The next part, and it’s the hardest, is getting that book in front of the right readers at the right time.
There are more ways to market your book than there are TV shows on Netflix, but there’s only one that can:
Give you results instantly
Is easier to use than most other platforms
Is targeted at where your audience are when they are in a shopping mindset
And that’s advertising on Amazon.
Thanks to Amazon’s own advertising platform, authors can now create ads that show their book to the right people either in the search results, or on the product listing of another book.
It might sound difficult, but once you’ve read this article, you’ll be able to setup your very own Kindle advertisements in less than 10 minutes.
The best part about this book-marketing tactic is that not only can it help you with your initial book launch, but it can also help to revive book sales of previously published books as well.
What are AMS Book or Kindle Advertisements?
First let’s define what they aren’t, because quite a few authors can get confused by the term “Kindle ads” which is used interchangeably by book marketers and consumer blogs.
When you purchase a new Kindle from Amazon, you have the option to purchase a standard Kindle e-reader or one with “Kindle special offers” for a lower price. For the special offers version, when your Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Voyage or Kindle Touch is in sleep mode, your screensaver displays targeted and relevant ads. There’s also a persistent banner of ads at the bottom of your home screen on your device. On your Kindle Fire or Kindle Fire HD these ads come up on your lock screen and also in your notification bar. Consumer blogs sometimes refer to these as “Kindle ads”.
That’s not what I’m talking about here. In this article I’m talking about advertising across the whole of Amazon. Specifically, I’m talking about using Amazon Marketing Services. Also called AMS for short, it’s a platform where you can tell Amazon that you want your book to show up in certain search results, or on the sales page of another book on Amazon.com, and that you’re willing to pay them some money for every person who clicks on your ads.
Book marketers call these Kindle adverts, as we use AMS specifically to advertise our Kindle eBooks. Your advert appears everywhere your target buyer is on the Amazon platform. You can purchase ads that show up on your audience’s Kindle device if you so wish, but they have to meet Amazon’s policies.
Back to AMS, the amazing part is you only pay Amazon if someone clicks on your ad, and you’re in control of how much you pay. You can set your own price which is usually somewhere between .02 cents to .35 cents per click.
And that’s it. After setting it up with Amazon, AMS will start showing your book to their shoppers on your terms.
What Type of AMS Ads Can I Create?
AMS offers two types of ads. This allows you to choose where exactly your ad will be displayed to Amazon customers.
Sponsored Product Ads
If you want to show up in Amazon’s search results for a particular keyword, you should choose a sponsored product ad. If, for example, you choose the keyword ‘gardening book’, and someone searches for this phrase, they may see your ad alongside the other search results.
This type of ad is a great way of attracting the attention of people who your book would be suitable for, but who wouldn’t otherwise come across it.
Product Display Ads.
If you’d rather your ad shows up for a particular product, rather than in the search results for a keyword, you should choose a product display ad.
Amazon allows you to specify particular products, or particular types of products, that your ad will show up alongside. If you know you offer a superior version of a competing book, you can advertise in this way to persuade buyers to choose your title instead of, or along with, their original search.
Now that you know the way that AMS operates, and the basic types of ads you can choose, let’s take a look at how to get started by creating your first campaign.
Let’s Create an Kindle Advertisement.
The only basic requirement for advertising with AMS is to have a book published through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). The book doesn’t need to be part of the KDP Select program.
To get going, log into your KDP dashboard. Choose the book that you wish to create an ad for and click ‘advertise’.
The exact steps you need to follow differ depending on whether you choose a sponsored product ad or a product display ad, as you will now see.
(Pro Tip: though anecdotal, many authors have reported better results from Sponsored Product Ads, so that’s a good place to start).
How to Set Up A Sponsored Product Ad.
Choose a name for your ad campaign. It can help with tracking and monitoring, particularly if you have multiple campaigns, to choose a unique and specific campaign title.
Select your daily budget. This is the maximum amount you are willing to pay on any given day. Generally, it’s better to start small and scale up based on results.
Choose whether you want your campaign to run for a fixed time or to carry on indefinitely.
Select between ‘manual’ and ‘automatic’ targeting. It’s better to pick the manual option, as you can choose the exact way to advertise your work, rather than relying on Amazon’s automated choices.
Choose the keywords you wish your ad to show up for. A lot of authors make the mistake of choosing a low number of keywords. To have the most success possible, the higher the number of relevant keywords, the better. You can pick from Amazon’s suggestions of keywords to target or enter your own.
Select the default amount someone will pay when they click on your ad, known as ‘cost per click’, or CPC. This amount will apply to all keywords initially, but you can make adjustments later on.
Pick an effective 150-character elevator pitch for your ad. You need to write something that is attractive and engaging in order to have the best possible chance of someone clicking on your ad.
Select an existing credit card linked to your account. If you haven’t already done this, you need to add one at this stage.
The final step is to click on ‘Launch Campaign’. Amazon will review your ad to ensure it complies with their requirements and get back to you in 1-3 days. As soon as Amazon approves, your campaign goes live!
How to Set Up A Product Display Ad
After clicking the ‘advertise’ option on the book you wish to create a campaign for, select the ‘Product Display Ad’ option.
Amazon offers two choices for Product Display Ads – ‘by product’ or ‘by interest’. ‘By product’ allows you to choose the exact products you want your ad to show up for, whereas choosing ‘by interest’ allows Amazon to select products for you on the basis of a theme or topic.
Decide whether or not to allow Amazon to associate your ad with similar products to the ones you have specifically selected. This is a good way of associating your ad with products you haven’t specifically heard of, but that have been bought by customers in your target audience.
Title your campaign.
Select an overall budget as well as a CPC (cost per click) amount. Product Display Ads have an overall budget that gets spent over a longer period of time, so don’t be scared off by the larger numbers. That’s not what gets spent daily, just the pool that the ads are drawing from.
Produce the copy for your ad. The 50-character limit for the headline and 150-character limit for the body necessitates succinct, impactful copy.
Select ‘Submit Your Campaign for Review’. Amazon will get back to you within 1-3 days depending upon whether your campaign meets their guidelines.
How to Get the Most From AMS
You can skillfully use AMS to reap benefits beyond increased book sales alone (although they are, of course, awesome.) There are three advanced approaches to AMS that allow you to get a lot more bang for your buck.
Promote Other Versions of Your Work
Offering multiple formats of your book effectively allows you to get several adverts for the price of one. When someone clicks on your ad, they are taken to your book’s Amazon sales page. If you offer various formats, such as a paperback from CreateSpace or an audiobook for Audible, browsers will be exposed to those options and this leads to more sales.
Introduce Readers to A Series
If you’ve ever become hooked on a book series, such as Harry Potter, you know that reading the first book alone is never enough. Readers who love the story and characters in the initial installment can’t wait to get their hands on the next editions.
If you use AMS ads to draw a browser’s attention to the first book in a series, you stand a great chance of creating a fan who will willingly buy the other books in your series without further prompting.
Nathan Van Coops even goes as far to use AMS to promote the first book of his series In Times Like These, which is permafree. The amount of money he ends up making from the subsequent book sales, and other forms of book, outweighs the ad cost for the free book.
Get More Email Subscriptions
If your book offers a content upgrade like a free book, or checklist, then AMS can help to increase your email optins by increasing the number of people who get your book.
Pat Flynn, of Smart Passive Income, used his book ‘Will It Fly?’ to generate email optins. By offering a free course to go along with his book, Pat saw 33% optin rate. Although Pat has a large following, AMS has allowed him to increase his reach, create continuous sales, and grow his email list daily.
Market Other Products & Build Blog Traffic
You can use AMS to create funnels towards other products and services you offer apart from your books alone.
Some books encourage readers to visit the website or blog of their author. If you advertise a book which has this purpose, you can drive relevant customers to your external work that may never have otherwise found it.
Ryan Cleckner’s ‘Long Range Shooting Handbook’ is a perfect example of this concept in action. By advertising it through AMS, he drives more people to his book, which in turn drives traffic to his post on how to get an FFL. This results in increased sales for his courses – all for the price of an AMS click.
How to Improve Your AMS Ad Skills
AMS book advertising can be a wonderful skill for authors to use in order to sell their previous, current and even future books.
And while I strongly believe that AMS is a great opportunity, the more you know, the better your ads can be. The better the ads, the more profit you’ll gain.
So, to help you improve your AMS book ad skills, here’s a completely free course on AMS that will not only show you what we discussed above, but will also go deeper into creating profitable long term ads, that will continuously bring you book sales.
Kindle Advertising Summary
Hopefully by now you understand the immense potential of AMS and why I love it so much. After all:
Only AMS lets you advertise to the most relevant and profitable people possible – interested Amazon customers.
Setting up a campaign is quick, easy and affordable.
You can show your ad in Amazon search results through Sponsored Product Ads.
Product Display Ads allow you to reach people interested in particular products.
As with all advertising platforms, earlier adopters often have better results. If you delay getting started, you will have increased competition, your conversion rates will go down (as shoppers get used to adverts) and prices will go up. You’ll have a tougher time if you delay taking action.
If you want to delve deeper into the best strategies and tactics for Amazon advertising, check out my free Kindle advertising course. It contains hours of high-quality video, as well as notes and quizzes, to help you understand the full potential of AMS and put the best ideas and strategies to work for your books.
I’d love to hear your experience with Amazon Marketing Services in the comments!
This is an incredibly unfortunate (but common) position to be in—taking steps to break a publishing contract with a traditional book publisher because, among other reasons, your hard work and dreams of book publishing aren’t going as expected.
Luckily, you’re in great company!
Many authors embark on this mission to break their contract in an effort to take more control and see more success through self-publishing or through new opportunities.
Today, we’ll take a look at what it takes to break a publishing contract with a traditional book publisher, as well as the advantage to pursuing your writing career with self-publishing.
(Note: Before we dive in, let’s make something clear: We are not lawyers and so, any information you find here is to be taken by suggestion only. Every publishing contract has its own stipulations, clauses and restrictions based on an agreement between the publisher and author. It is therefore recommended you always read your contract carefully and adhere to the binding agreement. We also strongly suggest you become familiar with the US Copyright laws.)
Depending on where you are in the process—you may be exploring what it would take to break a publishing contract before you’ve even signed, or you may be beginning to initiate the “break up”—use the links below to jump around sections of this post… though we’d like to think the whole thing is worth reading :).
Every writer has a big dream…to become a published author and see their books being displayed in bookstores across the nation. Even if you haven’t envisioned your success to this point, let’s be honest: The thought of it is exciting. So, when it comes to making choices about how to publish your book, it comes down to this: Should I seek out a traditional publisher? Or, take the self-publishing route?
Many authors have chosen the traditional route for publishing their book, only to realize that, after months of frustration and hard work, they have gotten nowhere. What initially looked like a great deal to start with has become your worst nightmare.
Or, maybe this isn’t the case. You could have a good relationship with your publisher but feel that you want to have more control over your books creativity. Whatever reasons, you have decided that you want to break free of your publishing contract, but…you signed a binding agreement
Pitfalls to Publishing Contracts: What to Know Before You Sign
First of all, every contract is different, so there isn’t a magic formula for authors to navigate through the various pitfalls and obstacles in contracts. But knowing the basics of what to watch for can help you to make the best decision for your writing career.
TV and Film Rights
Do you hold the rights to your material for film, TV, and any and all media based contracts? Don’t sign over your rights unless you are being paid for it, and paid well. A publisher should not have exclusive rights to all TV and/or film rights. This includes digital media and world rights
Selling books is just one avenue for authors to build their brand and earn income. There are also [as mentioned above] film rights, online video and/or audio courses, audio books, coaching, or software the author has created to support the material.
If there is a competition clause that prevents you from upselling, this would be a serious hindrance to your growth as an author not to mention income loss. This is one reason many authors are turning to self-publishing. They can do all of these things without any restrictions and receive 100% of the profits.
Books do go out of print or become less popular as time goes on. In this case, if your book actually becomes out of print and the publisher is unwilling to do anything more with the manuscript, a break clause ensures that all rights are reverted back to the author.
You want to make sure that the publisher does not hold your book ‘hostage’ for years after it goes out of print or is remaindered. There should be a time frame here, 3-5 years, and if there isn’t, make sure that they implement this.
Right of First Refusal Clause
If the publisher has a clause stating your next book [and subsequent books] must be submitted to the publisher first before you can submit anywhere else, be sure to check the details carefully.
This is a standard clause but, there needs to be a term specifically stated such as 60 or 90 days. The publisher has until the end of this term to either accept or reject the book. This could work against your favor if your relationship with the publisher has not been good to begin with. Your book is tied up with them until the end term and holds you back from submitting elsewhere.
Early Termination Clause
Let’s take a situation: You have decided to move on from your publisher and separate the ties. But, in your contract there is an early termination clause that states you are to pay a specified sum to the publisher in the amount of XXX dollars before in order to terminate the agreement.
Although a publisher may have reasons for placing this in a contract, in most cases it only benefits the publisher to squeeze more income from the author before parting ways.
Now, if your contract does have a termination clause, this doesn’t mean you should walk away. But, be aware that if you do, you’ll have to pay to get out of the club.
Termination fees could range from a hundred dollars to thousands. Check the print. Make sure of what your rights are if the contract is terminated early by either the author or the publisher.
To elaborate on what we said above, your contract should have a Termination & Reversion of Rights clause. This is not only for author but protects the publisher as well. In the event that book sales are weak and the publisher desires to terminate the contract, they can do so with full rights reversing back to the author.
In the event of bankruptcy, the rights of publication may revert back to the author after a period has elapsed. Ideally, this is what you want, but be sure to check the print. If you are not sure, consult with a lawyer. You don’t want your book tied up for years if it isn’t selling or has been remaindered.
Flexibility is an important part of doing business. If the publisher is offering a contract that is non-negotiable, you might want to think twice.
Although you may not agree with everything in the contract, if there is something slight that you want changed and by making this change it has no negative impact on the publisher. but they are unwilling to change it, chances are you’ll have more problems down the road.
Non-negotiable means “take it as it is or walk away”, so, they may not value the relationship with the authors who sign up.
Think Before You Sign
Contracts have many causes but, just because it is there doesn’t mean you need to accept it. Be aware of the red flags and clauses set up that tie you up or force you to pay high fees for breaking a contract. Publishers are not known for being flexible with the contract terms.
So, if there is anything in the contract that you are uncomfortable with, and the publisher is not willing to change the terms you find inappropriate, best to walk away and look for a better deal.
In addition, publishing contracts are not forever. Be aware of contracts that try to tie you up with “Perpetual Renewal” clauses that continue indefinitely. Other factors to consider are:
Will you receive any free review copies?
Is there a publication date for the book, and is it an accurate date? If you are publishing a book on the best clothing to wear for this winter season, you don’t want it coming out in the beginning of spring.
How often are royalties reported?
Are there subsidiary rights? If so, what are they and is it written in easy-to-understand text?
How to Avoid Signing a Bad Publishing Contract
While the scope of this post covers how to get out of a publishing agreement, let’s take a look at how we can avoid buying into a bad agreement in the first place. This could also help you if you get out of one contract and are looking into signing on with another publisher.
You might be at the stage right now with an offer from a publisher and you’re not sure if you should sign or not. A bad book deal would be classified as a contract that favors the publisher in most ways. As an author, we have to be aware of the pitfalls that are out there. Before you sign, do the research
Ultimately you, the author, have to decide if it is a good deal or not. You have worked hard on your book, and now it needs to opportunity to be handled carefully.
Here is a list of red flags to watch for and how to avoid buying into a contract that you later regret. Keep in mind every contract has clauses and contract terms. The question is, are these clauses acceptable? Do they favor the publisher and not the author? Are any of the clauses considered red flags [aka danger zones for authors]?
When reading over your contract, ask yourself these questions:
Do I retain the rights to my book if I terminate this agreement?
Is there a termination fee if I try to break this contract?
Is the publisher locking me into a long term contract that benefits them financially for years to come?
Is breaking this contract going to hurt my career as an author?
Is the copyright under my name or the publisher?
If there is anything you are not sure of, ask a literary lawyer to review your contract—we’ll talk about hiring one later in this post.
Take a week to review the contract details and fine print. Do your own research before you sign anything. Even though you are an author and the business side of the publishing industry may be new territory, it is time to think of writing as a business because, for the publishing companies, that is exactly what it is. Business. They are in business to make money from your work, and yes, so are you.
When to Make the Decision to Break a Publishing Contract With a Traditional Book Publisher
The reasons you are considering breaking your publishing contract:
The publisher has not provided the support they said they would.
The author lost control over most of the creative process of the book.
The author still has to market and promote the book with little to no financial backing from the publisher.
The publisher has proven unreliable with communication or working with the author to make the book successful.
The author has decided to sign on with another publisher, or, publish the book themselves.
The author has decided to self-publish instead hoping to have better success.
If you are seriously ready to try and break your contract with a traditional publisher, there are several things you have to consider before taking action. Keep in mind that publishers are in the business of making money from author’s works. This means they are in it to protect their own interests and in most cases, consider the needs of their company before that of the author.
The best scenario you can look for is a publisher interested in forming a working relationship with the author. What this means is, a contract that benefits both sides equally and protects both the author, the works, and the publisher.
There are many authors out there who unknowingly jumped into a contract with a publisher before researching all of the legalities involved. In haste to get a book published and start a new and prosperous career as a writer, you may be in that situation now.
Realizing that the situation isn’t what you had hoped for, you are a crossroads: Stick with the publisher and hope things improve. Or, make an attempt to break the publishing contract.
You could be looking into signing on with a publisher in the future, and have yet to make that big leap. If so, you need to consider carefully the risks as well as the rewards.
The Critical Question
This is the critical question: Is it time to break your contract with your publisher, and the reasons for doing so. Here are several reasons why authors have decided to make the break.
The publisher has stopped investing in the book. It could be that your book is out of print or remaindered and now being squeezed to the back. You feel there is potential here for more growth but the publisher is not willing to invest anymore in the book.
The publisher hasn’t followed through on book marketing or distribution. This is when reading the contract carefully will pay off later. Many publishers will not state specifically what their intentions are for marketing the book. For this reason, authors may find themselves in a situation where they are responsible for handling most of the marketing side.
This could also include paying for it out of their own pockets. In some cases the publisher will allocate an allowance to the author to spend on marketing as they see fit. But without any support from the promotional side of things, the book is really going to struggle to sell.
Be clear on the marketing strategies from the beginning and, it should be in writing. If not, you are leaving yourself vulnerable.
The publisher has proven difficult to work with. Every publisher is different with respect to flexibility and agreeing on terms. Even after the contract is signed, and both parties appear to be satisfied, problems can emerge. The author is dissatisfied with the way the book has been handled. Or, the publisher expected more from the author.
If you feel that an ongoing relationship with the publisher is only going to harm your writing career and bring harm to your book’s success, consider breaking the contract. You can find another publisher or, do what many previous traditionally published authors have done and taken the self-publishing route.
Whether you are considering signing with a book publisher, or you have already done so, you need to know everything in the contract. There are so many minor details written in such a way that you could overlook something that could cost you thousands [or even millions] further down the road.
The bottom line is: Know what you are getting into. To move ahead a step further, if you are already under contract and you want to break the agreement, know what you could be getting into by doing so.
Are there any penalty fees?
Will this ruin your chances of getting picked up by another publisher?
Will your book survive the transition?
There are lots of things to consider, but if you are absolutely certain breaking your contract is the thing to do, the next sections in this post will be immensely helpful.
Hiring a Literary Lawyer
If you decide to hire a lawyer to look into your case, we would recommend you find someone who specializes in copyright law and matters involving publications works. A lawyer could provide you with another avenue to take and steer you away from potential risk imposed by the publisher.
These specialized lawyers, also known as a literary attorney, can examine the minute details in a contract that an author or an author’s agent are not trained to spot. Bear in mind the publishers have lawyers draw up their contracts and in legal terminology most people are not experienced with. So, it only makes sense you should seriously consider having a lawyer on board as well.
You may be weighing the cost of hiring a literary attorney but consider this: How much would it cost down the road if a misunderstanding occurred between you and the publisher? Suddenly you are facing the publisher and a legal team that could have been avoided if the contract had been understood completely from the beginning. In some cases, while the publisher may be at fault for breaching the conditions, many cases the author was not fully aware of all the minute details and fine print.
Should you decide to break from your publishing company, as we have discussed, you may be in need of a literary attorney to navigate through the legal channels you are not familiar with.
It is important that you have a strong grasp on copyright law. The publishing companies do and they may not always share the legalities with you. It is up to each individual author to protect his or her own rights.
Agreement of Termination
If everything goes well, you will have the opportunity to sign an Agreement of Termination. This would effectively end your contract with the publisher and restore your book rights. The publisher would then remove your works from all published platforms, including Amazon, the publisher’s website, or any social media promotion sites.
How to Break a Publishing Contract With a Traditional Book Publisher
Here we are. If you’ve read through the entirety of this post, and have still found yourself wanting to take action to break your contract with your traditional book publisher, this action plan will help you take next steps.
Use this brief action plan to move forward the rightway.
(Regardless, if you feel uncomfortable or unsure of the proper actions to take, we recommend consulting with authors who have been through a similar experience anda literary attorney that can provide counsel.)
Understand the terms, clauses and conditions of the contract completely. It is important that you understand everything you have agreed to in the contract. Most contracts have a termination clause. If you are stuck on the legal terminology, get help. Many grievances with publishing houses occur because the author was not fully aware of all the minute details listed.
Termination Clause. If there is a termination clause and you are asked to pay a sum in order to be released, consider paying it if that is what it takes to be released. This could involve paying a termination fee. Depending on how much that fee is, it could be worth it in the long run for your writing career to pay it and get out if you can. If there isn’t a termination clause, you can request to be released. The publisher may grant you this request if they would rather not keep someone under contract who is not happy.
Wait it out. If the contract cannot be terminated, and the publisher is unwilling to let you go, ride it out, keep writing, and focus on moving past this when the term ends. As every contract varies in terms of the clauses and fine details, be aware of what you can and can’t do during the term you are still obliged to stay with the publishing company.
Seek support and feedback. Chances are you know a lot of authors in the business. Ask people for advice and sign up with an organization that can protect you. This is something I encourage all writers to do before they get into trouble. In this post we have listed various groups such as the Authors Guild or Griefcom that authors can contact for legal advice regarding publishing law and ongoing support throughout the grievance process.
Don’t be discouraged from trying again. As a writer, you must find another way to get your story out there. If it didn’t work out with a publishing company, take what you have learned and move forward. If finding a traditional publisher is your thing, now you are better prepared than before. Or, if you want to try self-publishing, many authors today are having great success with this path.
Breaking a Publishing Contract With a Vanity Publisher
There is another type of publisher that landed on the scene about a decade ago when writers started to figure out self-publishing was becoming a big thing. Now, these “publishing companies” are often mistaken for traditional book publishers. Although they do have similarities, many authors have unknowingly fallen under the umbrella of a vanity publisher.
These publishers have one interest only: To take a writer’s money.
They charge exorbitant amounts for editing, cover design, and a book marketing campaign. Worse yet, they lock authors into a long term contract that could last for years. In other words, they hold your book hostage, blocking you out of any decision making. You lose control over most of the rights of your book. You can’t even buy your own author copies unless you pay the full retail price.
If you have found yourself in this situation, with a vanity publisher that is taking more and more, terminating this contract would be in your best interest. Many authors have learned a lesson from this and started successful self-publishing careers where they had full control over their brand and products.
Breaking away from a vanity publisher can have its difficulties just as a real book publisher has. The same rules apply here. Do your homework and know what you are getting into.
If it is the case where you are already signed and ready to break, get legal help if needed and look at your options to terminate. If doing so would cause legal harm or could prove to be costly, your alternative solution would be to abandon the book to its fate while it is under contract.
Remember: it is the book that is under contract, not you. Write another book and take it down a new publishing road. You can self-publish next time. You can find a legitimate publisher that offers up a fair contract deal. They are becoming harder to find, but they are out there.
Consulting Legal Counsel and Support Groups
In some cases seeking legal counsel may be the only solution to breaking your contract. Keep in mind that the majority of cases are rarely won unless the publisher has broken the agreement or failed to deliver on the agreement.
In this case, hiring legal counsel would be a strong option. If you must take this route, be sure to choose a lawyer that is experienced or specializes in copyright law. They can help you to find the loopholes that you missed on your own.
There are several groups that can help authors with support when it comes to dealing with the legalities of the business:
The Authors Guild is the oldest and largest professional organization for writers. As a member of the Authors Guild, you’re entitled to legal help, web services, access to all seminars, and member events. This is a great place for support.
The National Writers Union handles grievances for writers. The grievance officers have handled grievances against global publishing houses, newsletters and institutional house organs, and local and regional newspapers and magazines. They have also taken on literary agents, subsidy presses (including scam artists), and vanity publishers.
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America [SFWA] is running Griefcom, a service for writers. They can help with onerous contracts and intercede on behalf of the author. As the website states, what they can also do is successfully mediate non-monetary, non-contractual disputes with publishers; get non-publishers in the SF&F world to pay monies legitimately owed to authors; and in short, get people to respect copyrights
Your book is important to you and your readers. Be certain to do everything you can to protect your rights, the copyrights of your works, and avoid signing into a bad situation by hiring the right kind of experienced people who can navigate through the less-obvious pitfalls.
Alliance of Independent Authors. This is a non-profit organization for self-published authors but is a good group for getting alerts on shady promotions and support from the writing community.
The Self-Publishing Route: Is This For You?
After terminating your contract with your book publisher, or making an attempt to, you now have a new path to pursue in building your writing career. Regardless of what happened with the traditional book publishing route, self-publishing could be your thing if you decide to keep on writing and build that platform you have been dreaming of.
Authors have switched over to self-publishing after years as traditionally published authors with great success. If you decide to take this path, self-publishing may work out in your favor if you learn the ropes of how to DIY. I have been self-publishing for several years and I love the creative control I have over my work. Maybe you will, too.
There was a time not too long ago when a writer would have to submit manuscript after manuscript to a traditional publisher. After years of getting rejected by agents and big name publishers many good authors gave up writing or just kept writing without being published.
Well my friends, not anymore.
Now, Amazon has cut out the big gatekeepers and provided authors with massive opportunity to write the books of their dreams. The best part is, an author has control over all of the creative aspects of their books, from the writing to cover design. For many, this is a huge advantage.
With self-publishing, nobody is paying you a huge advance for your book but, for most authors, the dream to be published and hold that book in their hands is the golden ticket. If it goes on to become a big bestseller with millions sold, that is an additional bonus.
The great news for authors is, Amazon has positioned itself as an aggressive player in the publishing industry. Traditional publishers are scared. Writers now have options that didn’t exist before. The big New York publishers held all the cards and called the shots.
There is a long list of self-published authors who have proven that you can make money with your writing without the “big publishers” getting involved. Look at Mark Dawson, the bestselling author of the John Milton action series. Dawson published his first book, The Art of Falling Apart, with a traditional publisher back in 2000.
The book completely bombed. Casting aside the traditional publishing route, he published The Black Mile selling over 50,000 copies after giving it away for free, followed by the John Milton series books that have sold hundreds of thousands of copies.
Amanda Hocking, a writer of paranormal fiction, had written 17 novels while working full time only to have them rejected by publishers. Giving up trying to catch the attention of traditional publishers, she self-published on Amazon’s website and has since then become a million copy global bestseller.
So, you can decide to publish with a publishing company, or, take the path of a self-publishing authorpreneur. No matter the journey you take, I am certain you will succeed if you don’t give up.
Are You Ready To Publish?
Now, after reading this post, you may still be on the fence about pursuing a traditional publishing contract, or, trying it out yourself the self-publishing way. The good news is, even if you get rejected a hundred times by agents and publishers, having the door slammed closed too many times, there is one door you can always open and see your dream of publishing a book come to fruition.
Keep in mind that publishing contracts vary so widely that it’s up to each individual author to read the contract terms carefully and, if you are unsure of anything, ask the publisher for better clarification. If you have to seek legal counsel, do that, but don’t sign until you are ready.
All the best with your publishing journey!
For up-to-date information on author rights and a list of bad publishers to avoid, visit the following sites:
(NOTE: Join Self-Publishing School’s Chandler Bolt in his new workshop where he’ll share the 3-Step System he used to rapidly mind map, outline, and write his books in as little as one week, how to leverage your book to grow your authority, income, and business, and more! Ready to sign up? Get started here.)
Anik Singal the founder and CEO of Lurn is here today to talk about his book Circle of Profit. He is one of today’s most successful digital publishing marketers. He specializes in product launches, building backends, and having funnels that lead to conversions. He also teaches people how to create their own line passion-based businesses.
Today we talk about how he wrote his first book and how his writing process has evolved over time. He shares great tips like writing an outline, using dictation, and just starting. He talks about some of the fear and hesitation he had, and how he overcame that. He also shares his funnel technique where he gave his book away for free, while still making a profit. Anik talks about how to create a book and book launch that serves your unique purpose.
[01:12] Anik has written a lot of training and free reports. He also wanted to say that he wrote a book. He knows it comes with a level of credibility.
[02:16] He was actually scared to write a book.
[02:58] He decided not to be fear driven. Then he started focusing on the book writing process. He also realized that his book needed the deeper purpose.
[03:39] He realized he can use his book as a lead generation tool and have a funnel behind it. A book serves as the best first thing or tripwire offer.
[04:37] He decided to write the book in an environment that he was comfortable with. He needed momentum with his first book.
[05:08] He decided to call his book a really long free report.
[05:47] He took five days off and decided to write a book. He decided to just write and leave it to the editor to make it perfect.
[06:37] They self published with a Kindle version and they create space hardcover. They have sold close to 50,000 books.
[07:10] He’s writing two other books now. He has the process down with outlines and bullet points. He records his voice. Then has it transcribed. Then sends it to an editor or he edits it.
[08:03] He is focusing internally on book marketing and publishing.
[09:23] The biggest lessons learned were that writing on blank paper is a lot harder than using bullet points and dictating. This gets him going even if the final finished product is much different.
[10:49] If you nail a great title, a book will sell itself. Books have great credibility and are tied to knowledge. They also created an affiliate program that tied into one of their information products. This was incentive for affiliates to promote the book.
[13:53] Anik likes to use his own network to distribute his content. With his own network, he can own the data and the email addresses behind the sells.
[15:03] He can also offer training. This facilitates him financially and helps his a customer gain more knowledge.
[15:51] When someone buys a book Anik does have upsells. The average book buyer is transacting about $26 before leaving his cart. He’s actually able to make a profit by giving the book away for free and having an upsell and basically getting paid to acquire leads.
[19:08] The strongest word ever invented in the history of marketing is free.
[20:52] Books make you into an expert and give you authority and a following. People even quote you.
[21:54] His $25 funnel has a $47 bump and a $197 upsell and a $97 down sell.
[23:59]10 days into the book they start a second funnel. Phase 1 of this funnel is about email marketing. Then phase 2 is about information products. This is a second funnel that matches the flow of the book.
[27:48] Dropping the price doesn’t make your conversions increase. The more plain the video was the better the conversion.
[30:30] Sometimes to see an increase in conversions, you can actually raise the price.
[31:23] Facebook ads are something you need to learn how to scale.
[33:35] He can spend about $15 in ads marketing his book.
[34:57] The publishing company will help Anik’s internal goals when it comes to scale. To be a publisher you have to publish at least five different authors.
[36:21] Being a publisher fits in with Anik’s business model. Today is the best day to be an author.
[37:17] He would also consider traditionally publishing books
[38:42] Anik shares how we got endorsements from Robert Kiyosaki and Les Brown.
[40:19] He was shaking when he met Robert Kiyosaki it was really a great honor.
[41:08] He promotes his book wherever he goes and always carries a copy with him. This is his message to the world and he asks for endorsements whenever he can.
[41:48] Stop thinking and start doing. When you are passionate about something it will come out.
“To reach more readers and take your sales to the next level, you must proactively market your book”.
— Mark Coker
After months of effort and thousands of dollars, you finally finish writing your book. You upload it to the Kindle Direct Publishing platform, and you eagerly await the thousands of sales that you’ll get upon pressing “publish”.
Yet a week later you see that you’ve only made… a few sales.
Dejected, you realize this isn’t your ticket to passive income. Making money from your book isn’t as easy as they say, but it doesn’t have to be impossible if you set your book up for success right from the start.
That’s exactly what this post will show you how to do: sell more books on Amazon.
There are no hidden gimmicks or secret formulas to making money from your writing. You don’t have to be a marketing genius either: when I started out book publishing, I struggled for the first year to break the hundred dollars a month mark. Yet, with troubleshooting, testing, and learning from the people who were making five figures a month, I finally started to see results.
If you’re a writer wanting to make money from your book (and who doesn’t, right?) this post will help you navigate through the trenches of bookselling.
Is it easy? No, like anything worth having in life, there is a lot of work involved. We have to do things right and set our efforts up for long term sales. As a self-published author, you should know as much about marketing your book as you do about writing it. While writing will get your book published, promotion and marketing is what will get you sales and more readers.
To sell lots of books, whether via kindle, or print, you have to focus on two important parts: your book production, and your book launch strategy
Every decision you make about your book, right from the beginning, will be made with the intention of getting it into the hands of your audience and bringing new readers into your brand.
How much effort will you need to invest?
This depends largely on your goals as an author. If you are doing this part time and you just want to recoup your expenses for the cost of publishing your book, your marketing strategy will be much different than author who has a goal of earning a full time income.
In this post I will run you through the essentials of marketing, packaging and promoting your book in order to maximize book sales and earn your money as an author. After all, who doesn’t want to get paid well for what they love to do?
Regardless of what your book selling goals are, there are seven elements that must be met if your book is going to even stand a chance in the marketplace. Remember: you’re competing with millions of other books and that there are around 4500 new books published every day.
That’s a lot of books.
But not to worry. If you follow the criteria below, you will jump to the top of the heap where the top 5% of authors making money are hanging out.
Selling your book begins, not when your book is published, but from the very moment the idea pops up in your head, before you even put pen to paper.
The 7 Essential Elements of Your Book to Get More Sales
“Thirty seconds. As an author (or publisher) that’s about all the time you have when talking to someone to generate interest in your book.”
— Sarah Bolme
You may be thinking right now: “Wait, where are the promotion strategies? How can I sell thousands of books a month?” We will get to that. However, before you begin to think about selling a truckload of books, you must first engineer it from the ground up to prepare for future sales. You must make your book appealing enough to the reader to catch their interest.
When it comes to selling a book, you have a short window to convince someone that your book is the best investment they are about to make. You can do this right away by sticking with the 7 essentials we’re about to show you.
1. An Awesome Book Cover that Gets a Second Glance
Someone once said: “You can never tell a book by its cover.” That might have been true back in 1946 but in today’s world, readers DO judge by the cover and they will buy your book based on the front-end window dressing. The principle here is simple: If it looks good, it must be valuable. Most books get three seconds to sell a reader. If you want to sell more books, have a cover that grabs attention and gets your browser to take the next step.
For cover designers we can recommend a few sites here:
Your cover is what grabs the reader’s attention, but your book title is what makes the sale. It will depend largely on the theme of your book but taking time to craft a title/subtitle will be a deciding factor for potential readers to buy… or not.
The title is the hook that draws readers in and the subtitle is your elevator pitch that tells them what they can expect to gain by reading this book. Will they lose weight? Become better at saving money? Run a full marathon in under six hours?
Brainstorm as many possible titles as you can for both the main title and subtitle. Although the title can make them guess what the book is about, the subtitle is what sells it. Good books that sell often have great subtitles that gives browsers a stronger idea of what is behind the cover.
If a book browser is sold on your cover and the theme resonates with a subject they want to know more about, a quick scan of the book reviews will be the final selling point for most.
A book with less than ten reviews, or no reviews at all, may get passed over in favor of other books with a strong review ranking. Tattoo this inside your skull: Reviews sell more books. Getting reviews is an ongoing marketing strategy you should always be working on.
The Amazon algorithm is strongly linked to book sales and reviews. A book that sells well within the first two weeks combined with a set of high ranking reviews will get your book higher up the sales ranks of new releases during the launch.
This also sets you up for an effective long-term strategy. If you want to maximize the amount of sales you get over your book’s life span, then focus everything you have on the first 2-3 weeks. If you get lots of sales and reviews during this critical period, your book is set for long-term growth and will perform better than most competitors.
Reviews are a lot of work but they’re worth it. Aside from the cover, the reviews you get will make or break your sales. Focus your efforts on building a strong launch team of early reviewers who will receive a free copy of your book in exchange for an honest review.
To stack up on reviews during your launch you can:
Provide a request to review page at the back of your ebook with a direct link to your book’s Amazon review page.
Invite people to join your launch team and provide early reviewers with a copy of your book to review 2 weeks before you publish.
Amazon allows authors to include a lengthy book description on the author page, don’t ignore this. While your book cover, title, and reviews are enough to make the sale, a solid looking book description adds that “heft” factor to the quality of your product.
Your book description will be a sales page that lists the benefits of the book. It should have a mixture of various font style and structure to create a clean, attractive description of your book. We recommend using the free Amazon Book Description Generator Tool at Kindlepreneur.com. This saves time in messing around with nasty HTML coding.
For some great examples for book descriptions check out these titles:
What use is a treasure hunt if there are no clues? If nobody can find your book, then what use was there in writing it? In order for people to buy your book, they’ll need to find it, and this is where keywords come in.
Researching and implementing the right keywords will play a big part in driving traffic towards your platform. Regardless whether you blog, have a website or you sell products online, setting up your keywords is a critical strategy. But where do we find these keywords? How do we know what keywords are the right ones?
Finding the right keywords will get your book ranking in the top search results, which means it’ll turn up in front of your customers as they search for the relevant keywords. High rankings means more visibility which leads to greater book sales.
There are three tools we recommend for researching relevant keywords for your book. They are:
Using the right software, you can get results for the number of times your keyword is searched. Google also shows you related searches and the competition that particular word has. What you are looking for is a word that has good search volume but not high competition.
Another tactic is to search for your book’s title and keywords by using Amazon’s search bar. Check the suggestions that drop down. Imagine what your readers are searching for when they are looking for your book.
You are allowed to include seven keywords, or short-tail phrases, in your book. Most people, when they search in Amazon, are more likely to type in a short tail phrase instead of a single keyword. You want to be specific with your search. Specificity narrows down the choices and makes your book more searchable.
For example, if you are looking for a book on losing weight, and you are over 50, type in losing weight after 50 and you will target the books related to your short tail phrase. Readers search this way. When you eventually become a successful author (touch wood,) then people can just search for your name, go to your Amazon author page, and buy your book. However, that comes later, once you’ve built your brand. Until then we’ll need to make your book easy to discover.
6. Professional Editing
A book that has been poorly edited is going to receive negative reviews. Period. While it is perfectly fine to have negative reviews on your book, you don’t want those reviews to be about the writing quality. It is an instant turn off for book buyers.
By poor writing quality we’re not talking about the occasional error (which can easily be corrected,) but a book filled with bad grammar, misspelling and a sloppy appearance. Would you buy a car with the doors falling off? Of course not, and a reader will not read a book that hasn’t been properly edited.
You can hire a great editor through Upwork or Freelancer. Ask other authors if they can recommend someone. Your editing will be the biggest expense for the book but trust me, you don’t want to cut corners with this.
7. Pricing Your Book
One question that I often get from authors is: “How much should I price my book at?” This is a tricky answer.
Yes, yes, I know you want to maximize your profit, but you’ll also not want to scare away potential readers because of an overpriced book. Also, remember that for any book priced $1.99 or 0.99 cents, the royalty is just 35%, while books priced between $2.99 – $9.99 net 70% royalty. The sweet spot for many books is $2.99 – $5.99.
Price your book accordingly and by that, I mean, take into account the size and quality of your platform. Established authors with a strong following can charge more, and books priced slightly higher than the norm may do well if they are packaged well (quality cover, large volume of reviews etc.)
You could start pricing your book at $2.99 and move it up $1.00 a week, testing the boundaries until you notice a significant decrease in sales. You might sell less books at $4.99 but if your book has all the best elements mentioned in this section, and you market accordingly, the perceived value of your product will stand the test.
As for paperbacks, most indie authors are averaging a sales price between $9.99 and $12.99. Remember that you need to take into account the printing costs, but your royalties can do better per sale based on the higher price of the book at a 60% royalty rate.
These are the core essentials of any book. Even if you are not a good marketer, you can sell more books if you get these steps right.
Now, let’s take a look at some more advanced marketing strategies that includes book promotions and building an author brand.
The Permission Marketing Plan
“Permission marketing turns strangers into friends and friends into loyal customers. It’s not just about entertainment – it’s about education. Permission marketing is curriculum marketing.”
— Seth Godin
Now that we have looked at the basic elements you need to sell your book, it is time to get into the initial marketing. Generally speaking, most authors are not marketers. But you don’t have to be to sell.
Following the above steps will place your book in the top 10%, but it’s time to enter the pro leagues by using a solid marketing plan. This is where you can start making some real money.
Mind you, these strategies represent the infrastructure of a long-term book business. If you’re looking to make a quick buck they won’t help, but if you’re looking to lay the foundation for setting up passive income and drawing monthly income from your books over time, they’ll help.
First, understand this, to create sustainable income from your books, you can’t just tweet your way to sales, or send out weekly blog posts. To sell lots of books you need one thing: traffic.
How to get traffic? By invitation. How to invite people to buy your book? By giving stuff away and providing so much value that they can’t possibly say no.
We do this by setting up an email list of raving fans.
With an email list, you can create a sustainable platform of fans that are eagerly anticipating your next book release. Picture this: in the buildup to launch day you have 1000 impatient readers yearning to grab your book. They’re counting down the minutes. You click “publish” and send out an email to your list. They instantly buy it, and your book skyrockets up the bestseller lists, leaving you in the top of your category, the Amazon top rankings and in search engines. How great would that be?
An email list of raving fans is worth its weight in digital gold, but building it takes time, patience, and a lot of work. You need to be strategic with your list and deliver valuable material that they need. Consistent engagement builds your list and becomes the foundation for your author brand.
Without an active email list, you’ll be relying heavily on luck and organic traffic. Although you can still do well without a list, you’ll work twice as hard to get your book into the top search engines.
If the money is in the list, you want to start building your list right now. You can do this by first offering an incentive inside your book. Do you have something of value to provide readers to entice them to sign up? If so, offer it now and begin list building.
But remember: People are giving you permission to email them. This is the beginning of a relationship with your readers. Value that relationship and you will have started the foundation for a business. Write for your readers and you will never have to worry about selling more books. Your readers will help you to market your book and they will always be your best customers.
You can start by signing up with an email subscriber service. There are several to choose from:
Mailchimp: This service is to free for up to 2000 subscribers. However, there is no support until you pay a monthly fee.
Mailerlite: a nice platform, very simple with easy-to-navigate features.
Convert Kit: Loads of features and everything you need. A cheaper alternative per subscriber compared to MailChimp and Aweber.
Once you have a comfortable list that you are engaging with regularly, it is time to focus your core efforts on providing value to that list. The subscriber gave you permission to email them, and now it is your responsibility to follow through by building that relationship.
Action Task: Sign up with one of the email subscriber services recommended. Spend a few hours and come up with ideas on two things:
How to provide so much value up front that your reader demographic will be eager to join your list?
What type of content can you regularly write to engage your list and build a relationship with them?
Look to newsletters you’ve signed up for inspiration.
Run Book Promos Every 3-6 months
You’ll find that, even the best books out there drop in rankings over an extended period of time. This is where we can keep things fresh by running promotional campaign for the book every 3-6 months.
Here is how you can do this.
Drop the price of your book to 0.99 for 5-7 days. You can adjust the price by going into the KDP dashboard. It takes Amazon anywhere from 6-24 hours to set this up.
Stack multiple book promotional services for each day for the week your book is set at the promotional price. Setting up book promos does cost money but it gets your book rankings moving up again and gives the book a fresh kick. You can set up promos with the following sites:
BKnights [Fiverr] You can’t go wrong for $5. I would also take the extra gig for $5 and get in on their daily newsletter. You won’t get a ton of downloads but on average 12-25 depending on the book.
Robin Reads. [Requires 10 reviews and a 4.9 rating] Takes a couple days to get approved [$55].
Many Books. Great little gig, average returns, $29.
Book Runes. Global reach with over 50k mailing list, $25.
eBooks Habit. Great little promo, I recommend the guaranteed placement for $10.
Booksbutterfly. Various promo packages with guaranteed paid and free downloads.
This is an opportunity to set up a small support group to read the book and leave a review during the promotion period. This boost in downloads and new reviews boosts the rankings of your book. If you have multiple books, it’s an opportunity for traffic coming into your platform to be introduced to your book library.
Create a Library of Books and Build Your Brand
It’s really hard to make money from just one book. Which is why I recommend writing and publishing a lineup of books that your fan base can’t wait to read. Writing multiple books is a long-term strategy that can build a profitable book business over the course of several years. Remember, you’re in it for the long-haul.
Can you imagine if you had ten books for sale and each one is set up for success to bring in an average of $1000 a month? You can do this with a strategic plan for your author business.
Publishing new content regularly builds your email list and pushes your Amazon Author Ranking up the charts. By putting out a new book every 3-4 months, you are creating new content that keeps your author platform sizzling with activity.
In addition, it is easier to promote several books at the same time. You can set up a book bundle and have your books available in multiple formats including audiobooks and paperback.
Action Task: Block out 30-minutes a day for the next 30 days. Come up with ideas for at least ten books you want to write. Do a mind map followed by an outline for each one. Then, set out to create a publishing schedule for each book.
Questions to ask yourself are:
How long is each book?
Am I targeting a general audience or a specific niche?
What is the estimated profit potential for this book?
How can I put out a new book every 3-4 months?
What is my featured lead magnet to start building subscribers email list?
Here are a few authors creating a library of books and doing very well with their platform of consistent releases:
Oh, and let’s not forget Stephen King, who has published over 65 books with 350 million copies sold since Carrie was published in 1974.
Wrapping It Up
If you want to sell more books and earn money as a paid author, write and publish books that sell. Target a specific audience and write your content for that fan base. Build a brand around your work and market your writing accordingly.
Stick to the essential elements of book publishing and be sure to write a book that engages your readers interest, provides them with entertainment [fiction] or life lessons [nonfiction], and invest your time into creating a series of books that have impact and branding appeal.
This sounds simple, and it is, but it isn’t easy. Selling books and making money is a long-term strategy. There are hundreds of ways to promote your book and brand. But you don’t, and can’t, do everything. Focus on the strategies that will have the long term results you want.
Now, I’ll leave you with a list of additional marketing and promotional strategies you can consider to build your brand and promote your work.
20 Ways to Promote Your Work and Build an Author Brand
Set up an Author Page on Facebook and have readers sign up. You can take this a step further and create a private facebook group where you share some of your best content and insider information with your tribe.
Create an author website. Use this to promote your books, blog about content in your books, and keep readers engaged through online discussions about your work and mission.
Approach foreign book publishers and try to get your book translated into other languages. Nowadays many authors are translating books into Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese and Spanish.
Get video testimonials for your book. Post to YouTube and your website.
Send your paperback to fans and ask them to take a photo holding up the book. Use this as a promotional tool by creating a landing page for your book. Additionally, you can create book pages for your books on your website [Note: We strongly recommend you have an author website].
Run a book giveaway on Goodreads.
Write a series of blog posts related to your books and overall branding theme.
Guest post blog for well-known sites and drive backlinks to your website or Amazon author page.
Get featured on as many podcasts as you can. This is a great way to drive traffic to your book pages and site.
Set up a URL forward that sends people to your Amazon author page. When you promote your books, you can use this URL as your main website even if you don’t have an actual website yet.
Continue to pile reviews onto your book. This should be an ongoing marketing strategy. Aim for a goal of adding two new reviews per week.
David Allen is the author of Getting Things Done the book that many refer to as the productivity bible. David has 35 years experience as a management consultant and executive coach, but he is best known as the personal productivity guru behind the Getting Things Done Method. He is also known as the GTD Guy.
David believes in having a relaxed balance of perspective and control, by getting things off of your mind, so you are free of stress and can achieve a “mind like water”. The GTD work-life balance system has helped countless individuals and organizations bring order to chaos. David is considered the leading authority in organization and personal productivity. Today, we discuss the GTD approach to book writing and the power of getting things done.
Show Notes [01:10] It took David 25 years to figure out that what he had figured out was unique. [02:09] David decided to write the manual on what he had figured out. [02:33] He spent a day with an advisory group. To talk about writing a book or manual. [03:31] In 1997, he decided to get his life out of his head and write Getting Things Done. [04:02] He had no idea the movement that his book would spark. [04:48] He had high anticipation, but no expectation. There was still a lot of time management and organization information already out there. [06:12] Making his vision available for the rest of the world. [06:38] First, David did research about how to write a book. How writing the business plan for the book was agonizing and productive. [08:56] How a publisher suggested that a broad book would offer more value. He also suggested that David get an agent. He still has the same agent today. [10:08] David had been capturing ideas with mind mapping software. Then he wrote a business plan. Then a crude outline of the book and content which included his earlier notes organized. [12:12] It took a year to make it a real project. The next year was writing the first draft that didn’t work. [12:58] David discovered that books and seminars are different. He also wrote reviews for his book first and raised the bar too high for what he needed to create. [13:55] He threw away his first draft and started again. He wanted people to see the methodology sooner. Then he wrote the book in three parts: methodology, implementation, how cool the outcome could be. This took another year. [15:06] The fourth year was spent creating the title, book cover, etc. [15:55] One of the most impactful things David did was let a line editor clean up his work. He rewrote his book with their edits to learn to think about simplifying what he was saying. [17:15] Editing was the art. This changed his writing from then on. He now tries to simplify and say things in the shortest way. [18:02] How a book is a very intimate thing. You need to reach readers with an idea of nurturing and support and making things easy and fun. [18:46] Talking with a reader as if you have your hand on their shoulder. [19:26] Writing requires bandwidth and freedom of time. David needed at least four hours with nothing else to do to get into the flow of writing. [20:22] Structuring time to write depends on your life, but everyone needs to block out time when they can think best. You need freedom of consciousness to write. [22:06] Writing takes dedicated time. It can’t be done between the lines. [22:25] Get everything meaningful out of your head and clarify actions. You can only feel good about what you are not doing when you know what you are to doing. [23:27] Have a place to capture any idea that might be relevant. From mind mapping to Word docs. Don’t lose your raw data. [24:21] Have a process for a trusted capture system to get to a rough draft. The rough draft gets things going. [24:48] Build quality time take your raw data and blueprint and follow the path. [25:15] Redrafting edits can teach you a lot. Using as few words as possible. [28:31] How it was fun working with a ghost writer on David’s second book Ready for Anything. [29:35] How most business books are ghost written they aren’t usually written by the guru. [31:25] Finding a format with categories or common themes and how they tie together. [32:56] You can’t write a book without blocking quality time. Create a marketplace with the idea for your book and have one place for your ideas. Ask yourself why you want to do it.