Self-Publishing with Dale | Learn How to Publish & Profit the Right Way
I’m Dale, and besides being a Certified Personal Trainer, I’m also a best-selling, self-published author of well over 40 books. I’m also working on my catalog in other languages like Spanish, German, and French!
NEW CONTENT! Extra Extra Uncut Exclusives - You Can't Get These Anywhere Else!
I'm excited to add this content to my Extra Extra Membership. I want you to know that I'm committed to making sure fresh content is added to this feature so you get your money's worth from subscribing. In fact, I putting content here that doesn't appear anywhere else. You can get the raw, uncut, FULL videos. Sometimes unpolished content has hidden gems.
So first up, I'll be adding THIRTEEN interviews, one per week over the next 13 weeks every Friday. Watch at your convenience. These interviews are with self-publishers and people in the self publishing industry who are in the thick of it just like us! Meet your tribe exclusively with Dale L. Roberts' Extra Extra Membership!
You can see a miscellaneous smattering of content that didn't really fit in other areas of Extra Extra. I hope you enjoy all the content. This is the only place you can get this specific content!
Self Publishing with Dale L. Roberts
Self Publishing with Dale L. Roberts - YouTube
NOTE: This was my second ever channel trailer and it didn't last long. Funny story - Though the video was less than 1 minute, it took me nearly 12 hours to produce. This was my breaking point and I took a hiatus from YouTube to re-evaluate what I was doing with YouTube. Was I producing content to entertain myself? Or, did I want to help people in self publishing books? I think you know the answer. After that, I cleaned up my content, made it family-friendly and start producing daily content. The video was supposed to be a spoof on old '80s commercials by the National Enquirer and I meant to make the footage grainy. By the time 12 hours rolled around on production, I just threw in the towel. Never. Again. That was way too much time for so little a payoff.
Self Publishing Success Formula: How to Make More Money Publishing Books on Amazon
Self Publishing Success Formula: How to Make More Money Publishing Books on Amazon - YouTube
Do you want to make more money with self publishing on Amazon? Wouldn't you like to experience more than simply Kindle publishing success in 2017? Then, you may want to consider diversifying your self-publishing business beyond Kindle Direct Publishing. With the Self-Publishing Success Formula, there's no telling what kind of paychecks you'll get every month. I’ll discuss that and more in today's video about self publishing success in 2017. Relevant links discussed in the video: -Self Publishing Success Stories with Jason Bracht https://youtu.be/no8ymnPTgBg -eBook Stats https://www.statista.com/topics/1474/e-books/ -How to Publish an Audiobook on ACX Playlist (unlisted) https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXCkkWHluK4A00ZmrIxVQsQWlI1H9Sjlz
Kindle Publishing Books 2017: Is Kindle Publishing Worth It?
NOTE: This video ended up being one of my most viewed videos up until more recently when my Grammarly Review video overtook it. Now that it's 2017, the big question remains... Is Kindle Publishing worth it? Can you make money with Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing? Well, I have good news for most and bad news for a few. I'll share the bad news first and make it easy on you. The good news...SPOILER ALERT...is I'm going to share with you 4 (technically 5) crazy profitable categories and niches for Amazon Kindle e books in 2017. Kindle Publishing is not just alive, but thriving. Get yours by watching this episode today!
Kindle Publishing Alternatives: 3 Steps to Publish on Draft2Digital
Kindle Publishing Alternatives: 3 Steps to Publish on Draft2Digital - YouTube
NOTE: I love Draft2Digital these days and even prefer using them for their autoformatting software. WARNING: (NSFW) This video does provide information about self-publishing yet is meant to elicit laughter, too. Don't take yourself too seriously and have fun with it. I share some facts and pepper them with opinions and personal insights. Draft2Digital has been a great alternative for many self-publishers and is certainly worth pursuing if you want more exposure outside of Amazon. Enjoy! Draft2Digital: https://www.draft2digital.com/
Kindle Publishing Alternatives: Seven Simple Steps to Smashwords Premium Distribution
Kindle Publishing Alternatives: Seven Simple Steps to Smashwords Premium Distribution - YouTube
WARNING: (NSFW) This video does provide information about self-publishing yet is meant to elicit laughter, too. Don't take yourself too seriously and have fun with it. I share some facts and pepper them with opinions and personal insights. Smashwords has been a great alternative for many self-publishers and is certainly worth pursuing if you want more exposure outside of Amazon. Enjoy! Smashwords (non-affiliate link): https://www.smashwords.com/
Kindle Publishing & Beyond: Crappy Book Titles
Kindle Publishing & Beyond: Crappy Book Titles - YouTube
How to Learn Faster: The Productivity Hack to Speed Up YouTube Videos
How to Learn Faster: The Productivity Hack to Speed Up YouTube Videos - YouTube
WARNING: (NSFW) This video does provide information about self-publishing yet is meant to elicit laughter, too. Don't take yourself too seriously and have fun with it. This method of speeding up YouTube videos works primarily on desktop and laptop devices.
How to Outsource Your Kindle Publishing Business
How to Outsource Your Kindle Publishing Business - YouTube
WARNING: (NSFW) This video does provide information about self-publishing yet is meant to elicit laughter, too. Don't take yourself too seriously and have fun with it. Outsourcing or hiring ghost writers is more intricate than a four-minute video will allow for thorough explanation. The message sent to ghostwriter was fake. But, the message from the potential ghostwriter is real; however, the image is blurry to protect his identity.
How to Become an Erotica Publisher On Kindle
How to Become an Erotica Publisher On Kindle - YouTube
NOTE: Wow! I went there. I guess there's no undoing that. The funny part is my wife was all too eager to help make this comedy bit. I believe this video gave me a bump in subscribers oddly enough. haha WARNING: (NSFW) This video does provide information about self-publishing yet is meant to elicit laughter, too. Don't take yourself too seriously and have fun with it. This method is clearly fictional and in the makers of this channel do not guarantee any results with this fictional method. Watch the video, have fun, and laugh a little. Grab a copy of "The Six-Figure Erotica Author: How I Make Six Figures Self-Publishing Erotica" by Jade K. Scott at this affiliate link: http://amzn.to/2b3n4NX
Self-Publishing with Dale L. Roberts Channel Trailer
Self-Publishing with Dale L. Roberts - YouTube
Here's my old channel trailer that represented the comedy-style brand. I've long since pulled it. Fun fact: The instrumental song is from a recording I did back in 2005.
The Future of Kindle Publishing
The Future of Kindle Publishing - YouTube
WARNING: (NSFW) This video does provide information about self-publishing yet is meant to elicit laughter, too. Don't take yourself too seriously and have fun with it. Some of the concepts are REAL; however, I highly recommend you do NOT employ them if you wish to have a sustainable long-term self-publishing business.
Kindle Publishing Q&A: Can You Still Make Money in Self-Publishing?
Kindle Publishing Q&A: Can You Still Make Money in Self-Publishing? - YouTube
WARNING: (NSFW) This video does provide information about self-publishing yet is meant to elicit laughter, too. Don't take yourself too seriously and have fun with it. The questions in the video are REAL, but the names have been changed to protect the guilty.
Kindle Publishing 2016: Why it's Better than EVER!
Kindle Publishing 2016: Why it's Better than EVER! - YouTube
WARNING: (NSFW) This video does provide information yet is meant to elicit laughter, too. Don't take yourself too seriously and have fun with it. In this video, I talk about how now is the best time to use Kindle Direct Publishing. Furthermore, I clarify niche selection; how to get off the fence and get into the game.
WATCH ME BEFORE YOU WATCH THE NEXT VIDEOS
Watch the video for full details. I explain the upcoming video releases, so there is no misunderstanding. Thanks in advance.
How to Get a YouTube Thumbnail Image
How to Get a YouTube Thumbnail Image - YouTube
This is a little off the beaten path, but I thought you'd enjoy it nonetheless. I needed an easier way for my assistant to get my video thumbnails without me having to upload it to a cloud drive. This saved a LOT of time! Enjoy! I show how to get a YouTube thumbnail image in case you want to use pictures for videos, blogs or websites.
How to Publish Paperback on Babelcube
How to Publish Paperback on Babelcube - YouTube
This was a video I originally made for my close friend, Kevin S. Allen. So, disregard the "turkey" at the beginning. I'd also recommend you at least putting a back cover on your book too. The reason I whipped this video together was Kevin had been avoiding the paperbacks on Babelcube for the longest time, so I wanted him to take action. Hence why I just skipped the back cover. ---- Success! You somehow cracked the code and/or received an exclusive invite. Never mind the sassy comment at the beginning; I was feeling weird so I just decided to address the viewer as "turkey." Enjoy the video and leave a comment if you have a question. -Dale
The Amazing Business Opportunity in Babelcube
The Amazing Business Opportunity in Babelcube - YouTube
NOTE: It's crazy to see this video over a year later. Make sure you check my full review of Babelcube in my YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/Ne65gcvPbVQ https://youtu.be/0oGeCs1eY-Y May 25, 2016 In this video, I share a recent discovery for opening up more opportunities in self-publishing without having to invest a ton of money or time. I discuss: http://www.babelcube.com (Non-affiliate link above - My thoughts, opinions, and words do NOT represent Babelcube, and I do NOT get any commissions or affiliate sales) Cheap plug - The Stretch Workout Plan - http://amzn.to/1saXyZX If you have any questions, then please leave them in the comment section below, and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. Remember, if you like the video, then click the thumbs up. Show some love and share this video with someone. And, of course, subscribe to my channel and set up your notifications to let you know when I have a new post. Thanks for tuning in!
A Simple Hack for Getting Valuable Information Now
A Simple Hack for Getting Valuable Information Now - YouTube
May 25, 2016 In this video, I show a simple trick I use when watching information videos on YouTube. It cuts your viewing time in half and increases your time working on your new found skill. If you have any questions, then please leave them in the comment section below, and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. Remember, if you like the video, then click the thumbs up. Show some love and share this video with someone. And, of course, subscribe to my channel and set up your notifications to let you know when I have a new post. Thanks for tuning in!
BEWARE: You're Only One Blocked Book Away from Being Banned
BEWARE: You're Only One Blocked Book Away from Being Banned - YouTube
The Unique Wealth Opportunities of the Amazon Associates Program
The Unique Wealth Opportunities of the Amazon Associates Program - YouTube
May 28, 2016 In this video, I talk about the simple command of: CTRL + F = find a word within a document If you have any questions, then please leave them in the comment section below, and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. Remember, if you like the video, then click the thumbs up. Show some love and share this video with someone. And, of course, subscribe to my channel and set up your notifications to let you know when I have a new post. Thanks for tuning in!
How to Craft Beautiful Signatures for More Exposure
How to Craft Beautiful Signatures for More Exposure - YouTube
May 27, 2016 In this video, I share a simple tip to help drive brand awareness in every blog post or email sent. Don't overthink this process; just do it to grow your brand in the smallest of ways. Mentioned link: https://newoldstamp.com/ Look into other email signature services by doing a general search. Remember, if you aren't paying money for a service, then chances are likely you'll have to pimp their services with a link in your signature. If you have any questions, then please leave them in the comment section below, and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. Remember, if you like the video, then click the thumbs up. Show some love and share this video with someone. And, of course, subscribe to my channel and set up your notifications to let you know when I have a new post. Thanks for tuning in!
The Ugly Truth Behind This Useful Promotional Tool
The Ugly Truth Behind This Useful Promotional Tool - YouTube
May 23, 2016 In this video, I share the other side of the Kindle Countdown Deal. Though I had great results with one deal, I only had fair results with another and no results on two others. If you have any questions, then please leave them in the comment section below, and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. Remember, if you like the video, then click the thumbs up. Show some love and share this video with someone. And, of course, subscribe to my channel and set up your notifications to let you know when I..
Big news came out over the past week coming directly from the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing headquarters and if you’re a nonfiction writer, this could take your self-publishing business to the next level.
We’re going to be talking about the new Kindle Publishing Program in 2018, so stick around!
Great on Kindle Feature: The New Kindle Publishing Program in 2018 - YouTube
Not too long ago, a concerned self-publisher reached out to me about recent issue he discovered.
Being a newly published author, he followed all the right steps to launching his CreateSpace paperback book.
He uploaded, proofed, and published his paperback and within a few days, his book was live on the Amazon marketplace.
Yet, he was horrified to discover his book was available for sale as used. This wasn’t so much a hit on his ego as it was on logic.
The fact was he hadn’t sold a single copy of his CreateSpace book. He kept waiting to see a sale pop up in his dashboard yet nothing ever came.
So, what exactly happened? Was his Createspace book pirated? Had Amazon pulled a fast one on him and distributed used copies without his consent?
Well, not exactly. In fact, the fault was right under his nose and if you’re like him, then you probably breezed right past the option that makes this possible.
Quite some time ago, I briefly addressed this issue in my YouTube videos of How Does Expanded Distribution Work on Createspace? and Is Expanded Distribution on Createspace Worth It?
But, it bears worth in revisiting today since quite a few people have missed the option.
When you upload your manuscript to Createspace for approval, distribution is your next option. Naturally, you’ll want to utilize the Amazon US and European marketplaces.
Right below the Amazon distribution selections are the three expanded distribution options of:
Bookstores and Online Retailers
Most industry standard sizes are acceptable through this option and you can even expect to see your book through online retailers like Barnes and Noble, Walmart.com or any number of platforms Ingram services.
But, this isn’t quite the issue since that’s not where the used copies appear.
Libraries & Academic Institutions
Though it’s highly unlikely to break into these markets unless there’s enough demand for your book or niche in the community libraries or schools.
Once again, this isn’t quite the issue since these two avenues don’t correlate with Amazon.
BINGO! Here’s the deal, this option is available to authorized Createspace resellers. They get to buy your book at a wholesale price and resell it where they see fit.
In Createspace’s words:
By enabling this channel, you can make your books available to certified resellers such as independent bookstores and book resellers.
The CreateSpace Direct program allows eligible resellers to buy books at wholesale prices directly from CreateSpace.
Though I’m sure there are more service terms for them than I care to research, Createspace resellers are the ones posting your book as used at either a deeply discounted cost or an astronomical figure.
Now, I’m sure there are a select few who aren’t Createspace resellers and are merely posting books that don’t have permission to sell.
That’s okay, because you’ll still collect earnings when they make a sale. After all, where will they get the book? It’s only available through Createspace and they have to fulfill the order through them.
Now, why WOULD they mark it as used? Does it serve any real purpose, or do they see greater sales doing that?
I’m not sure since I don’t know anyone who is in the Createspace Direct program or resells books. What do you think?
Why would resellers mark a book as used despite having to buy a brand-new book when fulfilling their sales? Drop me your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you.
Till later, if you enjoyed today’s content, make sure you share it with someone else who’ll like it too. This has been Self-Publishing with Dale and I’ll catch you soon!
If you want to learn how to publish your message, build your brand, and fulfill your ambition, then subscribe to this channel and turn on the notifications to get all the latest releases.
Now that you caught my post on 4 Reasons to Use KDP Print over CreateSpace Publishing, you may STILL have reservations on moving your paperback books.
And, this could be largely based on how difficult you perceive the process. If that’s the case, I want to assure you it’s dead simple.
Let’s take a look.
1. Set up a new paperback on your KDP Bookshelf.
2. On the Paperback Details page, fill out all the same details as your CreateSpace paperback book.
3. Select “Yes” when asked whether this book was previously published on CreateSpace. Keep in mind, once you migrate your book from CreateSpace, all the metadata will be gone permanently from Createspace.
4. Click “Save and Continue” and you’ll move to the Paperback Content page.
5. Under the ISBN header, enter the same 13-digit ISBN used to publish your book on CreateSpace.
6. Click “Continue” to sign in to your CreateSpace account to validate you own the title.
7. Once redirected to KDP, your book’s files and details should update automatically. Scroll through to see your files and metadata transferred properly. Launch the Previewer and review your book before publishing.
Sadly, you can’t skip this step and, in the event,, your images or layout have errors, KDP print requires you fix these issues before progressing forward.
CreateSpace is more lenient on interior issues whereas KDP print doesn’t allow much room for mistakes.
8. Scroll to the bottom of the Paperback Content page and click “Save and Continue.”
9. In the Paperback Rights & Pricing tab, enter your preferred pricing. KDP recommends you “enter the same price you used on CreateSpace.”
10. Now submit your book for publishing and wait for the notification from KDP that your book is live in the Amazon book store.
I’d highly recommend you order a proof copy or wholesale copy once it goes live to make sure it still measures up to your original CreateSpace.
Bear in mind, proof copies have a watermark on the cover while wholesale copies are exactly like you’d see in the store.
I prefer to order wholesale that way I can gift out the book or sell it as an autographed copy through my email list or site.
One last thing to note is KDP Print is still in beta, so you MAY run into some issues along the way. Drop me a comment should you run into a problem, so I can report it on this channel.
But, remember, if you have a deeper question, it’s best you reach directly out to KDP through your dashboard. I can only problem solve whereas KDP can give you the answers you’re looking for.
Recently, an indie author registered a couple trademarks positioning her as the sole owner and monopoly of an irreverent yet everyday term in the word “cocky.” Now that she owns the trademark on this word, this author sent out cease and desist letters to other publishers using her trademarked term cocky. What exactly happened? What can we expect? And, will the success of her trademark registration indicate the direction of the entire publishing industry? Find out more in today’s post about #Cockygate: The Cocky Trademark Outrage. Read on!
#Cockygate: The Cocky Trademark Controversy - YouTube
Welcome to Self Publishing with Dale. If you want to publish your message, build your brand and fulfill your ambition, then subscribe to my YouTube channel. Don’t forget to turn your notifications on to get all the latest content.
Why’s the Deal with #ByeFaleena?
In case you missed it, this past weekend the entire indie author community is all lit up over one author’s recent actions and positioning.
Her name is Faleena Hopkins, author of the successful Cocker Brothers Series, a collection of humorous, steamy romance novels.
A quick glance over Faleena’s deep catalog will uncover solid branding and two registered trademarks in the Cocker Brothers and Cocky series names.
The controversy revolves around the registration of the latter trademark of cocky.
The Uproar over #Cockygate
Fairly innocuous at first, it would seem this author is positioning herself as the only relevant author in “Cocker Brothers” and “Cocky” branded books.
However, Faleena personally contacted every author with her trademarked word in their title and requested a full cease and desist.
I tracked down a screenshot of a supposed message to one of the authors.
Faleena shared how she owns the trademark, and how she was “writing out of professional respect.”
Her expectations are all authors can keep their hard-earned rankings and reviews by simply altering the title of all iterations in ebook, print and audio.
The Threat of Legal Consequences over the Cocky Trademark
The alleged message further stated:
My attorney at Morris Yorn Entertainment Law has advised me that if I sue you, I will win all the monies you have earned on this title plus lawyer fees will be paid by you as well.
Wow! Apparently, her attorney is not only well-versed in law, but he is also a psychic fortune teller (sarcasm intended).
She further reassures all authors have to do is to adjust, rename and republish their book. And, they can do so without losing reviews.
Though she acknowledges hard work put into the respective books, Faleena clearly sweeps the real problem under the rug.
The Cost of Changing over the Cocky Trademark
It costs publishers time, energy and money to create new covers, format interior content, adjust marketing plans, and educate the current reading audience on the change.
The reference to the “stylized form” has some speculating Faleena filed a trademark using a specific font with no prior consent from the creator.
I’m uncertain if this bears any relevance in the trademark issue. But, an alleged original creator of her stylized font made it abundantly clear on Twitter, he did NOT give permission to trademark his work.
2 A Standard Character Mark
Much like the previous trademark, the registration covers a series of downloadable e-books and books in the field of romance.
Unlike the last registration mentioned, this is a broader registration covering any use of the word cocky in branding or titling. See the second trademark here.
The registration for the standard character mark is April 17, 2018. Faleena originally filed both trademarks on September 12, 2017.
Faleena shares on her Twitter profile how she seems to be enjoying the limelight by stating:
I am #byeFaleena. Blushing smiley face emoji. Let the public stoning commence. I’ll be over here eating ice cream. Mmmm. Mint Chocolate Chip. So good.
She isn’t budging on her stance. Will enough indie authors or the publishing community work together to repeal this trademark registration?
A Sign of What’s to Come?
What exactly does this mean for the publishing industry as a whole?
Will we have to file a trademark for all our titles just to publish a book?
Though I’m one to make a few jokes and laugh, we do need to take this seriously.
Faleena is not the first nor the last to file a trademark on a common word.
Now other shrewd authors are aware of this business tactic. Can we expect to see the end of all creative book titling in the foreseeable future?
Will we have to resort to publishing books with numerical titles if all useable words carry a trademark?
Or, if you want to go it alone and file your own letter of protest with the US Patent and Trademark Office, simply head to the quick link of SelfPublishingWithDale.com/protest.
Bestselling author and retired lawyer, Kevin Kneupper shared on Twitter he filed a letter of protest and made a copy available through a Dropbox link on his Twitter profile @kneupperwriter.
In the meantime, if you found this post useful, then share it with other’s who’ll would find it insightful too. Till later, this has been Self Publishing with Dale, and I’ll catch you soon.
Under the Fair Use doctrine, a trademark may be used without permission for commentary or criticism as long as the purpose of the use is not the same purpose of the trademark. This doctrine includes informational, editorial, and comparative purposes.
Have you been thinking about moving your paperback book from CreateSpace to KDP Print? Do you want to know the benefits of publishing your print book on KDP print versus CreateSpace?
Then, you’ll want to tune in today as I give you four reasons to move your CreateSpace book to KDP Print. Read on.
4 Reasons to Use KDP Print over CreateSpace Publishing - YouTube
Welcome to Self-Publishing with Dale. If you want to learn how to publish your message, build your brand, and fulfill your ambition, then subscribe to my YouTube channel and turn on the notifications to get all the latest releases.
Have you published a paperback book on the Amazon-owned CreateSpace Publishing platform? Are you beginning to wonder if CreateSpace is shutting its doors? Drop me your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you.
KDP Print: The New CreateSpace?
Not too long ago, we published a video on YouTube about the potential Death of CreateSpace. Many industry insiders worry over the potential closing of the Amazon subsidiary of CreateSpace.
Understandably so, considering the recent addition of print to the Kindle Direct Publishing platform. Sure, people were sweating the demise of CreateSpace out the gate.
But, now that KDP Print is slowly implementing changes and benefits CreateSpace doesn’t offer, it has many indie authors wondering, should I move my CreateSpace book to KDP print?
That’s why I thought I’d kick you a handful of reasons to move your CreateSpace book to KDP Print.
4 Reasons to Publish on KDP Print versus CreateSpace
Reason #1: No Expanded Distribution Sales
Currently, KDP Print doesn’t offer expanded distribution. According to the feature comparison checklist of KDP Print to CreateSpace, they plan to eventually add this feature to the KDP platform.
Let’s face the facts, expanded distribution has two factors working against it:
Loss of profits due to the middle man collecting their cut
No control in advertising – you’re left to either driving traffic to the various expanded distribution platforms or hope marketing
Sadly, relying on hope for marketing or organic traffic doesn’t quite get the book sales for most indie publishers. So, if you aren’t drawing a dime on expanded distribution or even use that option, why not consider moving your book from CreateSpace to KDP?
Reason #2: Advertising through KDP Print
Outside of opening an Amazon seller account like Amazon Advantage, there’s really no way to internally drive traffic to your CreateSpace book.
Technically, Amazon reps state Amazon Advantage is not for advertising your print books. At least, they informed me and others time and again.
How do you sell your books? Amazon? Barnes & Noble’s online store? By hand from a box in the backseat of your car?
How do you feel about your sales? Making some decent money? Making some indecent money? Not making money at all?
Does it seem like something is just not quite clicking in your marketing plan?
Alright, no more questions.
Look, selling your book on retail sites like Amazon is a good idea. I’m not going to try to tell you not to list your book on Amazon. I mean, the chances of someone coming to Amazon to buy your book and leaving with an Ambient Narwhal Nightlight instead is slim, but still…do you really want to rely on the world’s biggest and most diverse retailer as your primary outlet for sales?
Wait..Sorry. I guess there are more questions.
What I’m getting at is this: you shouldn’t expect a behemoth retailer like Amazon to do anything more than list your book and take a slice (a big slice) of your profits if you make a sale. They don’t actually care all that much about your individual book. Amazon is selling products and yours is just one among many.
The Times They Are Changing
The modern web is a diverse communications tool. Thanks to a huge range of open source technology and design, along with the growth in Semantic Web practices, brings us to a place where anyone can easily maintain a strong web presence. The need to lean on retailers as a sales medium is shrinking. Fast.
Savvy creators use social media and online communities to build a following. Your readers can come from all over the world because the world is all connected!
If you’re putting all this effort into courting and capturing followers on social media, on forums, and through your own website or blog, it would be crazy to then drive them away from your platform to buy your book.
Imagine going to see your favorite band at a local venue. You’re pumped to see them perform live. You want to contribute and support them, to enjoy the experience with a memento—so you go in search of the merch booth. What you find instead is instructions to go to a store somewhere else and buy a t-shirt or CD. So, you do. You really want to buy that memento.
When you get to that store—it’s not far, just a few steps from the venue even—you grab that t-shirt you wanted and throw it in the cart. Oh look! They have the dog food your pooch loves. And at a great price. Might as well get some of that too. Oh and there! A crazy lamp that looks like a woman’s leg! From “A Christmas Story!” You didn’t even know you wanted that. This store is full of cool stuff!
By the time you finish browsing and shopping, adding to your cart, removing some things, deciding that no, that leg lamp probably isn’t a good idea, you’ve completely forgotten about the concert you were so excited about!
Yes, I know, this is quite hyperbolic. But I hope you take my point. Why spend all the effort to attract an audience and get them to connect to you online, only to sell your merchandise elsewhere?
I don’t even feel bad about that question. It’s a good one.
Lulu + Shopify is the Solution
Here’s a solution: sell direct to your readers!
What we’ve done is rebuild the Lulu book publishing tools we’ve offered free for years at Lulu.com and make it into an application easily integrated with all kinds of other web tools. This is the power of web 3.0. Because so many various sites use API infrastructure to build their platform, plugging in other tools is a breeze.
So now, an author can create a store on Shopify to sell their books, then add our Lulu xPress app to sell those books on-demand.
I’ll come back to this. Let’s dispel a couple of possible misconceptions you may have right now:
1. Selling direct is not a poor alternative to other distribution options (like Amazon).
You would not believe how many people hear about Lulu’s eCommerce integrations and react by saying something like “that’s silly, why wouldn’t I just sell on Amazon?”
Better question might be, “why wouldn’t you sell on Amazon and your own website?” Because that’s what smart authors do. They make their book available on a variety of retail sites in a variety of formats.
2. Fewer people buy direct—everyone uses Amazon!
Yup it’s true. Amazon is what it is today because they offer ease and convenience. What they don’t offer is a lot of revenue to authors selling print-on-demand books. You might sell ten times as many books on Amazon, but you’ll likely make the around the same amount of revenue selling direct.
The real benefit of selling direct is the captive audience. A reader coming to your site to buy sees all the content you’ve created and sees the other material you have for sale – like a back list.
How are Lulu and Shopify the Solution?
Your turn to ask questions! And I would imagine your questions start off like this “How are Lulu and Shopify the solution?”
Great question! Lulu has the best self-publishing tools in the industry. What makes Lulu so awesome is that our publishing tools are free to use and can be accessed open-source through our API.
Now you can plug that publishing tool into Shopify, the hottest eCommerce solution on the market. Bam! Now you have an automated storefront for your books and a print-on-demand fulfillment engine. This is the power of a plug and play Internet.
Best of all, these tools come alongside all existing options for distribution. Amazon, Ingram, Barnes & Noble, and iBookstore aren’t going anywhere. I can’t stress this enough. Using an eCommerce solution doesn’t mean you’re giving up your existing distribution plans.
What it does mean is that you can take even more control over your work. That’s kind of the point of self-publishing, isn’t it? Your work, done your way. If you’re not sure, I encourage you to think more on it, and maybe even give eCommerce a chance. If you have a web presence and plan to grow it, there’s really no reason not to be selling direct.
And now you can provide those direct sale options with the convenience you need, the quality you demand, and the revenue share (all of it, by the way) you deserve.
Don’t miss this interview with Chelsea Bennett from Lulu.com…a podcast exclusive! If you like what you hear, get more exclusive UNCUT interviews by subscribing for the Extra Extra blog content you can’t get anywhere else for just $4.99 per month!
Self Publishing A Book On Lulu Press With Chelsea Bennett - Podcast Exclusive! - SoundCloud (1666 secs long, 28 plays)Play in SoundCloud
Have you started an email list for your self-published book? Do you have a way to communicate with your reading audience beyond the publication world? If not, then you may want to hear why email marketing for authors is your solution. Read on!
Email Marketing for Authors - YouTube
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Do you have an email list for your author platform? If not, why? Also, what is your preferred email marketing service provider? Do me a solid and drop your honest thoughts in the comments below.
What is Email Marketing for Authors?
You may have heard this many times before or you’re an established self-publishing veteran: the power is in the list. Well, what exactly IS an email list? And, what kind of sorcery or witchcraft does it possess that it wields some kind of power over you audience?
An email list is insider terminology for a directory of your valued readers. You simply collect the names and email addresses of readers who want notifications on your latest publications, deals and author info.
I’ll cover how you collect in a future video, so for now, let’s talk about why the power is in the list.
How the Power is in the Email List
Here’s the short answer of it. Regardless of the online retailer you use to publish your work, your reader is not your customer. They are the online retailer’s customer.
If business were to ever go south for the online retailer or the business relationship you have with them, then you are sent up the creek without a paddle. As an example, if Amazon were to ever sever their business relationship with you, then YOU are at a loss, not them.
Because they’ll still have their customers, but then you are left without your readers.
Reason #4: Keep Your Customers
What’s the best way for you to take your readers with you wherever you go. One excellent way to keep your readers as lifelong customers is an email list.
Of course, I already shared one primary reason to have an email list in that you retain your reading audience and loyal buyers. I’m going to share four additional reasons to start an email list TODAY.
Reason #3: Build Relationships
Readers don’t care what you know, till they know that you care. Sure, this old quote serves the nonfiction audience better than fiction, but at the end of the day, readers want to connect with a real person.
Reason #2: Build Value
The fact is your email list isn’t solely based on sales, that’s just a by-product. Yes, you should sell something to your list. No, selling shouldn’t be the only thing you should be communicating to your audience.
Think of your email list as communicating with a friend. Sure, friends love to support you and help you out through product purchases.
However, it’s much like being in a direct sales company. If you continually hound your friend and family about your MLM’s latest designer energy drink, then they will probably stop answering your calls or reaching out to you for fear of you badgering them for more buys.
A great resource for understanding the balance of building value and sales, check out Gary Vaynerchuck’s book “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World.”
Reason #1: Build a Team
And lastly, the number one reason to start an email list is to build a team.
I know this seems rather contrary to what most experts would have you believe, but the fact is if you are new to email marketing and self publishing, then building a team is FAR greater than making sales. Here’s why.
Once you set up an email list, you can then get a better gauge on who your most valued readers are. It’s not enough your readers subscribe to your email list, they need to engage for this relationship to work.
After you fire off a few emails, look at your analytics to see who opens your emails and clicks on any relevant links. Once you can identify who opens, clicks AND buys suggested products, you’ve then found your loyal fanbase.
Contact that small segment of subscribers and offer them unique opportunities in advanced copies, beta reading teams and the biggie, a book review team.
Find out why having a book review team is so important and why reviews are so powerful in my video about how to get more reviews.
Final Word on Email Marketing for Authors
There is no perfect action when it comes to email marketing for self-published authors. Just get started. That’s it! No magic. No filler. Just real stuff!
That’s all the time we have for today. Hey, if you enjoyed this, then share it with someone you know who may like it too. Till later, this has been Self-Publishing with Dale and I’ll see you guys soon.