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, KDP.Amazon, IngramSpark, ISBN Numbers, What Do We Do?

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

How do we work with bookstores and KDP.Amazon and print on demand. Even though there is a book store option in KDP.Amazon I have never had a store order books from KDP.Amazon. 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 KDP.Amazon. 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 KDP.Amazon 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 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

Basically what you will do is have two accounts, KDP.Amazon 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 Bowker manages all ISBN numbers. The free ISBN number you get from KDP.Amazon will not work for bookstores. If you are just staying with KDP.Amazon and Amazon then use their free one, but if you are going to sell in bookstores then you need to buy one. KDP.Amazon and Ingram use this new number

2. Work with KDP.Amazon for your Amazon sales, but turn off expanded sales and library sales in KDP.Amazon. Use your own ISBN number for your KDP.Amazon 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 KDP.Amazon 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 KDP.Amazon 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 KDP.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

Check out this video on working with IngramSparks.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

What is the Library of Congress and Public Domain Content and Pseudonyms Yes or No?

Couple of good questions that came in today to the Facebook How to Publish Your Book group.

Public Domain Content
Thank you for adding me into the book publishing group. I heard you mention in an online (YouTube) video that information gathered from the Library of Congress is royalty free? It wasn't explained in the video, so I wanted to know how this works.

Pseudonyms and Pen Names
Also, I've notice that you have numerous titles on Amazon under your name. I have heard people say they've opted to use pseudonyms once they've published numerous titles to keep people interested. What's your take on this? I am published and have a lot of book ideas. I would gladly exhaust the plethora of titles on CreateSpace under my one wonderful name, because I love it just that much, but I'd like your thoughts. Looking forward to hearing back from you. Thanks much!

Thank you Vele for connecting and for your question.

Question 1: Public Domain Content
So what I was probably talking about with the Library of Congress is actually about public domain content. The LOC as mountains of it. It has Books, prints, photos, drawings, films, audio, it just goes on and on. It also has all the books you see in book stores and libraries. The Library of Congress's mission is to be the research library for the US Congress and be the Nation's library. So they have a gigantic wealth of content and much of it is in the public domain and we can publish it and use it to create products.  The key date for public domain content is 1923. Pretty much anything created before that date is in the public domain and can use to create books or products after that it is most likely under copyright. For me to be safe I usually stay below 1900. You always have to check but that date is the key one.

Library of Congress Web Site.

As citizens of the USA we also have access to pretty much anything created by the Federal Government. For the Federal Government it is really any content that they release, it is all in the public domain. You can republish reports from the Commerce Department for example, or the Presidents speeches or photos from the National Parks or maybe health information from the Department of Agriculture. You just have to check to see that it was actually created by a Federal employee. A great place to start is You also have to check the copyright rules of the Agency where you get the content. Each Agency has that information on their website, sometimes you have to dig.

This idea that content created by the US Government is in the public domain is unique to this country. It isn't always that way in other countries. I have created quite a few products based on US Government content. 

The key here is to not do a direct copy but to create a derivative work. Something better. Amazon is not a fan of public domain content and will often reject it because so much has been done with it. But they are fine with you creating a derivative work. Take a Shakespeare and create an illustrated work. Do your research, learn about public domain content, and start exploring the Library of Congress.

Question 2: Pseudonyms and Pen Names, Yes or No
This question comes up a lot. My view is that you use your real name for all your work. Now I completely understand that there are situations where that isn't practical for safety or privacy reasons. But in general I am in favor of using your name.

Now sometimes I will get the question, "if you are writing in different markets or subject aren't you creating confusion with your readers? Aren't you suppose to be creating an identity?" Are you a fiction writer or the person writing about auto repair? Well yes you are but what I have found is that readers don't really care. They just want solutions to their questions and don't care who wrote the book. Now once you get a name in a certain area you can bring readers back for the next book and that is cool. But for that one person that complains because you wrote an auto repair manual instead of your romance novel, well to bad.

I also found that we as writers have lots of interests and there isn't any reason to not write about them. We need to keep our own interests going, I don't always want to write on topic A, I might want to write about topic B or C. Also you just don't know which books are going to take off and be successful. I am a big fan of spreading your ideas around. You will be surprised what book succeed. Generally not the one you worked the hardest on.

"Google wants clear paths of who we are and what we do."
But one of the biggest reasons is that we live in a social media world. Marketing our books falls mostly on us and if you have all these different identities floating around it just becomes much more difficult. Google wants clear paths of who we are and what we do. It is to hard to have different identities and keep it all straight. It becomes a big mess. Keeping one Facebook identity is hard enough, keeping several is a real pain. I understand about the privacy issues and safety but if you can keep your name it will be just lot easier to market and promote your work.

Author: Bruce Jones
Bruce is the international bestselling author of over 40 books. His latest book is Book Marketing Checklist for Self-Publishers. Bruce also runs the Facebook group How to Publish Your Book with over 1,300 members.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Can Customers Buy My Book Directly From CreateSpace, Learn How

UPDATE: November 25, 2018:
The answer now is no you can not buy your book from CreateSpace. Earlier this year CreateSpace merged into KDP.Amazon and the site and that feature no longer exists. All books are now bought through Amazon. Authors can still buy their own books at discount author prices through the KDP.Amazon site. All the other features of CreateSpace are now under the umbrella of KDP.Amazon and the Kindle site. They publish both paperback and e-books.

Question today on the Facebook How to Publish Your Book Group page.  Is there a way to sell books right from the CreateSpace website. Yes there is and the answer is worthy of a video

"Hello Bruce, happy Monday. I just saw someone sell their book using CreateSpace checkout platform and wondered how they were able to do that. I thought we could only sell our books via amazon or we use a platform like Gumroad. What do you know about this? I can't seem to find how to do it. This will save me purchasing my books and selling it to clients, if I can just direct client to CreateSpace checkout link and they purchase the books and CreateSpace delivers it. I appreciate any thoughts on the subject." Thank you for the great question.

A great question. They are right, most people just assume you can sell your books on Amazon. I would always say that's the preferred way too go, because people trust Amazon and it's global, it works everywhere. When we're talking about books Like this book. Our regular sort of book that we do, this is my latest book Marketing Checklist for Self-Publishing. CreateSpace is the place that you upload everything, but let's go over and take a look and I'll show you there are other alternatives to selling and you can do them through CreateSpace.

This is the CreateSpace dashboard page or the homepage that we're used to. CreateSpace, for those of you who don't know, is the print on demand site of Amazon. If you are self-publishing your book and you're making a print book like this, then the site you use is, that's where you upload the files, they manage the book process, they manage all the money, the royalties, all that kind of stuff, the book description and they move the book over to Amazon. CreateSpace is part of Amazon, it's a division of Amazon, but they are the ones that manage all your book process.

CreateSpace Member Dashboard Page.

Let's just go into the CreateSpace Member Dashboard page. This is where you can see what you are selling each month. There are two ways that you can sell books out of this. One is directly to customers and the other one is you can order books and sell them at an event or store or personally. I want to show you both of them because they're both really cool. This is my dashboard. Everybody has a dashboard with their one book or a bunch of books. Right here on the right of each book you can Order Copies.

Buying Books from CreateSpace for Yourself to Sell
If you click on Order Copies, you can order your own books from CreateSpace. You can order one or you can order hundreds, it doesn't matter. In this example the unit price that sells on Amazon $9.95. Through your account you can buy the same book for $2.41. That's a fantastic price discount, especially to get a printed book for a quantity of one. The CreateSpace prices are really, really good. If you had to go out and print book, you're going to have to buy minimum quantities of at least 100 copies, so that's going to be a lot more money. Being able to buy just a few or even one for such a low price is outstanding.

What you can do, though this site is, let's say, you're speaking at an event or a conference, maybe you're selling to a school or to businesses, you're selling bulk books or you're going out on the road and you want to be able to sell books. This is where you go to order them. Don't order them from the Amazon sales page because you are going to have to pay list price. Don't go to the Amazon page and order 25 copies of your book, you're going to spend a lot more money, just go to your CreateSpace account and order them this way.

CreateSpace Shopping Cart.

You can put in the quantity, let's just say we we're going to order 20 books, at $2.41 you are going to pay $48.20. From CreateSpace you can ship them where you want, you can use your credit card or other people's credit cards and then you can ship them.

I've done this when I've sold books to a festival or to the music camp I go to in the summer. I just went to CreateSpace, they gave me a credit card, so they pre-paid the order, and then shipped it to their address, I was completely hands-off. I can say if you're not going to mark up the price, you can just use it right straight in here, if you are, then you can put it through your own credit card processing. A lot of us have access to being able to process credit cards these days using Stripe or Square or all kinds of sites now that are available to take orders. You can buy bulk, the prices are great and it is the same book that's coming out on Amazon.

Sending Customers to CreateSpace to Buy Books
The other way is ... You may not have known this, but every book on CreateSpace has its own sales page. It isn't a great looking sales page, but it's there and it works. Let's go to the left hand side of the member dashboard. You click on the name of the book and you'll be taken to the normal book dashboard page you see whenever you uploaded your to CreateSpace. This is where we enter and keep track of all our book's info. We see links to the cover or the insides, the ISBN, the description, all that stuff is right here.
Click on your book's name on the Member Dashboard to get to the Book's Dashboard

Once you click on the title you will go to a page where you'll see the cover of your book and its description. This is book central for this particular book. Right down here at the bottom below the description you will see a little web address. If you grab that address by dragging over it with your mouse you can copy it. Bring up a new web page and drop the address in and you will come to a sales page for this book. It's not a real fancy page, it's not like Amazon with lots of branding around it and lots of social media and stuff, it's just a basic sales page. But you can direct people to this page to buy your book.

At the bottom of the book's dashboard you will fine the book's CreateSpace sales page.
Let's say you're running a little wholesale operation and you want people to buy your books. You can send them right here to go get your book. We can click on Add to Cart, and it will bring up an order form for that particular book.

Each book has its own sales page that people can order from.

What you'll notice here is that if you are in your account the orderform comes up with your price. If you are not checked into your account, you'll notice it comes up with the list price for the book. This is what customers will see, the list price. But this is the address you give customers, this is the page that comes up. They go to the add to cart. When I was signed it, it was $2.41, a customer sees $9.95. You can also give them codes for discounts off the book.

You can give them the price that you want, they can order the number they want, put in their shipping information, put in their billing information and just buy the book direct. Somebody who's doing a wholesale order for the book is used to going to pages like this. If you're selling somebody one book,  send them to Amazon, but if you're selling them a quanty of books, you can send them to this page. You say, "Hey, I have a wholesale page where you can get my book in bulk at a better price." This is the page they go to. It's a cool thing to have two different ways to sell your book, sell the book Amazon or this page.

Hope that was helpful. A great question. I love those questions, keep sending those questions over to the Facebook page How to Publish your Book. If you're watching us on YouTube or someplace else, make sure you give us a like or subscribe to the channel to get more videos like this. Love comments, likes and questions. We will see you next time. All right, talk to you soon, bye bye!

Author: Bruce Jones
Bruce is the international bestselling author of over 40 books. His latest book is Book Marketing Checklist for Self-Publishers. Bruce also runs the Facebook group How to Publish Your Book with over 1,300 members.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

How to Make a Best Seller, Step 1: Pre-Launch: Write Out Your Launch Plan

The first thing I did for the launch of my book, Book Marketing Checklist for Self-Publishers was to scribble out a plan of what I would do in my notebook. Not a very scientific method but it worked and kept me on track. I used the Level 1 Checklist from my own book, Marketing My Book with Little Effort and $0.00 Dollars, right here in this new book

My original notes for the launch of my book.
For the entire checklist, check out the next post on the Launch Case Study

Author: Bruce Jones
Bruce is the international bestselling author of over 40 books. His latest book is Book Marketing Checklist for Self-Publishers. Bruce also runs the Facebook group How to Publish Your Book with over 1,300 members.

How I Launched My Book Marketing Checklist Book to #1 International Best Seller: Case Study

Case Study for the Launch of Book Marketing Checklist to #1 International Best Seller

This is the beginning of a series of post on how I launched Book Marketing Checklist for Self-Publishers to a #1 international best seller. 

Launch Day is here for my book, Book Marketing Checklist for Self-Publishers. It was a roller coaster experience. Launching a book is an exciting and exhausting experience. I have released a lot of books over the years but this book was my first #1 best selling book and #1 internationally in Australia and Canada. And also a bestselling book in Great Britain and Germany. 

This was also the first time that I actually had a plan of how to do it and then used it. I used my own book to launch my own book. When it came time to launch I actually open up the launch section and followed my own Level 1 plan. Over all, the launch took about 40 hours of work to run, 20 hours of prep and 20 hours or so for the actual launch.  My launch campaign was run using the Kindle ebook version of my book. Kindle books are easier to launch because you can set the price at $.99 and create an impluse buy. 

The Checklist Book Launch Plan

___Step 2: Pre-Launch: pick categories and keywords for your book.

___Step 3: Pre-Lunch, Make sure your book is live on Amazon and can be purchased, buy a copy.

___Step 4: Pre-Launch: Prepare a media kit with launch graphics; cover shots, author head shots, text and links to your Amazon book sales page.

___Step 5: Pre-Launch: Research some other book launches and their descriptive text for inspiration on how to write yours. Google “recent book launches.”

___Step 6: Pre-Launch: Set up a MS Word document with your description text and links to Amazon.

___Step 7: 9:00am Launch: Release your new book, we begin.

___Step 8: Launch: Post your book launch notices everywhere you can.

___Step 9: Launch: Thank your fans for buying your book, build social proof.

___Step 10: Launch: Record your progress on Amazon rankings with screenshots.

___ Step 11: Launch: Continue to post updates during the day, post screenshots of any progress on Amazon in your social media sites. 

___Step 12: Launch: In the evening do another round of launch notices. Encourage people to push you over the top.

___Step 13: Launch: Be sure to screen capture all results. The rankings don’t last that long on Amazon. You will need these for marketing.

___Step 14: Post-Launch: Thank your fans again for their support. Post the results of how high you got in the rankings. Did you get bestseller?

___Step 15: Post-launch: Update all your bios with your new best seller status.

I will be taking each on these steps and breaking them down into more details on how I did it.
Click to start with Step 1: Pre-Launch: Write Our Your Launch Plan

Author: Bruce Jones
Bruce is the international best selling author of over 40 books. His latest book is Book Marketing Checklist for Self-Publishers. Bruce also runs the Facebook group How to Publish Your Book with over 1,300 members.