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SPQ 081: How Would You Start a Book Business with $5?

Written by Steve Scott on May 11, 2015.

How Would You Start a Book Business with $5?

The Question

Michal asks: When I started writing and publishing, I wasn’t in the business owner mindset at all. I published my first book with an investment of just five dollars. I needed to grow and see progress before I was willing to invest more in my books. How would you have started with just five bucks? Forget about your business background when you answer the question. Thanks.

Biggest Takeaway

Steve’s Answer

Michal is the first repeat caller Steve’s answered on SPQ. His most recent book, “The Art of Persistence,” has a 7,900 ranking on Amazon, so it’s a solid book that is selling well. Michael is a great example of someone who takes action. English isn’t his first language, but he’s still doing a great job putting out valuable content and building an audience. Keep Reading

SPQ 080: KDP Select Free Promotions: How Many Days Should I Use?

Written by Steve Scott on May 8, 2015.

kdp select free promo

The Question

Chris of PowerLists.org asks via email: I recently published my first book on KDP Select and was wondering if it is best to do a five-day promotion or to split up the days into one two-day promotional campaign and one three-day promotional campaign. Thanks. Love your show.”

Biggest Takeaway

Steve’s Answer

It’s great to see that a lot of recent questions are coming from first-time authors. That means a lot of people out there are taking action. Keep Reading

SPQ 079: What Types of Links Should Be Included in Kindle Books?

Written by Steve Scott on May 6, 2015.

What Types of Links Should Be Included in Kindle Books?

The Question

Stan Dubin of TheHiringTips.com asks: I’m going to be uploading a collection of hiring tips on Kindle. How appropriate would it be to have an almost-imperceptible link at the bottom of each page to take people back to our site? If that’s not appropriate from your point of view, what kind of link to a website should a Kindle book have?

Biggest Takeaway

Steve’s Answer

Congratulations to Stan on his first book. He asked if you are allowed to put links at the bottom of every book, or if it’s generally a good practice.

Steve isn’t sure, but he thinks it’s difficult to put a link at the bottom of every page. Someone who knows formatting very well might be able to do it, but it would look very weird to the reader. Keep Reading

SPQ 078: Fiction vs. Nonfiction: Which Should I Pick?

Written by Steve Scott on May 4, 2015.

Yellow sign in the forest

The Question

Kamal asks via email: I am a budding author and already a blogger. I am stuck on whether I should write fiction or nonfiction.

Biggest Takeaway

Steve’s Answer

A lot of authors struggle with the issue of whether they should write fiction or nonfiction books. This is a hard decision to make because it can have a long-term impact on your business.

Steve recommends weighing the advantages and disadvantages of each tactic. Keep Reading

SPQ 077: What is the Minimalist Marketing Plan for Selling Books?

Written by Steve Scott on May 1, 2015.

Assembling puzzles with bulb and money drawings concrete background

The Question

Lawrence (from Alaska) asks via email: I am a retired guy who has a number of books published by traditional companies and self-published on Kindle and other platforms. I would like to write two to four books a year and bring in a modest $1,000 to $2,000 a month while not working full-time. While I realize this is at the other end of the spectrum from your business accomplishments, what would a minimalist marketing plan look like for a guy with my modest goals?

Biggest Takeaway

Steve’s Answer

This is a great goal, and it’s totally doable. A lot of authors start out and hit that goal within their first few months. When it comes to self-publishing, people tend to get bogged down in everything they have to do. You really only need to worry about a few core tasks. Keep Reading

SPQ 076: How Do You Balance Book Marketing with Writing?

Written by Steve Scott on April 29, 2015.

Businessman standing in front of the choise

The Question

Marie asks via email: “I released my book on Amazon on April 7.  I did the KDP Free promotion and am now doing a week for $0.99. I will gradually move it to $2.99.  I know you said to keep writing books, but when is the best time to move on to the next book? I feel that I’m chasing the ‘Amazon Best Sellers Rank’ on my current book, trying to keep it “above water.” How do you balance and not go crazy?”

Biggest Takeaway

Steve’s Answer

Marie’s book is “Just a Little More Money.” Steve took a look at the book, and he noticed it’s currently at a 12,000 ranking. That’s great for a first book. It’s currently listed at $1.99, so Marie should consider changing it to $2.99. It won’t make much of a difference in sales, but it will make a big difference in her earnings. Keep Reading

SPQ 075: My Failed Kindle Niche Experiment

Written by Steve Scott on April 27, 2015.

Pretty baby bit a tablet on the floor

The Question

I know you’ve mentioned a few times that you tried to publish a series of children’s books on Kindle. I’m wondering if you’d do a podcast where you went into exactly why you decided not to move forward with it, and why you think children’s books don’t do well on Kindle. Is it because it’s harder to build a platform when you are trying to market kids’ books? I’m curious because I’ve published a series of kids’ books, and it’s definitely a challenge. I’m only selling about five books per day. I’d love to hear the lessons you learned.

Biggest Takeaway

Steve’s Answer

Not many people ask about his experience publishing kids’ books. Surprisingly, he learned more from that failed experiment than he has by publishing some of his other titles. Keep Reading

SPQ 074: Ghostwriting – How Do You Find Quality Writers for Kindle Books?

Written by Steve Scott on April 24, 2015.

spq74

The Question

Tobias asks: I’m looking for quality ebook writers. I’m looking to outsource the writing of some Kindle books, and I’m having a hard time finding people who produce quality. I’ve been primarily using Odesk, and my experience so far is that they are writing the ebooks, but the English is not as good as the writers’ resumes and our conversations would imply. I’m frustrated with that. How do you acquire quality ebook writers to write your Kindle books, if you are using any?

Biggest Takeaway

Steve’s Answer

Hiring a writer is not necessarily Steve’s recommended strategy for self-publishing. He hires writers for other aspects of his business, but to create the content, he uses other writers very sparingly. Keep Reading

SPQ 073: Five Questions: Non-U.S. Reviews, Author Follow Button, Media Liability Insurance, Formatting, and Udemy

Written by Steve Scott on April 22, 2015.

a cup of coffee and laptop on wooden table with flower ,vintage style

It’s time for another Five Questions segment. In this episode, Steve covers a variety of topics including finding your international reviews, if the Author Follow button works, media liability insurance, formatting, and putting a product on Udemy.

Keep Reading

SPQ 072: Should You Pay to Launch a Free Book (and What Sites Get the Best ROI)?

Written by Steve Scott on April 20, 2015.

spq72

The Question

Daemon asks: If I was going to do a free book promotion, is it worth spending the money on certain advertisements? Which ones do you think have the biggest return on investment?

Biggest Takeaway

Steve’s Answer

Steve launches his books at 99 cents each, so his strategy is a little different than the strategy Daemon asked about. If you don’t have an established platform, you definitely want to look into the free book strategy. Keep Reading