2020 Review: My Self Publishing Stats and Insights | Episode 177

Was 2020 as challenging for you as it was for me? I share my stats, the good and the bad, from the crazy year that was 2020. I also share some things I've learned about growing my YouTube channel. And I discuss why social media may not be working as well as it used to for you.

YouTube video: https://youtu.be/W9tZtbqBmvQ

Timestamp show notes:

0:23 My 2020 blog stats

2:07 Why social media isn't driving a lot of traffic to my blog

2:57 My podcast stats

3:11 Analysis of my YouTube traffic, and tips for analyzing yours

5:29 Tips for boosting visibility and accessibility of your YouTube videos

7:37 My 2020 sales results and how the pandemic impacted book sales

10:50 Self publishing training opportunities for you on Udemy

12:58 How to connect with Heidi

Udemy course, How to Self Publish an Audio Book https://www.udemy.com/course/how-to-self-publish-an-audio-book/?referralCode=75A2310A555CB12AFE4C

Udemy course, How to Sell Your Self Published Book on Amazon https://www.udemy.com/course/how-to-sell-your-self-published-book-on-amazon/?referralCode=CC4046D09C80264BC0BE


Are Collaboration or Affiliate Marketing Deals Right for You? | Episode 176

Though it may seem to be an easy way to make some extra cash, when I receive collaboration or affiliate marketing deal offers, I ignore most of them. Some of them just aren't legit. Others just want too much. And some are just not a good fit. But how can you determine which are good for you or not? I share questions you need to ask yourself when considering these offers.

Blog: How to Evaluate Collaboration and Affiliate Marketing Offers http://hub.me/ao2Qo

YouTube video: https://youtu.be/gRpMaUzYuEI

Timestamp video (click on timestamp to view segment on YouTube):

1:03 What is a collaboration or affiliate marketing deal?

2:57 Is this offer aligned with your brand?

4:12 Could you be authentic promoting this product or sponsor?

5:31 What do you get? What do they want? Is it enough?

9:29 FTC and disclosure requirements

11:08 How to connect with Heidi


KDP, Author Central & Amazon Marketing Services Updates 2021 | Episode 175

I review some exciting recent changes to Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), Author Central, and the Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) platforms as we head into 2021.

YouTube video: https://youtu.be/zDRK7KHKiDA

Timestamp show notes (click on timestamp to view segment on YouTube):

0:34 Updates to new KDP Reports Beta interface

2:46 New Amazon Author Central interface

3:35 New Customer Reviews reporting on Author Central

4:34 New Sponsored Brands ads on AMS

6:26 New Kindle Unlimited KENP Reads & Estimated Royalties tracking in AMS

7:51 Why you shouldn't be discouraged with your 2020 book income

8:41 How to connect with Heidi

Check out my Udemy courses to level up your self publishing game in 2021:

Branded Merch for Self Published Authors: What You Need to Know | Episode 174

For self published authors who are interested in doing branded merchandise (or “branded merch”) for their books, there are very economical and efficient ways to do that with print on demand these days. But it still may not be worth the doing.

In this episode, I share some of my thoughts on branded merch based on my experience in the imprinted products industry. I was a promotional products (or “swag”) distributor for 17 years, and I'm the author of SWAG: How to Choose and Use Promotional Products for Marketing Your Business (available on Amazon and Audible).

Blog: Selling Branded Merchandise: What Self Published Authors Need to Know http://hub.me/ao1rl

Book (Amazon/Audible): SWAG: How to Choose and Use Promotional Products for Marketing Your Business https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00J1RP5H6

YouTube video: https://youtu.be/jcxV7_Z3cZY

Timestamp show notes (click on timestamp to view segment on YouTube):

0:20 Why I'm talking about branded merch

1:16 What's the difference between branded merch and swag?

2:05 Branded merchandise is not your brand

3:02 Does it make sense for self published authors to offer branded merch?

5:36 Print on demand branded merchandise options

7:27 What types of items should you offer?

8:32 What should you print on your branded merch?

10:21 Cautions to avoid violating copyrights with branded merch

12:59 No DIY or arts & crafts branded merch!

14:04 Your branded merch needs to make a profit

15:31 How to connect with Heidi


Are You a Self Published Author or Authorpreneur? | Episode 173

Authorpreneurs (the combination of an author and entrepreneur) are a completely different breed of self published author. I explain the differences between them so you can figure out which one you are.

Blog: Are You a Self Published Author or Authorpreneur? http://hub.me/ao08q

YouTube: https://youtu.be/5d5lu3F-zds

Timestamp show notes (click on timestamp to view segment on YouTube):

0:18 Crazy income and advertising stats for authorpreneurs

3:05 Author versus authorpreneur

6:16 Key differences between self published authors and authopreneurs

9:34 Advertising risks of being an authorpreneur

13:19 Why authorpreneurs have to keep advertising all the time

14:03 How self published authors waste money on advertising

15:16 The Author versus Authorpreneur Quiz

15:21 You might be an author if...

15:45 You might be an authorpreneur if...

16:32 How to connect with Heidi


Do You Have Closet Readers for Your Books? | The Heidi Thorne Show | Episode 172

Do your readers feel they need to read your books in private? Some markets are more prone to this behavior, such as romance which we normally associate with women readers. But men can like it, too, and may be closet readers.

For self published authors, closet reading audiences present a huge marketing challenge. I discuss the closet reading situation and offer some insight on how to reach these hidden readers.

Blog: Book Marketing Challenge: Closet Readers http://hub.me/anZ9r

YouTube video: https://youtu.be/bFBBWOXSspo

Timestamp show notes (click on timestamp to view segment on YouTube):

0:17 Who are closet readers?

1:16 My closet reading confession

2:46 The reader isn't the problem!

4:51 Kindle closet readers

5:11 Marketing challenges and tips for reaching closet readers

8:11 How to connect with Heidi

Book Printing FAQ for Self Publishing | Episode 171

Almost anything is possible when it comes to book printing if money is no object. If you don’t have lots of cash, and you want to have a profitable book, then you need to consider your book printing options carefully.

I’ve collected and will provide insight on some frequently asked questions and comments about book printing for self publishing.

Blog: Book Printing FAQ for Self Publishing http://hub.me/anXXo

YouTube video: https://youtu.be/RBHKgz9ByGE

Timestamp show notes (click on timestamp to view segment on YouTube):

0:22 Why I feel qualified to talk about book printing

1:37 Print on demand versus book printing

3:53 How many books should you print?

5:00 Does anyone know a cheap overseas book printer?

8:54 My print on demand books look "horrible!"

10:20 Your mantra for self publishing your book profitably

11:12 Photos in my print on demand book look blurry!

15:37 What book size should I use?

17:13 Color printing for print on demand books

18:10 Hard cover print on demand books

20:49 How to connect with Heidi

Should You Offer Signed Copies of Your Self Published Book? | Episode 170

Getting a signed book by an author before she or he became famous, is a rare treasure. This is why self published authors are often so anxious to offer signed copies of their books. That could happen. But is it likely for most self published authors? Sadly, no. I explain why offering signed copies for sale, creates a logistical mess for self published authors.

Blog: Should You Offer Signed Copies of Your Self Published Book? http://hub.me/anVDe

YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/5AMW6C3jYvk

Timestamp show notes (click timestamp to view segment on YouTube):

0:10 Why self published authors want to offer signed copies, but shouldn't

1:52 How Amazon and KDP make it difficult to offer signed copies

3:06 How much should you charge for a signed book copy?

3:32 Cost and logistical challenges for offering signed book copies

5:22 What about signed book plates?

7:22 Offering signed copies as rewards

7:59 What about signed eBooks?

8:23 How to connect with Heidi

What’s the Deal with Kindle Countdown Deals? | Episode 169

So you want to run a sale on your Kindle eBook. Great. But how do you do that? One way is with a Kindle Countdown Deal. I explain what these Deals are, and why you may, or may not, want to use them.

Blog: Kindle Free eBook and Countdown Deals: Are They Worth Doing? http://hub.me/alIuY

YouTube video: https://youtu.be/T6970_rLeQU

Timestamp show notes (click on the timestamp to watch the segment on YouTube):

0:43 What is a Kindle Countdown Deal?

2:25 Why I like Kindle Countdown Deals

3:05 What I don't like about Kindle Countdown Deals

3:45 When not to run your Kindle Countdown Deal

4:19 How to connect with Heidi

Did Amazon Put Your Book in the Wrong Category? | Episode 168

When you upload your book manuscript to KDP, you’ll be asked to choose two categories for your book. This is a very important decision because it signals to KDP where you think your book should appear on Amazon. But those aren't the only categories in which your book will appear. And what if Amazon places your book where you think it doesn't belong?

In this episode, I explain how categories work for books on Amazon that are self publishing on Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), and what you can and cannot do about it.

Blog: Choosing Categories for Your Self Published Book on Amazon http://hub.me/anTVK

YouTube video: https://youtu.be/Hej_c_2RRPg

Timestamp show notes (click on timestamp to view segment on YouTube):

0:10 Did Amazon put this author's book in the wrong category?

0:43 How you choose categories for your self published book on KDP

1:07 What are BISAC categories?

1:42 What are browsing categories on Amazon?

3:28 How to find out where your book places in categories

5:14 Can you change your book's categories?

7:20 Sales rank issue that freaks out self published authors

8:24 Why you need to stop obsessing over categories and sales rank on Amazon

10:05 How to connect with Heidi


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