how to get isbn

How to Get an ISBN: Cracking the Code for Self-Publishers

In the early days of World War 2, the Japanese military sent messages back and forth. The Allies needed to crack their intricate numbering system to get an edge in the war and turn the tables. But how did they crack this complex system? MI6 recruited a young mathematician named Gordon Foster to work as a codebreaker at Bletchley Park, where he scanned millions of numbers looking for patterns in the code.

Decades later, when the book industry needed a standardized tracking programme in order to coordinate the increasing number of titles being published each year, Gordon Foster was approached by WH Smith, a British retailer, to write a report on how to create such a system.

This report led to the 9-digit standard book number which went live in the UK in 1967, and eventually led to the ISBN system used worldwide. Several years later this turned into a 10-digit numbering system when a policy was needed for new editions and variations. Then, in 2007, the ISBN switched to a 13-digit format and is now the standard used everywhere.

ISBN stands for “International Standard Book Number” and, before it was implemented in 1967, the method and system for cataloging, ordering, organizing, and locating a specific book was a chaotic mess.

Today, to get your book into a bookstore, a library, or almost any book distribution channel on the planet, you need an ISBN.

But how does this long string of numbers on the back of books work? How do you get it? If you’re a self-publisher, do you need an ISBN? Why would you need one?

These are all questions answered in this article. It’s a mammoth of a post and will get quite technical at certain points. If you just want to know if you should get an ISBN as a self-publisher, and where to get it, feel free to skip these sections.

With that disclaimer, let’s unweave the intricate web of ISBNs and how they work in the publishing industry.

Image uploaded from iOS 1

How To Read an ISBN: What do the Numbers Stand For?

As of 2007, the ISBN is a 13-digit number. This came about in part because of the large volume of eBooks now being published every year. Knowing how to break down and interpret these 13 digits aren’t of much use and interest to most book readers, but for publishers and distributors it’s a necessity. If you want to publish lots of books under your own publishing name then it’s something you may want to pay attention to. You can tell a lot about a book and its author by reading the ISBN number.

The 13 digit ISBN number helps:

  • Identify the specific title
  • Identify the author
  • Identify the type of book they are buying
  • Identify the physical properties of that particular book
  • Identify the geographical location of the publisher

Let’s break it down and look at what all these numbers mean.

ISBN Breakdown

Here is the ISBN for a particular book:

978-3-16-148410-0

You’ll notice this sequence is divided into 5 number combinations. But the first three digits “978” indicates that this string of numbers is for an ISBN. if we remove these digits we have:

3-16-148410-0

First is the initial digit, in this case: 3

The 3 is the language group identifier which here indicates German. For English speaking countries a 0 or 1 is used. Numbers for language identification generally range from 1-5.

Here is a list of the most common Group identifiers:

0 or 1 for English

2 for  French

3 for German

4 for Japan

5 for Russian

7 for People’s Republic of China

It’s worth mentioning that the rarer the language, the longer the number identifier will be. For example, Indonesia is 602 whereas Turkey is 9944. You can reference the complete list at the International ISBN Agency.

Next is “16”. This is the “publisher code,” and it identifies the publisher on any book that has this number. This number can be as long as 9 digits.

“148410” — This six digit series represents the title of the book. The publisher assigns this to a specific book or edition of the book, such as a hardcover version or paperback. This could be a single digit or stretch to multiple digits.

“0” is the last digit and is known as the “check digit”. This number is mathematically calculated as a fixed digit. This is always a single digit. This number indicates that the rest of the ISBN numbers have been scanned and is calculated based on the other digits in the code.

The ISBN and Barcode

The ISBN is usually found above the barcode on the back of the book, so it’s reasonable to assume they’re the same thing, right?

Except, they’re not. The barcode isn’t the same as the ISBN.

This is an important distinction because:

  • When you purchase an ISBN you don’t automatically get a barcode
  • The barcode of your book can change, while your ISBN can remain the same.

We’ve already discussed what data the ISBN carries, however the barcode includes extra information such as the book’s fixed price and the currency it’s being sold in. Barcodes are a necessary element of your book as they allow for most retailers and distributors to scan your ISBN for retail and inventory reasons.

The standard barcode is known as the EAN (European Article Number) barcode, and your barcode must be in this format to sell your book in bookstores.

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(Breakdown of the typical EAN barcode on the back of a book by Publisher Services)

Reading a barcode: If you look at the picture of a standard barcode, you’ll notice two barcodes side by side. The barcode that appears on the left is the EAN generated from the ISBN number. The other number appearing on the right is a 5-digit add-on, called an EAN-5, that contains the price of the book. The first digit is a 5, and is a must for scanners to read. The 4-digits after the five indicates the price of the book.

For example, if the number reads 52995, this means the price of the book is set at $29.95. If the price of the book changes, a new barcode must be used, though the ISBN wouldn’t change. This would only be replaced by a new ISBN if the book is published as a new edition or as a new version.

To buy a barcode you must first purchase an ISBN. You can buy your barcodes at Bowker and they even offer a barcode-ISBN combo:

  • 1 barcode + 1 ISBN is $150.
  • 1 barcode + 10 ISBNs is $320.

The Difference between ASIN and ISBN

If you’ve used Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) program you’ve probably come across an ASIN. ASIN numbers are used by Amazon to manage and identify the products they are selling on their site. It’s a 10-character alphanumeric unique identifier that’s assigned by Amazon.com and its partners. You can find this on your book page. In your browser, the Amazon ASIN will be after the product’s name and “dp”. The next place to find this is in your book or product details area of your book page.

However, an ASIN is not the same as an ISBN. You can only use it with Amazon. If you want to sell through other platforms or in brick and mortar stores, you’re going to need an ISBN.

Reasons Self-Publishers Need an ISBN

And now we come to the most pressing question on your mind: do you need an ISBN?

If you want to publish and sell your eBook on Amazon, then the quick answer is no, it isn’t necessary. Amazon will assign your eBook an ASIN number which will be used to identify and track your title.

However, that’s only with Amazon, and only with eBooks.

If you want your readers to get a hold of a print version of your book, then you’re going to need an ISBN. This might be important if you have a brick and mortar marketing strategy, or if you want your book to be accessible through libraries (more on this later), or if you’re looking to deal with wholesalers or other online retailers.

Here’s a simple rule of thumb: if you want to sell your book by means other than as an ebook on Amazon, then you’ll need an ISBN.

Should You Get a Free or a Paid ISBN?

You might have noticed that self-published authors can get assigned a free ISBN by Createspace, the On-Demand publishing company owned by Amazon. You can also get an ISBN when dealing with a whole host of On-Demand or self publishing companies, like Draft2Digital, Smashwords or IngramSpark. If you can get a free or cheap ISBN with them, then what’s the use in paying for your own one?

Here’s the problem: most of the time, you can only use those free ISBNs with the channels those companies distribute through.

Let’s say you get a free ISBN with Draft2Digital, but then you notice that there are some retail channels you can access through Smashwords that you can’t with Draft2Digital. You can’t use the Draft2Digital ISBN with Smashwords. Smashwords will only let you use your own ISBN or an ISBN they assign to you. So what do you do?

You get a free ISBN with Smashwords.

And now you have two ISBNs for the same book. Same book title, same book format, but two ISBNs.

You then hear of some exclusive channels you can get through eBookPartnership. The only wrinkle? You need an ISBN and they won’t take your Smashwords’ or Draft2Digital’s ISBN. So you sign up for their free ISBN instead.

Now you have three ISBNs for the same book. This problem can repeat itself again and again as you discover more ways to distribute your book. Sometimes you’ll have to pay for the ISBN, sometimes you won’t. But it leads to you having several ISBNs, all from different publishers, for the same book.

Can you picture how unprofessional that looks to a bookstore? Wouldn’t it have been easier to start off by buying your own ISBN? Wouldn’t that make you look more professional?

On top of this, each of those free ISBNs identify the self publishing company as a publisher. It’s the equivalent of using your business email address as businessname@aol.com or businessname@yahoo.com instead of Matt@businessname.com (assuming you’re named Matt). Not only does this make you look unprofessional, but there are some stores that will refuse to stock your book on this basis. If you have a CreateSpace ISBN, there are a number of bookstores that will refuse to carry your book.

All of these issues can be sidestepped by simply purchasing your own ISBN through Bowker.

If You’re Publishing An eBook, Don’t Ignore Libraries

We briefly mentioned that if you want to stock your book in libraries you’ll need an ISBN. However, that might be the furthest thing from your mind. You might have decided to focus purely on eBook publishing and what part do libraries play in eBooks?

A big one.

Libraries are becoming more important to the distribution of eBooks. Overdrive are the largest supplier to schools and libraries in the world (serving more than 30,000), and they circulated more than 105 million eBooks in 2014, a 33% increase from their previous year. They also supply to retail stores globally, making $100 million in sales in 2013.

And guess what you need to be able to partner with Overdrive? Yup. An ISBN.

How do I get an ISBN?

Hopefully you’re convinced that if you want to look professional in the industry and be able to access all distribution channels, you need your own ISBN.

But how do you get one?

ISBNs are free in many countries, provided either by the government or a publicly administered branch. However, in the US and the UK, ISBNs are administered by Bowker and Nielsen respectively, and require you to pay.

If you’re located outside the USA you can find out your local ISBN Agency here. While ISBNs are assigned locally, you can use them internationally.

If you live in the USA, you have to get an ISBN through myidentifiers.com, run by Bowker, the only company that is authorized to administer the ISBN program in the United States. You can purchase ISBNs as a single unit or in bulk of 10, 100 or 1000.

How to Register Your Book and ISBN

As soon as you purchase your ISBN through Bowker, or the International equivalent in your local area, and you publish your book, you should register here at Bowkerlink. This is an automated tool that will add your book to Bowker’s Books In Print and Global Books In Print. I recommend you download the free PDF “ISBN Guides: Title Set Up & Registration” with step-by-step instructions on setting up your title.

How Many ISBNs To Get

So how many ISBNs should you get?

First off let’s clarify a few common mistakes:

  • You can only use an ISBN once. The ISBN is a unique number for that particular book, and can be assigned once, and only once, to that title. It can’t be used with any other book in the future, even second versions of the same book.
  • You don’t need an ISBN to sell in each individual country. ISBNs are international, they are just assigned locally. A US based publisher can purchase their ISBN through Bowker, but can stock their book worldwide using that ISBN.
  • You need an ISBN for every specific format of the book, and any new versions. Want to sell your book in print, as an eBook, and also as an audiobook? That’s great, however you need a different ISBN for each one. If you want to publish a revised and updated version you’ll also need a new ISBN. (This doesn’t cover fixing some typos and errors).
  • If you create a series of books you can’t use the same ISBN for them. You can use the same ISSN, however. Many fiction and nonfiction authors, have an ISSN number assigned to their book series. ISSN stands for International Standard Series Number, and can be purchased from the Library of Congress. However, each book in the series will need its own ISBN.

We mentioned that in the USA you can buy ISBNs as a single unit, a bulk of 10, 100 or 1000. Here are the prices:

Number of ISBNs You Get Price
1 $125
10 $295
100 $575
1000 $1500

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First off, it rarely makes sense to purchase a single ISBN. A single ISBN would cost you $125, but a bulk of 10 only costs $295. Meaning if you purchased 10, each ISBN would cost you $29.50, a 76% discount.

Buying a single ISBN might seem feasible if you only want to publish one title, but remember that you need an ISBN for each format. So if you want to publish your book as an audiobook, you’d need a brand new ISBN for that. As well as needing different ISBNs for your eBook and print versions.

Not to mention that you’ll need an ISBN for any future books you publish, perhaps as sequels to your book.

We recommend that if your serious in making book sales you purchase at least a bulk of 10 ISBNs. That gives you 3 ISBNs to use for publishing as an eBook, in print, and as an audiobook. You can keep the remainder for books you publish in the future.

Wrapping It Up

Now that you have a very good idea how to buy and use ISBNs for your own books, all the best on setting this up. If you want to be recognized as a publisher and have your books available to a larger global audience by registering through Bowker, consider investing in your own ISBNs. Think of it as buying a piece of property: You own it and it is registered in your name.

For more information, you can find out anything you want to know by visiting the official Bowker page or at myidentifiers.com

Here’s a simple actionable checklist for ISBNs.

To buy an ISBN for your next book, here is what you should do:

  1. Go to the website https://www.myidentifiers.com
  2. Under the ISBN drop down tab, click on ISBNs—Buy Here. You can select 1, 10 or 100. For a bulk purchase, go to “Buying ISBNs in Bulk” and you can contact Bowker directly to discuss your options.
  3. Once you have your ISBN assigned, you can then use it everywhere that requires your ISBN number.
  4. At Createspace, under the “Setup” channel, you can choose to have Createspace assign you an ISBN. When you buy your own ISBN at Bowker, just put in the 13-digit number and Createspace will use this in your paperback.
  5. If you publish your paperback through KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), you can fill in your number in the “Paperback Content” section of your book when you log into your bookshelf. If you choose to have Createspace assign you an ISBN, KDP will ask for your 13-digit number if you are transferring your physical version over to KDP.
  6. Register your ISBN here at Bowker as soon as your book is ready for sale. Download the free ISBN Guides: Title Set Up & Registration step-by-step guide.

Helpful Links & Resources

These links appeared throughout the post but here they are for easy access.

International ISBN Agency

https://www.isbn-international.org

ISBN.org by Bowker

http://www.isbn.org/faqs_general_questions

Bowkerlink Publisher Access System

https://commerce.bowker.com/corrections/common/home.asp

Bowker Identifier Services

https://www.myidentifiers.com

U.S. Copyright Office

https://www.copyright.gov

ISBN Set Up Guide

ISBN Guides: Basic Information

sell more books

How to Sell More Books on Amazon

“To reach more readers and take your sales to the next level, you must proactively market your book”.

— Mark Coker

You have just written a book, spent thousands on getting it to market, and now…you’ve sold a few copies.

You heard about this passive income strategy but it’s now clear that selling more books isn’t as easy as it was made out to be.

Making money from your book isn’t as easy as they say, but it doesn’t have to be impossible either if you set your book up for success right from the start.

This post will show you how to sell more books.

There are no hidden gimmicks or a secret formula to making money from your writing. When I started out book publishing, I struggled for the first year to break the hundred dollars a month mark. Gradually, with troubleshooting, testing and learning from the people who were making five figures a month, the passive income model for making money on Amazon [and other platforms] makes more sense.

So if you’re an author wanting to make money from your book [and who doesn’t, right?] this post will take you into the trenches of bookselling.

Is it easy to make money from your writing? No, there is a lot of work involved. We have to do things right and set our work up for long term sales. As an author, you should know as much about marketing your book as you do about writing it. After all, the writing will get your book published, but promotion and marketing will get your book sold.

Selling lots of books begins with the basics of book production and leading up to the book launch, so we must create our book with the goal of getting it into the hands of our audience and bringing new readers into our brand.

When it comes to selling books and making money, 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, the criteria for any book, that must be met if your book is even going to stand a chance in the marketplace. Remember: you’re competing with millions of other books out there and that there are about 4500 books published everyday. 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 get-go, before you even put pen to paper.

It begins with…

The 7 Essential Elements for Selling More Books

“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 marketing strategies? How can I sell thousands of books a month?” We will get to that. But first, before you think about earning thousands of dollars and retiring early, the foundation for selling books begins here.

When it comes to selling a book, you have  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 essentials that a good book must have.

1. An awesome book cover that gets a second glance.

Someone once said: “You can never tell a book by it’s cover.” That was true back in 1946 but in today’s publishing realm, 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:

99 Designs

Happy Self Publishing/Covers

KillerBookCovers.com

Archangel Ink/Covers

mnsartstudionew/fiverr

2. An Intriguing Book Title and Subtitle.

If the cover is the gateway to drawing a browsers attention, the title of your book is what sells it. Your title 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.

Check out these great titles for inspiration:

Habit Stacking: 127 Small Changes to Improve Your Health, Wealth, and Happiness by S.J. Scott

Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want by Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy

Relaunch Your Life: Break the Cycle of Self-Defeat, Destroy Negative Emotions and Reclaim Your Personal Power by Scott Allan

How to Be an Imperfectionist: The New Way to Self-Acceptance, Fearless Living, and Freedom from Perfectionism by Stephen Guise

Break Through Your BS: Uncover Your Brain’s Blind Spots and Unleash Your Inner Greatness by Derek Doepker

Book Launch: How to Write, Market & Publish Your First Bestseller in Three Months or Less AND Use it to Start and Grow a Six Figure Business by Chandler Bolt

3. Book Reviews & Book Launch Sales Volume

If a browser is sold on your cover and the theme resonates with 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. The bottom line is: Reviews sell more books. Getting reviews is an ongoing marketing strategy you should always be working on.

Amazon’s algorithm is strongly linked to the volume of book sales and reviews. A book that sells well within the first two weeks supported by a healthy volume of high ranking reviews will push your book higher into the popularity ranks of new releases during the launch phase.

The long term strategy for selling more books over an extended period of time is to focus everything you have on the first 2-3 weeks of your launch. Basically it comes down to selling loads of books and getting people to leave reviews.

Getting reviews is a lot of work but the effort is well worth it. Aside from the cover, the reviews will make or break your sales. You should 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.
  • Invite people to join your launch team and provide early reviewers with a copy of your book to review 2 weeks before you publish.
  • Scroll through the list of Amazon’s Top Reviewers and request a review

4. A Killer Book Description

Amazon allows authors to include a lengthy book description on the author page. This is definitely an area that you want to spend time on. Your book cover, title, and reviews are generally enough to make the sale, but a solid looking book description adds weight to the overall quality of the product.

Your book description is 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:

The Art of Everyday Assertiveness: Speak Up. Say No. Set Boundaries. Take Back Control by Patrick King

The Science of Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone: How to Live Fearlessly, Seize Opportunity, and Make Each Day Memorable by Peter Hollins

The Critical Mind: Make Better Decisions, Improve Your Judgment, and Think a Step Ahead of Others by Zoe McKey

5. Keywords

If nobody can find your book, they can’t buy it either. This is where researching and implementing the right keywords plays 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 prime 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 when customers plug in the relevant keywords to discover your kind of book. Why does this matter? Yes, a book that ranks well gets more visibility and this leads to…book sales!

There are two 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 browsers, 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. Eventually, if you become a successful author, most people can just plug in your author name and go right to your Amazon author page after they have trust in your brand.

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.

Of course we expect a book that is, not only well-written but, mostly error free meaning, the occasional error may be tolerated. But, a book riddled with bad grammar, misspelling, and a sloppy appearance is not going to sell.

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 and you don’t want to cut corners with this.

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.

7. Pricing Your Book

One question that I often get from authors is: “How much should I price my book at?” I know, we want to maximize our profit but not scare away potential readers because of an overpriced book. First, remember that for any book priced $1.99 or 0.99 cents, the royalty is just 35%. 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. If you are an established author with a strong following, you could potentially charge more. Books that are priced slightly higher than the norm may do better if they are packaged well [aka quality cover, large volume of reviews].

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 from $9.99 – $12.99. Take into account there are printing costs, your royalties can do better per sale based on the higher price of the book at a 60% royalty rate.

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.

If you follow the steps above, that would place your book in the top 10% at least. Then, take it a step further with a marketing plan and now you are making some real money.

Mind you, the strategies I am laying out for you here represent the infrastructure of a book business. These are not quick ways to make a buck but rather, you are laying the foundation for setting up passive income and drawing monthly income from your books.

I’ll be honest, if you want to create a long term, sustainable income from your books, you have to do a lot more than send out ‘tweets’ or weekly blog posts. Selling lots of books can be narrowed down to one word: traffic.

How do we get traffic? By invitation. How do we invite people to buy our books? We give stuff away and provide so much value that they can’t possible say no.

It begins with setting up an email list of raving fans.

With an email list, you can create a sustainable platform of fans that are waiting for your next book release. When you launch a book, can you imagine if you had 1000 eager readers waiting to grab your latest release on the first day when it launches? Not only would you have an instant bestseller but, you’ll end up in the top of your category and the Amazon top rankings and search engines. How great would that be?

Building an email list takes time, patience, and a lot of work. You need to be strategic with your list and deliver valuable material that they need. This could be free giveaways or a weekly blog post. Consistent engagement builds your list and becomes the foundation for your author infrastructure.

Without an active email list, we are 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.

Getresponse

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.

Run Book Promos Every 3-6 months

You’ll find that, even the best of the 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].

BookSends. Requires average 5 reviews at $40.

Bargain Booksy. I love this one, no reviews needed and you can sign up right away and get approved. $25 for nonfiction.

Awesome Gang. This one is great for the price, $10.

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 is really hard to make money from just one book. This is why I recommend writing and publishing a lineup of books that your fanbase 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.

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 out out a new book every 3-4 months?

Here are a few authors creating a library of books and doing very well with their platform of consistent releases:

Patrick King, Social Interaction Specialist

S.J. Scott, Develop Better Habits

Martin Meadows, Self-Discipline and Grit

Peter Hollins, Human Psychology

Zoe McKey, Communication and Personal Development

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.

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

  1. Create a book trailer and post the video on YouTube or Vimeo.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Set up a professional author email. For example: john@johnauthor.com
  5. Get professional author pictures taken. Post these to your website, social media, and the paperback copy on the back.
  6. 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.
  7. Get video testimonials for your book. Post to YouTube and your website.
  8. 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].
  9. Run a book giveaway on Goodreads.
  10. Write a series of blog posts related to your books and overall branding theme.
  11. Guest post blog for well-known sites and drive backlinks to your website or Amazon author page.
  12. Get featured on as many podcasts as you can. This is a great way to drive traffic to your book pages and site.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Set up an AMS ad for your book. You can check out this free course right here: Book Advertising: Free AMS Advertisement Course for Authors
  16. Create free content [checklist, mini ebook, or audiobook] and give it away for free inside your book.
  17. Create a virtual bundle of your books when you get several titles published.
  18. Create a course based on your book. This has the potential to be a strong upsell. Take a look at udemi and teachable for launching your course to these platforms.
  19. Create an email autoresponder series for subscribers.
  20. Create a slideshare presentation using the best material from your book.
amazon categories

How To Get Approved for More Amazon Book Categories

When it comes to self-publishing your upcoming book, do not make light of selecting your book categories! Although it may appear to be a small detail, you must realize that your readers often resort to categories when looking for books on a specific topic. Therefore, selecting the best book categories for your upcoming bestseller is a critical decision as it will impact your book sales.

Here are more notable reasons why your book should have best fitting categories:

  • It can help you become a bestseller. Like the New York Times bestseller, Amazon can also tag your book with an orange badge that says “#1 Bestseller”. And with thousands of Amazon categories to compete and rank for, this means that there’s plenty of opportunity for you to become an Amazon bestseller!
  • You can gain more exposure on Amazon. By appearing on different categories, your book can appeal to different audiences. And if your book ranks in the top ten of any category listings, Amazon will include your book to its “Recommendations Engine”  which will generate more publicity!

But with plenty of book categories on Kindle Direct Publishing as well as the plethora of books competing for attention, how do you choose the right categories to make your book stand out to your reader?

In this post, we will share our best strategies to help you pick the right categories for your book that will increase your sales rank and obtain maximum exposure through Amazon’s search engine.

Here are the three topics we will cover:

  1. How to Research Your Competition
  2. How to Strategically Select Your Category
  3. How to Acquire Additional Categories

Let’s get started!

1. How to Research Your Competition

If your goal is to appear on the first page of search results on Amazon, then you must take advantage of every window of opportunity to succeed. In order to do so, you first must research your competition.

When you begin researching for book categories, you should start by scanning the bestselling books on every first page results of your target category.

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The reason is simply due to the fact that the first page results are most likely what your readers are going to be looking for! Therefore, it’s important to identify the top selling books for each category you want to target.

Next, go through each of the books on the first page results and study its category string links. For example, here are the category links for Taylor Pearson’s book, The End of Jobs:

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Notice that for a book on Entrepreneurship, it’s ranked highest for “Labor & Workforce” and “Economics”. This goes to show that by placing their book into such unique categories, the author completely understood their target audience which is why The End of Jobs appears on several first page results.

So if you want to have a high ranking for your category, make it a priority to research your competitors’ categories and emulate their methods with your book.

Action Plan: Research the first page competitors in five categories of your choosing. Take note to any unique categories your competitors rank in, and apply them to your upcoming book.  

2. How to Strategically Select Your Category

Because the Amazon’s Kindle Store has thousands of categories to choose from as well as an overwhelming amount of books fighting for attention, the competition can be relentless and unfair to new writers. But there is one approach that will have you stand out: Select trending categories with little competition.

What is considered a competitive rank?

We find that any categories with books ranking higher than #2000 is considered very competitive and not a recommended category for new writers. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t place your book in a competitive ranking, but if you do, be sure to have a well planned book launch with a sizable audience that can provide a lot of verified reviews. For new authors with a smaller following, we recommend aiming for certain categories with books that rank between #10,000-30,000.

Once you’ve completed this research, you should have a list of thriving categories to place your book in that will outrank your competitors.

Action Plan: With the five categories you’ve researched, take the time to review your competitors’ ranking that fall between #10,000-30,000. For even better results, we also recommend using the KDP Calculator to calculate how many books you would need to sell in order increase your ranking.

3. How to Acquire Additional Categories

When you upload your book for the first time, Amazon will offer you a select list of categories to choose from. At a first glance, you will notice that the selection seems rather limited and is missing plenty of categories that you’ve seen other books rank for. Unfortunately, Amazon has done this intentionally so that they can place new books into their own kindle categories.

Don’t let Amazon determine your categories! There’s thousands of sub-categories you can rank for, and you can even include an additional eight sub-categories not found in the usual channels.

Here how you can acquire these categories:

  1. Use Amazon Keyword Selection. Include the name of your category as one of your “Amazon Keywords”. In order to obtain a particular category, you must include specific keywords in the Kindle submission form. For more information on Keyword requirements, visit Amazon’s browse category page to learn more.
  2. Place your categories in strategic places. To convince Amazon that your book should be placed in specific category, strategically work the words of the category onto the title, subtitle or even the summary of your book page.
  3. Contact Amazon. You can contact Amazon and request your book to be placed in a particular category. Amazon will then assess your entire book and determine if it’s an appropriate fit for the specific browse category. If approved, These categories will appear in the “Look for similar items by category” at the bottom of the book page.

Action Plan: Experiment with these strategies to acquire additional sub-categories for your book. Remember you can include eight additional keywords that can convince Amazon to place your book in the categories of your choosing.

If you want a successful book launch, you must not overlook even the tiniest of details. By following these guidelines on how to select your book category, your first book will have maximum exposure and the best chance to appear in the Amazon bestseller list.

Like what you read and want to learn more? We’re holding a FREE online workshop where Chandler is revealing the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row… and use them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years. Click here to save your spot now!

self publishing on amazon

The Definitive Guide For Self Publishing on Amazon

Publishing a book today is easier than ever. You no longer need to go through painstaking efforts to land a book deal which locks you into unrealistic deadlines and cuts you out of most of the earnings. You can now have complete control of your book, and its revenues, by self-publishing.

But many writers get overwhelmed by the abundance of information about self-publishing. It can be intimidating for first-time publishers. So we created a step-by-step comprehensive self-publishing guide for you to follow in order to get your book published on Amazon’s Kindle (KDP) Network.

This guide will cover:

  1. Creating a Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Account
  2. Crafting Your Book Title/Subtitle
  3. Writing Your Book Description
  4. Choosing the Right Keywords
  5. Selecting the Right Categories
  6. Utilizing the Preorder Option
  7. Uploading Your Manuscript
  8. Creating a Book Cover
  9. Pricing Your Book

Let’s begin!

1. Creating a Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Account

Amazon has a platform called Kindle Direct Publishing that can create and manage your Kindle eBook, paperback, and audio books. It’s widely used to build books from the ground up. Fortunately, setting up your KDP account is easy, and should be the first step you complete.

  1. Go to https://kdp.amazon.com and register with either your Amazon account or with your email address.
  2. Next, click “Update” in your account information and fill in your tax information. It’s important to note that you need to complete your tax information BEFORE you can publish your first book. So don’t skip this step!
  3. Once your tax information is complete, click “Finished” and return to the main page.
  4. Your profile is complete!

With your KDP account setup, proceed to setting up the details of your book.

2. Crafting a Book Title and Subtitle

In your KDP profile, you need to fill in the title and subtitle of your book. While a subtitle is optional, having a good subtitle is something you should definitely consider.

Here are a few tips to crafting a great book title:

  • Use a Book Hook: Your book hook should speak to the reader in a unique voice that grabs their attention and feeds into what they are looking for.
  • List the Benefits: Your potential readers want to know what they will get from reading your book. One technique is to deliver the benefits in the subtitle,providing enough tantalizing information to further attract readers.

For more book title strategies, check out our guide on How to Choose the Perfect Title for Your Book.

3. Writing Your Book Description

Here’s what people notice first when seeing a new book:

  1. Title
  2. Cover
  3. Book Description

A book description is essentially a short written narrative that illustrates what your book is about. It should be written like a sales page to capture the interest of your reader. This is crucial because the description, in many cases, is the final factor that determines whether the reader will read your book or not. Done correctly, a well-written book description can practically sell a book on its own.

Here are some strategies to help craft your perfect description:

  • Make your first sentence as enticing as possible  
  • Write your description like a sales page or advertisement, not a dry summary of your book
  • Have the description feel personal and empathetic
  • Detail the benefits your reader will gain by reading your book

Here are our favorite books with great descriptions:

Spend some time crafting your eye-catching book description. It will make your book stand out to your readers and motivate them to purchase your book. For the best results we recommend using the Free Amazon Book Description generator at kindlepreneur.com

4. Choosing the Right Keywords

If you want your book to show up in Amazon and Google search engines, you’ll need the right mix of keywords. Since Amazon allows only seven keywords per book, keyword selection requires strategy.

You can research the right keyword phrases by using search tools such as:

  • KDP Rocket: This is a great tool for comparing Google search results to Amazon. It gives you a competitive score from 1-99, keyword results from both Google and Amazon, and how much money other books are making.
  • KW Finder: This tool gives an analytical view of the keyword popularity using a competitive ranking. You can search five keywords for free per day.
  • Amazon’s Autofill Function: Take advantage of Amazon’s search box to find good keywords. Amazon’s suggestions are based on search history so you want to search for words that are high in demand with little competition.

Make a list of possible keywords for your book, then leverage the tools above to test your keywords. Putting in the time to get keywords right will have your book rank higher and appear more frequently to readers.

5. Selecting the Right Categories

Amazon provides a collection of categories and subcategories to choose from. Like keyword selecting, your goal is to look for trending areas that don’t have tons of competition. You can also check the rankings of the top three books on the first page of each category.

Amazon sales ranking measures how well a product is selling compared to its competitors. All books that are ranked 2,000 or less are considered to be highly purchased products in that particular category. Unless you have an established audience with significant downloads and reviews, try to aim for categories with books that rank between 10,000-30,000.

Do you want to know how to rank for ten categories? Check out our blog post that details How to Get Approved for More Categories on Amazon.

6. Uploading Your Manuscript

To upload your manuscript, it first must be saved in a supported kindle format. Once that’s complete, you can upload your book very quickly:

  1. In your KDP account, go to “Your Bookshelf”.
  2. Locate and click on “Kindle eBook Actions” next to the title of book.
  3. Locate and click on “Edit eBook Content”.
  4. Click on “Upload eBook manuscript”.
  5. Upload your manuscript file on your computer.
  6. Upload complete!

Once Amazon finishes uploading your file, a confirmation message will be sent and you can preview the uploaded file to check for any errors. You can upload the manuscript as many times as you want and the new version will override the existing.

It’s important to check how your book looks using the “Look Inside” feature once the book is live on Amazon. This feature is often the first thing your prospective readers will click on when checking out your book. If the formatting is off here, it can deter readers from picking up your book. Take this extra step to make sure your formatting looks good here too.

7. Creating Your Book Cover

When it comes to publishing a successful book on Amazon, having a perfect book cover is one of the most important aspects to get right. Your cover is exactly how your book will be judged on first glance.

So you must make sure that it is created professionally and that it will stand apart from the rest of the books in your genre or category.

You can find cover creators on freelancing sites such as:

Prices will depend on the level service, but these sites will give you plenty of amazing graphic designers to choose from! It’s a great investment that will make your book stand out perfectly.

8. Pricing Your Book

A question often asked is: “How much should I be pricing my book at after the initial launch is over?”

This is up to the author, but generally the best range to have your book priced is between $2.99 to $9.99.

The royalty payments vary depending on the country, but you can learn more on KDP Select pricing page.

One popular strategy for beginners is to price your book at $2.99 and gradually increase it by $1 per week. At some point, your sales will begin to dip. And while that’s normally a negative statistic, for this case, it confidently tells you the perfect price of your book that guarantees profit.

Here are the 4 main pricing strategies to consider in order to be competitive and sell books:

  • Know the price of your competitors. Compare the list price of your book to the books around you and determine if you would be able to sell your book for a higher price.
  • Know the size of your followers. Famous authors can charge a lot for their books because they have a big following. If you’re not in this category, your book should be priced lower to encourage new readers to your work.
  • Determine price based on size of your book. Size makes a difference when it comes to books. Don’t charge $20 for a 75 page book. Customers will immediately be turned off with the lack of content at that price point.
  • Measure price based on reviews. Reviews carry a big weight on influence, and is social proof that your book has been read and well received. Therefore, a book with higher reviews (1000+ reviews) can be priced higher compared to a book with fewer reviews (30+ reviews).

You can get legitimate and honest reviews from:

  • Your personal launch team
  • Amazon’s top reviewers
  • Fans of your social media page
  • Personal email list

Experiment with these strategies to pinpoint the price for your book, it will drive long-term success.

If you want to become a self-publishing author, you must be fluent with platforms such as Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. Use these guidelines to self-publish your book, and it will appear on Amazon’s bestseller list in no time.

writing a book

7 Strategies to Start Writing Your Book Today

Beginning the process of writing your book and presenting it to a worldwide audience is very exciting. You have amazing ideas that you want to share with the world, and you’re more motivated than ever to educate your readers about them!

But once you begin, you may realize that writing a book is hard work. There are many obstacles that can prevent you from writing and can create stress leading to anxiety. For example, you may find yourself in front of a blank page unable to type and thinking of stressful questions like: “How do I write this entire book?”, “Do I need to blog first?”, or “Should I start without an outline”?

Writing a book shouldn’t be this hard! But many get overwhelmed because they lack a writing process.

If you’re feeling demotivated when it comes to starting your book, you’re not alone. Writing can still be one of the hardest parts for most authors even if they have been writing for a long time!

Fortunately, there are some extremely effective techniques for how to start writing a book and overcome these hurdles.

Here are seven effective strategies you can put into action to assure you show up with a game plan to get your thoughts out of your head, down on paper, and into the minds of your readers.

1. Set Up Your Creative Environment

Create an environment that is designed to help you stay focused. Whether you prefer noisy environments or absolute solitude, it’s up to you to determine which will get you into the writer’s flow.

Here are a few ideas to create your ideal space for writing:

  • Have collections of inspiration. Decorate your work area with inspiring quotes or pictures that house references to deep work.
  • Unclutter your space. Create an uncluttered open space to help organize not only what you need, but also your thoughts.
  • Be Flexible. Your creative space doesn’t need to be one spot, it can be anywhere. Even your favorite authors have discovered their best ideas in the most unexpected places.
  • Buy a calendar: Your book will get written faster if you have set goals for the week/day. The best way to manage this is by scheduling your time on a calendar. Schedule every hour that you commit to your author business. What gets scheduled, gets done.
  • Create a music playlist for inspiration: Many authors can write to the sound of their favorite tunes. Is there anything that gets you working faster? Do you write better with deeper focus when listening to rock music or classical? Set up several playlists that you can use to get into the flow of writing.
  • Try Multiple Locations. You won’t know how creative you can be if you don’t try different spots to write. Maybe writing from your bed is your ideal creative space. What about working in a noisy cafe? Change up your location frequently particularly if you feel creatively spent.

Action Step: Spend 30 minutes to create your ideal space for writing. You will feel more inspired to show up and write.

2. Develop a Writing Habit

The number one reason authors fail to publish a book is because they never finish the book they intend to write. Why? Because they didn’t form a good writing habit.

Feeling overwhelmed when writing is natural, but you must remember that the journey of writing a book always begins with the first page. And in order to write your first page, you must take action. This is why having a writing habit will develop your writer’s flow.

Your writing habit can start small. Don’t overwhelm yourself thinking that you must write your every thought on the page. You can start with a few paragraphs, a sentence, or even just a word. The purpose of this exercise is to commit to your writing session everyday until it has become second nature.

Action Step: If you don’t have a writing routine already, get one started! Momentum begins by taking that first action.

3. Create an Outline

A clear outline provides clarity and direction to your story. It is also the road map for your book that keeps you on track and makes sure you have all your ideas organized in a natural flow. When you get stuck, you can always go back to your outline to find what comes next regardless of whether the book is 100 pages or 300 pages long. It will help you see the overall picture.

Before you write, spend some time creating your outline with these steps:

  1. Brainstorm: List every thought and story idea you want in your book.
  2. Organize: Combine all related ideas together.
  3. Order: Arrange ideas into subsections from general to specific.
  4. Label: Create main and sub headings that will eventually be your chapters.

Action Step: Spend a good portion of your time constructing an outline. If you want more on creating it, be sure to check out our guide.

4. Work Only on One Project

One challenge many authors experience is taking on multiple new projects when they should be focused on one. Although enticing, the division of attention can spread your energy thin producing bad writing or worse, failure to complete your book.

There’s only one clear solution to this problem: Cut the clutter and focus on one project until it’s finished.

Be fully committed to your project by doing the following:

  • Create an action plan that breaks down the entire project into realistic portions to complete.
  • Set hard deadlines for each and every phase of your book.
  • Learn to say “NO” to any additional projects no matter how intriguing they appear.

Action Step: Create an action plan and commit to it. Learn to be selfish and practice saying “NO” often. It’s better to complete one book and get it right than to write two books with poor results.

5. Maintain Your Focus

Once you get into the flow of writing, you want to remain focused through the duration of your writing session. Any break to your concentration can set you back 20-30 minutes and disrupt your flow. We become less efficient when we are distracted, and it can end up taking twice as long to complete our writing.

Thankfully, there are very effective techniques that can help you remain centered in the moment.

 Leave the distractions behind by doing the following:

  • Create a writing schedule.  Schedule your writing for the same time each day. This conditioning will develop your writing habit until it becomes as natural as knowing when to brush your teeth.
  • Use the Pomodoro Technique. This is a time management strategy that breaks down work into intervals separated by short breaks. With a clock ticking, you will less likely be distracted by email or social media.
  • Turn off your phone. Your phone is the most addicting device that steals your precious attention. Don’t let it take that from you, turn it off.
  • Have a Task Management app. Task Manager apps, like Todoist, helps you organize your tasks by their time and priority, so you know exactly what to do in what order the next day.
  • Disconnect from the Internet. Want to ensure you don’t get distracted by email notifications, Facebook notifications etc? Disconnect your computer from the Internet and enjoy distraction-free writing time.

Action Plan: Experiment with each of these productivity techniques and optimize your writer’s flow. By becoming a productivity expert, you will easily double your output and complete your book in no time.

6. Stay Accountable with the “Calendar” Strategy

Jerry Seinfeld is one of the most popular comedians of all time, and he attributes his success to his unbelievably strong writing habits. In the early days of his career, Seinfeld was asked how he managed to have such great content. He said, “The way to be a better comic is to create better jokes, and the way to create better jokes was to write every day.”

Seinfeld used the “Calendar Method”, otherwise known as the “Don’t Break the Chain” method, and it worked like this:

  1. Get yourself a calendar, and hang it on the wall.
  2. For each day you write, draw an X on the calendar for that day. By the end of the week, you should have a row of Xs at the end.
  3. If you miss a day, start over and see how long you can go before breaking the chain.

If you can keep this chain going, you will have your book written faster than you can imagine.

Action Plan: Buy yourself a calendar and get started on the “Calendar Method”! Being held accountable will keep you motivated and not “Break the Chain”.

7. Deal With Resistance

Resistance is a common obstacle that holds us back from creating. It is a form of fear that intimidates you from writing and can throw you off your writer’s flow. Everyone has encountered this awful feeling, but it doesn’t have to defeat you.

Here are a few ways to deal with resistance:

  • Read morning affirmations. Affirmations are powerful snippets of positive words that set the tone and atmosphere for writing. An affirmation could be a quote from a writer, a motivational speech from a public figure, or an inspirational video.
  • Free Flow for 10 Minutes. Julia Cameron, the bestselling author of The Artist’s Way, called these morning pages, and its purpose is to clear your mind of all the anxiety and junk rolling around in your head onto a piece of paper. Write anything. You don’t have to edit, publish, or have a word count, it’s simply a 10 minute exercise to clear out heavy thoughts and prepare you for a more productive day. This is best done with pen and paper vs. typing into a document on your digital device.
  • Exercise. Exercising is not only good for your health, but will help keep you mentally sharp. Working out will increase the blood flow to the brain which will sharpen your awareness and give you the energy you need to tackle your book.

Action Plan: Create a resistance plan! Figure out which methods best filter out negative noise and get you to prepared to write.

If you want to become a published author, you must take ownership of your writing habits. By following these seven strategies, you can have a completed book within months and be on your way to becoming a successful writer.

Your next bestseller is closer than you think.