Borders. Going… going…
A July 19, 2011 article in International Business News entitled “Borders Closes: The End of An Era of Traditional Bookstores” reminds us of the fast pace changes taking place in business and new opportunity in electronic publishing.
Here is an excerpt from that article. The 400 bookstores under the Borders, Waldenbooks, Borders Express and Borders Outlet names will be closing shop in the U.S. after 40 years of existence, highlighting the decline of the hardcover and paperback bookstores worldwide.
As traditional bookstores have lost market share, online-based retailing has continued to gain more popularity as a distribution method for book, music and movie merchandise. Not only that, the Internet has enabled changes to formats — more e-books are now sold — publishers have to offer as more people are shopping on-line.
In the U.S, when looking for books, used to be you’ll be pointed to a local Borders outlet or other bookstores located in every corner. Now someone will just tell you to type Amazon.com on your PC or smartphone.
As for Borders, Jahm Najafi, head of Najafi Cos., negotiated a sale agreement to keep the stores open and save their 10,500 employees. However, unsecured creditors, holding some of the $1.3 billion in debt that the bookstore chain has accumulated, opposed a deal citing that the offer by liquidators Hilco and Gordon Brothers are offering more for the assets.
The closing of Borders also reminds us of the importance of controlling our own destiny when it comes to earning income and gaining fulfillment in life. Borders was the second largest U.S. bookstore chain and had over 600 stores. The company employed nearly 11,000 people.
Technology is changing the world and we can improve our lives when we embrace Change.
This is why we have been helping many readers gain their own turnkey extra earnings opportunity. This is why we are happy to offer online courses that help you learn how to have your own successful micro business.
This is also why once a month Michelle Toole, a student of our self publishing course, shares a tip on how she built a successful internet business from scratch.
Michelle made a fateful decision… to attend a seminar in Ecuador, with us. What she learned there led her to take our self publishing course.
Michelle was disabled when she took our self publishing course “Self Fulfilled – How to be a Self Publisher”.
She took what she learned from our publishing courses and created her own successful global micro website.
Michelle wrote: “I have some great news, my web site http://healthy-holistic-living.com is now getting on average 2,000 visitors a day! Yup my little one man show web site now gets close to 60,000 visitors each month! The power of the internet is amazing as well as the opportunities. We have said it before but it deserves saying again the internet is truly the great equalizer.
“My web site is at a point now that it is growing without much effort and produces a nice passive income allowing me to continue working on my second site http://home-remedies-and-natural-cures.com and to get my third site up and running. I am also working on various joint ventures with other web sites focusing on helping others start their own web business. I am doing monthly webinars helping disabled individuals start their own business on the Internet and will be starting a coaching club in the new year. The opportunities are only limited by one’s imagination.
“Again I can not thank you and Merri enough, I look forward to many great adventures and new experiences in the coming years!”
We are really delighted to share Michelle’s ideas since she was originally a student of our courses on how to self publish. Here below is Michelle’s latest lesson:
Boosting Your Bottom Line with Kindle II
Creating and marketing your first kindle book requires a bit of elbow grease, just like anything else. The key is to know the steps to creating a solid and successful marketing plan and to make sure your potential customers cannot only find you, but be so enchanted with your product that they buy it the minute they see it. Nothing to it.
Follow the steps below and you will be on your way to your first Kindle sale:
1) The Ever Important Keyword
Yup, keywords again. I know, I know, some of you out there hate that term simply because you may not know how to find the value in the keywords associated with your topic. Actually it is quite simple. The first rule of thumb is to never assume you know the ‘right’ keywords to use without researching their value. Why go through all the trouble of creating a brilliant book or guide that will never get found? You want to make sure that you are using keywords that get searches and get buyers.
You can use one of two services, both of which are free. The first is Google Adwords Keyword tool (http://tinyurl.com/2fu9n5o) and the second is Wordtracker (https://www.wordtracker.com/trial/). With Wordtracker you will need to sign up for their free trial and then make sure to cancel it after 7 days. Either service will do, the goal is to find keywords that have value that are associated with your topic. How is value determined when it comes to keywords? A very good question. On the internet the value of a keyword is determined by its profitability. You see, every keyword has a supply and demand and your goal is to use keywords associated with your topic that have a good demand, which means the number of people searching for that keyword on a monthly basis, and low supply, which means a medium to low number of other resources available that that utilize that keyword.
I am sure at this point you are wondering where you will actually use these keywords and it’s a good question. When you first upload your book to Kindle you will complete a form that asks several questions one of which is the keywords you would like to associate with your product. This is one of the first places you will use your keywords. But you will only be able to list a total of seven keywords, terms or phrases so choose wisely. You will also include your keywords in both your title and/or subtitle, this will ensure that your book is not only found via Amazon.com search, but also your general search engines. You will also likely include your keywords in your book description as well as making sure that they are in the ‘Sneak Peak’ which you learn about below.
So how does a person get found on Amazon.com? Another good question. Your book will be found via Amazon.com’s search box based on various criteria, specifically by popularity (number of books already sold on the site), and relevance to the keywords being searched. Amazon’s search engine also looks for keyword matches in the title/subtitle and tag fields. All good reasons to make sure that you pick great keywords for your book.
2) Tag Your It
Make sure to use Amazon.com’s ‘Tag’ feature. Amazon.com makes it easy to add another way for consumers to find your product. Not sure what a tag is? Well, think of a tag as a keyword or category label. Tags can both help you find items on the Amazon site as well as provide an easy way for you to “remember” and classify items for later recall.
According to Amazon.com if you have not previously made a purchase on Amazon.com, your tags will not be publicly visible. However, as soon as you buy something and add a new tag, all your tags will become public. Your tags will help others find interesting products and, likewise, you can see how other customers have tagged products. As you navigate using tags, you will find more and more interesting products, as collectively organized by other Amazon customers.
Where do you find tags? Simple go to your product page on Amazon.com and scroll down until you see ‘Tag This Product’ this is where you will list relevant terms to your book/guide. Amazon only allows you to add up to 15 tags so use them wisely.
3) Sell that Book
Create an engaging book description and book cover. Yup, you have one chance to pull your reader in and want more, and that is with your book cover and book description both must be engaging and eye catching. Keep in mind your book description is literally your sales page and you need to make sure that you take the time to write a creative and engaging description that will grab your reader and make them want more. There’s a 4,000-character limit (including spaces) for Kindle book descriptions so take the extra time to write great sales-oriented description that will be sure to get you the sale.
And remember “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Make sure you take the time to create a high quality book cover that will capture your audience’s attention. You could easily lose a sale simply based on your book’s cover. If you don’t have the skill or time to put into creating a high quality book cover drop me a note (http://michelletoole.com) I have an excellent resource.
4) Who are You?
Create an interesting Personal Profile and Author Page that let your readers know who you are. You have probably done this a thousand times with forums, chat rooms and social media and this time is no different except you are representing the author as well as the person.
If you have ever purchased anything from Amazon.com in the past you already have a personal profile started for you. All you need to do is go to Amazon.com and look at the top of the page where you will see ‘Your Name’s Amazon.com’ click on it. Now click on ‘Your Profile’ then on the ‘Edit Profile’ button. Now you can add your photo adding a bit of personal information, list your website and ad signature.
Creating an Author page is easy, start by following the simple instructions below outlined by Amazon.com in Author Central:
Amazon’s Author Central allows you to manage up to three Author Pages within a single account. If you write under your real name as well as a pseudonym, you can manage both Author Pages from the same Author Central account. Here’s how:
1. Log in to Author Central (https://authorcentral.amazon.com).
2. Click the “Books” tab located on the top of the page.
3. Click on the “Add more books” link that appears under “Are we missing a book?”
4. Search for books written by Nom de Plume by title, author, or ISBN.
5. Click “This is my book.”
Amazon.com will do a quick verification via email and your Author Page will be up and running. Now all you have to do is complete your biography, add your recent blog post, upcoming events, photos, videos and Twitter information.
5) Attract Top Reviews
Who doesn’t read a review? Positive reviews are great selling points and are essential to selling volume on Kindle. So how do you get great reviews? ASK, it’s that simple. When someone takes the time to send you a note letting you know that they appreciate your work ask them to post it on Amazon.com.
Haven’t gotten any feedback yet? Some of us are new to the game and haven’t had reader feedback so we need to be a bit more proactive. Send out review copies to your colleagues, blogs, websites asking for reviews and testimonials. Ask them if they would also be willing to post there testimonials or reviews on Amazon.com.
6) Let Them Have a Sneak Peak
Who doesn’t read the back cover of a book before they buy it? I know I do. So let your potential readers do the same thing by participating in Amazon.com’s ‘Look Inside’ feature (http://tinyurl.com/67jxfxf). Amazon.com makes it easy, all you need to do is sign up for their ‘Search Inside the Book’ program and you can reap the benefits by ranking higher on the Amazon.com searches. Yup, according to Amazon.com enrolling your titles helps sell more of your books in three primary ways:
1. Improved Search Results
2. Automated Personalization & Merchandising
3. Point-of-Sale Sampling
When you sign up for this feature they not only utilize the keywords that you have selected, as well as those included in your title and/or subtitle, but also the actual words in your book! This gives you an extra boost against your competition.
7) Don’t forget to Socialize
It’s time to share your published book with the world! Tell all your friends and family about your new book as well as business contacts. Use your Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin accounts to announce your success. If you don’t have any social media accounts now is the time to create one. You are now a published author and there is no time like the present to step into the spot light.
Technology is changing fast and with it comes enormous opportunity. The key is to take action today!
Are you having trouble with your e-book layout or converting it to Kindle? Don’t worry I can help. Over the past several years I have successfully published multiple e-books and this year I have ventured into Kindle publishing. Some of work I have done myself, but most of the time I depend on my friend, Colin, to get the job done. He is my right hand man when it comes to producing professional layouts, cover designs and Kindle conversions. Colin has set up a special page (http://kindle.michelletoole.com) for you to contact him regarding your projects. He is extremely professional and will do a top notch job for you. Just tell Michelle sent you and he will be sure to treat you right.
You can check out Michelle’s web sites at http://healthy-holistic-living.com and http://home-remedies-and-natural-cures.com. To get more great tips, like the ones above and to see how and what tools she used to create a successful on-line business go to sitesell-sbi.com
Get our Online Writers and Publishers Course “Self Fulfilled – How to be a Self Publisher” FREE
Plus gain $697 total. Enroll here for $499. Receive an extra course and four bonuses immediately.
Or see below how to get the entire course free and save $499 more.
Profits can be kindled with this question… which would you rather have… 12% of $10 or 70% of $3?
The answer to this question brings an obvious answer and creates a business opportunity.
Merri and I have loved our Kindles since they day they became available. Now you’ll see why we love them even more and how that passion can create profit and opportunity for you!
Plus you don’t even have to own a Kindle to take advantage of these profits and opportunities!
Growing numbers of “indies” (short for independent) writers are using Kindle to sell their publications.
There is a great story about a 26 year old who is cutting out BIG publishers by publishing direct to the Kindle.
She is writing vampire stories and is one of the top selling “indie” writers on the Kindle store.
This means she does not have a publishing deal. This allows her to keep 70% of her book sales. According to one article I read she is selling up to 100,000 electronic books a month.
That is impressive when you consider that it only takes a few tens of thousands of book sales at launch to get on the New York Times bestselling list.
The heck with lists! How about just writing and publishing? Her formula is to lower her sales price to between $.99 to $3.00. This compares to the typically $9.99 to $12.99 for other books on Kindle.
The lower price increases volume…. plus this cuts out a publisher, distributor and book store who normally absorb up to 88% of the income created by a book.
There are no printing costs, no shelf space, no inventory, no postal delivery. Most of the publishing expenses are eliminated.
The writer keeps 70%.
Amazon keeps 30%.
A typical writer earning 12% of the book sales makes about $1.20 per $9.99 book sale. A Kindle writer makes $2.10 on a $3 sale.
Previously one of the best selling Kindle writers was J.A. Konrath, but it was assumed he was popular because he previously had a publishing deal and so already had notoriety. That’s not the case with this girl (her name is Angela Hocking), who published stories on her blog before turning to Kindle. In fact, out of the top 25 best-selling indie Kindle writers, only 6 were previously affiliated with a publishing house.
If the story of 26 year Angela Hocking is true (so says the NY Times)… a 100,000 sales at $2 average brings in $200,000 a month and her earnings are $140,000 a month.
That is a great income.
Not every writer will do that well. Most of us don’t need to!
This is a new exciting era for writers. Not so good for publishers who do not adapt.
However like small bookstores, small publishers have great opportunity as well.
Smart… publishers who use this technology gain the following benefits.
* Printing, shipping and disposal (of unsold books) costs eliminated.
* Shelf space unlimited and almost free with no capital costs.
* There is increased sales volume. Kindle owners buy more books than print readers and will spend weekly to get new chapters rather than entire books.
There are three keys to success in this type of writing and publishing. We have repeatedly stressed them at our websites and in our business courses. Focus…. focus…. focus.
Buyers of books fall into niches.
Those who succeed are those who focus on a niche and create trust with those readers.
Take Merri’s and my publishing business as an example. Our readers know that the site content is about leading edge ideas related to fighting inflation, global investing, having micro businesses and being free to live anywhere.
These websites create a community of like minded souls around this niche.
Once a writer has become branded and has a list of readers, it is easy to expand by adding authors and related topics, and editing the books of other authors, knowing that they can help them sell their books.
Some amazing websites and businesses will be built and Kindle will be the search engine… the jumping off point is finding the original readers who will become the core of your list!
I plan to also take advantage of Kindle publishing and have a great head start (our list) that I want to share what I learn in the process with you.
Technology especially favors small publishers today. Portable computers, the internet, wireless access, on demand printing smart phones and electronic readers all create enormous new potential for small publishers.
This is why we are offering our Self Publishing correspondence course. Part of my agreement to my large publisher is that I raise my price as well so we have raised the price to $499 at our website catalog.
We hate inflation and do not like increasing price without adding value so we have added a special program so you save $697 with four bonuses… only with a special self publishing offer.
Better still get our self publishing course free in the next three days
Our emails go out to almost 25,000 readers every day. This is a photo of the list management page of our auto responder susten.
The numbers grow every day and as of yesterday, we sent 24,555 emails. When our smaller lists are thrown in the number rises to nearer 30,000.
Last year around this time our two main lists had 21,313 readers and the graph below from our autoresponding system shows the steady growth.
This gives us… the ability to help you the reader enjoy more than just information. We can provide contacts and networking as well.
Part of contact network program is our International Business and investing seminar. The next seminar is October 7-8-9.
We are offering a July special that helps you gain knowledge and contacts and great savings. You can enroll in our online course
Self Fulfilled – How to be a Self Publisher for $499 or enroll in our seminar and have it free.
Enroll before midnight July 24, 2011 for our October International Business & Investing Seminar, October 7, 8, 9, 2010 in the Blue Ridge Mountains of NC and get this $499 course FREE.
Early enrollment for our October 7-9 North Carolina Course click here for details.
P.S. Can’t make October? Enroll in the online course Self Fulfilled – How to be a Self Publisher for $499 and we’ll provide a $499 disc9unt off nay of our 2012 International Business & Investing seminars.