Archive for the 'Self Publishing' Category

Be careful with photos in your self published books! A question from an author forum prompted me to share these tips to help keep you out of copyright hot water, save money, and provide a better user experience.

Blog: Using Photos in Self Published Books: What You Need to Know

U.S. Copyright Office Circular 15a on Duration of Copyright:

YouTube video:

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

0:12 One rule of thumb for using photos

1:07 What about "old" photographs and images?

2:25 Why you need permission to use photos

4:50 Your headshot and book cover photos

6:22 Stock photography issues

8:10 Photo quality that's needed for print books

8:29 Photo issues for eBooks

10:46 How photos can make your book outdated

13:19 Photos for fiction books? Nonfiction?

14:18 Take a tip from the big trade publishers

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Podcasting is the hot new content format. But is anyone making money at it? How can you make money from your podcast? I share the real deal when it comes to podcast monetization.

Blog: How to Make Money Podcasting: What are Your Possibilities?

YouTube video:

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

0:11 Podcasts are growing

0:46 Podcast advertising

1:21 Dynamic ad insertion for podcasts

2:48 Podcast sponsorships

3:55 Why podcasts aren't that attractive for advertisers

6:15 Paid podcast subscriptions

6:29 Apple, Spotify, etc. don't pay podcasters

8:22 Selling your other products and services on podcasts

10:38 Why podcasts may not sell lots of books

12:40 The podcast marketing double whammy

13:15 Why you should do a podcast


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Authors often fret about getting 4-star reviews on Amazon for their books. Prompted by an exchange on social media, I rant on the Amazon ratings system.

Blog: Why a 4-Star Review on Amazon Isn't Bad

YouTube video:

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

0:12 The social media exchange that inspired this rant

2:11 Myth: Anything less than a 5-star review is bad

2:27 Why Amazon named their stores 4-Star Stores

4:12 Why hoping for all 5-star reviews is unprofitable and ego-driven

5:15 Ratings and reviews are feedback, not rewards

6:34 Very few buyers actually rate and review Amazon purchases

7:35 Why 5-star reviews don't mean high quality

9:12 Why customers may view all 5-star reviews as suspicious

11:01 Some buyers are always negative

11:56 No one knows how Amazon's algorithm works

13:49 Competition is fierce on Amazon

14:37 You have no control over customer reviews and ratings

15:11 Do low ratings and reviews on Amazon really cause low sales?

16:14 Factors you can control that impact your book sales



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Self publishing custom card decks sounds like such a cool idea for educational, inspirational, or motivational material. But they are one of the most difficult and expensive printing and publishing projects ever! I explain the things you need to watch if you're considering doing a custom deck.

Link to Full YouTube Video and Time-Stamped Show Notes (click time-stamp to jump right to that point in video):

Full YouTube video:

0:11 One the most asked questions on my blog

1:33 What's involved with creating a custom card deck

2:24 How to find a custom card deck printer

4:10 Card deck customization issues

6:36 Custom card deck packaging

9:05 Custom card deck sales and distribution

10:15 ISBN numbers for custom card decks

11:48 Why I would (or wouldn't) do a card deck

12:38 How to connect with Heidi

Blog: Self-Publishing a Custom-Printed Deck of Cards

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Influencer marketing is one of the hot marketing trends. But does it work for self publishing? I discuss what you need to consider before you dive into using this channel for your books.

YouTube video and Time-Stamped Show Notes (click on time stamp to go right to that section):

Full YouTube video:

0:21 Why I'm talking about influencer marketing now

1:29 Problems with influencer marketing

3:22 Influencer marketing platforms

4:44 Pay for performance vs. pay to post

6:44 Why influencer marketing doesn't work well for books

8:24 Who are the best influencers for self publishing?

9:32 How to connect with me

Blog: Should Influencer Marketing Be Used for Self Published Books?

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I interviewed author, Lauren Darnell (@tryhardwriter on Instagram and TikTok), about her recent successful Kickstarter campaign for self publishing her children's picture book, The Day It Rained Iguanas. If you've been thinking about doing this for your next book, watch this before you launch!

YouTube Video:

Timestamped show notes for YouTube (click timestamp to view segment):

0:20 Welcoming author Lauren Darnell to the show

1:36 Lauren Darnell's writing and publishing experience

2:35 Lauren's crowdfunding campaign and why she choose to self publish that way

2:57 Challenges of writing children's picture books

4:51 Why Lauren chose self publishing and Kickstarter

7:27 Tips for crowdfunding with Kickstarter

11:53 Evaluating your author platform and fan base

13:41 Planning a timeline for Kickstarter

17:12 Handling Kickstarter campaign logistics, taxes, shipping, etc.

22:16 Challenges of working with educational and children's markets

26:00 Lessons Lauren learned from the campaign

26:35 How did the coronavirus pandemic impact campaign launch?

30:07 How to reach Lauren Darnell

Want to know more about Lauren and her books?
* Facebook
* Instagram
* TikTok (@tryhardwriter)

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What exactly is a book foreword? What is its function and value? Do you even need one? I explain what a book foreword, preface, introduction, and prologue are.

YouTube video:

0:28 What is a book foreword?

1:07 Who should write a book foreword?

5:01 What is a preface?

5:31 What is a book introduction?

6:01 What is a prologue?

6:43 Is a book foreword required?

7:19 How long should a book foreword be?

7:40 Why I declined an invitation to write a book foreword

Free online resources explaining your book's front matter:

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Ugh! Lead generation books. Many entrepreneurs and authors want to do them, hoping for a big sales bonanza. In theory, they're a great idea to build your brand and business. But here's how they really work... or don't.

YouTube video:

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

0:11 Why the concept of sales lead generation books is crazy

3:45 Two entrepreneurs, two stories lead generation books

4:06 Entrepreneur #1: Looking for wider audience

6:48 Entrepreneur #2: Looking to avoid marketing and selling

8:09 My sales lead generation book fail

Blog Post: Lead Generation Books Don't Build Sales... and Here's Why

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How do you know if your self published book is overpriced? And what is a right price for your book? I share an example of a self published book that was way overpriced and why that happened.

YouTube video:

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

0:10 The frustrated author who overpriced her self published book

2:58 Why decreasing your book price won't increase sales

4:04 Why you need a market competitive book price

6:21 Do you make more money on eBooks?

Here's a FREE pricing guide to help you find the right price for your book based on the market and your budget. It's free to view online, no email required to get these valuable formulas and pricing tips.

But if you want more information on how to sell your self published book on Amazon, check out these resources.

* Udemy course, How to Sell Your Self Published Book on Amazon:

* Book, Self Publishing to Make Money: What You Need to Know:


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We've already discussed the overall results of the Book Discovery Survey. But do factors such as age, gender, and income affect the ways readers discovery books to read? You might be surprised at which of these factors has the most impact.

YouTube video:

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

0:11 Revisiting the 2020 Book Discovery Survey results

1:14 Most often used sources for book discovery by demographic breakdown

3:45 Most occasionally used sources for book discovery by demographic breakdown

5:20 Never used sources for book discovery by demographic breakdown

5:40 Why age had most influence on book discovery source choices

8:35 What does all this mean for self published authors' book marketing?

In case you missed the earlier episodes about the Book Discovery Survey...

Book Discovery Survey Results Revealed | Episode 138

Survey: Do Fiction Readers Discovery Books Differently than Nonfiction | Episode 139

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