Sunday, May 17, 2015

At last, you're published - telling the world: Case Study 05

(Photo: "Riverside Stompers - Wolfgang Straka 2007 e")

Time to let the world know about your book.

Technically, you've been published ever since you first submitted to Lulu to get your ISBN. The completely-published part was when you got it to all the major distributors. We're just talking ebooks and hardcopies here. When you put your original PDF to Scribd and Doc-Stoc, you took an extra step most self-publishers don't. Even then, there are still more places to publish your book, as part of a binder or bundle of material - which we'll cover today.


This wouldn't be an exciting journey without some mis-steps and side-adventures.

You probably saw that I had mis-numbering of the Case Studies, now corrected. (Two 03's, for anyone counting.)

I also had to go backwards and fix up the site theme for our test case site - .

Mobile-ready Blues

You remember I like Blogger because it really has no footprint on your domain server and also is simple? Well, one major problem is that their idea of "mobile-friendly" is to not show all the sidebar widgets. This even happens sometimes when you go right into the code and tell them to, specifically.

Something had to be done on a cope basis while I move to Rainmaker (eventually.)

This is also a problem to anyone who is managing their own site, which is common to our idea of a lean startup home publishing business.

The ideal is that viewers see your opt-in form right after they finish the content they came their to see. However no one could - and I have several of these subdomain-type blogger-hosted sites for the various niches I publish books to.

The solution was to find some free blogger templates which are "responsive" - meaning they resize according to your screen width. So the same content is on a big screen as well as a smartphone.

Since I had several sites, I had to look up, download, extract, re-upload, and then  tweak the code so it worked. Not as simple as blogger's own interface.

Again, this is simply a patch - but these blogs aren't going away, even when they are superceded. So they have to continue to work on mobile sites. Meaning eventually, I'll have to convert all my sites to these templates. (Sigh.) Because more and more people (myself included) are viewing (and buying) through the Internet mostly on mobile devices.

To shorten this story, I got it done. And also found a few I'll be able to use on my other sites to get them really "mobile-ready."

It just took all day yesterday, plus some hour or so today.

Now back to explaining our to-do list spreadsheet...

Promoting Where Readers Live

This last section of the promotion checklist (spreadsheet) doesn't require you to convert any of your content to any other type of media.

We're simply going to get onto the most effective lines we can and let the people who live their do their magic.

As well, we're going to get all these ebooks and produced media into the hands of professional sales people to expand our reach beyond anything we could ever do ourselves.

Once these steps are done, we run our analytics again - then celebrate, take a very short break, and ... start on our next book. We want to see if we can make a bigger splash with what we've learned from this last one.

There will be some bonus points to cover at the end - so read carefully (this is not a quiz, but I don't want to confuse you...)

OK: That last section starts with
Book Sites
    OpenLibrary,   Library Thing,   Goodreads

This took me a couple of days to narrow down. These three are the only social book-readers site worth anything - out of 50 or more of them.

You need to create author bio's on each of them. And make sure your book is listed there. These book sites are ones which routinely come up on Google searches and also have a decent-enough traffic to help get your book discovered. Also, you are doing something which no one really recommends to do - which is to get your book on lists where readers (and librarians) form the communities.

This is sheer promotion, but it's really pretty mundane - details of book size, weight, number of pages are needed. All in addition to your cover and description. By doing this, you get backlinks and whatnot. Even though it doesn't seem like much, every step on this spreadsheet counts toward book discovery.

Additional formats
We've covered these cursorily, but these need a discussion here.

Next on our spreadsheet:

On Amazon, you see all versions of the book linked together (and you can email them if they don't get it right.)

You're then cross-selling your book - and about as much as Amazon will let you. Ebooks sell hardcopy and vice-versa. Some people like to have multiple versions of your book. If it's selling well, you really should consider milking (leveraging) your sales by providing all the versions anyone could want.

Here, we are translating every single chapter into audio. You can DIY or hire it out. The point is that you can have several hundred more coming in each week.

Once you've gotten all that audio done, it's logical to make short (free) and long (paid) course versions of it. That's completely logical for a non-fiction book. Especially since the author usually has a lot more to say about each step which was left on the "cutting room floor" so to speak. In making a course, you have the chance to add even more value, yet again.

Creating a short ecourse version to get opt-in's is obvious. What is a great trick is to give your opt-in's access to a library of content on a free membership basis.

The longer course is also a great part to sell by itself, or as part of a paid membership. The Rainmaker Pro version has this built-in as part of your monthly benefits. Build as many courses as you want. There's also ways to do paid courses with Gumroad for free. (See this Gumroad Integration page for ideas..)

Behind Your Velvet Rope.

We've mostly covered this in pieces earlier.


There's a study I need to go back and complete. But I know enough to sign up for Rainmaker months ago so I could build one for real. There was a short study of this when I was chasing up how a particular milllionaire got so rich.

There's a lot on that blog which details how to build one (or you could simply get the book...) That post above will tend to explain tons of why memberships are the way to go for authors and just about anyone. It has to do with the trust factor of emails.

For the indie self-publishing author - and with all this content - it makes sense to make it available in one place, as free or paid or both. Sure, it's going to get out on the Internet - that's what you want. Inside your membership is where they are going to find it all in one place. ("and with a paid membership upgrade, you get access to the author...")

See how this can work? Study up on these yourself and you'll see how it just makes sense to get this as part of your backend. Again, if Rainmaker is too pricey for you, it's also possible through Gumroad.

Bundles, and Binders, and Collections, Oh My!

Now we come to another logical extension. This one, however, is still untested.

The next step of promotion is to open up the floodgates and allow people to sell bundles of your media-content.

Here's our final steps to this to-do list spreadsheet:
Other Promotion  
Bittorrent Bundle  

Affiliate Sales Bundles (under testing)
Distribly,   Scubbly,   JVZoo,   MyCommerce,   PaySpree,   Click2Sell,   DigiResults,   BlueSnap
At this point, you have all sorts of media to offer. Cover art, promo PDF's, ecourses, full courses, audiobooks, several versions of the book itself (don't forget you can offer discount coupons for your ebooks, sold directly from your site with Sellfy, Payhip, or Gumroad) and discount direct-purchase links from Lulu on your hardcopy versions. (Itunes also offers discount coupons, even giveways.)

In BitTorrent Bundles, this started out as only promotional - but now people also sell their movies and audio there.  You can sell your ebook and digital media from there. So it's actually yet another distributor.

I have substantially more tests to run on this area. When I started, you couldn't sell there, just promote. One bundle I put up there, "Secrets of the Marketing Masters" was to promote a series of public domain books by successful copywriters. I've had over 6,500 views, 575 downloads - and (get this:) Since I put it up there 10 months ago, I just found out that I've had 107 people give me their emails. Those are potential leads and opt-in's to my list.

Imagine if I were actually selling something!

I don't know about the quality of these emails (they're almost all free accounts) - but the real value to this is that you already have created this content. Simply posting this to BitTorrent Bundles can make you additional sales and even get you leads. Obviously the next step would be to make a nice "thank you" video and tell them where to go for even more great data.


Getting people to pay you for letting them sell your books.

Seriously, this is all Affiliate marketing is. They get you sales you wouldn't have otherwise. So giving them a substantial commission is another way to get paid for people joining your list.

The original use of this is to enable your existing list to evangelize your books and get rewarded by it. And that is the best use of it.

However, when I was working out how to get that accomplished (before I found Sellfy and Payhip) I was checking into the various affiliate sales platforms. These people enable full-time affiliate sales people to do their magic.

You already have bundles of stuff ready - or stuff to make a bundle - so why not put together a sales page and other useful stuff so that affiliates (and your evangelists) can get you extra sales and build your list of fans?

The point on commissions is simple: Don't be penny wise and pound foolish. Getting even 30 cents on the dollar is a sale you wouldn't have had otherwise. Google gives you around 52% for a sale, Amazon can go as low as 35%, Espresso Book Machine gives you 25%. Kobo only gives 20% for public domain books. So paying someone who already has an email list to promote your book to their buying public is similar to getting a lower royalty - or simply paying to get someone on your list who will probably buy the rest of your books in that series from your site or Lulu's for 90%.

Like giving away the first book in your series so they buy the following ones. Only in this case, you're getting their email as part of the deal. Amazon can't do that for you, can they?

Caveat: I've checked into these places and posted about this area several times. I've yet to do a full test even on a single bundle - all I know is that these are the best of the lot as an entry point. Again, it's the frugal speaking here - and being a lean startup, we want to post our product and get sales the same day, only being charged when a sale actually happens.

So I'll keep you posted what I find as I do.

Spreadsheet Summary

That wraps up all our to-do list of publishing and promotion. You've now been introduced to the wide world of what is possible for just sweat equity.

I do have to go over some details next of how to get these automated as much as possible, to cut down on that sweat.

This continues as we always have - nothing up front, pay as you go. But I'll also tell you the great bargains to invest in once you've cracked the point of being able to support some investment in your business - which is coming from the business itself.

These next tips, tricks, and tools will be a little intensive setting up, but they start paying you back in time saved. Stay tuned...

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