Q&A for the Webinar.
THESE ARE THE MAJORITY OF QUESTIONS ASKED ABOUT THE WEBINAR. I’VE COPIED THEM ACROSS, WARTS AND ALL, AND TRIED TO ANSWER THEM AS BEST I CAN.
How to search. The easiest way is to use CTRL+F (Windows) or CMD+F (Mac). Enter your keyword phrase in the box..
Q: What does PM stand for in no. 9?
A: Personal Message or Private Message. Most forums have this system so that you can write to another forum member privately.
Q: Phil, is there a way to judge how much a book is selling (quantity) in Kindle platform ?? and therefore what is most popular niche ??
A: That’s one of those stats that is difficult to get out of Amazon, even if it’s your own book. Basically you work it out on royalty cheques. Amazon tends to work on ‘Popularity’, in other words, reviews. You can find out what’s popular by checking the bestseller listings for Amazon books.
Q: If you download a pdf do you handle it yourself via dropbox or do you suggest something like marketers choice.
A: I use Dropbox. Here’s an example. A buyer of a Kindle book will see a resource page within the book that allows them to download a pdf, or even a zip file containing a pdf and other ebook formats such as .epub (produced using Calibre). The book will point them to a webpage that I have placed in Dropbox. I will previously have placed the pdf/zip file in the Public Folder of my Dropbox. The webpage will give people that link.
Why use Dropbox? Because search engines cannot reveal the contents to snoopers. Dropbox is encrypted. If you haven’t got the direct link to a dropbox file, you won’t find it.
Why use a webpage when I can just print the direct link to the pdf in the Kindle book? What happens if you change the link? You would have to change the book. But you can change a link on the webpage without any bother.
Q: I see you use hyphens in the domain name. This seems to be against other advice. Your thoughts please.
A: If the name you choose makes sense without hyphens then use it if you can, so long as it is clear and simple to people. As an example, you will remember “how-to-live-a-life-of-freedom-and-choice.com” but “howtolivealifeoffreedomandchoice.com” might be fractionally better for search engines but who would actually type it?
So, if I want a name like SuccessEngineering.com and it was already taken, then I would take Success-Engineering.com (which is exactly what I did until the first became available).
Q: Do Amazon offer a financial return on their LENDING service?
A: No. At least not the last time I looked.
Whether you want to loan your book depends very much on the nature of the book. If you have two books, or a series, you can loan one which contains a sales pitch for the others which are not on loan.
Q: Phil, is it properly “allowable” to register on FB under a pseudonym? I can see the attraction to keep your real details private.
A: I think it’s bloomin’ essential to keep your private details private. Don’t confuse this with wanting a “commercial” FB page which can also have any name.
Q: Are there merits to a site like lulu.com, where the public can buy a hard copy of the book after you upload it? Do people still like paper books?
A: Oh yes. You can actually sell hard copy direct, by setting up a Lulu account and sending your customers there instead of Kindle/Paypal/ClickBank. But if you are thinking of doing the ‘Product Creator/Designer” approach (where you split profits with other websites) then you need a system to work out commissions and ClickBank is the easiest option. ClickBank only accepts digital products.
Q: Does this work with twitter too?
A: It works on any social media in which you are allowed to make comments on things. You should not do a sales pitch, but there is nothing stopping me from writing, “Just read Fred Bloggs’ book on Thermo-Nuclear Pancakes. Utterly brilliant.” Of course it shouldn’t be Fred Bloggs who is posting. This is a good reason to publish you book under a pseudonym.
Q: Hi Phil, how many words should a book have?
A: I’m tempted to reply 7336 exactly. Of course I’m joking. The length of a book depends very much on what it is you’re trying to say. The shortest book I’ve seen was only nine pages long. The longest was 220 pages. If you think of a title like, “Seven top tips on X, and seven things to avoid” that’s 14 pages based on one tip per page. Add a few more for an introduction and an outroduction and you might be looking at 20 pages.
What is vitally important is that you deliver value. Provided the book does what it says on the tin, and ideally a little bit more, then the length of it is immaterial. I’m talking about eBooks, of course. Hardcopy books need to be thicker to give greater perceived value. (Don’t ask me why.)
Q. How do you find FB individuals with lots of FB friends – can you see how many friends they have ?
A: The way I do it is to type my search word into the FB search box. This brings up a column in which the first one is already highlighted. Hit the up arrow and then hit enter. Then select groups. You can’t see how many friends people have directly on Facebook. You bump into them, as it were, as you’re doing your general research and posting.
Q: What about using different author names for different types of books – do you need multiple fb accounts for example ?
A: I recommend using pseudonyms for your book. At one point I had about eight, one of which was female and another who sounded very foreign! If you are just posting comments concerning your book then you only need your own Facebook page in whatever name you have decided to use. However, if you want to create a Facebook page dedicated to that book (and accumulate “likes” and “friends”) then you can either do it by using the pseudonym you have used in the book, or create a dedicated page to the book itself, one for each book.
Q. Do you have to use same author name or can the same individual use different author names from the same account ?
A:I assume you mean, can you use a pseudonym as the ‘author’ of your book, and even have different pseudonyms for additional books within one Kindle account. The answer is yes. Under section 1 of uploading your Kindle eBook there is a field for ‘contributors’. This is where you would place the name of the author (pseudonym).
Q: What is the kindle millionaire club ?
A: It’s a list of authors who have sold a million on Kindle. Not sure whether it means a million copies or $1 million.
Q: What do you mean when you say get the website owner to produce the book rather than producing it yourself ?
A: They don’t produce it. They help you produce it.
Generally speaking, people like to help other people, and authors in particular. The idea is to get the website owner to help you in the construction of the book. You send them a breakdown of what you intend to write in the book (chapter headings, subtitles, etc.) and ask if they can suggest any extra topics they feel would be useful in the book. In this way they are becoming actively involved in the book’s construction. When completed it is usually the case that they are more than happy to help in offering the finished book to their own database.
Q: How do I gauge the ‘right’ price to ask for the book I have written?
A: Novels and fiction are usually very cheap but self-help books command better prices. As a general rule, compare the price of your eBook with similar eBooks already in the Kindle system. Also check the hardcopy prices and make sure that your eBook price is less than the hardcopy price.
Self-help books are in a different category. If your book offers advice which will help the reader make money, then this type of book commands a higher price.
Q: If one is not a great writer, would you say PLR content is worthwhile for kindle, as I believe Amazon is now banning it.
A: Although it is possible, in certain circumstances, to publish what is essentially someone else’s book, that’s not the same as publishing “stuff” that is already freely available either as public domain content or Private label rights. I believe Amazon wants to encourage original content and I have no argument with that.
The business that I am trying to promote is self publishing and it is often quicker, and easier and with greater sales potential, to create your own work based on a market that you can contact, and using the various “seed titles” as a template.
I’ve never really liked the idea of using public domain material unless it is the basis of your own work, something you can expand and add to it. The finished work should be your work, with public domain material mixed in, rather than public domain material with a bit of your work mixed in.
There’s also something “Bizoppy”, about the notion of publishing something that you didn’t create and isn’t really worth anything. It’s not where I come from.
It’s the same with public domain information. You will have problems with Kindle/Amazon because you now have to declare whether or not your book is public domain, and they are starting to stop people from doing this. They are, understandably, looking for original work.
To be perfectly honest, I think that when people try to save themselves work by looking at public domain information, they are often creating more work for themselves. The idea of finding a market that is already out there, and then supplying a book based on the seed titles suggested in my video, can be a far quicker solution, with greater potential for sales, than trying to cobble together an old car and sell it as a Ferrari, so to speak.
With the help of professional copy checkers I believe the majority of people can write. What most people don’t have is the confidence to do it, which is a pity.
Q: How much longer will the ”’ flash income” website be available?
A: Indefinitely, although I may password it in the near future.
Q: Most information can be found free on the internet. So why would people pay for something that can be found free?
A: Speed. They want information and they want it now, not trawl the Internet for six months. Also the mindset is that free = cheap. By paying for something it gains perceived value. And, of course, not everything is available on the ‘net.
Q: How do you strip digital rights management out of a Kindle eBook and convert to format for another device?
Q: Will a Squidoo lens act as a website?
A: Technically yes, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It doesn’t look very professional and it’s covered in non-related adverts.
Q: SEO is the main/ultimate consideration though, isn’t it?
A: SEO is helpful, very helpful and it would be silly to ignore it. At the end of the day, for a few extra tweaks on a website, SEO (search engine optimisation) will help to draw people to your site as they look for your niche in Google. However, I’ve seen people create bestsellers using Facebook alone, together with a Kindle/Amazon book.
Nothing that we do creates certainty. Every book written has the possibility of sales. What we try to do is to turn possibility into probability. Each tweak that we make – an additional website, SEO, using Facebook and social media, joining forums and blogs – increases the possibility of success. The strange thing about many Kindle authors is that they just want to write the book, shove it on Amazon, and assume Amazon will do the rest. That’s not the way it works.
Q: Do you publish on Nook? What topics do you find sell well on the Nook?
A: No, I don’t have a Nook project. There’s no reason for this, I just haven’t got round to it.
Email Questions received (Ongoing)
Q. I would have liked to have had more info regards images and tables. I’m aware that you can have images in kindle and was hoping that you would have covered this topic.
A: There are two screen technologies out there. One is the conventional computer screen in full colour, backlit and high-resolution. The other is the E-Ink technology used specifically for eBook Readers.
Remember that eBook readers are basically designed for text. (In reality, they use a very basic version of XHTML.) Although eBook readers can view images, they are always in black-and-white and it is very difficult to do things like wordwrap around the image. For this reason I recommend that images are kept at a bare minimum.
If you are using Calibre to convert your book to a Kindle format, and you decide to keep images in, you will have to use the “save as HTML” option in MS Word. See:
Q: More tips on producing and eBook cover which I believe is very important.
A: The simplest form of eBook cover is a simple front page. You can create one using Microsoft PowerPoint.
Insert a nice picture or graphic that represents the content of the book. You can get these from numerous royalty free photo stock websites.
Use the excellent text facilities and artwork available within PowerPoint to create your front page which is, in its simplest form, the title of the book as the author.
You can size and save the slide as a JPEG.
If you type “Ecover Generator” into Google you will find a variety of software programs at various prices.
I usually use absolutecovers.com
Q. How do I get autoresponder and where do I insert it into my ebook?
A: An autoresponder is an e-mail service that you sign up for. It allows you to set up a series of automatic e-mails which are triggered when one of your customers orders something from you.
My own autoresponder is within my shopping cart, but aweber.com is a very popular service. If you go to their website you can get all the details.
If your eBook is sold from your own website, then you can set up an autoresponder by using a shopping cart that supports one. Alternatively, you can direct them to a form on your “Thank You” page. This form (which you can set up within aweber.com) will trigger an e-mail that informs the buyer of how to download your eBook and automatically sets up further autoresponder messages.
You cannot set up an autoresponder within Amazon Kindle. However, in the introduction to your eBook, you can always quote the “opt in” e-mail address of your autoresponder service if the buyer of the Kindle book would like to receive updates and extra information for the book. If you have the option of providing your Kindle buyer with a PDF of your book, as well as other formats, setting up this option within the book itself as an opt-in email to your autoresponder service is a very good way of capturing the buyers e-mail address.
Q. Do I require a separate site to promote click bank products?
A: I only promote other people’s clickbank books on the back of an existing book of my own. In other words, a backend product. And this is offered by autoresponder to everyone who buys my book. The promotion of clickbank products in any other way is Internet marketing, which is not what I do and I cannot offer advice on this.
Q. Do I need a mailing list for clickbank?
A: If you are selling other people’s products from scratch then you need your own mailing list, or carefully use Facebook. Again, this is not something I can give advice on.
Q. What is a hoplink?
A: A hop link is an affiliate link within clickbank.com. If you wish to sell someone else’s book then you need to sign up to clickbank. During the signup procedure you will be able to set up a “nickname”. You can use this nickname within any clickbank hop link. For example, this hop link “http://AFFILIATE.goslingse.hop.clickbank.net” is the hop link that anyone can use to sell Success Engineering. You just add your nickname to where it says AFFILIATE.