BBO.SHOW #25 – The real reason you should publish an eBook
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The focus area is: eBook creation.
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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.
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Big three benefits
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, a 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.
Business leads/build a business
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.
Important: Who not for NOT talking fiction today
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.
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