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Harms: We’re starting to add lots of different ways in which you can leverage this amazing online world and online business world for your benefit, for whatever outcome and result you have.
Whether it’s generating income in additional income, whether it’s creating a business which allows you time freedom, allows you to leave the job or gives you an additional income.
Today we are talking about e-books and specifically publishing an eBook, but not for the reason people may think.
Kyle: Ebooks are a great way to show your knowledge and expertise in a certain area, so a few weeks ago we talked about an expert niche, a niche funnel which is a sales funnel based upon you being an expert in what you do.
It’s a way of getting people to know, like and trust you by teaching them, by giving them information and e-book is a quintessential unit, the quintessential unit of value showing somebody, I know what I’m talking about. I’ve written a book on it.
Also e-books tend to come quite early on in our sales process so we could be talking about physical products, we could be talking about running events, consultations, et cetera but we want to start off with some of the early products and e-book is probably one of the most essential components as you start to build up your online business.
Even if you are not a teacher, even if you’re not a writer, even if you’re not in the expert funnel per se, e-books are really good at building a brand, building your reputation of your company to sell whatever it is that you sell. It’s a way of getting your business out there.
That’s what we’re going to be talking about a lot.
Harms: In this guide we’re going to focus on three big benefits, the main reasons why you should publish an ebook and the typical objections that come along with that.
This is a process in which we help clients do.
This is a process in which we work with ourselves.
So when we walk you through this you’re going to experience a system and a machine that we’ve got set up that we’re sharing with you out there.
Let’s jump into the three big benefits of actually publishing an ebook.
What are the real reasons for a business to go ahead and publish an ebook?
Kyle: The simplest one, the one everyone is probably thinking about is income, money.
When you hear about Kindle publishing in particular, which is publishing on Amazon, but in general people talk about how it’s a good way to add an extra income, especially because it’s a passive income.
It’s an income that keeps coming, which is very powerful.
So, on Amazon, you get 70% of the sale as long as your book is over three dollars, which if you know anything about traditional publishing 70% is massive.
If I were to go through a traditional publisher and then get my book in Waterstones, Barnes and Noble, you’d probably end up with 10%, 15%.
It depends if it is nonfiction or fiction but you’re still going to get only a tiny percentage of the final sale.
Whereas with e publishing on Amazon, you can take 70%, which is chunky, you can generate a decent amount of revenue using ebooks.
Harms: A way for us to work out how much money estimated within a certain category or topic we could literally look at the sales of a book, take 70% of that and then that starts to give us an idea of how much income we can generate from e-books?
Kyle: This is a really good exercise everybody at home can do, so if you go onto Amazon you find a book in your business niche or a book that you think you could write a similar book.
If you look down in the details of that listing you’ll find the Amazon sales rank.
Sales rank one, means you’re selling millions and millions of books and if you’re in 200,000, 300,000 you might be selling one a month.
It’s a ranking so a small number is good. A big number is not so good.
You can find this number in every single Amazon listing and you can convert that number into a rough estimate of the number of sales somebody is getting per day or per month.
There are tools to do this for you. The best one is jungle scout.com which is free.
I use Kd spy, which is a paid software but you can go to jungle scout.com and then you basically plug in the Amazon sales rank that you found on Amazon for a book that is in your business niche and it will tell you, this person is selling a hundred books a week for example.
Let’s say that book is $10, that’s $1,000, of which they’re taking home 70% $700 a week for example.
You can work backwards from the sales rank to the number of sales times by how much the book is and take 70% and then that gives you an idea of how much they’re making.
You’ll be surprised how much some people make from these books.
We’ve been looking at the backyard chicken niche so literally helping people in cities to raise chickens in their backyard for eggs.
The top backyard chicken book sells about 300 copies a month, so selling about 10 a day, and the retail price was just under $10.
They’re potentially making a few thousand dollars a month from this. I think it was about a 70- or 80-page e-book on backyard chickens.
There is money to be made, so income is definitely one of the big reasons why you might want to get into publishing.
Harms: The income can be formed in two different mechanisms one is passive, so if you think about what’s the advantage from an income basis?
Is there going to be a lot of work involved once I publish the book?
Actually no because you’ve published the book and Amazon handles the rest.
Amazon handles the e-commerce side, the logistics sending them the e-book, if it’s print on demand, they will handle that as well.
So that’s a mechanism you don’t have to support anyone.
There is no customer support. There are no refund issues, you just put the book on the site, and because of various factors you can start to generate an income from it.
So number one it’s passive.
Number two is stacking books.
For example, backyard chicken niche, say they had edition one backyard chickens for people living in the city, then they could have backyard chickens for people who live in the suburb.
Backyard chickens for people living now in a specific climate they can go, for example, in the UK, in London they can get really narrow with this. In Berlin, in other major cities where the climate is slightly different and how do you adapt that to that kind of species.
Now imagine these books are now stacked and these books are all selling at 300 units per month, maybe 200 units per month, 100 units per month and what we’re describing here is a series of books.
So rather than publish one ebook and then say okay, done, we have an opportunity to publish a series.
Also that series can then be bundled as a series, and Amazon has a fantastic feature where you can sell it as a bundle so somebody will pay a cheaper price for the whole package, but a higher price than purchasing one book, that’s a good result as well.
Think of getting income as two mechanisms.
One is passive, but another one is stacking books as part of a series of books, which means the work involved is creating more ebooks which you’ll hopefully master by the end of this guide.
Kyle: Once you’ve done it once and you’ve got your first book out you know how to publish and promote, you know how to get the book written.
Once you’ve done that once it becomes easier to do again and again.
If you have 10 books all selling 100 units a couple hundred units a month suddenly the income becomes quite sizable at that point and passive.
As once you’ve done the work they’re just sitting on Amazon.
Amazon is doing all the work from that point on, they’re selling them week after week.
The income is there if you find the right niche.
Harms: The next benefit of why you should publish an ebook and its advantage to your business, what’s a benefit to you, to your business, to your income?
Well number one we spoke about income. Number two is could translate to income in the future but that is actually reputation and position yourself as to use a word or phrase coined by Daniel Priestley in his very popular, brilliant book, which is a key person of influence.
Kyle talk to us about reputation and the concept of being a key person of influence and how that benefits our business.
Kyle: Sitting down and getting your knowledge and expertise into the form of a book is a really powerful signal to the market to other people in your industry that you know what you’re talking about.
I have an example here; this is one I wrote, which is published on Kindle.
I was able to do events where we were running workshops connected to this particular educational material and being able to give people a physical book as part of that event or prior to that event is just such a powerful tool because we associate authors and we associate publishing with very high levels of knowledge and expertise.
It’s now easier to publish a book.
Previously you had to go through the gatekeepers of a traditional publishing company, but there is still a huge amount of kudos paid to those people who do have a book and this reputation.
If you’re writing in your niche it can be parlayed into future businesses, it’s really powerful in networking.
It’s when you meet somebody imagine being able to hand over a book to them and say, hey, great meeting you I think this book might be useful for you and then handing it to them at the end of the meeting, or at a networking event it’s a very powerful signal that you know what you are talking about.
Harms: Another way to think about it is a calling card, so I’ve heard about it from previous authors refer to their books as a calling card in terms of I’m an author of this book on this expert subject.
It does your brand, your authority, and the fact that you’re legitimate within that niche sector a lot of good.
Now if you think about the end customer who are they likely to spend money with?
Whether it’s a service or product.
Would it be the person let’s say Kyle, he has a book who is more likely to spend money?
Kyle with a book or Harms who hasn’t got a book as an example, the higher probability chance is Kyle is an author and expert, he’s put his thoughts down on paper within this industry and he has published it.
Now that sounds like somebody who knows what they’re talking about and is an author, and possibly hit the Amazon bestseller list within a certain category.
That’s the person I want to spend my money with.
Kyle: Importantly even if they haven’t read the book that’s kind of secondary it’s the signalling effect of being able to say here is my book.
My book is about your problem and that is an extremely powerful signal.
The fact is that not everybody reads cover to cover books and I’m sure there are some statistics published about this, but they just don’t.
Harms: I agree whether or not somebody reads the book is irrelevant.
But the fact that you have a book and you can bring it to your networking meetings, you can have a couple of copies with you, or you can redirect somebody on your website to the fact that you’ve got a book.
That’s very much the way to think about publishing an e-book in regards to reputation, becoming a key person of influence.
Just a simple concept of the fact that you’ve got a book is a powerful signal is a great calling card and can be used in lots of mechanisms to build your authority, and have your customer almost automatically trust you.
For some reason authors have within the layperson a greater trust, a bond just because of the fact that they are an author.
Kyle: I think it’s a signal, but there is the truth that that person has sat down and thought about the book, they’ve structured the information.
They’ve got it down on paper and then set out into the world. The fact that they have gone through the whole process shows follow-through, it shows not only that they know their stuff, but they were able to create a product from it and get out into the world.
Whereas most people get stuck and never get to the end product.
So by having a physical book or e-book you are showing you’re reliable, I can get this stuff done, I know what I’m doing and I think that’s very powerful.
Of course if people do read your book they’ve spent it’s like sitting with you chatting to them face-to-face for six to 10 hours or however long it takes to finish the book.
Harms: Every evening, every morning.
Kyle: So if they do get through it a lot of your sale has already been done as your reputation has been built up.
Harms: Powerful sales mechanism and again.
Before moving to the third benefit is around publishers because you may be sitting thinking we’re talking about e-books, self-publishing versus a publisher, surely a publisher is a better mechanism?
Kyle mentioned the fact that back in the day a publisher used to be a gatekeeper, which meant nobody could get their thoughts onto paper and leverage this powerful ability that we have, which is self-publishing.
Now there are some advantages with working with a publisher for example, you have a team of people who are dedicated to getting your book out there it could be on the bookshelves, it could be on E stores, editors, people who check the copy reading.
People who design your covers, people who help with the launch that’s great and that does have its advantages and it is arguable to say that a publisher comes with a greater kudos.
Your book is published by X publisher that feels good to the end user, that seems more legitimate.
But that’s changed over time because that’s one mechanism, it’s changed over time in terms of the credibility around a book versus the published book.
Kyle: Increasingly, a lot of the books you will see in a bookshop are self-published or it will be a publishing company that has been set up by the author.
If you actually check into the publisher you’ll find they’ve published one book and it is this book. The lines between traditional publishing and online publishing are blurring increasingly.
Basically and sorry to any traditional publishers out there but it’s an old school industry and it’s been decimated by the likes of Amazon.
The means of production have been democratised.
We now have the ability to write to type sets to have some copy edit and to ultimately publish and print a book like this.
Whereas previously that could only be done by large companies who could therefore decide who gets into the publishing process and who doesn’t.
That’s been removed and anybody can now publish.
That means, yes, there’s a lot of rubbish out there.
So the question becomes more of how to filter or how to market your book if you’re an author, but the actual things that a publisher does, so type setting, copywriting, adding a cover, printing that can all be done cheaply now.
You can outsource that you can find people to help you with that.
Yes, I think people were quite snobbish about self-publishing because anybody can do it and the quality is going to be lower.
That’s increasingly less and less the case, you can pick up books in WHSmith or Waterstones and they will be self-published.
They’ve just made it into these larger districts now and that’s the way we’re going and we’re going to continue moving in that direction.
Harms: If you ask my generation or the generation that is coming up behind us and their generation we are not aware and I couldn’t even name on one hand, the different publishing companies out there.
That’s pretty much how it works and that’s how we will help you identify a niche in which you can start to publish your ebook within and have people actually purchase it and read it we don’t know, but certainly make a transaction with it.
Kyle: If they have purchased on Kindle we can see how many pages people read.
If you do want to get published by a real publisher then one of the best ways to do it is to start off self-publishing, sell a lot of books and then get picked up by a big publisher, this has increasingly been happening in fiction.
For example, Hugh Howey.
He self-published at the wool trilogy and then was picked up by Hachette or someone and became a superstar, but only because he had started by self-publishing, proving his worth in the market and then the publishers were like quick we better buy the rights for this.
But by proving that your book is valuable and important that’s the quickest way to also get picked up by a real publisher.
If that is something that is important to you.
Harms: Let’s move on to the third benefit of purchasing, so we spoke about income.
We spoke about the power of the e-book. Positioning your reputation as a key person of influence in the market, creating authority and the trust with your end customer potentially.
The final part is looking at leads that will be generated for your business and simply the fact that having an e-book helps build your entire business.
Kyle how is this starting point different to a conventional book writer as an example.
Kyle: If you go onto Amazon you look at a lot of the bestsellers.
They are writing books because they are an author and they’re going to primarily make money so income is the first reason why you want to write an ebook.
That’s fine, that’s their primary goal to write a book, make income from the book.
For us yes we will make some money from the book, yes we will build up a reputation that’s great too, but our main reason for writing a book, for getting an ebook published on Amazon is that it is the first piece in our business system, in the value ladder that we’re going to be building up.
For us all the other things are a great bonus.
But the main thing is that we are building a business off the back of this e-book.
It’s a piece of value in the value ladder in the chain of value as we start to escalate and build trust and generate more and more revenue.
This allows us to come at the publishing process from a different point of view, which is very exciting.
Harms: An author and somebody who writes the book as an end destination they’ve got a completely different value ladder because their book is right at the end as the final product.
It could be £15, £20 whatever it is priced at.
Kyle: That is their only product generally or two books or whatever it is.
The book has to work for them.
The book needs to be the main revenue generator for their business.
Whereas for us we can be a lot more flexible using different ways.
The book itself is not the end product.
The book is a piece in the larger puzzle, for us it’s part of the process and it’s an early part of the process in building up our business.
Harms: That comes with a lot of advantages.
Because if you think about your book which sells for £7, yes, they may go on to do public speaking et cetera afterwards, but the book being the end product they need to drive an incredible amount of sales to have a business off the back of the book, which means in order to do that they have to do a lot of work in terms of PR, classic PR in terms of marketing in terms of attending talks.
All of that has to be done, book reading has to be done in order to sell that final product.
Whereas we are going to be positioning at the start and using it as a tool in as many different ways as possible.
In summary three big reasons for why we are encouraging you to publish an ebook, and the benefits of it.
Number one is income in two ways.
One is passive and number two is stacking it if you do it in the form of guides.
Number two is the fact that we can leverage and build a reputation and have the book as a calling card as a signal mechanism which is extremely powerful as well which positions you as a key person of influence.
Number three is it can start to generate leads for your actual business and remember the actual business is not the book itself.
This is what differentiates this entire guide to being a classic author, which leads us onto the next point.
Kyle: What we’re going to be talking about is going to be relevant for non-fiction books. This is not relevant for fiction.
We are going to be packaging up your expertise, knowledge and your particular business area and using it to build a business.
This is building businesses online, that’s what we’re focusing on.
Some of the strategies and tactics we’re going to be talking about will be relevant to fiction publishing but that is not the purpose of this guide.
The purpose is non-fiction and the good thing about this is that some people might be worrying thinking I can’t write a book.
We’re going to go through the objection shortly, but the good thing about this is fiction writing is very much based on your talent as a writer.
You need to be a good writer, you need to be able to tell a good story, write good sentences, have good characters, good descriptions and that’s based on your ability to write.
Whereas non-fiction is less dependent on that it’s more dependent on the information you have and what you’re bringing to the table.
What you are helping your reader with, which is going to be more important.
This means that any of you out there who have an expertise or business, you can publish.
You can write a book you can get out into the world.
Harms: George Martin and Stephen King are examples of people who are using the medium of fiction and the concept of a book and of course the movies made off the back of their books, but the book was their business.
The magic, the creativity, the storytelling and all that amazing stuff which goes into it is not what we’re talking about in this guide.
That’s not the purpose of this, we’re not talking about creating a piece of art, a piece of fiction over the next couple of years or some people work on their book form for a decade.
That is not what we’re talking about here, we are talking about using a book as an information piece as part of a value ladder to be able to then later sell a core or premium product, so your business can drive revenue, it can lead to profits.
It can lead to growing the business and actually providing you that online business that you wanted from the get go.
That’s a big difference here because when people think of a book the automatic default is oh my goodness I’m not a writer.
What’s our message for people thinking I’m not a writer.
Kyle: I get this and when we’re talking about writing a book it seems like the massive creative endeavour.
What we’re going to be showing you is a framework system for writing a book and it’s going to take time.
It will require your creative input, but you don’t need to be a writer.
You don’t need to be a Stephen King or George RR Martin or a literary figure.
What you are is an expert in your particular niche.
You don’t need to be an author, you need to be good at helping people in your particular niche.
What we are going to be showing you are other ways to get that content out of your head and onto the page, so writing is one of them.
The second is using video first or using audio and we convert that into text.
That’s a very powerful method. So even if you aren’t a writer, you’re probably good at speaking about your niche topic, that’s the second method and the third will be hiring somebody to write it for you.
You put together an outline, you will flesh out the very basic details then you hand it over to somebody who is a professional writer who will be able to fill the rest out.
Obviously, with that there’s a cost but you have saved a lot of time in the process.
So, regardless of whether you are a writer or not you are an expert and we’re going to be giving you a few different methods to make the creative process, the creation of that content nice and simple.
Depending on what option you want to take whether you want to write it yourself, whether you want to speak and convert that into writing or whether you want to pay somebody to write for you.
Harms: Another thing is how long does a book have to be?
How many words does the book have to be?
If you remember an anchor back to this, which is the value ladder you will understand that the value ladder needs to be an entry point for people.
At this stage you’re not going to be writing a three, 400-page super guide. It’s just going to be too much information and it’ll be way too overwhelming for your end client or customer or somebody who is seeking out the information.
This is more into the non-fiction sector, so this will fall more into the category of how can you get the information across concisely with meaning and context over a 50, 70, 510 page maybe ebook which somebody can digest and get through in a couple of days, over a weekend.
It has to be digestible but don’t feel like you’re writing a 400, 500 piece which has taken decades to put together or years of research to put together, we’re being informative, but being informative at the early stage of the value ladder.
Kyle: A lot of people do when they sit down to write a book they do try to plan a three, 400-page book and the reason for that is that it is the size of a published book.
Publishers require non-fiction books to be a certain length and it’s mainly so they take up enough space on the shelf, sadly there’s a reason why they’re that long. It’s because they take up a good chunk of space and you can put stuff on the spine.
In a 100-page book you can condense the value and information of a 300 page book and cover everything you need to and you’ll find your readers will appreciate it, that you can deliver the same amount of value but in a much shorter book.
If you pick up any non-fiction book there is generally so much fluff normally you can read the introduction and the conclusion chapter and you’ve got 90% of the book and the rest will be yes, stacking up the arguments but the core message and the core content generally for non-fiction books can really be compressed very little.
Because we are using this as an entry level into our value ladder as one of the first experiences our customers will have of us and our expertise, we want it to be short, consumable, digestible, rather than this big thick tome that they are going to never touch.
If it helps you, if the idea of writing a book is too scary think of it as a pamphlet or as a guide or something smaller, more digestible.
Harms: The typical objection number three is I don’t have the time.
So, Kyle what do we say to people who say, I don’t have the luxury of writing one chapter a day. I don’t have the luxury of all of this time needed to be committed to creating a book.
But this is just a brief answer to get you started.
Kyle: We’re going to be talking about different ways to get that content done so, yes, you might be sitting down and writing a little bit each day or recording a video or audio then converting it or it could be hiring somebody.
If you don’t have time hiring somebody is going to be the optimal solution you are exchanging money for time.
With the second solution which is speaking, we are able to speak much faster than we can write and then that content can be converted into written language.
Harms and I are in the process of converting the courses that we’re delivering over YouTube converting them into guidebooks and I believe week one where we spoke for four hours is about 30,000 words.
It is about a book size just by the two of us talking for hours.
There are ways to make time by being more efficient and how you create the content by either hiring somebody or delivering via speech first and then having somebody edit that to the written word.
We are also going to be giving you templates for this is how you construct your book to make it as easy as possible for you to get the first one done.
Later you can go out on your own and structure your book how you want, but we just want to make this first one as easy as possible just to get through, so you can prove to yourself okay writing a book is doable.
If you have the right system in place, you can actually get the bulk of the work done within a week which is not a long time for something that is going to be an asset.
This is the other thing you need to remember what you’re building is an asset. Amazon or whichever publishing platform you use once you give them the document file they do the rest of the work, they’re going to be generating cash for you passively.
So yes, it can take time upfront to create this asset, to create documents that you give to Amazon for publishing that’s going to take time, but from that point onwards, you’re going to get automatic money, passive income and revenue just dripping into your bank account without you doing anything.
Think about the time investment now to save time later, because you’re going to be making money automatically.
I think that’s a really powerful way to think about it and I hope that will be enough for you to say I can spend a couple of weeks putting together an ebook and I am excited to start this process.
Harms: The system we will share with you allows it to be done in a couple of weeks and that’s the important thing.
The alternative is without this system or a structure in place that two weeks or one week of production becomes a month, two months, six months and never gets done and all that time is spent publishing one book.
We want to have a system that you can use in which you can publish a new e-book every two weeks, every two weeks a new book could be published if you committed the time to it to learning the system and then getting down to the work.
That’s the three most typical objections that we get which is I’m not a writer.
Number two is I don’t have a book idea and number three is I don’t have time.
Work out what your eBook is about, using category search, keyword search and more
Harms: We’re going to take you from the start to end and the process from the start to end is creating your very own e-book in order for you to start the process of building out your very own value ladder.
The e-book fits right here at the start, the value ladder is a sequence that you will take a customer through or a group of customers through and that will be an escalation process for them.
We’ve spoken about the process that we will take a customer through and the three forms of value that we recommend you start with, and in what order so that would be the product first which is an e-book as an example.
Then move them to a subscription service, whether it’s physical or digital, and then finally you can introduce them to a service.
Most people don’t do this.
That’s the reality of it.
But in this guide we’re talking about getting started and actually having that built into your business, so you benefit from all the advantages of having this in place.
We started a topic about creating this e-book.
What are the benefits, the advantages of this, why we are creating an ebook?
And what’s the difference between what we are doing and what a typical author would do, somebody who is writing a novel?
The big distinction is the person writing the novel or an author of a book that is their end destination.
That’s the item that they want to sell, think of that as a core product, their premium products.
Whereas we are creating an e-book for the purpose of allowing an entry point for our customers into our world, into us as people, to create authority, brand and the word or phrase coined by Daniel Priestley is to position ourselves as a key person of influence.
Now we are speaking about what our book would be about and moving away from the gut feel of I think my book should be about this, but actually giving you an approach and system which you can use again and again and again in order to determine exactly what your book should be about, where it should live, where it should live on what particular platform using tools to help you.
We’ve got two categories to share with you, and this will be hopefully eye-opening.
Kyle: We have talked about why writing e-books is such a powerful tool to be used in building an online business.
One of the objections we came across was what if I don’t have an idea for a book?
What if I don’t know what my book should be about?
That’s really what this is going to be about, working out what your book should be and then moving towards getting things like a title locked down.
There are two basic methods here that people would normally start with so they’d either start with themselves and they would think, I should write a book about this, or I’d really like to write a book about this or I could write a book about this particular topic, that’s fine, but that does not address the fact that the market may or may not want it.
If we start entirely 100% internally great you’ll come up with something very passionate, it’s very much you but that doesn’t necessarily mean anyone’s going to buy the book.
The flipside of this is somebody who comes at this thinking I purely want to make money on Amazon.
I purely want to get a book that is selling and I can have a passive income.
Again, this is doable this is a business model that people follow, but by doing that we are just following the market.
We will create something that’s relatively generic, not necessarily based on our expertise, it’s not going to carry across the passion or interest and our own knowledge and skills.
Instead we will end up with something quite generic out there in the market. It will sell. And that’s fine.
But we’re going to be looking at something that’s a bit more hybrid, something that comes from inside you.
It’s based on your expertise, your knowledge, and skills in your particular business niche, but with reference to the market as well.
We’re making sure that what we create is actually valuable.
It’s actually solving people’s problems.
A business solves people’s problems.
If you can do that you are putting value into the market, you will have a successful business, that is the focus here.
Harms: What we’re saying is, on one side, you’ve got you and your idea and what you want the book to be about and on the other side we’ve got the market and what we can’t do is look at each of these as individual units.
We can’t look at ourselves because that’s what we are interested in, but the purpose here is to get customers through the door.
What if they’re not interested in that particular topic that we specifically want to talk about.
Then you’ve got the market, which okay great, the market wants this but I don’t want to talk about. We’ve got two extremes here, what we want to do is find somewhere in the middle we want to find a balance between what we want to talk about, and what the market requires.
What problem does the market have that we can solve and then somewhere in the middle is the answer here rather than focusing on the two extremes.
Harms: So let’s start with your expertise, let’s start with you then we will reference the market.
The solution is somewhere in between.
But what we want to do is start writing, basically get a piece of paper and to help you start extracting what you are an expert in and what expert knowledge you have, essentially, we want to just start writing and answering a few questions, which is within your expertise or within your industry.
What common problems have you identified that people have?
Put yourself back into your shoes when you first started, whatever it is that you do and how did you get started in that field?
What did you learn?
What challenges did you have?
What was the journey?
How did you get started?
Then we want to talk about the arc itself, how did you go from there where you started to where you are now?
What was the beginning?
What is the middle and what is the end currently?
The end will very much help you answer the question, what do people come to for?
They know that you are an expert within a specific field within a specific niche. And finally what results do people want?
So when they come to you at the core of it what results are they looking to achieve?
That information will serve a purpose. It will serve a result.
It could be that you’re extracting information, but that information will help them achieve something.
What is that something that they are looking to get from you, as a result of the information you’ve given?
Think of this process as an exercise, as a writing exercise. Answering these questions. This will allow you to very quickly extract and start to document some of the areas which you may not have been aware of, which may be useful when sharing the information.
That’s the starting exercise but remember that it comes from the business niche first, we don’t ignore that.
BATON is a system which we teach, everything we talk about can be linked back to this. Business comes first as part of the BATON system before anything else.
Once you’ve identified your niche you can very much start to handle this ebook process with ease.
The part of business is handled, what am I talking about, what market am I talking to that’s already done.
Kyle once we have come to that stage what do we do next?
Kyle: You should have a one- or two-word phrase which is your business niche, we’re going to go ahead and plug those words into Amazon.
Amazon is one of many book markets, but it is the largest, it’s where most people purchase books.
The amount of data on Amazon is going to give your much richer, much fuller example of what is available in the market, so we’re going to be using Amazon almost exclusively through this guide, you can publish on other platforms we’re going to stick to Amazon for now.
Head over to Amazon and plug in your business niche into the top search bar.
That’s nice and simple and we’re going to see what turns up, top results, who are the top authors.
One nice little thing you can do, you can start typing your business niche. So let’s say I’m a business consultant and I help people to grow their businesses, I might type in business coaching and I would see what Amazon gives me in the auto complete.
Amazon gives away its keywords while you are searching for things because remember, people are going to Amazon trying to find solutions to their problems so we can ask Amazon what people are looking for.
Kyle: What you’ll quickly notice is there’s a lot of information and it’s quite hard to tell where you should be placing yourself in the market, it’s very difficult without having rules of thumb, a way to compare markets or different keywords or different search terms, etcetera.
So what we want to do is give you a framework you can use to very quickly analyse the right place for your book to live on Amazon.
We’re starting with keywords, your business niche with two or three words that describe what you do, that’s our starting point.
We’re not starting totally randomly with Pilates or with flower arrangement or with interior design.
These are not necessarily your niches yes, maybe you can do well on Amazon with them but if they’re not your niche we’re ignoring them for now, because Amazon is already too big.
We start with your business niche and go through a framework to help you by the end of this guide decide on the category where your book is going to live on Amazon and some keywords.
The keywords will be how people find your book.
These are the two end results of this guide.
Harms: Just to summarise those two results that they have the category and keywords.
Now what’s the advantage of this when you’re comparing it to if we were exclusively looking at ourselves we wouldn’t be able to gain this information.
So what’s the advantage of working them through this process before we get started
Kyle: It’s primarily to do with discoverability on Amazon there is a lot of information, a lot of products, books, audiobooks.
Amazon is called the marketplace for everything as there’s a huge amount of choice.
We want to be as easy to find as possible.
We want people who have a problem we can solve to be able to find our book nice and simply and the main elements of discoverability in being found on Amazon are the category you’re sitting in and the keywords that you use to describe your book.
Specifically, keywords are phrases or individual words within your title, within your subtitle and within your description and if Amazon sees these certain words and it knows somebody is so searching for a certain type of book, it will be able to link you together.
This is all about discoverability.
If we started from our passion project, we could still find a category, keywords that are relevant, but there’s no guarantee that anybody is interested in one this category.
There are some very obscure categories on Amazon that nobody cares about.
There’s not enough activity there for it to be worth our time or two of our keywords.
Yes, the keywords might be very relevant to the books we’ve created to us and to the content we’ve created, but if nobody is searching for them again nobody is going to find our book, buy the book and ultimately you have yes, a personal book that might mean a lot to you, but nobody cares.
Which is quite disheartening and you see a lot of books like this on Amazon where someone has poured a lot of love and attention into it and it just doesn’t sell because Amazon is too busy.
We need to marry the two, we need to start yes with your expertise and your passion so that the end product is great, but we need to be realistic about the market as well bringing them together.
That’s where we can be successful.
Harms: The advantages of understanding and using a tool and system to analyse categories and analyse keywords is essential.
Otherwise, all of the great work you’re doing and putting it into the e-book will feel like it’s wasted when nobody can see it.
That’s the challenge.
It’s very much that when the online world and there will be thousands and thousands of books that are self-published, how do you cut through that noise?
It is by doing this process which most people who publish an ebook won’t be aware of.
This will give you a great advantage.
Kyle: We are first going to be starting with a category.
The category is the big bucket, the big subject area that Amazon classifies all of its products.
I think there are six and a half thousand categories across the whole Amazon.
Within books I think it’s a few thousand categories, we’re not talking about biography, we’re talking about all the subcategories that might live within biography, autobiography, then there will be a literary biography, there will be certain types of biography like war or military biography.
Amazon uses all these categories to sort and order a massive amount of products that they have and to help people hone in on what stuff they like.
If I’m buying lots of stuff in the military biography section for example, Amazon is more likely to continue to show me stuff for military biography instead of, for example, a category like crochet.
That’s a different category it has no connection and therefore Amazon can slowly hone in on what it is I’m interested in and start to keep showing me those things again and again and again.
The result of that is I see stuff I’m actually interested in which is good, and I’m more likely to purchase, which is good for Amazon.
So everybody wins.
When we talk about a number or if we go through a certain method or talk about a certain category.
It may or may not exist on your local Amazon.
Harms: Working through this process will help you identify and the aim will be to get to a point where we can choose to fill yes, two and three of 16,000, which will be uploaded to Amazon later.
In regards to success it will specifically be determined by a balance, a balance between two key metrics.
Metric number one is you can enter a smaller, less competitive market, that’s great, there’s a higher chance of you becoming a bestseller and rising to the top.
Now if you’re near the top, you’re more likely to continue to be successful because the winners continue to win, but the challenge is it’s a small category and it may not be that popular.
So that’s one side of things.
The problem there is yes, you’re winning but essentially you’re a big fish in a small pond.
Kyle: Yes, you are dominating this sub- sub- sub- sub category compared to everybody else in that subcategory you’re making a lot of sales, but a lot of sales in that category might be one a month and that’s still enough to make you a top seller because it’s such an unpopular category.
That’s one element is competitiveness.
If we enter a very non-competitive category it’s probably non-competitive for a reason and the reason is it’s not a very good marketplace.
There aren’t that many people interested in purchasing, so you can dominate a small one, but the rewards are lower.
That’s one side.
Harms: Now let’s enter a large category which is competitive but there’s potential for getting sales there because it’s a category that people are interested in.
For example business.
You can go to Amazon and find the category business and no doubt there will be an incredible amount of sales within that category.
Here’s a challenge with this other side of the extreme is it’s too big.
Now you are a small fish in a massive pond, but the big fish are people like Warren Buffett, Richard Branson, who releases a new book.
The big fish are authors who are already globally recognised and have the backing of publishers and other unique scenarios like that, but typically they are a big-name that if they put on their Instagram I just released a book it’s now available on Amazon they shoot to the top of the bestseller list, just because of their clout in the marketplace.
They are the big fish in the area.
Those are the two extremes, small, less competitive, but low sales and very competitive, large, and potential for great sales, but you’re a different size fish depending on which pond you sit in.
What’s the focus here in order to be successful within an Amazon category.
Kyle: We need to find something in between.
A category that is big enough for us to bother about but not so big and popular that it is extremely competitive that we have no chance of ranking in the top 10 or 20.
That means we need to find something in the middle.
That’s not too hot, not too cold just right and that requires us to do a bit of technical analysis a bit of poking around to find these particular categories, however, once we find them this is going to guide what our book is going to be about.
We are getting towards content but we’re starting here with looking at the market, making sure that whatever we create is going to be received well and will do well.
Harms: Because the danger is either you write the book you don’t do this market research, you go onto Amazon publish it, you go to a category that is relevant to what you’ve spoken about and what happens?
It may naturally fit into one of those ponds and in each one of those there’s not going to be success.
We need to find a middle ground.
Kyle: Most people when they go to upload it says, what category do you want to put it in?
They’re like business obviously.
But then you are up against the New York Times bestsellers and your chance of staying in the top 20 is tiny.
If you do, you make a huge amount of money, but it’s very difficult to do unless you have a large budget or a solid marketing plan.
We are going to make life a lot easier on ourselves and go for the Goldilocks zone, something in between where we can start to build our brand on Amazon.
Kyle: Categories are on the left here and there is a far more granular set of categories, one Amazon book, or one Amazon object can appear in multiple categories.
I think it’s up to seven between seven and 10, you get to choose two or three when you upload your product or your ebook, but there are more.
These are three of the categories that Mrs Hinch is ranking in, it’s number one job in psychologist biographies. This is an example of a very specific biography, it’s a psychologist biography.
It’s number one in home improvement, household hints and it’s number one in home improvement guides.
These are three of the categories in which its ranking and it’s doing very well in those categories.
Normally, though this information is quite hidden you’d have to go into the listing and look in the product detail panel. I’m going to suggest you download a free extension called DS Amazon Quick view.
It’s free and what you’ll see is when I do any Amazon search instead of me having to go and look inside the product to get all the product categories.
What DS Amazon quick view has done is it pulls these categories out; it shows them directly in these listings. Let’s start with business.
Quick note sponsored books; we’re going to ignore that.
That means someone is paying for that to appear at the top of the search results, which is why this book isn’t particularly popular, but it’s showing up at the top.
The DS extension allows us to see which categories we could be looking out for our particular book.
What I like to do for each of these is basically open up a new tab and I can look at these categories as a whole and this shows me the Amazon bestseller for each of these categories.
The first step is you plug in your niche idea for me, it’s going to be business and then I would find all of the top books on the search results that are already ranking and use these categories to start exploring the categories.
I’m not interested in the actual products, I’m only interested in the categories.
I’d open them all up in individual tabs so I can see the top books in each of these categories.
So what information can we get from this?
Let’s say I’m starting a small business.
This is the category page showing me all the bestsellers in starting a small business.
What I’m now interested in the category view is this number. This is something called the Amazon sales rank and Amazon sales rank of one is extremely good, an Amazon sales rank of 100,000 is not good.
It’s a ranking.
What we need is a rule of thumb, because how can I compare this starting a small business to home-based businesses, for example.
These sound like very similar categories, so we need a rule of thumb in order to gauge whether this is a worthwhile category or not.
This is very rough, very rough indeed.
But what I like to use is if in the top 10, you have lots of books that are under 1,000 it’s too competitive.
If it’s Steve jobs biography, Warren Buffett’s new book, they would be 200, 300 very high rankings.
The other thing I’m looking at is I want to make sure all of the books in the top 10 have an Amazon ranking of under 100,000. That means enough books are selling.
So for a category I’m looking for the top 10 books to all fall in between 1,000 and 100,000. If the numbers are less than 1,000 that means competition is too high. If the number is more than 100,000 it means that nobody is buying these books and the category has no market, so these are rules of thumb.
But it’s a good way to get started.
Kyle: I’d have to do this manually for each and every page I want to show you a tool called Kd spy, which basically at a click of a button will tell you whether this is a good category or not without you having to go through all of this analysis yourself.
It is a paid tool but it’s quite cheap.
I believe $47 for lifetime and it gives you a massive amount of data and what I’m interested in here is this traffic light system.
I click Kd spy and it has grabbed the details of all the books and it’s saying popularity is a good green light.
This category is very popular and the books have good sales, revenue potential is really good. However, competition’s a bit high, so that’s because these top 10, this one is below 1,000. It’s saying okay there is competition here I wouldn’t go near it. So this gives you a really nice traffic light system.
Harms: The purpose of this is to make your life simpler. That’s the key. There are two mechanisms. One is to make your life simpler in regards to speeding up the process for free, how do you work out which category to enter for free and then the next phase is I’ve got a budget to pay for a tool and I am happy to pay for that convenience.
Kyle: What we would be looking for is investigating all the different categories around our business idea looking for something that has three green lights, so Kd spy just makes it a lot easier and quicker because of this traffic light system.
If you’re doing it manually you are looking for things that are between 1,000 and a100,000 in Amazon sales ranks and even then it requires a bit of guesswork as it’s not running as much data as something like KD spy.
I’d recommend investing in Kd spy because if you can find the correct category for your book a lot of your work is going to be covered for you.
Harms: The final way to do this is to head over to fiverr and pay somebody else to do the research for you and there’s a lot of people who are there which can pull the category, niche category, data and information based on your initial idea.
Your initial idea comes from all the work we did and they will then work off the basis of that and then start to extract the data they may be using a tool like Kd spy or an alternative tool.
They may be doing it manually, but it doesn’t matter because what we are paying them for is the time it takes to research and then they’ll plug the information which allows you to say, okay, that’s the category I’m going to enter.
Just wrapping up the categories just remember your book can rank in multiple categories, and even ones you don’t choose.
When you go to upload your book you have to choose or select three different categories.
Your book can still rank in categories that you didn’t choose.
That’s all handled by the power of Amazon and the algorithm.
You may rank in categories that you didn’t choose but the starting point is selecting two to three categories based on the research that we’ve done to increase the chance of success.
Remember, we don’t want to be a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond.
We want to be somewhere in between, so that we’ve got a competitive chance and a chance of sales, generating traffic.
Kyle: There’s about 200,000 worth of sales in the UK only just in this category of psychologist biographies, so this is an example of a category that you wouldn’t choose, you wouldn’t think this is an obvious one for my book, but there’s a lot of business going through this category.
So with this information you could actually choose to place your book in this category because it is surprisingly a good market.
The category is the general bucket in which we fall, and Amazon will help get people into the right bucket, but it’s not going to necessarily hone them in on our book.
This is where the keywords come into play.
So when people go looking for a nonfiction book on Amazon what they’re actually doing?
Why do they need a non-fiction book?
Generally they’re looking to improve their life in some way, they’re looking to learn a skill, lose weight or that they want some positive change in their life.
They’re looking for a solution to their problems and remember business is all about solving problems, that’s how we create value and people pay us for that value which is fantastic.
This is what people are doing when they’re searching on Amazon.
They don’t necessarily know what the specific book they’re looking for is. They know what their problem is and what their interest is, Amazon is going to based on the categories and based on the keywords it’s going to suggest, these are the best books for what you are looking for right now.
This is for non-fiction, different for fiction, although even in that case, if I type in vampire romance that will be the keywords it’s going to point me in the direction of vampire romance books.
My problem is I need more vampire romance in my life.
How do I find that and Amazon is saying you should check out these books. That’s my problem.
Harms: Think about the Amazon search bar as if you would Google as if you would YouTube.
For example if I’ve got a problem I’d read a short article about it and go to Google if I’ve got a problem and I want to see a video instruction I’d go to YouTube now.
The same applies to the book format and that’s the best place to get the results in terms of the books also use the search bar as if you would as a customer using Google and YouTube as a search engine.
If you’re struggling on where to start you would type the word marketing or business marketing or growth hacking or common phrases that you may be aware of into that search bar, then Amazon will help you auto complete.
It starts to give you clues on what people are searching for, that’s the first big tip to get started with. But is there a simpler way to do this?
Kyle: Now we already know our categories let’s say we’ve chosen three categories which either fall between certain Amazon sales rank and we manually checked them, or we found them using Kd spy, or we found them using some exterior Kindle research from fiverr.
What we want to do is look at what books are already selling really well in those three categories.
These are three categories we’re going to be competing in, so we should know what’s already ranking there, what’s already doing well in terms of keywords.
We’re going to look at the top 20 books or as many as you can possibly do, we’re going to look at them and analyse the keywords that those books are using already and this is based on the assumption that, okay, these books are doing well in this category.
One of the reasons why they’re visible in the category is because of their keywords.
Therefore, we will look at the keywords that these books are already using.
That’s the logic we use here so there are tools online, there is one called online/utility.org/textanaylser.
Or just Google word frequencies and you’ll be able to find tools that when you give it a block of text it’s able to pull out the most common words in a particular block of texts.
If we’re doing it manually we’re going to go through the top 10 books or the 20 books and copy and paste the title and subtitle for each and every one of them into a document.
I would go ahead copy and paste them all into a text analyser and that’s going to throw out the most common words.
The words that are being used most often in these particular book titles and again we’re using these because these books are ranking well in the category we are targeting, and these books use these keywords.
So we should borrow those keywords. This software utility allows you to find the most frequent phrases and frequent words.
All I’ve done is copy and pasted the titles and it has now pulled all of the phrases and all of the words.
We’re going to ignore words like to, and but what we’re seeing here is in the home business category the most common words showing up in those top 20 books are Amazon, business, guide, beginners, marketing, money, book, grow, FBA which is fulfilled by Amazon products.
These are all the keywords that are working well because these are the top sellers.
I would pull out all of those words I’d write them down on a bit of paper or in a document.
These are the keywords I need to be aiming for. This also gives me the phrases. So top phrases containing two words, top one here which shows up six times in 20 books is how to.
The next one is guide to and then we have beginners guide, but what I’m most interested in here is how to and guide to. Based on this kind of information I’d be able to start to put together my own title like, how to do business on Amazon your beginner’s guide to marketing etcetera.
That would be a title based on key phrases and based on keywords that are already ranking really well in this particular category.
So again, we’re using the data in order to hack our way to the top.
Harms: Like with any frequency the more information you can put in the better.
Whatever words you can extract from that will help you form the title which almost gives you an umbrella as well, to start thinking about what you could be talking about also.
Kyle: What we’re doing is we’ve got the category we’re starting to analyse the keywords pull out the most frequent keywords in that category, we can then jumble those keywords together into what you’ve just set as a title and subtitle, and then guess what, that’s going to be the contents of our book.
We have gone from category to keywords, keywords to title and because we started with categories based on our expertise and knowledge we should be able to create a book about this title.
This whole framework has allowed us to narrow down from instead of 16,500 categories we have narrowed it down to three.
Then we’ve worked out the keywords that are already working in that category and then we start to jumble those keywords and key phrases together into something which could be our title for the book, it’s given us the skeleton.
The core of that title, which in turn is the contents of our book.
Instead of me manually copy and pasting each and every title and subtitle Kd spy can go in, grab the titles, subtitles and run that textual analysis for you and it does like a pretty word cloud with all the key phrases.
The more the key phrases used the bigger it will be.
And again, what you see, a lot are phrases like slight how-to and guide to.
Harms: We’ve gone through and we worked out that there’s two extremes that we can live in and they’re not ideal.
One is a place which has a low competition and there’s a small category that we are most likely to rank in but not make money in or get enough traffic.
The other one is a large category which could potentially bring lots of sales but we’re competing with some big players.
We want to find somewhere in between using a research method that research method is a two-stage approach.
Number one is to work out which category to live in and we want to get it down to two to three categories so when we publish our book, we know what category we want to feature in and number two we’re not guessing once all the work is done.
Then we work through the second process which is now identifying keywords that will rank quite well within that particular category.
We know what the category is, which means the book is going to be uploaded into there, we include the keywords in one our title, number two our subtitle and number three in the description of the book.
Which I love because it takes the guesswork out of this, it means we’ve done some homework. It means we have weighted the chance of success because we’re now playing in the middle ground between both of these ponds, that’s where we want to be focusing and ultimately what this does is it tells us what the content of our book will be. It tells us what we should be talking about within our book.
Remember we should already be an expert in this area, we didn’t neglect that and we should be talking to a marketplace that exists, but it’s not just too large or general that we won’t compete in it we’re finding the middle ground here.
Remember the concern of not having an idea for the book has been eliminated.
We know what Amazon readers want and that’s a great starting point and that’s the key here.
Kyle: By using those categories and key phrases on the categories and turning those key phrases into some kind of title or subtitle you are already very close to being able to flesh out what that actual book is about.
But we have the spine, we have the core of what will be a successful book.
Harms: The to do is to work through those three exercises.
Remember we started with getting down on paper and answering those expert questions.
Then go and do the category research whether it’s manual or via the paid tool, then go ahead and do the keywords research whether it’s manual or via the paid tool.
Your eBook- what to write, best structure to use, 3 ways to write it, editing and more
Harms: We’re talking about how to create an ebook from start to finish in order which plugs into the start of your value ladder as an entry point for your potential customers, who will later purchase more expensive products from you.
We have the constituent components of a title from our word frequency analysis using the free tool or paid one.
Kyle: This is giving us a jumble of words and phrases that we can now piece together like a jigsaw into the title of our book and remember we did all this analysis based on one, this is a market that exists.
Two, this is a category inside Amazon that’s popular and it’s not that competitive, so we can do well here and three, these are the keywords and key phrases that the existing bestsellers in this category are already using.
All we are doing is following on from the success of other people pulling the data, finding out what already works, and now we’re going to be building that back up using those pieces to build our title, to build our subtitle and build content of our book.
Again at the touchstone again and again and again is how we solve the problems of the people in the marketplace and it’s not a coincidence that most of the best sellers on Amazon have how to, guide, step-by-step these kinds of phrases in their titles.
This is the data telling us something we’re on the right track, we’re solving people’s problems, we’re showing them how to do things, giving them a guide, step-by-step guide etcetera to help them achieve their goals.
Get the result they want.
Harms: If you were to now jot down your outcome on paper you’ll have two things.
Number one is a title and number two the subtitle.
What forms a title and subtitle is based on the keyword research. Your title think about it as your main key phrase, the main problem you’re solving and then the subtitle will become how to, or a guide to.
Let’s assume you are starting a business, or you’re talking about helping somebody start a business. How to start a business?
That will become the main key phrase that becomes a title and the how-to becomes, the subtitle becomes the ultimate step-by-step guide to starting a small business from business plan to scaling up.
Here we used the phrase guide to and added some additional key phrases based on the research around that.
Another example is the secrets to writing a successful business plan as the title, the subtitle becomes a pro shares a step-by-step guide to creating a plan that gets results.
That could also read a pro shares a step-by-step how to process in creating a plan that gets results.
It’s using again the frequency of keywords that appears most often and that simply means that word appears most often when you take a set of data frequencies.
Kyle: Both of those examples are real books and these are bestsellers.
Harms: What is the best structure to use?
What are different ways in which we can actually go ahead and write this book?
How do we get it edited and everything in between those three headlines, so let’s first start with how do we actually outline the book?
How do we create an outline of the book because the first thing we’re doing is we understand we’re solving the problem.
We’ve identified the keywords which have given us clues in which problems people have within each category.
Now we’re moving to actually working out what the content of the book should be and starting a process of writing it.
The first question is how do we start?
Kyle: I’ve written a few books personally and the worst thing is sitting down to a blank screen with a flashing icon on, it’s the worst, you need to start with an outline because then you can sit down if you are writing it and we’re going to talk about alternatives.
You can sit down and just write once you have a proper outline in place.
What we want to try and do is make sure that you have your whole book outlined in great detail so that the actual creation process becomes quite simple.
Whether you’re writing it or not.
Again, we’re going to look at three different methods to get the book written so writing an outline is super important.
Kyle: The first thing we’re going to do is we’re going to go back onto Amazon and gather up all the potential topics we could be including in this book.
Later we’re going to filter through it and see what we’re interested in.
We know the general thrust of the book, we know what problem we’re solving. We know, hopefully, by now, the title of the book and the subtitle based on those key phrases that we just went through.
We are looking for topics that now fit under this title.
What the kind of things people need to know about, the skills. What are the kinds of stories you could be including under this title in order to teach people how to do whatever it is you do, do whatever it is you are an expert in.
Harms: We are giving you essentially a three-step approach in order to create the outline that the first step is to gather up topics, we know what we currently have in place, but we’ll be looking at Amazon.
Kyle: Again, we’ve found our key phrases that work well on Amazon.
These are linked to certain books, certain bestsellers. These books are already selling in the thousands or hundreds on Amazon, so we do not need to reinvent the wheel.
We’re going to go back to our category view so if we were writing about how to write business plan we would go to the business plan category of Amazon and we have a look at the first 10, 20, 30 bestsellers in that particular category.
In particular we are going to use Amazon’s look inside feature, which allows you to see a preview of the book.
Harms: The danger here is that actually you can go ahead and buy lots of books to start to work out what topic other authors in this category talk about.
Kyle: There’s no need to at this point.
In fact, I would recommend against it.
What we are suggesting is you use the look inside to see the chapter names. That’s all you need.
We just want to see what topics they are talking about.
If you then go ahead and read the book, you’re more likely to start copying their idea, start creating something unoriginal or some people might find they get psychologically overwhelmed.
Instead, we’re literally looking at the chapter titles.
We are borrowing these from the top books in the category because these are the topics that are being addressed in the books that are already selling.
Harms: We are not interested in the content of those topics.
That’s another expert’s content.
Whereas you must trust that you are also an expert.
What we’re looking for is topics that are already being discussed, just the headlines here. So extract these topics, these headlines which will get us going and understand what topics are important to the marketplace.
What topics have other authors in our category started to write about?
That’s the focus, we’re not interested in what’s inside that chapter we just want the headlines.
Otherwise it will send you down the path you don’t want to go down, all we want to do is gather up topics.
Kyle: Because you’re an expert in your niche you know about this stuff already you’re going to have your own opinions.
You’re going to have your own ideas on each of these topics.
So what’s the point reading the other experts you’re going to waste your time, waste your money.
You already have the answers.
Harms: Our suggestion is you do the following.
Get a piece of paper or a word document that you want to use and start to write down. Maybe have a look at 10, 20, 15, 25 books within that category, do the look inside feature.
Have a look at the contents and now start to write those content topics, the headings down on a piece of paper.
There may be some overlap, you may find that experts are talking about the same thing. You may find some unique anomalies.
You may find some things that allow you to think about the areas in which you are aware of but you may have missed completely if you had not done this exercise.
Then we move onto stage number two.
Kyle: Stage number two is structure.
We are going to take those topics and start to get them into some kind of order.
We’re not going to use all the topics and we might even add our own topics.
The main point of this section is to start to squish them all into an order that makes sense. It’s starting to look more like a book now rather than a series of random topics.
Harms: There are two ways that you may commonly see this when you’re doing the research of the look inside Amazon and other authors and other book writers, especially within expert fields, you may say see that there’s two methods in order to do this.
Method one is that there is an order somebody has created a sequence.
Number two is that there are unordered. This will partly depend on what your expertise is, but we have a preference.
What is our preference and what are the two ways in which they can order their book?
Kyle: My preference maybe this is how I think, but I think in general it’s going to be more useful and structured, it’s to have an order.
Instead of just saying here’s a bunch of information you need to know in order to learn how to fish instead of just that you’re saying, first you need to know this, then you need to know this, then you need to know this.
Having a structure, having a pathway through which to guide people through information is always going to make it a lot easier for complete beginners.
Ordered tends to be a lot better than unordered, but its’ going to depend on your particular niche.
Harms: If we link back to the key phrases that we’ve already determined we’ve got how-to and we’ve got a guide to which sort of paves the way for an ordered structure just by the way the title is.
What I mean by that is you’re taking somebody from stage A where they are now to B through the middle into the end destination, i.e. the result and where they want to get to.
Kyle: There will be a natural order to most skills to most things you can learn out there.
Harms: If you’re thinking about this for yourself when you’ve got the list of topics, list of content headlines.
Now what sequential order because authors may have put this into their own order, but what are the steps required within your field of knowledge or expertise that you can start to order these into?
Is there a sequence in regards to how you would like to present your information? And that’s it, so the first method is an ordered sequential approach in which you can start to order these items.
Again, these are all methodologies and methods when we spoke about course creation. At this stage we’re just thinking simply, how do we order this?
That’s number one.
The second way to do this again it’s your choice we’re just giving you the most common outputs.
This is an unordered method and how would people go about this.
Kyle: For example Mrs Hinch’s house cleaning tips that might be a book that may not be necessarily in order.
Some people might want to focus on how to clean the bathroom, some people might want to focus on how to clean the kitchen. Some people might want to tidy a garage. While some people want to tidy up a basement there is no necessary order there.
There is no priority so maybe that kind of book will work better as an unordered book because everybody’s going to be approaching that book with their own set of problems.
If you give it to them in a more unordered approach it allows them to dive in, where they need to. So this will be relevant to some niches.
The question and answer format works really well here. So basically, having for each chapter title a question like, what’s the best way to clean my bathroom etcetera and then having the information within that chapter.
Harms: That’s the second part of getting your outline together. Number one was gathering up topics.
Number two is putting those topics into either a sequence, i.e. in order or an unordered method that’s up to you.
If we tie in with the key phrases our suggestion and preferred method for you which also makes sense, especially within expert knowledge and sharing expert knowledge is a sequence, a step-by-step process.
That’s the structure now the final part in which to get your outline together is now taking this slightly deeper and getting some more information in place.
What is that final part for them?
Kyle: We’ve gathered up all our topics.
We have put them in a rough order in an order structure. Now we want to for each topic that structure, we want to start adding in sub- points.
The end result for example, let’s say, our first topic, our first chapter is choosing a fishing rod based on our expertise, we automatically would know two or three points we can put in there.
Sub one might be why you need a good fishing rod, sub two might be what does a good fishing rod look like? Sub three might be okay, how’d you go about choosing a good fishing rod?
The more sub points you put in and the more sub, sub points you can include the more structured your book is going to be and easier it will be to write later.
The sub point is how do you choose a good fishing rod for example you might have underneath those three additional points which are it needs to be strong, flexible and you need to be able to pack it up and put it in the back of the car.
The more detail you can go into at this level the easier it’s going to be to write the book.
Harms: The message here is, the more you can break each topic down and the more fleshed out your outline is the better it’s going to serve you later.
Now here is an important note we’re not writing the book at this point, we’re not writing sentences, paragraphs we’re just getting an outline.
Kyle: It’s got to be one, two, three-word phrases that’s it. Another objection as well as should I start writing my book now is how long should the book be?
As with most things, the answer is it depends.
It depends how long it’s going to take for you to solve your reader’s problem?
How many sections do you need?
How many chapters?
How many points are you going to need to make for them to break through and start to solve the problem, so it does depend.
However, as always that’s never very useful so we’re going to give you at least a rule of thumb, something to work towards. It’s not going to be correct all of the time, but at least it’s something.
One thing that is good to know, is the minimum on Amazon Kindle is 2,5000 words.
They’ve actually relaxed this a bit recently, so you can have things that are five pages, but they might bring it back. They’ve always been a bit funny about very short Kindle ebooks because people were just using them to publish sales pamphlets.
Still I wouldn’t bother publishing anything that long because it’s not going to be useful and Amazon might change that again.
As a rule of thumb and this isn’t always going to be right, but we’re going to give you a recommendation, aim for about 65 to 100 Kindle pages.
The reason for this is this is going to slot you into a relatively new category, Kindle’s short read category.
Short reads are anything between 15 minutes and two hours or four hours to read. That’s the agreed time how long it takes people on average to get through it on their Kindle.
100 Kindle pages is the maximum here, I’m saying Kindle pages because that would depend how large you have your font on the Kindle.
When we talk about 100 pages it’s not necessarily the same as a 100-page paperback because a 100-page paperback has its own font size and margin size.
The number of pages required in the non-fiction book is different to a fiction book, it’s very hard to compare and there are calculators for comparing these things, but it gets extremely complicated.
We will just stick with these 100 Kindle pages. We want to land in the short-read category because it sells well.
People don’t read long books as much as they used to anymore.
This also works in our favour because we are creating a book that is part of a larger business system. We just want to get the book into people’s hands and see the value that we offer and then they can escalate with us to our other forms of value, so this is perfect for us.
We don’t need to write a 600-page book in order to make our mark which is good news.
Harms: Especially within this non-fiction category.
Remember we are not writing a literary novel we are focusing on getting a point and information across to solve somebody’s problem and remember one mechanism is to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Speed is one of those methods.
How quickly you can get your end customer a result will also be a big factor, if you can get somebody a result in the recommended less than 100 pages in the short read, that’s a bonus and it’s also a good starting point.
The aim here is not creating a three, four, 500-page book, if we can get into the short-read category and get into our selected categories, now we get an additional category that we can feature.
That is a big win especially in a place like Amazon and especially in a new category section like short reads.
It makes it more consumable and more accessible to people
Kyle: It’s just what the market wants, so there’s no reason in going against that.
Plus if you are able to show somebody how to do what you do, if you’re able to solve the problem in a shorter amount of time why would you need three to four times the pages?
Harms: When talking about the length of the book that should give you a benchmark, let’s fall into the small category and find a balance within that category as well.
Not being too short, not hitting the 2501-word limit, try to stay within a short-read category.
We want to land at the high end of the short reads category so the data is showing that we want to land in the short reads category, so you have less than 100 pages, but the ones that have closest to the 100 pages as possible they sell a lot better than the shorter short reads.
You want a long, short read if that makes sense.
Kyle: 100 pages roughly there are 250 to 300 words per Kindle page. If you are typing in word for example, that means that 100 Kindle pages will be somewhere between 25,000 and 30,000 words.
That’s the word limit that we are going for.
Harms: How do we actually write the book itself?
Now we’ve got an outline, topics, subtopics, the subtopics of the subtopics, we understand how long the book should be it’s all here on a piece of paper, and we’re getting closer to creating our value ladder.
Now comes the daunting task of actually writing the book, so we’ve got three ways in which you can and again it’s up to you three different ways in which you can go ahead and write the book.
All have their different pros and cons associated with them, and then you will find which is more comfortable for you. Kyle what are these three alternatives?
Kyle: The three are going to be you write it yourself, the second is going to hire somebody to write it for you, and the third is there’s no writing but you speak the book and then you convert that to text.
These are the three main methods.
Harms: Let’s get started with the most obvious which is to write the book yourself but the reality is it will take you longer to write.
If you go ahead and decide to use this first method, the most obvious one, which is to write it yourself, I will say set yourself a consistent schedule which you can be held accountable for and it could be a daily schedule, weekly schedule.
That’s one way to do it now.
Another suggestion is to make sure you stay consistent is to get yourself a writing buddy or a writing accountability buddy.
Kyle: The second method is we hire a writer and so whether it’s a ghost-writer or freelancer, you’re hiring somebody.
You’re handing them the outline you’ve given them a brief and then they’re going off and doing the work for you.
The previous one, writing yourself let’s say you did manage to set a schedule of writing 1,000 words a day that will take you a month to do.
It’s fine, but maybe you don’t have that time so hiring a writer is a sensible thing to do because this is a professional writer, this is what they and because we’ve given them all of this prep work.
We should be able to get a very high quality result.
We’ve done most of the groundwork for making sure this is a successful book already. It’s working out what the market is that’s based on your business niche.
We’ve spoken about business and made sure there is a market you know what problem it is you’re solving the market.
You’ve translated this into categories on Amazon, you’ve then looked at the books that are already performing really well on Amazon and we’ve pulled information from them.
We know what key phrases they rank; we’ve used this to build a title, subtitle, and also to borrow the topics that we then spoke about in our outline.
The outline is really the written documentation of all this work, the outline you’re handing over to that writer is all of that groundwork encapsulated into, first write about this, then this and this. We know based on our groundwork that this is going to resonate with the market and it’s going to be of interest.
Harms: Because the alternative is you hand it to a writer and you say I haven’t done any of this prep work, but this is a topic I will like you to write about.
Can you crack on and write me a book?
Kyle: You can do that but it’s going to cost you a hell of a lot more because they are going to have to go and research and draw out that outline and even then they’re probably not going to check if it’s a market that actually makes sense for you.
Harms: From a writer’s point of view all of that groundwork you’ve done upfront is incredibly useful and incredibly helpful and will make everything more efficient.
So the actual writing of the book becomes a lot more efficient for them because of all of the groundwork.
Talk to us about cost Kyle because and based on our research and having paid writers in the past how much does this cost?
Because somebody would initially think this is going to be really expensive.
Kyle: Again, we’re reducing the costs because we have an outline already, the costs will also include things like proofreading after it’s been created.
You get what you pay for with a writer.
If you want a native speaker it costs more, if you want a subject matter expert that’s going to cost more.
For something like business plans it’s quite technical you would probably want somebody who has that subject level expertise that is going to cost more. It’s again going to depend but in general it’s less expensive than you assume, there is a lot of supply of freelance writers.
There’s a lot of people out there who want to write for cash.
It’s quite an appealing job so there are a lot which is good for you as somebody who wants a book written.
In terms of getting prices the best thing you can do is going to upwork and post your brief and you don’t need to post your whole outline, and people can send you quotations. On Upwork for a native speaker I’d expect maybe £1,000, or a couple of thousand dollars for that work.
There are also places like bookwy.com or text brokers, where again you would send them your basic outline and they charge per hundred words generally.
Bookwy starts at $30 per thousand words which would mean a 30,000-word book would be $900, so £700.
Harms: That’s probably an entry-level point.
Kyle: That would be one of the lowest level writers.
I think the top-level writers are about $500 for every thousand words that will end up costing you $15,000.
That will end up costing a lot more but I guess what you’re getting there is a quality writer, more research, effort, time, and I imagine visions as well. You can go back and forth with them because that is a full-on project.
Right now we just need something that is sitting at the beginning of our value ladder.
We don’t need to spend $15,000 on it.
It’s not going to require that much research as we’ve already done a lot that we’ve done the outline so we should be able to get away with the lower level.
Harms: Yes, if that was your end product.
If that e-book was the only thing you’re selling, then it’s arguable.
Whereas remember, the e-book is the first entry point as part of the business value ladder as part of introducing your customer to a later service. Your service could be £1,000.
Your service as a product could be £300, so think about this e-book and any investment you pay today as an investment that will be later liquidated as part of this business value ladder, that’s critical.
It’s easier for your customer to enter and discover you via a £10 e-book than your £1,000 service, but one client in this example could liquidate the cost of purchasing the e-book, your second client now takes you into profit.
That’s the way to approach this and anybody who started a business or involved in business will understand that there will be some requirement of investment in assets in advance whether it’s time or whether it’s financial investment.
But because of the business model itself not becoming an author but selling a product or service later down the line or subscription that will start to liquidate all of this investment upfront.
No different to investing and taking a loan out and starting up a shop.
The product sales will start to pay that loan back and liquidate those original investment costs, it’s the same principle but on a smaller scale and in a digital asset.
What’s the third option Kyle in order to get our book written?
Kyle: In this option nothing is getting written.
We don’t want to write the book ourselves and we don’t necessarily have the cash to invest to get someone else to write it, that’s fine. So the third option here is to record.
We record the book. We use our voice and speak the contents of the book instead.
This is actually our personal preference; this is what we do with the BBO show. We have a system in the background which is creating e-books based on the content that we are producing through our discussions on this show.
Part of the reason for this is that we can speak way faster than we can write and it’s phenomenally quicker.
The average speaking speed is between 150 and 200 words per minute, let’s say 150, so 30,000 words which is the length of the e-book we’re going for will take about 200 minutes to speak.
That’s just over three, the ability to get the information out of your head, which is where it is right now and into the world is just much faster if you’re speaking.
Harms: The reason we prefer this method is it’s so much quicker and if you think about yourself as an expert within your niche, you’re often going to be very good at speaking about the subject.
That’s probably what you do on a daily basis where it’s a sales call , speaking to a client. Whether you are explaining something to a staff member. Whether you are having coffee with somebody talking about your business. Whether you’ve done a public speaking spot.
This mechanism is where you communicate vocally about what you do, we’re going to take this vocal ability that you have to be able to talk about your business and turn it into text by recording your book and that’s the key.
We’re not focusing on doing that via a script we’re going to be using the work that we’ve done up to this point, which is leveraging your outline.
You’re not going to be writing a script because that defeats the purpose of this if you had written a script essentially you’ve written a book.
We’re going to leverage the fact that we are experts and we know what we’re talking about within our outline, within our subcategories within our sub- subcategories that all come from us.
What’s the mechanism? How are we going to do this?
Kyle: The basic thing we’re going to be doing is going through our outline speaking to each of the areas within our outline.
Don’t need a script again, we are fluent when we are in the spoken domain, we’re able to talk about what it is our expertise is in.
We’re not talking about just recording an audiobook, audiobooks are recorded from script.
We don’t have a script, we have an outline so what we’re trying to do right now is just get the information out of our heads and into text.
There are two main technical ways we can do this, the first one is talking directly to a computer and using a tool like Dragon Dictate or Google Docs has its own dictation.
Harms: Microsoft word has an incredibly accurate dictation tool as well.
Kyle: You can also dictate to Siri on the iPhone.
Voice recognition technologies have come in leaps and bounds in the last few years.
In this method, we are literally talking to the computer or our phone whether it’s word or Dragon Dictate and recording our ideas on that particular topic.
Harms: You start to see the text literally on the page start to form through your words and it’s incredibly accurate nowadays.
So that’s one way to do it.
One way to do it is to dictate direct to text dictation speaking, you speak in the mic the software will convert that to text.
Another method in which to do this is a way that myself and Kyle actually use is leveraging the power of a pre-recorded podcast or video. Let’s tell you an example of what we do.
If you see the BBO show it’s a live video show we then pull a pre-recorded which is the show itself video file that can be turned into two things.
One it can be turned into an audio file which gets turned into a podcast. The next thing it can be turned into is text, so again, you can take a tool like Dragon Dictate or there are other tools on the market as well.
You put this file whether it’s an audio podcast, live show you put this file into the software, and just as if you are speaking to it, it extracts the voice and audio from the file itself and then turns that into text.
Again incredibly powerful and it’s probably going to take slightly longer than the first method because what we’re doing now is we’ve recorded live, so rather than getting a live dictation we’re waiting for the software to turn this into text and the software is extremely quick at doing this.
Kyle: The reason this works really well is because it increases the fluency as we’re having a conversation.
If you are having a live conversation you still get the information out of your head it’s just going to be a lot faster, a lot more natural that if you were talking to a computer.
That’s why we personally use it, but it’s up to you.
Harms: Now let’s assume that you’ve used one of those methods.
Whether it’s live dictation or you’ve done a pre-recorded audio and you convert that into text.
Now let’s talk about the actual text process you’ve now got a download of all of this text and most software will give you the text they won’t split the paragraph, they won’t split the speakers.
That’s not book ready, we’re going to have slurs, repeated words, we’re going to talk about things off topic.
Kyle, what do we do with it next?
Kyle: We need to then go back to that text and we have this huge amount of information and text we need to sculpt that into the written word.
However, this is much easier to do than if we were starting from a blank page.
You need that starting material and it’s a lot easier to edit down than it is to create from scratch, so at least we have something to start with.
There are two types of transcription. One called verbatim, which will include stutters, ums and ahs repetitions, et cetera and then there is edited transcription which will take out those verbal tics.
The second thing that we have to do is remove certain things that still get left in by the computer.
For instance, the fact that I start a lot of sentences with so and then the sentence that’s not very pretty on the written page.
It’s okay when someone is speaking it’s not great English, but it’s okay. You need to know what your own verbal tics are at that point, I know mine is so, so I would search for so’ which is how it shows up in the transcript and cut them all out.
From this we have a more or less clear transcript we’ve removed a lot of the egregious ums and ahs, we then send this to an editor to go through and to make sure the paragraphs are in the right place.
Start to convert the spoken language into written language they can at least edit from this point they’re not writing from scratch.
If you are hiring someone at this point it’s going to be a lot more cost-effective a lot cheaper than if you started by just hiring a writer at the gate.
Harms: In this final stage we’re converting the spoken language into written language, so when somebody reads it, it is way more familiar because the two forms are different.
If you read spoken language on a written paper it can seem unfamiliar to you. We want to get as close to a familiar book for the end user as possible.
An editor can do this and again the prices range to find an editor, you can go to somewhere like upwork go Fiverr, or you can have somebody in house that you trust.
Essentially what we’re looking for is somebody who can clean up the transcript, we’re not looking for a literary professional finished novel piece, we’re just looking for something that can be published and act as an entry point for customers.
That’s why we use this whole process we want speed. We want to get more content out, we want to get more ebooks out, we want to be solving more problems and by solving problems we in turn can help more people in turn they help us by being attracted to our business.
The best way to attract people to our business is to solve as many people’s problems as possible and the only way we can do that especially if you’re a small outfit or individual business owner, entrepreneur, the best way to do that is by leveraging systems and those systems can give you speed and as much speed as possible.
So today is one of those systems, so wrapping up we’ve covered lots and an incredible amount.
We’ve taken our title and subtitle and we’ve used that to kickstart our content creation.
What actually goes in the book and the way we do that is first by putting together an outline and that outline we have three stages in order to get that outline in shape.
We’ve got number one, we spoke about getting all the topics looking at other authors, getting those topics down, then getting that book into an ordered structure or an unordered structure depending on your mechanism.
Then within that getting subheadings and subtitles that gets our outline in place then we go on to the writing phase.
We know how long the book is going to be, now we go on to writing the book and we shared three ways in which you can write the book.
Either write it yourself, either dictate it or get somebody else to write it for you.
Those are three ways in which we did it and within each stage we’ve also given you our preferred method in which gives you the greatest speed to get you the greatest output.
That’s the key here and essentially by the end of this process you’re going to have a manuscript.
You’re going to have the core of the book; you’re going to have a book which is now ready to be published.
Let’s publish your book through KDP, formatting, cover art and more
Kyle: Over the course of this guide we’ve been showing you how to basically how to write and publish an eBook.
Gathering together your expert knowledge and skills, everything you know about your particular business niche, packaging it into a book.
We’re going to turn our manuscript into the final product into the book.
This book, remember, it’s not just a book that you are selling in order to make royalties we’re not showing you how to be an author but what we are doing is a bit more than that.
We’re showing you how to use a book as an initial stage for people to get to know you and get to know your business and to build your online business off the back of this product.
This initial product is an eBook.
Now we have the manuscript and we are going to be talking about how we take that manuscript which is the words of the book and how we package that up, how we get a cover on it, how we get it formatted properly and how we get it out into the world.
That’s going to be the focus in this section.
Harms: The hard work is done, you’ve got the manuscript.
Most people don’t even get this far. Whether they’re an author or using this for business purposes, having an end manuscript like this is a large part of the journey.
Now we’re doing the final part which is just as scary to people because there are technical involved, third party companies involved.
The final step essentially, when it comes to getting this visible to people, that’s sometimes a large hurdle. We’re going to make that easier by talking about a few topics.
Number one is the actual formatting of the book, number two is what do we do with the cover? Then we’re going to be talking about some of the core components that must be in the book that we haven’t included in the manuscript at the moment, which is the description of the book, the author’s bio.
Then uploading it to something called Kindle direct publishing using that mechanism to upload your book which will then live on Amazon.
We’re going to be focusing on technical aspects which people fear because there is a technical element involved that can be a roadblock and a reason for your manuscript to live on your computer or your word doc for years and years and years because Kindle direct publishing or something similar just seems too complex.
It seems to be overwhelming or we could fall into a perfection issue, but that has been dealt with earlier in this guide.
Now we’re going to be dealing with the technical so where do we start?
I mentioned formatting Kyle is a good place to start.
Kyle: Yes we’ll start with the formatting and then we’re going to move into the cover, description, author bio and then finally how we take all this information and we get it onto Kindle direct publishing so that we are ready to publish.
First up, formatting, the reason we need to deal with formatting is we cannot just take a raw word file or raw text file and send it to Amazon.
It doesn’t work.
First, we need to do a little bit of formatting to make sure that it displays properly on a Kindle.
We are talking about Amazon, there are other places you can publish your book but we’re not going to be talking about them because Kindle and Amazon are 80% of the market, so we’re going to be focusing our efforts there.
If you do want to do the other publishing processes they’re going to be very similar to this, just slightly different issues.
With formatting it used to be when I first did my first e-book it was a complete nightmare.
This was quite early in Kindle’s life-cycle and you basically had to use quite complicated tools and go through and manually format the document and if you had a long book it was a really difficult process.
Now if you have images and diagrams and anything that requires complex formatting on the page, it’s still quite complicated.
If you do have images and diagrams it’s fine but I would highly recommend you just hire somebody to do formatting for you.
Because this is a technical task you can actually hire for not very much money we’re talking about $20, $30, $40, $50 potentially on somewhere like fiverr.com, you only need to do this if you have something that is quite complicated and has images or graphics of any type.
If your book is just text then there’s a fantastic tool which Amazon have created called Kindle create. It’s available for Mac and it’s available for Windows.
It is free and the purpose of this was Amazon created this tool in order to help publishers like yourselves, like us, to more easily format the book and get it ready for the Amazon Kindle marketplace.
I think Amazon realised there are too many barriers between me writing the book and me getting it looking nice, well formatted onto Amazon.
From a technical point of view, it’s relatively painless. You open up the software and it asks for your document.
You give it your word document or whatever format you used, and it will automatically go through everything and format it as is required by a Kindle eBook.
Harms: What we’re sharing with you now are different ways in which you can format your book number one is you just go to good fiverr.com and pay somebody there.
You can find it and get it relatively cheap for $30, $40 $50. If you’ve got images they may charge a $50, $60 range.
But if you have images it will be money well spent because it can be very tricky taking hours and hours and it’s better just to pay someone that is used to doing that work.
The second is you do it yourself, our suggestion here is if you don’t have images this is probably wise and best starting point with Kindle create it is an additional software and that software will pick up your word document.
It’s best used with a word doc.
When we talk about formatting and the fact that it will pick up formatting automatically and syncs, what we mean here is you have to also have some familiarity with using words formatting.
It is as simple as using your title should be formatted as a title, your header should be formatted as a header, your paragraph should be formatted as a paragraph and then Kindle creates the tool it’s smart enough to plug that in and then realise that you’ve got these formats set.
If you can get it well formatted in your word doc then Kindle create will do the rest and convert that into a Kindle format for you.
Harms: That is free but it requires some time.
The third one is something I’ve not used, which is Scrivener.
Kyle: If you do want more control of your formatting you can actually write and format do everything yourself in a tool called Scrivener.
It’s a better book creation tool than Word because it allows you to more easily manage your chapters, sections et cetera.
If you didn’t write the book yourself though this is sort of irrelevant for you, you have the final manuscript already in the word document.
However, Scrivener does give you the power to do more complicated formatting.
It gives you more control over those headers, contents, pages, sub- headers, block quotes, et cetera.
This is not necessarily for the majority of books you will find a lot of e-book courses pushing Scrivener, objectively yes it might be the best tool, but if it’s going to take you two months to learn how to use Scrivener, that’s two months wasted not writing your book and not publishing your book or marketing your book.
I would say as with everything, keep it simple.
If you want to look into something like Scrivener later, fine, but right now it’s overkill unless you already know how to use it, or you really need the extra power.
Harms: Because the purpose of this is that we’re not becoming authors, we’re becoming Kindle e-book or e-book creators and print on demand books for the purpose of allowing an entry point for our customers to understand who we are, our products and service as part of a value ladder.
That’s what the focus is.
I think a good middle ground if I were to do this from scratch again I would like to do a word doc and use Kindle to create myself first and then if I’m starting to pump out a lot of e-books then I’d start to pay people to do it.
That’s my preference.
The main thing is to get an e-book out there into the market first, now talking about looks and talking about how something appears there’s probably one thing we can’t maybe skimp out on, the cover.
Kyle: This would be the main place to invest.
There is the saying don’t judge a book by its cover but that’s been said by someone who has never ever sold a book in their life.
The presentation of a book is important and there’s a reason why publishers spend time and effort and money on publishing beautiful looking books, because that’s the only way you’re going to pick it up in the bookshop as it looks fantastic.
This is going to be the same on Amazon, the main visual element on Amazon is the book cover.
The Amazon sales pages look pretty similar apart from that book.
The main thing on the page is the same thing when you are going down a list of different search results, the main thing you’re looking at is the cover image of the book.
Harms: So how does somebody go about getting their cover designed and how much does it cost?
Kyle: Basically hire somebody to do this, there are people who do cover after cover.
They know what’s needed, they know the format required for Kindle. They know what pops on the Kindle screen and you can hire them for relatively small amounts of money.
The amount you spend will depend entirely again; you can find someone on fiverr.
Harms: The reality is most people have a one core product and this one e-book will help people be introduced to the product.
So just stick with one to start with and if you’re going to do a series of guides later you may want to change it.
My preference always is to outsource it to somebody who does this day in and day out. there, so the suggestion would be to go somewhere like fiverr but be aware that fiverr can also be a time drain unless you give them as much information as possible.
In terms of the process of getting someone on Fiverr to produce a cover for you without it taking four, five weeks, in which case you could have learnt and created it yourself, what’s a good process or a suggestion to get speed?
Kyle: Generally on Fiverr there are people who are very good at technical putting together a cover and not necessarily going to be extremely creative and that’s fine, because spending your $20, $30, $40, $50 it’s not a huge amount of money.
What this means is the best way to get a high-quality cover quickly is to provide an example of exactly what you want.
You find other covers for other books on the market and say, I like this one. I like this one and I like this, you send a few examples with specific annotations.
You give them extremely specific examples and they’ll be able to compose your cover based off those recommendations.
If you just ask for a cover you’ll get something extremely templated and not particularly interesting.
Whereas if you give them specifications about what you like on different covers they’ll be able to replicate that and create something interesting.
Harms: There are two ways to do this, you go to a bookstore obviously outside of Covid-19 times and I will just snap a picture, or you can scroll through Amazon and screenshot images that you like.
There are things you will want to give them i.e. the book title, subtitle, bonus features, author’s title, is anybody else involved.
If you’ve got your own publishing house sometimes people include that. Is there a bio on the back to include so all of these items we need to give them upfront because it helps them.
What is really annoying for them is they come back to you with the design cover and you say to them I need to add another author’s title, or actually I want to add this item. It can throw their entire design because it was designed based on the original text you’ve given.
So try to be as forward as you can with the information you’re giving them, don’t rush it.
Kyle: A lot of the good designers will request that stuff upfront like title, subtitle, et cetera, but if they do not make sure you give it to them.
Fiverr is a great place because it’s good budget, people are very technically competent.
But the reality of life is you’re going to get what you pay for.
Harms: What’s another level up from this?
Kyle: If you’ve got a bit more budget I would definitely check out 99 designs, so they have a very all business model where they set up a competition.
You provide your title, subtitle all of that information, as well as maybe given suggestions on what style you like.
You release that to their roster of designers and the designers will compete, so people will actually put together a first draft of what they think your book will look like.
Then you get to choose which one you like from these first drafts and then that designer will work with you to complete the book draft.
You might have 50 designers designing a book cover for you and then all you need to do, which is great if you’re not a designer you go through that list like no, no, no, I like that one.
It’s a lot easier for us as non-designers to hone in on the design we like when we’re given lots of options.
Whereas if we’re given one option and asked what we think we should change about it, that’s difficult.
99 designs get around this by giving you lots of different designs produced by different designers and their price model works in such a way that you pay the starting competition at £240, $400 roughly and I believe that’s 50 designers and that’s the bronze package.
The gold package is like 200 designers will send you designs and that costs a lot more money, so depending on your budget, you get more and more options in that first round of the competition.
It’s a very cool way of getting a wide variety of styles and designs rather than having to choose one designer.
Harms: Then you’ll have a unique cover.
You won’t have something that’s copy and pasted all you’ll have something that is quite unique to your original brief.
If you think about a timeline you must factor that in here as well, so it probably will take a week or two weeks, including revisions to get your cover back.
You must allow them time because you may not be the only person they’re working with; they’re freelancers they’re going to slot your work into time. If you look at it numerically you cannot be the only person they’re working with for that week.
You have to bear all of those factors in mind and just be conscious of that.
Kyle: It’s the same thing with revisions as swell often you’ll get some revisions; some services will offer unlimited revisions.
They’re quite dangerous because it allows you to go back to them like actually this should be a bit smaller, this should be less red, et cetera.
Each time will take a week basically going back and forward and then suddenly, several months have gone and all you’ve done is change the spacing between your header, it can descend into madness if you’re giving too much leeway.
So once it’s kind of there I would recommend moving ahead.
Harms: In terms of time it’s easy to blame the designer because they’re going to get back to us, but also our responses are sometimes delayed.
Whatever is going on will mean that your response will be delayed, plus add their delay, it becomes carnage, so keep it tight.
Just be aware that the idea is to get the book shipped to get the book published.
Kyle: For the perfectionists out there one of the amazing things like digital publishing is you can actually change elements.
You can actually upload a newer version of your manuscript if the formatting is not right, or if you decide you want a different format later or you can actually change elements on the cover at a later point as well.
We don’t necessarily recommend it as we don’t want you to fiddle around all the time, but if you are agonising over the last 1% optimisation just publish.
Get the momentum going and if you have to go back to it later and make changes.
That’s something you can’t do when you’re publishing with the physical book.
As they will print 100,000 copies with your mistake or with your design element you don’t like and you’re stuck with that. With digital we can change the cover in a matter of hours.
Harms: That leaves us onto the next part, which is publishing the book, getting it shipped, getting it out there into the world and worrying about revisions later because it’s digital.
We can make tweaks as it’s live.
Let’s introduce what’s now known as KDP Kindle direct publishing.
This is Amazon’s platform for digital and now includes physical books in which you can publish through.
It’s a fantastic service and is pretty self-explanatory, you publish a digital book which then goes on to the bookstore on Amazon and can be downloaded on people’s Kindle device and that’s it.
It can also now allow you to access, which wasn’t the case in the past, print on demand service.
One of the challenges in the past was people had a stack of these books in the house, car and they’d have to print in advance then sell them out.
Or pre buy 1,000 books or 2,000 books in the hope that they will be purchased.
Whereas print on demand is very different to print in advance, it means when it’s purchased, then it’s printed and then it’s shipped out and it’s a very different concept and it has changed the game massively.
Kyle: Previously you would have to print out hundreds of thousands in order for it to be cost-effective whereas now you can buy it on Amazon and they’ll send this individual copy of the book, but this does not happen until it is purchased.
Which is very different to somebody driving around with 100 copies of their book in the back of the car, which is wasteful and inefficient.
Print on demand allows you access to physical publishing, without having to repurchase thousands or hundreds of thousands copies, without having to keep them stored somewhere. Instead, you can just have them printed as they are needed.
It’s something we take for granted. This is truly revolutionary in terms of publishing.
It saves you time and money.
Harms: Amazon now has an amazing service which is, if somebody buys your book they go online it isn’t physically printed at the moment, it gets created, printed, shipped and on your doorstep in the next couple of days.
Kyle: Kindle direct publishing now handles both digital and physical.
It used to be that the physical stuff was done by another company called create space that Amazon purchased.
You upload your word document, which is nicely formatted and you can very quickly publish both digital and physical form which is giving your customer choice.
Harms: We are going to use Kindle direct publishing service to get access to this.
You just need to sign up, it’s a free account to sign up.
The next main question after that one is, what do we now add into this book?
What are the first things in terms of details we’re adding?
Kyle: KDP is a website and you log into it, generally using your Amazon account and it’s a web form where you will enter your details about the book.
You upload the manuscript; you upload your cover images.
I recommend you sign up for a KDP account which is free and you login and then you can follow along with us because it will be slightly different depending on which country you’re in, because they ask slightly different details.
We’re going to go through the main things you should be thinking about and how you fill them in.
You already have a lot of the content done.
Amazon also asks for keywords we have them too.
We did a textual analysis of the top keywords and key phrases for the categories we want to rank in.
Harms: Based on what information you put into these boxes allows you to be discovered on Kindle.
What else do we need to plug in?
Kyle: There are a couple of major elements.
The first one is a description of the book and the second one is author bios, so talking about yourself.
An important distinction here is that these elements do not go inside the book.
This is basically what text is going to appear on your Amazon page for the product.
On Amazon there’s the product image, the name of the product and then a description about what the product is. In the case of books there’s also a biography of the author that goes underneath, so these details appear on the Amazon listing and a good way to think about this is that Amazon listing becomes the sales page.
This becomes the place where you make your sale of the book, so we need to think of it in that way when we are writing a description and our biography.
Your title, the subtitle, the keywords have brought the potential customer to your page, they found you through Amazon search because they have a problem.
They’re now looking at your listing and now it’s going to be your cover image which we just discussed your door book description and the bio, we’re going to convert them into making that purchase, so we need to make the sales now.
Harms: Let’s talk about the description in more detail because what we are saying is somebody’s coming to the page let’s call it a product page.
The work you’ve done previously the categories and keywords have got them and allowed them to discover you, that’s amazing.
Now the customers are on your product page on Amazon, but it is essentially your page because you put the information on there.
Let’s take a step back and work out why someone is currently looking at your product?
The simple reason behind this is they have a problem that they want to solve.
They’re getting closer to wanting to solve the problem and they feel like your book is the answer to that problem.
They’re looking for a solution. Your book is a solution and they may have already looked at other places, they may have already looked at other books and now they’re on your product page.
What we need to now do is just get them over the line and get them to purchase the book.
Now the question is what’s a good process or technique or approach in order for them to get people over the final line?
Kyle: The product description is where we can put the bulk of our information which we’re going to use to get the sale.
Amazon’s very generous, they give you 2,000 words for your description.
You should use as much as possible there are two reasons for that, whatever is in your description can help your discoverability, there will also be keywords in the description. But also we are making the sale.
The description is what is going to decide whether or not somebody makes a purchase by reading through.
Let’s give you a rough template for what you can include in your product description and it should be enough to get you started.
What I do recommend though it’s you go out and have a look at the bestsellers in your category. See what they’re writing in their product descriptions.
These bestsellers are bestsellers for a reason in your category.
They’re hitting the right notes in terms of appealing to the audience, so see if there is anything you can emulate and bring to your product description.
Harms: We’ve got six steps in order to help build out your description and by the time you finish the six steps you should have close to 1,500-2,000 words.
We want to occupy as much as possible so we give and answer as many questions as possible using this six-step script.
We need to remember that people have landed on this page because they have a problem.
Kyle: They’re looking at our book, which is somehow-to or guide about our business niche because they have a problem they want to solve and we the expert help them solve it.
So point number one.
Nice and easy we start with a question we identify the problem that we’re going to fix for them.
We can directly address it with something like do you dream of spending your day babbling but have no idea where to start?
This is fishing somebody who wants to sit by a babbling brook fishing but they don’t know how to start, that’s their problem.
Or is your business bursting at the seams and it’s time to scale up, do you need a business plan fast but you don’t have money to hire an expert?
You’re getting them into the mindset of okay I’ve got a problem right now that I want to fix. I’m looking for a solution.
Harms: Step number two is whilst you’ve got them hooked you’re almost mind reading them is go straight into why this book, your book will be able to solve their problem.
The best way to do that is with a phrase which essentially answers that question.
So a good phrase to use is, this concise and authoritative guide will show you exactly how to scale your business.
Show you exactly how to write a business plan fast without the money needed to hire an expert, you will immediately answer the question because the assumption is that’s the problem this book has a solution. And the book actually has a solution.
Kyle: One and two together is the hook, the bait.
Three is we’re going to have a little blurb about who we are and why we’re the one to help them.
We’re not going to go overboard as we have an author bio which we can use to really expand here.
We just need to prove our expertise like okay, you say you’ve written a book that’s going to help me.
Why should I listen to you?
You’re just chucking one or two sentences here about why they should be listening to you.
Harms: Just one or two sentences which describe why you are expert.
Are you obsessed with industry?
Have you helped other people in the industry?
Hopefully that should help prompt you, again just a little blurb.
Kyle: Step number four is going to be the body of the description.
We’re going to tell what’s exactly in the book. You can copy paste your outline and then flesh it out in this description you have a lot of space, you’ve got 2,000 words so use it.
You can give the chapter headings and then talk about what’s in each chapter.
You can talk about what topics you’re going to cover and the more you give the better because the descriptions are going to help people know whether this book will help.
The more keywords you’re creating, the more content you’re providing the more able Amazon is going to be able to link your book to the certain people who are searching for your book. Be wary of keyword stuffing.
You don’t just need to keep typing, learn how to fish.
Your outline you’ve created is already based on research, we’ve already created those topics because we know those topics are in the bestselling books.
As long as you are just going through your outline and saying this is what I cover you’re already going to be hitting all those keywords.
Harms: Once you’ve got the description down into the paper or digital version we need to remind them of their problem once again.
Remind them via a question, statement and just let them know that they have the problem and the solution is right here in this book as you can see in the description.
That’s a good time to just summarise the description by reminding them what the original problem is because they may have got distracted.
Kyle: Point five is kind of a what are you waiting for question.
You remind them this is the solution you’re looking for.
Questions are really good here so you can have something like, if you could start fishing right now what would be stopping you?
Something like that just to remind them that they have this problem and that they need to address this problem.
That’s point number five and we finish off with six which is just a call to action.
You want something like, scroll to the top to buy now we need to remind people how they make that purchase, so we’re bringing them home at this point.
Harms: That is critical, it’s sometimes frowned upon and looked in a bad way, is it overly salesy?
All we’re doing is helping guide the person, helping their decision process.
Because the Internet is extremely busy.
We’re also helping the fact that they may not know what to do next.
They simply may not realise that now is time to purchase a book or if I don’t get this book now is my problem ever going to be solved?
It is helping them make the decision just reminding them in that moment that the next step is to scroll up, purchase the book and start doing it within your Kindle reader.
It is massively important to give them that call to action and firm direction and that can be done very, it sounds counterintuitively but gently via the prompt.
Once you have everything into those six steps you should have a nice 1,500, 2,000 words and the bulk using the outline of your book as leverage to expand on. There’s one other core piece which is the author bio so before we get into uploading all your details, let’s finally plug in that last bit of information which is author bio.
How will somebody approach this?
Kyle: Most people approach this by talking about themselves which is the wrong thing to do.
We need to again use this digital space to address the problem that the potential customer has, again everything comes back to what difficulty they are having now and how can we help them solve that.
We can use our author bio to do exactly the same thing.
We’re going to hook them based on their current problem and then tell them why as the author are the solution to the problem with this book.
Harms: Dr Ro has coined the turning point tale which talks about how you tell people about yourself in a snapshot, so it’s impactful.
The best way to do this is a three-step approach.
Approach number one is describing where you are now, describing it in the way how does it feel?
What is life like for you?
What are you up to? Those kinds of things need to go in the first part.
This second part is just giving the listener a story on the fact that it was always sunshine and roses and the reality is most of us weren’t, we got to the place we are now, as part of that journey.
Where were you before you embarked on this journey?
The final part is this solution which allowed you to get to the place you are now.
We painted the picture for where you are now.
The reality is most people want to get there, they want to have that result as well within their life, then we will also want to let them know that it wasn’t always that way. i.e. you weren’t always at the top of the mountain automatically.
You weren’t born with a silver spoon.
That’s the reality of it.
What we’re saying here is you started somewhere just like the person who is going to read this book, that’s the core message here.
Then finally is what is the solution?
Interestingly enough the solution is everything you’re going to describe to them within this book and that’s the power, that’s a powerful message.
The master and the skill behind this are being able to do that in one sentence, two sentences, three sentences or within a word count that Amazon allows.
I credit Dr Ro for this formula.
If you can use that formula in that simple way and put feeling behind it description, describe and paint pictures for people they will feel you as an author.
You’ll have immediate credibility; you’ll hook them in the fact that you’ve got this remarkable story.
All of us have this remarkable story within us, it doesn’t have to be as extreme as Corrie Donoghue in terms of football but you have that in your own expert industry.
Kyle: I think the problem a lot of people have or mistake they make when they do an author bio is they focus on the first part of where I am now, so they’ll talk about their awards, accolades, how well they’re doing, how great life is, and that turns people off.
Harms: It’s shifting the mindset for me to them rather than me, me, me.
Kyle: When you see an author biography you assume you just talk about yourself.
That’s the assumption so we can subvert that assumption, do something a bit more clever on Amazon by yes talking about ourselves and our story, but why it is relevant to the potential readers of our book.
This is a great lesson in life and business in general, but we’re going to be applying it specifically for this author bio as another way to hook potential customers.
Harms: That leads us onto the next part, which is now uploading all this work we’ve done, the bio, category, cover. How do we upload it?
Kyle: It is pretty much a process of going through the KDP page and copy pasting everything from what you’ve written into the website and that’s pretty much it.
The only thing I would say be careful of is if you do copy from word it will often copy over formatting, which may not display properly on the website, so maybe go through somewhere like a text editor or just clear that format.
That’s a small technical deed.
You’ve actually done all of the work and you have everything you need to go ahead and publish already.
Once you’ve copy pasted your biography, description you’ve uploaded your cover, you upload your manuscript, you’re good to go.
The publish button at the bottom is very tempting to just hit that button.
You can press a button and within a matter of hours it will be on Amazon, which again, we don’t think about this, but that’s amazing.
You can publish within seconds on Amazon.
We’re not going to do it yet we’re going to ask you to hold off for a moment, because we’re going to talk about your launch strategy and marketing.
How well your book does in the first couple weeks or days is going to be vitally important for how well it does overall.
If you just press the publish button now yes it might get seen and purchased, but not as much as if we go through a more systematic and more thought out launch process.
Harms: As a business owner versus just doing this for the sake of I want to publish a book as I want to be an author, that’s not what we’re doing this for and hopefully that makes sense by following through the guide.
Kyle: From a business point of view you’ve created the asset, it’s done.
How to promote your new eBook, hit best seller list, get reviews, what price to charge and more
Harms: Today is the most exciting part of the guide, it’s the time where we actually launch the book, the work leading up to this point has been critical to give us the best chance of a successful launch.
This falls into a bigger umbrella, where we’ve got the business value you as an expert, you are somebody with knowledge and information has a larger, higher ticket item to sell at some point in the future.
Whether it’s a product, service that comes with a higher price point.
The purpose of the e-book within our context is to serve and to allow an entry point for your potential customers to walk through the door and then escalate them via a pricing mechanism but also escalate them in terms of discovery, digestible content and then helping them solve a greater problem as they go through this value ladder.
That’s where the focus is versus publishing your ebook as if you are approaching this as the e-book is your final product to sell.
If you’re coming at this from a purely author perspective as a literary professional that’s not what this is about, if you’re a writer yes, you can have fun writing this, but this is not going to be your end product.
This is to help customers find out who you are and enter your ecosystem and then later discover your product and service in which they will pay a greater price to have that full access, physical product, digital product.
The key is the first step in the value ladder is creating an ebook.
Think of it as a launch sequence, a step-by-step approach to launching a book and you can use this every single time you launch your ebook for as long as it stays relevant.
Kyle how do we approach this?
Kyle: How well your book does in its first weeks, or even its first days and first hours will help determine where it lands on Amazon in general, over the course of its lifetime.
That’s because Amazon is a really busy place.
There’s a lot of information, a lot of searches, a lot of people publishing, you need to show very quickly to Amazon that what you have published is extremely valuable.
Thankfully, everything we’ve been doing has been leading to this point we started with the end in mind.
All of the work you do has been leading to this point and you’ll start to see a lot of connections.
We have everything, it’s just setting it up and following a sequence of steps that we’re going to be showing you in order to get the most out of what you have created.
Harms: The common approach or the method that we could tell you to start off with is to tell you to hire a PR person, a PR agency basically gets what PR offers on board and that’s one way.
We could ask you to go and search out a niche podcast within your domain and go try a feature on their podcast, we could ask you to reach out to YouTube influences and jump on an interview with them and be interviewed about your book on them.
These are all things we can do.
However, one they are common knowledge, and although it’s massively important, the actual fact is we don’t know what your industry is, the current influence within your industry.
The reach that maybe a niche podcast has within the industry.
By all means do seek those out, but also the other factor is they take time.
Getting onto someone’s podcast takes time and all of that takes time away from the speed of getting customers into your business that’s important as well.
Now you may be an influencer, you may be somebody with a large following, you may be somebody with a large YouTube following, Instagram following a large email database, now again we can’t assume you, the listener has either a following or not, or somewhere in between.
We cannot come at this from the assumption that we know that you have all of this already in place.
The way we’re going to be promoting your e-book is on the basis that you don’t know anybody, you aren’t an influencer, and you might be starting from scratch.
Kyle: We’re going to assume that you have no clout in your particular industry, we’re going to assume you’re not known, and give you the basic mechanisms which work regardless of your fame or reputation in your particular industry.
Harms: To give people who maybe are in that starting position and we are really talking to those people in this moment in time, to give those people some reassurance what have we done in order to give them a head start?
Because they may be feeling disheartened right now and saying, I don’t have access to newspapers. I should have built my brand.
I know everyone has been saying this I should have done this for the last five years.
So what can we reassure them with?
Kyle: If you are feeling that right now, then maybe act on that and start to build up your brand alongside but we’re not going to rely on that for this particular book launch.
What we have done is we have based our book on the fact that there is a problem in the market.
There are people out there who need solutions, need results to a certain problem and then that’s what we based our book on.
We went out and found the categories of books that were popular and then looked for keywords in the already best sellers and we used those categories and keywords to eke out what the particular problems were in the market and to create a book based on topics we know are already working.
We’ve already built something that answers problems that the market already has.
We therefore know there is a market for this book and we just need to make sure we position it at launch to make sure that market sees it, to make sure people can see we can solve their problems as quickly as possible and then we can use that momentum to go forth from that point.
Harms: Let’s dive into the actual sequence and I’ve got here what is called as a working timeline.
This will be the working timeline for what sequence of events have to happen roughly when.
Kyle what’s the first thing to consider when considering our book launch?
Kyle: We’re going to go through chronologically the elements of the book launch and then re-cap it all at the end and see how everything fits together, as we need to not only tell you what to do but also explain why you need to be doing this.
One of the first questions which you’ve probably already wondered about this first question we get a lot is, what’s the price going to be?
We haven’t talked about price until now as we’re going to be using the price during our launch week, during the first two weeks of launch as part of our strategy.
The final price for your book considering this is and this is an assumption, considering you’re a new author and this is your first book, and it is an e-book of around hundred pages.
Your final price will be £2.99 or in dollars or whatever the rough equivalent is in your particular currency around that price point.
This is the lowest point at which Amazon will pay you the 70% royalty; anything below 2.99 you only get paid 30% royalty.
So if you charge a dollar for your book, you’ll get $0.30 per book instead of $0.70 and once you get that to 2.99, you get the 70% royalty.
This is important as it gives you a bit more revenue to reinvest in promoting your book further down the line and it’s also psychologically 2.99 it’s become the benchmark that people will pay for a quality eBook.
Harms: There are lots of $0.99 eBooks out there but 2.99 is a more solid price for something sustainable moving forward so that will be your eventual price.
We’ll be pricing it at 2.99 at the end, so at the end of the timeline.
But we’re suggesting a slightly different pricing strategy to start with and what is that?
Kyle: The eventual price going forward for years and years and years from now on will be 2.99 however, right now, when Amazon asks you how much you want to set it we’re going to price it at 0.99.
We are going to start our launch strategy with a free book promo launch and by reducing the price of the book to zero we are getting into as many hands as possible.
But if we start from a price of $10 Amazon actually shows $10 with a line through it, down $10 to 0 dollars.
We are increasing the perceived value of the book by using an inflated price out of the gate. Again, we set it at $10 but then we’re going to immediately be giving away the book for free using a free promo.
That will drop the price from $10 down to 0 dollars, but because of that large drop the perceived value of our book is very high, and more people are likely to download the free version of our book.
Harms: That’s important because it’s going to massively help our launch plan.
The next thing we go on to is actually the free promo launch plan. So the next part of the sequence here is the promo launch plan and essentially we’ll make our book free for five days, because Amazon allows us within every 90-day window to have a promo period where we can offer our book for free for five days max.
The promo we set and we trigger and it’s going to last for five days, which leads to this point. We haven’t hit a 90-day window.
You may go into the future and want to set the promo up again but this is the first time we’re launching the e-book so we’re going to make the most of that five days straight out the gate.
Kyle: How well your book does in that first week in the first month is very important.
So yes we can do this again in three months’ time but the impact of this launch strategy is going to be a lot less, so we need time between us publishing the book and running this free promo launch to be short.
Harms: Now we can answer the question, why do we elevate the price?
Why are we putting out a free promo and what’s the aim here?
Kyle: We are doing a free promo in order to get a lot of downloads initially, these are free Kindle downloads not paid Kindle downloads two are mutually exclusive, but we’re going to be showing you how to bridge that gap.
What this does is by giving away our book for free and making sure lots of people download during that five-day window we can shoot our Kindle book up the Kindle bestsellers chart.
One great thing you can do straight off the back is you screenshot that.
As soon as you hit number one or number two you screenshot it, that’s fantastic social group and you have just become an Amazon bestselling author technically even though it is free, you’re a bestseller because you are ranking so highly in that chart.
If you do use social media if you do a blog this is something you should be talking about, that’s a nice bonus.
It’s also given us a high amount of visibility.
We are, instead of being off the screen on Amazon where nobody can see us, we are ranking in the free charts and that gives us visibility.
Harms: That screenshot is amazing because it may only last for a day but the fact that you’ve got that screenshot means you ranked it. It encourages credibility and what it does psychologically for your customer is it makes them think your book must be valuable.
What this person has to say within my niche industry must be valuable, so within that five-day period you may feature on the Amazon bestseller charts.
So why do we now inflate the price?
Kyle: This is part of the free download strategy because Amazon shows the original price and the discounted price.
So if it was initially $10 and now discounted to 0 dollars because of the free-giveaway week for five days, people are more likely to download the book.
Whereas if you started at $0.99 and it’s discounted to 0 cents the perceived value between those $1.00 dollars is very low, so you will get less free downloads.
If people think they are saving $10 because it’s dropped from $10 down to zero dollars they are more likely to download the free version of your book.
It’s a psychological trick.
It is using the psychology of pricing in order to give people the idea that there is a huge amount of value here, the perceived value is higher because the price is higher and we are discounting that down from $10 to 0 dollars.
But people still value it at $10 and they’re saving $10 which is more attractive than saving one dollar. You’ll get more downloads.
Sunday is entirely based on the data; the least amount Kindle downloads happen on Friday and Saturday so if we run our five-day window over Friday and Saturday we’re going to get hit by that lull.
Instead we start Sunday, go to Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and that gives us the five consecutive days that do not hit Friday and Saturday.
Harms: This doesn’t automatically mean lots of people download your book and there’s still some work to be done, but if we follow the sequence we’re now setting up the probability of greater downloads by initiating some of these things.
How do we get downloads?
Kyle: Your choice of categories and keywords are going to help you with a bit of visibility during that free period but it’s not enough to rise above the general noise on Amazon.
We need to make sure outside of Amazon people know about this book and they are downloading it. I’ve highlighted four we can go through.
The first one is submission sites.
There are websites where you can submit the details of your book and you can submit the fact that you are having a five day giveaway you give them the times and the dates, the category and they will circulate information to people who want to get free books,
Most of the time it’s via a newsletter and then those people will download your free book, so there are different submission sites for different genres and then there are more general ones that submit to all categories.
There are many submission sites out there and there are also lists of the submission sites.
If you google Kindle book submission list or Kindle free giveaway book submission list, you’ll get a ton of these.
I found one called readers in the know.com, and Kindlepreneur both have big lists.
Once you have found the submission sites you need to manually submit.
The big need to be aware of this, there is normally a one or two week lead in time and so you need to submit the details of your free giveaway a week or two before the free giveaway kicks in.
Harms: You may not have time to do this so another way around this is rather than manually submitting the information to the submission sites we can leverage other people’s time and the way we can best do that is somewhere like Fiverr.
Sending your book submissions to the submission site is one of those services so you can have somebody do it for you, that is a mechanism.
What other ways can we help encourage downloads?
Kyle: Number one is manually submitting to the submission sites, it works, it’s just time-consuming.
Number two is finding somebody on Fiverr who would do this for you, there are lots of existing sites if you search submissions you should be able to find them.
Number three is similar to using an automated tool and the tool is called Kindle ROI as in return on investment.
It’s a paid tool but it does submissions for you.
What it does is it scans your Kindle product page and pulls the information and automatically submits it to different submission sites.
Why this is really useful is because each submission site you need to create a login for, and then they ask for your details in slightly different formats, so it is a pain to copy paste them every time.
Kindle ROI is a paid tool, so obviously that’s a disadvantage depending on your budget, but it does automatically pull all the information automatically and send it to all of these different submission sites without you having to create logins or do anything so it’s pretty great.
I think it submits about 35 or 40 different sites mainly the big generalised ones and the tool was last time I checked $47.
If you’re going to be publishing more than one book, and if you are submitting them to these sites it’s really useful and $47 is not very much. I’d also have a look on Fiverr, that’s the second option.
Harms: What we’re saying here is a week to two weeks before that initial Sunday launch date we need to get out to submission sites and the reason for that is, it increases our downloads.
We want higher downloads and the way to do that is to get a submission site.
Another way to do that a final method is Facebook groups and forums out there which are already formed around your niche topic would be a great place to let people know about the promotions.
You could do a weekly reminder. You have to be careful of Facebook group policies and not getting kicked out of the group, et cetera but just be sensible with it.
You may want to contact the host of the group in advance so this is when you should be doing this one to two weeks out.
Have a conversation with them and see if you are able to promote it via a campaign mechanism that could be one way to do it, so Facebook groups are great.
Kyle: There will be Facebook groups which are relevant to your niche there are also freebie groups.
These are specially set up for people who want free ebooks.
They’re very similar to the submission site, submission sites use a newsletter to get the word out about your new Kindle e-book.
The Facebook groups is just another format that, it’s people looking for e-books and you are allowed to go on there and post your details.
Harms: That now helps encourage our downloads. The best time to start thinking about this is probably three weeks before getting in contact with the submission sites or Facebook groups, two weeks before because we don’t know what delay will be in house with them.
There is a paid tool as well if you want life to be easier or use Fiverr.
This will increase downloads which increases the probability of you now featuring on the Amazon bestseller list.
Then we have that ability to screenshot plus, you’ve got the downloads that are important, so that’s a great head start.
Now there’s another thing to consider as part of the sequence and it could be tagged alongside everything that’s happening is reviews.
Another question that we would get within this launch period, promotional period from people is what about reviews? How do I get reviews?
Kyle: We can collect reviews using our free giveaway one slight difference is that if somebody has purchased the item and then gives a review there will be a little icon and it will say verified review next to their particular review.
That means Amazon knows they definitely purchased it; they receive the item they are providing a review that’s verified.
When you give away your book will not get that little checkmark; you still have a review, so there is still a huge amount of social proof.
It is not quite as valuable as a verified purchase review but you can get a lot of them because you are giving away your book for free.
It’s similar to trying to get as many people to download as possible.
We also want as many people as possible to review your book during this five-day period and we have these five days to give it away to as many people as we can.
We’re going to be using this period to get a handful of five-star reviews and then when we turn to paid reviews will still be there, so our book will be in a good position.
Before we dive into how we do this, I do want to caution of don’t buy reviews. It is possible but they’re not cheap on Amazon they’re about $10-$15 per review. Amazon is pretty good at weeding them out and removing them so I wouldn’t recommend it.
There are better ways to use a marketing budget that won’t get you in trouble and are more value-based about getting your book into as many hands as possible and actually helping people.
Harms: The whole idea of this is ranking higher so you become more discoverable so more traffic comes your way.
More customers come your way.
By buying fake reviews you potentially undo all of the week’s work and that’s what we want to avoid ideally. What’s a legitimate way to grab some reviews?
Kyle: This is where we are going to turn more to your network.
If you don’t have a network in your industry niche we are still turning to industry podcasts, Facebook groups we’re going to be doing outreach.
Previously we looked at freebie groups, submissions, Facebook freebie groups for downloads.
These are fine and in volume from all over the world not necessarily interested in your niche, but they tend to be high volume and low-quality downloads.
You are looking now more at your business niche where people in your niche hang out, these are your potential customers later, you want to reach out to them and tell them specifically the book is free for five days, I want to give it to you for free and in return it will be really helpful if you can help me with a review.
Because these people you reach out to know your niche now actually, they know the value of the book.
Harms: Another one is now assuming that you have a professional network or you’ve done something within your expert industry on a human level, on a networking level it doesn’t mean you have to have access to a thousand plus personal email list, but if you have connections within your personal network, then great.
This is a time to ask them and let them know you have this free book and you’re looking for some reviews, feedback on this particular e-book as you hone it in, and so forth.
People with any professional network will reach out and say yes or no, but we have to ask in advance in order to get the yes or no, and if we stack the suggestions that we’re giving you one or two of them will come through.
That’s without a doubt.
Kyle: Also we don’t need a lot of reviews at this point.
We need a handful of good reviews because that’s enough to move to the next phase when we start to increase the price.
As long as I have one review that is five-star, then we are going to get a five stars on Amazon.
The more you get, the more the legit it’s going to be but the main thing is to have a handful.
Harms: Remember, the reviews will also appear as part of this image, so the more reviews you get you can screenshot that as part of the image, so that’s what we’ve done so far leading up to this point.
Continue this work, keep the outreach going right until the final day keep reaching out to people, keep promoting it.
This is the week of promotion within these five days we want to continue to get the outreach.
Kyle: If you have something that you can offer something valuable that’s going to be taken away and you have a definite end point, that’s a really powerful motivation.
It’s a really good way to get people to take action.
Scarcity and the fear that some people have that this item will be taken away is a very, very powerful psychological drive and it will help you to get those free downloads.
Make sure you mention it’s until Thursday night.
Harms: There are lots of other methods in order to do this, but remember we talk about a pathway which you can follow that’s not overwhelming three or four items you can do that everybody can implement immediately.
There are other ways to promote this in regards to a prelaunch and during the five-day period when it’s completely free you can run Facebook ads; YouTube adds lots of different mechanisms.
Facebook ads will allow you to have the book cover there with all the text in it and you can promote that and it will pass them through to Amazon.
Yes that is possible but not what we are focusing on.
If you do have that within your skill set of course you can use that mechanism to supplement this.
We don’t want you throwing money down the drain if you are not familiar with that and using these mechanisms we’ve described in this section can get you going with this in the future.
The next question is what do we do when we get to the end of the five days?
What happens next on our timeline?
Kyle: The crossover between free kindle chart and paid kindle chart people is a part of a hot new release.
The hot new releases include books, so if you do really well and you release in the free chart you’re going to start popping up as a hot new release.
Even if your price has now been raised and is no longer a free e-book which means we can go from free and the popularity of our free push plus reviews, we can now seek this into a paid version.
As we’re still going to have the visibility from the mass of downloads from the free downloads and the way we do this is we do not immediately throw the price up to $10, we do not even put it up at 2.99.
We first went to a low price of about 99. So 99p or cents, that’s going to be our first paid price.
Harms: Because we are now overlapping into the hot new releases we now are starting to get featured on the paid chart and to encourage people to purchase our book we want to focus on people purchasing our book, that’s the focus.
So in order to do that, we set the price and we don’t set the price at 9.99, 2.99, our suggestion here is we set the price at the minimum Amazon allows $99, 99p.
That’s what we do at the end of five days we bring a price right the way down to the minimum Amazon allows and remember the reason here is to start to boost our rank discoverability on the paid chart.
That will be the technique and mechanism that we will use.
Kyle: There will also be a handful of people who missed your freebee but maybe they heard about it on a podcast you did and they come to the page they see it’s not free now but it’s only one dollar, that’s fine.
You will catch a few of those people, but the main crossover will be in these hot new releases and you’ve gone from the free Kindle chart via hot new releases into the paid chart.
We’re making it as easy as possible for people to purchase because it is $0.99, or 99p.
Harms: You should have some buzz now you should have some reviews and downloads.
We’re making it as easy as possible for people to purchase it and remember we can no longer continue to offer it for free because Amazon has this five-day limit, but what we can do is price it at the minimum Amazon allows.
Your customer won’t know that you’re going to get a split from this, the customer just knows that this is the next best thing to free and is basically 99p, $0.99.
It’s just such a low price that it’s a no-brainer for somebody to purchase it.
What this allows you to do from a marketing perspective is the book is no longer free, but for an additional limited time, I’m holding the price at $0.99, or 99p.
That allows you now to continue to speak and outreach to people to say, look, there is now time you did miss it when it was free, but I’m holding the price low because there are reviews, people like it have a look at this screenshot it’s ranked very highly and I want this accessible, available to as many people as possible for this limited time.
What do we do with that limited time?
But at what point do we now move this back to our normal price which we suggested at the beginning for 2.99?
Kyle: About after a week, but you could step it up and you could go from 99p to 1.99 and then to 2.99.
I like your idea of telling people it’s still cheap, and it’s going up in price. You can actually adapt your book description and add that text at the top of your book description.
You can say this is priced at $0.99 until and you give the date and if you are doing this make sure you change the price at that date, your scarcity has to be real.
Harms: That means we have an updated timeline with an end component so that is here.
Remember at the end of five days we’re pricing at the minimum Amazon allows.
We are suggesting a week and in that week you continue to speak to these people, you can continue to outreach using whatever marketing method you want. Scarcity is a great one.
We’re using the fact that the price will increase as the same message for scarcity.
Now you can escalate the price today it’s 1.99 tomorrow it’s 2.99, you can use that mechanism or you can just do it just increasing the price after the week it’s going up to 2.99 and it will remain 2.99 thereafter.
At the end you price it at 2.99 and essentially you leave it alone.
Kyle: The 2.99 is based on a few assumptions which is about 100 pages, just a short read.
Based on it being about 100 pages 2.99 is about right if for whatever reason you have created a longer, even more valuable piece of work, you can increase the price.
If you are doing this, I would raise it each week and test to see what happens to your sales.
If the market is not supporting the price at 1.99 it’s not going to support it at 5.99, so don’t raise the price. But 2.99.will be the price for you.
Harms: That is the entire sequence to launch your book to give it the best chance for success and as you can see, it requires work. It requires a process because you’re not going to hit the Amazon bestseller list.
There’s an astronomical amount of books being published on Kindle, Amazon.
Your gut feel should be telling you that not everybody will go to the effort of putting all of this in situ.
So by doing everything that we’ve done, identified categories in advance identifying keywords. Understanding what problem the market has, the fact that we’re solving this problem for the market with the content of this e-book already has set us well ahead of the game, the competition.
When it comes to the final day where we said hang on don’t press the publish button we’re going to talk you through a sequence.
Hopefully now you can see why we said press pause for a moment before you publish the book because there are all of these steps.
This sequence of events that must happen in which you will take action to give your book the best chance of charting and is it possible?
We did it two weeks ago when we published a book, this technique works.
Kyle: In summary the first thing you need to do is make sure your book is ready.
We had everything lined up in Kindle direct publishing.
Do not publish it yet though.
We need to decide on our five free days, it should start on a Sunday for the reason that Friday and Saturday are the lowest downloads on Kindle, therefore we want Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday as our free period.
We need to know this five-day period around two to three weeks out, so that we can notify the submission sites so that we can begin our marketing plan, and start reaching out to people telling them that we’re going to be giving away our book for free during this period.
You need to begin publicising your free giveaway dates to contact the submission sites whether you do that manually, through Fiverr or Kindle ROI.
You need to start reaching out to your personal and professional network.
Again if you have influence if you’re known in the industry it will be easier.
We have built your system here which does not rely on that, if you do have those connections fantastic.
Then hit the publish button about three, five days before the free period begins at the inflated price of £9.99, dollars or whatever your currency is.
During that free promo period continue to encourage downloads and reviews, so this is just linking back with people you first contacted and making sure they’re actually following through.
You can introduce scarcity at this point.
You should come out of this five-day period and as soon as you come out the five-day you want to drop the price to $0.99, or 99 p.
This will allow us to transition into the paid charts through the hot new releases plus the fact we have lots of reviews and we will be picking up the last handful of the people that just missed the free offer, they see it at 99p and they continue to purchase.
That should be enough to start nudging you up the paid bestsellers list.
Then, every week we might increase the price by one dollar or one pound and we recommend you set the final price at 2.99 if it’s about 100 kindle pages long.
If it is longer than that, if there is even more value than you can continue to push the price up until you start to sense resistance because the market is not willing to pay that much.
Harms: If you are coming from a place where I don’t have a starting network or I may not be an influencer, I don’t have a brand online.
This again should give you confidence that just by the fact that the work that you didn’t do in regards to the brand and building influence can now be repositioned here to give your book the best chance of success.
Kyle: Remember, there are people who have influence but they don’t know how to do this to launch a book.
You’re in a good position.
Harms: We’ve spoken about the real reason you should publish an ebook.
We narrowed down to the three core benefits of publishing an ebook, we helped you answer the biggest objection that I’m not a writer, we covered that as well.
We helped you work out what your e-book is about.
We leveraged the concept of using category search keyword search to really narrow down the problem that your market has and then speaking to that space, which ultimately helps you identify what your book is about.
Once we knew what your book was about we helped you write it.
We gave you some mechanisms to actually write it through a structure, through three different ways to write it.
Getting it edited and getting into a final manuscript ready to publish.
But remember we’re not publishing yet; we first need to work out the mechanism in which we will publish the book using a tool called Kindle direct publishing.
How do we use that tool to format?
How do we use that tool to add a cover?
What do we need to do to actually create a cover, the cover art for our book and even more in that specific topic.
Then we go into the tool on how to actually go ahead and get our title and description, author bio and all of that already within KDP ready to publish.
But we don’t publish just yet.
We press pause because we need to get this launchpad system in place.
The sequence of events in place is planned out and knows exactly what we are doing for the next two, three week. It’s not going to happen overnight, but you should start to see the results of your e-book selling, your e-book being downloaded, your ebook getting reviews.
You start to benefit from those three core benefits in which we spoke about, which is why we are doing this whole entire thing.
One is for income, number two is reputation and number three is, it starts to drive traffic and leads into your business.
Because remember you have a bigger reason for this, which is a value ladder.
You have a more expensive product to sell, which helps people do something in a certain way and we need to get them to that point.
Selling a £1,000 product off the back is not easy whereas selling a 2.99 e-book and even a free e-book is a lot easier.
If you saw the headline of this blog, we would understand if you immediately thought Kyle and Harminder were asking me to become a writer, author, editor and hit the road for a book tour. Maybe they think I can make it as a literary professional or write the next Harry Potter series.
But by now you know, we want you to be the opposite of a writer. We want you to be a business owner that takes sales and marketing seriously. By taking it serious, we mean by understanding you need to build an Audience (Reference to the BATON marketing system where we talk about Business, Audience, Tribe, Offer and Network. In that order for maximum online business success).
Now you can be confident that creating an eBook within your niche is a sure way to build an audience. It can generate revenue, build authority, create trust and position you as an expert within the niche. So that when you present a reader with an offer, it becomes a no brainer for them. Who would you rather buy from? Someone who just sent you a random advert on Facebook or someone whose book you had read and downloaded so much useful information on you? The answer is obvious.
Understanding the power of the eBook is one thing. You have also learned how to create an eBook from scratch, what you should write about, its content structure, different ways to write it, getting it ready for publishing, announcing it before launch, publishing it and hitting the Amazon best seller list. Plus if you followed along we laid this out in a timeline to help you do the right things at the right time.
So there you have it, go ahead and create that eBook so more people become aware of you and your fantastic products. Remember the eBook is not the be all and end all. It is a tool we use to drive traffic to your business. That traffic can be converted into paying customers.
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