Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Using YouTube for Book Marketing: Part Three

I have uploaded my first book marketing video on YouTube. This has been more of a task than I thought it would be.

Here are a few of the challenges I have been learning how to deal with thus far:

1) Using Camtasia to successfully edit a combination of screen shots, actual video and the sound track. This is fairly easy software to use I have been told. I have managed to get segments of the desired project completed in a manner I find satisfactory enough to use. It took a bit to figure out how to merge different clips together and edit them. Once I did I realized how easy the software is to use.

2) I had to purchase a software called Wondershare to convert the digital files from my camera in order to use the footage in either iMovie or Camtasia. This means more time invested in learning how to use software necessary to produce the final video. It took about 15 minutes to figure out how to use this software. Once I did, it was super easy to use. It cost me $69 + tax. There might be less expensive or free software that will do the same thing. Wondershare was too easy to learn to use and that made it worth the investment to me.

3) I have managed to successfully film myself for the portion of the first video I will appear in. The subject matter of the film, me, leaves a bit to be desired but I can't afford to hire Brad Pitt or some other actor who looks fantastic on film.

4) Rehearsing did not produce a perfect product, but it saved me from re-filming this first short video over and over. I am confident the more I do this the better I will get.

5) Whatever you do, buy a tripod.

6) Lighting makes a difference. One more thing to have to learn about.

7) If you can afford it, buy an actual digital video camera. The results are vastly superior to a camera in your phone, a flip camera, a web cam or a camera mounted in your laptop. 

8) Microphones are worth the extra expense in producing a soundtrack that is understandable. I managed to have some echo due to the fact I filmed the video in a small room.

9) YouTube is your friend when it comes to learning how to use all of these items. Many knowledgeable individuals, either as a hobby or as a business endeavor, have posted videos designed to help novices learn to use these tools.

10) Be willing to make mistakes. One of my issues is I want to get it perfect the first time. When learning how to create something like a video you are going to make mistakes. Give your self permission to make mistakes. 

12) Power point is a helpful tool for these projects. You can insert actual video in between slides. Use Camtasia to capture a timed running of the Power point slideshow. Then using Camtasia, insert the video you have in between the slides conveying information or still photographs.

For those of you who are experts or more experienced in using this type of software or crafting videos, this might not be the best approach. But for me, and probably for others who are just getting started, the end result will be acceptable.

For authors considering using videos on YouTube to market your books, go for it! I plan to try to produce a video every 10-14 days for until January. It's that time of the year to sell books!

Using YouTube for Book Marketing: Part One
Using YouTube for Book Marketing: Part Two

Monday, October 29, 2012

Final Blog Post Summary of October, 2012: Book Expo Review, Writing Contests, Nook Technology Update and Fighting Copyright Violations

As October draws to a close, this will be the final blog post that is a collection of posts I found interesting or helpful, at least to me, that I want to share with the readers of this site. Read the posts you find interesting but please remember to return and visit The Self-Publisher's Notebook in the future.

From FonerBooks

Google Rejecting Search DMCA for Social Networking Sites

The latest update in Morris Rosenthal's battle against internet piracy of his books and his struggles with Google in obtaining compliance in removing the offending violations.

From The Self-Publisher's Notebook

Kindle Pricing Strategy for Self-Published Authors

I know its my own post, but it's relevant. Authors need to realize this is a business and pricing is an important consideration. I wish I had this information when I started years ago.

From WeberBooks.com

Future Nooks Will Include NFC Tech for In-store Book Scanning

Steve Weber writes an interesting post about an announced technological improvement to the Barnes and Noble Nook in an effort to compete with the Amazon Kindle.

From Book Making

Report from Self-Publishing Book Expo

Michael Marcus provides a summary of his trip to attend the 4th Annual Self-Publishing Book Expo held in Manhattan. Michael indicates this is just part one of the installments he intends to share about his experience at the Expo. I found his summary interesting and wish I had the money for airfare and hotel to attend the event just once.

From Writer Beware

Alert: America's Next Author Contest

Victoria Strauss writes about a new author contest within the framework of high priced writing competitions and the need for self-publishing authors to be aware of the many pitfalls of entering these competitions.

From Pro Blogger

Five Essential Elements of a Successful Self-Published Book

A guest post on Pro Blogger by Srinivas Rao of BlogcastFM. A good summary of what it takes to craft a successful self-published book.

From The Book Deal: An Inside View of Publishing

Great Reasons to Self-Publish: Seven Case Histories

Alan Rinzler is the author of this blog and has a lot to say about the state of the publishing industry.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Visiting Other Self-Publishing Blogs - Book Marketing and Social Media, Pricing Strategies and the Need for Research

From The Book Designer

Social Media for book marketing

An excellent guest post by Jason Kong on using social media to market books, particularly works of fiction.


From Book Making

Pricing strategies 

Michael Marcus took a break from targeting author services companies that are inept or possess questionable business ethics and wrote this excellent post about pricing and value for authors to consider when establishing a price point for their book.


From The Savvy Book Marketer

The need for research

The first in a series about mistakes self-publishers make, I really agree with this one and certainly fall into the category of authors who needed to do more research when I made the jump into self-publishing.  This post stresses the need to learn about the self-publishing industry.


Kindle Pricing Strategy for Self-Published Authors

Pricing has a lot to do with maximum sales and maximum net profit for any business. It is particularly true when it comes to selling Kindle books, one of the main sources of income for a self-published author.

The Christmas retail season is approaching and so is the peak seasonal sales period of the year for my non-fiction books. As a business enterprise, I need to earn as much as possible in the coming months. The overall gross revenue for the calendar year, as well as net profit, depend a lot on what happens in the next several months.

With this in mind, I have been thinking about pricing strategy for my Kindle books. I have three specific goals in mind for the next few months:
  1. Generate the maximum number of sales possible.
  2. Generate the maximum amount of net profit possible.
  3. Obtain the maximum number of first time customers possible.
Pricing will have a lot to do with whether or not I achieve these goals, allow which are important to the growth and success of my self-publishing business.

Amazon has suggested pricing guidelines. To earn a 70% share of a sale, Amazon wants a Kindle book priced between $2.99 and $9.99. If the price is above or below the suggested price range, the share of the sale drops to 35%.

A great deal has been written about pricing strategies for Kindle books. Here is a brief summary of the strategies:

Reasons to price a Kindle book at 99 cents:

First in a series: If a book is the first in a series of books, the goal is to lower the barrier to begin reading, and buying, the books in the series. While the profit margin will be low, readers who purchase this first book will have overcome the initial purchase barrier and a good percentage, if the book lives up to the buyer's expectations, will purchase additional higher priced, and more profitable books, in the series.

New Author: If the book is a first novel or first book of any kind, the author needs readers and the more the better. The low price of 99 cents establishes a low level of risk to try a new author. If the buyer likes the book, the author has a better chance of selling the reader another book at a higher price.

Amazon Sales Ranking Position: When launching a book, setting an introductory price of 99 cents to generate sales quickly, particularly for an established author who has a legion of fans eager for the author's next book and an author platform to do so, can help to drive the book up the Amazon Sales Rankings quickly in order to expose the book to the greatest number of potential buyers possible. The price should be raised shortly after launch to the optimal sales price. The 99 cent introductory price is solely to raise the rankings of the book thereby raising the book's search result position to the highest possible level in the shortest time possible.

Reasons to price a Kindle book from $2.99 to $9.99 or somewhere in between

This might be the optimal price point, striking the balance between the maximum number of sales and generating the highest level of net profit. For many self-published authors, the sweet spot of the price point could be in this range, particularly for works of fiction.

Many readers will not pay more than $4.99 for a work of fiction unless they simply must have the latest book by an author who has already earned the reader's trust and loyalty.

The idea is to find the price that will earn the 70% share of the sale yet generate the greatest number of total sales. For example, which would you rather have? 500 sales at $2.99 generating over $1,000 in net profit for the month or 100 sales at $9.99 generating $700 in profit?

To determine which price will result in the greatest net profit in sales, some experimentation will be necessary. Set different prices for set periods of time and carefully monitor sales results. Do the math and determine which price produced the best results.

I have yet to price a Kindle book over $9.99 and will probably never do so. I have not, and will not, pay over $9.99 for a work of fiction. I have paid over $9.99 for non-fiction Kindle books because I needed the information. About half of the time it was worth breaking my rule concerning the $9.99 price barrier which I think is actually a pretty good hit or miss ratio.

To be honest, I must also state I only cross that price barrier for non-fiction under the following conditions:
  1. there is no used paperback edition available at a lower price.
  2. there is no paper edition available period.
  3. I don't have time to wait for the information to arrive via mail in the form of a traditional print edition.
This retail season I have selected a few books to test what I think will be the best pricing strategies for my books. I have several books for sale for 99 cents. These are intended to lure in first time buyers for my books in general.

I have several books priced at $2.99. These are also intended to lure in first time buyers but also contain more information than the 99 cent books. These books are also priced to generate the largest possible sales volume. I consider the books to be "shorts" and by design they are single topic non-fiction books of a limited scope.  I plan to make money on these books by high volume.

I also have a newly launched book I plan to eventually sell at a much higher price for the Kindle edition. This new book is the first of a new line, or brand, of books and has the potential for a much larger market for me so I my goal for this book is to reach readers in that wider market. The $2.99 price is meant to help me reach that goal.

I have other books, with proven track records of sales that are priced at my high end price limit of $5.99. I have found for these two books, this is the sweet spot pricewise. These two books are also my biggest sellers having sold just under 8,000 copies combined. No, neither is a break out best seller, but considering I am a niche non-fiction author, I feel pretty good about how these two titles have sold in the last two years.

My last price range is a series of books with a price of $4.99 each. These books sell roughly 20 copies a month on average but these books make up the largest part of my list. Multiply 20 copies times 10-12 titles and the sales and the money adds up.

Experimentation and record keeping is how I have arrived at which price to set for each book. It is hardly an exact science and I may be doing it all wrong and costing myself a lot of net profit. I will continue to experiment and adjust prices on a few books and work to fine tune both my pricing and my net profits.

One of the advantages of self-publishing is you, the author, have control over your pricing. You can experiment and determine the best possible price to achieve a specific goal you have for your book or series of books.

Michael Marcus has written an excellent post about pricing as a matter of value. This is another consideration in the pricing equation and not to be overlooked in the decision making process.

It's a business. Even if making money is not your primary goal, reaching the greatest possible number of readers should be. The more books you write, the more income you will need for editing, cover design, marketing, etc. You need sales to pay for these production costs.

Spend some time developing a well thought out pricing strategy. Experiment with pricing and keep careful records. It will be worth the time and effort to do so.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Business Planning for a Self-Published Author Revisited - Diversification?

Making a living as an author, self-published or not, is a challenge. Writing, designing and publishing a book may be a creative effort. It is also a business.

There are as many financial goals for authors as there are authors. Some common goals authors may have is simply to earn extra income. Others may wish to earn their living entirely as a writer. Still other authors view their publishing efforts as a sideline to their main occupation, a means to promote and drive their other business efforts.

Regardless of your financial goals as an author, like any business, a self-publishing empire needs revenue in order to continue to grow and prosper. If nothing else, the next book has to be edited, the cover and interior designed and the book has to be marketed. Even on a shoestring budget with the author doing the bulk of the work, some funds will be necessary.

Multiple revenue streams are one way to help insure your self-publishing enterprise can generate a steady stream of income.

Why are multiple revenue streams a good idea?

Monthly book sales alone make the effort to develop multiple streams of revenue a good idea. If I could explain why my books sell in the pattern they do, I could make a fortune predicting book sales.

Until you have a big enough backlist that sells consistently enough to absorb the ups and downs of book sales each month, the extra sources of income are important.

Often, the "extras" are where you can earn your highest net profit. The movie theater industry makes more money from its outrageous prices selling concessions than it does from the ticket revenue it generates from admission to see the film.

Pro athletes now demand, and receive, a percentage of the merchandising rights from the team owners of their league in their collective bargaining agreements.

Can you provide something worth paying for related to your books? Fans of a character might want t-shirts, coffee mugs, etc, relating scenes from your stories featuring that character.

Non-fiction authors may want to offer a for pay newsletter or use their book as a lead generator for business opportunities.

Depending on your audience, you may want to offer audio books, DVDs or develop seminars. The only real issue, from my perspective, is can you create items that are worth what you charge your readers?

If the answer is yes, go for it!

It will be more work but you can kill several birds with the single stone. Merchandise that features your book both generates revenue and serves as advertising.

Readers who have not found your book but have come across your non-fiction how-to DVD may ddecide to check out your series of books on the topic, generating more book sales.

Back of the room sales at speaking engagements are another time honored means of generating income.

The more streams of income you can generate as an author, the more secure you will be financially. For authors who rely solely on their writing to earn a living, this is an essential approach to business until you consistently sell enough books to pay your bills. Even then, extra income is always welcome.

Self-publishing is a business.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Amazon Announces New Feature - Author Rankings

Amazon Sales Rankings already give authors an excuse to not write. Compulsive checking of our books Amazon Sales Rankings takes up too much time of too many authors.

Somebody at Amazon has a warped sense of humor. Now Amazon has announced it ranks its authors as well. You can even check your status on a daily basis in the form of a graph depicting your rise and fall in the author rankings.

Great. One more thing I will feel and obsessive compulsion to check daily. I can't help it. I am a highly competitive person with a need to be Number One!

I have no clue how this is supposed to help anyone make decisions about buying books, or market books, but I guess it is one more metric Amazon can throw out there for authors and readers alike to examine as part of the shopping/marketing process.

From Amazon itself:

"Today we have added a new feature, Amazon Author Rank, the definitive list of best-selling authors on Amazon.com.  This list makes it easy for readers to discover the best-selling authors on Amazon.com overall and within a selection of major genres.

Amazon Author Rank is your rank based on the sales of all of your books on Amazon.com.  Just like Amazon Best Sellers, it is updated hourly.  The top 100 authors overall and the top 100 in selected genres will be displayed on Amazon.com.  You can see your Amazon Author Rank trended over time in Author Central.

You can find your Amazon Author Rank in Author Central under the Rank tab.  Historical rank data is available from September 28, 2012.

We’re always interested in feedback, so please let us know what you think."

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Using YouTube for Book Marketing: Part Two

The arrival of the equipment I splurged on and purchased to create YouTube videos beat me home about two weeks ago. My wife was delighted as now we have a way to visually record "family moments" for her to share via the internet. Relieved, I told her the expenditure was for the business, had been paid for by the business and that was the priority for its use.

I have yet to post a marketing video on YouTube yet but we have video of our youngest running in cross country races!

As simple as the concept seems, film a video and post it on YouTube, it isn't. The actual process of uploading the video is easy. The process of creating a video that does not make you cringe when you watch it is not so easy.

For those of you who are skilled at this process don't laugh. Here are some of the things I have learned one must do, or perhaps a better way of stating the obvious, NOT do when making videos for YouTube.
  1. You need the right equipment.
  2. Lighting is important!
  3. Be aware of the background. It can be a source of distraction from the intended subject.
  4. Work from a script. Ad libbing will produce poor results.
  5. Rehearse a couple of times. It makes a big difference.
  6. Use a tripod! Video that jerks around due to the camera operator's movement is very distracting.
Take the time to learn plan out your video in advance. Think about the visual aspects of what you are trying to accomplish in your video. It would seem the practice of "storyboarding" by film makers really is a good idea. Modern editing software will let you insert a variety of images with "relative" ease to create a nice looking video.

The school I teach at is a laptop school and we use MacBook Pro's as our computers. This provides me with access to both iMovie and a non-Apple product called Camtasia, a software designed to capture what is on the computer's screen.

Both of these can be used to edit video and produce a decent video. You can insert images, text, edit film segments and add audio. Both take a little practice to learn to use but they are not tremendously difficult. I use Camtasia to create review videos for my history classes.

As I move forward and learn more in this endeavor, I will be sure to share my successes and failures on this blog.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Using YouTube for Book Marketing: Part One

Keep this simple quote in mind: "There are only 2 things authors ought to be doing: writing, and marketing that writing." Joel Friedlander.

YouTube seems to be quite an item these days. It can be used to find humorous videos, political news, how-to instructional films and my personal favorite, archival film of historical events. It can also be used to market and promote just about any item available for sale, including books.

As a medium to provide factual information, it can be quite useful. I often look up "how-to" videos on YouTube and many of these have been quite helpful.

I have plenty of good ideas that will allow me to share in an effective way information that readers of my books will want. I just need to learn to make short videos that effectively communicate this information.

The most difficult part of this effort will be to learn how to translate production and sharing of these short videos into sales. In other words, how do I use YouTube to successfully market my books/products and increase sales?

This marketing effort actually looks fun and I am pretty sure I will enjoy making my little short films or videos. Hopefully I will figure out how to increase sales, capture data, or whatever it is marketers do.

I would love for anyone who has experimented with using YouTube to share your experiences, good or bad, with the readers of this blog.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Self-Publishing School - Great Blog Posts From the Past Week!

Excellent posts I have come across this past week about a range of topics related to self-publishing. Check them out, but please find time to return to The Self-Publisher's Notebook!

From Writer's Beware by Victoria Strauss

Publishers Settle With Google - But What About Authors?: A quick summary of what is going on with the class action lawsuit against Google for violating copyright by scanning in copyright books.

From The Creative Penn by Joanna Penn

Lessons Learned from One Year as a Full Time Author Entrepreneur: A great post about about making a living, running a business that is, as a self-publisher! Hard learned lessons are the best and Ms. Penn graciously shares these in this post.

From Self-Publishing 2.0 by Morris Rosenthal

Entering Stealth Blogging Mode: Mr. Rosenthal is a bit irritated with Google. I don't blame him. As authors we rely heavily on our blogs as a key component of our author platform. 

From Catherine, Caffeinated Guest Post by Mark Edwards

11 Ingredients of a Sizzling Book Description: Increase sales by writing irresistible book descriptions on your book's product page on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

From The Book Designer by Joel Friedlander

15 Steps to Create Great Blog Videos: Since I am in the process of learning how to do this, I thought it would be good to share one of the better posts I have found on the topic. Very helpful.

From Futurebook post by Baldur Bjarnason

Ebook Publishing Platforms are a Joke: I wrote about this recently but it is of enough interest to include it again here for those who missed it.

From A Newbie's Guide to Publishing Guest Post by Anyomous on J.A. Konrath's Blog

E-Books in Libraries - They Still Don't Get It: This guest post is written by a professional librarian. Since we would all love to sell our books to libraries, this is worth reading.

Book Cover Pro Revisited - Obtaining Hints on Using the Software

After more effort than I want to recount, the problem with logging on at BookCoverPro has been resolved I am happy to say. Time to move forward.

As I work to expand my self-publishing business, one of the avenues I am pursuing is the sale of downloadable PDF files from an e-commerce platform from my website. An older version of ebooks if you will. Simple covers are what I need at the moment for these "books" and the BookCoverPro does the trick for these particular items.

One of the features about BookCoverPro that is helpful for an individual with no design background and even less artistic ability is the BookCoverPro Newsletter with design ideas and tips on how to use the software. Hints on how to use the BookCoverPro software are posted on the company's Facebook page.

The most recent issue was about using the software to "copying layers" on the cover design you are working on. While not a skill I need at this exact moment, these are the kinds of hints many of us need in order to better use the software to create covers that will sell our books.

I wish more companies would provide this sort of "support" information for their products. I spend far too much time trying to learn how to use software that is supposed to be user friendly.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Selling Books to Libraries Using Quality Books

Of the three companies I have found that sell books to libraries, the first I have pitched one of my books to is Quality Books Inc.  The process was simple and required 20 minutes of my time. The longest part of the process was finding the necessary paperwork to download as a PDF in order to complete the submission process.

The one page form along with a copy of the book I am submitting were bundled up in a USPS Priority Mail envelope and mailed on the way home from work today.

It will be interesting to see:
  1. if the book is accepted for QBI's catalog and sales efforts.
  2. how long the process takes before I learn if the title has been accepted or rejected.
Why sell books to libraries? Several reasons.

First, I want to increase the number of streams of revenue I have coming in. This is a business!

Second, I believe the sales to libraries truly will be sales I would not make otherwise. When my wife and I were first married, we simply did not have any extra money to splurge on books. Since both of us are avid readers of a wide range of fiction and non-fiction, we made good use of the public library system in our area.

I am sure the same is true today. There are certainly individuals who will be interested in my books but will use the library to obtain a copy on loan instead of buying the book. So long as somebody buys a copy I am happy.

Finally, I want to get my books in front of as many people as possible in as many ways as possible. Since I write non-fiction and my books are meant to be used as guides and references, there might be a fair number of library users who decide to buy a copy to keep for personal use. 

The hardest sale is the first sale. Based on the feedback I receive, many of the individuals who buy one of my books wind up purchasing several. This is based on the numerous e-mails I receive from the reader asking questions or simply thanking me for sharing the information.

Anything I can do to increase the chance of a first sale is worth some time and effort on my part. Since QBI's submission process is relatively easy and costs only 20 minutes and a copy of the book, I hope my first submission is accepted. If all goes well, I will submit other books in the future. 

If any of the visitors to this blog have had any experience with Quality Books Inc, positive or negative, please comment and share your experience with the readers of this blog.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Ebook Platforms - Are Authors Missing Out?

It never occurred to me that the various ebook reading devices, which have given my tiny publishing empire a huge shot in the arm, might truly be limiting the number of books an author can sell?

I have committed the last month and this month to doing limited writing on material for sale and focusing on learning more about the business side of self-publishing, blogging, book marketing, SEO and all the other things it seems one has to master to succeed as a self-publisher.

One of the concepts I keep running across as I do my research is the need to capture data. While some "experts" claim I need to capture, retain and analyze seemingly unending data, I have decided to "filter" what is important for my business and simply disregard the rest. 

What information would I like to obtain? E-mail address for one. I have two e-newsletters. These are a big part of my marketing efforts as well as a means to establish credibility and announce new titles for sale or the arrival of the ebook or POD edition.

It would be great to know what keywords were used in the search that led buyers to my book's product page. The same is true for the tags used, any affiliate links that resulted in a sale and especially since I am a bit dubious about the value of social media, which, if any, resulted in a sale or a visit to a book's product page.

I am willing to bet Amazon knows the answers to all of these questions. Why this information is not shared with authors who use Kindle Direct Publishing or any other ebook platform is strange to me. The object for everyone involved is to sell books and increase the use of the ebook reading devices.

Well, it would seem I am not alone. Baldur Bjarnason posted a thought provoking article about this topic.

I would love to obtain this type of data. It would make a huge difference for me in my book marketing efforts. The more often I can get my books in front of potential buyers who have already shown an interest in titles and topics I write about, the more sales I will generate.

If nothing else, it would be nice if Amazon or Barnes and Noble offered as an option to the buyer or an interested browser the ability to opt-in to share contact information with an author, be it via e-mail or social media such as Twitter.

We might all make more money. Self-publishing is a business.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Credibility Marketing by Charity Cason - Review for Self-Publishers

As a non-fiction author, credibility is very important to me. If I am not a credible expert, why would any reader want to purchase my books?

Since I am not a household name, I have to build my credibility as an expert in my niche. I don't have a lot of time to do so when a visitor reads my Amazon product description, visits one of my topical authority blogs or comes in contact with any information related to me or my books.

The simple title of the book, Credibility Marketing by Charity Cason, caught my eye while browsing Amazon. As a Kindle book the price was right so I purchased it.

The book is short, to the point, easy to understand and I came away with three items I plan to take action on as part of my regular marketing efforts.

Building credibility is an obvious need for non-fiction authors. It is also necessary for fiction authors. Readers need and want to know a fiction author can spin a good story! 

A few of the chapters include:
  1. What does credibility marketing mean?
  2. Video Marketing
  3. Social Media
  4. Build True Relationships
  5. Tips for Managing Your Reputation Online
  6. The Digital Information Age
The author understands cost is a factor for small businesses. Many of her concepts are free or low cost.

This short book is worth the minimal investment for the information it contains.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Amazon Pricing Guidelines for Kindle Direct Publishing

Price is one of the emotional factors to be overcome in making a sale. I have read many times that humans make purchases based on emotion and then use logic to rationalize the purchase. 

Pricing is an important issue for self-published authors as we struggle to earn a living or pay bills with the extra income derived from our publishing efforts. 

The trick, so to speak, is to price for maximum net profit. This is a careful balance between generating the maximum number of sales and earning the largest TOTAL profit possible.

Some authors want to set as high a list price as possible believing this will generate the greatest amount of total net profit. Other authors set a lower list price to increase sales and use volume to generate the highest possible net profit.

For those who want to see further examples of this math and logic behind this model, I suggest visiting J.A. Konrath's blog, A Newbie's Guide to Publishing and searching his archives as Konrath has written extensively about this topic.

One principle I will share from Konrath's blog is he believes strongly in find the the right price point that will generate the greatest volume of sales and this will result in the largest net profit possible. Konrath as the sales and the data to back this up and he shares it from time to time on his blog.

Amazon allows authors to set their own list price and the share of the sale the author will receive is based on guidelines established by Amazon. Some of these guidelines are shown below and come from Amazon.

If you wish to see the complete set of pricing guidelines for Amazon click on Amazon Pricing Page.

Updating Your Kindle Edition Book!

Since I write non-fiction, from time-to-time it is necessary to update the content of my books to reflect recent changes. With a traditional off-set press run this means selling out the entire press run or having to absorb the cost of remaindering the unsold copies.

One of the beauties of eBooks is this is not that big a problem. Books can be updated as necessary. Amazon even has information on its site to help in the process.

The great thing about this technical capability is you are able to update your books for prior customers! What a great "customer service" tool! Readers of non-fiction work who value the information will be impressed, or they should be, by the fact you as an author work to continue to provide the reader with the most current information possible. Over time this should result in more sales!

Rather than trying to tell you how each step in the process works, I have provided links to each of the above topics/pages on Amazon's site.

Changing Your Converted Text

Changing Your Cover Image

Changing Your Book Details

Notifying Customers of Book Updates

I have an updated edition of one of my best selling Kindle books that should be ready for re-release/updating in a month. I am interested to see how the process plays out and would love to hear from any readers who have successfully done this. Comments on the process, positive or negative, would be greatly appreciated.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Self-Publishing Blog Summary: Kindle Select Publishing, eBook Design Concerns, Subject Headings and More...

Experts in website design and SEO say it is not a good idea to provide ways for visitors to leave your blog or website. They might not come back. It's a chance I'll take.

Since I spend way too much time surfing the net trying to learn more about self-publishing and the skills needed to market my books, I can at least justify the time spent by sharing some of the better, or at least more interesting to me, blog posts I come across.

Just please visit The Self-Publisher's Notebook again!

From Amazon
Amazon Publishing Introduces Kindle Serials—Great Stories, One Episode at a Time
I don't write fiction but I always pay attention to anything Amazon announces about Kindle books. For fiction authors, this is worth checking out.

From Self-Publishing 2.0
Risks and Rewards of Kindle Select Publishing
Morris Rosenthal must love statistics and math. He is always looking at one statistical model of data or another and sharing his results with the readers of his self-publishing blog. Morris always has a unique way of looking at things as well. This post is a good one for self-publishing authors with books available as Kindle editions.

From The Skilled Workman
Your Book Better Not Look Like a Poorly Designed Website
Good advice on selecting an ebook conversion company. As always, I want to recommend the company I use, eBook Architects.

From Marketing Christian Books
Did You Forget the Subject Headings?

There are so many details you have to pay attention to as an author who self-publishes. Let's face it, we are the entire publishing company AND the author. This blog post brings up some good points about little details that many authors forget that could pay off in the area of book marketing.

From The Social Media Examiner
5 Ways to Go From Blogger to Published Book Author
I actually did this. On another of my blogs I realized I had about 30 different posts on a single topic. These posts had generated a fair amount of traffic according to Google so it seemed like a good idea to edit them all into a book on the topic. It has just been released for sale so it is hard to tell how this experiment in "blog to book" will go. But, for those who blog, particularly non-fiction, this might be of interest.

This is the post that got my attention. Regular readers of my blog will know I mention on a regular basis that self-publishing is a business. This post tackles the issue of authors not taking the time to learn about the publishing and self-publishing industries from a business perspective.

From The Savvy Book Marketer
This post tackles the issue of having a marketing plan. Most self-published authors don't and the results are a lack of sales.