolling in Kindle’s KDP Select Programme

Why Enrol in KDP Select? 
Being part of KDP Select will allow you to:
 Earn higher royalties.
 Earn your share of the KDP Select Global Fund amount when readers choose and read more than 10% of your book from Kindle Unlimited, or borrow your book from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Plus, earn 70% (as opposed to 35%) royalty for your sales to customers in Japan, India, Brazil and Mexico.
 Maximize your book’s sales potential.
 Have the choice of using two great promotional tools: 
o Free Book Promotions - Where readers worldwide can get your book free for a limited time.
o Kindle Countdown Deals - Time-bound promotional discounting for your book while earning royalties. 
 Reach a new audience.
 Help readers discover your books by making them available through Kindle Unlimited in the U.S, U.K., Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Brazil, Mexico and Canada and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL) in the U.S, U.K., Germany, France, and Japan.

Your Sales Platform Decision – Influenced by the Launch of Kindle Unlimited [See Video 10]
 
The Advent of ‘Kindle Unlimited’ and its Effects on Indie Book Authors

 What is Kindle Unlimited? – Kindle Unlimited (KU) is a new eBook subscription service, launched by Amazon in July of 2014 in the USA and swiftly followed by the UK, with other major Kindle stores catching up by the end of the year.

 Kindle Unlimited (KU) can be best described as an eBook subscription site, similar in many respects to Scribd and Oyster, which were launched at the end of 2013.

 Kindle Unlimited differs from Scribd and Oyster in that if you want your book to appear on Kindle Unlimited (with all its benefits) you will need to exclusively enrol your book in Kindle’s KDP Select programme, whereas you can publish your books to Scribd and Oyster without this exclusivity clause.

 The reader, in return for a $9.99 monthly subscription, will be allowed almost unlimited access to eBooks drawn from a new Kindle database of opted-in eBooks.

 In truth, it is not quite an ‘all you can eat’ facility, as it’s not possible to download hundreds of books in one’s first month of subscription and then opt out of the service.  A member of Kindle Unlimited is allowed to ‘borrow’ up to ten books at a time, and will need to return them before downloading any more.

 EBooks acquired from this service are therefore ‘borrowed’ - similar to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library - rather than bought at the author’s nominated book price via the traditional Kindle eBook store.  

 In return for each book borrowed from KU, Kindle will pay a fee to the author. However, Kindle has put in place a quality threshold and stipulates that payment will not be made until at least 10% of the book has been read. This ensures that they won’t be paying out for poor quality books which are abandoned after the first chapter.

 The Author will only be allowed to participate and reap the financial royalties of this scheme if, and only if, they enlist their book within KDP Select, Amazon’s program which offers various additional free marketing tools of visibility.  

 KDP Select requires exclusivity for each book enrolled for 90 days.  This means that the same book cannot be published (digitally) anywhere else on the Web for this period of time…and of course this excludes the other digital book sales platforms, such as Barnes & Noble, the iBook store, the Google Bookstore, Smashwords …basically all of Kindle’s competition.

 The launch of Kindle Unlimited has highlighted, even more sharply, the dilemma of the Indie author, that being – Can you earn more by staying exclusive with Kindle, who after all still have the lion’s share of the digital market, or should you forgo the benefits of KDP Select and spread your books around all the other platforms where there is less competition?

 The problem for the author lies in the predictability of their income from Kindle.  Before the existence of ‘book borrows’ (even the single free book a month given to Kindle Prime members via the Kindle Owners lending Library KOLL) there were only author-priced books waiting to be found by the reading public.  

 Publishing Indie authors at this point pretty much knew how much income they would receive on a monthly basis, largely because they had control over price.

 Then along came the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL).  This was set up to give one free borrowed book to Kindle Prime members every month.  Authors who had opted into and agreed Kindle Select’s terms of exclusivity were enrolled into KOLL.  If one of their books was ‘borrowed’, rather than bought, they were given a share of a monthly pot of money set aside by Kindle.  The sum set aside was divided by the number of book borrows during that month and the royalty – usually about $2 per book was awarded to the author.

 As the number of borrows were limited and the reward of $2 remained fairly consistent, most Kindle authors who were enrolled into KDP Select felt this $2 was a fair swop for a borrow rather than a sale, even for books normally priced much higher in the traditional Kindle eBook store. And in fact it helped their author discoverability, as a Kindle Prime Member might have borrowed a book (for free) but might not, in the normal course of events, have actually paid for the same book, as the author was unknown to them. But later of course if happy with their free read they might then visit the Kindle retail store to actually buy another title from the same author, who is now familiar to them.

 The launch of Kindle Unlimited has attracted its share of criticism; some love it, as they have seen their overall income rise and others hate it as they have seen a drop in monthly revenue.  Gone are the days of an average of $2 per borrow, originally experienced with KOLL.  Since the launch of KU, the amount rewarded for the combined borrows from the KOLL and KU have fallen month by month.  Kindle seemed to be testing to find the ‘pain point’ for Indie authors.  When it reached as low as $1.33 in October 2014 there was uproar by many authors, voiced on the Kindle related forums, and indeed many authors at that point unsubscribed from KDP Select.  Since then Kindle have (for the time being) stabilised the KU payment at around the $1.40 level.

Those who were dissatisfied had three main concerns:
o They felt that KU was cannibalising their individual paid sales from the main Kindle store.
o And that their reward for the borrow was much less than if they had been paid their asking price for the same book in the paid Kindle store. They have no way to predict their monthly income as it is determined by how much Kindle put into the monthly pot, at Amazon’s discretion, rather than the price quoted on the book’s sales page.
o The amount paid ($1.40) for a borrowed book is the same, whether it be for a short book or long book.  And given that a long book is likely to be priced higher than a short book on the normal Kindle eBook store, the price disparity between paid and borrowed books would appear to be even greater, especially for longer and higher priced books.

 Kindle however quote figures to support the overall popularity of KU.  They state that their 95% renewal rate in KDP Select demonstrates that the vast majority of KDP Select authors are content with the programme.

 Kindle also quote: “Total earnings on titles priced $2.99 or greater are growing faster than the overall average.”

 Their rationale is that the loss in eBook paid sales, when books are borrowed as part of KU, is more than made up for by the overall greater number of borrowed books experienced, compared to paid book sales.

 My own personal experience is that whilst the number of my paid books has fallen slightly, my average monthly income (once you extract seasonal variations) has stayed fairly constant, due to a greater number of borrows than I used to get prior to the launch of KU last summer.

 My Conclusion – If you are an established author with an existing following, and have several high word count books and higher priced books already released, then you might be disadvantaged by KU (as it stands at the moment – See Stop Press for an important update, at the end of this section).  Under these circumstances you might be wise to opt-out of KDP Select and spread your net more widely by publishing on all the main available platforms.

 On the other hand, if you are fairly new to Kindle publishing, or even if you are a regular Kindle publisher with several shorter, and lower priced books already published you might consider staying enrolled with KU…and the main reason I suggest this is because KU, along with the other features of KDP Select, gives you more VISIBILITY.

 Visibility & Discoverability – Remember that these are the very attributes we are looking for, because if our quality book is visible, then buyers will see and buy it.  Our Amazon sales rank will improve and we will appear in their ‘windows of visibility’, at which point Kindle will take notice and start to do much of our marketing for us.

 Our visibility will improve because KU borrows will register to your Amazon sales rank straight away, even though you won’t be credited until the reader hits 10%. (See Stop Press in a few paragraphs) It would also appear that the Kindle Unlimited store is also linked to the ‘Popularity List’ by default (see: Popularity List ‘window of visibility’) which will help to keep your book more visible, as Amazon appear to give a greater positive boost (to their Popularity rankings) for books enrolled in their KDP Select scheme, compared to books which are not enrolled.

 And one final thought.  For the authors who worry that Kindle might lower payments even further, possibly to just a few cents, we have to look at the logic of the marketplace.  Scribd and Oyster already feature some of the Big 5 feature publications, which Kindle Unlimited currently does not.  Kindle is extremely marketing savvy, and they will not risk letting hordes of good quality authors unsubscribe from KDP Select and then head off to become their competition.  They will get the balance right and that will mean keeping all parties happy.  

 Russ Grandinetti, Amazon’s VP of Kindle content had this to say about Kindle Unlimited: “I do think there will be a way that we will tweak it over time, but overall the system’s pretty healthy.  We’re incredibly motivated to make this work for that community.  They only have to participate for three months.”
STOP PRESS: Kindle Unlimited Update (15th July 2015) – Important Changes: [See Video 11]

I have just received an email from Amazon notifying me of the following changes…which rather validates my earlier statement that Amazon will get the balance right:
 “Today we have a few exciting announcements to share related to the KDP Select global fund. The first is that we’re adding a bonus of $7.8 million to the May KDP Select global fund on top of the previously announced $3 million base fund, bringing the total fund to $10.8 million. We are also pleased to report that:

•    KDP Select authors are on track to earn over $60M in the first half of 2015 from books read in Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. 

•    Total royalties across subscription and a la carte sales earned by KDP Select authors in the US are on track to more than double in the first half of 2015 compared to the same period last year. 

•    Authors have continued to renew their titles in KDP Select at rates in excess of 95% each month since Kindle Unlimited launched.

These trends give us the confidence to look forward and share that the KDP Select global fund will be in excess of $11M for both July and August (2015). 

We’re always looking at ways to make our programs even better, and we've received lots of great feedback on how to improve the way we pay KDP authors for books in Kindle Unlimited. One particular piece of feedback we’ve heard consistently from authors is that paying the same for all books regardless of length may not provide a strong enough alignment between the interests of authors and readers. We agree. With this in mind, we’re pleased to announce that beginning on July 1, the KDP Select Global Fund will be paid out based on the number of pages KU and KOLL customers read. 

As with our current approach, we’ll continue to offer a global fund for each month. Under this new model, the amount an author earns will be determined by their share of total pages read rather than their share of total qualified borrows. Here are a few examples illustrating how the fund will be paid out. For simplicity, assume the fund is $10M and that 100,000,000 total pages were read in the month: 

•    The author of a 100 page book which was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $1,000 ($10 million multiplied by 10,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).  

•    The author of a 200 page book which was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $2,000 ($10 million multiplied by 20,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).

•    The author of a 200 page book which was borrowed 100 times but only read half way through on average would earn $1,000 ($10 million multiplied by 10,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).”
Conclusion:
So clearly Amazon is listening to their authors and has introduced these new changes to redress the inequalities of the initial Kindle Unlimited launch.
Starting in July, Amazon royalty pay-outs for Kindle Unlimited authors will be based on pages read, not whether or not a reader gets through the first 10% of a work.
This new initiative rewards those who write longer novels.  Those who were writing shorter stories to ‘game the system’ have lost their temporary advantage, but have not necessarily been penalised.  They simply have to write more stories, as with a series, and then make sure that each book is a real ‘page turner’ so the reader continues right up to the very last page.
Clearly Amazon is promoting and rewarding good quality writing, by paying for each page which is actually read.  Those authors who produce poor content will find their royalties fall, whilst those who produce a riveting read will be rewarded

14:01

- Module 5 - Book Discoverability (Part A)  - Publish on Kindle –

The Benefits of Enrolling in Kindle’s KDP Select Programme

Why Enrol in KDP Select?  Being part of KDP Select will allow you to:  Earn higher royalties.  Earn your share of the KDP Select Global Fund amount when readers choose and read more than 10% of your book from Kindle Unlimited, or borrow your book from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Plus, earn 70% (as opposed to 35%) royalty for your sales to customers in Japan, India, Brazil and Mexico.  Maximize your book’s sales potential.  Have the choice of using two great promotional tools:  o Free Book Promotions - Where readers worldwide can get your book free for a limited time. o Kindle Countdown Deals - Time-bound promotional discounting for your book while earning royalties.   Reach a new audience.  Help readers discover your books by making them available through Kindle Unlimited in the U.S, U.K., Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Brazil, Mexico and Canada and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL) in the U.S, U.K., Germany, France, and Japan.

Your Sales Platform Decision – Influenced by the Launch of Kindle Unlimited [See Video 10]   The Advent of ‘Kindle Unlimited’ and its Effects on Indie Book Authors

 What is Kindle Unlimited? – Kindle Unlimited (KU) is a new eBook subscription service, launched by Amazon in July of 2014 in the USA and swiftly followed by the UK, with other major Kindle stores catching up by the end of the year.

 Kindle Unlimited (KU) can be best described as an eBook subscription site, similar in many respects to Scribd and Oyster, which were launched at the end of 2013.

 Kindle Unlimited differs from Scribd and Oyster in that if you want your book to appear on Kindle Unlimited (with all its benefits) you will need to exclusively enrol your book in Kindle’s KDP Select programme, whereas you can publish your books to Scribd and Oyster without this exclusivity clause.

 The reader, in return for a $9.99 monthly subscription, will be allowed almost unlimited access to eBooks drawn from a new Kindle database of opted-in eBooks.

 In truth, it is not quite an ‘all you can eat’ facility, as it’s not possible to download hundreds of books in one’s first month of subscription and then opt out of the service.  A member of Kindle Unlimited is allowed to ‘borrow’ up to ten books at a time, and will need to return them before downloading any more.

 EBooks acquired from this service are therefore ‘borrowed’ - similar to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library - rather than bought at the author’s nominated book price via the traditional Kindle eBook store.  

 In return for each book borrowed from KU, Kindle will pay a fee to the author. However, Kindle has put in place a quality threshold and stipulates that payment will not be made until at least 10% of the book has been read. This ensures that they won’t be paying out for poor quality books which are abandoned after the first chapter.

 The Author will only be allowed to participate and reap the financial royalties of this scheme if, and only if, they enlist their book within KDP Select, Amazon’s program which offers various additional free marketing tools of visibility.  

 KDP Select requires exclusivity for each book enrolled for 90 days.  This means that the same book cannot be published (digitally) anywhere else on the Web for this period of time…and of course this excludes the other digital book sales platforms, such as Barnes & Noble, the iBook store, the Google Bookstore, Smashwords …basically all of Kindle’s competition.

 The launch of Kindle Unlimited has highlighted, even more sharply, the dilemma of the Indie author, that being – Can you earn more by staying exclusive with Kindle, who after all still have the lion’s share of the digital market, or should you forgo the benefits of KDP Select and spread your books around all the other platforms where there is less competition?

 The problem for the author lies in the predictability of their income from Kindle.  Before the existence of ‘book borrows’ (even the single free book a month given to Kindle Prime members via the Kindle Owners lending Library KOLL) there were only author-priced books waiting to be found by the reading public.  

 Publishing Indie authors at this point pretty much knew how much income they would receive on a monthly basis, largely because they had control over price.

 Then along came the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL).  This was set up to give one free borrowed book to Kindle Prime members every month.  Authors who had opted into and agreed Kindle Select’s terms of exclusivity were enrolled into KOLL.  If one of their books was ‘borrowed’, rather than bought, they were given a share of a monthly pot of money set aside by Kindle.  The sum set aside was divided by the number of book borrows during that month and the royalty – usually about $2 per book was awarded to the author.

 As the number of borrows were limited and the reward of $2 remained fairly consistent, most Kindle authors who were enrolled into KDP Select felt this $2 was a fair swop for a borrow rather than a sale, even for books normally priced much higher in the traditional Kindle eBook store. And in fact it helped their author discoverability, as a Kindle Prime Member might have borrowed a book (for free) but might not, in the normal course of events, have actually paid for the same book, as the author was unknown to them. But later of course if happy with their free read they might then visit the Kindle retail store to actually buy another title from the same author, who is now familiar to them.

 The launch of Kindle Unlimited has attracted its share of criticism; some love it, as they have seen their overall income rise and others hate it as they have seen a drop in monthly revenue.  Gone are the days of an average of $2 per borrow, originally experienced with KOLL.  Since the launch of KU, the amount rewarded for the combined borrows from the KOLL and KU have fallen month by month.  Kindle seemed to be testing to find the ‘pain point’ for Indie authors.  When it reached as low as $1.33 in October 2014 there was uproar by many authors, voiced on the Kindle related forums, and indeed many authors at that point unsubscribed from KDP Select.  Since then Kindle have (for the time being) stabilised the KU payment at around the $1.40 level.

Those who were dissatisfied had three main concerns: o They felt that KU was cannibalising their individual paid sales from the main Kindle store. o And that their reward for the borrow was much less than if they had been paid their asking price for the same book in the paid Kindle store. They have no way to predict their monthly income as it is determined by how much Kindle put into the monthly pot, at Amazon’s discretion, rather than the price quoted on the book’s sales page. o The amount paid ($1.40) for a borrowed book is the same, whether it be for a short book or long book.  And given that a long book is likely to be priced higher than a short book on the normal Kindle eBook store, the price disparity between paid and borrowed books would appear to be even greater, especially for longer and higher priced books.

 Kindle however quote figures to support the overall popularity of KU.  They state that their 95% renewal rate in KDP Select demonstrates that the vast majority of KDP Select authors are content with the programme.

 Kindle also quote: “Total earnings on titles priced $2.99 or greater are growing faster than the overall average.”

 Their rationale is that the loss in eBook paid sales, when books are borrowed as part of KU, is more than made up for by the overall greater number of borrowed books experienced, compared to paid book sales.

 My own personal experience is that whilst the number of my paid books has fallen slightly, my average monthly income (once you extract seasonal variations) has stayed fairly constant, due to a greater number of borrows than I used to get prior to the launch of KU last summer.

 My Conclusion – If you are an established author with an existing following, and have several high word count books and higher priced books already released, then you might be disadvantaged by KU (as it stands at the moment – See Stop Press for an important update, at the end of this section).  Under these circumstances you might be wise to opt-out of KDP Select and spread your net more widely by publishing on all the main available platforms.

 On the other hand, if you are fairly new to Kindle publishing, or even if you are a regular Kindle publisher with several shorter, and lower priced books already published you might consider staying enrolled with KU…and the main reason I suggest this is because KU, along with the other features of KDP Select, gives you more VISIBILITY.

 Visibility & Discoverability – Remember that these are the very attributes we are looking for, because if our quality book is visible, then buyers will see and buy it.  Our Amazon sales rank will improve and we will appear in their ‘windows of visibility’, at which point Kindle will take notice and start to do much of our marketing for us.

 Our visibility will improve because KU borrows will register to your Amazon sales rank straight away, even though you won’t be credited until the reader hits 10%. (See Stop Press in a few paragraphs) It would also appear that the Kindle Unlimited store is also linked to the ‘Popularity List’ by default (see: Popularity List ‘window of visibility’) which will help to keep your book more visible, as Amazon appear to give a greater positive boost (to their Popularity rankings) for books enrolled in their KDP Select scheme, compared to books which are not enrolled.

 And one final thought.  For the authors who worry that Kindle might lower payments even further, possibly to just a few cents, we have to look at the logic of the marketplace.  Scribd and Oyster already feature some of the Big 5 feature publications, which Kindle Unlimited currently does not.  Kindle is extremely marketing savvy, and they will not risk letting hordes of good quality authors unsubscribe from KDP Select and then head off to become their competition.  They will get the balance right and that will mean keeping all parties happy.  

 Russ Grandinetti, Amazon’s VP of Kindle content had this to say about Kindle Unlimited: “I do think there will be a way that we will tweak it over time, but overall the system’s pretty healthy.  We’re incredibly motivated to make this work for that community.  They only have to participate for three months.” STOP PRESS: Kindle Unlimited Update (15th July 2015) – Important Changes: [See Video 11]

I have just received an email from Amazon notifying me of the following changes…which rather validates my earlier statement that Amazon will get the balance right:  “Today we have a few exciting announcements to share related to the KDP Select global fund. The first is that we’re adding a bonus of $7.8 million to the May KDP Select global fund on top of the previously announced $3 million base fund, bringing the total fund to $10.8 million. We are also pleased to report that:

•    KDP Select authors are on track to earn over $60M in the first half of 2015 from books read in Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. 

•    Total royalties across subscription and a la carte sales earned by KDP Select authors in the US are on track to more than double in the first half of 2015 compared to the same period last year. 

•    Authors have continued to renew their titles in KDP Select at rates in excess of 95% each month since Kindle Unlimited launched.

These trends give us the confidence to look forward and share that the KDP Select global fund will be in excess of $11M for both July and August (2015). 

We’re always looking at ways to make our programs even better, and we've received lots of great feedback on how to improve the way we pay KDP authors for books in Kindle Unlimited. One particular piece of feedback we’ve heard consistently from authors is that paying the same for all books regardless of length may not provide a strong enough alignment between the interests of authors and readers. We agree. With this in mind, we’re pleased to announce that beginning on July 1, the KDP Select Global Fund will be paid out based on the number of pages KU and KOLL customers read. 

As with our current approach, we’ll continue to offer a global fund for each month. Under this new model, the amount an author earns will be determined by their share of total pages read rather than their share of total qualified borrows. Here are a few examples illustrating how the fund will be paid out. For simplicity, assume the fund is $10M and that 100,000,000 total pages were read in the month: 

•    The author of a 100 page book which was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $1,000 ($10 million multiplied by 10,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).  

•    The author of a 200 page book which was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $2,000 ($10 million multiplied by 20,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).

•    The author of a 200 page book which was borrowed 100 times but only read half way through on average would earn $1,000 ($10 million multiplied by 10,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).” Conclusion: So clearly Amazon is listening to their authors and has introduced these new changes to redress the inequalities of the initial Kindle Unlimited launch. Starting in July, Amazon royalty pay-outs for Kindle Unlimited authors will be based on pages read, not whether or not a reader gets through the first 10% of a work. This new initiative rewards those who write longer novels.  Those who were writing shorter stories to ‘game the system’ have lost their temporary advantage, but have not necessarily been penalised.  They simply have to write more stories, as with a series, and then make sure that each book is a real ‘page turner’ so the reader continues right up to the very last page. Clearly Amazon is promoting and rewarding good quality writing, by paying for each page which is actually read.  Those authors who produce poor content will find their royalties fall, whilst those who produce a riveting read will be rewarded

10:41


- Module 5 - Book Discoverability (Part A)  - Publish on Kindle –

The Benefits of Enrolling in Kindle’s KDP Select Programme

Why Enrol in KDP Select?  Being part of KDP Select will allow you to:  Earn higher royalties.  Earn your share of the KDP Select Global Fund amount when readers choose and read more than 10% of your book from Kindle Unlimited, or borrow your book from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Plus, earn 70% (as opposed to 35%) royalty for your sales to customers in Japan, India, Brazil and Mexico.  Maximize your book’s sales potential.  Have the choice of using two great promotional tools:  o Free Book Promotions - Where readers worldwide can get your book free for a limited time. o Kindle Countdown Deals - Time-bound promotional discounting for your book while earning royalties.   Reach a new audience.  Help readers discover your books by making them available through Kindle Unlimited in the U.S, U.K., Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Brazil, Mexico and Canada and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL) in the U.S, U.K., Germany, France, and Japan.

Your Sales Platform Decision – Influenced by the Launch of Kindle Unlimited [See Video 10]   The Advent of ‘Kindle Unlimited’ and its Effects on Indie Book Authors

 What is Kindle Unlimited? – Kindle Unlimited (KU) is a new eBook subscription service, launched by Amazon in July of 2014 in the USA and swiftly followed by the UK, with other major Kindle stores catching up by the end of the year.

 Kindle Unlimited (KU) can be best described as an eBook subscription site, similar in many respects to Scribd and Oyster, which were launched at the end of 2013.

 Kindle Unlimited differs from Scribd and Oyster in that if you want your book to appear on Kindle Unlimited (with all its benefits) you will need to exclusively enrol your book in Kindle’s KDP Select programme, whereas you can publish your books to Scribd and Oyster without this exclusivity clause.

 The reader, in return for a $9.99 monthly subscription, will be allowed almost unlimited access to eBooks drawn from a new Kindle database of opted-in eBooks.

 In truth, it is not quite an ‘all you can eat’ facility, as it’s not possible to download hundreds of books in one’s first month of subscription and then opt out of the service.  A member of Kindle Unlimited is allowed to ‘borrow’ up to ten books at a time, and will need to return them before downloading any more.

 EBooks acquired from this service are therefore ‘borrowed’ - similar to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library - rather than bought at the author’s nominated book price via the traditional Kindle eBook store.  

 In return for each book borrowed from KU, Kindle will pay a fee to the author. However, Kindle has put in place a quality threshold and stipulates that payment will not be made until at least 10% of the book has been read. This ensures that they won’t be paying out for poor quality books which are abandoned after the first chapter.

 The Author will only be allowed to participate and reap the financial royalties of this scheme if, and only if, they enlist their book within KDP Select, Amazon’s program which offers various additional free marketing tools of visibility.  

 KDP Select requires exclusivity for each book enrolled for 90 days.  This means that the same book cannot be published (digitally) anywhere else on the Web for this period of time…and of course this excludes the other digital book sales platforms, such as Barnes & Noble, the iBook store, the Google Bookstore, Smashwords …basically all of Kindle’s competition.

 The launch of Kindle Unlimited has highlighted, even more sharply, the dilemma of the Indie author, that being – Can you earn more by staying exclusive with Kindle, who after all still have the lion’s share of the digital market, or should you forgo the benefits of KDP Select and spread your books around all the other platforms where there is less competition?

 The problem for the author lies in the predictability of their income from Kindle.  Before the existence of ‘book borrows’ (even the single free book a month given to Kindle Prime members via the Kindle Owners lending Library KOLL) there were only author-priced books waiting to be found by the reading public.  

 Publishing Indie authors at this point pretty much knew how much income they would receive on a monthly basis, largely because they had control over price.

 Then along came the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL).  This was set up to give one free borrowed book to Kindle Prime members every month.  Authors who had opted into and agreed Kindle Select’s terms of exclusivity were enrolled into KOLL.  If one of their books was ‘borrowed’, rather than bought, they were given a share of a monthly pot of money set aside by Kindle.  The sum set aside was divided by the number of book borrows during that month and the royalty – usually about $2 per book was awarded to the author.

 As the number of borrows were limited and the reward of $2 remained fairly consistent, most Kindle authors who were enrolled into KDP Select felt this $2 was a fair swop for a borrow rather than a sale, even for books normally priced much higher in the traditional Kindle eBook store. And in fact it helped their author discoverability, as a Kindle Prime Member might have borrowed a book (for free) but might not, in the normal course of events, have actually paid for the same book, as the author was unknown to them. But later of course if happy with their free read they might then visit the Kindle retail store to actually buy another title from the same author, who is now familiar to them.

 The launch of Kindle Unlimited has attracted its share of criticism; some love it, as they have seen their overall income rise and others hate it as they have seen a drop in monthly revenue.  Gone are the days of an average of $2 per borrow, originally experienced with KOLL.  Since the launch of KU, the amount rewarded for the combined borrows from the KOLL and KU have fallen month by month.  Kindle seemed to be testing to find the ‘pain point’ for Indie authors.  When it reached as low as $1.33 in October 2014 there was uproar by many authors, voiced on the Kindle related forums, and indeed many authors at that point unsubscribed from KDP Select.  Since then Kindle have (for the time being) stabilised the KU payment at around the $1.40 level.

Those who were dissatisfied had three main concerns: o They felt that KU was cannibalising their individual paid sales from the main Kindle store. o And that their reward for the borrow was much less than if they had been paid their asking price for the same book in the paid Kindle store. They have no way to predict their monthly income as it is determined by how much Kindle put into the monthly pot, at Amazon’s discretion, rather than the price quoted on the book’s sales page. o The amount paid ($1.40) for a borrowed book is the same, whether it be for a short book or long book.  And given that a long book is likely to be priced higher than a short book on the normal Kindle eBook store, the price disparity between paid and borrowed books would appear to be even greater, especially for longer and higher priced books.

 Kindle however quote figures to support the overall popularity of KU.  They state that their 95% renewal rate in KDP Select demonstrates that the vast majority of KDP Select authors are content with the programme.

 Kindle also quote: “Total earnings on titles priced $2.99 or greater are growing faster than the overall average.”

 Their rationale is that the loss in eBook paid sales, when books are borrowed as part of KU, is more than made up for by the overall greater number of borrowed books experienced, compared to paid book sales.

 My own personal experience is that whilst the number of my paid books has fallen slightly, my average monthly income (once you extract seasonal variations) has stayed fairly constant, due to a greater number of borrows than I used to get prior to the launch of KU last summer.

 My Conclusion – If you are an established author with an existing following, and have several high word count books and higher priced books already released, then you might be disadvantaged by KU (as it stands at the moment – See Stop Press for an important update, at the end of this section).  Under these circumstances you might be wise to opt-out of KDP Select and spread your net more widely by publishing on all the main available platforms.

 On the other hand, if you are fairly new to Kindle publishing, or even if you are a regular Kindle publisher with several shorter, and lower priced books already published you might consider staying enrolled with KU…and the main reason I suggest this is because KU, along with the other features of KDP Select, gives you more VISIBILITY.

 Visibility & Discoverability – Remember that these are the very attributes we are looking for, because if our quality book is visible, then buyers will see and buy it.  Our Amazon sales rank will improve and we will appear in their ‘windows of visibility’, at which point Kindle will take notice and start to do much of our marketing for us.

 Our visibility will improve because KU borrows will register to your Amazon sales rank straight away, even though you won’t be credited until the reader hits 10%. (See Stop Press in a few paragraphs) It would also appear that the Kindle Unlimited store is also linked to the ‘Popularity List’ by default (see: Popularity List ‘window of visibility’) which will help to keep your book more visible, as Amazon appear to give a greater positive boost (to their Popularity rankings) for books enrolled in their KDP Select scheme, compared to books which are not enrolled.

 And one final thought.  For the authors who worry that Kindle might lower payments even further, possibly to just a few cents, we have to look at the logic of the marketplace.  Scribd and Oyster already feature some of the Big 5 feature publications, which Kindle Unlimited currently does not.  Kindle is extremely marketing savvy, and they will not risk letting hordes of good quality authors unsubscribe from KDP Select and then head off to become their competition.  They will get the balance right and that will mean keeping all parties happy.  

 Russ Grandinetti, Amazon’s VP of Kindle content had this to say about Kindle Unlimited: “I do think there will be a way that we will tweak it over time, but overall the system’s pretty healthy.  We’re incredibly motivated to make this work for that community.  They only have to participate for three months.” STOP PRESS: Kindle Unlimited Update (15th July 2015) – Important Changes: [See Video 11]

I have just received an email from Amazon notifying me of the following changes…which rather validates my earlier statement that Amazon will get the balance right:  “Today we have a few exciting announcements to share related to the KDP Select global fund. The first is that we’re adding a bonus of $7.8 million to the May KDP Select global fund on top of the previously announced $3 million base fund, bringing the total fund to $10.8 million. We are also pleased to report that:

•    KDP Select authors are on track to earn over $60M in the first half of 2015 from books read in Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. 

•    Total royalties across subscription and a la carte sales earned by KDP Select authors in the US are on track to more than double in the first half of 2015 compared to the same period last year. 

•    Authors have continued to renew their titles in KDP Select at rates in excess of 95% each month since Kindle Unlimited launched.

These trends give us the confidence to look forward and share that the KDP Select global fund will be in excess of $11M for both July and August (2015). 

We’re always looking at ways to make our programs even better, and we've received lots of great feedback on how to improve the way we pay KDP authors for books in Kindle Unlimited. One particular piece of feedback we’ve heard consistently from authors is that paying the same for all books regardless of length may not provide a strong enough alignment between the interests of authors and readers. We agree. With this in mind, we’re pleased to announce that beginning on July 1, the KDP Select Global Fund will be paid out based on the number of pages KU and KOLL customers read. 

As with our current approach, we’ll continue to offer a global fund for each month. Under this new model, the amount an author earns will be determined by their share of total pages read rather than their share of total qualified borrows. Here are a few examples illustrating how the fund will be paid out. For simplicity, assume the fund is $10M and that 100,000,000 total pages were read in the month: 

•    The author of a 100 page book which was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $1,000 ($10 million multiplied by 10,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).  

•    The author of a 200 page book which was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $2,000 ($10 million multiplied by 20,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).

•    The author of a 200 page book which was borrowed 100 times but only read half way through on average would earn $1,000 ($10 million multiplied by 10,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).” Conclusion: So clearly Amazon is listening to their authors and has introduced these new changes to redress the inequalities of the initial Kindle Unlimited launch. Starting in July, Amazon royalty pay-outs for Kindle Unlimited authors will be based on pages read, not whether or not a reader gets through the first 10% of a work. This new initiative rewards those who write longer novels.  Those who were writing shorter stories to ‘game the system’ have lost their temporary advantage, but have not necessarily been penalised.  They simply have to write more stories, as with a series, and then make sure that each book is a real ‘page turner’ so the reader continues right up to the very last page. Clearly Amazon is promoting and rewarding good quality writing, by paying for each page which is actually read.  Those authors who produce poor content will find their royalties fall, whilst those who produce a riveting read will be rewarded

16:38

- Module 5 -
Book Discoverability (Part A) 
- Publish on Kindle –

The Benefits of Enrolling in Kindle’s KDP Select Programme

Why Enrol in KDP Select? 
Being part of KDP Select will allow you to:
 Earn higher royalties.
 Earn your share of the KDP Select Global Fund amount when readers choose and read more than 10% of your book from Kindle Unlimited, or borrow your book from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Plus, earn 70% (as opposed to 35%) royalty for your sales to customers in Japan, India, Brazil and Mexico.
 Maximize your book’s sales potential.
 Have the choice of using two great promotional tools: 
o Free Book Promotions - Where readers worldwide can get your book free for a limited time.
o Kindle Countdown Deals - Time-bound promotional discounting for your book while earning royalties. 
 Reach a new audience.
 Help readers discover your books by making them available through Kindle Unlimited in the U.S, U.K., Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Brazil, Mexico and Canada and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL) in the U.S, U.K., Germany, France, and Japan.

Your Sales Platform Decision – Influenced by the Launch of Kindle Unlimited [See Video 10]
 
The Advent of ‘Kindle Unlimited’ and its Effects on Indie Book Authors

 What is Kindle Unlimited? – Kindle Unlimited (KU) is a new eBook subscription service, launched by Amazon in July of 2014 in the USA and swiftly followed by the UK, with other major Kindle stores catching up by the end of the year.

 Kindle Unlimited (KU) can be best described as an eBook subscription site, similar in many respects to Scribd and Oyster, which were launched at the end of 2013.

 Kindle Unlimited differs from Scribd and Oyster in that if you want your book to appear on Kindle Unlimited (with all its benefits) you will need to exclusively enrol your book in Kindle’s KDP Select programme, whereas you can publish your books to Scribd and Oyster without this exclusivity clause.

 The reader, in return for a $9.99 monthly subscription, will be allowed almost unlimited access to eBooks drawn from a new Kindle database of opted-in eBooks.

 In truth, it is not quite an ‘all you can eat’ facility, as it’s not possible to download hundreds of books in one’s first month of subscription and then opt out of the service.  A member of Kindle Unlimited is allowed to ‘borrow’ up to ten books at a time, and will need to return them before downloading any more.

 EBooks acquired from this service are therefore ‘borrowed’ - similar to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library - rather than bought at the author’s nominated book price via the traditional Kindle eBook store.  

 In return for each book borrowed from KU, Kindle will pay a fee to the author. However, Kindle has put in place a quality threshold and stipulates that payment will not be made until at least 10% of the book has been read. This ensures that they won’t be paying out for poor quality books which are abandoned after the first chapter.

 The Author will only be allowed to participate and reap the financial royalties of this scheme if, and only if, they enlist their book within KDP Select, Amazon’s program which offers various additional free marketing tools of visibility.  

 KDP Select requires exclusivity for each book enrolled for 90 days.  This means that the same book cannot be published (digitally) anywhere else on the Web for this period of time…and of course this excludes the other digital book sales platforms, such as Barnes & Noble, the iBook store, the Google Bookstore, Smashwords …basically all of Kindle’s competition.

 The launch of Kindle Unlimited has highlighted, even more sharply, the dilemma of the Indie author, that being – Can you earn more by staying exclusive with Kindle, who after all still have the lion’s share of the digital market, or should you forgo the benefits of KDP Select and spread your books around all the other platforms where there is less competition?

 The problem for the author lies in the predictability of their income from Kindle.  Before the existence of ‘book borrows’ (even the single free book a month given to Kindle Prime members via the Kindle Owners lending Library KOLL) there were only author-priced books waiting to be found by the reading public.  

 Publishing Indie authors at this point pretty much knew how much income they would receive on a monthly basis, largely because they had control over price.

 Then along came the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL).  This was set up to give one free borrowed book to Kindle Prime members every month.  Authors who had opted into and agreed Kindle Select’s terms of exclusivity were enrolled into KOLL.  If one of their books was ‘borrowed’, rather than bought, they were given a share of a monthly pot of money set aside by Kindle.  The sum set aside was divided by the number of book borrows during that month and the royalty – usually about $2 per book was awarded to the author.

 As the number of borrows were limited and the reward of $2 remained fairly consistent, most Kindle authors who were enrolled into KDP Select felt this $2 was a fair swop for a borrow rather than a sale, even for books normally priced much higher in the traditional Kindle eBook store. And in fact it helped their author discoverability, as a Kindle Prime Member might have borrowed a book (for free) but might not, in the normal course of events, have actually paid for the same book, as the author was unknown to them. But later of course if happy with their free read they might then visit the Kindle retail store to actually buy another title from the same author, who is now familiar to them.

 The launch of Kindle Unlimited has attracted its share of criticism; some love it, as they have seen their overall income rise and others hate it as they have seen a drop in monthly revenue.  Gone are the days of an average of $2 per borrow, originally experienced with KOLL.  Since the launch of KU, the amount rewarded for the combined borrows from the KOLL and KU have fallen month by month.  Kindle seemed to be testing to find the ‘pain point’ for Indie authors.  When it reached as low as $1.33 in October 2014 there was uproar by many authors, voiced on the Kindle related forums, and indeed many authors at that point unsubscribed from KDP Select.  Since then Kindle have (for the time being) stabilised the KU payment at around the $1.40 level.

Those who were dissatisfied had three main concerns:
o They felt that KU was cannibalising their individual paid sales from the main Kindle store.
o And that their reward for the borrow was much less than if they had been paid their asking price for the same book in the paid Kindle store. They have no way to predict their monthly income as it is determined by how much Kindle put into the monthly pot, at Amazon’s discretion, rather than the price quoted on the book’s sales page.
o The amount paid ($1.40) for a borrowed book is the same, whether it be for a short book or long book.  And given that a long book is likely to be priced higher than a short book on the normal Kindle eBook store, the price disparity between paid and borrowed books would appear to be even greater, especially for longer and higher priced books.

 Kindle however quote figures to support the overall popularity of KU.  They state that their 95% renewal rate in KDP Select demonstrates that the vast majority of KDP Select authors are content with the programme.

 Kindle also quote: “Total earnings on titles priced $2.99 or greater are growing faster than the overall average.”

 Their rationale is that the loss in eBook paid sales, when books are borrowed as part of KU, is more than made up for by the overall greater number of borrowed books experienced, compared to paid book sales.

 My own personal experience is that whilst the number of my paid books has fallen slightly, my average monthly income (once you extract seasonal variations) has stayed fairly constant, due to a greater number of borrows than I used to get prior to the launch of KU last summer.

 My Conclusion – If you are an established author with an existing following, and have several high word count books and higher priced books already released, then you might be disadvantaged by KU (as it stands at the moment – See Stop Press for an important update, at the end of this section).  Under these circumstances you might be wise to opt-out of KDP Select and spread your net more widely by publishing on all the main available platforms.

 On the other hand, if you are fairly new to Kindle publishing, or even if you are a regular Kindle publisher with several shorter, and lower priced books already published you might consider staying enrolled with KU…and the main reason I suggest this is because KU, along with the other features of KDP Select, gives you more VISIBILITY.

 Visibility & Discoverability – Remember that these are the very attributes we are looking for, because if our quality book is visible, then buyers will see and buy it.  Our Amazon sales rank will improve and we will appear in their ‘windows of visibility’, at which point Kindle will take notice and start to do much of our marketing for us.

 Our visibility will improve because KU borrows will register to your Amazon sales rank straight away, even though you won’t be credited until the reader hits 10%. (See Stop Press in a few paragraphs) It would also appear that the Kindle Unlimited store is also linked to the ‘Popularity List’ by default (see: Popularity List ‘window of visibility’) which will help to keep your book more visible, as Amazon appear to give a greater positive boost (to their Popularity rankings) for books enrolled in their KDP Select scheme, compared to books which are not enrolled.

 And one final thought.  For the authors who worry that Kindle might lower payments even further, possibly to just a few cents, we have to look at the logic of the marketplace.  Scribd and Oyster already feature some of the Big 5 feature publications, which Kindle Unlimited currently does not.  Kindle is extremely marketing savvy, and they will not risk letting hordes of good quality authors unsubscribe from KDP Select and then head off to become their competition.  They will get the balance right and that will mean keeping all parties happy.  

 Russ Grandinetti, Amazon’s VP of Kindle content had this to say about Kindle Unlimited: “I do think there will be a way that we will tweak it over time, but overall the system’s pretty healthy.  We’re incredibly motivated to make this work for that community.  They only have to participate for three months.”
STOP PRESS: Kindle Unlimited Update (15th July 2015) – Important Changes: [See Video 11]

I have just received an email from Amazon notifying me of the following changes…which rather validates my earlier statement that Amazon will get the balance right:
 “Today we have a few exciting announcements to share related to the KDP Select global fund. The first is that we’re adding a bonus of $7.8 million to the May KDP Select global fund on top of the previously announced $3 million base fund, bringing the total fund to $10.8 million. We are also pleased to report that:

•    KDP Select authors are on track to earn over $60M in the first half of 2015 from books read in Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. 

•    Total royalties across subscription and a la carte sales earned by KDP Select authors in the US are on track to more than double in the first half of 2015 compared to the same period last year. 

•    Authors have continued to renew their titles in KDP Select at rates in excess of 95% each month since Kindle Unlimited launched.

These trends give us the confidence to look forward and share that the KDP Select global fund will be in excess of $11M for both July and August (2015). 

We’re always looking at ways to make our programs even better, and we've received lots of great feedback on how to improve the way we pay KDP authors for books in Kindle Unlimited. One particular piece of feedback we’ve heard consistently from authors is that paying the same for all books regardless of length may not provide a strong enough alignment between the interests of authors and readers. We agree. With this in mind, we’re pleased to announce that beginning on July 1, the KDP Select Global Fund will be paid out based on the number of pages KU and KOLL customers read. 

As with our current approach, we’ll continue to offer a global fund for each month. Under this new model, the amount an author earns will be determined by their share of total pages read rather than their share of total qualified borrows. Here are a few examples illustrating how the fund will be paid out. For simplicity, assume the fund is $10M and that 100,000,000 total pages were read in the month: 

•    The author of a 100 page book which was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $1,000 ($10 million multiplied by 10,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).  

•    The author of a 200 page book which was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $2,000 ($10 million multiplied by 20,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).

•    The author of a 200 page book which was borrowed 100 times but only read half way through on average would earn $1,000 ($10 million multiplied by 10,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).”
Conclusion:
So clearly Amazon is listening to their authors and has introduced these new changes to redress the inequalities of the initial Kindle Unlimited launch.
Starting in July, Amazon royalty pay-outs for Kindle Unlimited authors will be based on pages read, not whether or not a reader gets through the first 10% of a work.
This new initiative rewards those who write longer novels.  Those who were writing shorter stories to ‘game the system’ have lost their temporary advantage, but have not necessarily been penalised.  They simply have to write more stories, as with a series, and then make sure that each book is a real ‘page turner’ so the reader continues right up to the very last page.
Clearly Amazon is promoting and rewarding good quality writing, by paying for each page which is actually read.  Those authors who produce poor content will find their royalties fall, whilst those who produce a riveting read will be rewarded

Section 6: Module 6 - Videos 12-16 - The Importance of Book Visibility
05:51

The Importance of Book Visibility

Ø  The sales of books in offline bricks & mortar bookshops are often influenced by the positioning within the physical space of the store.  These positions are negotiated between publisher and store owner and can require a considerable budget on the part of the publisher, with such funds usually reserved for proven bestselling authors only. 

Ø   Unknown self-published authors simply could not compete with this kind of budget driven ‘point of sale’ marketing.

Ø  The arrival of Kindle has helped to level the playing field between the long established publisher-backed authors and unknown indie authors.

Ø  “…Indies earn 60-80% list on eBook sales while traditionally published authors earn only 12-17% list and you understand the economic and fan-building advantage of indie eBook authorship. Traditionally published eBook authors are suffering from high prices and low royalties. As reading continues to transition to digital, the pull of indie authorship will increase.” – Smashwords 2014 survey.

Ø  Amazon’s Kindle is a powerful partner.  They will always attempt to show their customers books they are likely to buy regardless of who wrote it or published it.

Ø  They base their rationale, for the books you are exposed to as a customer, on your browsing, buying and reviewing habits.

Ø  They take your figures and match them to similar profiles of other potential customers and show them what you have bought – as in the ‘Customers Who Bought Also Bought’ Recommendation Strip – see my detailed description in the next section.

Ø  The Amazon algorithm is extremely sophisticated and continually learns and improves as you continue to interact with Amazon and the Kindle eBook store.

Ø  It’s no surprise therefore that Amazon has recently bought Goodreads.com.  They were attracted by their huge database of customer lifestyle habits and preferences.

Ø  Bricks & mortar offline bookstores cannot keep up with this personal level of service which can only be likened to very small bookstores in the 1950s when the shopkeeper knew your likes and dislikes as a familiar customer.

19:58

STOP PRESS: Kindle Unlimited Update (15th July 2015) – Important Changes: [See Video 11]

I have just received an email from Amazon notifying me of the following changes…which rather validates my earlier statement that Amazon will get the balance right:
 “Today we have a few exciting announcements to share related to the KDP Select global fund. The first is that we’re adding a bonus of $7.8 million to the May KDP Select global fund on top of the previously announced $3 million base fund, bringing the total fund to $10.8 million. We are also pleased to report that:

•    KDP Select authors are on track to earn over $60M in the first half of 2015 from books read in Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. 

•    Total royalties across subscription and a la carte sales earned by KDP Select authors in the US are on track to more than double in the first half of 2015 compared to the same period last year. 

•    Authors have continued to renew their titles in KDP Select at rates in excess of 95% each month since Kindle Unlimited launched.

These trends give us the confidence to look forward and share that the KDP Select global fund will be in excess of $11M for both July and August (2015). 

We’re always looking at ways to make our programs even better, and we've received lots of great feedback on how to improve the way we pay KDP authors for books in Kindle Unlimited. One particular piece of feedback we’ve heard consistently from authors is that paying the same for all books regardless of length may not provide a strong enough alignment between the interests of authors and readers. We agree. With this in mind, we’re pleased to announce that beginning on July 1, the KDP Select Global Fund will be paid out based on the number of pages KU and KOLL customers read. 

As with our current approach, we’ll continue to offer a global fund for each month. Under this new model, the amount an author earns will be determined by their share of total pages read rather than their share of total qualified borrows. Here are a few examples illustrating how the fund will be paid out. For simplicity, assume the fund is $10M and that 100,000,000 total pages were read in the month: 

•    The author of a 100 page book which was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $1,000 ($10 million multiplied by 10,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).  

•    The author of a 200 page book which was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $2,000 ($10 million multiplied by 20,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).

•    The author of a 200 page book which was borrowed 100 times but only read half way through on average would earn $1,000 ($10 million multiplied by 10,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).”
Conclusion:
So clearly Amazon is listening to their authors and has introduced these new changes to redress the inequalities of the initial Kindle Unlimited launch.
Starting in July, Amazon royalty pay-outs for Kindle Unlimited authors will be based on pages read, not whether or not a reader gets through the first 10% of a work.
This new initiative rewards those who write longer novels.  Those who were writing shorter stories to ‘game the system’ have lost their temporary advantage, but have not necessarily been penalised.  They simply have to write more stories, as with a series, and then make sure that each book is a real ‘page turner’ so the reader continues right up to the very last page.
Clearly Amazon is promoting and rewarding good quality writing, by paying for each page which is actually read.  Those authors who produce poor content will find their royalties fall, whilst those who produce a riveting read will be rewarded

19:04

The Importance of Book Visibility

Ø  The sales of books in offline bricks & mortar bookshops are often influenced by the positioning within the physical space of the store.  These positions are negotiated between publisher and store owner and can require a considerable budget on the part of the publisher, with such funds usually reserved for proven bestselling authors only. 

Ø   Unknown self-published authors simply could not compete with this kind of budget driven ‘point of sale’ marketing.

Ø  The arrival of Kindle has helped to level the playing field between the long established publisher-backed authors and unknown indie authors.

Ø  “…Indies earn 60-80% list on eBook sales while traditionally published authors earn only 12-17% list and you understand the economic and fan-building advantage of indie eBook authorship. Traditionally published eBook authors are suffering from high prices and low royalties. As reading continues to transition to digital, the pull of indie authorship will increase.” – Smashwords 2014 survey.

Ø  Amazon’s Kindle is a powerful partner.  They will always attempt to show their customers books they are likely to buy regardless of who wrote it or published it.

Ø  They base their rationale, for the books you are exposed to as a customer, on your browsing, buying and reviewing habits.

Ø  They take your figures and match them to similar profiles of other potential customers and show them what you have bought – as in the ‘Customers Who Bought Also Bought’ Recommendation Strip – see my detailed description in the next section.

Ø  The Amazon algorithm is extremely sophisticated and continually learns and improves as you continue to interact with Amazon and the Kindle eBook store.

Ø  It’s no surprise therefore that Amazon has recently bought Goodreads.com.  They were attracted by their huge database of customer lifestyle habits and preferences.

Ø  Bricks & mortar offline bookstores cannot keep up with this personal level of service which can only be likened to very small bookstores in the 1950s when the shopkeeper knew your likes and dislikes as a familiar customer.

05:51

Kindle’s 9 Key ‘Windows of Visibility’ [See Videos 12-16]

First I want to show you Kindle’s nine key ‘windows of visibility’.  Thereafter I will show you the processes you need to adopt so you can appear in these magical windows to achieve visibility and sales.

1. Kindle’s Top 100 Best Sellers’ Charts

Ø  This is one of the most popular locations where Kindle book lovers browse.

Ø  Amazon niche book categories are linked to their best seller lists in that they will show 100 bestselling e-books per category and sub-category.  These lists are curated as a reflection of the active sales rank of each purchased and borrowed book and within each category.

Ø  The top 100 best seller lists are directly influenced by your current sales rank which we know is directly linked to the volume and velocity (rate of sales) of both paid and borrowed books, under the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL) and the Kindle Unlimited (KU) scheme.

Ø  One’s position in these charts represents an instant snapshot in time, reflecting the most immediate activity in terms of sales and ‘borrows’ for your book within the last 12 – 24 hour period. For books with a higher level of sales activity, the charts are updated hourly.

Ø  No ranking will be awarded until a sale or a book borrow has been made.

Ø  The sales rank is calculated in relation to the number of sales and book borrows e.g. If your book sales are slow, but similarly slow for all the other published Kindle books, then your sales rank will not fall in relation to the other competing books within your genre. If your book sales are good, whilst the other competing books are slow, then your sales rank will rise.  

Ø  We should be aiming at a sustained velocity of downloads over a period of time rather than a massive one-off hit of sales, followed by a void with no sales at all.

Ø  Your Author Central account (discussed later) will show a summary of the sales ranks for all your books.

Ø  Free downloads from your 5 free KDP Select promo days will not affect your top 100 Best Seller sales rank.

Ø  The velocity of sales and borrows is the only direct determining factor to affect sales rank - and not reviews, price, longevity of publication or any other indirect factor.

Ø  The ‘velocity of sale’ of your book is the main driving force for your Amazon sales rank, e.g. a sale made in the last 24 hours has more effect than a sale made one week ago.  Hence, someone can sell 5 books one week ago and yet might have a lower sales rank than your book which made only 2 sales within the last 24 hours for instance.

Ø   www.Novelrank.com  is a useful free online tool which can be used to track your book sales over a period of time, with charting, RSS feeds and real-time data.

Ø  Sales rank = How many book sales? To determine what your sales rank means, in terms of the number of book sales received, there is a fairly accurate ‘rule of thumb’ which can be used. Divide 100,000 by your current Amazon sales rank, and that will show you your current level of book sales.

Ø  Finally, if you do manage to achieve a number one position, in ANY top 100 list, within ANY category within Amazon’s Kindle, even for just an hour, then you are entitled to call yourself an Amazon Best-seller.  You can then put a gold badge on the cover of your book, stating ‘Amazon Best-seller’.  This will give your book added credibility in the eyes of the buying public.  Obviously, the smaller the number of books in your chosen category, then the easier it will be for you to rank at the number one position.

 

2. Kindle’s Popularity Lists (by category)

Ø  The Amazon popularity list is another way in which customers may view and browse the Kindle website, and is similar to the categories and sub-categories of the best seller top 100 lists, but different in certain key respects.  In fact many web browsers and Kindle book publishers are probably not even aware that this list exists because the differences between the two lists were historically quite marginal.  This has now changed and the differences between the two lists are now quite marked and important.

Ø  The algorithm for the category  ‘popularity lists’ changed between March and May 2012 so that the new criteria currently is as follows:

o    The popularity lists reflect the 30 day rolling sales history of books.

o   No weight is given to recent sales, unlike the best seller category.

o   Book borrows (KU or KOLL) downloaded under the KDP Select programme don’t count.

o   ‘Free downloads’ under the KDP Select system do count and add gravity and lift to your book’s relative position on these lists.  Free downloads are awarded a boost equivalent to 10% of paid book sales.

o   Price weighting favours more expensive Kindle books over cheaper books.

o   The result is a much more reliable indicator of the long-term performance of your book, whilst the top 100 best seller lists shows your book’s performance over a rolling 24 hour period.

o   The popularity lists do not indicate the immediate past results of a free promotion.  It could be approximately 2 days before the results of free giveaways under KDP Select are reflected in the popularity lists and statistics.

o   Books with longevity on the Kindle platform seem to benefit from a degree of buoyancy, keeping them near the top of this list.  It’s almost as if they have passed the test of time and Amazon recognises the fact that they have proved themselves in the past, and therefore will likely to do so again.

o   I am convinced, but cannot prove, that being a member of KDP Select helps your ranking in the longer term popularity category rankings.  I base this on my experience of having delisted books from KDP Select and observed their subsequent drop in rankings. Similar stories are reported by other authors.

Ø  Another way of identifying the Kindle popularity list as opposed to the Kindle best sellers’ list is that whilst it is broken down by similar categories and sub-categories, the popularity list will actually show small numerals, in brackets, to show the number of books contained within each category.  This does not happen with the standard best seller lists.

Ø  The popularity list is the default search from a portable Kindle Fire device which automatically shows readers the popularity list rather than the best sellers’ list.

Ø  Another way of locating this list is to start selecting categories directly from the Kindle home page or by looking for the link at the bottom of best seller list pages which states ‘look for similar items by category’.

Ø  There is no such duplicate popularity list for ‘free listings’ as there is on the top 100 best sellers listings.

Ø  The Kindle popularity list is a much ignored (by Kindle publishers) ‘window of visibility’, but one which Kindle buyers actually browse through.  They are directed to do so automatically through Kindle’s standard navigation process.

Ø  It is important to understand the distinction between these two lists.  With the best seller list you are being shown a snapshot in time of your Kindle sales success over the last 24 hour period, whereas with the Kindle popularity list you are being given an overall average of your book’s sales performance over a 30 day period.  This is an important distinction because it is far more critical to understand the performance and direction your book is travelling (up or down) over the longer term compared to a 24 hour period.

Ø  This distinction will help your overall marketing approach.

Ø  A book near the top of this popularity algorithm will effectively be far ‘stickier’ than a book which is at the top of the Kindle best seller chart.  This is because to be at the top of this category you need to have achieved a sustained level of sales over a 30 day period. Hence the importance of ‘momentum of activity’ in the first 30 days following a book-launch. As it is this sustained level of activity in the infancy of your published book, which provides the momentum of sales to drive your book up the ranks of the popularity lists.

Ø  The difference between these two lists will go a long way to explaining why a book which has sold many copies over the last 24 hour period might appear lower in the popularity list, but higher in the Amazon top 100 best seller list.  Whereas a book which might not have sold many copies in recent days will appear at a higher level in the popularity lists, but lower in the best-seller lists - and it does so because it has a higher number of average sales over a 30 day period. It is most likely that it is this list which triggers Amazon to start promoting your book for you.

Ø  The popularity list is also an excellent indicator when it comes to choosing your two main categories, under which to list your book, as you can see at a glance how many books already exist in each category and sub-category, and can therefore deduce how competitive and difficult it might be to compete in any one individual category.

Ø  Therefore a key strategy should be for us to aim to have our books placed near the top of the popularity category, whilst also still trying to keep a high position at the top of the best seller charts.

12:55

The Importance of Book Visibility

Ø  The sales of books in offline bricks & mortar bookshops are often influenced by the positioning within the physical space of the store.  These positions are negotiated between publisher and store owner and can require a considerable budget on the part of the publisher, with such funds usually reserved for proven bestselling authors only. 

Ø   Unknown self-published authors simply could not compete with this kind of budget driven ‘point of sale’ marketing.

Ø  The arrival of Kindle has helped to level the playing field between the long established publisher-backed authors and unknown indie authors.

Ø  “…Indies earn 60-80% list on eBook sales while traditionally published authors earn only 12-17% list and you understand the economic and fan-building advantage of indie eBook authorship. Traditionally published eBook authors are suffering from high prices and low royalties. As reading continues to transition to digital, the pull of indie authorship will increase.” – Smashwords 2014 survey.

Ø  Amazon’s Kindle is a powerful partner.  They will always attempt to show their customers books they are likely to buy regardless of who wrote it or published it.

Ø  They base their rationale, for the books you are exposed to as a customer, on your browsing, buying and reviewing habits.

Ø  They take your figures and match them to similar profiles of other potential customers and show them what you have bought – as in the ‘Customers Who Bought Also Bought’ Recommendation Strip – see my detailed description in the next section.

Ø  The Amazon algorithm is extremely sophisticated and continually learns and improves as you continue to interact with Amazon and the Kindle eBook store.

Ø  It’s no surprise therefore that Amazon has recently bought Goodreads.com.  They were attracted by their huge database of customer lifestyle habits and preferences.

Ø  Bricks & mortar offline bookstores cannot keep up with this personal level of service which can only be likened to very small bookstores in the 1950s when the shopkeeper knew your likes and dislikes as a familiar customer.

18:29

The Importance of Book Visibility

Ø  The sales of books in offline bricks & mortar bookshops are often influenced by the positioning within the physical space of the store.  These positions are negotiated between publisher and store owner and can require a considerable budget on the part of the publisher, with such funds usually reserved for proven bestselling authors only. 

Ø   Unknown self-published authors simply could not compete with this kind of budget driven ‘point of sale’ marketing.

Ø  The arrival of Kindle has helped to level the playing field between the long established publisher-backed authors and unknown indie authors.

Ø  “…Indies earn 60-80% list on eBook sales while traditionally published authors earn only 12-17% list and you understand the economic and fan-building advantage of indie eBook authorship. Traditionally published eBook authors are suffering from high prices and low royalties. As reading continues to transition to digital, the pull of indie authorship will increase.” – Smashwords 2014 survey.

Ø  Amazon’s Kindle is a powerful partner.  They will always attempt to show their customers books they are likely to buy regardless of who wrote it or published it.

Ø  They base their rationale, for the books you are exposed to as a customer, on your browsing, buying and reviewing habits.

Ø  They take your figures and match them to similar profiles of other potential customers and show them what you have bought – as in the ‘Customers Who Bought Also Bought’ Recommendation Strip – see my detailed description in the next section.

Ø  The Amazon algorithm is extremely sophisticated and continually learns and improves as you continue to interact with Amazon and the Kindle eBook store.

Ø  It’s no surprise therefore that Amazon has recently bought Goodreads.com.  They were attracted by their huge database of customer lifestyle habits and preferences.

Ø  Bricks & mortar offline bookstores cannot keep up with this personal level of service which can only be likened to very small bookstores in the 1950s when the shopkeeper knew your likes and dislikes as a familiar customer.

08:03

The Importance of Book Visibility

Ø  The sales of books in offline bricks & mortar bookshops are often influenced by the positioning within the physical space of the store.  These positions are negotiated between publisher and store owner and can require a considerable budget on the part of the publisher, with such funds usually reserved for proven bestselling authors only. 

Ø   Unknown self-published authors simply could not compete with this kind of budget driven ‘point of sale’ marketing.

Ø  The arrival of Kindle has helped to level the playing field between the long established publisher-backed authors and unknown indie authors.

Ø  “…Indies earn 60-80% list on eBook sales while traditionally published authors earn only 12-17% list and you understand the economic and fan-building advantage of indie eBook authorship. Traditionally published eBook authors are suffering from high prices and low royalties. As reading continues to transition to digital, the pull of indie authorship will increase.” – Smashwords 2014 survey.

Ø  Amazon’s Kindle is a powerful partner.  They will always attempt to show their customers books they are likely to buy regardless of who wrote it or published it.

Ø  They base their rationale, for the books you are exposed to as a customer, on your browsing, buying and reviewing habits.

Ø  They take your figures and match them to similar profiles of other potential customers and show them what you have bought – as in the ‘Customers Who Bought Also Bought’ Recommendation Strip – see my detailed description in the next section.

Ø  The Amazon algorithm is extremely sophisticated and continually learns and improves as you continue to interact with Amazon and the Kindle eBook store.

Ø  It’s no surprise therefore that Amazon has recently bought Goodreads.com.  They were attracted by their huge database of customer lifestyle habits and preferences.

Ø  Bricks & mortar offline bookstores cannot keep up with this personal level of service which can only be likened to very small bookstores in the 1950s when the shopkeeper knew your likes and dislikes as a familiar customer.

Section 7: Module 7 - Videos 17 -18 Create buyer Friendly Book Structure
04:15

- Module 7 - Create a ‘Buyer Friendly’ Book Structure

A Simple Template Formula to Create Short Non-Fiction eBooks [See Video 17]

Fiction

Ø  If you have decided to write fiction, be it long or short, the next step, after you have pre-qualified your topic, is to fully research your subject.  The actual theme and main storyline most likely will come from your imagination, whilst the factual research can be done on the internet or by visiting your local library.

Non-Fiction

Ø   When it comes to creating non-fiction books I follow a very simple formula.  Firstly, as with the fiction genre, I pre-qualify the topic I wish to write about to ensure that it is a topic with latent demand – see the ‘Qualifying Your Topic Selection’ section and videos 2 – 5.

Ø  Then, once I have chosen my hot topic, I use a specific technique, outlined in video 17, to reverse engineer exactly what works for current bestselling authors.  This allows me to come up with a winning ‘skeleton structure’ for my book which is based entirely around very specific content which is popular and in high demand.

Ø  This detailed structure effectively becomes my new table of contents, which acts just like a ‘paint by numbers’ template.  All I need I now need do is fill in the gaps, either by researching and writing each chapter myself, or by handing over individual chapters to one or more of my outsource contacts, as detailed in the following section.

For further resources see attached module 7.pdf

Outsourcing

Ø  If you don’t have the time or the inclination to write multiple books, you might like to consider outsourcing.  I have personally found that working with a ghost writer can be a rewarding experience, both intellectually and financially.

For Shorter Books Short stories, one-problem-one-solution books, as well as children’s books, there are two other freelancing portal sites I would like to mention, which produce quality writing at reasonable prices:


Consider Writing a Series


Ø  Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, there is no doubt that if you write a series of books, with a familiar and consistent theme running throughout, that your sales and overall income will be boosted by each book in the series cross-selling the others.

Ø  Recent data from Smashwords data reveals:

o   Series books earn more than standalone books.

o   The most successful series usually are comprised of 3 – 5 books.

o   Series with ‘longer’ books sell better – This suggests that you should avoid splitting longer books up to create more books within a series.


Build an Email List of Your Readers [See Video 18]


Ø  Amazon, like many large author websites, doesn’t like to give away personal email details of their/your customers.  But it is quite legitimate to direct viewers away from your manuscript to a relevant web page outside Amazon, in order to collect their email details, as long as you are providing more useful information for your readers, rather than simply directing them to an unrelated promotional offer.  So, for instance, you could somewhere within your manuscript add a link to a blog page or squeeze page which you might have set up, suggesting that readers would benefit if they visited that page. 

Ø  The benefit could be that they would be able to access an additional free chapter for example which would enhance the reading experience they have just enjoyed.  Once on your blog or squeeze page you can ask them to enter their email address within a form which would be linked to a standard email auto-responder account, e.g. Aweber (paid) or Mailchimp (free) which in return would direct them to your promised additional content usually in the form of a pdf document.  

See my video tutorial to learn how to create an email opt-in form and host it for free.  Here are the all-important resource links, as mentioned in the video: 

For further resources see attached module 7.pdf

15:34

- Module 7 - Create a ‘Buyer Friendly’ Book Structure

A Simple Template Formula to Create Short Non-Fiction eBooks [See Video 17]

Fiction


Ø  If you have decided to write fiction, be it long or short, the next step, after you have pre-qualified your topic, is to fully research your subject.  The actual theme and main storyline most likely will come from your imagination, whilst the factual research can be done on the internet or by visiting your local library.

Non-Fiction

Ø   When it comes to creating non-fiction books I follow a very simple formula.  Firstly, as with the fiction genre, I pre-qualify the topic I wish to write about to ensure that it is a topic with latent demand – see the ‘Qualifying Your Topic Selection’ section and videos 2 – 5.

Ø  Then, once I have chosen my hot topic, I use a specific technique, outlined in video 17, to reverse engineer exactly what works for current bestselling authors.  This allows me to come up with a winning ‘skeleton structure’ for my book which is based entirely around very specific content which is popular and in high demand.

Ø  This detailed structure effectively becomes my new table of contents, which acts just like a ‘paint by numbers’ template.  All I need I now need do is fill in the gaps, either by researching and writing each chapter myself, or by handing over individual chapters to one or more of my outsource contacts, as detailed in the following section.

For further resources see attached module 7.pdf

Outsourcing

Ø  If you don’t have the time or the inclination to write multiple books, you might like to consider outsourcing.  I have personally found that working with a ghost writer can be a rewarding experience, both intellectually and financially.


For Shorter Books Short stories, one-problem-one-solution books, as well as children’s books, there are two other freelancing portal sites I would like to mention, which produce quality writing at reasonable prices:

Consider Writing a Series

Ø  Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, there is no doubt that if you write a series of books, with a familiar and consistent theme running throughout, that your sales and overall income will be boosted by each book in the series cross-selling the others.


Ø  Recent data from Smashwords data reveals:

o   Series books earn more than standalone books.

o   The most successful series usually are comprised of 3 – 5 books.

o   Series with ‘longer’ books sell better – This suggests that you should avoid splitting longer books up to create more books within a series.

Build an Email List of Your Readers [See Video 18]


Ø  Amazon, like many large author websites, doesn’t like to give away personal email details of their/your customers.  But it is quite legitimate to direct viewers away from your manuscript to a relevant web page outside Amazon, in order to collect their email details, as long as you are providing more useful information for your readers, rather than simply directing them to an unrelated promotional offer.  So, for instance, you could somewhere within your manuscript add a link to a blog page or squeeze page which you might have set up, suggesting that readers would benefit if they visited that page. 

Ø  The benefit could be that they would be able to access an additional free chapter for example which would enhance the reading experience they have just enjoyed.  Once on your blog or squeeze page you can ask them to enter their email address within a form which would be linked to a standard email auto-responder account, e.g. Aweber (paid) or Mailchimp (free) which in return would direct them to your promised additional content usually in the form of a pdf document.  

See my video tutorial to learn how to create an email opt-in form and host it for free.  Here are the all-important resource links, as mentioned in the video: 

For further resources see attached module 7.pdf


11:19

- Module 7 - Create a ‘Buyer Friendly’ Book Structure

A Simple Template Formula to Create Short Non-Fiction eBooks [See Video 17]

Fiction


Ø  If you have decided to write fiction, be it long or short, the next step, after you have pre-qualified your topic, is to fully research your subject.  The actual theme and main storyline most likely will come from your imagination, whilst the factual research can be done on the internet or by visiting your local library.

Non-Fiction

Ø   When it comes to creating non-fiction books I follow a very simple formula.  Firstly, as with the fiction genre, I pre-qualify the topic I wish to write about to ensure that it is a topic with latent demand – see the ‘Qualifying Your Topic Selection’ section and videos 2 – 5.

Ø  Then, once I have chosen my hot topic, I use a specific technique, outlined in video 17, to reverse engineer exactly what works for current bestselling authors.  This allows me to come up with a winning ‘skeleton structure’ for my book which is based entirely around very specific content which is popular and in high demand.

Ø  This detailed structure effectively becomes my new table of contents, which acts just like a ‘paint by numbers’ template.  All I need I now need do is fill in the gaps, either by researching and writing each chapter myself, or by handing over individual chapters to one or more of my outsource contacts, as detailed in the following section.

For further resources see attached module 7.pdf

Outsourcing

Ø  If you don’t have the time or the inclination to write multiple books, you might like to consider outsourcing.  I have personally found that working with a ghost writer can be a rewarding experience, both intellectually and financially.


For Shorter Books Short stories, one-problem-one-solution books, as well as children’s books, there are two other freelancing portal sites I would like to mention, which produce quality writing at reasonable prices:

Consider Writing a Series

Ø  Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, there is no doubt that if you write a series of books, with a familiar and consistent theme running throughout, that your sales and overall income will be boosted by each book in the series cross-selling the others.


Ø  Recent data from Smashwords data reveals:

o   Series books earn more than standalone books.

o   The most successful series usually are comprised of 3 – 5 books.

o   Series with ‘longer’ books sell better – This suggests that you should avoid splitting longer books up to create more books within a series.

Build an Email List of Your Readers [See Video 18]


Ø  Amazon, like many large author websites, doesn’t like to give away personal email details of their/your customers.  But it is quite legitimate to direct viewers away from your manuscript to a relevant web page outside Amazon, in order to collect their email details, as long as you are providing more useful information for your readers, rather than simply directing them to an unrelated promotional offer.  So, for instance, you could somewhere within your manuscript add a link to a blog page or squeeze page which you might have set up, suggesting that readers would benefit if they visited that page. 

Ø  The benefit could be that they would be able to access an additional free chapter for example which would enhance the reading experience they have just enjoyed.  Once on your blog or squeeze page you can ask them to enter their email address within a form which would be linked to a standard email auto-responder account, e.g. Aweber (paid) or Mailchimp (free) which in return would direct them to your promised additional content usually in the form of a pdf document.  

See my video tutorial to learn how to create an email opt-in form and host it for free.  Here are the all-important resource links, as mentioned in the video: 

For further resources see attached module 7.pdf

11:19

- Module 7 - Create a ‘Buyer Friendly’ Book Structure

A Simple Template Formula to Create Short Non-Fiction eBooks [See Video 17]

Fiction


Ø  If you have decided to write fiction, be it long or short, the next step, after you have pre-qualified your topic, is to fully research your subject.  The actual theme and main storyline most likely will come from your imagination, whilst the factual research can be done on the internet or by visiting your local library.

Non-Fiction

Ø   When it comes to creating non-fiction books I follow a very simple formula.  Firstly, as with the fiction genre, I pre-qualify the topic I wish to write about to ensure that it is a topic with latent demand – see the ‘Qualifying Your Topic Selection’ section and videos 2 – 5.

Ø  Then, once I have chosen my hot topic, I use a specific technique, outlined in video 17, to reverse engineer exactly what works for current bestselling authors.  This allows me to come up with a winning ‘skeleton structure’ for my book which is based entirely around very specific content which is popular and in high demand.

Ø  This detailed structure effectively becomes my new table of contents, which acts just like a ‘paint by numbers’ template.  All I need I now need do is fill in the gaps, either by researching and writing each chapter myself, or by handing over individual chapters to one or more of my outsource contacts, as detailed in the following section.

For further resources see attached module 7.pdf

Outsourcing

Ø  If you don’t have the time or the inclination to write multiple books, you might like to consider outsourcing.  I have personally found that working with a ghost writer can be a rewarding experience, both intellectually and financially.


For Shorter Books Short stories, one-problem-one-solution books, as well as children’s books, there are two other freelancing portal sites I would like to mention, which produce quality writing at reasonable prices:

Consider Writing a Series

Ø  Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, there is no doubt that if you write a series of books, with a familiar and consistent theme running throughout, that your sales and overall income will be boosted by each book in the series cross-selling the others.


Ø  Recent data from Smashwords data reveals:

o   Series books earn more than standalone books.

o   The most successful series usually are comprised of 3 – 5 books.

o   Series with ‘longer’ books sell better – This suggests that you should avoid splitting longer books up to create more books within a series.

Build an Email List of Your Readers [See Video 18]


Ø  Amazon, like many large author websites, doesn’t like to give away personal email details of their/your customers.  But it is quite legitimate to direct viewers away from your manuscript to a relevant web page outside Amazon, in order to collect their email details, as long as you are providing more useful information for your readers, rather than simply directing them to an unrelated promotional offer.  So, for instance, you could somewhere within your manuscript add a link to a blog page or squeeze page which you might have set up, suggesting that readers would benefit if they visited that page. 

Ø  The benefit could be that they would be able to access an additional free chapter for example which would enhance the reading experience they have just enjoyed.  Once on your blog or squeeze page you can ask them to enter their email address within a form which would be linked to a standard email auto-responder account, e.g. Aweber (paid) or Mailchimp (free) which in return would direct them to your promised additional content usually in the form of a pdf document.  

See my video tutorial to learn how to create an email opt-in form and host it for free.  Here are the all-important resource links, as mentioned in the video: 

For further resources see attached module 7.pdf

19:57


Build an Email List of Your Readers [See Video 18]


Ø  Amazon, like many large author websites, doesn’t like to give away personal email details of their/your customers.  But it is quite legitimate to direct viewers away from your manuscript to a relevant web page outside Amazon, in order to collect their email details, as long as you are providing more useful information for your readers, rather than simply directing them to an unrelated promotional offer.  So, for instance, you could somewhere within your manuscript add a link to a blog page or squeeze page which you might have set up, suggesting that readers would benefit if they visited that page. 

Ø  The benefit could be that they would be able to access an additional free chapter for example which would enhance the reading experience they have just enjoyed.  Once on your blog or squeeze page you can ask them to enter their email address within a form which would be linked to a standard email auto-responder account, e.g. Aweber (paid) or Mailchimp (free) which in return would direct them to your promised additional content usually in the form of a pdf document.  

See my video tutorial to learn how to create an email opt-in form and host it for free.  Here are the all-important resource links, as mentioned in the video: 

For further resources see attached module 7.pdf


Section 8: Module 8 - Video 19-25 Essential Pre-Launch Book Strategies and Procedures
19:37

- Module 8 - Essential Pre-Launch Book Strategies & Procedures

Document Formatting Rules [See Video 19]


Ø  To ensure your document is presented in a professional manner, here are some basic rules which are well worth adopting:

o   Consistent use of Font - Whichever font you start to use in your document, be consistent and use the same font throughout your document.

o    Serif Fonts – Serif fonts work well with Kindle books.  I prefer Palatino Linotype. Georgia also works well.

o   Font Size – Ideally use a font size of between 11 and 13 for the main body of the text - I use size 12.  Font size of 14 can be used for the chapter headings (centred) and the Table of Contents.  For the actual title of my book on the very first page I use a font size of around 28.

o   Indents – At the beginning of every paragraph there should be an indent.  I use 0.63 cms (approx. 0.25” inch).  The exception to this rule is that the first paragraph of every chapter should be left aligned, with no indent at all.  You can use the ‘paragraph tool’ in Word to apply your indent to the whole chapter.

o   Page Breaks – Insert a ‘hard’ page break at the end of each chapter.

o   Copyright & Disclaimers – Always add a simple copyright at the very beginning of every book.  Include a disclaimer if your book gives any kind of advice, especially medical or financial, to ensure the reader consults a legal expert or medical practitioner before proceeding with your advice. If your book is quite short, you may wish to put your copyright and disclaimer statements at the end of the book, to avoid using up valuable space at the front where potential browsers will take a peek using the ‘look inside’ feature.

o   Carriage returns – Only ever use one carriage return to break a paragraph, as using two will give a ‘blocky’ look to your text.

o   Headers, Footer & page numbers – do not use these at all, as Kindle pages will not behave in the same manner as pages in Word. 

o   Text Justification – Text justification works quite well in hard copy print format, but works less well in digital format.  Therefore leave your print ‘left aligned’.

Proof Reading & Editing


Ø  Outsourcing your editing & proofreading – I am indebted to Joanna Penn, author of the very informative blog – ‘The Creative Penn’ – for her list of recommended editors: see module 8pdf

Creating Table of Contents (toc) [See Video 20]

Ø  Automated - If using software, such as Calibre or Scrivener, your toc will be automatically created for you.

Ø  Manual TOC Creation – Use the ‘bookmarking and hyperlinking’ technique, as outlined in the video.

Constructing Your Title with Keywords

Ø  Don’t copy the full title of other people’s books as Amazon doesn’t like this practice.  It is quite alright however to take elements from their title and then rework into a more original title.

Ø  When constructing the title you have to perform a balancing act between inclusion and positioning of main keywords as well as portraying quickly and succinctly the concept of your book.

Ø  It can sometimes help to add a quirky throw-away but memorable line, e.g. in my book about Angels entitled ‘Help Me Angels’ I added the throw-away line, ‘No task too small’.  I always believe if you can make your potential customer smile, you are halfway to making a sale.

Write Your Book Description


Ø  Amazon allows you up to 4,000 characters to describe your book which will be featured on your individual e-book sales page.  The best way to proceed is to compose your description in a Word document or notepad and then copy and paste directly into the description box provided during the publishing process via the KDP dashboard.

Ø  Initially, when your sales page first appears, your description will show up as a large block of unformatted text.  If you are familiar with basic HTML coding there are some simple tweaks which can be implemented to make the text appear more natural and easy on the eye.

Ø  The range of changes you can make are quite limited; nevertheless it is possible to make text bold, to increase the size of the font, to add a carriage return and to make a headline not only bold but show up in the Amazon proprietary colour of orange. 

Supported HTML for Book Description

Ø  Here is a complete list of HTML tags and attributes supported in the book description field. Remember to properly close your HTML tags to avoid formatting errors. For example, to properly close this tag for bold text <b>, you will need to add </b> at the point you wish the text to return back to normal font.  This will prevent the rest of your content from appearing as bold text – see my video for more clarification.

HTML Tag

Supported HTML for Book Description

 Tag Effects

<b>

Formats enclosed text as bold.

<br>

Creates a line break.

<em>

Emphasizes the enclosed text; generally formatted as italic.

<font>

Determines the appearance of the enclosed text.

<h1> to <h6>

Formats enclosed text as a section heading: <h1> (largest) through <h6> (smallest).

<hr>

Creates a horizontal "rule" or line. Often used to divide sections of text.

<i>

Formats enclosed text as italic.

<li>

Identifies an item in an ordered (numbered) or unordered (bulleted) list.

<ol>

Creates a numbered list from enclosed items, each of which is identified by a <li> tag.

<p>

Defines a paragraph of text with the first line indented; creates a line break at the end of the enclosed text.

<pre>

Defines preformatted text.

<s>

Formats text as strikethrough. See also, <strike>.

<strike>

Formats text as strikethrough. See also, <s>.

<strong>

Formats enclosed text as bold. See also, <b>.

<sub>

Formats enclosed text as subscript: reduces the font size and drops it below the baseline.

<sup>

Formats enclosed text as superscript: reduces the font size and places it above the baseline.

<u>

Formats enclosed text as underlined.

<ul>

Creates a bulleted list from enclosed items, each of which is identified by a <li> tag.

Amazon, at the time of writing, is not keen on adding images or videos within this description box.  This may change.

Ø  A good sales description is one of the few and most powerful tools an unknown author can use to help improve their chances of a sale.  Here are some useful tips to help improve your title:

o   Look at other descriptions.  What makes them so powerful?

o   What is the core of the story?

o   What are the benefits to the reader?

o   Write the description in the third person and present tense as though you are a bookstore owner who has been asked by the customer what the book is about.

o   Stick to the overall theme.

o   Use strong nouns and verbs.

o   Insert your main keywords at least 3 times within the first few paragraphs but make sure you use them naturally.

o   Use a catchy tag line if possible, e.g. ‘Finally a book which reveals the secrets of …..’

o   Get rid of adjectives.  Let the reader’s mind create their own.

o   Insert reviews.

o   Remind them to click and view via the ‘look inside’ feature.

Ø  Important – you have the ability to format your description to make it easier and more attractive to read, either by adding HTML coding within the description box via the KDP upload page or via a facility provided by Author Central.  It should be noted that once you make any changes to your description via Author Central you cannot later make changes via the standard KDP upload facility.

Ø  NB – If you have already fallen in this particular bear trap, the only way you can edit your description using the KDP upload page once again, is to remove your book from your Author central Account.  Then later on you can add it back again, but this time make sure you don’t use the edit feature.

 

Creating Powerful eBook Covers [See Videos 21-25]

Outsourcing Book Covers – Three Recommended Sites: see module 8 pdf for more info.

DIY Cover Creation & Image Selection

Use Kindle’s New Automated ‘Kindle Cover Creator:

See module 8 pdf for more info.

Book Cover Dimensions


Ø  Kindle stipulates that you use a minimum of 625 pixels on the shortest side and 1000 pixels on the longest side.

Ø  For best quality, your image should be 2500 pixels on the longest side.  It used to be standard practice to have a maximum cover width of 1562 pixels…but very recently covers with a width of up to 2121 seem to be accepted by Kindle and more and more of these covers are appearing in the Kindle store.  The benefit of these wider Kindle book covers is that they really stand out from the crowd when viewed as a thumbnail.

Ø  If you are outsourcing your book cover, I would suggest that you request book covers be provided in both width formats, so you are covering all bases. If you are manually creating your own book covers, or using one created by eBook cover creator software such as KD Renegade you can easily alter the cover dimensions using free online image editing software.  A good example of this type of software is Pixlr –

see module 8 pdf for more info.


11:18

- Module 8 - Essential Pre-Launch Book Strategies & Procedures

Document Formatting Rules [See Video 19]

Ø  To ensure your document is presented in a professional manner, here are some basic rules which are well worth adopting:

o   Consistent use of Font - Whichever font you start to use in your document, be consistent and use the same font throughout your document.

o    Serif Fonts – Serif fonts work well with Kindle books.  I prefer Palatino Linotype. Georgia also works well.

o   Font Size – Ideally use a font size of between 11 and 13 for the main body of the text - I use size 12.  Font size of 14 can be used for the chapter headings (centred) and the Table of Contents.  For the actual title of my book on the very first page I use a font size of around 28.

o   Indents – At the beginning of every paragraph there should be an indent.  I use 0.63 cms (approx. 0.25” inch).  The exception to this rule is that the first paragraph of every chapter should be left aligned, with no indent at all.  You can use the ‘paragraph tool’ in Word to apply your indent to the whole chapter.

o   Page Breaks – Insert a ‘hard’ page break at the end of each chapter.

o   Copyright & Disclaimers – Always add a simple copyright at the very beginning of every book.  Include a disclaimer if your book gives any kind of advice, especially medical or financial, to ensure the reader consults a legal expert or medical practitioner before proceeding with your advice. If your book is quite short, you may wish to put your copyright and disclaimer statements at the end of the book, to avoid using up valuable space at the front where potential browsers will take a peek using the ‘look inside’ feature.

o   Carriage returns – Only ever use one carriage return to break a paragraph, as using two will give a ‘blocky’ look to your text.

o   Headers, Footer & page numbers – do not use these at all, as Kindle pages will not behave in the same manner as pages in Word. 

o   Text Justification – Text justification works quite well in hard copy print format, but works less well in digital format.  Therefore leave your print ‘left aligned’.

Proof Reading & Editing

Ø  Outsourcing your editing & proofreading – I am indebted to Joanna Penn, author of the very informative blog – ‘The Creative Penn’ – for her list of recommended editors: see module 8pdf

Creating Table of Contents (toc) [See Video 20]

Ø  Automated - If using software, such as Calibre or Scrivener, your toc will be automatically created for you.

Ø  Manual TOC Creation – Use the ‘bookmarking and hyperlinking’ technique, as outlined in the video.

Constructing Your Title with Keywords

Ø  Don’t copy the full title of other people’s books as Amazon doesn’t like this practice.  It is quite alright however to take elements from their title and then rework into a more original title.

Ø  When constructing the title you have to perform a balancing act between inclusion and positioning of main keywords as well as portraying quickly and succinctly the concept of your book.

Ø  It can sometimes help to add a quirky throw-away but memorable line, e.g. in my book about Angels entitled ‘Help Me Angels’ I added the throw-away line, ‘No task too small’.  I always believe if you can make your potential customer smile, you are halfway to making a sale.

Write Your Book Description

Ø  Amazon allows you up to 4,000 characters to describe your book which will be featured on your individual e-book sales page.  The best way to proceed is to compose your description in a Word document or notepad and then copy and paste directly into the description box provided during the publishing process via the KDP dashboard.

Ø  Initially, when your sales page first appears, your description will show up as a large block of unformatted text.  If you are familiar with basic HTML coding there are some simple tweaks which can be implemented to make the text appear more natural and easy on the eye.

Ø  The range of changes you can make are quite limited; nevertheless it is possible to make text bold, to increase the size of the font, to add a carriage return and to make a headline not only bold but show up in the Amazon proprietary colour of orange. 

Supported HTML for Book Description

Ø  Here is a complete list of HTML tags and attributes supported in the book description field. Remember to properly close your HTML tags to avoid formatting errors. For example, to properly close this tag for bold text <b>, you will need to add </b> at the point you wish the text to return back to normal font.  This will prevent the rest of your content from appearing as bold text – see my video for more clarification.

HTML Tag          

Supported HTML for Book Description

 Tag Effects

<b>

Formats enclosed text as bold.

<br>

Creates a line break.

<em>

Emphasizes the enclosed text; generally formatted as italic.

<font>

Determines the appearance of the enclosed text.

<h1> to <h6>

Formats enclosed text as a section heading: <h1> (largest) through <h6> (smallest).

<hr>

Creates a horizontal "rule" or line. Often used to divide sections of text.

<i>

Formats enclosed text as italic.

<li>

Identifies an item in an ordered (numbered) or unordered (bulleted) list.

<ol>

Creates a numbered list from enclosed items, each of which is identified by a <li> tag.

<p>

Defines a paragraph of text with the first line indented; creates a line break at the end of the enclosed text.

<pre>

Defines preformatted text.

<s>

Formats text as strikethrough. See also, <strike>.

<strike>

Formats text as strikethrough. See also, <s>.

<strong>

Formats enclosed text as bold. See also, <b>.

<sub>

Formats enclosed text as subscript: reduces the font size and drops it below the baseline.

<sup>

Formats enclosed text as superscript: reduces the font size and places it above the baseline.

<u>

Formats enclosed text as underlined.

<ul>

Creates a bulleted list from enclosed items, each of which is identified by a <li> tag.

Amazon, at the time of writing, is not keen on adding images or videos within this description box.  This may change.

Ø  A good sales description is one of the few and most powerful tools an unknown author can use to help improve their chances of a sale.  Here are some useful tips to help improve your title:

o   Look at other descriptions.  What makes them so powerful?

o   What is the core of the story?

o   What are the benefits to the reader?

o   Write the description in the third person and present tense as though you are a bookstore owner who has been asked by the customer what the book is about.

o   Stick to the overall theme.

o   Use strong nouns and verbs.

o   Insert your main keywords at least 3 times within the first few paragraphs but make sure you use them naturally.

o   Use a catchy tag line if possible, e.g. ‘Finally a book which reveals the secrets of …..’

o   Get rid of adjectives.  Let the reader’s mind create their own.

o   Insert reviews.

o   Remind them to click and view via the ‘look inside’ feature.

Ø  Important – you have the ability to format your description to make it easier and more attractive to read, either by adding HTML coding within the description box via the KDP upload page or via a facility provided by Author Central.  It should be noted that once you make any changes to your description via Author Central you cannot later make changes via the standard KDP upload facility.

Ø  NB – If you have already fallen in this particular bear trap, the only way you can edit your description using the KDP upload page once again, is to remove your book from your Author central Account.  Then later on you can add it back again, but this time make sure you don’t use the edit feature.

 

Creating Powerful eBook Covers [See Videos 21-25]

Outsourcing Book Covers – Three Recommended Sites: see module 8 pdf for more info.


DIY Cover Creation & Image Selection

Use Kindle’s New Automated ‘Kindle Cover Creator:

See module 8 pdf for more info.

Book Cover Dimensions

Ø  Kindle stipulates that you use a minimum of 625 pixels on the shortest side and 1000 pixels on the longest side.

Ø  For best quality, your image should be 2500 pixels on the longest side.  It used to be standard practice to have a maximum cover width of 1562 pixels…but very recently covers with a width of up to 2121 seem to be accepted by Kindle and more and more of these covers are appearing in the Kindle store.  The benefit of these wider Kindle book covers is that they really stand out from the crowd when viewed as a thumbnail.

Ø  If you are outsourcing your book cover, I would suggest that you request book covers be provided in both width formats, so you are covering all bases. If you are manually creating your own book covers, or using one created by eBook cover creator software such as KD Renegade you can easily alter the cover dimensions using free online image editing software.  A good example of this type of software is Pixlr –

see module 8 pdf for more info.


17:38

- Module 8 - Essential Pre-Launch Book Strategies & Procedures

Document Formatting Rules [See Video 19]

Ø  To ensure your document is presented in a professional manner, here are some basic rules which are well worth adopting:

o   Consistent use of Font - Whichever font you start to use in your document, be consistent and use the same font throughout your document.

o    Serif Fonts – Serif fonts work well with Kindle books.  I prefer Palatino Linotype. Georgia also works well.

o   Font Size – Ideally use a font size of between 11 and 13 for the main body of the text - I use size 12.  Font size of 14 can be used for the chapter headings (centred) and the Table of Contents.  For the actual title of my book on the very first page I use a font size of around 28.

o   Indents – At the beginning of every paragraph there should be an indent.  I use 0.63 cms (approx. 0.25” inch).  The exception to this rule is that the first paragraph of every chapter should be left aligned, with no indent at all.  You can use the ‘paragraph tool’ in Word to apply your indent to the whole chapter.

o   Page Breaks – Insert a ‘hard’ page break at the end of each chapter.

o   Copyright & Disclaimers – Always add a simple copyright at the very beginning of every book.  Include a disclaimer if your book gives any kind of advice, especially medical or financial, to ensure the reader consults a legal expert or medical practitioner before proceeding with your advice. If your book is quite short, you may wish to put your copyright and disclaimer statements at the end of the book, to avoid using up valuable space at the front where potential browsers will take a peek using the ‘look inside’ feature.

o   Carriage returns – Only ever use one carriage return to break a paragraph, as using two will give a ‘blocky’ look to your text.

o   Headers, Footer & page numbers – do not use these at all, as Kindle pages will not behave in the same manner as pages in Word. 

o   Text Justification – Text justification works quite well in hard copy print format, but works less well in digital format.  Therefore leave your print ‘left aligned’.

Proof Reading & Editing

Ø  Outsourcing your editing & proofreading – I am indebted to Joanna Penn, author of the very informative blog – ‘The Creative Penn’ – for her list of recommended editors: see module 8pdf

Creating Table of Contents (toc) [See Video 20]

Ø  Automated - If using software, such as Calibre or Scrivener, your toc will be automatically created for you.

Ø  Manual TOC Creation – Use the ‘bookmarking and hyperlinking’ technique, as outlined in the video.

Constructing Your Title with Keywords

Ø  Don’t copy the full title of other people’s books as Amazon doesn’t like this practice.  It is quite alright however to take elements from their title and then rework into a more original title.

Ø  When constructing the title you have to perform a balancing act between inclusion and positioning of main keywords as well as portraying quickly and succinctly the concept of your book.

Ø  It can sometimes help to add a quirky throw-away but memorable line, e.g. in my book about Angels entitled ‘Help Me Angels’ I added the throw-away line, ‘No task too small’.  I always believe if you can make your potential customer smile, you are halfway to making a sale.

Write Your Book Description

Ø  Amazon allows you up to 4,000 characters to describe your book which will be featured on your individual e-book sales page.  The best way to proceed is to compose your description in a Word document or notepad and then copy and paste directly into the description box provided during the publishing process via the KDP dashboard.

Ø  Initially, when your sales page first appears, your description will show up as a large block of unformatted text.  If you are familiar with basic HTML coding there are some simple tweaks which can be implemented to make the text appear more natural and easy on the eye.

Ø  The range of changes you can make are quite limited; nevertheless it is possible to make text bold, to increase the size of the font, to add a carriage return and to make a headline not only bold but show up in the Amazon proprietary colour of orange. 

Supported HTML for Book Description

Ø  Here is a complete list of HTML tags and attributes supported in the book description field. Remember to properly close your HTML tags to avoid formatting errors. For example, to properly close this tag for bold text <b>, you will need to add </b> at the point you wish the text to return back to normal font.  This will prevent the rest of your content from appearing as bold text – see my video for more clarification.

HTML Tag          

Supported HTML for Book Description

 Tag Effects

<b>

Formats enclosed text as bold.

<br>

Creates a line break.

<em>

Emphasizes the enclosed text; generally formatted as italic.

<font>

Determines the appearance of the enclosed text.

<h1> to <h6>

Formats enclosed text as a section heading: <h1> (largest) through <h6> (smallest).

<hr>

Creates a horizontal "rule" or line. Often used to divide sections of text.

<i>

Formats enclosed text as italic.

<li>

Identifies an item in an ordered (numbered) or unordered (bulleted) list.

<ol>

Creates a numbered list from enclosed items, each of which is identified by a <li> tag.

<p>

Defines a paragraph of text with the first line indented; creates a line break at the end of the enclosed text.

<pre>

Defines preformatted text.

<s>

Formats text as strikethrough. See also, <strike>.

<strike>

Formats text as strikethrough. See also, <s>.

<strong>

Formats enclosed text as bold. See also, <b>.

<sub>

Formats enclosed text as subscript: reduces the font size and drops it below the baseline.

<sup>

Formats enclosed text as superscript: reduces the font size and places it above the baseline.

<u>

Formats enclosed text as underlined.

<ul>

Creates a bulleted list from enclosed items, each of which is identified by a <li> tag.

Amazon, at the time of writing, is not keen on adding images or videos within this description box.  This may change.

Ø  A good sales description is one of the few and most powerful tools an unknown author can use to help improve their chances of a sale.  Here are some useful tips to help improve your title:

o   Look at other descriptions.  What makes them so powerful?

o   What is the core of the story?

o   What are the benefits to the reader?

o   Write the description in the third person and present tense as though you are a bookstore owner who has been asked by the customer what the book is about.

o   Stick to the overall theme.

o   Use strong nouns and verbs.

o   Insert your main keywords at least 3 times within the first few paragraphs but make sure you use them naturally.

o   Use a catchy tag line if possible, e.g. ‘Finally a book which reveals the secrets of …..’

o   Get rid of adjectives.  Let the reader’s mind create their own.

o   Insert reviews.

o   Remind them to click and view via the ‘look inside’ feature.

Ø  Important – you have the ability to format your description to make it easier and more attractive to read, either by adding HTML coding within the description box via the KDP upload page or via a facility provided by Author Central.  It should be noted that once you make any changes to your description via Author Central you cannot later make changes via the standard KDP upload facility.

Ø  NB – If you have already fallen in this particular bear trap, the only way you can edit your description using the KDP upload page once again, is to remove your book from your Author central Account.  Then later on you can add it back again, but this time make sure you don’t use the edit feature.

 

Creating Powerful eBook Covers [See Videos 21-25]

Outsourcing Book Covers – Three Recommended Sites: see module 8 pdf for more info.


DIY Cover Creation & Image Selection

Use Kindle’s New Automated ‘Kindle Cover Creator:

See module 8 pdf for more info.

Book Cover Dimensions

Ø  Kindle stipulates that you use a minimum of 625 pixels on the shortest side and 1000 pixels on the longest side.

Ø  For best quality, your image should be 2500 pixels on the longest side.  It used to be standard practice to have a maximum cover width of 1562 pixels…but very recently covers with a width of up to 2121 seem to be accepted by Kindle and more and more of these covers are appearing in the Kindle store.  The benefit of these wider Kindle book covers is that they really stand out from the crowd when viewed as a thumbnail.

Ø  If you are outsourcing your book cover, I would suggest that you request book covers be provided in both width formats, so you are covering all bases. If you are manually creating your own book covers, or using one created by eBook cover creator software such as KD Renegade you can easily alter the cover dimensions using free online image editing software.  A good example of this type of software is Pixlr –

see module 8 pdf for more info.

14:29

- Module 8 - Essential Pre-Launch Book Strategies & Procedures

Document Formatting Rules [See Video 19]

Ø  To ensure your document is presented in a professional manner, here are some basic rules which are well worth adopting:

o   Consistent use of Font - Whichever font you start to use in your document, be consistent and use the same font throughout your document.

o    Serif Fonts – Serif fonts work well with Kindle books.  I prefer Palatino Linotype. Georgia also works well.

o   Font Size – Ideally use a font size of between 11 and 13 for the main body of the text - I use size 12.  Font size of 14 can be used for the chapter headings (centred) and the Table of Contents.  For the actual title of my book on the very first page I use a font size of around 28.

o   Indents – At the beginning of every paragraph there should be an indent.  I use 0.63 cms (approx. 0.25” inch).  The exception to this rule is that the first paragraph of every chapter should be left aligned, with no indent at all.  You can use the ‘paragraph tool’ in Word to apply your indent to the whole chapter.

o   Page Breaks – Insert a ‘hard’ page break at the end of each chapter.

o   Copyright & Disclaimers – Always add a simple copyright at the very beginning of every book.  Include a disclaimer if your book gives any kind of advice, especially medical or financial, to ensure the reader consults a legal expert or medical practitioner before proceeding with your advice. If your book is quite short, you may wish to put your copyright and disclaimer statements at the end of the book, to avoid using up valuable space at the front where potential browsers will take a peek using the ‘look inside’ feature.

o   Carriage returns – Only ever use one carriage return to break a paragraph, as using two will give a ‘blocky’ look to your text.

o   Headers, Footer & page numbers – do not use these at all, as Kindle pages will not behave in the same manner as pages in Word. 

o   Text Justification – Text justification works quite well in hard copy print format, but works less well in digital format.  Therefore leave your print ‘left aligned’.

Proof Reading & Editing

Ø  Outsourcing your editing & proofreading – I am indebted to Joanna Penn, author of the very informative blog – ‘The Creative Penn’ – for her list of recommended editors: see module 8pdf

Creating Table of Contents (toc) [See Video 20]

Ø  Automated - If using software, such as Calibre or Scrivener, your toc will be automatically created for you.

Ø  Manual TOC Creation – Use the ‘bookmarking and hyperlinking’ technique, as outlined in the video.

Constructing Your Title with Keywords

Ø  Don’t copy the full title of other people’s books as Amazon doesn’t like this practice.  It is quite alright however to take elements from their title and then rework into a more original title.

Ø  When constructing the title you have to perform a balancing act between inclusion and positioning of main keywords as well as portraying quickly and succinctly the concept of your book.

Ø  It can sometimes help to add a quirky throw-away but memorable line, e.g. in my book about Angels entitled ‘Help Me Angels’ I added the throw-away line, ‘No task too small’.  I always believe if you can make your potential customer smile, you are halfway to making a sale.

Write Your Book Description

Ø  Amazon allows you up to 4,000 characters to describe your book which will be featured on your individual e-book sales page.  The best way to proceed is to compose your description in a Word document or notepad and then copy and paste directly into the description box provided during the publishing process via the KDP dashboard.

Ø  Initially, when your sales page first appears, your description will show up as a large block of unformatted text.  If you are familiar with basic HTML coding there are some simple tweaks which can be implemented to make the text appear more natural and easy on the eye.

Ø  The range of changes you can make are quite limited; nevertheless it is possible to make text bold, to increase the size of the font, to add a carriage return and to make a headline not only bold but show up in the Amazon proprietary colour of orange. 

Supported HTML for Book Description

Ø  Here is a complete list of HTML tags and attributes supported in the book description field. Remember to properly close your HTML tags to avoid formatting errors. For example, to properly close this tag for bold text <b>, you will need to add </b> at the point you wish the text to return back to normal font.  This will prevent the rest of your content from appearing as bold text – see my video for more clarification.

HTML Tag          

Supported HTML for Book Description

 Tag Effects

<b>

Formats enclosed text as bold.

<br>

Creates a line break.

<em>

Emphasizes the enclosed text; generally formatted as italic.

<font>

Determines the appearance of the enclosed text.

<h1> to <h6>

Formats enclosed text as a section heading: <h1> (largest) through <h6> (smallest).

<hr>

Creates a horizontal "rule" or line. Often used to divide sections of text.

<i>

Formats enclosed text as italic.

<li>

Identifies an item in an ordered (numbered) or unordered (bulleted) list.

<ol>

Creates a numbered list from enclosed items, each of which is identified by a <li> tag.

<p>

Defines a paragraph of text with the first line indented; creates a line break at the end of the enclosed text.

<pre>

Defines preformatted text.

<s>

Formats text as strikethrough. See also, <strike>.

<strike>

Formats text as strikethrough. See also, <s>.

<strong>

Formats enclosed text as bold. See also, <b>.

<sub>

Formats enclosed text as subscript: reduces the font size and drops it below the baseline.

<sup>

Formats enclosed text as superscript: reduces the font size and places it above the baseline.

<u>

Formats enclosed text as underlined.

<ul>

Creates a bulleted list from enclosed items, each of which is identified by a <li> tag.

Amazon, at the time of writing, is not keen on adding images or videos within this description box.  This may change.

Ø  A good sales description is one of the few and most powerful tools an unknown author can use to help improve their chances of a sale.  Here are some useful tips to help improve your title:

o   Look at other descriptions.  What makes them so powerful?

o   What is the core of the story?

o   What are the benefits to the reader?

o   Write the description in the third person and present tense as though you are a bookstore owner who has been asked by the customer what the book is about.

o   Stick to the overall theme.

o   Use strong nouns and verbs.

o   Insert your main keywords at least 3 times within the first few paragraphs but make sure you use them naturally.

o   Use a catchy tag line if possible, e.g. ‘Finally a book which reveals the secrets of …..’

o   Get rid of adjectives.  Let the reader’s mind create their own.

o   Insert reviews.

o   Remind them to click and view via the ‘look inside’ feature.

Ø  Important – you have the ability to format your description to make it easier and more attractive to read, either by adding HTML coding within the description box via the KDP upload page or via a facility provided by Author Central.  It should be noted that once you make any changes to your description via Author Central you cannot later make changes via the standard KDP upload facility.

Ø  NB – If you have already fallen in this particular bear trap, the only way you can edit your description using the KDP upload page once again, is to remove your book from your Author central Account.  Then later on you can add it back again, but this time make sure you don’t use the edit feature.

 

Creating Powerful eBook Covers [See Videos 21-25]

Outsourcing Book Covers – Three Recommended Sites: see module 8 pdf for more info.


DIY Cover Creation & Image Selection

Use Kindle’s New Automated ‘Kindle Cover Creator:

See module 8 pdf for more info.

Book Cover Dimensions

Ø  Kindle stipulates that you use a minimum of 625 pixels on the shortest side and 1000 pixels on the longest side.

Ø  For best quality, your image should be 2500 pixels on the longest side.  It used to be standard practice to have a maximum cover width of 1562 pixels…but very recently covers with a width of up to 2121 seem to be accepted by Kindle and more and more of these covers are appearing in the Kindle store.  The benefit of these wider Kindle book covers is that they really stand out from the crowd when viewed as a thumbnail.

Ø  If you are outsourcing your book cover, I would suggest that you request book covers be provided in both width formats, so you are covering all bases. If you are manually creating your own book covers, or using one created by eBook cover creator software such as KD Renegade you can easily alter the cover dimensions using free online image editing software.  A good example of this type of software is Pixlr –

see module 8 pdf for more info.

12:10

- Module 8 - Essential Pre-Launch Book Strategies & Procedures

Document Formatting Rules [See Video 19]

Ø  To ensure your document is presented in a professional manner, here are some basic rules which are well worth adopting:

o   Consistent use of Font - Whichever font you start to use in your document, be consistent and use the same font throughout your document.

o    Serif Fonts – Serif fonts work well with Kindle books.  I prefer Palatino Linotype. Georgia also works well.

o   Font Size – Ideally use a font size of between 11 and 13 for the main body of the text - I use size 12.  Font size of 14 can be used for the chapter headings (centred) and the Table of Contents.  For the actual title of my book on the very first page I use a font size of around 28.

o   Indents – At the beginning of every paragraph there should be an indent.  I use 0.63 cms (approx. 0.25” inch).  The exception to this rule is that the first paragraph of every chapter should be left aligned, with no indent at all.  You can use the ‘paragraph tool’ in Word to apply your indent to the whole chapter.

o   Page Breaks – Insert a ‘hard’ page break at the end of each chapter.

o   Copyright & Disclaimers – Always add a simple copyright at the very beginning of every book.  Include a disclaimer if your book gives any kind of advice, especially medical or financial, to ensure the reader consults a legal expert or medical practitioner before proceeding with your advice. If your book is quite short, you may wish to put your copyright and disclaimer statements at the end of the book, to avoid using up valuable space at the front where potential browsers will take a peek using the ‘look inside’ feature.

o   Carriage returns – Only ever use one carriage return to break a paragraph, as using two will give a ‘blocky’ look to your text.

o   Headers, Footer & page numbers – do not use these at all, as Kindle pages will not behave in the same manner as pages in Word. 

o   Text Justification – Text justification works quite well in hard copy print format, but works less well in digital format.  Therefore leave your print ‘left aligned’.

Proof Reading & Editing

Ø  Outsourcing your editing & proofreading – I am indebted to Joanna Penn, author of the very informative blog – ‘The Creative Penn’ – for her list of recommended editors: see module 8pdf

Creating Table of Contents (toc) [See Video 20]

Ø  Automated - If using software, such as Calibre or Scrivener, your toc will be automatically created for you.

Ø  Manual TOC Creation – Use the ‘bookmarking and hyperlinking’ technique, as outlined in the video.

Constructing Your Title with Keywords

Ø  Don’t copy the full title of other people’s books as Amazon doesn’t like this practice.  It is quite alright however to take elements from their title and then rework into a more original title.

Ø  When constructing the title you have to perform a balancing act between inclusion and positioning of main keywords as well as portraying quickly and succinctly the concept of your book.

Ø  It can sometimes help to add a quirky throw-away but memorable line, e.g. in my book about Angels entitled ‘Help Me Angels’ I added the throw-away line, ‘No task too small’.  I always believe if you can make your potential customer smile, you are halfway to making a sale.

Write Your Book Description

Ø  Amazon allows you up to 4,000 characters to describe your book which will be featured on your individual e-book sales page.  The best way to proceed is to compose your description in a Word document or notepad and then copy and paste directly into the description box provided during the publishing process via the KDP dashboard.

Ø  Initially, when your sales page first appears, your description will show up as a large block of unformatted text.  If you are familiar with basic HTML coding there are some simple tweaks which can be implemented to make the text appear more natural and easy on the eye.

Ø  The range of changes you can make are quite limited; nevertheless it is possible to make text bold, to increase the size of the font, to add a carriage return and to make a headline not only bold but show up in the Amazon proprietary colour of orange. 

Supported HTML for Book Description

Ø  Here is a complete list of HTML tags and attributes supported in the book description field. Remember to properly close your HTML tags to avoid formatting errors. For example, to properly close this tag for bold text <b>, you will need to add </b> at the point you wish the text to return back to normal font.  This will prevent the rest of your content from appearing as bold text – see my video for more clarification.

HTML Tag          

Supported HTML for Book Description

 Tag Effects

<b>

Formats enclosed text as bold.

<br>

Creates a line break.

<em>

Emphasizes the enclosed text; generally formatted as italic.

<font>

Determines the appearance of the enclosed text.

<h1> to <h6>

Formats enclosed text as a section heading: <h1> (largest) through <h6> (smallest).

<hr>

Creates a horizontal "rule" or line. Often used to divide sections of text.

<i>

Formats enclosed text as italic.

<li>

Identifies an item in an ordered (numbered) or unordered (bulleted) list.

<ol>

Creates a numbered list from enclosed items, each of which is identified by a <li> tag.

<p>

Defines a paragraph of text with the first line indented; creates a line break at the end of the enclosed text.

<pre>

Defines preformatted text.

<s>

Formats text as strikethrough. See also, <strike>.

<strike>

Formats text as strikethrough. See also, <s>.

<strong>

Formats enclosed text as bold. See also, <b>.

<sub>

Formats enclosed text as subscript: reduces the font size and drops it below the baseline.

<sup>

Formats enclosed text as superscript: reduces the font size and places it above the baseline.

<u>

Formats enclosed text as underlined.

<ul>

Creates a bulleted list from enclosed items, each of which is identified by a <li> tag.

Amazon, at the time of writing, is not keen on adding images or videos within this description box.  This may change.

Ø  A good sales description is one of the few and most powerful tools an unknown author can use to help improve their chances of a sale.  Here are some useful tips to help improve your title:

o   Look at other descriptions.  What makes them so powerful?

o   What is the core of the story?

o   What are the benefits to the reader?

o   Write the description in the third person and present tense as though you are a bookstore owner who has been asked by the customer what the book is about.

o   Stick to the overall theme.

o   Use strong nouns and verbs.

o   Insert your main keywords at least 3 times within the first few paragraphs but make sure you use them naturally.

o   Use a catchy tag line if possible, e.g. ‘Finally a book which reveals the secrets of …..’

o   Get rid of adjectives.  Let the reader’s mind create their own.

o   Insert reviews.

o   Remind them to click and view via the ‘look inside’ feature.

Ø  Important – you have the ability to format your description to make it easier and more attractive to read, either by adding HTML coding within the description box via the KDP upload page or via a facility provided by Author Central.  It should be noted that once you make any changes to your description via Author Central you cannot later make changes via the standard KDP upload facility.

Ø  NB – If you have already fallen in this particular bear trap, the only way you can edit your description using the KDP upload page once again, is to remove your book from your Author central Account.  Then later on you can add it back again, but this time make sure you don’t use the edit feature.

 

Creating Powerful eBook Covers [See Videos 21-25]

Outsourcing Book Covers – Three Recommended Sites: see module 8 pdf for more info.

DIY Cover Creation & Image Selection


Use Kindle’s New Automated ‘Kindle Cover Creator:

See module 8 pdf for more info.

Book Cover Dimensions

Ø  Kindle stipulates that you use a minimum of 625 pixels on the shortest side and 1000 pixels on the longest side.

Ø  For best quality, your image should be 2500 pixels on the longest side.  It used to be standard practice to have a maximum cover width of 1562 pixels…but very recently covers with a width of up to 2121 seem to be accepted by Kindle and more and more of these covers are appearing in the Kindle store.  The benefit of these wider Kindle book covers is that they really stand out from the crowd when viewed as a thumbnail.

Ø  If you are outsourcing your book cover, I would suggest that you request book covers be provided in both width formats, so you are covering all bases. If you are manually creating your own book covers, or using one created by eBook cover creator software such as KD Renegade you can easily alter the cover dimensions using free online image editing software.  A good example of this type of software is Pixlr –

see module 8 pdf for more info.

18:46

- Module 8 - Essential Pre-Launch Book Strategies & Procedures

Document Formatting Rules [See Video 19]

Ø  To ensure your document is presented in a professional manner, here are some basic rules which are well worth adopting:

o   Consistent use of Font - Whichever font you start to use in your document, be consistent and use the same font throughout your document.

o    Serif Fonts – Serif fonts work well with Kindle books.  I prefer Palatino Linotype. Georgia also works well.

o   Font Size – Ideally use a font size of between 11 and 13 for the main body of the text - I use size 12.  Font size of 14 can be used for the chapter headings (centred) and the Table of Contents.  For the actual title of my book on the very first page I use a font size of around 28.

o   Indents – At the beginning of every paragraph there should be an indent.  I use 0.63 cms (approx. 0.25” inch).  The exception to this rule is that the first paragraph of every chapter should be left aligned, with no indent at all.  You can use the ‘paragraph tool’ in Word to apply your indent to the whole chapter.

o   Page Breaks – Insert a ‘hard’ page break at the end of each chapter.

o   Copyright & Disclaimers – Always add a simple copyright at the very beginning of every book.  Include a disclaimer if your book gives any kind of advice, especially medical or financial, to ensure the reader consults a legal expert or medical practitioner before proceeding with your advice. If your book is quite short, you may wish to put your copyright and disclaimer statements at the end of the book, to avoid using up valuable space at the front where potential browsers will take a peek using the ‘look inside’ feature.

o   Carriage returns – Only ever use one carriage return to break a paragraph, as using two will give a ‘blocky’ look to your text.

o   Headers, Footer & page numbers – do not use these at all, as Kindle pages will not behave in the same manner as pages in Word. 

o   Text Justification – Text justification works quite well in hard copy print format, but works less well in digital format.  Therefore leave your print ‘left aligned’.

Proof Reading & Editing

Ø  Outsourcing your editing & proofreading – I am indebted to Joanna Penn, author of the very informative blog – ‘The Creative Penn’ – for her list of recommended editors: see module 8pdf

Creating Table of Contents (toc) [See Video 20]

Ø  Automated - If using software, such as Calibre or Scrivener, your toc will be automatically created for you.

Ø  Manual TOC Creation – Use the ‘bookmarking and hyperlinking’ technique, as outlined in the video.

Constructing Your Title with Keywords

Ø  Don’t copy the full title of other people’s books as Amazon doesn’t like this practice.  It is quite alright however to take elements from their title and then rework into a more original title.

Ø  When constructing the title you have to perform a balancing act between inclusion and positioning of main keywords as well as portraying quickly and succinctly the concept of your book.

Ø  It can sometimes help to add a quirky throw-away but memorable line, e.g. in my book about Angels entitled ‘Help Me Angels’ I added the throw-away line, ‘No task too small’.  I always believe if you can make your potential customer smile, you are halfway to making a sale.

Write Your Book Description

Ø  Amazon allows you up to 4,000 characters to describe your book which will be featured on your individual e-book sales page.  The best way to proceed is to compose your description in a Word document or notepad and then copy and paste directly into the description box provided during the publishing process via the KDP dashboard.

Ø  Initially, when your sales page first appears, your description will show up as a large block of unformatted text.  If you are familiar with basic HTML coding there are some simple tweaks which can be implemented to make the text appear more natural and easy on the eye.

Ø  The range of changes you can make are quite limited; nevertheless it is possible to make text bold, to increase the size of the font, to add a carriage return and to make a headline not only bold but show up in the Amazon proprietary colour of orange. 

Supported HTML for Book Description

Ø  Here is a complete list of HTML tags and attributes supported in the book description field. Remember to properly close your HTML tags to avoid formatting errors. For example, to properly close this tag for bold text <b>, you will need to add </b> at the point you wish the text to return back to normal font.  This will prevent the rest of your content from appearing as bold text – see my video for more clarification.

HTML Tag          

Supported HTML for Book Description

 Tag Effects

<b>

Formats enclosed text as bold.

<br>

Creates a line break.

<em>

Emphasizes the enclosed text; generally formatted as italic.

<font>

Determines the appearance of the enclosed text.

<h1> to <h6>

Formats enclosed text as a section heading: <h1> (largest) through <h6> (smallest).

<hr>

Creates a horizontal "rule" or line. Often used to divide sections of text.

<i>

Formats enclosed text as italic.

<li>

Identifies an item in an ordered (numbered) or unordered (bulleted) list.

<ol>

Creates a numbered list from enclosed items, each of which is identified by a <li> tag.

<p>

Defines a paragraph of text with the first line indented; creates a line break at the end of the enclosed text.

<pre>

Defines preformatted text.

<s>

Formats text as strikethrough. See also, <strike>.

<strike>

Formats text as strikethrough. See also, <s>.

<strong>

Formats enclosed text as bold. See also, <b>.

<sub>

Formats enclosed text as subscript: reduces the font size and drops it below the baseline.

<sup>

Formats enclosed text as superscript: reduces the font size and places it above the baseline.

<u>

Formats enclosed text as underlined.

<ul>

Creates a bulleted list from enclosed items, each of which is identified by a <li> tag.

Amazon, at the time of writing, is not keen on adding images or videos within this description box.  This may change.

Ø  A good sales description is one of the few and most powerful tools an unknown author can use to help improve their chances of a sale.  Here are some useful tips to help improve your title:

o   Look at other descriptions.  What makes them so powerful?

o   What is the core of the story?

o   What are the benefits to the reader?

o   Write the description in the third person and present tense as though you are a bookstore owner who has been asked by the customer what the book is about.

o   Stick to the overall theme.

o   Use strong nouns and verbs.

o   Insert your main keywords at least 3 times within the first few paragraphs but make sure you use them naturally.

o   Use a catchy tag line if possible, e.g. ‘Finally a book which reveals the secrets of …..’

o   Get rid of adjectives.  Let the reader’s mind create their own.

o   Insert reviews.

o   Remind them to click and view via the ‘look inside’ feature.

Ø  Important – you have the ability to format your description to make it easier and more attractive to read, either by adding HTML coding within the description box via the KDP upload page or via a facility provided by Author Central.  It should be noted that once you make any changes to your description via Author Central you cannot later make changes via the standard KDP upload facility.

Ø  NB – If you have already fallen in this particular bear trap, the only way you can edit your description using the KDP upload page once again, is to remove your book from your Author central Account.  Then later on you can add it back again, but this time make sure you don’t use the edit feature.

 

Creating Powerful eBook Covers [See Videos 21-25]

Outsourcing Book Covers – Three Recommended Sites: see module 8 pdf for more info.


DIY Cover Creation & Image Selection

Use Kindle’s New Automated ‘Kindle Cover Creator:

See module 8 pdf for more info.

Book Cover Dimensions

Ø  Kindle stipulates that you use a minimum of 625 pixels on the shortest side and 1000 pixels on the longest side.

Ø  For best quality, your image should be 2500 pixels on the longest side.  It used to be standard practice to have a maximum cover width of 1562 pixels…but very recently covers with a width of up to 2121 seem to be accepted by Kindle and more and more of these covers are appearing in the Kindle store.  The benefit of these wider Kindle book covers is that they really stand out from the crowd when viewed as a thumbnail.

Ø  If you are outsourcing your book cover, I would suggest that you request book covers be provided in both width formats, so you are covering all bases. If you are manually creating your own book covers, or using one created by eBook cover creator software such as KD Renegade you can easily alter the cover dimensions using free online image editing software.  A good example of this type of software is Pixlr –

see module 8 pdf for more info.

12:34

- Module 8 - Essential Pre-Launch Book Strategies & Procedures

Document Formatting Rules [See Video 19]

Ø  To ensure your document is presented in a professional manner, here are some basic rules which are well worth adopting:

o   Consistent use of Font - Whichever font you start to use in your document, be consistent and use the same font throughout your document.

o    Serif Fonts – Serif fonts work well with Kindle books.  I prefer Palatino Linotype. Georgia also works well.

o   Font Size – Ideally use a font size of between 11 and 13 for the main body of the text - I use size 12.  Font size of 14 can be used for the chapter headings (centred) and the Table of Contents.  For the actual title of my book on the very first page I use a font size of around 28.

o   Indents – At the beginning of every paragraph there should be an indent.  I use 0.63 cms (approx. 0.25” inch).  The exception to this rule is that the first paragraph of every chapter should be left aligned, with no indent at all.  You can use the ‘paragraph tool’ in Word to apply your indent to the whole chapter.

o   Page Breaks – Insert a ‘hard’ page break at the end of each chapter.

o   Copyright & Disclaimers – Always add a simple copyright at the very beginning of every book.  Include a disclaimer if your book gives any kind of advice, especially medical or financial, to ensure the reader consults a legal expert or medical practitioner before proceeding with your advice. If your book is quite short, you may wish to put your copyright and disclaimer statements at the end of the book, to avoid using up valuable space at the front where potential browsers will take a peek using the ‘look inside’ feature.

o   Carriage returns – Only ever use one carriage return to break a paragraph, as using two will give a ‘blocky’ look to your text.

o   Headers, Footer & page numbers – do not use these at all, as Kindle pages will not behave in the same manner as pages in Word. 

o   Text Justification – Text justification works quite well in hard copy print format, but works less well in digital format.  Therefore leave your print ‘left aligned’.

Proof Reading & Editing

Ø  Outsourcing your editing & proofreading – I am indebted to Joanna Penn, author of the very informative blog – ‘The Creative Penn’ – for her list of recommended editors: see module 8pdf

Creating Table of Contents (toc) [See Video 20]

Ø  Automated - If using software, such as Calibre or Scrivener, your toc will be automatically created for you.

Ø  Manual TOC Creation – Use the ‘bookmarking and hyperlinking’ technique, as outlined in the video.

Constructing Your Title with Keywords

Ø  Don’t copy the full title of other people’s books as Amazon doesn’t like this practice.  It is quite alright however to take elements from their title and then rework into a more original title.

Ø  When constructing the title you have to perform a balancing act between inclusion and positioning of main keywords as well as portraying quickly and succinctly the concept of your book.

Ø  It can sometimes help to add a quirky throw-away but memorable line, e.g. in my book about Angels entitled ‘Help Me Angels’ I added the throw-away line, ‘No task too small’.  I always believe if you can make your potential customer smile, you are halfway to making a sale.

Write Your Book Description

Ø  Amazon allows you up to 4,000 characters to describe your book which will be featured on your individual e-book sales page.  The best way to proceed is to compose your description in a Word document or notepad and then copy and paste directly into the description box provided during the publishing process via the KDP dashboard.

Ø  Initially, when your sales page first appears, your description will show up as a large block of unformatted text.  If you are familiar with basic HTML coding there are some simple tweaks which can be implemented to make the text appear more natural and easy on the eye.

Ø  The range of changes you can make are quite limited; nevertheless it is possible to make text bold, to increase the size of the font, to add a carriage return and to make a headline not only bold but show up in the Amazon proprietary colour of orange. 

Supported HTML for Book Description

Ø  Here is a complete list of HTML tags and attributes supported in the book description field. Remember to properly close your HTML tags to avoid formatting errors. For example, to properly close this tag for bold text <b>, you will need to add </b> at the point you wish the text to return back to normal font.  This will prevent the rest of your content from appearing as bold text – see my video for more clarification.

HTML Tag          

Supported HTML for Book Description

 Tag Effects

<b>

Formats enclosed text as bold.

<br>

Creates a line break.

<em>

Emphasizes the enclosed text; generally formatted as italic.

<font>

Determines the appearance of the enclosed text.

<h1> to <h6>

Formats enclosed text as a section heading: <h1> (largest) through <h6> (smallest).

<hr>

Creates a horizontal "rule" or line. Often used to divide sections of text.

<i>

Formats enclosed text as italic.

<li>

Identifies an item in an ordered (numbered) or unordered (bulleted) list.

<ol>

Creates a numbered list from enclosed items, each of which is identified by a <li> tag.

<p>

Defines a paragraph of text with the first line indented; creates a line break at the end of the enclosed text.

<pre>

Defines preformatted text.

<s>

Formats text as strikethrough. See also, <strike>.

<strike>

Formats text as strikethrough. See also, <s>.

<strong>

Formats enclosed text as bold. See also, <b>.

<sub>

Formats enclosed text as subscript: reduces the font size and drops it below the baseline.

<sup>

Formats enclosed text as superscript: reduces the font size and places it above the baseline.

<u>

Formats enclosed text as underlined.

<ul>

Creates a bulleted list from enclosed items, each of which is identified by a <li> tag.

Amazon, at the time of writing, is not keen on adding images or videos within this description box.  This may change.

Ø  A good sales description is one of the few and most powerful tools an unknown author can use to help improve their chances of a sale.  Here are some useful tips to help improve your title:

o   Look at other descriptions.  What makes them so powerful?

o   What is the core of the story?

o   What are the benefits to the reader?

o   Write the description in the third person and present tense as though you are a bookstore owner who has been asked by the customer what the book is about.

o   Stick to the overall theme.

o   Use strong nouns and verbs.

o   Insert your main keywords at least 3 times within the first few paragraphs but make sure you use them naturally.

o   Use a catchy tag line if possible, e.g. ‘Finally a book which reveals the secrets of …..’

o   Get rid of adjectives.  Let the reader’s mind create their own.

o   Insert reviews.

o   Remind them to click and view via the ‘look inside’ feature.

Ø  Important – you have the ability to format your description to make it easier and more attractive to read, either by adding HTML coding within the description box via the KDP upload page or via a facility provided by Author Central.  It should be noted that once you make any changes to your description via Author Central you cannot later make changes via the standard KDP upload facility.

Ø  NB – If you have already fallen in this particular bear trap, the only way you can edit your description using the KDP upload page once again, is to remove your book from your Author central Account.  Then later on you can add it back again, but this time make sure you don’t use the edit feature.

 

Creating Powerful eBook Covers [See Videos 21-25]

Outsourcing Book Covers – Three Recommended Sites: see module 8 pdf for more info.


DIY Cover Creation & Image Selection

Use Kindle’s New Automated ‘Kindle Cover Creator:

See module 8 pdf for more info.

Book Cover Dimensions

Ø  Kindle stipulates that you use a minimum of 625 pixels on the shortest side and 1000 pixels on the longest side.

Ø  For best quality, your image should be 2500 pixels on the longest side.  It used to be standard practice to have a maximum cover width of 1562 pixels…but very recently covers with a width of up to 2121 seem to be accepted by Kindle and more and more of these covers are appearing in the Kindle store.  The benefit of these wider Kindle book covers is that they really stand out from the crowd when viewed as a thumbnail.

Ø  If you are outsourcing your book cover, I would suggest that you request book covers be provided in both width formats, so you are covering all bases. If you are manually creating your own book covers, or using one created by eBook cover creator software such as KD Renegade you can easily alter the cover dimensions using free online image editing software.  A good example of this type of software is Pixlr –

see module 8 pdf for more info.

Section 9: Module 9 Videos 26-30 The Time Sensitive 'Live Launch' Strategy
09:40

- Module 9 -

The ‘Time Sensitive’ Live Launch Strategy
The Importance of ‘New Book’ Momentum – The 30 Day Launch Sequence
 
 It is essential to undertake a methodical and uninterrupted launch sequence.  It is only by adopting sustained action in the first 30 days following your launch will your book become visible in the Kindle windows of visibility.

 If you do this Kindle will then start to promote your book for you, effectively releasing you from the need to perpetually immerse yourself in social media marketing, once the crucial first 30 days have elapsed.

Uploading Your Book via the KDP Dashboard
 [See Videos 26-30]
 Go to Amazon KDP to submit your document and cover: (see module 9.pdf for more details.) select the ‘Bookshelf’ tab and then click on ‘Create New Title’ link.

 Click, if required, to enrol within the KDP Select 90 day Programme.

 Follow my Kindle Upload video sequence for in-depth discussions on: title, sub-title, book series, categories, keywords, digital rights management (drm), book preview and pricing.

Selecting the 2 Best Kindle Categories for your Book

 The choice of category selection within the Kindle database is one of the most important decisions you can make during your book’s publication process.  
 

 The aim should be to find 2 categories which are relevant to your topic that you can dominate.  There are two reasons for this.  
o Amazon recognises and likes to promote books which are category best sellers. 
o The casual browser uses categories more than one might imagine.  They will pay scant attention to the fact that you are a best seller in a minor sub-category and which might not even qualify to be in the top 100 list of a much higher broader category. All they care about is the fact that your book is a category best-seller on Kindle.

 If your sales are low, check your competition for competing books within the same niche.  It may be that they are appearing near the top of another related category, one which you could copy and move your book to.

 If your book is not excelling in your chosen category, it is worth checking to see whether there is a sub-category below the one you have already selected, which contains less books – Check using the numbers in brackets next to the category titles, as seen in the Kindle Popularity lists.

 The first page of any top 100 best-seller category list i.e. books 1-20, will attract most viewers. So try not to let your book slip below No 20 in your chosen categories

 The opportunity to drill down to sub-categories and sub sub-categories are more so in the non-fiction niche than the fiction niche, as there are simply more sub-categories, and consequently more top 100 lists, available.

 Tip – Use the entire category title as one of your keywords.

 There are often more categories available to choose from than will appear to you during the sign up process.  It could be that you spot some of these categories that you would like to be in from other books high up in the best seller pages and it might seem frustrating that you cannot simply sign up for these same categories at the point of publication.  However, if you spot one of these obscure categories which you cannot manually move your book into, you just need to ask Amazon to do it for you.  Simply contact them: see module 9.pdf for more details.

 NB:  You may want to refer to ‘The Book Industry Group Study Page (referenced in the KDP upload video) to give Amazon the correct BISAC code which you would like to have associated with your book.  
see module 9.pdf for more details.

 The reason why the Amazon categories at the point of publishing via the KDP dashboard don’t precisely match those seen on Kindle site’s navigation is because Amazon use an industry standard - BISAC categories - which change constantly. Once your book is published Amazon then find time to make a final placement of your book deep within their framework.

 During the publication process when you are first submitting your book via the KDP platform, drill down as far as possible to the lowest possible sub-category.  This will have the least number of books within it which will allow you to compete and gain visibility on the first page of the top 100 best sellers for that sub sub-category.  This is all about visibility.

 Here is a really useful link to help you uncover very small niches within the Kindle marketplace, so that that your book can stand out and rank easily with minimal competition: See module 9.pdf for more details 

Book Pricing Guide for Optimum Sales

 Originally Amazon didn’t care about the big 5 offline publishers’ opinions and had everything to gain by shaking up the book market with competitive pricing.  But things have changed over the last few years and the big 5’s reluctance to sign exclusivity with Amazon on behalf of their authors, which was partly influenced by the dreaded 99 cents perception of books, has now also changed.  On top of that, Amazon has now become a publisher in its own right.  Having now achieved a significant market share it would appear that Amazon is moving away from favouring the 99 cents cheap or free giveaway books in favour of those at a higher price point.

 This new stance on pricing could be a reason why Amazon recently changed its terms of conditions for affiliate marketing of Kindle eBooks.  It used to be that Amazon would recompense affiliates when a book was promoted through their affiliate links.  Amazon is now reducing the benefits to affiliates when promoting eBooks on KDP promotions, with the result that many of the sites which had been set up to promote to their subscriber lists are now charging to promote to their subscriber lists whereas, in the past, they did it for free.

 Thus it could be argued that the effect of the KDP free promotional giveaway is being eroded as a result of Amazon’s new way of thinking and therefore we are being left with options requiring payment.

 The basic Amazon Kindle criteria for royalty reimbursement is that if your book is priced under $2.99 or over $9.99 you will receive 35% royalty but for those priced between these two figures you will receive a royalty of 70%.

 To make any kind of significant income you therefore need to have your book priced in excess of $2.99 although, as we have seen during the launch sequence, it can be strategically useful to price at the lowest figure available on Amazon, which is 99 cents, for a short period of time to gain some initial traction.

 It should be borne in mind that a very small payment, in the region of 6 cents per eBook sold, will be deducted by Amazon from your royalty for the delivery, i.e. to physically download your book from the Kindle website.  If your book is picture rather than text based this fee will increase as it is based upon the actual file size of your book.

 It is more likely therefore that, as an average, you will receive closer to 66% royalty after this download fee rather than 70% royalty, unless of course your book has a large file size due to high image content.

 It would logically follow that children’s books, often being mainly picture based, would be penalised but Amazon have made an exception when levying download fees for children’s picture books.

 There are some exceptions to the royalty figures quoted whereby a sale is made from a country which does not have its own dedicated Kindle bookstore.  If anyone within a country without its own store buys a book they are able to do so via the Amazon.com website but you, as an author, will only receive 35% instead of 70% royalty, no matter what price the book.

 There is one other exception which might affect your royalty payment, which is a recent introduction by Kindle, relating to some countries, e.g. India, which might only pay 35% if you are not enrolled in KDP Select.  It would seem that as some new Kindle stores are being rolled out around the world that this rule is becoming more prevalent, i.e. Amazon are trying to shepherd you at all times to sign up to their KDP Select scheme to receive the full 70% royalty.  N.B. This exception does not at the time of writing apply to the early Kindle stores e.g. USA & UK

‘The Withholding Tax’ Levied on Royalties Earned Outside of the USA

 There is one other charge which can be deducted from your royalties, based upon your location in the world and tax agreements between your country and that of the USA.  This is called ‘the withholding tax’.  If you are a publisher within the USA this tax will not be levied as they know that any income tax will be deducted via your normal IRS tax return.  However, if you are a publisher outside of the USA they will automatically withhold 35% by way of taxation until it can be proved that your country has a reciprocal tax agreement with the USA.

 If your country does have a reciprocal tax agreement (as is the case with the UK) then as long as you submit the relevant tax forms, this withholding tax will not be levied.

 The US tax authorities do withhold tax - 30%. Up until now there has been a VERY tortuous route to get this unlocked, involving application for an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN), trips to the US Embassy with passports and much form filling.

 There is now a short cut, which I have successfully used, whereby you apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS in the USA. This can be done over the phone. Once you have your EIN, you then download a W8-BEN form from the IRS website, complete the form and post to Amazon in Seattle.

 Full details of the procedure can be found from this excellent web-post: See module 9.pdf for more details

 Scroll down the page a little to find the simple 8 step procedure. It may seem lengthy, but believe me, it's a whole lot simpler than the aforementioned method....and it's worth it in the end, as you get to keep the 30% that they have been withholding - so the sooner you start, the better.

European VAT - Setting European Union Prices

 Here follows Amazon’s current rulings (from KDP Help) with regard to how VAT changes might affect the prices you charge for your books.
 On January 1, 2015, European Union (EU) tax laws regarding the taxation of electronically supplied services (including digital products such as eBooks) will change. Previously, Value Added Tax (VAT) was applied based on the seller’s country of residence, but as of January 1st, VAT will be applied based on the buyer’s country of establishment. 

 As a result, starting on January 1st, the list prices that authors enter will include VAT. For books already available through KDP, to make this transition easier, we will make a one-time adjustment to include VAT in list prices.  These tax changes affect the list prices that customers may see if they have access to these Kindle stores in the UK, Spain, Germany and Italy.

 How this changes the way you set your list prices
Before January 1, 2015, to set a list price of £1.99, you had to enter £1.93 to ensure that your list price would be £1.99 once 3% VAT was applied (Amazon originally based itself in Luxembourg as its European base in order to take advantage of their 3% VAT rate). Now, you can simply enter £1.99, and your list price includes VAT. When we calculate royalties, we will deduct the applicable VAT. You'll be able to see your list price without VAT for the primary country of each marketplace in the pricing page. This makes it possible for you to compare the suggested customer price with the price used to calculate your royalties. When you enter list prices, you'll see the VAT rate for the primary country in each Kindle store.
 If you set your EU list prices to automatically calculate from your U.S. list price, your list prices for EU Kindle stores will automatically include VAT. For example, if you set a suggested U.S. list price of $10.00, we convert that price to Euros for the German marketplace. If the exchange rate is 0.8 that day, the Amazon.de list price including VAT will be €8.00. For a sale to a German customer, we would deduct 19% VAT and calculate royalty on a VAT-exclusive list price of €6.72. 
 *Italy note: Due to country-specific legislation in Italy, a lower VAT rate of 4% will apply to eBooks with ISBNs purchased on the amazon.it Kindle store by customers in Italy. A higher VAT rate of 22% will apply to eBooks without ISBNs. KDP doesn’t require ISBNs for eBooks, but having an ISBN will ensure a lower VAT rate for sales of your eBook to customers in Italy.

Price Guidelines Based on Real Time Data

 Earlier in the course I mentioned Smashwords, who are a central publishing hub enabling authors to publish to multiple publishing platforms, all under one roof.  Because Smashwords acts as an intermediary for so many authors, they have the advantage of a huge amount of data, which they can analyse for statistical trends.
Here are Smashwords findings:
 
 Regarding the most common price points:
o For Fiction and non- fiction - $2.99, followed by $3.99.

 The price points which get the most downloads:
o For Fiction - $.99, $2.99 and $3.99.
o For Non-Fiction - $.99, $2.99 and $9.99.

 The price points at which authors earn the most money
o For Fiction & Non-Fiction – $3.99. These results are based on averages and combine fiction and non-fiction (it’s 90% sales-weighted towards fiction, so it represents fiction behaviour more than non-fiction). $3.99 remains a good price for full-length fiction.

 The least profitable price point - $1.99

 Non-Fiction in general - Non-fiction can generally support higher prices than fiction, as readers are buying books to acquire knowledge or solve a problem, and this knowledge or problem-solving has a high value attached to it. As long as the value of the knowledge exceeds the price of the book, it’s easy for a reader to justify paying a higher price.

 Children’s Books – Most children’s picture books which are short on words, with less than 15-20 pages will be priced at $0.99 cents.  Longer books can be priced over $2.99 cents.

19:51

- Module 9 -

The ‘Time Sensitive’ Live Launch Strategy The Importance of ‘New Book’ Momentum – The 30 Day Launch Sequence    It is essential to undertake a methodical and uninterrupted launch sequence.  It is only by adopting sustained action in the first 30 days following your launch will your book become visible in the Kindle windows of visibility.

 If you do this Kindle will then start to promote your book for you, effectively releasing you from the need to perpetually immerse yourself in social media marketing, once the crucial first 30 days have elapsed.

Uploading Your Book via the KDP Dashboard  [See Videos 26-30]  Go to Amazon KDP to submit your document and cover: (see module 9.pdf for more details.) select the ‘Bookshelf’ tab and then click on ‘Create New Title’ link.

 Click, if required, to enrol within the KDP Select 90 day Programme.

 Follow my Kindle Upload video sequence for in-depth discussions on: title, sub-title, book series, categories, keywords, digital rights management (drm), book preview and pricing.

Selecting the 2 Best Kindle Categories for your Book

 The choice of category selection within the Kindle database is one of the most important decisions you can make during your book’s publication process.    

 The aim should be to find 2 categories which are relevant to your topic that you can dominate.  There are two reasons for this.   o Amazon recognises and likes to promote books which are category best sellers.  o The casual browser uses categories more than one might imagine.  They will pay scant attention to the fact that you are a best seller in a minor sub-category and which might not even qualify to be in the top 100 list of a much higher broader category. All they care about is the fact that your book is a category best-seller on Kindle.

 If your sales are low, check your competition for competing books within the same niche.  It may be that they are appearing near the top of another related category, one which you could copy and move your book to.

 If your book is not excelling in your chosen category, it is worth checking to see whether there is a sub-category below the one you have already selected, which contains less books – Check using the numbers in brackets next to the category titles, as seen in the Kindle Popularity lists.

 The first page of any top 100 best-seller category list i.e. books 1-20, will attract most viewers. So try not to let your book slip below No 20 in your chosen categories

 The opportunity to drill down to sub-categories and sub sub-categories are more so in the non-fiction niche than the fiction niche, as there are simply more sub-categories, and consequently more top 100 lists, available.

 Tip – Use the entire category title as one of your keywords.

 There are often more categories available to choose from than will appear to you during the sign up process.  It could be that you spot some of these categories that you would like to be in from other books high up in the best seller pages and it might seem frustrating that you cannot simply sign up for these same categories at the point of publication.  However, if you spot one of these obscure categories which you cannot manually move your book into, you just need to ask Amazon to do it for you.  Simply contact them: see module 9.pdf for more details.

 NB:  You may want to refer to ‘The Book Industry Group Study Page (referenced in the KDP upload video) to give Amazon the correct BISAC code which you would like to have associated with your book.   see module 9.pdf for more details.

 The reason why the Amazon categories at the point of publishing via the KDP dashboard don’t precisely match those seen on Kindle site’s navigation is because Amazon use an industry standard - BISAC categories - which change constantly. Once your book is published Amazon then find time to make a final placement of your book deep within their framework.

 During the publication process when you are first submitting your book via the KDP platform, drill down as far as possible to the lowest possible sub-category.  This will have the least number of books within it which will allow you to compete and gain visibility on the first page of the top 100 best sellers for that sub sub-category.  This is all about visibility.

 Here is a really useful link to help you uncover very small niches within the Kindle marketplace, so that that your book can stand out and rank easily with minimal competition: See module 9.pdf for more details 

Book Pricing Guide for Optimum Sales

 Originally Amazon didn’t care about the big 5 offline publishers’ opinions and had everything to gain by shaking up the book market with competitive pricing.  But things have changed over the last few years and the big 5’s reluctance to sign exclusivity with Amazon on behalf of their authors, which was partly influenced by the dreaded 99 cents perception of books, has now also changed.  On top of that, Amazon has now become a publisher in its own right.  Having now achieved a significant market share it would appear that Amazon is moving away from favouring the 99 cents cheap or free giveaway books in favour of those at a higher price point.

 This new stance on pricing could be a reason why Amazon recently changed its terms of conditions for affiliate marketing of Kindle eBooks.  It used to be that Amazon would recompense affiliates when a book was promoted through their affiliate links.  Amazon is now reducing the benefits to affiliates when promoting eBooks on KDP promotions, with the result that many of the sites which had been set up to promote to their subscriber lists are now charging to promote to their subscriber lists whereas, in the past, they did it for free.

 Thus it could be argued that the effect of the KDP free promotional giveaway is being eroded as a result of Amazon’s new way of thinking and therefore we are being left with options requiring payment.

 The basic Amazon Kindle criteria for royalty reimbursement is that if your book is priced under $2.99 or over $9.99 you will receive 35% royalty but for those priced between these two figures you will receive a royalty of 70%.

 To make any kind of significant income you therefore need to have your book priced in excess of $2.99 although, as we have seen during the launch sequence, it can be strategically useful to price at the lowest figure available on Amazon, which is 99 cents, for a short period of time to gain some initial traction.

 It should be borne in mind that a very small payment, in the region of 6 cents per eBook sold, will be deducted by Amazon from your royalty for the delivery, i.e. to physically download your book from the Kindle website.  If your book is picture rather than text based this fee will increase as it is based upon the actual file size of your book.

 It is more likely therefore that, as an average, you will receive closer to 66% royalty after this download fee rather than 70% royalty, unless of course your book has a large file size due to high image content.

 It would logically follow that children’s books, often being mainly picture based, would be penalised but Amazon have made an exception when levying download fees for children’s picture books.

 There are some exceptions to the royalty figures quoted whereby a sale is made from a country which does not have its own dedicated Kindle bookstore.  If anyone within a country without its own store buys a book they are able to do so via the Amazon.com website but you, as an author, will only receive 35% instead of 70% royalty, no matter what price the book.

 There is one other exception which might affect your royalty payment, which is a recent introduction by Kindle, relating to some countries, e.g. India, which might only pay 35% if you are not enrolled in KDP Select.  It would seem that as some new Kindle stores are being rolled out around the world that this rule is becoming more prevalent, i.e. Amazon are trying to shepherd you at all times to sign up to their KDP Select scheme to receive the full 70% royalty.  N.B. This exception does not at the time of writing apply to the early Kindle stores e.g. USA & UK

‘The Withholding Tax’ Levied on Royalties Earned Outside of the USA

 There is one other charge which can be deducted from your royalties, based upon your location in the world and tax agreements between your country and that of the USA.  This is called ‘the withholding tax’.  If you are a publisher within the USA this tax will not be levied as they know that any income tax will be deducted via your normal IRS tax return.  However, if you are a publisher outside of the USA they will automatically withhold 35% by way of taxation until it can be proved that your country has a reciprocal tax agreement with the USA.

 If your country does have a reciprocal tax agreement (as is the case with the UK) then as long as you submit the relevant tax forms, this withholding tax will not be levied.

 The US tax authorities do withhold tax - 30%. Up until now there has been a VERY tortuous route to get this unlocked, involving application for an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN), trips to the US Embassy with passports and much form filling.

 There is now a short cut, which I have successfully used, whereby you apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS in the USA. This can be done over the phone. Once you have your EIN, you then download a W8-BEN form from the IRS website, complete the form and post to Amazon in Seattle.

 Full details of the procedure can be found from this excellent web-post: See module 9.pdf for more details

 Scroll down the page a little to find the simple 8 step procedure. It may seem lengthy, but believe me, it's a whole lot simpler than the aforementioned method....and it's worth it in the end, as you get to keep the 30% that they have been withholding - so the sooner you start, the better.

European VAT - Setting European Union Prices

 Here follows Amazon’s current rulings (from KDP Help) with regard to how VAT changes might affect the prices you charge for your books.  On January 1, 2015, European Union (EU) tax laws regarding the taxation of electronically supplied services (including digital products such as eBooks) will change. Previously, Value Added Tax (VAT) was applied based on the seller’s country of residence, but as of January 1st, VAT will be applied based on the buyer’s country of establishment. 

 As a result, starting on January 1st, the list prices that authors enter will include VAT. For books already available through KDP, to make this transition easier, we will make a one-time adjustment to include VAT in list prices.  These tax changes affect the list prices that customers may see if they have access to these Kindle stores in the UK, Spain, Germany and Italy.

 How this changes the way you set your list prices Before January 1, 2015, to set a list price of £1.99, you had to enter £1.93 to ensure that your list price would be £1.99 once 3% VAT was applied (Amazon originally based itself in Luxembourg as its European base in order to take advantage of their 3% VAT rate). Now, you can simply enter £1.99, and your list price includes VAT. When we calculate royalties, we will deduct the applicable VAT. You'll be able to see your list price without VAT for the primary country of each marketplace in the pricing page. This makes it possible for you to compare the suggested customer price with the price used to calculate your royalties. When you enter list prices, you'll see the VAT rate for the primary country in each Kindle store.  If you set your EU list prices to automatically calculate from your U.S. list price, your list prices for EU Kindle stores will automatically include VAT. For example, if you set a suggested U.S. list price of $10.00, we convert that price to Euros for the German marketplace. If the exchange rate is 0.8 that day, the Amazon.de list price including VAT will be €8.00. For a sale to a German customer, we would deduct 19% VAT and calculate royalty on a VAT-exclusive list price of €6.72.   *Italy note: Due to country-specific legislation in Italy, a lower VAT rate of 4% will apply to eBooks with ISBNs purchased on the amazon.it Kindle store by customers in Italy. A higher VAT rate of 22% will apply to eBooks without ISBNs. KDP doesn’t require ISBNs for eBooks, but having an ISBN will ensure a lower VAT rate for sales of your eBook to customers in Italy.

Price Guidelines Based on Real Time Data

 Earlier in the course I mentioned Smashwords, who are a central publishing hub enabling authors to publish to multiple publishing platforms, all under one roof.  Because Smashwords acts as an intermediary for so many authors, they have the advantage of a huge amount of data, which they can analyse for statistical trends. Here are Smashwords findings:    Regarding the most common price points: o For Fiction and non- fiction - $2.99, followed by $3.99.

 The price points which get the most downloads: o For Fiction - $.99, $2.99 and $3.99. o For Non-Fiction - $.99, $2.99 and $9.99.

 The price points at which authors earn the most money o For Fiction & Non-Fiction – $3.99. These results are based on averages and combine fiction and non-fiction (it’s 90% sales-weighted towards fiction, so it represents fiction behaviour more than non-fiction). $3.99 remains a good price for full-length fiction.

 The least profitable price point - $1.99

 Non-Fiction in general - Non-fiction can generally support higher prices than fiction, as readers are buying books to acquire knowledge or solve a problem, and this knowledge or problem-solving has a high value attached to it. As long as the value of the knowledge exceeds the price of the book, it’s easy for a reader to justify paying a higher price.

 Children’s Books – Most children’s picture books which are short on words, with less than 15-20 pages will be priced at $0.99 cents.  Longer books can be priced over $2.99 cents.

14:23

- Module 9 -

The ‘Time Sensitive’ Live Launch Strategy The Importance of ‘New Book’ Momentum – The 30 Day Launch Sequence    It is essential to undertake a methodical and uninterrupted launch sequence.  It is only by adopting sustained action in the first 30 days following your launch will your book become visible in the Kindle windows of visibility.

 If you do this Kindle will then start to promote your book for you, effectively releasing you from the need to perpetually immerse yourself in social media marketing, once the crucial first 30 days have elapsed.

Uploading Your Book via the KDP Dashboard  [See Videos 26-30]  Go to Amazon KDP to submit your document and cover: (see module 9.pdf for more details.) select the ‘Bookshelf’ tab and then click on ‘Create New Title’ link.

 Click, if required, to enrol within the KDP Select 90 day Programme.

 Follow my Kindle Upload video sequence for in-depth discussions on: title, sub-title, book series, categories, keywords, digital rights management (drm), book preview and pricing.

Selecting the 2 Best Kindle Categories for your Book

 The choice of category selection within the Kindle database is one of the most important decisions you can make during your book’s publication process.    

 The aim should be to find 2 categories which are relevant to your topic that you can dominate.  There are two reasons for this.   o Amazon recognises and likes to promote books which are category best sellers.  o The casual browser uses categories more than one might imagine.  They will pay scant attention to the fact that you are a best seller in a minor sub-category and which might not even qualify to be in the top 100 list of a much higher broader category. All they care about is the fact that your book is a category best-seller on Kindle.

 If your sales are low, check your competition for competing books within the same niche.  It may be that they are appearing near the top of another related category, one which you could copy and move your book to.

 If your book is not excelling in your chosen category, it is worth checking to see whether there is a sub-category below the one you have already selected, which contains less books – Check using the numbers in brackets next to the category titles, as seen in the Kindle Popularity lists.

 The first page of any top 100 best-seller category list i.e. books 1-20, will attract most viewers. So try not to let your book slip below No 20 in your chosen categories

 The opportunity to drill down to sub-categories and sub sub-categories are more so in the non-fiction niche than the fiction niche, as there are simply more sub-categories, and consequently more top 100 lists, available.

 Tip – Use the entire category title as one of your keywords.

 There are often more categories available to choose from than will appear to you during the sign up process.  It could be that you spot some of these categories that you would like to be in from other books high up in the best seller pages and it might seem frustrating that you cannot simply sign up for these same categories at the point of publication.  However, if you spot one of these obscure categories which you cannot manually move your book into, you just need to ask Amazon to do it for you.  Simply contact them: see module 9.pdf for more details.

 NB:  You may want to refer to ‘The Book Industry Group Study Page (referenced in the KDP upload video) to give Amazon the correct BISAC code which you would like to have associated with your book.   see module 9.pdf for more details.

 The reason why the Amazon categories at the point of publishing via the KDP dashboard don’t precisely match those seen on Kindle site’s navigation is because Amazon use an industry standard - BISAC categories - which change constantly. Once your book is published Amazon then find time to make a final placement of your book deep within their framework.

 During the publication process when you are first submitting your book via the KDP platform, drill down as far as possible to the lowest possible sub-category.  This will have the least number of books within it which will allow you to compete and gain visibility on the first page of the top 100 best sellers for that sub sub-category.  This is all about visibility.

 Here is a really useful link to help you uncover very small niches within the Kindle marketplace, so that that your book can stand out and rank easily with minimal competition: See module 9.pdf for more details 

Book Pricing Guide for Optimum Sales

 Originally Amazon didn’t care about the big 5 offline publishers’ opinions and had everything to gain by shaking up the book market with competitive pricing.  But things have changed over the last few years and the big 5’s reluctance to sign exclusivity with Amazon on behalf of their authors, which was partly influenced by the dreaded 99 cents perception of books, has now also changed.  On top of that, Amazon has now become a publisher in its own right.  Having now achieved a significant market share it would appear that Amazon is moving away from favouring the 99 cents cheap or free giveaway books in favour of those at a higher price point.

 This new stance on pricing could be a reason why Amazon recently changed its terms of conditions for affiliate marketing of Kindle eBooks.  It used to be that Amazon would recompense affiliates when a book was promoted through their affiliate links.  Amazon is now reducing the benefits to affiliates when promoting eBooks on KDP promotions, with the result that many of the sites which had been set up to promote to their subscriber lists are now charging to promote to their subscriber lists whereas, in the past, they did it for free.

 Thus it could be argued that the effect of the KDP free promotional giveaway is being eroded as a result of Amazon’s new way of thinking and therefore we are being left with options requiring payment.

 The basic Amazon Kindle criteria for royalty reimbursement is that if your book is priced under $2.99 or over $9.99 you will receive 35% royalty but for those priced between these two figures you will receive a royalty of 70%.

 To make any kind of significant income you therefore need to have your book priced in excess of $2.99 although, as we have seen during the launch sequence, it can be strategically useful to price at the lowest figure available on Amazon, which is 99 cents, for a short period of time to gain some initial traction.

 It should be borne in mind that a very small payment, in the region of 6 cents per eBook sold, will be deducted by Amazon from your royalty for the delivery, i.e. to physically download your book from the Kindle website.  If your book is picture rather than text based this fee will increase as it is based upon the actual file size of your book.

 It is more likely therefore that, as an average, you will receive closer to 66% royalty after this download fee rather than 70% royalty, unless of course your book has a large file size due to high image content.

 It would logically follow that children’s books, often being mainly picture based, would be penalised but Amazon have made an exception when levying download fees for children’s picture books.

 There are some exceptions to the royalty figures quoted whereby a sale is made from a country which does not have its own dedicated Kindle bookstore.  If anyone within a country without its own store buys a book they are able to do so via the Amazon.com website but you, as an author, will only receive 35% instead of 70% royalty, no matter what price the book.

 There is one other exception which might affect your royalty payment, which is a recent introduction by Kindle, relating to some countries, e.g. India, which might only pay 35% if you are not enrolled in KDP Select.  It would seem that as some new Kindle stores are being rolled out around the world that this rule is becoming more prevalent, i.e. Amazon are trying to shepherd you at all times to sign up to their KDP Select scheme to receive the full 70% royalty.  N.B. This exception does not at the time of writing apply to the early Kindle stores e.g. USA & UK

‘The Withholding Tax’ Levied on Royalties Earned Outside of the USA

 There is one other charge which can be deducted from your royalties, based upon your location in the world and tax agreements between your country and that of the USA.  This is called ‘the withholding tax’.  If you are a publisher within the USA this tax will not be levied as they know that any income tax will be deducted via your normal IRS tax return.  However, if you are a publisher outside of the USA they will automatically withhold 35% by way of taxation until it can be proved that your country has a reciprocal tax agreement with the USA.

 If your country does have a reciprocal tax agreement (as is the case with the UK) then as long as you submit the relevant tax forms, this withholding tax will not be levied.

 The US tax authorities do withhold tax - 30%. Up until now there has been a VERY tortuous route to get this unlocked, involving application for an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN), trips to the US Embassy with passports and much form filling.

 There is now a short cut, which I have successfully used, whereby you apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS in the USA. This can be done over the phone. Once you have your EIN, you then download a W8-BEN form from the IRS website, complete the form and post to Amazon in Seattle.

 Full details of the procedure can be found from this excellent web-post: See module 9.pdf for more details

 Scroll down the page a little to find the simple 8 step procedure. It may seem lengthy, but believe me, it's a whole lot simpler than the aforementioned method....and it's worth it in the end, as you get to keep the 30% that they have been withholding - so the sooner you start, the better.

European VAT - Setting European Union Prices

 Here follows Amazon’s current rulings (from KDP Help) with regard to how VAT changes might affect the prices you charge for your books.  On January 1, 2015, European Union (EU) tax laws regarding the taxation of electronically supplied services (including digital products such as eBooks) will change. Previously, Value Added Tax (VAT) was applied based on the seller’s country of residence, but as of January 1st, VAT will be applied based on the buyer’s country of establishment. 

 As a result, starting on January 1st, the list prices that authors enter will include VAT. For books already available through KDP, to make this transition easier, we will make a one-time adjustment to include VAT in list prices.  These tax changes affect the list prices that customers may see if they have access to these Kindle stores in the UK, Spain, Germany and Italy.

 How this changes the way you set your list prices Before January 1, 2015, to set a list price of £1.99, you had to enter £1.93 to ensure that your list price would be £1.99 once 3% VAT was applied (Amazon originally based itself in Luxembourg as its European base in order to take advantage of their 3% VAT rate). Now, you can simply enter £1.99, and your list price includes VAT. When we calculate royalties, we will deduct the applicable VAT. You'll be able to see your list price without VAT for the primary country of each marketplace in the pricing page. This makes it possible for you to compare the suggested customer price with the price used to calculate your royalties. When you enter list prices, you'll see the VAT rate for the primary country in each Kindle store.  If you set your EU list prices to automatically calculate from your U.S. list price, your list prices for EU Kindle stores will automatically include VAT. For example, if you set a suggested U.S. list price of $10.00, we convert that price to Euros for the German marketplace. If the exchange rate is 0.8 that day, the Amazon.de list price including VAT will be €8.00. For a sale to a German customer, we would deduct 19% VAT and calculate royalty on a VAT-exclusive list price of €6.72.   *Italy note: Due to country-specific legislation in Italy, a lower VAT rate of 4% will apply to eBooks with ISBNs purchased on the amazon.it Kindle store by customers in Italy. A higher VAT rate of 22% will apply to eBooks without ISBNs. KDP doesn’t require ISBNs for eBooks, but having an ISBN will ensure a lower VAT rate for sales of your eBook to customers in Italy.

Price Guidelines Based on Real Time Data

 Earlier in the course I mentioned Smashwords, who are a central publishing hub enabling authors to publish to multiple publishing platforms, all under one roof.  Because Smashwords acts as an intermediary for so many authors, they have the advantage of a huge amount of data, which they can analyse for statistical trends. Here are Smashwords findings:    Regarding the most common price points: o For Fiction and non- fiction - $2.99, followed by $3.99.

 The price points which get the most downloads: o For Fiction - $.99, $2.99 and $3.99. o For Non-Fiction - $.99, $2.99 and $9.99.

 The price points at which authors earn the most money o For Fiction & Non-Fiction – $3.99. These results are based on averages and combine fiction and non-fiction (it’s 90% sales-weighted towards fiction, so it represents fiction behaviour more than non-fiction). $3.99 remains a good price for full-length fiction.

 The least profitable price point - $1.99

 Non-Fiction in general - Non-fiction can generally support higher prices than fiction, as readers are buying books to acquire knowledge or solve a problem, and this knowledge or problem-solving has a high value attached to it. As long as the value of the knowledge exceeds the price of the book, it’s easy for a reader to justify paying a higher price.

 Children’s Books – Most children’s picture books which are short on words, with less than 15-20 pages will be priced at $0.99 cents.  Longer books can be priced over $2.99 cents.

19:59

- Module 9 -

The ‘Time Sensitive’ Live Launch Strategy The Importance of ‘New Book’ Momentum – The 30 Day Launch Sequence    It is essential to undertake a methodical and uninterrupted launch sequence.  It is only by adopting sustained action in the first 30 days following your launch will your book become visible in the Kindle windows of visibility.

 If you do this Kindle will then start to promote your book for you, effectively releasing you from the need to perpetually immerse yourself in social media marketing, once the crucial first 30 days have elapsed.

Uploading Your Book via the KDP Dashboard  [See Videos 26-30]  Go to Amazon KDP to submit your document and cover: (see module 9.pdf for more details.) select the ‘Bookshelf’ tab and then click on ‘Create New Title’ link.

 Click, if required, to enrol within the KDP Select 90 day Programme.

 Follow my Kindle Upload video sequence for in-depth discussions on: title, sub-title, book series, categories, keywords, digital rights management (drm), book preview and pricing.

Selecting the 2 Best Kindle Categories for your Book

 The choice of category selection within the Kindle database is one of the most important decisions you can make during your book’s publication process.    

 The aim should be to find 2 categories which are relevant to your topic that you can dominate.  There are two reasons for this.   o Amazon recognises and likes to promote books which are category best sellers.  o The casual browser uses categories more than one might imagine.  They will pay scant attention to the fact that you are a best seller in a minor sub-category and which might not even qualify to be in the top 100 list of a much higher broader category. All they care about is the fact that your book is a category best-seller on Kindle.

 If your sales are low, check your competition for competing books within the same niche.  It may be that they are appearing near the top of another related category, one which you could copy and move your book to.

 If your book is not excelling in your chosen category, it is worth checking to see whether there is a sub-category below the one you have already selected, which contains less books – Check using the numbers in brackets next to the category titles, as seen in the Kindle Popularity lists.

 The first page of any top 100 best-seller category list i.e. books 1-20, will attract most viewers. So try not to let your book slip below No 20 in your chosen categories

 The opportunity to drill down to sub-categories and sub sub-categories are more so in the non-fiction niche than the fiction niche, as there are simply more sub-categories, and consequently more top 100 lists, available.

 Tip – Use the entire category title as one of your keywords.

 There are often more categories available to choose from than will appear to you during the sign up process.  It could be that you spot some of these categories that you would like to be in from other books high up in the best seller pages and it might seem frustrating that you cannot simply sign up for these same categories at the point of publication.  However, if you spot one of these obscure categories which you cannot manually move your book into, you just need to ask Amazon to do it for you.  Simply contact them: see module 9.pdf for more details.

 NB:  You may want to refer to ‘The Book Industry Group Study Page (referenced in the KDP upload video) to give Amazon the correct BISAC code which you would like to have associated with your book.   see module 9.pdf for more details.

 The reason why the Amazon categories at the point of publishing via the KDP dashboard don’t precisely match those seen on Kindle site’s navigation is because Amazon use an industry standard - BISAC categories - which change constantly. Once your book is published Amazon then find time to make a final placement of your book deep within their framework.

 During the publication process when you are first submitting your book via the KDP platform, drill down as far as possible to the lowest possible sub-category.  This will have the least number of books within it which will allow you to compete and gain visibility on the first page of the top 100 best sellers for that sub sub-category.  This is all about visibility.

 Here is a really useful link to help you uncover very small niches within the Kindle marketplace, so that that your book can stand out and rank easily with minimal competition: See module 9.pdf for more details 

Book Pricing Guide for Optimum Sales

 Originally Amazon didn’t care about the big 5 offline publishers’ opinions and had everything to gain by shaking up the book market with competitive pricing.  But things have changed over the last few years and the big 5’s reluctance to sign exclusivity with Amazon on behalf of their authors, which was partly influenced by the dreaded 99 cents perception of books, has now also changed.  On top of that, Amazon has now become a publisher in its own right.  Having now achieved a significant market share it would appear that Amazon is moving away from favouring the 99 cents cheap or free giveaway books in favour of those at a higher price point.

 This new stance on pricing could be a reason why Amazon recently changed its terms of conditions for affiliate marketing of Kindle eBooks.  It used to be that Amazon would recompense affiliates when a book was promoted through their affiliate links.  Amazon is now reducing the benefits to affiliates when promoting eBooks on KDP promotions, with the result that many of the sites which had been set up to promote to their subscriber lists are now charging to promote to their subscriber lists whereas, in the past, they did it for free.

 Thus it could be argued that the effect of the KDP free promotional giveaway is being eroded as a result of Amazon’s new way of thinking and therefore we are being left with options requiring payment.

 The basic Amazon Kindle criteria for royalty reimbursement is that if your book is priced under $2.99 or over $9.99 you will receive 35% royalty but for those priced between these two figures you will receive a royalty of 70%.

 To make any kind of significant income you therefore need to have your book priced in excess of $2.99 although, as we have seen during the launch sequence, it can be strategically useful to price at the lowest figure available on Amazon, which is 99 cents, for a short period of time to gain some initial traction.

 It should be borne in mind that a very small payment, in the region of 6 cents per eBook sold, will be deducted by Amazon from your royalty for the delivery, i.e. to physically download your book from the Kindle website.  If your book is picture rather than text based this fee will increase as it is based upon the actual file size of your book.

 It is more likely therefore that, as an average, you will receive closer to 66% royalty after this download fee rather than 70% royalty, unless of course your book has a large file size due to high image content.

 It would logically follow that children’s books, often being mainly picture based, would be penalised but Amazon have made an exception when levying download fees for children’s picture books.

 There are some exceptions to the royalty figures quoted whereby a sale is made from a country which does not have its own dedicated Kindle bookstore.  If anyone within a country without its own store buys a book they are able to do so via the Amazon.com website but you, as an author, will only receive 35% instead of 70% royalty, no matter what price the book.

 There is one other exception which might affect your royalty payment, which is a recent introduction by Kindle, relating to some countries, e.g. India, which might only pay 35% if you are not enrolled in KDP Select.  It would seem that as some new Kindle stores are being rolled out around the world that this rule is becoming more prevalent, i.e. Amazon are trying to shepherd you at all times to sign up to their KDP Select scheme to receive the full 70% royalty.  N.B. This exception does not at the time of writing apply to the early Kindle stores e.g. USA & UK

‘The Withholding Tax’ Levied on Royalties Earned Outside of the USA

 There is one other charge which can be deducted from your royalties, based upon your location in the world and tax agreements between your country and that of the USA.  This is called ‘the withholding tax’.  If you are a publisher within the USA this tax will not be levied as they know that any income tax will be deducted via your normal IRS tax return.  However, if you are a publisher outside of the USA they will automatically withhold 35% by way of taxation until it can be proved that your country has a reciprocal tax agreement with the USA.

 If your country does have a reciprocal tax agreement (as is the case with the UK) then as long as you submit the relevant tax forms, this withholding tax will not be levied.

 The US tax authorities do withhold tax - 30%. Up until now there has been a VERY tortuous route to get this unlocked, involving application for an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN), trips to the US Embassy with passports and much form filling.

 There is now a short cut, which I have successfully used, whereby you apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS in the USA. This can be done over the phone. Once you have your EIN, you then download a W8-BEN form from the IRS website, complete the form and post to Amazon in Seattle.

 Full details of the procedure can be found from this excellent web-post: See module 9.pdf for more details

 Scroll down the page a little to find the simple 8 step procedure. It may seem lengthy, but believe me, it's a whole lot simpler than the aforementioned method....and it's worth it in the end, as you get to keep the 30% that they have been withholding - so the sooner you start, the better.

European VAT - Setting European Union Prices

 Here follows Amazon’s current rulings (from KDP Help) with regard to how VAT changes might affect the prices you charge for your books.  On January 1, 2015, European Union (EU) tax laws regarding the taxation of electronically supplied services (including digital products such as eBooks) will change. Previously, Value Added Tax (VAT) was applied based on the seller’s country of residence, but as of January 1st, VAT will be applied based on the buyer’s country of establishment. 

 As a result, starting on January 1st, the list prices that authors enter will include VAT. For books already available through KDP, to make this transition easier, we will make a one-time adjustment to include VAT in list prices.  These tax changes affect the list prices that customers may see if they have access to these Kindle stores in the UK, Spain, Germany and Italy.

 How this changes the way you set your list prices Before January 1, 2015, to set a list price of £1.99, you had to enter £1.93 to ensure that your list price would be £1.99 once 3% VAT was applied (Amazon originally based itself in Luxembourg as its European base in order to take advantage of their 3% VAT rate). Now, you can simply enter £1.99, and your list price includes VAT. When we calculate royalties, we will deduct the applicable VAT. You'll be able to see your list price without VAT for the primary country of each marketplace in the pricing page. This makes it possible for you to compare the suggested customer price with the price used to calculate your royalties. When you enter list prices, you'll see the VAT rate for the primary country in each Kindle store.  If you set your EU list prices to automatically calculate from your U.S. list price, your list prices for EU Kindle stores will automatically include VAT. For example, if you set a suggested U.S. list price of $10.00, we convert that price to Euros for the German marketplace. If the exchange rate is 0.8 that day, the Amazon.de list price including VAT will be €8.00. For a sale to a German customer, we would deduct 19% VAT and calculate royalty on a VAT-exclusive list price of €6.72.   *Italy note: Due to country-specific legislation in Italy, a lower VAT rate of 4% will apply to eBooks with ISBNs purchased on the amazon.it Kindle store by customers in Italy. A higher VAT rate of 22% will apply to eBooks without ISBNs. KDP doesn’t require ISBNs for eBooks, but having an ISBN will ensure a lower VAT rate for sales of your eBook to customers in Italy.

Price Guidelines Based on Real Time Data

 Earlier in the course I mentioned Smashwords, who are a central publishing hub enabling authors to publish to multiple publishing platforms, all under one roof.  Because Smashwords acts as an intermediary for so many authors, they have the advantage of a huge amount of data, which they can analyse for statistical trends. Here are Smashwords findings:    Regarding the most common price points: o For Fiction and non- fiction - $2.99, followed by $3.99.

 The price points which get the most downloads: o For Fiction - $.99, $2.99 and $3.99. o For Non-Fiction - $.99, $2.99 and $9.99.

 The price points at which authors earn the most money o For Fiction & Non-Fiction – $3.99. These results are based on averages and combine fiction and non-fiction (it’s 90% sales-weighted towards fiction, so it represents fiction behaviour more than non-fiction). $3.99 remains a good price for full-length fiction.

 The least profitable price point - $1.99

 Non-Fiction in general - Non-fiction can generally support higher prices than fiction, as readers are buying books to acquire knowledge or solve a problem, and this knowledge or problem-solving has a high value attached to it. As long as the value of the knowledge exceeds the price of the book, it’s easy for a reader to justify paying a higher price.

 Children’s Books – Most children’s picture books which are short on words, with less than 15-20 pages will be priced at $0.99 cents.  Longer books can be priced over $2.99 cents.

14:38

- Module 9 -

The ‘Time Sensitive’ Live Launch Strategy The Importance of ‘New Book’ Momentum – The 30 Day Launch Sequence    It is essential to undertake a methodical and uninterrupted launch sequence.  It is only by adopting sustained action in the first 30 days following your launch will your book become visible in the Kindle windows of visibility.

 If you do this Kindle will then start to promote your book for you, effectively releasing you from the need to perpetually immerse yourself in social media marketing, once the crucial first 30 days have elapsed.

Uploading Your Book via the KDP Dashboard  [See Videos 26-30]  Go to Amazon KDP to submit your document and cover: (see module 9.pdf for more details.) select the ‘Bookshelf’ tab and then click on ‘Create New Title’ link.

 Click, if required, to enrol within the KDP Select 90 day Programme.

 Follow my Kindle Upload video sequence for in-depth discussions on: title, sub-title, book series, categories, keywords, digital rights management (drm), book preview and pricing.

Selecting the 2 Best Kindle Categories for your Book

 The choice of category selection within the Kindle database is one of the most important decisions you can make during your book’s publication process.    

 The aim should be to find 2 categories which are relevant to your topic that you can dominate.  There are two reasons for this.   o Amazon recognises and likes to promote books which are category best sellers.  o The casual browser uses categories more than one might imagine.  They will pay scant attention to the fact that you are a best seller in a minor sub-category and which might not even qualify to be in the top 100 list of a much higher broader category. All they care about is the fact that your book is a category best-seller on Kindle.

 If your sales are low, check your competition for competing books within the same niche.  It may be that they are appearing near the top of another related category, one which you could copy and move your book to.

 If your book is not excelling in your chosen category, it is worth checking to see whether there is a sub-category below the one you have already selected, which contains less books – Check using the numbers in brackets next to the category titles, as seen in the Kindle Popularity lists.

 The first page of any top 100 best-seller category list i.e. books 1-20, will attract most viewers. So try not to let your book slip below No 20 in your chosen categories

 The opportunity to drill down to sub-categories and sub sub-categories are more so in the non-fiction niche than the fiction niche, as there are simply more sub-categories, and consequently more top 100 lists, available.

 Tip – Use the entire category title as one of your keywords.

 There are often more categories available to choose from than will appear to you during the sign up process.  It could be that you spot some of these categories that you would like to be in from other books high up in the best seller pages and it might seem frustrating that you cannot simply sign up for these same categories at the point of publication.  However, if you spot one of these obscure categories which you cannot manually move your book into, you just need to ask Amazon to do it for you.  Simply contact them: see module 9.pdf for more details.

 NB:  You may want to refer to ‘The Book Industry Group Study Page (referenced in the KDP upload video) to give Amazon the correct BISAC code which you would like to have associated with your book.   see module 9.pdf for more details.

 The reason why the Amazon categories at the point of publishing via the KDP dashboard don’t precisely match those seen on Kindle site’s navigation is because Amazon use an industry standard - BISAC categories - which change constantly. Once your book is published Amazon then find time to make a final placement of your book deep within their framework.

 During the publication process when you are first submitting your book via the KDP platform, drill down as far as possible to the lowest possible sub-category.  This will have the least number of books within it which will allow you to compete and gain visibility on the first page of the top 100 best sellers for that sub sub-category.  This is all about visibility.

 Here is a really useful link to help you uncover very small niches within the Kindle marketplace, so that that your book can stand out and rank easily with minimal competition: See module 9.pdf for more details 

Book Pricing Guide for Optimum Sales

 Originally Amazon didn’t care about the big 5 offline publishers’ opinions and had everything to gain by shaking up the book market with competitive pricing.  But things have changed over the last few years and the big 5’s reluctance to sign exclusivity with Amazon on behalf of their authors, which was partly influenced by the dreaded 99 cents perception of books, has now also changed.  On top of that, Amazon has now become a publisher in its own right.  Having now achieved a significant market share it would appear that Amazon is moving away from favouring the 99 cents cheap or free giveaway books in favour of those at a higher price point.

 This new stance on pricing could be a reason why Amazon recently changed its terms of conditions for affiliate marketing of Kindle eBooks.  It used to be that Amazon would recompense affiliates when a book was promoted through their affiliate links.  Amazon is now reducing the benefits to affiliates when promoting eBooks on KDP promotions, with the result that many of the sites which had been set up to promote to their subscriber lists are now charging to promote to their subscriber lists whereas, in the past, they did it for free.

 Thus it could be argued that the effect of the KDP free promotional giveaway is being eroded as a result of Amazon’s new way of thinking and therefore we are being left with options requiring payment.

 The basic Amazon Kindle criteria for royalty reimbursement is that if your book is priced under $2.99 or over $9.99 you will receive 35% royalty but for those priced between these two figures you will receive a royalty of 70%.

 To make any kind of significant income you therefore need to have your book priced in excess of $2.99 although, as we have seen during the launch sequence, it can be strategically useful to price at the lowest figure available on Amazon, which is 99 cents, for a short period of time to gain some initial traction.

 It should be borne in mind that a very small payment, in the region of 6 cents per eBook sold, will be deducted by Amazon from your royalty for the delivery, i.e. to physically download your book from the Kindle website.  If your book is picture rather than text based this fee will increase as it is based upon the actual file size of your book.

 It is more likely therefore that, as an average, you will receive closer to 66% royalty after this download fee rather than 70% royalty, unless of course your book has a large file size due to high image content.

 It would logically follow that children’s books, often being mainly picture based, would be penalised but Amazon have made an exception when levying download fees for children’s picture books.

 There are some exceptions to the royalty figures quoted whereby a sale is made from a country which does not have its own dedicated Kindle bookstore.  If anyone within a country without its own store buys a book they are able to do so via the Amazon.com website but you, as an author, will only receive 35% instead of 70% royalty, no matter what price the book.

 There is one other exception which might affect your royalty payment, which is a recent introduction by Kindle, relating to some countries, e.g. India, which might only pay 35% if you are not enrolled in KDP Select.  It would seem that as some new Kindle stores are being rolled out around the world that this rule is becoming more prevalent, i.e. Amazon are trying to shepherd you at all times to sign up to their KDP Select scheme to receive the full 70% royalty.  N.B. This exception does not at the time of writing apply to the early Kindle stores e.g. USA & UK

‘The Withholding Tax’ Levied on Royalties Earned Outside of the USA

 There is one other charge which can be deducted from your royalties, based upon your location in the world and tax agreements between your country and that of the USA.  This is called ‘the withholding tax’.  If you are a publisher within the USA this tax will not be levied as they know that any income tax will be deducted via your normal IRS tax return.  However, if you are a publisher outside of the USA they will automatically withhold 35% by way of taxation until it can be proved that your country has a reciprocal tax agreement with the USA.

 If your country does have a reciprocal tax agreement (as is the case with the UK) then as long as you submit the relevant tax forms, this withholding tax will not be levied.

 The US tax authorities do withhold tax - 30%. Up until now there has been a VERY tortuous route to get this unlocked, involving application for an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN), trips to the US Embassy with passports and much form filling.

 There is now a short cut, which I have successfully used, whereby you apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS in the USA. This can be done over the phone. Once you have your EIN, you then download a W8-BEN form from the IRS website, complete the form and post to Amazon in Seattle.

 Full details of the procedure can be found from this excellent web-post: See module 9.pdf for more details

 Scroll down the page a little to find the simple 8 step procedure. It may seem lengthy, but believe me, it's a whole lot simpler than the aforementioned method....and it's worth it in the end, as you get to keep the 30% that they have been withholding - so the sooner you start, the better.

European VAT - Setting European Union Prices

 Here follows Amazon’s current rulings (from KDP Help) with regard to how VAT changes might affect the prices you charge for your books.  On January 1, 2015, European Union (EU) tax laws regarding the taxation of electronically supplied services (including digital products such as eBooks) will change. Previously, Value Added Tax (VAT) was applied based on the seller’s country of residence, but as of January 1st, VAT will be applied based on the buyer’s country of establishment. 

 As a result, starting on January 1st, the list prices that authors enter will include VAT. For books already available through KDP, to make this transition easier, we will make a one-time adjustment to include VAT in list prices.  These tax changes affect the list prices that customers may see if they have access to these Kindle stores in the UK, Spain, Germany and Italy.

 How this changes the way you set your list prices Before January 1, 2015, to set a list price of £1.99, you had to enter £1.93 to ensure that your list price would be £1.99 once 3% VAT was applied (Amazon originally based itself in Luxembourg as its European base in order to take advantage of their 3% VAT rate). Now, you can simply enter £1.99, and your list price includes VAT. When we calculate royalties, we will deduct the applicable VAT. You'll be able to see your list price without VAT for the primary country of each marketplace in the pricing page. This makes it possible for you to compare the suggested customer price with the price used to calculate your royalties. When you enter list prices, you'll see the VAT rate for the primary country in each Kindle store.  If you set your EU list prices to automatically calculate from your U.S. list price, your list prices for EU Kindle stores will automatically include VAT. For example, if you set a suggested U.S. list price of $10.00, we convert that price to Euros for the German marketplace. If the exchange rate is 0.8 that day, the Amazon.de list price including VAT will be €8.00. For a sale to a German customer, we would deduct 19% VAT and calculate royalty on a VAT-exclusive list price of €6.72.   *Italy note: Due to country-specific legislation in Italy, a lower VAT rate of 4% will apply to eBooks with ISBNs purchased on the amazon.it Kindle store by customers in Italy. A higher VAT rate of 22% will apply to eBooks without ISBNs. KDP doesn’t require ISBNs for eBooks, but having an ISBN will ensure a lower VAT rate for sales of your eBook to customers in Italy.

Price Guidelines Based on Real Time Data

 Earlier in the course I mentioned Smashwords, who are a central publishing hub enabling authors to publish to multiple publishing platforms, all under one roof.  Because Smashwords acts as an intermediary for so many authors, they have the advantage of a huge amount of data, which they can analyse for statistical trends. Here are Smashwords findings:    Regarding the most common price points: o For Fiction and non- fiction - $2.99, followed by $3.99.

 The price points which get the most downloads: o For Fiction - $.99, $2.99 and $3.99. o For Non-Fiction - $.99, $2.99 and $9.99.

 The price points at which authors earn the most money o For Fiction & Non-Fiction – $3.99. These results are based on averages and combine fiction and non-fiction (it’s 90% sales-weighted towards fiction, so it represents fiction behaviour more than non-fiction). $3.99 remains a good price for full-length fiction.

 The least profitable price point - $1.99

 Non-Fiction in general - Non-fiction can generally support higher prices than fiction, as readers are buying books to acquire knowledge or solve a problem, and this knowledge or problem-solving has a high value attached to it. As long as the value of the knowledge exceeds the price of the book, it’s easy for a reader to justify paying a higher price.

 Children’s Books – Most children’s picture books which are short on words, with less than 15-20 pages will be priced at $0.99 cents.  Longer books can be priced over $2.99 cents.

14:26

- Module 9 -

The ‘Time Sensitive’ Live Launch Strategy The Importance of ‘New Book’ Momentum – The 30 Day Launch Sequence    It is essential to undertake a methodical and uninterrupted launch sequence.  It is only by adopting sustained action in the first 30 days following your launch will your book become visible in the Kindle windows of visibility.

 If you do this Kindle will then start to promote your book for you, effectively releasing you from the need to perpetually immerse yourself in social media marketing, once the crucial first 30 days have elapsed.

Uploading Your Book via the KDP Dashboard  [See Videos 26-30]  Go to Amazon KDP to submit your document and cover: (see module 9.pdf for more details.) select the ‘Bookshelf’ tab and then click on ‘Create New Title’ link.

 Click, if required, to enrol within the KDP Select 90 day Programme.

 Follow my Kindle Upload video sequence for in-depth discussions on: title, sub-title, book series, categories, keywords, digital rights management (drm), book preview and pricing.

Selecting the 2 Best Kindle Categories for your Book

 The choice of category selection within the Kindle database is one of the most important decisions you can make during your book’s publication process.    

 The aim should be to find 2 categories which are relevant to your topic that you can dominate.  There are two reasons for this.   o Amazon recognises and likes to promote books which are category best sellers.  o The casual browser uses categories more than one might imagine.  They will pay scant attention to the fact that you are a best seller in a minor sub-category and which might not even qualify to be in the top 100 list of a much higher broader category. All they care about is the fact that your book is a category best-seller on Kindle.

 If your sales are low, check your competition for competing books within the same niche.  It may be that they are appearing near the top of another related category, one which you could copy and move your book to.

 If your book is not excelling in your chosen category, it is worth checking to see whether there is a sub-category below the one you have already selected, which contains less books – Check using the numbers in brackets next to the category titles, as seen in the Kindle Popularity lists.

 The first page of any top 100 best-seller category list i.e. books 1-20, will attract most viewers. So try not to let your book slip below No 20 in your chosen categories

 The opportunity to drill down to sub-categories and sub sub-categories are more so in the non-fiction niche than the fiction niche, as there are simply more sub-categories, and consequently more top 100 lists, available.

 Tip – Use the entire category title as one of your keywords.

 There are often more categories available to choose from than will appear to you during the sign up process.  It could be that you spot some of these categories that you would like to be in from other books high up in the best seller pages and it might seem frustrating that you cannot simply sign up for these same categories at the point of publication.  However, if you spot one of these obscure categories which you cannot manually move your book into, you just need to ask Amazon to do it for you.  Simply contact them: see module 9.pdf for more details.

 NB:  You may want to refer to ‘The Book Industry Group Study Page (referenced in the KDP upload video) to give Amazon the correct BISAC code which you would like to have associated with your book.   see module 9.pdf for more details.

 The reason why the Amazon categories at the point of publishing via the KDP dashboard don’t precisely match those seen on Kindle site’s navigation is because Amazon use an industry standard - BISAC categories - which change constantly. Once your book is published Amazon then find time to make a final placement of your book deep within their framework.

 During the publication process when you are first submitting your book via the KDP platform, drill down as far as possible to the lowest possible sub-category.  This will have the least number of books within it which will allow you to compete and gain visibility on the first page of the top 100 best sellers for that sub sub-category.  This is all about visibility.

 Here is a really useful link to help you uncover very small niches within the Kindle marketplace, so that that your book can stand out and rank easily with minimal competition: See module 9.pdf for more details 

Book Pricing Guide for Optimum Sales

 Originally Amazon didn’t care about the big 5 offline publishers’ opinions and had everything to gain by shaking up the book market with competitive pricing.  But things have changed over the last few years and the big 5’s reluctance to sign exclusivity with Amazon on behalf of their authors, which was partly influenced by the dreaded 99 cents perception of books, has now also changed.  On top of that, Amazon has now become a publisher in its own right.  Having now achieved a significant market share it would appear that Amazon is moving away from favouring the 99 cents cheap or free giveaway books in favour of those at a higher price point.

 This new stance on pricing could be a reason why Amazon recently changed its terms of conditions for affiliate marketing of Kindle eBooks.  It used to be that Amazon would recompense affiliates when a book was promoted through their affiliate links.  Amazon is now reducing the benefits to affiliates when promoting eBooks on KDP promotions, with the result that many of the sites which had been set up to promote to their subscriber lists are now charging to promote to their subscriber lists whereas, in the past, they did it for free.

 Thus it could be argued that the effect of the KDP free promotional giveaway is being eroded as a result of Amazon’s new way of thinking and therefore we are being left with options requiring payment.

 The basic Amazon Kindle criteria for royalty reimbursement is that if your book is priced under $2.99 or over $9.99 you will receive 35% royalty but for those priced between these two figures you will receive a royalty of 70%.

 To make any kind of significant income you therefore need to have your book priced in excess of $2.99 although, as we have seen during the launch sequence, it can be strategically useful to price at the lowest figure available on Amazon, which is 99 cents, for a short period of time to gain some initial traction.

 It should be borne in mind that a very small payment, in the region of 6 cents per eBook sold, will be deducted by Amazon from your royalty for the delivery, i.e. to physically download your book from the Kindle website.  If your book is picture rather than text based this fee will increase as it is based upon the actual file size of your book.

 It is more likely therefore that, as an average, you will receive closer to 66% royalty after this download fee rather than 70% royalty, unless of course your book has a large file size due to high image content.

 It would logically follow that children’s books, often being mainly picture based, would be penalised but Amazon have made an exception when levying download fees for children’s picture books.

 There are some exceptions to the royalty figures quoted whereby a sale is made from a country which does not have its own dedicated Kindle bookstore.  If anyone within a country without its own store buys a book they are able to do so via the Amazon.com website but you, as an author, will only receive 35% instead of 70% royalty, no matter what price the book.

 There is one other exception which might affect your royalty payment, which is a recent introduction by Kindle, relating to some countries, e.g. India, which might only pay 35% if you are not enrolled in KDP Select.  It would seem that as some new Kindle stores are being rolled out around the world that this rule is becoming more prevalent, i.e. Amazon are trying to shepherd you at all times to sign up to their KDP Select scheme to receive the full 70% royalty.  N.B. This exception does not at the time of writing apply to the early Kindle stores e.g. USA & UK

‘The Withholding Tax’ Levied on Royalties Earned Outside of the USA

 There is one other charge which can be deducted from your royalties, based upon your location in the world and tax agreements between your country and that of the USA.  This is called ‘the withholding tax’.  If you are a publisher within the USA this tax will not be levied as they know that any income tax will be deducted via your normal IRS tax return.  However, if you are a publisher outside of the USA they will automatically withhold 35% by way of taxation until it can be proved that your country has a reciprocal tax agreement with the USA.

 If your country does have a reciprocal tax agreement (as is the case with the UK) then as long as you submit the relevant tax forms, this withholding tax will not be levied.

 The US tax authorities do withhold tax - 30%. Up until now there has been a VERY tortuous route to get this unlocked, involving application for an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN), trips to the US Embassy with passports and much form filling.

 There is now a short cut, which I have successfully used, whereby you apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS in the USA. This can be done over the phone. Once you have your EIN, you then download a W8-BEN form from the IRS website, complete the form and post to Amazon in Seattle.

 Full details of the procedure can be found from this excellent web-post: See module 9.pdf for more details

 Scroll down the page a little to find the simple 8 step procedure. It may seem lengthy, but believe me, it's a whole lot simpler than the aforementioned method....and it's worth it in the end, as you get to keep the 30% that they have been withholding - so the sooner you start, the better.

European VAT - Setting European Union Prices

 Here follows Amazon’s current rulings (from KDP Help) with regard to how VAT changes might affect the prices you charge for your books.  On January 1, 2015, European Union (EU) tax laws regarding the taxation of electronically supplied services (including digital products such as eBooks) will change. Previously, Value Added Tax (VAT) was applied based on the seller’s country of residence, but as of January 1st, VAT will be applied based on the buyer’s country of establishment. 

 As a result, starting on January 1st, the list prices that authors enter will include VAT. For books already available through KDP, to make this transition easier, we will make a one-time adjustment to include VAT in list prices.  These tax changes affect the list prices that customers may see if they have access to these Kindle stores in the UK, Spain, Germany and Italy.

 How this changes the way you set your list prices Before January 1, 2015, to set a list price of £1.99, you had to enter £1.93 to ensure that your list price would be £1.99 once 3% VAT was applied (Amazon originally based itself in Luxembourg as its European base in order to take advantage of their 3% VAT rate). Now, you can simply enter £1.99, and your list price includes VAT. When we calculate royalties, we will deduct the applicable VAT. You'll be able to see your list price without VAT for the primary country of each marketplace in the pricing page. This makes it possible for you to compare the suggested customer price with the price used to calculate your royalties. When you enter list prices, you'll see the VAT rate for the primary country in each Kindle store.  If you set your EU list prices to automatically calculate from your U.S. list price, your list prices for EU Kindle stores will automatically include VAT. For example, if you set a suggested U.S. list price of $10.00, we convert that price to Euros for the German marketplace. If the exchange rate is 0.8 that day, the Amazon.de list price including VAT will be €8.00. For a sale to a German customer, we would deduct 19% VAT and calculate royalty on a VAT-exclusive list price of €6.72.   *Italy note: Due to country-specific legislation in Italy, a lower VAT rate of 4% will apply to eBooks with ISBNs purchased on the amazon.it Kindle store by customers in Italy. A higher VAT rate of 22% will apply to eBooks without ISBNs. KDP doesn’t require ISBNs for eBooks, but having an ISBN will ensure a lower VAT rate for sales of your eBook to customers in Italy.

Price Guidelines Based on Real Time Data

 Earlier in the course I mentioned Smashwords, who are a central publishing hub enabling authors to publish to multiple publishing platforms, all under one roof.  Because Smashwords acts as an intermediary for so many authors, they have the advantage of a huge amount of data, which they can analyse for statistical trends. Here are Smashwords findings:    Regarding the most common price points: o For Fiction and non- fiction - $2.99, followed by $3.99.

 The price points which get the most downloads: o For Fiction - $.99, $2.99 and $3.99. o For Non-Fiction - $.99, $2.99 and $9.99.

 The price points at which authors earn the most money o For Fiction & Non-Fiction – $3.99. These results are based on averages and combine fiction and non-fiction (it’s 90% sales-weighted towards fiction, so it represents fiction behaviour more than non-fiction). $3.99 remains a good price for full-length fiction.

 The least profitable price point - $1.99

 Non-Fiction in general - Non-fiction can generally support higher prices than fiction, as readers are buying books to acquire knowledge or solve a problem, and this knowledge or problem-solving has a high value attached to it. As long as the value of the knowledge exceeds the price of the book, it’s easy for a reader to justify paying a higher price.

 Children’s Books – Most children’s picture books which are short on words, with less than 15-20 pages will be priced at $0.99 cents.  Longer books can be priced over $2.99 cents.

Section 10: Module 10 Videos 31-42 Post Launch Strategies
19:31

- Module 10 - Post Launch Strategies

Reviews – [See Videos 31-35] Some Important Facts

Ø  A 1-star review can hurt sales more than a 5-star review might improve them.

Ø  Make sure you have some tame but legitimate 4-star and 5-star reviews before you let your book loose on the world with any kind of promotion. Watch videos 31-35

Ø  One downside of putting your book on a ‘free’ Kindle promotion free promotions is that it can sometimes attract people who seem to revel in giving negative reviews even though they have not paid for your book i.e. they downloaded it during a free promo. The solution is to make sure that you have at least one ‘friendly’ 4 or 5-star review in place before your free book promotion commences.

Ø  People who love your book are less likely to leave a review, compared to those who dislike it.

Ø  It is estimated that as few as 1 in 1,000 readers might leave a review on your book unless you specifically ask them to do so.  My findings are that it is closer to 1 in 500 readers.  Amazon seems to be setting up a default system, particularly since the launch of the Kindle Fire, whereby at the close of your book the reader will see an automated Amazon page requesting a review.  This does seem to have increased the frequency of reviews being left.  It is important, if you are keen to have reviews that you don’t have a lot of unnecessary resource and reference information at the end of your book otherwise people might not click past that to see the Amazon automated review-request page.

Ø  Whilst it is essential to have some positive 4-star or 5-star reviews when your book is first launched, do not worry thereafter if you receive some negative 1-star or 2-star reviews, as their presence will in fact appear to be quite natural on any sales page.  Even the most well respected authors attract negative reviews, simply because you cannot please everyone all of the time.

Ø  Wherever possible try to get a ‘verified’ review.  The label ‘verified’ will show up above any review left by someone who has not only read your book but actually purchased or borrowed it.  Verified reviews are more credible than reviews without this tag.

Ø  Below each review there is a voting button whereby Amazon asks the reader of the web page whether the review has been helpful or not.  The more times the ‘helpful’ link is clicked on any one review, the higher that review will rank in the overall list and the more visible to the casual browser. So it’s always worth asking your friends, assuming they have read you book, to click on your ‘helpful review’ links in order to keep them visible near the top. Trying to ‘game the system’ however, by requesting multiple people to visit your book sales page purely with the intention of ‘voting up’ you book is against Amazon’s TOS, so avoid this practise.

Ø  Notwithstanding the Amazon ‘automated review request form’, it makes sense to request at the very end of your book that a buyer leaves a review.  If you do this, make sure you link your request to the review submission page to make it easy for the buyer to leave a review.

Ø  When people leave you a review they are further requested to share their review on social media via social media buttons, e.g. Twitter and Facebook.  If they do this, your review will rank higher up the Amazon review chart.

Amazon’s Review GuidelinesIt’s important that you read these regularly!


Amazon’s View on Reviews from Family & Friends


“We don't allow individuals who share a household with the author or close friends to write Customer Reviews for that author’s book” – Amazon Review Guidelines

·         Do not allow family or friends sharing the same physical address, or Internet (IP) address to leave you a review, as this is against Amazon’s TOS.

·         If you ask more distant family to leave a review, make sure that they don’t leave a 5-star review.

·         Personally, I would also advise that any member of your family sharing your same surname also not to leave you a review.

·         Outside of your home, I find Amazon’s policy regarding reviews from close friends to be very vague.  After all, what constitutes a close friend?  What I think you want to avoid when it comes to reviews from friends, is to avoid a recognisable pattern.  The odd review from a variety of friends is probably OK, as opposed to one friend in particular leaving you multiple reviews for all your books, would constitute a trend that Amazon would disallow.

How to Use Facebook & Social Media

‘Review Swaps’ are now Banned!

It’s perfectly okay to let to announce details of your book release on social media e.g. Facebook, in the hope that people will download either a free or discounted copy of your book.

Do not however, under any circumstances, request a ‘review swap’ i.e. “I’ll review your book if you review my book.”  Amazon is now firmly against this practise and review swaps are against their terms of service.   

See module 10.pdf for more resources






18:46

- Module 10 - Post Launch Strategies

Reviews – [See Videos 31-35] Some Important Facts

Ø  A 1-star review can hurt sales more than a 5-star review might improve them.

Ø  Make sure you have some tame but legitimate 4-star and 5-star reviews before you let your book loose on the world with any kind of promotion. Watch videos 31-35

Ø  One downside of putting your book on a ‘free’ Kindle promotion free promotions is that it can sometimes attract people who seem to revel in giving negative reviews even though they have not paid for your book i.e. they downloaded it during a free promo. The solution is to make sure that you have at least one ‘friendly’ 4 or 5-star review in place before your free book promotion commences.

Ø  People who love your book are less likely to leave a review, compared to those who dislike it.

Ø  It is estimated that as few as 1 in 1,000 readers might leave a review on your book unless you specifically ask them to do so.  My findings are that it is closer to 1 in 500 readers.  Amazon seems to be setting up a default system, particularly since the launch of the Kindle Fire, whereby at the close of your book the reader will see an automated Amazon page requesting a review.  This does seem to have increased the frequency of reviews being left.  It is important, if you are keen to have reviews that you don’t have a lot of unnecessary resource and reference information at the end of your book otherwise people might not click past that to see the Amazon automated review-request page.

Ø  Whilst it is essential to have some positive 4-star or 5-star reviews when your book is first launched, do not worry thereafter if you receive some negative 1-star or 2-star reviews, as their presence will in fact appear to be quite natural on any sales page.  Even the most well respected authors attract negative reviews, simply because you cannot please everyone all of the time.

Ø  Wherever possible try to get a ‘verified’ review.  The label ‘verified’ will show up above any review left by someone who has not only read your book but actually purchased or borrowed it.  Verified reviews are more credible than reviews without this tag.

Ø  Below each review there is a voting button whereby Amazon asks the reader of the web page whether the review has been helpful or not.  The more times the ‘helpful’ link is clicked on any one review, the higher that review will rank in the overall list and the more visible to the casual browser. So it’s always worth asking your friends, assuming they have read you book, to click on your ‘helpful review’ links in order to keep them visible near the top. Trying to ‘game the system’ however, by requesting multiple people to visit your book sales page purely with the intention of ‘voting up’ you book is against Amazon’s TOS, so avoid this practise.

Ø  Notwithstanding the Amazon ‘automated review request form’, it makes sense to request at the very end of your book that a buyer leaves a review.  If you do this, make sure you link your request to the review submission page to make it easy for the buyer to leave a review.

Ø  When people leave you a review they are further requested to share their review on social media via social media buttons, e.g. Twitter and Facebook.  If they do this, your review will rank higher up the Amazon review chart.

Amazon’s Review GuidelinesIt’s important that you read these regularly!


Amazon’s View on Reviews from Family & Friends


“We don't allow individuals who share a household with the author or close friends to write Customer Reviews for that author’s book” – Amazon Review Guidelines

·         Do not allow family or friends sharing the same physical address, or Internet (IP) address to leave you a review, as this is against Amazon’s TOS.

·         If you ask more distant family to leave a review, make sure that they don’t leave a 5-star review.

·         Personally, I would also advise that any member of your family sharing your same surname also not to leave you a review.

·         Outside of your home, I find Amazon’s policy regarding reviews from close friends to be very vague.  After all, what constitutes a close friend?  What I think you want to avoid when it comes to reviews from friends, is to avoid a recognisable pattern.  The odd review from a variety of friends is probably OK, as opposed to one friend in particular leaving you multiple reviews for all your books, would constitute a trend that Amazon would disallow.

How to Use Facebook & Social Media

‘Review Swaps’ are now Banned!

It’s perfectly okay to let to announce details of your book release on social media e.g. Facebook, in the hope that people will download either a free or discounted copy of your book.

Do not however, under any circumstances, request a ‘review swap’ i.e. “I’ll review your book if you review my book.”  Amazon is now firmly against this practise and review swaps are against their terms of service.

For further resources, please see module 10 pdf associated with this section.



18:46

- Module 10 - Post Launch Strategies

Reviews – [See Videos 31-35] Some Important Facts

Ø  A 1-star review can hurt sales more than a 5-star review might improve them.

Ø  Make sure you have some tame but legitimate 4-star and 5-star reviews before you let your book loose on the world with any kind of promotion. Watch videos 31-35

Ø  One downside of putting your book on a ‘free’ Kindle promotion free promotions is that it can sometimes attract people who seem to revel in giving negative reviews even though they have not paid for your book i.e. they downloaded it during a free promo. The solution is to make sure that you have at least one ‘friendly’ 4 or 5-star review in place before your free book promotion commences.

Ø  People who love your book are less likely to leave a review, compared to those who dislike it.

Ø  It is estimated that as few as 1 in 1,000 readers might leave a review on your book unless you specifically ask them to do so.  My findings are that it is closer to 1 in 500 readers.  Amazon seems to be setting up a default system, particularly since the launch of the Kindle Fire, whereby at the close of your book the reader will see an automated Amazon page requesting a review.  This does seem to have increased the frequency of reviews being left.  It is important, if you are keen to have reviews that you don’t have a lot of unnecessary resource and reference information at the end of your book otherwise people might not click past that to see the Amazon automated review-request page.

Ø  Whilst it is essential to have some positive 4-star or 5-star reviews when your book is first launched, do not worry thereafter if you receive some negative 1-star or 2-star reviews, as their presence will in fact appear to be quite natural on any sales page.  Even the most well respected authors attract negative reviews, simply because you cannot please everyone all of the time.

Ø  Wherever possible try to get a ‘verified’ review.  The label ‘verified’ will show up above any review left by someone who has not only read your book but actually purchased or borrowed it.  Verified reviews are more credible than reviews without this tag.

Ø  Below each review there is a voting button whereby Amazon asks the reader of the web page whether the review has been helpful or not.  The more times the ‘helpful’ link is clicked on any one review, the higher that review will rank in the overall list and the more visible to the casual browser. So it’s always worth asking your friends, assuming they have read you book, to click on your ‘helpful review’ links in order to keep them visible near the top. Trying to ‘game the system’ however, by requesting multiple people to visit your book sales page purely with the intention of ‘voting up’ you book is against Amazon’s TOS, so avoid this practise.

Ø  Notwithstanding the Amazon ‘automated review request form’, it makes sense to request at the very end of your book that a buyer leaves a review.  If you do this, make sure you link your request to the review submission page to make it easy for the buyer to leave a review.

Ø  When people leave you a review they are further requested to share their review on social media via social media buttons, e.g. Twitter and Facebook.  If they do this, your review will rank higher up the Amazon review chart.

Amazon’s Review Guidelines – It’s important that you read these regularly!

Amazon’s View on Reviews from Family & Friends

“We don't allow individuals who share a household with the author or close friends to write Customer Reviews for that author’s book” – Amazon Review Guidelines

·         Do not allow family or friends sharing the same physical address, or Internet (IP) address to leave you a review, as this is against Amazon’s TOS.

·         If you ask more distant family to leave a review, make sure that they don’t leave a 5-star review.

·         Personally, I would also advise that any member of your family sharing your same surname also not to leave you a review.

·         Outside of your home, I find Amazon’s policy regarding reviews from close friends to be very vague.  After all, what constitutes a close friend?  What I think you want to avoid when it comes to reviews from friends, is to avoid a recognisable pattern.  The odd review from a variety of friends is probably OK, as opposed to one friend in particular leaving you multiple reviews for all your books, would constitute a trend that Amazon would disallow.

How to Use Facebook & Social Media

‘Review Swaps’ are now Banned!

It’s perfectly okay to let to announce details of your book release on social media e.g. Facebook, in the hope that people will download either a free or discounted copy of your book.

Do not however, under any circumstances, request a ‘review swap’ i.e. “I’ll review your book if you review my book.”  Amazon is now firmly against this practise and review swaps are against their terms of service.

For further resources, please see module 10 pdf associated with this section.

16:38

- Module 10 - Post Launch Strategies

Reviews – [See Videos 31-35] Some Important Facts

Ø  A 1-star review can hurt sales more than a 5-star review might improve them.

Ø  Make sure you have some tame but legitimate 4-star and 5-star reviews before you let your book loose on the world with any kind of promotion. Watch videos 31-35

Ø  One downside of putting your book on a ‘free’ Kindle promotion free promotions is that it can sometimes attract people who seem to revel in giving negative reviews even though they have not paid for your book i.e. they downloaded it during a free promo. The solution is to make sure that you have at least one ‘friendly’ 4 or 5-star review in place before your free book promotion commences.

Ø  People who love your book are less likely to leave a review, compared to those who dislike it.

Ø  It is estimated that as few as 1 in 1,000 readers might leave a review on your book unless you specifically ask them to do so.  My findings are that it is closer to 1 in 500 readers.  Amazon seems to be setting up a default system, particularly since the launch of the Kindle Fire, whereby at the close of your book the reader will see an automated Amazon page requesting a review.  This does seem to have increased the frequency of reviews being left.  It is important, if you are keen to have reviews that you don’t have a lot of unnecessary resource and reference information at the end of your book otherwise people might not click past that to see the Amazon automated review-request page.

Ø  Whilst it is essential to have some positive 4-star or 5-star reviews when your book is first launched, do not worry thereafter if you receive some negative 1-star or 2-star reviews, as their presence will in fact appear to be quite natural on any sales page.  Even the most well respected authors attract negative reviews, simply because you cannot please everyone all of the time.

Ø  Wherever possible try to get a ‘verified’ review.  The label ‘verified’ will show up above any review left by someone who has not only read your book but actually purchased or borrowed it.  Verified reviews are more credible than reviews without this tag.

Ø  Below each review there is a voting button whereby Amazon asks the reader of the web page whether the review has been helpful or not.  The more times the ‘helpful’ link is clicked on any one review, the higher that review will rank in the overall list and the more visible to the casual browser. So it’s always worth asking your friends, assuming they have read you book, to click on your ‘helpful review’ links in order to keep them visible near the top. Trying to ‘game the system’ however, by requesting multiple people to visit your book sales page purely with the intention of ‘voting up’ you book is against Amazon’s TOS, so avoid this practise.

Ø  Notwithstanding the Amazon ‘automated review request form’, it makes sense to request at the very end of your book that a buyer leaves a review.  If you do this, make sure you link your request to the review submission page to make it easy for the buyer to leave a review.

Ø  When people leave you a review they are further requested to share their review on social media via social media buttons, e.g. Twitter and Facebook.  If they do this, your review will rank higher up the Amazon review chart.

Amazon’s Review Guidelines – It’s important that you read these regularly!

Amazon’s View on Reviews from Family & Friends

“We don't allow individuals who share a household with the author or close friends to write Customer Reviews for that author’s book” – Amazon Review Guidelines

·         Do not allow family or friends sharing the same physical address, or Internet (IP) address to leave you a review, as this is against Amazon’s TOS.

·         If you ask more distant family to leave a review, make sure that they don’t leave a 5-star review.

·         Personally, I would also advise that any member of your family sharing your same surname also not to leave you a review.

·         Outside of your home, I find Amazon’s policy regarding reviews from close friends to be very vague.  After all, what constitutes a close friend?  What I think you want to avoid when it comes to reviews from friends, is to avoid a recognisable pattern.  The odd review from a variety of friends is probably OK, as opposed to one friend in particular leaving you multiple reviews for all your books, would constitute a trend that Amazon would disallow.

How to Use Facebook & Social Media

‘Review Swaps’ are now Banned!

It’s perfectly okay to let to announce details of your book release on social media e.g. Facebook, in the hope that people will download either a free or discounted copy of your book.

Do not however, under any circumstances, request a ‘review swap’ i.e. “I’ll review your book if you review my book.”  Amazon is now firmly against this practise and review swaps are against their terms of service.

For further resources, please see module 10 pdf associated with this section.

14:34

- Module 10 - Post Launch Strategies

Reviews – [See Videos 31-35] Some Important Facts

Ø  A 1-star review can hurt sales more than a 5-star review might improve them.

Ø  Make sure you have some tame but legitimate 4-star and 5-star reviews before you let your book loose on the world with any kind of promotion. Watch videos 31-35

Ø  One downside of putting your book on a ‘free’ Kindle promotion free promotions is that it can sometimes attract people who seem to revel in giving negative reviews even though they have not paid for your book i.e. they downloaded it during a free promo. The solution is to make sure that you have at least one ‘friendly’ 4 or 5-star review in place before your free book promotion commences.

Ø  People who love your book are less likely to leave a review, compared to those who dislike it.

Ø  It is estimated that as few as 1 in 1,000 readers might leave a review on your book unless you specifically ask them to do so.  My findings are that it is closer to 1 in 500 readers.  Amazon seems to be setting up a default system, particularly since the launch of the Kindle Fire, whereby at the close of your book the reader will see an automated Amazon page requesting a review.  This does seem to have increased the frequency of reviews being left.  It is important, if you are keen to have reviews that you don’t have a lot of unnecessary resource and reference information at the end of your book otherwise people might not click past that to see the Amazon automated review-request page.

Ø  Whilst it is essential to have some positive 4-star or 5-star reviews when your book is first launched, do not worry thereafter if you receive some negative 1-star or 2-star reviews, as their presence will in fact appear to be quite natural on any sales page.  Even the most well respected authors attract negative reviews, simply because you cannot please everyone all of the time.

Ø  Wherever possible try to get a ‘verified’ review.  The label ‘verified’ will show up above any review left by someone who has not only read your book but actually purchased or borrowed it.  Verified reviews are more credible than reviews without this tag.

Ø  Below each review there is a voting button whereby Amazon asks the reader of the web page whether the review has been helpful or not.  The more times the ‘helpful’ link is clicked on any one review, the higher that review will rank in the overall list and the more visible to the casual browser. So it’s always worth asking your friends, assuming they have read you book, to click on your ‘helpful review’ links in order to keep them visible near the top. Trying to ‘game the system’ however, by requesting multiple people to visit your book sales page purely with the intention of ‘voting up’ you book is against Amazon’s TOS, so avoid this practise.

Ø  Notwithstanding the Amazon ‘automated review request form’, it makes sense to request at the very end of your book that a buyer leaves a review.  If you do this, make sure you link your request to the review submission page to make it easy for the buyer to leave a review.

Ø  When people leave you a review they are further requested to share their review on social media via social media buttons, e.g. Twitter and Facebook.  If they do this, your review will rank higher up the Amazon review chart.

Amazon’s Review Guidelines – It’s important that you read these regularly!

Amazon’s View on Reviews from Family & Friends

“We don't allow individuals who share a household with the author or close friends to write Customer Reviews for that author’s book” – Amazon Review Guidelines

·         Do not allow family or friends sharing the same physical address, or Internet (IP) address to leave you a review, as this is against Amazon’s TOS.

·         If you ask more distant family to leave a review, make sure that they don’t leave a 5-star review.

·         Personally, I would also advise that any member of your family sharing your same surname also not to leave you a review.

·         Outside of your home, I find Amazon’s policy regarding reviews from close friends to be very vague.  After all, what constitutes a close friend?  What I think you want to avoid when it comes to reviews from friends, is to avoid a recognisable pattern.  The odd review from a variety of friends is probably OK, as opposed to one friend in particular leaving you multiple reviews for all your books, would constitute a trend that Amazon would disallow.

How to Use Facebook & Social Media

‘Review Swaps’ are now Banned!

It’s perfectly okay to let to announce details of your book release on social media e.g. Facebook, in the hope that people will download either a free or discounted copy of your book.

Do not however, under any circumstances, request a ‘review swap’ i.e. “I’ll review your book if you review my book.”  Amazon is now firmly against this practise and review swaps are against their terms of service.

For further resources, please see module 10 pdf associated with this section.

18:43

- Module 10 - Post Launch Strategies

Reviews – [See Videos 31-35] Some Important Facts

Ø  A 1-star review can hurt sales more than a 5-star review might improve them.

Ø  Make sure you have some tame but legitimate 4-star and 5-star reviews before you let your book loose on the world with any kind of promotion. Watch videos 31-35

Ø  One downside of putting your book on a ‘free’ Kindle promotion free promotions is that it can sometimes attract people who seem to revel in giving negative reviews even though they have not paid for your book i.e. they downloaded it during a free promo. The solution is to make sure that you have at least one ‘friendly’ 4 or 5-star review in place before your free book promotion commences.

Ø  People who love your book are less likely to leave a review, compared to those who dislike it.

Ø  It is estimated that as few as 1 in 1,000 readers might leave a review on your book unless you specifically ask them to do so.  My findings are that it is closer to 1 in 500 readers.  Amazon seems to be setting up a default system, particularly since the launch of the Kindle Fire, whereby at the close of your book the reader will see an automated Amazon page requesting a review.  This does seem to have increased the frequency of reviews being left.  It is important, if you are keen to have reviews that you don’t have a lot of unnecessary resource and reference information at the end of your book otherwise people might not click past that to see the Amazon automated review-request page.

Ø  Whilst it is essential to have some positive 4-star or 5-star reviews when your book is first launched, do not worry thereafter if you receive some negative 1-star or 2-star reviews, as their presence will in fact appear to be quite natural on any sales page.  Even the most well respected authors attract negative reviews, simply because you cannot please everyone all of the time.

Ø  Wherever possible try to get a ‘verified’ review.  The label ‘verified’ will show up above any review left by someone who has not only read your book but actually purchased or borrowed it.  Verified reviews are more credible than reviews without this tag.

Ø  Below each review there is a voting button whereby Amazon asks the reader of the web page whether the review has been helpful or not.  The more times the ‘helpful’ link is clicked on any one review, the higher that review will rank in the overall list and the more visible to the casual browser. So it’s always worth asking your friends, assuming they have read you book, to click on your ‘helpful review’ links in order to keep them visible near the top. Trying to ‘game the system’ however, by requesting multiple people to visit your book sales page purely with the intention of ‘voting up’ you book is against Amazon’s TOS, so avoid this practise.

Ø  Notwithstanding the Amazon ‘automated review request form’, it makes sense to request at the very end of your book that a buyer leaves a review.  If you do this, make sure you link your request to the review submission page to make it easy for the buyer to leave a review.

Ø  When people leave you a review they are further requested to share their review on social media via social media buttons, e.g. Twitter and Facebook.  If they do this, your review will rank higher up the Amazon review chart.

Amazon’s Review Guidelines – It’s important that you read these regularly!

Amazon’s View on Reviews from Family & Friends

“We don't allow individuals who share a household with the author or close friends to write Customer Reviews for that author’s book” – Amazon Review Guidelines

·         Do not allow family or friends sharing the same physical address, or Internet (IP) address to leave you a review, as this is against Amazon’s TOS.

·         If you ask more distant family to leave a review, make sure that they don’t leave a 5-star review.

·         Personally, I would also advise that any member of your family sharing your same surname also not to leave you a review.

·         Outside of your home, I find Amazon’s policy regarding reviews from close friends to be very vague.  After all, what constitutes a close friend?  What I think you want to avoid when it comes to reviews from friends, is to avoid a recognisable pattern.  The odd review from a variety of friends is probably OK, as opposed to one friend in particular leaving you multiple reviews for all your books, would constitute a trend that Amazon would disallow.

How to Use Facebook & Social Media

‘Review Swaps’ are now Banned!

It’s perfectly okay to let to announce details of your book release on social media e.g. Facebook, in the hope that people will download either a free or discounted copy of your book.

Do not however, under any circumstances, request a ‘review swap’ i.e. “I’ll review your book if you review my book.”  Amazon is now firmly against this practise and review swaps are against their terms of service.

For further resources, please see module 10 pdf associated with this section.

15:41

- Module 10 - Post Launch Strategies

Reviews – [See Videos 31-35] Some Important Facts

Ø  A 1-star review can hurt sales more than a 5-star review might improve them.

Ø  Make sure you have some tame but legitimate 4-star and 5-star reviews before you let your book loose on the world with any kind of promotion. Watch videos 31-35

Ø  One downside of putting your book on a ‘free’ Kindle promotion free promotions is that it can sometimes attract people who seem to revel in giving negative reviews even though they have not paid for your book i.e. they downloaded it during a free promo. The solution is to make sure that you have at least one ‘friendly’ 4 or 5-star review in place before your free book promotion commences.

Ø  People who love your book are less likely to leave a review, compared to those who dislike it.

Ø  It is estimated that as few as 1 in 1,000 readers might leave a review on your book unless you specifically ask them to do so.  My findings are that it is closer to 1 in 500 readers.  Amazon seems to be setting up a default system, particularly since the launch of the Kindle Fire, whereby at the close of your book the reader will see an automated Amazon page requesting a review.  This does seem to have increased the frequency of reviews being left.  It is important, if you are keen to have reviews that you don’t have a lot of unnecessary resource and reference information at the end of your book otherwise people might not click past that to see the Amazon automated review-request page.

Ø  Whilst it is essential to have some positive 4-star or 5-star reviews when your book is first launched, do not worry thereafter if you receive some negative 1-star or 2-star reviews, as their presence will in fact appear to be quite natural on any sales page.  Even the most well respected authors attract negative reviews, simply because you cannot please everyone all of the time.

Ø  Wherever possible try to get a ‘verified’ review.  The label ‘verified’ will show up above any review left by someone who has not only read your book but actually purchased or borrowed it.  Verified reviews are more credible than reviews without this tag.

Ø  Below each review there is a voting button whereby Amazon asks the reader of the web page whether the review has been helpful or not.  The more times the ‘helpful’ link is clicked on any one review, the higher that review will rank in the overall list and the more visible to the casual browser. So it’s always worth asking your friends, assuming they have read you book, to click on your ‘helpful review’ links in order to keep them visible near the top. Trying to ‘game the system’ however, by requesting multiple people to visit your book sales page purely with the intention of ‘voting up’ you book is against Amazon’s TOS, so avoid this practise.

Ø  Notwithstanding the Amazon ‘automated review request form’, it makes sense to request at the very end of your book that a buyer leaves a review.  If you do this, make sure you link your request to the review submission page to make it easy for the buyer to leave a review.

Ø  When people leave you a review they are further requested to share their review on social media via social media buttons, e.g. Twitter and Facebook.  If they do this, your review will rank higher up the Amazon review chart.

Amazon’s Review Guidelines – It’s important that you read these regularly!

Amazon’s View on Reviews from Family & Friends

“We don't allow individuals who share a household with the author or close friends to write Customer Reviews for that author’s book” – Amazon Review Guidelines

·         Do not allow family or friends sharing the same physical address, or Internet (IP) address to leave you a review, as this is against Amazon’s TOS.

·         If you ask more distant family to leave a review, make sure that they don’t leave a 5-star review.

·         Personally, I would also advise that any member of your family sharing your same surname also not to leave you a review.

·         Outside of your home, I find Amazon’s policy regarding reviews from close friends to be very vague.  After all, what constitutes a close friend?  What I think you want to avoid when it comes to reviews from friends, is to avoid a recognisable pattern.  The odd review from a variety of friends is probably OK, as opposed to one friend in particular leaving you multiple reviews for all your books, would constitute a trend that Amazon would disallow.

How to Use Facebook & Social Media

‘Review Swaps’ are now Banned!

It’s perfectly okay to let to announce details of your book release on social media e.g. Facebook, in the hope that people will download either a free or discounted copy of your book.

Do not however, under any circumstances, request a ‘review swap’ i.e. “I’ll review your book if you review my book.”  Amazon is now firmly against this practise and review swaps are against their terms of service.

For further resources, please see module 10 pdf associated with this section.

15:36

This video will bring you up to date with Amazon policy changes regarding 'reviews' being left for Kindle ebooks.

19:48

- Module 10 - Post Launch Strategies

Reviews – [See Videos 31-35] Some Important Facts

Ø  A 1-star review can hurt sales more than a 5-star review might improve them.

Ø  Make sure you have some tame but legitimate 4-star and 5-star reviews before you let your book loose on the world with any kind of promotion. Watch videos 31-35

Ø  One downside of putting your book on a ‘free’ Kindle promotion free promotions is that it can sometimes attract people who seem to revel in giving negative reviews even though they have not paid for your book i.e. they downloaded it during a free promo. The solution is to make sure that you have at least one ‘friendly’ 4 or 5-star review in place before your free book promotion commences.

Ø  People who love your book are less likely to leave a review, compared to those who dislike it.

Ø  It is estimated that as few as 1 in 1,000 readers might leave a review on your book unless you specifically ask them to do so.  My findings are that it is closer to 1 in 500 readers.  Amazon seems to be setting up a default system, particularly since the launch of the Kindle Fire, whereby at the close of your book the reader will see an automated Amazon page requesting a review.  This does seem to have increased the frequency of reviews being left.  It is important, if you are keen to have reviews that you don’t have a lot of unnecessary resource and reference information at the end of your book otherwise people might not click past that to see the Amazon automated review-request page.

Ø  Whilst it is essential to have some positive 4-star or 5-star reviews when your book is first launched, do not worry thereafter if you receive some negative 1-star or 2-star reviews, as their presence will in fact appear to be quite natural on any sales page.  Even the most well respected authors attract negative reviews, simply because you cannot please everyone all of the time.

Ø  Wherever possible try to get a ‘verified’ review.  The label ‘verified’ will show up above any review left by someone who has not only read your book but actually purchased or borrowed it.  Verified reviews are more credible than reviews without this tag.

Ø  Below each review there is a voting button whereby Amazon asks the reader of the web page whether the review has been helpful or not.  The more times the ‘helpful’ link is clicked on any one review, the higher that review will rank in the overall list and the more visible to the casual browser. So it’s always worth asking your friends, assuming they have read you book, to click on your ‘helpful review’ links in order to keep them visible near the top. Trying to ‘game the system’ however, by requesting multiple people to visit your book sales page purely with the intention of ‘voting up’ you book is against Amazon’s TOS, so avoid this practise.

Ø  Notwithstanding the Amazon ‘automated review request form’, it makes sense to request at the very end of your book that a buyer leaves a review.  If you do this, make sure you link your request to the review submission page to make it easy for the buyer to leave a review.

Ø  When people leave you a review they are further requested to share their review on social media via social media buttons, e.g. Twitter and Facebook.  If they do this, your review will rank higher up the Amazon review chart.

Amazon’s Review Guidelines – It’s important that you read these regularly!

Amazon’s View on Reviews from Family & Friends

“We don't allow individuals who share a household with the author or close friends to write Customer Reviews for that author’s book” – Amazon Review Guidelines

·         Do not allow family or friends sharing the same physical address, or Internet (IP) address to leave you a review, as this is against Amazon’s TOS.

·         If you ask more distant family to leave a review, make sure that they don’t leave a 5-star review.

·         Personally, I would also advise that any member of your family sharing your same surname also not to leave you a review.

·         Outside of your home, I find Amazon’s policy regarding reviews from close friends to be very vague.  After all, what constitutes a close friend?  What I think you want to avoid when it comes to reviews from friends, is to avoid a recognisable pattern.  The odd review from a variety of friends is probably OK, as opposed to one friend in particular leaving you multiple reviews for all your books, would constitute a trend that Amazon would disallow.

How to Use Facebook & Social Media

‘Review Swaps’ are now Banned!

It’s perfectly okay to let to announce details of your book release on social media e.g. Facebook, in the hope that people will download either a free or discounted copy of your book.

Do not however, under any circumstances, request a ‘review swap’ i.e. “I’ll review your book if you review my book.”  Amazon is now firmly against this practise and review swaps are against their terms of service.

For further resources, please see module 10 pdf associated with this section.

13:40

- Module 10 - Post Launch Strategies

Reviews – [See Videos 31-35] Some Important Facts

Ø  A 1-star review can hurt sales more than a 5-star review might improve them.

Ø  Make sure you have some tame but legitimate 4-star and 5-star reviews before you let your book loose on the world with any kind of promotion. Watch videos 31-35

Ø  One downside of putting your book on a ‘free’ Kindle promotion free promotions is that it can sometimes attract people who seem to revel in giving negative reviews even though they have not paid for your book i.e. they downloaded it during a free promo. The solution is to make sure that you have at least one ‘friendly’ 4 or 5-star review in place before your free book promotion commences.

Ø  People who love your book are less likely to leave a review, compared to those who dislike it.

Ø  It is estimated that as few as 1 in 1,000 readers might leave a review on your book unless you specifically ask them to do so.  My findings are that it is closer to 1 in 500 readers.  Amazon seems to be setting up a default system, particularly since the launch of the Kindle Fire, whereby at the close of your book the reader will see an automated Amazon page requesting a review.  This does seem to have increased the frequency of reviews being left.  It is important, if you are keen to have reviews that you don’t have a lot of unnecessary resource and reference information at the end of your book otherwise people might not click past that to see the Amazon automated review-request page.

Ø  Whilst it is essential to have some positive 4-star or 5-star reviews when your book is first launched, do not worry thereafter if you receive some negative 1-star or 2-star reviews, as their presence will in fact appear to be quite natural on any sales page.  Even the most well respected authors attract negative reviews, simply because you cannot please everyone all of the time.

Ø  Wherever possible try to get a ‘verified’ review.  The label ‘verified’ will show up above any review left by someone who has not only read your book but actually purchased or borrowed it.  Verified reviews are more credible than reviews without this tag.

Ø  Below each review there is a voting button whereby Amazon asks the reader of the web page whether the review has been helpful or not.  The more times the ‘helpful’ link is clicked on any one review, the higher that review will rank in the overall list and the more visible to the casual browser. So it’s always worth asking your friends, assuming they have read you book, to click on your ‘helpful review’ links in order to keep them visible near the top. Trying to ‘game the system’ however, by requesting multiple people to visit your book sales page purely with the intention of ‘voting up’ you book is against Amazon’s TOS, so avoid this practise.

Ø  Notwithstanding the Amazon ‘automated review request form’, it makes sense to request at the very end of your book that a buyer leaves a review.  If you do this, make sure you link your request to the review submission page to make it easy for the buyer to leave a review.

Ø  When people leave you a review they are further requested to share their review on social media via social media buttons, e.g. Twitter and Facebook.  If they do this, your review will rank higher up the Amazon review chart.

Amazon’s Review Guidelines – It’s important that you read these regularly!

Amazon’s View on Reviews from Family & Friends

“We don't allow individuals who share a household with the author or close friends to write Customer Reviews for that author’s book” – Amazon Review Guidelines

·         Do not allow family or friends sharing the same physical address, or Internet (IP) address to leave you a review, as this is against Amazon’s TOS.

·         If you ask more distant family to leave a review, make sure that they don’t leave a 5-star review.

·         Personally, I would also advise that any member of your family sharing your same surname also not to leave you a review.

·         Outside of your home, I find Amazon’s policy regarding reviews from close friends to be very vague.  After all, what constitutes a close friend?  What I think you want to avoid when it comes to reviews from friends, is to avoid a recognisable pattern.  The odd review from a variety of friends is probably OK, as opposed to one friend in particular leaving you multiple reviews for all your books, would constitute a trend that Amazon would disallow.

How to Use Facebook & Social Media

‘Review Swaps’ are now Banned!

It’s perfectly okay to let to announce details of your book release on social media e.g. Facebook, in the hope that people will download either a free or discounted copy of your book.

Do not however, under any circumstances, request a ‘review swap’ i.e. “I’ll review your book if you review my book.”  Amazon is now firmly against this practise and review swaps are against their terms of service.

For further resources, please see module 10 pdf associated with this section.

06:15

- Module 10 - Post Launch Strategies

Reviews – [See Videos 31-35] Some Important Facts

Ø  A 1-star review can hurt sales more than a 5-star review might improve them.

Ø  Make sure you have some tame but legitimate 4-star and 5-star reviews before you let your book loose on the world with any kind of promotion. Watch videos 31-35

Ø  One downside of putting your book on a ‘free’ Kindle promotion free promotions is that it can sometimes attract people who seem to revel in giving negative reviews even though they have not paid for your book i.e. they downloaded it during a free promo. The solution is to make sure that you have at least one ‘friendly’ 4 or 5-star review in place before your free book promotion commences.

Ø  People who love your book are less likely to leave a review, compared to those who dislike it.

Ø  It is estimated that as few as 1 in 1,000 readers might leave a review on your book unless you specifically ask them to do so.  My findings are that it is closer to 1 in 500 readers.  Amazon seems to be setting up a default system, particularly since the launch of the Kindle Fire, whereby at the close of your book the reader will see an automated Amazon page requesting a review.  This does seem to have increased the frequency of reviews being left.  It is important, if you are keen to have reviews that you don’t have a lot of unnecessary resource and reference information at the end of your book otherwise people might not click past that to see the Amazon automated review-request page.

Ø  Whilst it is essential to have some positive 4-star or 5-star reviews when your book is first launched, do not worry thereafter if you receive some negative 1-star or 2-star reviews, as their presence will in fact appear to be quite natural on any sales page.  Even the most well respected authors attract negative reviews, simply because you cannot please everyone all of the time.

Ø  Wherever possible try to get a ‘verified’ review.  The label ‘verified’ will show up above any review left by someone who has not only read your book but actually purchased or borrowed it.  Verified reviews are more credible than reviews without this tag.

Ø  Below each review there is a voting button whereby Amazon asks the reader of the web page whether the review has been helpful or not.  The more times the ‘helpful’ link is clicked on any one review, the higher that review will rank in the overall list and the more visible to the casual browser. So it’s always worth asking your friends, assuming they have read you book, to click on your ‘helpful review’ links in order to keep them visible near the top. Trying to ‘game the system’ however, by requesting multiple people to visit your book sales page purely with the intention of ‘voting up’ you book is against Amazon’s TOS, so avoid this practise.

Ø  Notwithstanding the Amazon ‘automated review request form’, it makes sense to request at the very end of your book that a buyer leaves a review.  If you do this, make sure you link your request to the review submission page to make it easy for the buyer to leave a review.

Ø  When people leave you a review they are further requested to share their review on social media via social media buttons, e.g. Twitter and Facebook.  If they do this, your review will rank higher up the Amazon review chart.

Amazon’s Review Guidelines – It’s important that you read these regularly!

Amazon’s View on Reviews from Family & Friends

“We don't allow individuals who share a household with the author or close friends to write Customer Reviews for that author’s book” – Amazon Review Guidelines

·         Do not allow family or friends sharing the same physical address, or Internet (IP) address to leave you a review, as this is against Amazon’s TOS.

·         If you ask more distant family to leave a review, make sure that they don’t leave a 5-star review.

·         Personally, I would also advise that any member of your family sharing your same surname also not to leave you a review.

·         Outside of your home, I find Amazon’s policy regarding reviews from close friends to be very vague.  After all, what constitutes a close friend?  What I think you want to avoid when it comes to reviews from friends, is to avoid a recognisable pattern.  The odd review from a variety of friends is probably OK, as opposed to one friend in particular leaving you multiple reviews for all your books, would constitute a trend that Amazon would disallow.

How to Use Facebook & Social Media

‘Review Swaps’ are now Banned!

It’s perfectly okay to let to announce details of your book release on social media e.g. Facebook, in the hope that people will download either a free or discounted copy of your book.

Do not however, under any circumstances, request a ‘review swap’ i.e. “I’ll review your book if you review my book.”  Amazon is now firmly against this practise and review swaps are against their terms of service.

For further resources, please see module 10 pdf associated with this section.

10:06

- Module 10 - Post Launch Strategies

Reviews – [See Videos 31-35] Some Important Facts

Ø  A 1-star review can hurt sales more than a 5-star review might improve them.

Ø  Make sure you have some tame but legitimate 4-star and 5-star reviews before you let your book loose on the world with any kind of promotion. Watch videos 31-35

Ø  One downside of putting your book on a ‘free’ Kindle promotion free promotions is that it can sometimes attract people who seem to revel in giving negative reviews even though they have not paid for your book i.e. they downloaded it during a free promo. The solution is to make sure that you have at least one ‘friendly’ 4 or 5-star review in place before your free book promotion commences.

Ø  People who love your book are less likely to leave a review, compared to those who dislike it.

Ø  It is estimated that as few as 1 in 1,000 readers might leave a review on your book unless you specifically ask them to do so.  My findings are that it is closer to 1 in 500 readers.  Amazon seems to be setting up a default system, particularly since the launch of the Kindle Fire, whereby at the close of your book the reader will see an automated Amazon page requesting a review.  This does seem to have increased the frequency of reviews being left.  It is important, if you are keen to have reviews that you don’t have a lot of unnecessary resource and reference information at the end of your book otherwise people might not click past that to see the Amazon automated review-request page.

Ø  Whilst it is essential to have some positive 4-star or 5-star reviews when your book is first launched, do not worry thereafter if you receive some negative 1-star or 2-star reviews, as their presence will in fact appear to be quite natural on any sales page.  Even the most well respected authors attract negative reviews, simply because you cannot please everyone all of the time.

Ø  Wherever possible try to get a ‘verified’ review.  The label ‘verified’ will show up above any review left by someone who has not only read your book but actually purchased or borrowed it.  Verified reviews are more credible than reviews without this tag.

Ø  Below each review there is a voting button whereby Amazon asks the reader of the web page whether the review has been helpful or not.  The more times the ‘helpful’ link is clicked on any one review, the higher that review will rank in the overall list and the more visible to the casual browser. So it’s always worth asking your friends, assuming they have read you book, to click on your ‘helpful review’ links in order to keep them visible near the top. Trying to ‘game the system’ however, by requesting multiple people to visit your book sales page purely with the intention of ‘voting up’ you book is against Amazon’s TOS, so avoid this practise.

Ø  Notwithstanding the Amazon ‘automated review request form’, it makes sense to request at the very end of your book that a buyer leaves a review.  If you do this, make sure you link your request to the review submission page to make it easy for the buyer to leave a review.

Ø  When people leave you a review they are further requested to share their review on social media via social media buttons, e.g. Twitter and Facebook.  If they do this, your review will rank higher up the Amazon review chart.

Amazon’s Review Guidelines – It’s important that you read these regularly!

Amazon’s View on Reviews from Family & Friends

“We don't allow individuals who share a household with the author or close friends to write Customer Reviews for that author’s book” – Amazon Review Guidelines

·         Do not allow family or friends sharing the same physical address, or Internet (IP) address to leave you a review, as this is against Amazon’s TOS.

·         If you ask more distant family to leave a review, make sure that they don’t leave a 5-star review.

·         Personally, I would also advise that any member of your family sharing your same surname also not to leave you a review.

·         Outside of your home, I find Amazon’s policy regarding reviews from close friends to be very vague.  After all, what constitutes a close friend?  What I think you want to avoid when it comes to reviews from friends, is to avoid a recognisable pattern.  The odd review from a variety of friends is probably OK, as opposed to one friend in particular leaving you multiple reviews for all your books, would constitute a trend that Amazon would disallow.

How to Use Facebook & Social Media

‘Review Swaps’ are now Banned!

It’s perfectly okay to let to announce details of your book release on social media e.g. Facebook, in the hope that people will download either a free or discounted copy of your book.

Do not however, under any circumstances, request a ‘review swap’ i.e. “I’ll review your book if you review my book.”  Amazon is now firmly against this practise and review swaps are against their terms of service.

For further resources, please see module 10 pdf associated with this section.

13:26

- Module 10 - Post Launch Strategies

Reviews – [See Videos 31-35] Some Important Facts

Ø  A 1-star review can hurt sales more than a 5-star review might improve them.

Ø  Make sure you have some tame but legitimate 4-star and 5-star reviews before you let your book loose on the world with any kind of promotion. Watch videos 31-35

Ø  One downside of putting your book on a ‘free’ Kindle promotion free promotions is that it can sometimes attract people who seem to revel in giving negative reviews even though they have not paid for your book i.e. they downloaded it during a free promo. The solution is to make sure that you have at least one ‘friendly’ 4 or 5-star review in place before your free book promotion commences.

Ø  People who love your book are less likely to leave a review, compared to those who dislike it.

Ø  It is estimated that as few as 1 in 1,000 readers might leave a review on your book unless you specifically ask them to do so.  My findings are that it is closer to 1 in 500 readers.  Amazon seems to be setting up a default system, particularly since the launch of the Kindle Fire, whereby at the close of your book the reader will see an automated Amazon page requesting a review.  This does seem to have increased the frequency of reviews being left.  It is important, if you are keen to have reviews that you don’t have a lot of unnecessary resource and reference information at the end of your book otherwise people might not click past that to see the Amazon automated review-request page.

Ø  Whilst it is essential to have some positive 4-star or 5-star reviews when your book is first launched, do not worry thereafter if you receive some negative 1-star or 2-star reviews, as their presence will in fact appear to be quite natural on any sales page.  Even the most well respected authors attract negative reviews, simply because you cannot please everyone all of the time.

Ø  Wherever possible try to get a ‘verified’ review.  The label ‘verified’ will show up above any review left by someone who has not only read your book but actually purchased or borrowed it.  Verified reviews are more credible than reviews without this tag.

Ø  Below each review there is a voting button whereby Amazon asks the reader of the web page whether the review has been helpful or not.  The more times the ‘helpful’ link is clicked on any one review, the higher that review will rank in the overall list and the more visible to the casual browser. So it’s always worth asking your friends, assuming they have read you book, to click on your ‘helpful review’ links in order to keep them visible near the top. Trying to ‘game the system’ however, by requesting multiple people to visit your book sales page purely with the intention of ‘voting up’ you book is against Amazon’s TOS, so avoid this practise.

Ø  Notwithstanding the Amazon ‘automated review request form’, it makes sense to request at the very end of your book that a buyer leaves a review.  If you do this, make sure you link your request to the review submission page to make it easy for the buyer to leave a review.

Ø  When people leave you a review they are further requested to share their review on social media via social media buttons, e.g. Twitter and Facebook.  If they do this, your review will rank higher up the Amazon review chart.

Amazon’s Review Guidelines – It’s important that you read these regularly!

Amazon’s View on Reviews from Family & Friends

“We don't allow individuals who share a household with the author or close friends to write Customer Reviews for that author’s book” – Amazon Review Guidelines

·         Do not allow family or friends sharing the same physical address, or Internet (IP) address to leave you a review, as this is against Amazon’s TOS.

·         If you ask more distant family to leave a review, make sure that they don’t leave a 5-star review.

·         Personally, I would also advise that any member of your family sharing your same surname also not to leave you a review.

·         Outside of your home, I find Amazon’s policy regarding reviews from close friends to be very vague.  After all, what constitutes a close friend?  What I think you want to avoid when it comes to reviews from friends, is to avoid a recognisable pattern.  The odd review from a variety of friends is probably OK, as opposed to one friend in particular leaving you multiple reviews for all your books, would constitute a trend that Amazon would disallow.

How to Use Facebook & Social Media

‘Review Swaps’ are now Banned!

It’s perfectly okay to let to announce details of your book release on social media e.g. Facebook, in the hope that people will download either a free or discounted copy of your book.

Do not however, under any circumstances, request a ‘review swap’ i.e. “I’ll review your book if you review my book.”  Amazon is now firmly against this practise and review swaps are against their terms of service.

For further resources, please see module 10 pdf associated with this section.

15:36

- Module 10 - Post Launch Strategies

Reviews – [See Videos 31-35] Some Important Facts

Ø  A 1-star review can hurt sales more than a 5-star review might improve them.

Ø  Make sure you have some tame but legitimate 4-star and 5-star reviews before you let your book loose on the world with any kind of promotion. Watch videos 31-35

Ø  One downside of putting your book on a ‘free’ Kindle promotion free promotions is that it can sometimes attract people who seem to revel in giving negative reviews even though they have not paid for your book i.e. they downloaded it during a free promo. The solution is to make sure that you have at least one ‘friendly’ 4 or 5-star review in place before your free book promotion commences.

Ø  People who love your book are less likely to leave a review, compared to those who dislike it.

Ø  It is estimated that as few as 1 in 1,000 readers might leave a review on your book unless you specifically ask them to do so.  My findings are that it is closer to 1 in 500 readers.  Amazon seems to be setting up a default system, particularly since the launch of the Kindle Fire, whereby at the close of your book the reader will see an automated Amazon page requesting a review.  This does seem to have increased the frequency of reviews being left.  It is important, if you are keen to have reviews that you don’t have a lot of unnecessary resource and reference information at the end of your book otherwise people might not click past that to see the Amazon automated review-request page.

Ø  Whilst it is essential to have some positive 4-star or 5-star reviews when your book is first launched, do not worry thereafter if you receive some negative 1-star or 2-star reviews, as their presence will in fact appear to be quite natural on any sales page.  Even the most well respected authors attract negative reviews, simply because you cannot please everyone all of the time.

Ø  Wherever possible try to get a ‘verified’ review.  The label ‘verified’ will show up above any review left by someone who has not only read your book but actually purchased or borrowed it.  Verified reviews are more credible than reviews without this tag.

Ø  Below each review there is a voting button whereby Amazon asks the reader of the web page whether the review has been helpful or not.  The more times the ‘helpful’ link is clicked on any one review, the higher that review will rank in the overall list and the more visible to the casual browser. So it’s always worth asking your friends, assuming they have read you book, to click on your ‘helpful review’ links in order to keep them visible near the top. Trying to ‘game the system’ however, by requesting multiple people to visit your book sales page purely with the intention of ‘voting up’ you book is against Amazon’s TOS, so avoid this practise.

Ø  Notwithstanding the Amazon ‘automated review request form’, it makes sense to request at the very end of your book that a buyer leaves a review.  If you do this, make sure you link your request to the review submission page to make it easy for the buyer to leave a review.

Ø  When people leave you a review they are further requested to share their review on social media via social media buttons, e.g. Twitter and Facebook.  If they do this, your review will rank higher up the Amazon review chart.

Amazon’s Review Guidelines – It’s important that you read these regularly!

Amazon’s View on Reviews from Family & Friends

“We don't allow individuals who share a household with the author or close friends to write Customer Reviews for that author’s book” – Amazon Review Guidelines

·         Do not allow family or friends sharing the same physical address, or Internet (IP) address to leave you a review, as this is against Amazon’s TOS.

·         If you ask more distant family to leave a review, make sure that they don’t leave a 5-star review.

·         Personally, I would also advise that any member of your family sharing your same surname also not to leave you a review.

·         Outside of your home, I find Amazon’s policy regarding reviews from close friends to be very vague.  After all, what constitutes a close friend?  What I think you want to avoid when it comes to reviews from friends, is to avoid a recognisable pattern.  The odd review from a variety of friends is probably OK, as opposed to one friend in particular leaving you multiple reviews for all your books, would constitute a trend that Amazon would disallow.

How to Use Facebook & Social Media

‘Review Swaps’ are now Banned!

It’s perfectly okay to let to announce details of your book release on social media e.g. Facebook, in the hope that people will download either a free or discounted copy of your book.

Do not however, under any circumstances, request a ‘review swap’ i.e. “I’ll review your book if you review my book.”  Amazon is now firmly against this practise and review swaps are against their terms of service.

For further resources, please see module 10 pdf associated with this section.

15:36

- Module 10 - Post Launch Strategies

Reviews – [See Videos 31-35] Some Important Facts

Ø  A 1-star review can hurt sales more than a 5-star review might improve them.

Ø  Make sure you have some tame but legitimate 4-star and 5-star reviews before you let your book loose on the world with any kind of promotion. Watch videos 31-35

Ø  One downside of putting your book on a ‘free’ Kindle promotion free promotions is that it can sometimes attract people who seem to revel in giving negative reviews even though they have not paid for your book i.e. they downloaded it during a free promo. The solution is to make sure that you have at least one ‘friendly’ 4 or 5-star review in place before your free book promotion commences.

Ø  People who love your book are less likely to leave a review, compared to those who dislike it.

Ø  It is estimated that as few as 1 in 1,000 readers might leave a review on your book unless you specifically ask them to do so.  My findings are that it is closer to 1 in 500 readers.  Amazon seems to be setting up a default system, particularly since the launch of the Kindle Fire, whereby at the close of your book the reader will see an automated Amazon page requesting a review.  This does seem to have increased the frequency of reviews being left.  It is important, if you are keen to have reviews that you don’t have a lot of unnecessary resource and reference information at the end of your book otherwise people might not click past that to see the Amazon automated review-request page.

Ø  Whilst it is essential to have some positive 4-star or 5-star reviews when your book is first launched, do not worry thereafter if you receive some negative 1-star or 2-star reviews, as their presence will in fact appear to be quite natural on any sales page.  Even the most well respected authors attract negative reviews, simply because you cannot please everyone all of the time.

Ø  Wherever possible try to get a ‘verified’ review.  The label ‘verified’ will show up above any review left by someone who has not only read your book but actually purchased or borrowed it.  Verified reviews are more credible than reviews without this tag.

Ø  Below each review there is a voting button whereby Amazon asks the reader of the web page whether the review has been helpful or not.  The more times the ‘helpful’ link is clicked on any one review, the higher that review will rank in the overall list and the more visible to the casual browser. So it’s always worth asking your friends, assuming they have read you book, to click on your ‘helpful review’ links in order to keep them visible near the top. Trying to ‘game the system’ however, by requesting multiple people to visit your book sales page purely with the intention of ‘voting up’ you book is against Amazon’s TOS, so avoid this practise.

Ø  Notwithstanding the Amazon ‘automated review request form’, it makes sense to request at the very end of your book that a buyer leaves a review.  If you do this, make sure you link your request to the review submission page to make it easy for the buyer to leave a review.

Ø  When people leave you a review they are further requested to share their review on social media via social media buttons, e.g. Twitter and Facebook.  If they do this, your review will rank higher up the Amazon review chart.

Amazon’s Review Guidelines – It’s important that you read these regularly!

Amazon’s View on Reviews from Family & Friends

“We don't allow individuals who share a household with the author or close friends to write Customer Reviews for that author’s book” – Amazon Review Guidelines

·         Do not allow family or friends sharing the same physical address, or Internet (IP) address to leave you a review, as this is against Amazon’s TOS.

·         If you ask more distant family to leave a review, make sure that they don’t leave a 5-star review.

·         Personally, I would also advise that any member of your family sharing your same surname also not to leave you a review.

·         Outside of your home, I find Amazon’s policy regarding reviews from close friends to be very vague.  After all, what constitutes a close friend?  What I think you want to avoid when it comes to reviews from friends, is to avoid a recognisable pattern.  The odd review from a variety of friends is probably OK, as opposed to one friend in particular leaving you multiple reviews for all your books, would constitute a trend that Amazon would disallow.

How to Use Facebook & Social Media

‘Review Swaps’ are now Banned!

It’s perfectly okay to let to announce details of your book release on social media e.g. Facebook, in the hope that people will download either a free or discounted copy of your book.

Do not however, under any circumstances, request a ‘review swap’ i.e. “I’ll review your book if you review my book.”  Amazon is now firmly against this practise and review swaps are against their terms of service.

For further resources, please see module 10 pdf associated with this section.

15:13

- Module 10 - Post Launch Strategies

Reviews – [See Videos 31-35] Some Important Facts

Ø  A 1-star review can hurt sales more than a 5-star review might improve them.

Ø  Make sure you have some tame but legitimate 4-star and 5-star reviews before you let your book loose on the world with any kind of promotion. Watch videos 31-35

Ø  One downside of putting your book on a ‘free’ Kindle promotion free promotions is that it can sometimes attract people who seem to revel in giving negative reviews even though they have not paid for your book i.e. they downloaded it during a free promo. The solution is to make sure that you have at least one ‘friendly’ 4 or 5-star review in place before your free book promotion commences.

Ø  People who love your book are less likely to leave a review, compared to those who dislike it.

Ø  It is estimated that as few as 1 in 1,000 readers might leave a review on your book unless you specifically ask them to do so.  My findings are that it is closer to 1 in 500 readers.  Amazon seems to be setting up a default system, particularly since the launch of the Kindle Fire, whereby at the close of your book the reader will see an automated Amazon page requesting a review.  This does seem to have increased the frequency of reviews being left.  It is important, if you are keen to have reviews that you don’t have a lot of unnecessary resource and reference information at the end of your book otherwise people might not click past that to see the Amazon automated review-request page.

Ø  Whilst it is essential to have some positive 4-star or 5-star reviews when your book is first launched, do not worry thereafter if you receive some negative 1-star or 2-star reviews, as their presence will in fact appear to be quite natural on any sales page.  Even the most well respected authors attract negative reviews, simply because you cannot please everyone all of the time.

Ø  Wherever possible try to get a ‘verified’ review.  The label ‘verified’ will show up above any review left by someone who has not only read your book but actually purchased or borrowed it.  Verified reviews are more credible than reviews without this tag.

Ø  Below each review there is a voting button whereby Amazon asks the reader of the web page whether the review has been helpful or not.  The more times the ‘helpful’ link is clicked on any one review, the higher that review will rank in the overall list and the more visible to the casual browser. So it’s always worth asking your friends, assuming they have read you book, to click on your ‘helpful review’ links in order to keep them visible near the top. Trying to ‘game the system’ however, by requesting multiple people to visit your book sales page purely with the intention of ‘voting up’ you book is against Amazon’s TOS, so avoid this practise.

Ø  Notwithstanding the Amazon ‘automated review request form’, it makes sense to request at the very end of your book that a buyer leaves a review.  If you do this, make sure you link your request to the review submission page to make it easy for the buyer to leave a review.

Ø  When people leave you a review they are further requested to share their review on social media via social media buttons, e.g. Twitter and Facebook.  If they do this, your review will rank higher up the Amazon review chart.

Amazon’s Review Guidelines – It’s important that you read these regularly!

Amazon’s View on Reviews from Family & Friends

“We don't allow individuals who share a household with the author or close friends to write Customer Reviews for that author’s book” – Amazon Review Guidelines

·         Do not allow family or friends sharing the same physical address, or Internet (IP) address to leave you a review, as this is against Amazon’s TOS.

·         If you ask more distant family to leave a review, make sure that they don’t leave a 5-star review.

·         Personally, I would also advise that any member of your family sharing your same surname also not to leave you a review.

·         Outside of your home, I find Amazon’s policy regarding reviews from close friends to be very vague.  After all, what constitutes a close friend?  What I think you want to avoid when it comes to reviews from friends, is to avoid a recognisable pattern.  The odd review from a variety of friends is probably OK, as opposed to one friend in particular leaving you multiple reviews for all your books, would constitute a trend that Amazon would disallow.

How to Use Facebook & Social Media

‘Review Swaps’ are now Banned!

It’s perfectly okay to let to announce details of your book release on social media e.g. Facebook, in the hope that people will download either a free or discounted copy of your book.

Do not however, under any circumstances, request a ‘review swap’ i.e. “I’ll review your book if you review my book.”  Amazon is now firmly against this practise and review swaps are against their terms of service.

For further resources, please see module 10 pdf associated with this section.

16:44

- Module 10 - Post Launch Strategies

Reviews – [See Videos 31-35] Some Important Facts

Ø  A 1-star review can hurt sales more than a 5-star review might improve them.

Ø  Make sure you have some tame but legitimate 4-star and 5-star reviews before you let your book loose on the world with any kind of promotion. Watch videos 31-35

Ø  One downside of putting your book on a ‘free’ Kindle promotion free promotions is that it can sometimes attract people who seem to revel in giving negative reviews even though they have not paid for your book i.e. they downloaded it during a free promo. The solution is to make sure that you have at least one ‘friendly’ 4 or 5-star review in place before your free book promotion commences.

Ø  People who love your book are less likely to leave a review, compared to those who dislike it.

Ø  It is estimated that as few as 1 in 1,000 readers might leave a review on your book unless you specifically ask them to do so.  My findings are that it is closer to 1 in 500 readers.  Amazon seems to be setting up a default system, particularly since the launch of the Kindle Fire, whereby at the close of your book the reader will see an automated Amazon page requesting a review.  This does seem to have increased the frequency of reviews being left.  It is important, if you are keen to have reviews that you don’t have a lot of unnecessary resource and reference information at the end of your book otherwise people might not click past that to see the Amazon automated review-request page.

Ø  Whilst it is essential to have some positive 4-star or 5-star reviews when your book is first launched, do not worry thereafter if you receive some negative 1-star or 2-star reviews, as their presence will in fact appear to be quite natural on any sales page.  Even the most well respected authors attract negative reviews, simply because you cannot please everyone all of the time.

Ø  Wherever possible try to get a ‘verified’ review.  The label ‘verified’ will show up above any review left by someone who has not only read your book but actually purchased or borrowed it.  Verified reviews are more credible than reviews without this tag.

Ø  Below each review there is a voting button whereby Amazon asks the reader of the web page whether the review has been helpful or not.  The more times the ‘helpful’ link is clicked on any one review, the higher that review will rank in the overall list and the more visible to the casual browser. So it’s always worth asking your friends, assuming they have read you book, to click on your ‘helpful review’ links in order to keep them visible near the top. Trying to ‘game the system’ however, by requesting multiple people to visit your book sales page purely with the intention of ‘voting up’ you book is against Amazon’s TOS, so avoid this practise.

Ø  Notwithstanding the Amazon ‘automated review request form’, it makes sense to request at the very end of your book that a buyer leaves a review.  If you do this, make sure you link your request to the review submission page to make it easy for the buyer to leave a review.

Ø  When people leave you a review they are further requested to share their review on social media via social media buttons, e.g. Twitter and Facebook.  If they do this, your review will rank higher up the Amazon review chart.

Amazon’s Review Guidelines – It’s important that you read these regularly!

Amazon’s View on Reviews from Family & Friends

“We don't allow individuals who share a household with the author or close friends to write Customer Reviews for that author’s book” – Amazon Review Guidelines

·         Do not allow family or friends sharing the same physical address, or Internet (IP) address to leave you a review, as this is against Amazon’s TOS.

·         If you ask more distant family to leave a review, make sure that they don’t leave a 5-star review.

·         Personally, I would also advise that any member of your family sharing your same surname also not to leave you a review.

·         Outside of your home, I find Amazon’s policy regarding reviews from close friends to be very vague.  After all, what constitutes a close friend?  What I think you want to avoid when it comes to reviews from friends, is to avoid a recognisable pattern.  The odd review from a variety of friends is probably OK, as opposed to one friend in particular leaving you multiple reviews for all your books, would constitute a trend that Amazon would disallow.

How to Use Facebook & Social Media

‘Review Swaps’ are now Banned!

It’s perfectly okay to let to announce details of your book release on social media e.g. Facebook, in the hope that people will download either a free or discounted copy of your book.

Do not however, under any circumstances, request a ‘review swap’ i.e. “I’ll review your book if you review my book.”  Amazon is now firmly against this practise and review swaps are against their terms of service.

For further resources, please see module 10 pdf associated with this section.

16:13

- Module 10 - Post Launch Strategies

Reviews – [See Videos 31-35] Some Important Facts

Ø  A 1-star review can hurt sales more than a 5-star review might improve them.

Ø  Make sure you have some tame but legitimate 4-star and 5-star reviews before you let your book loose on the world with any kind of promotion. Watch videos 31-35

Ø  One downside of putting your book on a ‘free’ Kindle promotion free promotions is that it can sometimes attract people who seem to revel in giving negative reviews even though they have not paid for your book i.e. they downloaded it during a free promo. The solution is to make sure that you have at least one ‘friendly’ 4 or 5-star review in place before your free book promotion commences.

Ø  People who love your book are less likely to leave a review, compared to those who dislike it.

Ø  It is estimated that as few as 1 in 1,000 readers might leave a review on your book unless you specifically ask them to do so.  My findings are that it is closer to 1 in 500 readers.  Amazon seems to be setting up a default system, particularly since the launch of the Kindle Fire, whereby at the close of your book the reader will see an automated Amazon page requesting a review.  This does seem to have increased the frequency of reviews being left.  It is important, if you are keen to have reviews that you don’t have a lot of unnecessary resource and reference information at the end of your book otherwise people might not click past that to see the Amazon automated review-request page.

Ø  Whilst it is essential to have some positive 4-star or 5-star reviews when your book is first launched, do not worry thereafter if you receive some negative 1-star or 2-star reviews, as their presence will in fact appear to be quite natural on any sales page.  Even the most well respected authors attract negative reviews, simply because you cannot please everyone all of the time.

Ø  Wherever possible try to get a ‘verified’ review.  The label ‘verified’ will show up above any review left by someone who has not only read your book but actually purchased or borrowed it.  Verified reviews are more credible than reviews without this tag.

Ø  Below each review there is a voting button whereby Amazon asks the reader of the web page whether the review has been helpful or not.  The more times the ‘helpful’ link is clicked on any one review, the higher that review will rank in the overall list and the more visible to the casual browser. So it’s always worth asking your friends, assuming they have read you book, to click on your ‘helpful review’ links in order to keep them visible near the top. Trying to ‘game the system’ however, by requesting multiple people to visit your book sales page purely with the intention of ‘voting up’ you book is against Amazon’s TOS, so avoid this practise.

Ø  Notwithstanding the Amazon ‘automated review request form’, it makes sense to request at the very end of your book that a buyer leaves a review.  If you do this, make sure you link your request to the review submission page to make it easy for the buyer to leave a review.

Ø  When people leave you a review they are further requested to share their review on social media via social media buttons, e.g. Twitter and Facebook.  If they do this, your review will rank higher up the Amazon review chart.

Amazon’s Review Guidelines – It’s important that you read these regularly!

Amazon’s View on Reviews from Family & Friends

“We don't allow individuals who share a household with the author or close friends to write Customer Reviews for that author’s book” – Amazon Review Guidelines

·         Do not allow family or friends sharing the same physical address, or Internet (IP) address to leave you a review, as this is against Amazon’s TOS.

·         If you ask more distant family to leave a review, make sure that they don’t leave a 5-star review.

·         Personally, I would also advise that any member of your family sharing your same surname also not to leave you a review.

·         Outside of your home, I find Amazon’s policy regarding reviews from close friends to be very vague.  After all, what constitutes a close friend?  What I think you want to avoid when it comes to reviews from friends, is to avoid a recognisable pattern.  The odd review from a variety of friends is probably OK, as opposed to one friend in particular leaving you multiple reviews for all your books, would constitute a trend that Amazon would disallow.

How to Use Facebook & Social Media

‘Review Swaps’ are now Banned!

It’s perfectly okay to let to announce details of your book release on social media e.g. Facebook, in the hope that people will download either a free or discounted copy of your book.

Do not however, under any circumstances, request a ‘review swap’ i.e. “I’ll review your book if you review my book.”  Amazon is now firmly against this practise and review swaps are against their terms of service.

For further resources, please see module 10 pdf associated with this section.

11:17

- Module 10 - Post Launch Strategies

Reviews – [See Videos 31-35] Some Important Facts

Ø  A 1-star review can hurt sales more than a 5-star review might improve them.

Ø  Make sure you have some tame but legitimate 4-star and 5-star reviews before you let your book loose on the world with any kind of promotion. Watch videos 31-35

Ø  One downside of putting your book on a ‘free’ Kindle promotion free promotions is that it can sometimes attract people who seem to revel in giving negative reviews even though they have not paid for your book i.e. they downloaded it during a free promo. The solution is to make sure that you have at least one ‘friendly’ 4 or 5-star review in place before your free book promotion commences.

Ø  People who love your book are less likely to leave a review, compared to those who dislike it.

Ø  It is estimated that as few as 1 in 1,000 readers might leave a review on your book unless you specifically ask them to do so.  My findings are that it is closer to 1 in 500 readers.  Amazon seems to be setting up a default system, particularly since the launch of the Kindle Fire, whereby at the close of your book the reader will see an automated Amazon page requesting a review.  This does seem to have increased the frequency of reviews being left.  It is important, if you are keen to have reviews that you don’t have a lot of unnecessary resource and reference information at the end of your book otherwise people might not click past that to see the Amazon automated review-request page.

Ø  Whilst it is essential to have some positive 4-star or 5-star reviews when your book is first launched, do not worry thereafter if you receive some negative 1-star or 2-star reviews, as their presence will in fact appear to be quite natural on any sales page.  Even the most well respected authors attract negative reviews, simply because you cannot please everyone all of the time.

Ø  Wherever possible try to get a ‘verified’ review.  The label ‘verified’ will show up above any review left by someone who has not only read your book but actually purchased or borrowed it.  Verified reviews are more credible than reviews without this tag.

Ø  Below each review there is a voting button whereby Amazon asks the reader of the web page whether the review has been helpful or not.  The more times the ‘helpful’ link is clicked on any one review, the higher that review will rank in the overall list and the more visible to the casual browser. So it’s always worth asking your friends, assuming they have read you book, to click on your ‘helpful review’ links in order to keep them visible near the top. Trying to ‘game the system’ however, by requesting multiple people to visit your book sales page purely with the intention of ‘voting up’ you book is against Amazon’s TOS, so avoid this practise.

Ø  Notwithstanding the Amazon ‘automated review request form’, it makes sense to request at the very end of your book that a buyer leaves a review.  If you do this, make sure you link your request to the review submission page to make it easy for the buyer to leave a review.

Ø  When people leave you a review they are further requested to share their review on social media via social media buttons, e.g. Twitter and Facebook.  If they do this, your review will rank higher up the Amazon review chart.

Amazon’s Review Guidelines – It’s important that you read these regularly!

Amazon’s View on Reviews from Family & Friends

“We don't allow individuals who share a household with the author or close friends to write Customer Reviews for that author’s book” – Amazon Review Guidelines

·         Do not allow family or friends sharing the same physical address, or Internet (IP) address to leave you a review, as this is against Amazon’s TOS.

·         If you ask more distant family to leave a review, make sure that they don’t leave a 5-star review.

·         Personally, I would also advise that any member of your family sharing your same surname also not to leave you a review.

·         Outside of your home, I find Amazon’s policy regarding reviews from close friends to be very vague.  After all, what constitutes a close friend?  What I think you want to avoid when it comes to reviews from friends, is to avoid a recognisable pattern.  The odd review from a variety of friends is probably OK, as opposed to one friend in particular leaving you multiple reviews for all your books, would constitute a trend that Amazon would disallow.

How to Use Facebook & Social Media

‘Review Swaps’ are now Banned!

It’s perfectly okay to let to announce details of your book release on social media e.g. Facebook, in the hope that people will download either a free or discounted copy of your book.

Do not however, under any circumstances, request a ‘review swap’ i.e. “I’ll review your book if you review my book.”  Amazon is now firmly against this practise and review swaps are against their terms of service.

For further resources, please see module 10 pdf associated with this section.

14:16

- Module 10 - Post Launch Strategies

Reviews – [See Videos 31-35] Some Important Facts

Ø  A 1-star review can hurt sales more than a 5-star review might improve them.

Ø  Make sure you have some tame but legitimate 4-star and 5-star reviews before you let your book loose on the world with any kind of promotion. Watch videos 31-35

Ø  One downside of putting your book on a ‘free’ Kindle promotion free promotions is that it can sometimes attract people who seem to revel in giving negative reviews even though they have not paid for your book i.e. they downloaded it during a free promo. The solution is to make sure that you have at least one ‘friendly’ 4 or 5-star review in place before your free book promotion commences.

Ø  People who love your book are less likely to leave a review, compared to those who dislike it.

Ø  It is estimated that as few as 1 in 1,000 readers might leave a review on your book unless you specifically ask them to do so.  My findings are that it is closer to 1 in 500 readers.  Amazon seems to be setting up a default system, particularly since the launch of the Kindle Fire, whereby at the close of your book the reader will see an automated Amazon page requesting a review.  This does seem to have increased the frequency of reviews being left.  It is important, if you are keen to have reviews that you don’t have a lot of unnecessary resource and reference information at the end of your book otherwise people might not click past that to see the Amazon automated review-request page.

Ø  Whilst it is essential to have some positive 4-star or 5-star reviews when your book is first launched, do not worry thereafter if you receive some negative 1-star or 2-star reviews, as their presence will in fact appear to be quite natural on any sales page.  Even the most well respected authors attract negative reviews, simply because you cannot please everyone all of the time.

Ø  Wherever possible try to get a ‘verified’ review.  The label ‘verified’ will show up above any review left by someone who has not only read your book but actually purchased or borrowed it.  Verified reviews are more credible than reviews without this tag.

Ø  Below each review there is a voting button whereby Amazon asks the reader of the web page whether the review has been helpful or not.  The more times the ‘helpful’ link is clicked on any one review, the higher that review will rank in the overall list and the more visible to the casual browser. So it’s always worth asking your friends, assuming they have read you book, to click on your ‘helpful review’ links in order to keep them visible near the top. Trying to ‘game the system’ however, by requesting multiple people to visit your book sales page purely with the intention of ‘voting up’ you book is against Amazon’s TOS, so avoid this practise.

Ø  Notwithstanding the Amazon ‘automated review request form’, it makes sense to request at the very end of your book that a buyer leaves a review.  If you do this, make sure you link your request to the review submission page to make it easy for the buyer to leave a review.

Ø  When people leave you a review they are further requested to share their review on social media via social media buttons, e.g. Twitter and Facebook.  If they do this, your review will rank higher up the Amazon review chart.

Amazon’s Review Guidelines – It’s important that you read these regularly!

Amazon’s View on Reviews from Family & Friends

“We don't allow individuals who share a household with the author or close friends to write Customer Reviews for that author’s book” – Amazon Review Guidelines

·         Do not allow family or friends sharing the same physical address, or Internet (IP) address to leave you a review, as this is against Amazon’s TOS.

·         If you ask more distant family to leave a review, make sure that they don’t leave a 5-star review.

·         Personally, I would also advise that any member of your family sharing your same surname also not to leave you a review.

·         Outside of your home, I find Amazon’s policy regarding reviews from close friends to be very vague.  After all, what constitutes a close friend?  What I think you want to avoid when it comes to reviews from friends, is to avoid a recognisable pattern.  The odd review from a variety of friends is probably OK, as opposed to one friend in particular leaving you multiple reviews for all your books, would constitute a trend that Amazon would disallow.

How to Use Facebook & Social Media

‘Review Swaps’ are now Banned!

It’s perfectly okay to let to announce details of your book release on social media e.g. Facebook, in the hope that people will download either a free or discounted copy of your book.

Do not however, under any circumstances, request a ‘review swap’ i.e. “I’ll review your book if you review my book.”  Amazon is now firmly against this practise and review swaps are against their terms of service.

For further resources, please see module 10 pdf associated with this section.

06:25

- Module 10 - Post Launch Strategies

Reviews – [See Videos 31-35] Some Important Facts

Ø  A 1-star review can hurt sales more than a 5-star review might improve them.

Ø  Make sure you have some tame but legitimate 4-star and 5-star reviews before you let your book loose on the world with any kind of promotion. Watch videos 31-35

Ø  One downside of putting your book on a ‘free’ Kindle promotion free promotions is that it can sometimes attract people who seem to revel in giving negative reviews even though they have not paid for your book i.e. they downloaded it during a free promo. The solution is to make sure that you have at least one ‘friendly’ 4 or 5-star review in place before your free book promotion commences.

Ø  People who love your book are less likely to leave a review, compared to those who dislike it.

Ø  It is estimated that as few as 1 in 1,000 readers might leave a review on your book unless you specifically ask them to do so.  My findings are that it is closer to 1 in 500 readers.  Amazon seems to be setting up a default system, particularly since the launch of the Kindle Fire, whereby at the close of your book the reader will see an automated Amazon page requesting a review.  This does seem to have increased the frequency of reviews being left.  It is important, if you are keen to have reviews that you don’t have a lot of unnecessary resource and reference information at the end of your book otherwise people might not click past that to see the Amazon automated review-request page.

Ø  Whilst it is essential to have some positive 4-star or 5-star reviews when your book is first launched, do not worry thereafter if you receive some negative 1-star or 2-star reviews, as their presence will in fact appear to be quite natural on any sales page.  Even the most well respected authors attract negative reviews, simply because you cannot please everyone all of the time.

Ø  Wherever possible try to get a ‘verified’ review.  The label ‘verified’ will show up above any review left by someone who has not only read your book but actually purchased or borrowed it.  Verified reviews are more credible than reviews without this tag.

Ø  Below each review there is a voting button whereby Amazon asks the reader of the web page whether the review has been helpful or not.  The more times the ‘helpful’ link is clicked on any one review, the higher that review will rank in the overall list and the more visible to the casual browser. So it’s always worth asking your friends, assuming they have read you book, to click on your ‘helpful review’ links in order to keep them visible near the top. Trying to ‘game the system’ however, by requesting multiple people to visit your book sales page purely with the intention of ‘voting up’ you book is against Amazon’s TOS, so avoid this practise.

Ø  Notwithstanding the Amazon ‘automated review request form’, it makes sense to request at the very end of your book that a buyer leaves a review.  If you do this, make sure you link your request to the review submission page to make it easy for the buyer to leave a review.

Ø  When people leave you a review they are further requested to share their review on social media via social media buttons, e.g. Twitter and Facebook.  If they do this, your review will rank higher up the Amazon review chart.

Amazon’s Review Guidelines – It’s important that you read these regularly!

Amazon’s View on Reviews from Family & Friends

“We don't allow individuals who share a household with the author or close friends to write Customer Reviews for that author’s book” – Amazon Review Guidelines

·         Do not allow family or friends sharing the same physical address, or Internet (IP) address to leave you a review, as this is against Amazon’s TOS.

·         If you ask more distant family to leave a review, make sure that they don’t leave a 5-star review.

·         Personally, I would also advise that any member of your family sharing your same surname also not to leave you a review.

·         Outside of your home, I find Amazon’s policy regarding reviews from close friends to be very vague.  After all, what constitutes a close friend?  What I think you want to avoid when it comes to reviews from friends, is to avoid a recognisable pattern.  The odd review from a variety of friends is probably OK, as opposed to one friend in particular leaving you multiple reviews for all your books, would constitute a trend that Amazon would disallow.

How to Use Facebook & Social Media

‘Review Swaps’ are now Banned!

It’s perfectly okay to let to announce details of your book release on social media e.g. Facebook, in the hope that people will download either a free or discounted copy of your book.

Do not however, under any circumstances, request a ‘review swap’ i.e. “I’ll review your book if you review my book.”  Amazon is now firmly against this practise and review swaps are against their terms of service.

For further resources, please see module 10 pdf associated with this section.

Section 11: Module 11 PDF Build Your Author's Presence
Article

- Module 11 – Build Your Author Presence

Author Central

Ø  It is important that you create your own author profile as this will help give you more visibility and the perfect place to do this is via Author Central.

Ø   Visit https://authorcentral.amazon.com/ first of all.  Additionally you may want to also visit the Author Central site associated with your own local Amazon country store e.g. If in the UK https://authorcentral.amazon.co.uk/.

Ø  You will be able to set up an account for free which will give you a set of tools to help edit aspects of your sales page, monitor your book sales and build a personal profile, which will be available to anyone viewing any of your individual book web pages.

Ø  Once your Author Central account is set up you will be asked to associate books which you have already published with your new viewer profile and every time you publish a new book you will revisit Author Central to add your new title to your existing catalogue of books.

Shelfari


http://Shelfari.com  Shelfari is an online book library and social networking site book lovers for book lovers.  It is sponsored by Amazon and indeed has an interface which has a direct feed from Amazon’s book data.  Thus it is easy to login and promote your book, as it integrates your book data directly from Amazon.

You will want to login via your Author Central account; this way you are automatically identified as the book’s author.  Under the books tab, click on the book you want to promote.  Then click on the ‘book extras’ tab, which will allow you to visit Shelfari to edit your book information.

Goodreads

http://Goodreads.com  This is the largest social networking site for book readers, also with an Amazon association.  You can sign up for free and then search for your book.  You then click on your book and then will receive a request to join as an author.  Approval can take about 24 hours, at which point you will receive an email.  Once a recognised Goodreads author you can interact with all the networking features within this site.

Section 12: Module 12 PDF How to Reactivate You Flagging Sales
Article

- Module 12 - How to Re-activate Your Flagging Sales – The Post 30 Day Cliff

Ø   Once you have passed the 30 day period following your book launch you will lose the ability to appear in some of Amazon’s ‘windows of visibility’, e.g. the Hot New Releases category, but you would hope that by now you would have achieved some gravity and rankings in the top 100 best seller lists and popularity lists.  However, if you have lost ranking in all of these, what choices are left open to you to boost your flagging sales?  You may consider some or all of the following actions:

EBook Re-activation Checklist:


Ø  Change the keywords within the title of your listing.

Ø  Change/substitute one or more of your seven keywords within your KDP upload area.

Ø  Re-write your description to give it more punch, whilst at the same time adding in more relevant keywords.

Ø  Optimize your description using HTML tags or via the Author Central edit tool so that your description is more clearly laid out, more attractive and easier on the eye - see ‘Product Description and 30 Day Launch Sequence’ and video.

Ø  Create a new book cover design which is either more relevant to your title or just simply more attractive.  It is important to note that the title text shown on your book cover should be bold and certainly strong enough to be read when displayed as thumbnail images in search results – this is crucial.

Ø  Change one or both of your two chosen categories.  First research the categories of your competition to check to see if their books are performing better than yours and, if so, which categories they are using.

Ø  Adjust your pricing for a period of time and monitor the results.

After 90 days, run an Amazon’s Price Countdown Promotion, coupled with a $0.99c promo

Ø  You may wish to run a Kindle Countdown promotion, again as one of KDP Select’s promotion options. [See Video 39]

The Nuclear Option – Un-publish, re-work and re-publish


Ø  Finally, if all else fails, there is the rather drastic nuclear option which is to delist your book completely.  You would make all the changes suggested above, and then relist your book under an entirely new Kindle ASIN, thus ensuring that you once again qualify for all the Amazon ‘windows of visibility’ within the first 30 days, such as the Hot New Release facility.  The downside of this strategy is that you would lose all pre-existing reviews but, at this juncture, it might well be considered a fair price to pay for the chance to launch again, effectively as a second edition.  N.B. During the upload process, under the box marked ‘Edition’, mark as No. 2.

Section 13: Module 13 PDF Videos 43-46 - Publish a Physical Paperback Using Amazon's Creates
15:30

- Module 13 - Book Discoverability (B) - Publish a Physical Paperback Using Amazon’s Createspace -

see module 13.pdf for more details

By re-purposing your existing Kindle manuscript, you have the ability to boost your monthly earnings by an average of 30%.

I have created a mini video series giving you step-by-step training on you can publish your book using Amazon’s print-on-demand service - Createspace.

[See Videos 43-46]

09:55

- Module 13 - Book Discoverability (B) - Publish a Physical Paperback Using Amazon’s Createspace -

see module 13.pdf for more details

By re-purposing your existing Kindle manuscript, you have the ability to boost your monthly earnings by an average of 30%.

I have created a mini video series giving you step-by-step training on you can publish your book using Amazon’s print-on-demand service - Createspace.

[See Videos 43-46]

11:51

- Module 13 - Book Discoverability (B) - Publish a Physical Paperback Using Amazon’s Createspace -

see module 13.pdf for more details

By re-purposing your existing Kindle manuscript, you have the ability to boost your monthly earnings by an average of 30%.

I have created a mini video series giving you step-by-step training on you can publish your book using Amazon’s print-on-demand service - Createspace.

[See Videos 43-46

14:57

- Module 13 - Book Discoverability (B) - Publish a Physical Paperback Using Amazon’s Createspace -

see module 13.pdf for more details

By re-purposing your existing Kindle manuscript, you have the ability to boost your monthly earnings by an average of 30%.

I have created a mini video series giving you step-by-step training on you can publish your book using Amazon’s print-on-demand service - Createspace.

[See Videos 43-46]

03:10

- Module 13 - Book Discoverability (B) - Publish a Physical Paperback Using Amazon’s Createspace -

see module 13.pdf for more details

By re-purposing your existing Kindle manuscript, you have the ability to boost your monthly earnings by an average of 30%.

I have created a mini video series giving you step-by-step training on you can publish your book using Amazon’s print-on-demand service - Createspace.

[See Videos 43-46

13:25

- Module 13 - Book Discoverability (B) - Publish a Physical Paperback Using Amazon’s Createspace -

see module 13.pdf for more details

By re-purposing your existing Kindle manuscript, you have the ability to boost your monthly earnings by an average of 30%.

I have created a mini video series giving you step-by-step training on you can publish your book using Amazon’s print-on-demand service - Createspace.

[See Videos 43-46

14:35

- Module 13 - Book Discoverability (B) - Publish a Physical Paperback Using Amazon’s Createspace -

see module 13.pdf for more details

By re-purposing your existing Kindle manuscript, you have the ability to boost your monthly earnings by an average of 30%.

I have created a mini video series giving you step-by-step training on you can publish your book using Amazon’s print-on-demand service - Createspace.

[See Videos 43-46]

03:10

- Module 14 - Book Discoverability (C) - Publishing to Platforms Beyond Amazon -

[See Video 47]

Ø  So you have tried Kindle publishing and decided, having given it a 90 day trial, that some or possibly all of your books might produce better results if they are spread around some of the other important publishing platforms which have sprung up over recent years.

Ø  You would like to see your books on sites like:

o   Apple iBook Store

o   Barnes & Noble

o   Kobo

o   Google Books

o   Scribd

o   Page Foundry

o   As well as some of the other smaller but geographically important publishing platforms.

Your First Action

Ø  Assuming your book/s are currently enrolled in Kindle’s KDP Select programme – taking advantage of their in-house marketing opportunities - you will need to visit each book upload page and de-select the tick box for the KDP Select enrolment programme.

Ø  Each round of enrolment within KDP Select lasts 90 days, and once your book is un-enrolled you will be free of Kindle’s KDP Select terms of service.  Their terms of service prohibit you publishing (digitally) your book on any other digital publishing platform.

Ø  If you don’t untick the check box for each of your books, then they will automatically be re-enlisted as each 90 day period ends.

Publish to Each Platform Independently or Use An Aggregator?

You now have two choices. 

o   You can either publish each book individually to every book publishing platform which allows individual submissions, giving you more control.

o   Or you can save time by submitting your manuscript just once to a book submission portal site – often called an aggregator – which will submit your content to most of the major book sites for you.

Ø  Various aggregator sites have sprung up within the digital publishing world, some offering free submission and some charging a fee.  The best two book publishing aggregators within the marketplace at the moment are:

o   Smashwords (SW)

o   Draft2Digital (D2D)

Ø  These two sites will not charge you for submitting your books to the various independent book publishing platforms, but will charge you a small percentage fee when any of your books are sold. 

Ø  They effectively act as a middle-man in this respect, collecting your book sale proceeds and remitting to you on a regular basis as one single payment.  Usually their fees are 10% (15% net) of the agreed royalty payments from each individual site.

Comparing the Benefits of Smashwords and Draft2Digital

Smashwords (SW)

The Pros:

Ø  SW has been established longer – 2008.

Ø  SW has its own online book shop, which it will also publish your books to.

Ø  SW distributes to the following book publishing channels:

o   Apple iBook Store

o   Barnes & Noble

o   Kobo

o   Google Books

o   Scribd – Subscription site

o   Page Foundry

o   Baker & Taylor Blio

o   Flipkart (Big in India)

o   Oyster – subscription site

o   Textr (Germany)

§  Plus 3 Library Channels: Library Direct, Baker & Taylor Axis 360 and Overdrive

o   Updates – All updates are free of charge.

The Cons:


Ø  The Smashwords Style Guide - One of the main reasons why some people have been historically put off uploading via SW is their complex set of rules to prepare a manuscript for upload.  Their ‘Smashwords Style Guide’, outlining these rules, runs to 27,000 words long.

Ø  The Meatgrinder – The Meatgrinder is their very apt term used to describe the software used to process your Word doc into an acceptable format (ePub file) for all its channels.  SW will accept your own ePub file but will not allow it to be circulated to their Extended Distribution, that being all channels outside of SW’s own store.  So you are really limited to tackling their Style Guide to optimise your Word book to make it acceptable for the ‘Meatgrinder’, which is extremely sensitive to the slightest error.

Ø  Speed of Initial Upload to All Channels – The initial distribution to all their channels used to take weeks and in some cases, months, and conversely the removal of your books from all their channels could also take a long time.

Ø  Updates – As with the initial book distribution to all channels, any of your updates also used to take a long time to be processed.  Apparently their update speeds have recently improved.

Ø  Royalties Payments – Royalties are paid quarterly, as opposed to monthly with D2D.

Draft2Digital (D2D)

The Pros:

Ø  No Style Guide Required: A more Elegant Solution – The whole process of uploading your book to D2D is a whole lot easier compared to SW.  You are not constricted by any particular style guide…in fact D2D like to say that they will adapt to your style. 

Ø  You can upload a doc file and they will do the conversion and processing for you.  The output is in ePub, but you can also download a .mobi version for personal reading or uploading to Kindle. 

Ø  You can also upload your own .Mobi file, and D2D (unlike SW) will distribute that file to all their channels, assuming it passes an ePub validation check.

Ø  Createspace – A real bonus with D2D is that they will also distribute to CreateSpace if you want your book to appear in print format – Limited to standard paperback format: 8.5” x 5.5”.

Ø  Updates – All updates are free of charge.

Ø  Royalties Payments – Royalties are paid monthly, as opposed to quarterly with SW.

Ø  Daily Sales Reporting – Except for Scribd.

Ø  Coupon Promotion Facility – D2D offers the ability to create discounted coupons for individual books – even reducing down to $0.00.

Ø  Territory Pricing – D2D has just instituted the facility to price ‘by territory’ as opposed to a flat pricing reflected in worldwide currencies.  This means that you can price your book at a higher price in the USA and UK for instance, but discount it in India, where the perceived value, as an accepted norm, might be much lower.

Ø  Timed Promotions of eBooks – If you are doing a time sensitive promotion with companies like FKBooks or Bookbub, then this facility is invaluable.  You can set the time you want your book to be reduced as part of a sale and then have it restored to its normal pricing at the end of a sale.

The Cons:


Ø  Less Distribution Channels – This is probably the only main drawback to using D2D, in that they distribute to less channels than SW.  They distribute to:

o   Apple iBook Store

o   Barnes & Noble

o   Kobo

o   Google Books

o   Scribed – Subscription site

o   Page Foundry

Ø  It must be noted however, that D2D are already in negotiations with other channels, and in particular with Google Books Flipkart, Overdrive and Ingram.  I’m sure it won’t be long before they have narrowed the gap with SW in this respect.

The Optimum Publishing Strategy

Ø  Much will depend upon the time you have available and your willingness to learn new skills, such as optimising documents.  On this basis we would end up with the following options:

Upload Individually to Each Channel on a DIY Basis

Ø  This way you would avoid all the middle-man fees.  Most of the main distribution channels offer this DIY publishing facility, with the exception of Scribd.

Ø  The downside is that you would be involved (depending on the number of books you have published) in more work to publish to each platform.  If you are organised then this may not take a lot of time for your initial upload, but you do have to keep in mind all the ongoing updates and tweaks to both book cover, metadata and text, for each and every book, to each and every platform.

Choose an Aggregator (SW or D2D) for all Your Publishing

Ø  Bear in mind that you would still need to upload individually to Kindle’s KDP platform and to Google Books, which are not yet supported by SW or D2D.

Combine the Best of All Options

Ø  My personal choice would be to opt for using Draft2Digital (D2D), based upon my personal experience (and other known authors) with SW’s stringent Style Guide and their dreaded Meat grinder.  I would then independently upload individually to Kindle’s KDP platform and to Google Books.

Ø  NOTE:  Be aware that if you try to go the DIY route to publish to Barnes and Noble’s Nook, be cautious of using their new gateway, called Nook Press.  This took over from Pubit late in 2013.

Ø  Apparently Nook Press have an association with a company called Author Solutions, which would appear to globally have a poor press, purportedly for distributing your personal data, once you have signed up with them.

Ø  Time will tell if this is all true, but meanwhile, a safer option is to sign up to Nook via SW or D2D. If you go this route, you will bypass the need to use Nook Press.

For resources mentioned in the video, refer to module 14.pdf



15:15

- Module 14 - Book Discoverability (C) - Publishing to Platforms Beyond Amazon -

[See Video 47]

Ø  So you have tried Kindle publishing and decided, having given it a 90 day trial, that some or possibly all of your books might produce better results if they are spread around some of the other important publishing platforms which have sprung up over recent years.

Ø  You would like to see your books on sites like:

o   Apple iBook Store

o   Barnes & Noble

o   Kobo

o   Google Books

o   Scribd

o   Page Foundry

o   As well as some of the other smaller but geographically important publishing platforms.

Your First Action

Ø  Assuming your book/s are currently enrolled in Kindle’s KDP Select programme – taking advantage of their in-house marketing opportunities - you will need to visit each book upload page and de-select the tick box for the KDP Select enrolment programme.

Ø  Each round of enrolment within KDP Select lasts 90 days, and once your book is un-enrolled you will be free of Kindle’s KDP Select terms of service.  Their terms of service prohibit you publishing (digitally) your book on any other digital publishing platform.

Ø  If you don’t untick the check box for each of your books, then they will automatically be re-enlisted as each 90 day period ends.

Publish to Each Platform Independently or Use An Aggregator?

You now have two choices. 

o   You can either publish each book individually to every book publishing platform which allows individual submissions, giving you more control.

o   Or you can save time by submitting your manuscript just once to a book submission portal site – often called an aggregator – which will submit your content to most of the major book sites for you.

Ø  Various aggregator sites have sprung up within the digital publishing world, some offering free submission and some charging a fee.  The best two book publishing aggregators within the marketplace at the moment are:

o   Smashwords (SW)

o   Draft2Digital (D2D)

Ø  These two sites will not charge you for submitting your books to the various independent book publishing platforms, but will charge you a small percentage fee when any of your books are sold. 

Ø  They effectively act as a middle-man in this respect, collecting your book sale proceeds and remitting to you on a regular basis as one single payment.  Usually their fees are 10% (15% net) of the agreed royalty payments from each individual site.

Comparing the Benefits of Smashwords and Draft2Digital

Smashwords (SW)

The Pros:

Ø  SW has been established longer – 2008.

Ø  SW has its own online book shop, which it will also publish your books to.

Ø  SW distributes to the following book publishing channels:

o   Apple iBook Store

o   Barnes & Noble

o   Kobo

o   Google Books

o   Scribd – Subscription site

o   Page Foundry

o   Baker & Taylor Blio

o   Flipkart (Big in India)

o   Oyster – subscription site

o   Textr (Germany)

§  Plus 3 Library Channels: Library Direct, Baker & Taylor Axis 360 and Overdrive

o   Updates – All updates are free of charge.

The Cons:

Ø  The Smashwords Style Guide - One of the main reasons why some people have been historically put off uploading via SW is their complex set of rules to prepare a manuscript for upload.  Their ‘Smashwords Style Guide’, outlining these rules, runs to 27,000 words long.

Ø  The Meatgrinder – The Meatgrinder is their very apt term used to describe the software used to process your Word doc into an acceptable format (ePub file) for all its channels.  SW will accept your own ePub file but will not allow it to be circulated to their Extended Distribution, that being all channels outside of SW’s own store.  So you are really limited to tackling their Style Guide to optimise your Word book to make it acceptable for the ‘Meatgrinder’, which is extremely sensitive to the slightest error.


Ø  Speed of Initial Upload to All Channels – The initial distribution to all their channels used to take weeks and in some cases, months, and conversely the removal of your books from all their channels could also take a long time.

Ø  Updates – As with the initial book distribution to all channels, any of your updates also used to take a long time to be processed.  Apparently their update speeds have recently improved.

Ø  Royalties Payments – Royalties are paid quarterly, as opposed to monthly with D2D.

Draft2Digital (D2D)

The Pros:

Ø  No Style Guide Required: A more Elegant Solution – The whole process of uploading your book to D2D is a whole lot easier compared to SW.  You are not constricted by any particular style guide…in fact D2D like to say that they will adapt to your style. 

Ø  You can upload a doc file and they will do the conversion and processing for you.  The output is in ePub, but you can also download a .mobi version for personal reading or uploading to Kindle. 

Ø  You can also upload your own .Mobi file, and D2D (unlike SW) will distribute that file to all their channels, assuming it passes an ePub validation check.

Ø  Createspace – A real bonus with D2D is that they will also distribute to CreateSpace if you want your book to appear in print format – Limited to standard paperback format: 8.5” x 5.5”.

Ø  Updates – All updates are free of charge.

Ø  Royalties Payments – Royalties are paid monthly, as opposed to quarterly with SW.

Ø  Daily Sales Reporting – Except for Scribd.

Ø  Coupon Promotion Facility – D2D offers the ability to create discounted coupons for individual books – even reducing down to $0.00.

Ø  Territory Pricing – D2D has just instituted the facility to price ‘by territory’ as opposed to a flat pricing reflected in worldwide currencies.  This means that you can price your book at a higher price in the USA and UK for instance, but discount it in India, where the perceived value, as an accepted norm, might be much lower.

Ø  Timed Promotions of eBooks – If you are doing a time sensitive promotion with companies like FKBooks or Bookbub, then this facility is invaluable.  You can set the time you want your book to be reduced as part of a sale and then have it restored to its normal pricing at the end of a sale.

The Cons:

Ø  Less Distribution Channels – This is probably the only main drawback to using D2D, in that they distribute to less channels than SW.  They distribute to:

o   Apple iBook Store


o   Barnes & Noble

o   Kobo

o   Google Books

o   Scribed – Subscription site

o   Page Foundry

Ø  It must be noted however, that D2D are already in negotiations with other channels, and in particular with Google Books Flipkart, Overdrive and Ingram.  I’m sure it won’t be long before they have narrowed the gap with SW in this respect.

The Optimum Publishing Strategy

Ø  Much will depend upon the time you have available and your willingness to learn new skills, such as optimising documents.  On this basis we would end up with the following options:

Upload Individually to Each Channel on a DIY Basis

Ø  This way you would avoid all the middle-man fees.  Most of the main distribution channels offer this DIY publishing facility, with the exception of Scribd.

Ø  The downside is that you would be involved (depending on the number of books you have published) in more work to publish to each platform.  If you are organised then this may not take a lot of time for your initial upload, but you do have to keep in mind all the ongoing updates and tweaks to both book cover, metadata and text, for each and every book, to each and every platform.

Choose an Aggregator (SW or D2D) for all Your Publishing

Ø  Bear in mind that you would still need to upload individually to Kindle’s KDP platform and to Google Books, which are not yet supported by SW or D2D.

Combine the Best of All Options

Ø  My personal choice would be to opt for using Draft2Digital (D2D), based upon my personal experience (and other known authors) with SW’s stringent Style Guide and their dreaded Meat grinder.  I would then independently upload individually to Kindle’s KDP platform and to Google Books.

Ø  NOTE:  Be aware that if you try to go the DIY route to publish to Barnes and Noble’s Nook, be cautious of using their new gateway, called Nook Press.  This took over from Pubit late in 2013.

Ø  Apparently Nook Press have an association with a company called Author Solutions, which would appear to globally have a poor press, purportedly for distributing your personal data, once you have signed up with them.

Ø  Time will tell if this is all true, but meanwhile, a safer option is to sign up to Nook via SW or D2D. If you go this route, you will bypass the need to use Nook Press.

For resources mentioned in the video, refer to module 14.pdf

Section 14: Module 14 Video 47 Book Discoverbility (C)
02:57

- Module 14 - Book Discoverability (C) - Publishing to Platforms Beyond Amazon -

[See Video 47]

Ø  So you have tried Kindle publishing and decided, having given it a 90 day trial, that some or possibly all of your books might produce better results if they are spread around some of the other important publishing platforms which have sprung up over recent years.

Ø  You would like to see your books on sites like:

o   Apple iBook Store

o   Barnes & Noble

o   Kobo

o   Google Books

o   Scribd

o   Page Foundry

o   As well as some of the other smaller but geographically important publishing platforms.

Your First Action

Ø  Assuming your book/s are currently enrolled in Kindle’s KDP Select programme – taking advantage of their in-house marketing opportunities - you will need to visit each book upload page and de-select the tick box for the KDP Select enrolment programme.

Ø  Each round of enrolment within KDP Select lasts 90 days, and once your book is un-enrolled you will be free of Kindle’s KDP Select terms of service.  Their terms of service prohibit you publishing (digitally) your book on any other digital publishing platform.

Ø  If you don’t untick the check box for each of your books, then they will automatically be re-enlisted as each 90 day period ends.

Publish to Each Platform Independently or Use An Aggregator?

You now have two choices. 

o   You can either publish each book individually to every book publishing platform which allows individual submissions, giving you more control.

o   Or you can save time by submitting your manuscript just once to a book submission portal site – often called an aggregator – which will submit your content to most of the major book sites for you.

Ø  Various aggregator sites have sprung up within the digital publishing world, some offering free submission and some charging a fee.  The best two book publishing aggregators within the marketplace at the moment are:

o   Smashwords (SW)

o   Draft2Digital (D2D)

Ø  These two sites will not charge you for submitting your books to the various independent book publishing platforms, but will charge you a small percentage fee when any of your books are sold. 

Ø  They effectively act as a middle-man in this respect, collecting your book sale proceeds and remitting to you on a regular basis as one single payment.  Usually their fees are 10% (15% net) of the agreed royalty payments from each individual site.

Comparing the Benefits of Smashwords and Draft2Digital

Smashwords (SW)

The Pros:

Ø  SW has been established longer – 2008.

Ø  SW has its own online book shop, which it will also publish your books to.

Ø  SW distributes to the following book publishing channels:

o   Apple iBook Store

o   Barnes & Noble

o   Kobo

o   Google Books

o   Scribd – Subscription site

o   Page Foundry

o   Baker & Taylor Blio

o   Flipkart (Big in India)

o   Oyster – subscription site

o   Textr (Germany)

§  Plus 3 Library Channels: Library Direct, Baker & Taylor Axis 360 and Overdrive

o   Updates – All updates are free of charge.

The Cons:

Ø  The Smashwords Style Guide - One of the main reasons why some people have been historically put off uploading via SW is their complex set of rules to prepare a manuscript for upload.  Their ‘Smashwords Style Guide’, outlining these rules, runs to 27,000 words long.


Ø  The Meatgrinder – The Meatgrinder is their very apt term used to describe the software used to process your Word doc into an acceptable format (ePub file) for all its channels.  SW will accept your own ePub file but will not allow it to be circulated to their Extended Distribution, that being all channels outside of SW’s own store.  So you are really limited to tackling their Style Guide to optimise your Word book to make it acceptable for the ‘Meatgrinder’, which is extremely sensitive to the slightest error.

Ø  Speed of Initial Upload to All Channels – The initial distribution to all their channels used to take weeks and in some cases, months, and conversely the removal of your books from all their channels could also take a long time.

Ø  Updates – As with the initial book distribution to all channels, any of your updates also used to take a long time to be processed.  Apparently their update speeds have recently improved.

Ø  Royalties Payments – Royalties are paid quarterly, as opposed to monthly with D2D.

Draft2Digital (D2D)

The Pros:

Ø  No Style Guide Required: A more Elegant Solution – The whole process of uploading your book to D2D is a whole lot easier compared to SW.  You are not constricted by any particular style guide…in fact D2D like to say that they will adapt to your style. 

Ø  You can upload a doc file and they will do the conversion and processing for you.  The output is in ePub, but you can also download a .mobi version for personal reading or uploading to Kindle. 

Ø  You can also upload your own .Mobi file, and D2D (unlike SW) will distribute that file to all their channels, assuming it passes an ePub validation check.

Ø  Createspace – A real bonus with D2D is that they will also distribute to CreateSpace if you want your book to appear in print format – Limited to standard paperback format: 8.5” x 5.5”.

Ø  Updates – All updates are free of charge.

Ø  Royalties Payments – Royalties are paid monthly, as opposed to quarterly with SW.

Ø  Daily Sales Reporting – Except for Scribd.

Ø  Coupon Promotion Facility – D2D offers the ability to create discounted coupons for individual books – even reducing down to $0.00.

Ø  Territory Pricing – D2D has just instituted the facility to price ‘by territory’ as opposed to a flat pricing reflected in worldwide currencies.  This means that you can price your book at a higher price in the USA and UK for instance, but discount it in India, where the perceived value, as an accepted norm, might be much lower.

Ø  Timed Promotions of eBooks – If you are doing a time sensitive promotion with companies like FKBooks or Bookbub, then this facility is invaluable.  You can set the time you want your book to be reduced as part of a sale and then have it restored to its normal pricing at the end of a sale.

The Cons:

Ø  Less Distribution Channels – This is probably the only main drawback to using D2D, in that they distribute to less channels than SW.  They distribute to:


o   Apple iBook Store

o   Barnes & Noble

o   Kobo

o   Google Books

o   Scribed – Subscription site

o   Page Foundry

Ø  It must be noted however, that D2D are already in negotiations with other channels, and in particular with Google Books Flipkart, Overdrive and Ingram.  I’m sure it won’t be long before they have narrowed the gap with SW in this respect.

The Optimum Publishing Strategy

Ø  Much will depend upon the time you have available and your willingness to learn new skills, such as optimising documents.  On this basis we would end up with the following options:

Upload Individually to Each Channel on a DIY Basis

Ø  This way you would avoid all the middle-man fees.  Most of the main distribution channels offer this DIY publishing facility, with the exception of Scribd.

Ø  The downside is that you would be involved (depending on the number of books you have published) in more work to publish to each platform.  If you are organised then this may not take a lot of time for your initial upload, but you do have to keep in mind all the ongoing updates and tweaks to both book cover, metadata and text, for each and every book, to each and every platform.

Choose an Aggregator (SW or D2D) for all Your Publishing

Ø  Bear in mind that you would still need to upload individually to Kindle’s KDP platform and to Google Books, which are not yet supported by SW or D2D.

Combine the Best of All Options

Ø  My personal choice would be to opt for using Draft2Digital (D2D), based upon my personal experience (and other known authors) with SW’s stringent Style Guide and their dreaded Meat grinder.  I would then independently upload individually to Kindle’s KDP platform and to Google Books.

Ø  NOTE:  Be aware that if you try to go the DIY route to publish to Barnes and Noble’s Nook, be cautious of using their new gateway, called Nook Press.  This took over from Pubit late in 2013.

Ø  Apparently Nook Press have an association with a company called Author Solutions, which would appear to globally have a poor press, purportedly for distributing your personal data, once you have signed up with them.

Ø  Time will tell if this is all true, but meanwhile, a safer option is to sign up to Nook via SW or D2D. If you go this route, you will bypass the need to use Nook Press.

For resources mentioned in the video, refer to module 14.pdf




19:58

- Module 14 - Book Discoverability (C) - Publishing to Platforms Beyond Amazon -

[See Video 47]

Ø  So you have tried Kindle publishing and decided, having given it a 90 day trial, that some or possibly all of your books might produce better results if they are spread around some of the other important publishing platforms which have sprung up over recent years.

Ø  You would like to see your books on sites like:

o   Apple iBook Store

o   Barnes & Noble

o   Kobo

o   Google Books

o   Scribd

o   Page Foundry

o   As well as some of the other smaller but geographically important publishing platforms.

Your First Action

Ø  Assuming your book/s are currently enrolled in Kindle’s KDP Select programme – taking advantage of their in-house marketing opportunities - you will need to visit each book upload page and de-select the tick box for the KDP Select enrolment programme.

Ø  Each round of enrolment within KDP Select lasts 90 days, and once your book is un-enrolled you will be free of Kindle’s KDP Select terms of service.  Their terms of service prohibit you publishing (digitally) your book on any other digital publishing platform.

Ø  If you don’t untick the check box for each of your books, then they will automatically be re-enlisted as each 90 day period ends.

Publish to Each Platform Independently or Use An Aggregator?

You now have two choices. 

o   You can either publish each book individually to every book publishing platform which allows individual submissions, giving you more control.

o   Or you can save time by submitting your manuscript just once to a book submission portal site – often called an aggregator – which will submit your content to most of the major book sites for you.

Ø  Various aggregator sites have sprung up within the digital publishing world, some offering free submission and some charging a fee.  The best two book publishing aggregators within the marketplace at the moment are:

o   Smashwords (SW)

o   Draft2Digital (D2D)

Ø  These two sites will not charge you for submitting your books to the various independent book publishing platforms, but will charge you a small percentage fee when any of your books are sold. 

Ø  They effectively act as a middle-man in this respect, collecting your book sale proceeds and remitting to you on a regular basis as one single payment.  Usually their fees are 10% (15% net) of the agreed royalty payments from each individual site.

Comparing the Benefits of Smashwords and Draft2Digital

Smashwords (SW)

The Pros:

Ø  SW has been established longer – 2008.

Ø  SW has its own online book shop, which it will also publish your books to.

Ø  SW distributes to the following book publishing channels:

o   Apple iBook Store

o   Barnes & Noble

o   Kobo

o   Google Books

o   Scribd – Subscription site

o   Page Foundry

o   Baker & Taylor Blio

o   Flipkart (Big in India)

o   Oyster – subscription site

o   Textr (Germany)

§  Plus 3 Library Channels: Library Direct, Baker & Taylor Axis 360 and Overdrive

o   Updates – All updates are free of charge.

The Cons:

Ø  The Smashwords Style Guide - One of the main reasons why some people have been historically put off uploading via SW is their complex set of rules to prepare a manuscript for upload.  Their ‘Smashwords Style Guide’, outlining these rules, runs to 27,000 words long.


Ø  The Meatgrinder – The Meatgrinder is their very apt term used to describe the software used to process your Word doc into an acceptable format (ePub file) for all its channels.  SW will accept your own ePub file but will not allow it to be circulated to their Extended Distribution, that being all channels outside of SW’s own store.  So you are really limited to tackling their Style Guide to optimise your Word book to make it acceptable for the ‘Meatgrinder’, which is extremely sensitive to the slightest error.

Ø  Speed of Initial Upload to All Channels – The initial distribution to all their channels used to take weeks and in some cases, months, and conversely the removal of your books from all their channels could also take a long time.

Ø  Updates – As with the initial book distribution to all channels, any of your updates also used to take a long time to be processed.  Apparently their update speeds have recently improved.

Ø  Royalties Payments – Royalties are paid quarterly, as opposed to monthly with D2D.

Draft2Digital (D2D)

The Pros:

Ø  No Style Guide Required: A more Elegant Solution – The whole process of uploading your book to D2D is a whole lot easier compared to SW.  You are not constricted by any particular style guide…in fact D2D like to say that they will adapt to your style. 

Ø  You can upload a doc file and they will do the conversion and processing for you.  The output is in ePub, but you can also download a .mobi version for personal reading or uploading to Kindle. 

Ø  You can also upload your own .Mobi file, and D2D (unlike SW) will distribute that file to all their channels, assuming it passes an ePub validation check.

Ø  Createspace – A real bonus with D2D is that they will also distribute to CreateSpace if you want your book to appear in print format – Limited to standard paperback format: 8.5” x 5.5”.

Ø  Updates – All updates are free of charge.

Ø  Royalties Payments – Royalties are paid monthly, as opposed to quarterly with SW.

Ø  Daily Sales Reporting – Except for Scribd.

Ø  Coupon Promotion Facility – D2D offers the ability to create discounted coupons for individual books – even reducing down to $0.00.

Ø  Territory Pricing – D2D has just instituted the facility to price ‘by territory’ as opposed to a flat pricing reflected in worldwide currencies.  This means that you can price your book at a higher price in the USA and UK for instance, but discount it in India, where the perceived value, as an accepted norm, might be much lower.

Ø  Timed Promotions of eBooks – If you are doing a time sensitive promotion with companies like FKBooks or Bookbub, then this facility is invaluable.  You can set the time you want your book to be reduced as part of a sale and then have it restored to its normal pricing at the end of a sale.

The Cons:

Ø  Less Distribution Channels – This is probably the only main drawback to using D2D, in that they distribute to less channels than SW.  They distribute to:


o   Apple iBook Store

o   Barnes & Noble

o   Kobo

o   Google Books

o   Scribed – Subscription site

o   Page Foundry

Ø  It must be noted however, that D2D are already in negotiations with other channels, and in particular with Google Books Flipkart, Overdrive and Ingram.  I’m sure it won’t be long before they have narrowed the gap with SW in this respect.

The Optimum Publishing Strategy

Ø  Much will depend upon the time you have available and your willingness to learn new skills, such as optimising documents.  On this basis we would end up with the following options:

Upload Individually to Each Channel on a DIY Basis

Ø  This way you would avoid all the middle-man fees.  Most of the main distribution channels offer this DIY publishing facility, with the exception of Scribd.

Ø  The downside is that you would be involved (depending on the number of books you have published) in more work to publish to each platform.  If you are organised then this may not take a lot of time for your initial upload, but you do have to keep in mind all the ongoing updates and tweaks to both book cover, metadata and text, for each and every book, to each and every platform.

Choose an Aggregator (SW or D2D) for all Your Publishing

Ø  Bear in mind that you would still need to upload individually to Kindle’s KDP platform and to Google Books, which are not yet supported by SW or D2D.

Combine the Best of All Options

Ø  My personal choice would be to opt for using Draft2Digital (D2D), based upon my personal experience (and other known authors) with SW’s stringent Style Guide and their dreaded Meat grinder.  I would then independently upload individually to Kindle’s KDP platform and to Google Books.

Ø  NOTE:  Be aware that if you try to go the DIY route to publish to Barnes and Noble’s Nook, be cautious of using their new gateway, called Nook Press.  This took over from Pubit late in 2013.

Ø  Apparently Nook Press have an association with a company called Author Solutions, which would appear to globally have a poor press, purportedly for distributing your personal data, once you have signed up with them.

Ø  Time will tell if this is all true, but meanwhile, a safer option is to sign up to Nook via SW or D2D. If you go this route, you will bypass the need to use Nook Press.

For resources mentioned in the video, refer to module 14.pdf



Section 15: Module 15 Video 48 A 6 Month Further-on Follow Up
19:40

A catchup video to show my results 6 months down the road.

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Instructor Biography

Richard Bullivant, Published Kindle author and recognised ePublishing teacher

Richard Bullivant has for many years specialised in writing articles on the topic of 'how to earn a part-time income from home', many of them geared around his love of collectables and memorabilia.

Richard has also been writing and publishing books on Kindle since 2011, with over 20 published titles in his catalogue, including numerous bestseller rankings.

Richard has since taught hundreds of students how to fulfil their writing and publishing ambitions.  Here are some quotes from students of Richard’s previous Kindle course.

"The course is fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone!"  Jane K.

"I am writing firstly to thank for putting together such a detailed and easy to follow course. I purchased it a few weeks ago. The course materials (book and videos) are really good and of a higher standard than others I have experienced."  Monika K

“I am really impressed so far about the clear way you explain everything…"  Ari J S

"I am neither young nor technically gifted but realised that doing a bit of writing Kindle would be an option…The videos were concise and very easy to follow. I also liked your style. ..All I can add is to thank you very much and to add that I feel your course was great value for money.”  Peter T

"I have just finished watching your set of advanced videos for the second time and all I can say is that you certainly over-deliver. Brilliant explanations of how to maximize the sales/profitability of our books."  Charles S

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