Founder of C.J. Anaya Publishing LLC, founder of the website and YouTube channel Author Journey, USA Today bestselling author, multi-award winning author, Amazon bestselling author, entrepreneur, freelance editor, writer, blogger, book marketing specialist, self-publishing specialist, author platform building, list building, email marketing, getting book reviews fast.
The first thing you need to do if you decide to write and sell ebooks is study the market to make sure you are writing and publishing within a niche that actually has a large audience. You need to study the market. You can study the market for both fiction and non-fiction to determine which categories, genres, and subgenres are hot niches and selling well, which is half the battle when it comes to marketing books.
I have two different tutorials at the links below. One will teach you how to do the research for yourself and one will show you how you can purchase reports that have done the research for you.
If you can nail your niches and write to market then after that it's just a matter of strategic monthly promos on the right sites to keep a consistent flow of traffic to your books.
Write to Market Research
When it comes to writing a book, there's some groundwork that needs to be done beforehand. There are even a few things you need to know before you begin to outline. Every good story is comprised of...
1.) A protagonist
2.) main goal/conflict of the book
3.) multiple tries and fails to accomplish said main goal and overcome main conflict
4.) satisfying resolution
There are obviously more moving parts to this outline, but that would take a really long time to get into, and I'd rather have you go watch the video tutorial I did on how to outline a novel since it's free, it isn't too long, and it will break up the process of outlining a novel into actionable steps that make sense and are easy to understand.
If this is about you writing your own personal story, then it really should come from you. That doesn't mean you can't hire a ghostwriter to help you organize it. If you've never written a book before then the task of writing your personal story is daunting.
Where do you start? How do you keep readers interested? What is the theme or message you're trying to share? How would you structure the book?
A ghostwriter worth their salt will help you with that, but just know it will be a little pricey if you want it high quality. I would start out with at least $500 and negotiate from there.
Now if you're interested in creating your own kindle publishing company and outsourcing fiction and non-fiction then that's a completely different ball of wax.
I write and publish lots of fiction books and use my own name for those books. When I outsource fiction to ghostwriters, I create a completely different pen name for those books because, though I may have the rights to those books once all is said and done, I didn't actually write them, and it would confuse my readership if they read something with a different writing style and voice.
It just feels all kinds of wrong to slap my name on something I didn't write. So I create a pen name for that particular series I've outsourced and go from there, publishing the fiction or non-fiction books under my publishing company.
When outsourcing fiction and non-fiction, you're only going to make money by studying the market and figuring out the correct genre and niche.
For fiction, you're looking at the right genre and sub-genre with popular themes, tropes, and character archetypes. Us fiction authors call this a "write to market" approach. So some of us will write according to what inspires us. I've done that before. Other times we study what's selling and then write a book incorporating those themes with our own spin on them.
For example: if I'm studying the market and find paranormal romance(popular sub-genre) that focuses on dragon shifters finding mates so their species doesn't die out(trope) is selling big, then I outsource a ten book series of dragon shifters finding their happily ever after. You might laugh at this premise, but guess what?
That's right. It's a very popular sub-genre and trope. If you don't study the market for fiction and non-fiction then you're essentially throwing stuff against the wall, hoping it will stick. That is what I like to call...stupid. Makes more sense to publish what's selling.
In this free video tutorial below I teach people who are interested in outsourcing fiction how to study the market to find their niche or story idea that sells. If you're interested in more than just publishing your own story then you might consider watching this video to see if you would like to outsource fiction books for your own kindle publishing business. I hope the resource helps. Good luck to you.
Absolutely. The key is to build a a book review team or a launch team, and one of the best ways to go about doing that is through your email list. If you don't have a newsletter set up yet or a way to get people on your newsletter you'll have to start with that first. I'm hoping the folks who read this are a little more advanced than that and already have their newsletter, reader magnet, leadpage, and autoresponder all ready to go. If you are a newbie and you don't have any of these things, never fear. I have several articles that discuss how you can build your own mailing list of fabulous subscribers at the links below.
When you have people subscribe to your mailing list and they receive that first email with their free book, you'll let them know that the next email will give them an opportunity to grab more free books and jump on your review team.
I send this email about a week after people join my mailing list and download their freebie from me.
Essentially, I invite them to join my review team by giving them a starter library of some of my books to read and review. If they decide to join the team, they are entitled to advanced reader copies of any future books and agree to read and review them.
When I launch a book I give this team notice of the game plan. They get that advanced reader copy about a month before I launch my book. Then I let them know that I will have the book available for free for them to download on Amazon a day before the real launch starts. So my reviewers can download the book for free that first day, which makes any review they post come up as a verified purchase.
Now if your book is enrolled in Kindle Select then you can make your book free for up to five days during the launch. Just depends on how many days you want it to be free. I usually just have it free that first day it is up, and then it goes back to full price or a discounted price after that. I just need it free long enough for my review team to go download it. Then they can post their reviews as soon as possible.
If you don't have your book enrolled in KDP Select then you just need to make sure you have the book priced as free on sites like Kobo, B&N, and iTunes so Amazon will price match and make your book free. You will need to let Amazon know the book is free on these retail sites, and you need them to price your book as free for a short promotional period.
That's pretty much it.
Below are some links to articles I've written and YouTube tutorials I've created to teach you about building your mailing list and creating your own review team. I even have a link to a book on Amazon that goes over the steps needed to create your review team with templates included. Hope these free resources help you out.
Reader Magnets or Lead magnets
I have a few links you can look at that will help you. I post a lot of YouTube videos on my Author Journey channel that answer these types of questions.
This link will help you learn the basics of where you can publish your books: https://youtu.be/PnkXFp0urjQ
This link will talk a little bit about building an email list and focus on one way you can grow it quickly to help you promote your books: https://youtu.be/ZTwlYzOUpAA
This link will discuss the option of outsourcing content to ghostwriters while writing your own books: https://youtu.be/0bsu9yjrWFc
Since you enjoy writing non-fiction, you might consider studying popular niches and hiring a ghostwriter on upwork.com to write books for you at an affordable rate. You pay a one-time fee and get the rights to the book, then you publish it under your name or a pen name. It's a great way to publish more books while you're in the process of writing your own.
Keep in mind that people enjoy short non-fiction guides. Thirty-fifty pages of information is about the right size for a non-fiction book these days so consider a series of books n one niche covering a specific aspect of the topic you've chosen rather than having a 350 page book on the topic.
We like to devour info, but preferably in bite-sized chunks. Let me know if you have anymore questions that I can help you with.
When you set your book to perma-free on Amazon, the people who "buy" the book during that period are still considered a verified purchase if and when they leave a review simply because they clicked the buy button and grabbed your book. I have tons of verified purchase reviews for my book My Fair Assassin because it is perma-free.
I would set your book as free on all major sites like B&N, Kobo, iBooks, etc. and then once they are free, contact Amazon and ask them to pricematch for you. It helps to check and make sure that the book is free on all Amazon sites around the world. Sometimes Amazon will allow a book to be free in the USA, but it won't be free in India or the UK, etc.
Just contact customer service, be very nice and personable-these folks speak to mean people all day-and let them know you're running a short promotion and you would be so grateful if the book could be set to free on all Amazon sites. Include the links of your free books from other retailers to prove the price is free on other sites, and then wait for their response.
If you get a rep saying they won't do that for you then just keep sending in requests until you find someone who will. Always be very nice during the whole process.
Then once the book is free you can send your supporters links to the books on these sites, and once they read and post their reviews, the reviews will show up as verified purchases on Amazon.
I started by using my VIP link, something you can find in your account settings, and allowing people to set up a free call with me through that link. That way, they were more inclined to receive free advice, and they left me reviews that gave me credibility and authority as an expert in my field. I did that with five calls, got five reviews, and then I started promoting my profile with the link that would actually allow me to get paid. I had a client within a week and things grew slowly from there. I would also recommend making your pricing competitive. Check out what the going rate is by other experts in your field and see if you can price the same or better. Once you have more clients and more reviews you can up your price.
I actually just answered this question with a video I recently posted on my YouTube channel Author Journey. I share how I made $7,000 in one month during a launch and how to utilize that for a preorder launch. You can check that video out at the link below. https://youtu.be/bJhd8DgzIHg
The main reason people opt-out of your mailing list is because you are not offering anything of value to them, whether it be through sample products, free information that solves a problem, or simply offering them a free ebook.
Another reason people will opt-out is because you send too many emails throughout the week and you’re cluttering up their inbox with offers, sales pitches, and things that look like spam.
Then there are those people out there who really don’t want to be on anyone’s list, and might be willing to look you up again if they need something from you.
The best way to keep them on your list is to keep them engaged, offer them true value, develop a relationship with them through personable emails, and send out just one or two emails a month unless you’re in a business where it is necessary to send more and your subscribers expect that from you.
I think that depends on what Penguin is offering you. I’m all about self-publishing because most traditional publishers aren’t going to help you much in the marketing department. I figure if you’re going to have to learn the business end of being an author either way, it makes more sense to publish with KDP because your royalties are higher: 70%.
I think in the long run, self-publishing is the way to go, but I don’t know the details of your deal with Penguin or what your advance looks like so please weigh the pros and cons of what Penguin is offering you.
I'd be happy to chat with you about it in more detail.