Category Archives: Author Success Stories

The Top 3 Traits of Successful Authors

The Top 3 Traits of Successful Authors

The Top 3 Traits of Successful Authors

The top 3 traits of successful authors are much like the attributes of top athletes and entrepreneurs. What you focus on makes all the difference.

Find the Best Idea of Success to Follow

There is so much advice out there for aspiring authors today. How do you know which recommendations to follow? Well, that depends. What is your idea of success? The first thing you need to do is figure that out. Then find a coach or mentor who is already achieving those results and follow his or her lead.

My own publishing career began 25 years ago. I started out with a traditional publisher, and much of the advice I’ve given authors along the way has been coloured by that experience. That is, until early 2017. I shifted my focus then because I wasn’t achieving my own idea of success by following traditional methods. So, I went in search of contemporary author success stories to inspire myself. And I found what I was looking for! At long last, I found a viable roadmap to my version of success.

Make a Plan that Suits Your Lifestyle

Once I learned what many other authors are doing with such success, I decided to implement their strategies into my own life. I sat down at my desk with my calendar and sketched out a writing schedule that fits well with my lifestyle. I’ve been doing it ever since, and I’ve made more gains these past two years than I did in the first 23 combined! I’ve watched the PPG Publisher’s Blog increase from a mere 1,000 registered users in early 2017 to over 7,500 at writing time today (and still growing). I’ve also seen downloads of my backlist books on Amazon, Kobo, and E-Sentral collectively increase from under 5 books per month to over 350 per month on average (and still growing) within the same time period.

Do the same thing for yourself. Learn the steps your ideal mentor is taking each day to achieve the results he or she is achieving. Then sit down with your calendar to figure out how you can customize those steps to suit your own schedule.

Take Consistent Action on Your Plan Every Day

It’s never enough to simply seek inspiration and write your goals down. It takes consistent action toward those goals to become a successful author. Today’s top authors work at it every single day as detailed in this recent blog post about Joanna Penn and Jeff Haden. These two people epitomize the top 3 traits of successful authors: find your idea, design your plan, and then take consistent action toward its achievement every day.

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Why is Self-publishing a Good Idea?

Why is Self-publishing a Good Idea?

Why is Self-publishing a Good Idea?

Why is self-publishing a good idea? Because it not only helps you learn about the industry firsthand. It can also get you signed by trade publishers more quickly.

Anyone who has sent a manuscript to a trade publisher for consideration can relate to the sting of rejection. Usually, that rejection happens multiple times over the course of several months or years. It can make you question your own worth as a writer and make you wonder if you have what it takes to succeed. An avid reader and aspiring author named Amanda Hocking was going through that exact thing back in 2009.

She was increasingly frustrated because her personal goal was to publish her first book by age 26 (the same age her idol Stephen King was first published), and time was running out. In a state of desperation to meet her goal and earn some extra cash, Amanda turned to self-publishing. A short two years later, she found herself being interviewed by The Guardian about her new millionaire status. She had also signed a $2.1 million publishing deal with two of the trade publishers who had previously rejected her. Why? Because they finally saw her potential through the eyes of her growing readership.

Sometimes It’s The Other Way Around

Mark Dawson, by contrast, was first trade published. But when he saw how few copies his publisher sold of his fictional novel, he switched to self-publishing. He learned how to run his own author business with impressive success. When word went around that Amazon had paid him $450,000 in royalties in one year, Forbes magazine published an in-depth interview with him. He openly shared his publishing strategies with Forbes readers that day, and he continues to inspire other authors through his website and books.

Granted, these are two grandiose examples of self-publishing success. Not everyone who self-publishes will earn a six- or seven-figure income as quickly as these two authors did, if ever. But more and more authors are getting there over time. That’s a fact. It’s possible for you if you follow the same process these authors are following. Do the work. Learn the industry. Build your own readership. In the end, you may decide to remain a self-publisher like Mark Dawson did. Or you may agree to sign with a trade publisher like Amanda Hocking did.

The best way to learn what’s possible is to jump in and get to work like these two (and many other independent authors) have done. Don’t waste anymore precious time waiting for a trade publisher to tell you whether you’re good enough or not. Self-publish your work and let your audience tell you. Their opinions are worth more than any other’s, after all.

Bonus video from Sarra Cannon: How I Sold Over Half A Million Books Self-Publishing

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



Canadian Success Story Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Canadian Success Story

Canadian Success Story

Every once in a while, I struggle to find a topic to blog about. When that happens, I look for a daily newspaper article or open up my Kindle to find something interesting to read. Reading always helps get my creative juices flowing. But tonight I was inspired more than usual when I came across an old book by fellow Canadian author Cheryl Kaye Tardif. The title of this book is How I Made Over $42,000 in 1 Month Selling My Kindle eBooks, and it’s a great read.

Cheryl is similar to another author named Mark Dawson in the sense that she had been traditionally published before switching over to self-publishing by choice. They’re both also fans of using Amazon’s KDP Select program to boost book sales. I won’t give away Cheryl’s success secrets here. People can get her tips straight from her inside her book. But I don’t think she’ll mind if I share an excerpt or two from this book about her experiences with both traditional and self-publishing. There’s quite an eye-opening contrast that matches everything I’ve said in my own books.

Canadian Success Story: Traditional (Trade) Publishing

In this excerpt, Cheryl discusses what it took for her to be successful in Canada’s traditional literary publishing sector. She also talks about how much money she spent versus what she earned. I can tell you, firsthand, what she’s saying here is the reality for pretty much every traditionally-published Canadian author.

When I think back to 2007-2008 when I was with that traditional publisher and how much time and money I spent to promote my books, the numbers are terrible. Even though I had the second highest sales of all their authors.

I spent many hours a day promoting myself online, plus 40+ book signings between October 15 and December 23. I spent an average of 5 hours at each signing and sold more than the average that most Canadian authors will sell at a signing. I spent an hour traveling to and from each signing.

I made less than MINIMUM WAGE when everything was said and done. And half of that paid for the books I had to stock and bring with me so I could do consignments with my other titles. With the traditionally published book, the bookstore ordered the stock and I didn’t have to put out a penny.

There’s something wrong with making less than minimum wage, don’t you think? And I did this for 9 years, all the while hoping that one day I’d get my big break. “Dare to Dream.” I did.

Canadian Success Story: Self-Publishing

Not only did Cheryl dare to dream; she changed her strategy from traditional publishing to self-publishing, from paperbacks to ebooks. And she changed her life along with it.

Download this book for free!

Download this book for FREE for more details about what Cheryl is talking about.

When you realize that marketing books does not have to be done the “same old way” it’s been done for decades, with tours and signings, and mailouts and newspaper advertising, and countless other expenses, you’ve broken through the old ways.

We’re free to market our books from the convenience of our homes, with less financial risk and far more possible gains than ever before. You can write with your laptop on your lap while reclined in front of the TV. You can stay in your PJs if you want. You no longer HAVE to do consignments in bookstores, only to have them ask you to take back your ripped, dirty books that have no resale value left.

It’s a writer’s revolution. The end of an era that was long overdue for an overhaul.

Now, finally, you can be paid to write your stories. You can be rewarded for your creativity. You can earn a respectable income.

What it Truly Takes to Succeed

I won’t give you Cheryl’s full strategy here. It’s her strategy to share with you, and she does so beautifully in her book. It’s an older book, but much of the information is still relevant today. It’s definitely worth the read.

That said, there is a common theme among all the “author success stories” I share with you on this blog. You can probably already see it just by reading the above two small excerpts. Success doesn’t come suddenly like a lightning bolt, nor does it come quickly by sheer luck. All successful authors have developed effective work habits. Every one of them kept their goals in mind while working toward those goals every single day.

How long does it take? There is no magic number, no one answer to that question. It takes focus and time. Jeff Haden worked harder than anyone else and was able to make writing his full-time job within one year. For Joanna Penn, it took five years to transition to a full-time writer. How long will it take you? That’s really hard to say. I think so much of it depends on how bad you want it. It’s about your own will.

Look to Other Author Success Stories for Inspiration

Of course, sometimes we all need a little extra boost to reignite that desire to continue on. Don’t we? Sometimes, it takes reading someone else’s success story to motivate ourselves to write anything at all. That’s what worked for me tonight. An old book sparked a new flame. Thank you for inspiring me again, Cheryl! Hopefully, this blog post about your success will inspire many other authors the way it did for me tonight. Hopefully it shows them just what’s possible when they put their minds to it.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



Do Literary Agents Accept Self-Publishers?

Do literary agents accept self-publishers? The short answer is: yes. Literary agents will accept self-publishers. The long answer requires much more than a well-written, marketable query letter.

What is a Literary Agent?

Do Literary Agents Accept Self-Publishers?

Do Literary Agents Accept Self-Publishers?

A literary agent is a type of broker that works within the traditional publishing sector, that helps authors to find trade publishers (which they refer to as “editors”) who will buy the rights to publish their books. Today’s literary agents are scanning the bestseller lists on Amazon to find the most saleable authors. Just ask Jeff Haden: an author, ghostwriter, LinkedIn Influencer and Inc. Magazine contributor. In a recent podcast with Joanna Penn, he said, “I have 960,000 some followers on LinkedIn or something. That helps me drive traffic to my ‘Inc.’ articles, that helped a publisher say, ‘Wow, he’s got a platform. Maybe we should be interested in a book.’”

Do Literary Agents Accept Self-Publishers Without Platforms?

Occasionally, a literary agent will take a chance on an unknown writer who has written a convincing query letter. A query letter is essentially a sales pitch. (Everything in life is sales, isn’t it?) Before you pitch anything to any publisher, you must first research the company to understand exactly what they’re looking for in new projects. Most publishers will post submission guidelines right on their websites, and it’s important to read them and follow them to a tee. If you don’t, you’ll likely fall out of favour with that publisher almost immediately.

Do Literary Agents Accept Self-Publishers With Platforms?

Yes, absolutely. This is every literary agent’s preference. You need only read the amazing story of Amanda Hocking in The Guardian to see that this is true. Amanda Hocking was one of the first reported Amazon millionaires who utilized “rapid release” publishing to self-publish her fictional books after multiple rejections by the traditional trade publishers. Of her success, Ed Pilkington wrote in The Guardian:

When historians come to write about the digital transformation currently engulfing the book-publishing world, they will almost certainly refer to Amanda Hocking, writer of paranormal fiction who in the past 18 months has emerged from obscurity to bestselling status entirely under her own self-published steam.

How to Know When It’s Time to Call a Literary Agent

After self-publishing for a while, Amanda tired of it. She had been an avid reader before she ever became a self-published author. Someone who reads regularly can tell when a book is not on par with the quality of traditionally published books. And it really bothered her.

[A]lthough she has employed [sic] own freelance editors and invited her readers to alert her to spelling and grammatical errors, she thinks her ebooks are riddled with mistakes. “It drove me nuts, because I tried really hard to get things right and I just couldn’t. It’s exhausting, and hard to do. And it starts to wear on you emotionally. I know that sounds weird and whiny, but it’s true.”

In the end, Hocking became so burned out by the stress of solo publishing that she has turned for help to the same traditional book world that previously rejected her and which she was seen as attacking. For $2.1m, she has signed up with St Martin’s Press in the US and Pan Macmillan in the UK to publish her next tranche of books. (The Guardian)

Amanda had proven her sales abilities. As a result, the traditional publishers finally embraced her. Literary agents and trade publishers alike want to buy books that will sell well and earn them a profit. The best way to prove yourself to them is to self-publish and sell it yourself.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



A Shortlist of Google’s Top Ranking Factors … an Excerpt from Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Enjoy this excerpt from the upcoming sixth installment of the T-Shaped Marketing for Authors mini ebook series. Coming soon to an e-reader near you…

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Throughout this T-shaped marketing ebook series, in several of my past blog posts, and in many of my other books, I’ve referenced the following six ranking factors that will help you to improve your website’s SEO. Improving your SEO is crucial to your success as an author because it will help you to attract more readers and sell more books. How do I know these things work when applied with a consistent focus? Because I’ve watched the PPG Publisher’s Blog increase from a mere 1,000 registered users in early 2017 to over 5,000 a short year later (and still growing) by doing all the things I recommend to you. I’ve also seen downloads of my backlist books on ecommerce sites such as Amazon, Kobo, and E-Sentral collectively increase from under 5 books per month to over 300 per month on average (and still growing) within the same time period. That’s my firsthand experience with this to date. I also regularly read the research published by SEO industry leaders, such as Moz, which has guided me in building my book business so I can guide authors like you in doing the same. In short, this stuff works!

  1. Publish relevant content on a consistent basis:
     . 
    Blogging is one of the best ways for you to stay engaged with your current and prospective readership; and, the more often you post something new online, the more points Google will award to your blog site thus improving its SEO. But you should know that Google is far from being the only search engine that rewards new content. Amazon and Kobo do, too, as mentioned in this book. Want to dramatically increase your SEO over the next year? Start posting relevant content on a consistent basis that pleases all these search engines.
     . 
  2. Build a high number of relevant backlinks to your website:
     . 
    In addition to blogging, I’ve also mentioned how legitimate book reviews, guest blogging, and content syndication can be used to increase the number of relevant backlinks to your website. This, too, is worthy of a higher ranking in Google’s eyes thus improving your SEO.
     . 
  3. Protect and improve your SEO with proper HTML coding (REL=CANONICAL and META NOINDEX tags):
     .
    While guest blogging and content syndication are both fantastic ways to improve your own website’s SEO, they can also cause duplicate content issues if too much of the same copy is being reused on different sites without due care. This is where implementing REL=CANONICAL and META NOINDEX tags can come in really handy as discussed in the HTML Coding for Beginners T-shaped ebook.
  4. Attract regular click-through traffic to your website:
     . 
    It stands to reason that the more content you post, the more backlinks that redirect to your site, and the higher your SEO ranking grows, the more traffic will find its way to your website and click on it. You want these people to stay there as long as possible. If they only click once and then leave, that’s called a bounce; but, if they click on a few different pages and stay there for a while to read things over, that’s called a click-through. A high bounce rate may affect your SEO negatively while you’ll garner more SEO points via an increased click-through rate—all the more reason to ensure your website contains relative and enticing content people will want to stay there and view.
     . 
  5. Encourage more social media activity and shares (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube):
     . 
    I dedicated an entire book, titled Successful Selling Tips for Introverted Authors, to teaching authors how to utilize social media marketing as part of your online sales strategy. Did you know social media activity is one of the things Google rewards that can help to improve your SEO? Well, it is. And certain social media sites will earn you more points than others, so I’ve learned. For example, did you know YouTube is owned by Google? Now that you know, you may be more inclined to start posting more video content on a regular basis.
     
  6. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly:
     
    On March 26, 2018, Google went live with its new Mobile-First Index. According to Google, “Mobile-first indexing means Google will predominantly use the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking. Historically, the index primarily used the desktop version of a page’s content when evaluating the relevance of a page to a user’s query. Since the majority of users now access Google via a mobile device, the index will primarily use the mobile version of a page’s content going forward. We aren’t creating a separate mobile-first index. We continue to use only one index.” If you want to know how to ensure your own website is mobile-friendly, be sure to pick up a copy of the Mobile Marketing T-shaped marketing ebook for some great tips.

Although I’ve written and spoken about the above six SEO ranking factors before, I’ve never discussed the below six. We’re going to review them in this book because, according to Searchmetrics Ranking Factors, they are some of the strongest factors that were found in all the sites surveyed that ranked in the top 10 Google search results:

  1. Protect your website’s security with HTTPS (SSL security certificates).
  2. Include attractive images and easy-to-read fonts in your website’s main content area to encourage more time on the site.
  3. Increase Pinterest activity.
  4. Increase Google+1 activity.
  5. Ensure you have a strong local SEO (e.g., free listings in business directories such as Google My Business, White Page, Yellow Pages, Yelp).
  6. Answer industry-related questions on your blog to encourage featured snippets inclusion (as briefly mentioned in the Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising T-Shaped ebook).

As you can see, there are even more things you can do to improve your SEO that will be covered in this latest T-Shaped Marketing for Authors mini ebook. Do all these things, and the end result will surely be an increased readership and more book sales for you. Now, let’s dive in a little deeper to learn more….

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I hope you enjoyed that little excerpt. Watch for the book this coming month on Amazon, and a couple of months later on both Kobo and E-Sentral.



BookShots: The Hachette vs. Amazon Truce?

A few months ago, I published How to Build a Loyal Readership So Your Self-Published Books Get Picked Up by Literary Agents and Trade Publishers which highlights a few highly successful independent authors who are using “rapid release” publishing (among other tactics) to sell thousands of books online. Many of them are earning six-figure incomes. One of the early pioneers earned seven figures in her first year. I’ve since come across an article from 2016, titled “James Patterson Has a Big Plan for Small Books,” discussing how one of the world’s most famous trade-published authors is using the same tactic to sell more books to an extended audience:

…Mr. Patterson is after an even bigger audience. He wants to sell books to people who have abandoned reading for television, video games, movies and social media.

So how do you sell books to somebody who doesn’t normally read?

Mr. Patterson’s plan: make them shorter, cheaper, more plot-driven and more widely available.

In June, Mr. Patterson will test that idea with BookShots, a new line of short and propulsive novels that cost less than $5 and can be read in a single sitting. Mr. Patterson will write some of the books himself, write some with others, and hand pick the rest. He aims to release two to four books a month through Little, Brown, his publisher. All of the titles will be shorter than 150 pages, the length of a novella.

This article states that Patterson created the idea of BookShots to try to capture the growing number of people who just don’t have/make the time read traditional 300- to 400-page novels anymore; but, considering he’s offering these novellas in paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats, I’m willing to bet Patterson also sees how BookShots can help him to monopolize on today’s digital selling trends. The fact is, the best way to sell a book online is to publish another book. When done on a consistent basis, as the above-mentioned independent authors do, it can successfully ping both Amazon’s and Google’s algorithms to place an author higher and higher up in the rankings. The higher your rank, the more books you will sell. Online selling has more to do with indifferent computerized processes than publicity or popularity.




I also see Patterson’s BookShots concept as a form of truce between Hachette Book Group (which publishes his books in the USA through its Little, Brown imprint) and Amazon after their epic battle a few years ago. To refresh your memory, Amazon believed that all ebooks should be priced low all the time. The Amazon Books Team went so far as to send out a mass email to all its ebook publishers seeking support of its stance. Below is an excerpt from that email which was also published by Dave Smith for BusinessInsider.com in August of 2014:

Just ahead of World War II, there was a radical invention that shook the foundations of book publishing. It was the paperback book. This was a time when movie tickets cost 10 or 20 cents, and books cost $2.50. The new paperback cost 25 cents – it was ten times cheaper. Readers loved the paperback and millions of copies were sold in just the first year. With it being so inexpensive and with so many more people able to afford to buy and read books, you would think the literary establishment of the day would have celebrated the invention of the paperback, yes? Nope. Instead, they dug in and circled the wagons. They believed low cost paperbacks would destroy literary culture and harm the industry (not to mention their own bank accounts). Many bookstores refused to stock them, and the early paperback publishers had to use unconventional methods of distribution – places like newsstands and drugstores.…

…Well… history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

Fast forward to today, and it’s the e-book’s turn to be opposed by the literary establishment. Amazon and Hachette – a big US publisher and part of a $10 billion media conglomerate – are in the middle of a business dispute about e-books. We want lower e-book prices. Hachette does not. Many e-books are being released at $14.99 and even $19.99. That is unjustifiably high for an e-book.

Skip ahead a couple of years, and James Patterson announced his plan to publish cheaper BookShots novellas to reach the same audience Amazon was talking about. In the 2016 article, it states:

In some ways, Mr. Patterson’s effort is a throwback to the dime novels and pulp fiction magazines that were popular in the late 19th and early 20th century, when commercial fiction was widely available in drugstores.

There’s the truce. In November of 2014, Hachette was victorious in negotiating a deal that allowed trade publishers the continued right to dictate their own retail prices for the books they produce (as it should be, in my opinion). But Amazon got through in some ways, didn’t it? The company planted a seed with the traditional publishers that obviously grew. And now James Patterson and his team write BookShots.

The independent authors mentioned earlier may not be as famous as James Patterson. Just his name alone commands an automatic audience to sell all the BookShots he publishes each year with ease. But, as mentioned earlier, many are now selling thousands of books online each year using the exact tactics that are detailed inside How to Build a Loyal Readership So Your Self-Published Books Get Picked Up by Literary Agents and Trade Publishers. I now do the same and have seen my personal blog users increase from 1,000 to over 5,000 in one year. I’ve also watched my personal monthly book downloads increase from under 5 books per month to 300+ books per month on average. Now you know what I mean when I say it’s unecessary to add a bunch of extra “fluff” into a book to get it to a certain word- or page-count to make it more saleable. That’s irrelevant in this day and age. You can sell just as many—if not more—books by writing and publishing BookShots like James Patterson does, whether you write fiction or non-fiction.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

An Excerpt from How to Build a Loyal Readership So Your Self-Published Books Get Picked Up by Literary Agents and Trade Publishers

Now available through AMAZON, KOBO, and E-SENTRAL!

In the first section of this ebook, I highlighted a few different authors who are seeing significant success in terms of the volumes of books they’re selling online every single year. These three, in particular, have earned six- or seven-figure annual incomes from their ebook sales and have openly shared their stories in prominent online publications:

  • Amanda Hocking was one of the first reported Amazon millionaires who utilized “rapid release” publishing (releasing a new book online at least every six weeks, if not oftener) to self-publish her fictional books after multiple rejections by the traditional trade publishers. Of her success, Ed Pilkington wrote in The Guardian:
    “When historians come to write about the digital transformation currently engulfing the book-publishing world, they will almost certainly refer to Amanda Hocking, writer of paranormal fiction who in the past 18 months has emerged from obscurity to bestselling status entirely under her own self-published steam. (Pilkington, 2012)”
  • Mark Dawson, by contrast, was first trade published. But when he saw how few copies his publisher sold of his fictional novel, he switched to self-publishing and learned how to become an entrepreneurial author instead. Of his six-figure success, Jay McGregor wrote in Forbes:
    “Dawson’s recent success isn’t representative of his time in publishing, however. He actually had a book published by Pan Books called ‘The Art of Falling Apart’ in 2000, which completely bombed. Not because it was bad – ironically it’s now available on Kindle and has 32 five-star reviews out of 39 – but because few people read it or are aware of it. Mark puts the book’s failure down to the publishers inability to promote his work and generate any sort of interest.” (McGregor, 2015)”
  • Steve Scott is a notable non-fiction success story, proving this “rapid release” technique can work for all kinds of books—not only fictional novels. Of his success, Joanna Penn wrote on The Creative Penn blog:
    “If you want a six figure income from your books, it’s a good idea to model people who are already making this kind of money. Steve Scott seemed to burst onto the indie non-fiction scene in early 2014, but in fact, he has 42 books and has had an internet business since 2006. (Penn, 2014)”





These three success stories confirm what I’ve been writing about and teaching to aspiring and established authors alike for several years now: the most successful authors are the ones who treat book writing, publishing, sales, and marketing as their own businesses. They don’t only write; they sell their books. This is true of all self-publishers and most trade-published authors, and it’s always been that way—contrary to popular belief—which is why people like Mark Dawson are switching over to self-publishing (or supported self-publishing) to produce their books. Why hand the majority of your book’s copyright ownership and creative control over to a trade publisher if you’re the one who’s going to have to sell it, anyway? (If my question has raised your eyebrow and you’re feeling any sort of resistance to it, then I invite you to click on this blog post and read a few quotes from the trade publishers themselves regarding how much time they actually spend selling their authors’ books. It’s an enlightening read.)

To read more, you can pick up a copy of this book at AMAZON, KOBO, or E-SENTRAL!

What if you could sell 1,000 copies of your book every month?

CLICK HERE TO BUY IT NOW!

What if you could sell 1,000 copies of your book every month? How about 3,000? Or even more?

I’ll be the first to admit that I used to think the likelihood of this was quite low. But I’ve done some research, this past year, and I’ve come across quite a few teachers who have shown me just how possible this truly is. Now I’m going to share their teachings with you, and I’ll begin with this short excerpt from the first book of my new mini ebook series titled Book Publishing Shortcuts for Online Marketers | Six Weeks to Creating a Book Series that Earns Passive Income from Several Sources:

…one evening, while I was researching bestselling strategies for authors, I came across an online Forbes article by J. McGregor (McGregor, J. 2017) titled “Amazon Pays $450,000 A Year To This Self-Published Writer.” That began to shift my thinking. It was an eye-opening piece about a highly successful UK author named Mark Dawson and how he sells massive quantities of books online. Following that, I attended a conference in Columbia, Missouri, where I met a US author named Liz Schulte who also earns a six-figure income selling her books online. A while later, I met an Aussie author named Timothy Ellis through an online Q&A site called Quora (Ellis, T. 2017, July), and he willingly shared his personal formula for selling a minimum of 3,000 books online every single month. (You can read more about these authors in this post from the PPG Publisher’s Blog.)

These three authors write fiction. So, I went in search of a non-fiction success story to confirm for myself that this strategy can work for everyone and every type of book—not only fictional novels. With a quick Google search, I easily found a post on The Creative Penn blog about a non-fiction author named Steve Scott (Penn, J. 2014). He, too, appears to be using this “rapid release” publishing method in conjunction with various other strategies, some of which will be discussed within this ebook series. (You can read more about Steve’s story in this post from the PPG Publisher’s Blog.)

Pre-order your copy today!

You may be wondering to yourself how they do it. What is the strategy? After quite a lot of research, I can tell you that, while they each have a unique relationship with their respective readers, there are two qualities they all share. And these are the two qualities that allow them all to sell the equivalent of thousands of books per month.

If you’re interested in learning more, then I highly recommend you pick up a copy of each mini ebook within my new series titled Book Publishing Shortcuts for Online Marketers | Six Weeks to Creating a Book Series that Earns Passive Income from Several Sources. Inside these books, I talk in detail about the two techniques each of these authors use to sell their books … plus a few more I’ve learned along the way while studying how Amazon’s and Google’s algorithms work.

The first book in the series is available for sale now. The remaining three are all available for back order. Order them today. Read them in full. Learn these strategies because they may just help you to improve your own sales in ways you never dreamed were possible before.




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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2017 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

A Non-Fiction Self-Published Author Success Story with Ryan Biddulph

Ryan Biddulph, Bestselling Non-Fiction Author on Amazon

4 measly eBooks.

In 4 months.

I was floored.

After becoming overwhelmed with a sense of excitement about writing and self-publishing my first eBook, I failed miserably.

A good friend nudged me to write an eBook. I had resisted my own inner pull and advice from friends for years.

I bought a domain, churned out the eBook and sold 1 each month before I trashed my site and eBook in a fit of complete frustration, anger and anguish.

3 years later I have written and self-published 126 bite-sized non-fiction eBooks. A few of my eBooks became Amazon best sellers. I even ghost wrote an Amazon best selling ebook which netted tens of thousands of dollars in sales.

How did I make the transition from struggling self publisher to rocking self-publishing machine?

I followed a few basic steps to right myself.

1: I Got Clear on Why I Wrote and Self-Published eBooks

I honestly saw my first eBook launch for what it was: I primarily wanted to make quick money.

I did self-publish a helpful eBook. I also chose a relatively unknown platform through which I sold the eBook.

I was heavily focused on getting profits so I gave little thought to the eBook title, my marketing strategy and the problem I solved through the eBook.

Worst of all, I had no specific reader in mind before I brainstormed, outlined and wrote the eBook.

I learned my lesson for the Blogging From Paradise eBook series. I wrote these eBooks mainly because I enjoyed writing. I also visualized a specific reader in mind before contemplating eBook titles and outlines.

Get hyper clear on why you want to be a self-published author. Tie the reason to something fun and freeing. Get your energy right to build your self-publishing campaign on a solid foundation.




2: I Wrote What I Knew

I’ve had self-publishing success by writing 6,000 to 15,000 word, short and punchy reads on topics I know inside-out. I address specific problems suffered by my blog readers to match my passion and know-how with reader pain points.

Unless you are writing an in-depth, heavily researched eBook I suggest you cover familiar topics to confidently self-publish eBooks.

My creative process: I brainstorm eBook titles based on reader problems, create titles solutions to address those problems, outline eBooks and write the eBook chapter by chapter.

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3: I Became Comfortable Writing in My Distinct Voice

Purists may cringe after reading my blog posts and eBooks.

I am not a polished author.

But I also have circled the globe over the past 6 years as a world traveling blogger and Amazon bestselling author.

I feel comfortable writing how Ryan Biddulph writes. Even if this means turning off writing purists.

My eBook How to Find Your Writing Voice is the top ranked eBook from its category on all of Amazon.

All 49 customer reviews are 5 star reviews because I give readers permission to write best sellers on Amazon in their own unique, authentic voice, even if this writing style is unpolished.

Write 1000 words daily in a Word document for practice. Trash the document after you reach your daily word count. Feel comfortable with your writing style. Position yourself for a successful non-fiction self-publishing career.

4: I Found My Niche

My readers would become bored reading a 30,000 word eBook on blogging.

They prefer a 6,000 to 15,000 word pillar style blog post masquerading as a pillar style post.

My readers also enjoy shopping from a wide range of eBooks on a variety of blogging and travel-themed topics.

I wrote 126 eBooks to follow James Altucher’s advice: “The best way to promote your current book is to write your next eBook.”




5: I Built a Community

Struggling self-publishing authors tend to worry about how or where to find readers.

I decided to embody this quote well before I considered self-publishing.

“The wealthiest people on earth look for and build networks. Everyone else looks for work.” ~ Robert Kiyosaki

I patiently and persistently built a friend network of blogging tips and travel bloggers by promoting them, endorsing them and featuring them on my blog.

My patience paid off.

Since I looked for and built a friend network my blogging buddies help to build momentum behind my eBook promotional blitzes. Many of my blogging buddies purchase and review my eBooks too.

Build your readership by promoting top authors in your writing niche. If you are an author blogger, promote top bloggers in your niche. Co-promote one another to build large, loyal, supportive communities.

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6: I Built a Blog and Email List

I helped people with their blogging problems through my blog.

I built strong bonds with my readers through my email list.

My readers expect a helpful blogging eBook delivered to their email inbox every other Friday.

Start blogging through a self-hosted WordPress blog.

Grow your email list to stay in touch with your readers.

Use these 2 tools to help folks for free and to announce new eBook releases.

7: I Used Free Promotions to Boost Sales and Reviews

I sometimes use free promotions to increase eBook sales and reviews.

Giving eBooks away gratis is a generous way to increase your exposure.

Create a buzz around your eBooks by giving your creations away for free on the release date.

8: I Created Authentic, Rough and Ready eBook Covers

When I think of how much money I paid to design my eBook covers I have probably spent more than James Patterson, Lee Child and George R.R. Martin combined.

I personally photographed every one of my eBook cover backgrounds in exotic places like Fiji, Bali, Thailand and Costa Rica. Add up my plane ticket costs and you quickly see what I mean.

I chose to be ruthlessly particular in all things branding. The Blogging From Paradise logo graces all of my eBook covers. Factor in my pictures from paradise and you have an authentic experience for any of my eBook readers.

These rough and ready, simple, clean covers deviate from normal eBook cover design but I always intended to differentiate myself and my brand from the average eBook author.

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My #1 Piece of Advice for Aspiring Self-Publishers

You need to love writing to get through the ups and downs of being a self-publishing author.

If you feel passionate about self-publishing an eBook write 1000 words or more daily for practice. Make writing as habitual to you as breathing.

Have fun writing. Even if you’re a non-fiction author let your imagination run wild. Develop a daily writing habit.

Hone your skills, enjoy the ride, build your reader base and you too can become a successful non-fiction writer.

Amazon eBook Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Ryan-Biddulph/e/B00MWC59RS/

Website: https://www.bloggingfromparadise.com/

© Ryan Biddulph 2017

Steve Scott’s Six-Figure Success with Non-Fiction Books

Kim Staflund: founder and publisher at Polished Publishing Group (PPG) and author of the PPG Publisher’s Blog

I love author success stories! And the minute I decided to focus on finding success stories to share with you on this blog was the minute I started finding more and more of them for you.

Several recent posts on this blog have focused on authors who have seen massive success selling fictional novels and children’s books such as Amanda Hocking, Mark DawsonLiz SchulteTimothy Ellis, and Sheri Fink. Interestingly, posts such as these led to comments such as this one: “An important difference in Fiction Writing as opposed to non-fiction — Readers buy for entertainment, not to solve a problem, so you can successfully sell multiple products to the same reader pool.” This comment seems to suggest that it’s somehow easier to sell multiple fictional products to a single readership than it is to sell multiple non-fiction books—that it’s easier to build up one’s readership based on entertainment genres rather than self-help/problem-solving genres. I’ve also since received a similar comment from another local “author marketing consultant” that echos this person’s presumption: “…our particular audience is business (in many ways a tougher market than fiction) and business types rarely write more than one book. … Writing a book and getting it published are the easier parts. Making enough money to live on or even to cover the time invested in the writing of the book, let alone make a significant profit on book sales is extremely difficult.

Of course, you know me by now. You know what I had to do next, don’t you? I had to go in search of a non-fiction success story to prove that it is, indeed, possible for non-fiction authors to enjoy the same success as the above-mentioned fictional authors, and I quickly found one such success story in Steve Scott. (You get what you focus on!)

HERE’S HOW TO DO IT STEP-BY-STEP!

I won’t cut and paste the entire post from The Creative Penn here. I’ll let you click on the link to visit their site and read it for yourself. But I will list a few of the commonalities that I see with all of the successful authors I’ve personally interviewed or read about or invited to guest post on this blog.

1. All of these authors are prolific writers. They’ve all written several books and are releasing them one after the other, strategically, in order to leverage the success of each previous book’s release-date traffic. In other words, the best advice an “author marketing consultant” can provide to one’s business clientele is, “Don’t just write one large book. Break it down into topics. Create a series and release several smaller books within this series one after the other within six to nine weeks of each other. This will get you more bang for your buck by keeping the momentum of your release date going.”
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2. All of these authors build meaningful relationships with their readers. These authors stay in regular touch with their growing readership. They maintain regular communication with them by replying to each and every comment they receive from their fans. They build a more personal relationship with these people by doing so, which really cements their fans’ support. Some of these authors even use their top supporters as “focus groups” or “beta testers” by sending out manuscripts to them ahead of time to inquire whether or not they like the book’s content or have recommendations on how to improve it before it is officially released to the masses. In other words, they get additional free help with substantive editing from the people that matter the most—their buyers.

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3. All of these authors use email marketing and/or blogging to promote the release of new books. For authors, building an organic email marketing list or blog subscriber list is equivalent to building a near-guaranteed readership. This allows them to let their greatest supporters know when to expect the next book in a series which leads to more sales of all their books. And this increase in sales raises their online profile which, in turn, attracts more and more new traffic to both their back list and front list titles.

If it can work for one author, it can work for you. If it can work for fiction, it can work for non-fiction.

Yes, you have to work at it. Nobody said it was going to be a quick and easy fix. But I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: you get what you focus on. Focus on success.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2017 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.