Wednesday, January 11, 2017

How I Use an Author Blog/Website to Promote and Sell My Books




In this video training I talk about setting up an author blog/website for your book. One of the biggest questions I get asked is about how to market your book. For my book I use small websites and blogs to promote and sell them. I have done this for years.

The basic theory is to publish large sections of your book in small chunks on your website. Blogs are particular good for this because each post with your content becomes a web page. Around your content you wrap ads for your own books. You can also put a footer in every post to either direct people over to sign up for some free content or just a link to your book on Amazon. Using an email service like AWeber or MailChimp you can build a mailing list around your content that will become invaluable when you have another book to sell. Some people even write their books right into their blogs and build a following that you can carry along to the book launch.

I use Googles Blogger platform but you can also do this with a WordPress blog or even a normal website. You just add thumbnails of your book cover along with live links of where your reader can buy the book.




Here are some examples of using a blog to promote your book
http://mandalahappinesscoloringbooks.blogspot.com/
http://acousticmusictv.com/
http://freeusandworldmaps.com/

You will notice that my books are all over the place on these sites and each one has a link to a sales page. The website content brings the visitor and the book is sitting there ready for buying.

Stealing Your Content
A question I get is aren't your worried about people stealing your content, why would they buy the book. My reply is that I think sales run in the 1% range or smaller. You need to get at least 99 people to your site before you get a single sale. Just like walking into a bookstore, you walk by thousands of books before you buy one. But you need to be in the store to buy one. Same online. You need to have a lot of traffic. Your content beings the traffic.

Why Buy a Book When I Can Read the Website
A second question I get is, why would someone buy when they can just print out the page. Yes they can print out the page, and I hope the do to get the answer to their question. But people don't want to read or print out 60 pages, that is the person I am looking for, the one that wants a physical copy or a pdf of the entire book. Reward people for making the effort to get to your site. Don't make them angry because you didn't answer their questions. Then sell your visitor something.

Special Access to How to Make a Google Blog
As a special offer for my followers I am opening up my How to Make an Author Blog/Website Videos. In this blog tutorial training you will learn how easy it is to build a Google Blog, support, promote and sell your books. Blogs make excellent platforms for marketing and selling your books.

Google's Blogger Blogs are:
• Easy to set up for beginners
• Free, which is always great
• Part of the Google family of products so they all work together
• Easy to customize
• Easy to add all kinds of video, images, text, links. A lot of versatilit.

To access the video training on how to set up a Google Blogger Blog please click on this link and then scroll down to the Class Curriculum. The two training videos are right at the top of the Class Curriculum
http://bruce-the-book-guy.usefedora.com/p/how-to-market-your-book

Also please come over and join our Facebook Group, How to Publish Your Book
https://www.facebook.com/groups/HowToPublishYourBook

Monday, January 9, 2017

Design Tips for Writing Your Own Autobiography Book



I had an excellent conversation today with a friend who is writing his own autobiography. We covered a lot of topics and I thought this would make a good video. An autobiography about your life is a great way to pass on your story for your family, friends and your legacy. It is also as he has discovered a way of going back and remembering and reflecting on your life and the journey you have been through. This video covers some of the design tips that you will need to consider

Topics covered in this video
• MS Word is a good place to write, set your page size up at the final size of your book. Sizes 6" x 9", 5.5" x 8.5", 5" x 8" work well

• Different binding options, perfect, saddle stitch, paperback, hard cover

• Adding pictures, resolution 300dpi, black & white and color

• Making a working, at size proof to see any issues.

• Have an editor review your book


Resources

Print On Demand Sites
If you want to release your book to the world you would probably sell it on Amazon using print on demand or ebook technology. The main place is Amazon.
https://www.createspace.com/

Making a Hard Cover Book
If you wanted to just do a few hard cover books for your family you will need to find a printer that does short runs. I have created some hard cover books with a company called Acme Binding in Charlestown, MA, they have a division called Book Partners. Short run (25-1,000) in hardcover with a printed cover. 25 might be just right for you, they do a great job.
http://www.bookpartners.com/service/thesis-binding/

Local Quick Print Shop
You can also create a book at your local copy shop or places like Staples. Just bring in the file and they can print it out and bind it. Usually they will spiral bind the book

You can learn how to create your own books by joining my Yes You Can Write a Book Membership site. In the site you have access to all of my courses for a low monthly investment. Leave any time. I cover all the different ways to create your own book in my courses.
http://bruce-the-book-guy.usefedora.com/p/yes-you-can-write-a-book


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Year End Book Sales Report, How Many Books Did I Sell in 2016? 4,322 Books

It is that time of year for the end of year report. I am a huge promoter of self-publishing and all that it can bring. Once you get some books going you can have a nice little income stream. 2016 was a good year for book sales. Just a little better than 2015 which was also pretty good.

Total book unit sales 4,322
Total book dollar sales $14,582
Average royalty $3.73

USA sales $11,968
Great Britain Sales $2,355
European Sales $259

International Best Seller 1, Book Marketing Checklist for Self Publishing

Total book sales for the year are 4,322 all from CreateSpace for a total of $14,582 in dollars. Books have been holding pretty steady. But what really helped this year was gang buster December. This December was the best month I have ever had with a total of 560 books sold. My regular best sellers are still my best sellers, Blank Sheet Music for Guitar and World Regional Maps Coloring Book. They were only apart by 15 books.

One of the big lessons I learned a long time ago is that books can remain remarkably steady in sales. Once they hit their monthly level they can stay around that level for years.

My print books are my best selling books and have been since I started. I do have a pretty successful Kindle book right now, my Book Marketing Checklist for Self Publishing, but other than that most of my Kindle books don't do much. Also this year Amazon kicked all the coloring books off of Kindle. I figured that was coming anyways.

For me this was a huge year of change. I wound down my design business after 30 years, sold my house, traveled all over the US for the summer, and bought a new house. All while my books just kept on selling. I highly recommend developing a line of books that you can build on and build a business around. Test every idea you have until you find one that works and then expand it. If you can figure out a book that people need to keep re-buying, like the blank sheet music books, then you will get repeat sales and have a success. Think log books, journals, medical, sports, and weight diaries, etc. Once people like them they just keep on buying them.

It was also a year where I had my first Amazon International Best Selling book, my Book Marketing Checklist for Self Publishing. I hadn't really ever run a book launch campaign until this year even though I have been selling books for years. It went great and this book continues to be my best selling Kindle Book. To learn more about how to run your own Best Seller campaign click here. But I do have a number of Amazon category best selling print books, which is any book in the top 100 and have had these for a long time. I would much rather go after and build a great selling book than a single day best seller. You make a lot more money

December 2016 CreateSpace book sales

I have 45 titles on CreateSpace and Amazon, 39 of them sold at least one book last year with the best seller, selling 1,222 copies. Almost all books sell at least 1 a year, Most sell at least one a month, then 1 a week. I regard any book that sells 10-15 a month a successful book. Doesn't sound like a lot but it adds up to the bottom line. I still market my books using blogs, Pinterest, websites and email auto responders along with promotions from Amazon and Google.

2016 CreateSpace Book Sales

How Do I Write My Autobiography, or How to Start a Book

‪We had an excellent question come in from a member of the Facebook How to Publish Your Book Group:

"‬I need help writing an autobiography if anyone can help I would to make it my #1 goal in 2017"

Great question and one that many people struggle with and ask about all the time. My advice is to just start writing. I am not an educated writing person. I learned to write at 53 after struggling with being dyslexic my entire life. I had no understanding of how to write, but what I did was to just start and push myself and I just worked at it for years until one day I punch through and then words came pouring out and haven't really stopped

What Kind of Book Are You Writing
Here are a couple of thoughts. What kind of autobiography are you writing. Are you trying to tell a universal story through your own life journey or are you just passing on what your life was more or less to your children and family. On day one I did this and day two I did that.

I have an older friend who is currently writing his autobiography and he sent the first rough draft to me a couple of days ago. He is writing his story for his daughter. It is a wonderful gift that he is doing. It is rough but all the basic facts are there. When I was struggling with my writing one technique I used to free me up was to write my book to my sister as a letter. In fact I started off with saying Dear Katherine, and then I began. It takes some of the pressure off. Write to a specific person, tell them your story.

Top Ten Technique
Another technique I use with many people is my Top Ten Technique. Write down the most asked question you get, one sentence. Then the second most asked question till you have 10 or so questions. These become your chapters. Then write one paragraph for each question and then four or 5 paragraphs for each and you then have a book. You can also dictate the story. Many smart phones have voice transcriptions on them, they work great. This is a great thing to do in your car. You are quiet and alone. Then email the text to yourself.

The key here is to not go to far on any one question because you will burn out, but to write all the chapters all at the same level. What you write in chapter 6 will effect what you write in chapter 1 if it isn't to finished. For you I would make those questions, major points or milestones in your life. What is your number one defining event or moment in your life, then the number two and go from there. Remember you don't have to start at birth. In fact I wouldn't start at birth, that is kind of dull you haven't done anything yet, start with the big one, whatever that is. What defines you. It is probably not a job but is a moment of some growth or decision, then you can go forward and back to other defining moments. Your big moment will most likely be of more interest to your readers also. Then fill in the edges

You could sit down and take 12 post-it-notes and put down 12 defining moments, move them around until they make a story and then fill in the holes. Don't feel you have to get all of this at once, the story will evolve. You will get your voice as you move forward. Don't feel you have to have answers to every part of the story. Don't worry that you don't know where to go, just keep going and it will happen.


I have flushed out my Top Ten Technique in a longer post with more details. Click here to read about my 10 Steps to Write and Publish Your Book

One of the things that really really helped me was to publish my writing. I did this on blogs that I set up. I used Google blogger for most of this because it is so easy. This website is a Google Blogger Account, if you have an email address you actually have a Blogger Account. But one of the hardest things people writing struggle with is hitting the Publish button after they have written something. Is the text good enough? Am I saying the right thing? It needs to be edited. I am scared what people will think? There are a million reasons but a magical and trans-formative thing happens when you push the publish button and send it out to the world. On the other side of hitting the publish button you know what to say. Clarity comes and trans-formations comes and then you can move forward. With blogs as with word processing you can change the words and fix it. Nothing is permanent, you can remove it or update it. I am not saying your have to write your book in public but you do have to put the words down somewhere. This is just one technique that helped me. And remember to have an editor review what you have written when you are finished. It will improve what your wrote a lot. We don't have to do these things all our selves. That was a big moment for me when I realized I could have someone fix what I wrote. I don't have to be perfect.

I encourage you to start, I have seen people's lives change sometimes right in front of me from releasing and publishing their words. At the moment you have a barrier sitting in front of you that is stopping you, you have an entire life, how do I get a handle on it. Think baby steps, think telling your story small and then expand. Just Say Yes, sit down and start to write your story, it can be crappy, it can be wrong, it can be painful, it can be joyous but I guarantee it will be trans formative and your life will change because you are starting the journey. Thank you for asking and for trusting and we will be looking forward to hearing about your journey.


Resources
Steven Pressfield has an outstanding blog and books on writing, http://www.stevenpressfield.com/
Also check out the beginning of my Resource Page, http://brucethebookguy.blogspot.com/p/resources.html for a list of excellent books to get your started

Monday, December 5, 2016

Creating a #1 Amazon Best Seller, How I Did It, Free Case Study

Creating an Amazon best seller is the goal of every author. We love having it. It is great for your marketing and it isn't all that hard to do. I have put together a case study of how I did this with my recent book, Book Marketing Checklist for Self-Publishing. For a limited time I am hosting a free pdf case study on my How to  Market Your Book Course site.

Click here to check out, Case Study, How I Launched My Book to #1 International Best Seller, on the page scroll down the the Class Curriculum area and you will see the it listed, and if you want pick up the course for more details on how to launch your own book to an Amazon International Best Seller

video from the broadcast on creating a best selling book


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

How to Create A Real Simple Product to Start Selling Online Today, Interview with Real Fast Results Podcast

I had a wonderful opportunity recently with an invite from Daniel Hall to be interviewed for his podcast Real Fast Results. The topic, something deal to my heart, making products that you can sell on-line. It has become super easy to make and sell products on-line and I was able to give his listeners the step-by-step. We had a lot fun and put together a great road map.

In the product creating podcast we covered:
• Putting together a tips page
• Top Ten Questions
• Printing
• Selling your product
• Selling on Gumroad
• Stacking prices
• Using Blogger to market your product
• Understanding the importance of your stats
• Using Facebook Groups to find questions and build your community



To listen to podcast click here


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Selling Your Books in Bookstores, CreateSpace, IngramSpark, ISBN Numbers, What Do We Do?



How do we sell books in bookstores? What do we do with CreateSpace, IngramSparks, Bookstores, ISBN numbers it is all confusing?

How do we work with bookstores and CreateSpace and print on demand. Even though there is a book store option in CreateSpace I have never had a store order books from CreateSpace. They just won't do it. It doesn't fit into their world, they work with distributors. Books need to be able to be returned if they don't sell and you can't return books to CreateSpace. All those books you see in a bookstore, they are there on consignment. They didn't buy them.

I have had festivals and workshops order my books. In that case they came through me and I gave them a good discount and used CreateSpace as my printer and shipper. It worked great but these weren't really bookstores.  I also sold them outright with no return. I gave them a really good discount, like 50% off with free shipping if they ordered 20 or more. I don't want anything coming back.

If you want to be in the bookstore business then you will need to go through IngramSpark.com. Ingram is the world largest book distributor. They are all over the planet. IngramSpark is their print on demand side and is the leading company for self-publishers who want to be in the bookstore world. I learned a little more about how to set this up thanks to Daniel Hall of RealFastResults.com

Basically what you will do is have two accounts, CreateSpace for dealing with Amazon and IngramSpark for the rest of the world.

1. All print books are managed by an ISBN number, that is the bar code you see on the back. This is how books are ordered in the distribution system. You will need to buy your own ISBN number for your book, they cost $125.00 each. These are bought from the Bowker company MyIdentifiers.com. Bowker manages all ISBN numbers. The free ISBN number you get from CreateSpace will not work for bookstores. If you are just staying with CreateSpace and Amazon then use their free one, but if you are going to sell in bookstores then you need to buy one. CreateSpace and Ingram use this new number

2. Work with CreateSpace for your Amazon sales, but turn off expanded sales and library sales in CreateSpace. Use your own ISBN number for your CreateSpace books. You will also need to buy the high res artwork for the back cover and build it into your cover file.

3. Manage your own Kindle/Amazon ebook sales. Kindles don't need ISBN numbers.

4. Use IngramSparks for everything else. Ingram puts you in their book catalog and that is how bookstores will order yourbook. Use the same ISBN number that you bought for CreateSpace and IngramSpark. You will need to act more like a publishing company, there are some costs involved in this. Ingram has fees. You also need to think like a publisher, reaching out to bookstores. Set up a page on your website about distribution and ordering.

An Option for Selling Books
5. If you are dealing with just a couple of stores in your local area and you have a personal relationship and want to drive around and manage them then you could do that using CreateSpace and just order the books yourself and collect the money yourself. But anything beyond that, IngramSparks is the way to go.

For me personally I just stay with CreateSpace/Amazon, it is free and easy to manage and I just don't worry about bookstores. Amazon is universally accepted and everyone loves it and I don't have to deal with all that other stuff. It is just a choice.

To learn more about how to publish your book check out my book publishing courses at http://bruce-the-book-guy.usefedora.com/

Check out this video on working with IngramSparks.