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SPQ 052: Updating Kindle Books: Do Previous Customers Get Automatic Updates?

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The Question

Ruth of SuperBabyFood.com asks via email: If you update your Kindle book, do people who previously bought the book automatically get the updates?

Biggest Takeaway

Steve’s Answer

This is a great question because it shows you’re thinking about providing great customer service. Updating books is a great tactic if you write about topics that are constantly changing. Continue reading

SPQ 051: Knock Off Books: What Can I Do About Copycat Authors?

Anti piracy button on the keyboard. Toned Image.

The Question

What do you do about authors who publish books extremely similar to the ones you publish? I have noticed books with very similar covers and content in the marketplace.

Biggest Takeaway

Steve’s Answer

This is a very touchy subject, and a lot of people get very emotional about it. No one likes to see their hard work get ripped off by someone who outsourced the work to a writer in a foreign country. Steve understands what this is like because his content is ripped off all the time. Continue reading

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SPQ 050: Author Name vs. Brand Name: Which is Better for Authors?

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The Question

Mark of FragthePlanet.com asks: Do you think it’s better to use your real name as your brand? My name is a bit difficult to spell. Is it better to use a pen name, or should I stick with another name, such as bookcompany.com?

Biggest Takeaway

Steve’s Answer

A lot of authors don’t think of a book as part of their brand. They put books in the marketplace, but they don’t think long-term. Steve recommends thinking of each book you publish as part of your author platform. Episode 13 explains the importance of building a platform in detail. Continue reading

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SPQ 049: Trademarked Companies: Can You Use Brand Names in Your Book Titles?

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The Question

Is it okay to use trademarked names, like Steve did with his Evernote book, when writing a book? How can I legally use trademarked names in my book titles?

Biggest Takeaway

Steve’s Answer

A lot of authors struggle with using trademarks in their titles, so this is a great question. Steve has a book called “Master Evernote,” so he went through the same experience of wondering if he could put the name of a product in his title. Many books use trademarked names in their titles, so it’s really confusing. Continue reading

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SPQ 048: Amazon Author Page: Why Link to It Instead of a Blog?

Uncertain girl is looking at arrows. Girl full of doubts and hesitation.

The Question

Leslye Penelope, a fantasy romance author, wonders why Steve points his URL directly to Amazon instead of sending people to his author website. As a reader, she usually researches an author before buying a book. It seems his URL should go to a place where readers can learn more about him and then figure out if they want to buy his books.

Biggest Takeaway

Steve’s Answer

Steve is glad Leslye asked this question because it challenges a piece of advice he has been giving to listeners. This type of question makes him think about his responses and the “why” behind everything he recommends. Continue reading

SPQ 047: Polling Your Audience: How to Identify What Your Crowd Really Wants

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Backstory

When Steve started the Self-Publishing Questions podcast, he assumed people wanted new episodes seven days per week. Then he thought about the “Ask Pat” podcast. Steve travels a lot, so when it comes to a daily podcast, he tends to lose track. Then trying to catch up on past episodes is too much work, so he ends up listening to a one-day-a-week podcast so it’s easier to keep up.

He started to wonder if daily episodes were overwhelming for the SPQ audience, so he sent an email with two questions. How many episodes per week do you prefer? What information product would you prefer?

Surprisingly, 76 percent of the people who responded said they want three episodes per week. Therefore, Steve is switching to three episodes per week to see how it works.

Steve would love to hear your opinion, so please take the poll and let him know what you think.

Biggest Takeaway

Lesson

The lesson here is that you should never assume you know what your audience wants. If you ask questions, your audience members will tell you things you have never even thought about. Continue reading

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SPQ 046: $0.99 Book Launch: How Long Does it Take for Amazon to Drive Organic Sales?

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The Question

Derek Doepker of ExcuseProof.com wants to know how long you should keep a book at 99 cents and promote to your list before you let Amazon take over and start driving organic sales.

Biggest Takeaway

The Answer

Derek Doepker is a very successful Kindle author and marketer in his own right. His product, “Hooks for Books,” includes some great examples of engaging titles that pull readers in. Continue reading

SPQ 045: Hate eBooks! How Do I Get Print Book Readers to Check Out My Titles?

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The Question

Jon Jorgenson just published his third book, but it’s his first book through KDP. Members of his audience are having a hard time understanding how they can order the book if they don’t have the Kindle app or a Kindle device. He thinks this is limiting his sales. What is the best way to educate an audience that is used to buying print books on how they can easily buy Kindle books?

Biggest Takeaway

The Answer

The obvious answer is to use CreateSpace to give audience members the chance to buy a print version of the book. Some people want print books and don’t enjoy the ebook reading experience. Tom “Big Al” Schreiter makes 30 percent of his income from print books, so there’s nothing wrong with offering a print option to readers. It only costs about $50 to $200 to get a print book on CreateSpace. Another option is to use Lightning Source to distribute to larger platforms. Continue reading

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SPQ 044: What Messages Do You Send to an Email List?

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The Question…

You’ve talked about how to build your actual platform, but what do you do with an email list once you have it?

Biggest Takeaway…

The Answer…

Lise Cartwright is a very prolific writer who’s doing a lot of great things in the self-publishing space. Steve feels she is someone who is going somewhere in this industry. Continue reading

SPQ 043: Should You Outsource the Narration of Your Audiobooks?

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The Question…

Rory wants to know why Steve outsources the narration of his audiobooks instead of reading the books himself. He heard that reading the book yourself helps bond your audience to you and helps you build the know, like, and trust factor.

Biggest Takeaway…

The Answer…

Rory asks a lot of great questions and participates heavily in Pat Flynn’s Kindle group. It’s obvious he cares about his self-publishing business. Continue reading