1WD Ebook Launch Case Study: How To Get 8000 Downloads in 3 days

Posted in 1WD Features, Freelance, Web Design • Posted on 24 Comments

Two months ago 1stwebdesigner launched three ebooks, stepping into this market for the first time. We planned our promotion in a way that we had 8,000 free downloads in three days, which resulted in $1,000 profit for the first month through Amazon. The following month we did even better, closing to $2,000 for July. The best thing about this promotion is that I know we’ll be making $1000 per month passively and if we want to make more it will depend on our own promotion. These numbers may not seem impressive compared to a $100,000 launch, but I like that this money is earned passively, it’s a nice side income, regardless of whatever we are doing. Mainly it’s because of the huge Amazon market itself, giving us a regular 500 sales per month.

Would you mind earning $2,000 monthly as side income? Please don’t read further if these numbers don’t sound good enough for you! Search for the next quote about Scamworld, where gurus will teach you how to make millions! Hell yeah – that’s what I am talking about! In this post I will reveal details how we came up with the idea for ebooks, promoted them on Amazon to get rankings and leveraged their market. My aim is to show you how you can do the same thing and possibly perform even better. When it comes to internet marketing, I love this quote “If something sounds better than it is, it’s not true“. Rarely are there exceptions, but so many people offer the promise of untold riches by revealing their big secret which will help you make thousands of dollars just to get you to buy their $200 product. The sad truth is that there is no easy way to earn money online, and writing an ebook certainly isn’t an easy way too do that, but with book digitalization – Kindle, smart phones, and tablets – there is a big demand for digital books. If you enjoy writing you should jump on board before it’s too late! Excellent reading from Verge about online marketing, this article is all about scamworld, while I do not agree with the writer’s angle, because I personally met several of these people in Underground Seminar 8, I suggest that you read this article and watch the video. It will explain a lot about how online marketing works.

Scamworld verge

The cool thing about digital books is that they are super easy and cheap to create. With printed books, you needed a serious budget to print it or you needed to collaborate with a publishing company which takes most of the profit . When I went to Underground Seminar 8, there was a big talk about how there is a big demand now for digital products – coaching, ebooks, video, audio training. And there is this window – two years, then there will be enough supply for that demand. Right now there isn’t. So why haven’t you created your ebook or coaching program already?

Note: If you enjoy creating training videos, check out Labvidz, which makes it easy to create membership websites and help you make money from them.

With this newly gained experience, last March I went back from USA to Spain, Tenerife where I was staying at the time. I thought a lot about how bloggers are in a good position, they need to create content on a daily basis, it’s a no brainer to put this content in books after a while! Here is a popular example: SmashingMagazine is already doing that with their content!

They create high quality educational articles which are published on their blog and they have a second use for that content in mind. They write articles in a way that they can put them in ebooks and earn extra cash. It has been proven countless times that people are ready to pay for products and services that save their time. You can read everything for free on SmashingMagazine, but if you buy their ebook you do not pay them for fresh information, you pay them for a nicely formatted and categorized book. In this case what are you selling, content or formatting? If you are considering starting a blog or you have a blog already, wouldn’t it make sense to write articles that you can later put in an ebook and earn some extra cash? Just think about it. There are 2 ways of writing ebooks:

  1. Work on a 300-500 page book covering one topic comprehensively by researching, and sharing, the best information possible on that topic. It will require several months of your time and money to hiring an editor and someone to format the book, but you’ll be able to charge $30-40 for that book no problem!
  2. Write several small 50-paged books each solving one serious problem or question people have. It will require several days of your time to write each book and you’ll be able to charge $1-$5 for it.

I picked the second way because I just wanted to test out the waters and see how profitable book writing is, taking the smallest risk possible. I would totally recommend this approach! It is very low risk (mainly just your time), it won’t take a lot of time or cost a lot of money even if you choose to outsource everything.

Research topics to write about – find problem to solve, trendy topics

Quora questions

The most important task before you start writing is to find a really good problem to solve and find other people’s pain point – the so called bleeding neck. How do you do it? You need to pick a good niche you are knowledgeable and passionate about. Think about your target audience – can you imagine 1,000 people who would love to have your book? I would suggest using Amazon in order find best-selling topics, there is a lot of space for spying! You can find book rankings and sort of understand how many books authors sell to understand what’s trendy right now. Here is a little cheat list for you..

  • With 15,000 Amazon best sellers rank ~300-350 books are sold per month;
  • With 20,000 rank ~200 books are sold per month;
  • With 40,000 rank ~100-150 books are sold per month.

When you are searching for topics to write about, check book rankings and calculate how many sales authors are getting. If you can see at least three books doing well in your chosen niche, you can probably expand on a topic and write a new book about it. I wanted to point out that Kindle’s book section is fairly new so there is a lot of opportunity right now, a lot of free spots you can fill! After you have your topic in mind, next you should head out to Q&A websites like Quora or StackOverflow, forums and search for the most popular questions asked there about your topic. Those questions can help you make a great outline, what you can write about.

Amazon rankings

When you find a topic to write about and also have a detailed table of contents, check if you have written something about that topic already on your blog, try to leverage your existing content. That’s what we did, we picked topics and then I advised writers to try reusing existing content so they didn’t have to write everything from scratch.

Find writers if you want to outsource the actual writing

If you want, you can even outsource book writing like I did. I would absolutely love to write a book myself, but I knew it would take a lot of time I didn’t have. If you’re busy with your daily job, but can spare some money to hire a good writer – do it. I found three good writers where each was an expert on his topic. Consider using job boards:

When you are going to launch a book for the first time, there will be so much more to do than just writing – be aware.

You will need to learn:

  • how to market, promote books;
  • how to prepare them in right format;
  • learn specific tricks about platform where you’ll publish book, for example Amazon.

All of those things take time, think again about outsourcing some aspects, maybe you have friends who can help you out?

I wanted to mention another book writing approach, if you will write it strongly based from your own experience.

Here are action steps:

  • Find a good topic for a book, write down an outline
  • Having an outline in front of you, take a microphone and record everything
  • Hire some guy and ask him to transcribe everything!
  • Hire a good proofreader to check for spelling errors, read book again and it’s ready!

Sell your ebook on your own site! How? Keep reading!

Kdp select

If you have a good existing site with a great following you definitely should launch an ebook on your own site first. Personally I am not sure if I made a mistake or not, but I started with Amazon, driving all traffic to Amazon and of course they took their cut. I did it because I wanted to increase sales as much as I could in order to get better rankings there.

The higher you are in the rankings, the more people will see your work and consider buying it! Amazon is awesome if you are starting out fresh! After I fully tested ebooks on Amazon, I used Sellfy to check how well we can perform on our own by selling books directly to 1WD readers without 3rd parties (Sellfy takes just 5% from each sale). The Sellfy app comes in handy because you can start selling digital products in 5 minutes, they accept Paypal and encourage social sharing. If you are curious about how it looks like, here is our Responsive ebook’s Sellfy page.

sellfy application

It is super easy to sell books through Sellfy: you register, upload books and immediately receive a button that you can embed on your site. The hardest task is to create a good landing page which converts.

What to include on your landing page:

  • book cover
  • description
  • testimonials from people who bought your books
  • table of contents
  • free chapters if possible, look inside preview images
  • short intro about author
  • …and obviously call to action button.

If you can create a video preview, definitely do it! Images are more powerful than words and videos are more powerful than images! Besides, you can use Youtube and work to get a good position with it on Google! Google owns Youtube and they love videos! Use Fiverr to promote your videos! Here is my channel, I spent $100 on Fiverr to get comments, views and likes. We aren’t in the first position yet for our keywords, but those videos are definitely helping!

Okay, let’s move back to the landing page. Once we had the landing page we used the following elements to drive traffic to site:

  • Hellobar which pops right on top of the site,
  • sidebar dynamic element,
  • we published an article announcing this news (as you may know already),
  • used social sites,
  • existing mailing list

This is how well we did on Sellfy first month:

  • 1753 product views
  • 160 sales
  • $731.13 in revenue

I think we have quite low conversions, but we also don’t have a very good landing page…yet.

Sellfy sales
It is much easier to launch when you control everything yourself, like I did with Sellfy. But let me expand more on Amazon and tell why I chose it in the first place.

Selling books on Amazon

Selling books using 3rd parties make more sense if you don’t have an existing channel yourself.

I chose Amazon because I heard a lot of praise about how powerful a channel it is and KDP select Kindle publishing is still very new, so there isn’t much competition right now.

Amazon stats:

  • Latest web design trends sold 146 times
  • HTML5 Basics – 185 times
  • Responsive web site design – 245 times
  • Total earnings for 2 months – $2,000

What I like with Amazon is that after the first month’s active promotion, the second month I didn’t promote these books at all, but still was able to earn $1,000. This result made me say: it is passive income, where you can leverage from Amazon’s internal network and promotion. Pretty cool, you just need to do the first round of promotion, then you can forget about books and have nice side income!

The only thing I disliked was how hard it was to navigate through their system and how much you need to learn about their promotion. That’s what you get when you use 3rd parties – you need to play by their rules. You need to learn how to:

  • get testimonials and ratings – super important, people will look at these numbers and actual reviews in order to decide whether to buy this book or not
  • how to format Kindle book, how to create working table of contents.
  • how to get into “Customers Who bought this also bought” section, kind of like related reading
  • how to create good cover, good book title, and how to test them.

I personally learned everything about Amazon from this awesome 94-paged book Kindle CashThe Beginner’s Guide to Creating, Marketing, And Publishing On The Amazon Kindle. Originally I wanted to cover all these steps myself, but I understood it’s not possible to put everything in one article. If you enjoyed this article and are serious about creating a book to sell on Amazon, read that book!

Key takeaways from ebook launch


Now I will list what I found to be the most powerful and important techniques which made this launch successful:

  • Having a good designer to design unique covers, format PDF book – what many books lack is a really unique book cover that stands out. This is especially important in the Amazon market with countless ebooks competing. The same goes for the PDF book, presentation makes or breaks the reading experience.
  • Having a friend knowledgeable in SEO to help in keyword research – I am quite skilled myself, but just asking for some help and advice on book titles helped a lot. Each ebook we published we wrote down like 20-30 title variations to pick from. Remember, book covers and titles are sometimes even more important then whole book. Sounds crazy, but the same way article headlines are read and shared just because of a good title, same applies to books. Google Keywords is your best friend at this stage.
  • Planning – if I wouldn’t have planned everything, I could have easily gotten lost and the ebooks would have taken several more months to be released. Focusing on the right things at the right time helps so much, understand your strong points and outsource your weak points. If you aren’t a good writer, but you are an excellent marketer, it will be so much cheaper and faster to hire a writer and not be bothered with the painful process. If you are not good in keyword research, find a friend to give you a hand, reach out to forums! Before you start, plan every big step and stick to a schedule!

Mistakes I made, what I would have done differently

Ok, you read a lot of “smart” advice, now you want to hear what I did to mess up in this launch? It was my first launch so there were still a lot of little mistakes:

  • Not using my existing readership first – as you know, I started the ebook promotion on Amazon, and I gave away 5,000 free copies at first just to get good rankings there. While it helped, I think I would have made much better profits if I would have offered the books for free for a day and then sell these books directly on my site. That first big promotion I did all went to free downloads. I didn’t hear too much appreciation for this step unfortunately, which means next time I will give the books away free for just one day and leverage my own network at first.
  • Underestimating product price – this is tough point and there is very good discussion ( two case studies) between Sacha Greif and Jarrod Drysdale. Sorry Sacha, but I took Jarrod’s side, where he suggested to focus on making more money from fewer sales. At the start I was very hesitant about putting a specific price on these books. I started with $0.99. The problem with low pricing is that people don’t mind too much if they pay one or five dollars. If price is just a buck they think it’s low quality. Don’t undervalue your product! Test how much you can increase your book price versus sales, you will never get it right the first time. I certainly didn’t.
  • Bad landing page – previously I listed tips on what makes a good landing page. Unfortunately I didn’t create one myself the first time. We had it planned, but when Amazon books went live I put my whole focus on promoting them, so my landing page didn’t get properly designed and filled. Now I am putting a lot of time in designing the perfect landing page for books, will A/B test it and hopefully it will improve conversions. Oh, and if you’re too lazy, Amazon is a good alternative, they are famous for their crazy A/B testing everything.
  • Formatting Kindle book – when I wanted to publish a book on Amazon, I automatically assumed they accept PDF books. I was surprised that they do not and you need to create book in .mobi format. I browsed the internet desperately to find a good guide on how to create those kindle books and unfortunately for me, not many Kindle authors use Macintosh. Also I wasn’t aware of how hard it is to create a working table of contents, by working I mean, that you can click on the navigation and it takes you to the right section. In the end I was grateful to find a paid Mac application Abulafia, which thankfully made the whole formatting process easy.

How did we get 8000 downloads in 3 days?

And finally let’s get to the most exciting part! At first I thought we got 6,000 downloads, but then I remembered I need to also check UK, DE, FR, ES and IT stores! So there it is, 6,000 downloads from USA Amazon and 2,000 more from the other stores! Here’s the exact steps we took:

Once we got all books completely ready to publish for Amazon, we started to build some interest on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and sent an email to our 20,000 subscribers. It was a week before we actually published those books. We started building interest by telling them, that after seven days, we will release the ebooks for free for three days to our loyal subscribers. We prepared the newsletter to let people know a bit about those books explaining what they will be about and what’s inside. Valuable Free Offer From 1WD You Don’t Want To Miss: Watch Your Inbox On Monday! – this is the email subject we used. We received good interest from subscribers and on social networks – who doesn’t like free stuff? After a week, the ebooks went live and we sent a second email, and a day after one more follow-up email to those who did not open the previous emails:

  • Obtain Your Copies of Three Free eBooks and Gift Inside! – here we gave links for free download on Amazon, offered even one more gift which was our video course on how to create animated video previews. After that we politely asked for help to spread the word and show their appreciation that they get all of this valuable stuff completely free. This email got 4,747 opens and 2,413 clicks on links.
  • Warning: Three Ebooks From 1WD Just For Two More Days! (+Surprise Gift Inside) – after one day I sent one more email to all unopened mails with a different headline letting people know those ebooks and gift will be available for only two more days. I am glad I did that, because the second email got 1,532 opens and 812 clicks on links.

I can gladly say that these two emails gave the most downloads and helped to spread the word! It’s basically 3,200 clicks from doing just that! Ask again, why you don’t have email list yet? It will help kickstart each launch and promotion you want to do!

Ebook landing page

What else did we do to promote those books?

  • Posted an article on 1stWebDesigner showing in detail what’s inside books – Super Hot News: Get 1WD Three Quick EBooks Now For Free Just For Three Days! This post alone got 161 tweets, 70 Facebook likes and 42 comments. I carefully followed the conversation there to find any problems people may run into. This article received 906 visits throughout these three days!
  • Shared article several times on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ asking people to retweet. Throughout these days I think we tweeted about these books ten times to make sure everybody who’s interested will see them.
  • I asked all my friends to download the ebooks on Amazon, like them and leave testimonials. Downloads, testimonials and likes are important to get higher on Amazon’s best sellers rank as well as individual categories.
  • Submitted ebook landing page on Reddit’s /r/web_dev, where it got 47 up votes and developed healthy discussion with 29 comments. We tried submitting it to /r/web_design so that people will receive the eBooks for free, but their mods didn’t like the idea of giving free ebooks to their subscribers.

Here is summary of the biggest traffic sources for our ebook landing page:

  • Direct traffic – 1,618 visits (probably from emails)
  • Twitter – 796 visits
  • Reddit – 681 visits
  • Facebook – 281 visits
  • Google – 255 visits (no idea how Google got into list)
  • 1stwebdesigner article – 102 visits
  • Google Plus – 56 visits
  • Pinterest – 45 visits (submitted there too, but even with a large following people don’t seem to be eager for books there)

Ebook analytics

What was challenging is that it was hard to decide which page we should really promote – the article on 1stwebdesigner, the ebook landing page or the Amazon links. In the end we put our focus on the landing page because that’s one link compared to three on Amazon.

I wanted to show these numbers because as you can see there isn’t that much traffic from all social networks and even from 1stwebdesigner or the mailing list itself! How the hell did we get those 8,000 downloads?

I’ll let you know in a moment, because I still have some secret tips to share with you!

The reason why we chose Amazon in the first place was to test their internal network, to understand how powerful their system is.
Amazon best sellers

This is the Amazon Best Seller list. Usually when people are searching for new books to read they often use best sellers lists! Thanks to our promotion all three books got on the prestigious web site design Top 100 free list. All these books shared the first three places!

Amazon has it’s free promotion on KDP Select, where every three months you can offer those books for free to bump up sales numbers! If you get high on this list you can easily get more downloads, testimonials and likes!

While there is the best sellers rank, there is also very useful section Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought:
Customers bought amazon

With more downloads you have a better chance to appear in this list. Similar blogs have related reading, this list is great for conversions to related sales!

Only downside is that Amazon doesn’t offer detailed analytics about conversions, they don’t show you where your sales come from, so it’s really hard to understand what exactly worked. And that’s why I suggest now to try to leverage from existing readership first, where you can check traffic sources, test everything, create funnels.

But if you don’t have a readership, you can see Amazon is an excellent starting point! When you launch just make sure you notify all your friends, family members to gain more downloads and testimonials!

Conclusion – Is book launch profitable vs efforts?

When I was doing research about other people book launch case studies I noticed a lot of discussion how profitable book launch actually is. While it’s cool to have a book published with your name on it, calculate your time carefully and make sure you do your research at first.

Jeff atwood quote

Jeff Atwood says:

In short, do not write a book. You’ll put in mountains of effort for precious little reward, tangible or intangible. In the end, all you will have to show for it is an out-of-print dead tree tombstone. The only people who will be impressed by that are the clueless and the irrelevant. And here’s the best part: you can always opt to create a print version of your online content, and instantly get the best of both worlds. But it only makes sense in that order. Writing a book may seem like a worthy goal, but your time will be better spent channeling the massive effort of a book into creating content online. Every weakness I listed above completely melts away if you redirect your effort away from dead trees and spend it on growing a living, breathing website presence online.

Before you start you must understand how expensive book writing will be for you in terms of money and most importantly – TIME. If you can earn $3,000 monthly, and you spend one month writing an ebook, it will cost you $3,000 to write full-time! What I recommend is to do what Jeff suggested – write blog posts, which you can later convert to a book. Or you can do what I did – start out with smaller books, create 50-page books that answer a few questions in detail!

Sacha Greif, for example, wrote an ebook about UI design, where he designed an open source chat app from start to finish. That’s not that hard right? But now you have a product to sell! Sacha Greif reached $10,000 in profits in his first month!

Here is full case study about his launch.

Sacha greif ebook

Have you ever thought of writing a book? If you wrote it already, what did you learn from your launch? If you have always dreamed about writing, but never started, what discouraged you? I’ll keep a close eye on the discussion and will try to help you find answers to inspire you to get started! What mistakes did you notice from this launch? What would you do differently? Let me know in comment section!

193 Written ArticlesWebsiteGoogle+

Dainis is 25 years young man, who struggled for 3 years while studying in design academy and working for local design agency, because of ignorant teachers and agency boss. He couldn't believe this is all life could offer to him! And then he discovered true Internet possibilities, he was lucky to find his passion early in life and take advantage of this beautiful Information (Internet) Age! Now he is committed to help others succeed, to help others take charge of their life and follow their passion! His goal is to open Your eyes and help unveil Your true potential!

24 Comments Best Comments First
  • Ifham khan

    Friday, August 10th, 2012 09:12

    1

    A very nice and detailed article Dainis. I am planning to write an ebook, but as a designer I am too busy with my projects, but the idea to hire professional writer is cool. Gonna use this tips. Hope I will hit the market. :)

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Friday, August 10th, 2012 09:56

      4

      IFham I never heard person saying he has too much time! If you don’t have enough time – find it! And for parts you don’t enjoy – outsource!! Good luck, if you have any more questions feel free to ask in comment section!

      0
  • Damian

    Friday, August 10th, 2012 15:11

    8

    This is an excellent article!! I read each of the eBooks you created here when they were first coming out and it inspired me to do my own. I wrote/published one book through a traditional publisher and I agree with others that it is a miserable experience. Currently I’m working on two different eBooks to self publish (also using Sellfy).

    I think the biggest challenge with writing eBooks and self publishing is the marketing. You need to have a good marketing plan or a large following in order to draw in yours and get them to buy your book.

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Saturday, August 11th, 2012 05:01

      13

      Damian, oh that’s awesome :) Can you share more of your experiences when publishing with traditional publisher? You basically write and that’s it, they take care of everything else right? But in exchange you get really small commission.

      Sellfy is pretty good, they accept only paypal though, but to those who are interested for credit cards, I can just lead them to Amazon then. Yes, without good marketing, message and promotion – it doesn’t matter how good your book is if none knows about it! You are totally right..

      0
      • Damian

        Saturday, August 11th, 2012 08:40

        14

        With the traditional publisher they give you a small advance up front, plus a small commission for each item sold (10% is the industry standard). The 10% only comes from the profit though; so for example if you have a book priced at $50 dollars…you subtract printing costs (about 50%) and then take 10% of the remaining $25 or $2.50 for your commission. Now also keep in mind that most technical books won’t sell more than 5000 – 8000 copies over a 3 year life span. So if you take the average sales (6500 copies), multiple your commission ($2.50) and then subtract your advance (usually around $3000) you get $13,250. This is the earning potential of the book over a three year period. If you divide by 36 months you would get about $368 per month. Something else to keep in mind…publishers only pay out every 6 months.

        Outside of the “money” issue, the traditional publisher does all the marketing for you which is nice if they have a good reach (most publishers do). They also provide proof reading and editing, however this is where a majority of my problems come from. My book was extremely technical and the proofreaders were not. They missed countless mistakes (which were only caught after the printing of the book). Also the finalized copy of word documents I submitted are formatted by the publisher. Their formatting software introduced so many issues into the layout of the book (spacing, fonts, cutting off code). I think money aside I would have done much better with my sales had the book been edited and formatted properly. After the fact I went through the book and found almost 15 pages of errata that needed changing…which will never happen because a publisher pre-prints thousands of books for sale.

        I know with the self publishing you will have to do all the work yourself, but you have control over everything which makes the end product a true reflection of your hard work. I also think a good idea for a business would be for someone to start a “digital only” publishing company. Someone submits their manuscript to the company and they format, editing, and promote all digital forms of the book for the client. You would make much better royalties because there are no costs associated with physical copies. The limitation here is the digital company would need really really good technical staff to edit so things aren’t lost in translation.

        0
        • Dainis Graveris

          Sunday, August 12th, 2012 04:26

          16

          Damian, oh huge thanks for deep insights! Didn’t know all the little details :) Current digital age really helps out to writers who can do everything on their own..and it’s not so terribly hard as well!

          0
  • Tanveer

    Saturday, August 11th, 2012 01:30

    9

    Thanks Danis for such an article, its a inspiration for i think i could also write a book. But still have a fear should i start it or not.. :(

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Saturday, August 11th, 2012 04:46

      11

      Tanveer, but what can you loose? Fear from what? :)

      0
      • Tanveer

        Saturday, August 11th, 2012 14:54

        15

        So i am going to start it..:)

        0
  • Ruhul Amin

    Saturday, August 11th, 2012 01:42

    10

    Thank you for this post. I am benefited with it. It is helpful for writing e-book.

    0
  • Anli

    Friday, August 10th, 2012 14:24

    7

    Thanks for this in-depth analysis Dainis! I was waiting for this post. It motivates me for creating my own products. For me the hardest part seems to be the start of a project when you don’t know what will happen. So, you’re right when you say “just start!”. You find your way as you go.

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Saturday, August 11th, 2012 04:54

      12

      Thanks Anli, doing something for the first time is super hard, time consuming and sometimes discouraging. I feel you, these ebooks took few months more just because I didn’t know how to do everything. But check again that Kindle Cash ebook – it really helped me to understand the rights steps.

      0
  • Manuel Garcia

    Friday, August 10th, 2012 09:26

    2

    This is a very detailed journey, Dainis. I like the way you shared your mistakes (which I rarely see on other blogs) and I think, it boosts the trusts on the side of the readers, like me.

    By the way, congratulation with this successful activity. More powers!

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Friday, August 10th, 2012 09:55

      3

      Hey Manuel, thank you for honest comment! :) Glad to understand what’s the most highly evaluated in article :) Hope it will inspire others to start too! More powers!

      0
  • Zulhilmi Zainudin

    Friday, August 10th, 2012 09:58

    5

    Very inspiring. I hope that I could publish one ebook soon. Pray for me! :)

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Friday, August 10th, 2012 10:37

      6

      Zulhilmi – just start! :)

      0
  • Deborah Anderson

    Monday, September 3rd, 2012 00:29

    23

    Brilliant article. Definitely deserves more than just a bookmark! I like how you referenced the research and ensuring that you meet a need. Just today, I did a critique on a video and when I was done watching the video promo, I couldn’t figure out (except that I already knew) what it was they were truly advertising. In other words, it did not present a need and therefore, did not really present a solution to the need. Good job on highlighting the need to address a need (solving a problem), among other brilliant points, in your article here.

    0
  • Caimin

    Wednesday, September 12th, 2012 16:16

    24

    Thanks for such a detailed post.

    Having just started to sell books in the Kindle Store there’s one tip I can add. If you’re willing to give Amazon exclusive rights for three months, enroll your book in the KDP Select program. The main advantage is that you can offer your book free on up to five days in a ninety day period – the idea being that by encouraging downloads you can rise in the rankings.

    It certainly works. We’re doing our first free promo day today and we’ve been the #2 download in one of our categories all day and #3 in another.

    0
  • Toan Nguyen Minh

    Tuesday, August 14th, 2012 23:02

    20

    Great story to learn. Finding freelance writers for your ebook is a smart idea but I think that ebook will have old things only.

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Wednesday, August 15th, 2012 01:39

      21

      Depends from writers you find, Toan – but of course, the best way is to write book yourself. You cannot go wrong with that.

      0
  • Luis

    Tuesday, August 14th, 2012 07:34

    19

    Great post with new ideas on how to distribute content. Thanks! I love articles like this where I can learn a bit more of this business. :)

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Wednesday, August 15th, 2012 01:40

      22

      Luis, you’re deep inside yourself already! :) Thank you – hope this story will inspire you as well!

      0
  • David

    Tuesday, August 14th, 2012 02:27

    17

    What a conversation. In one of my college courses, I had to write a 12 page paper. Thinking now to publish it but it has many quotes and references to outside resources. With that, not sure it would work.

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Tuesday, August 14th, 2012 03:51

      18

      12 page may be a little too small. But I like this quote – “If you would get one-paged treasure map, would you still complain it’s only one page?”

      0
  • Caimin

    Wednesday, September 12th, 2012 16:16

    24

    Thanks for such a detailed post.

    Having just started to sell books in the Kindle Store there’s one tip I can add. If you’re willing to give Amazon exclusive rights for three months, enroll your book in the KDP Select program. The main advantage is that you can offer your book free on up to five days in a ninety day period – the idea being that by encouraging downloads you can rise in the rankings.

    It certainly works. We’re doing our first free promo day today and we’ve been the #2 download in one of our categories all day and #3 in another.

    0
  • Deborah Anderson

    Monday, September 3rd, 2012 00:29

    23

    Brilliant article. Definitely deserves more than just a bookmark! I like how you referenced the research and ensuring that you meet a need. Just today, I did a critique on a video and when I was done watching the video promo, I couldn’t figure out (except that I already knew) what it was they were truly advertising. In other words, it did not present a need and therefore, did not really present a solution to the need. Good job on highlighting the need to address a need (solving a problem), among other brilliant points, in your article here.

    0
  • Toan Nguyen Minh

    Tuesday, August 14th, 2012 23:02

    20

    Great story to learn. Finding freelance writers for your ebook is a smart idea but I think that ebook will have old things only.

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Wednesday, August 15th, 2012 01:39

      21

      Depends from writers you find, Toan – but of course, the best way is to write book yourself. You cannot go wrong with that.

      0
  • Luis

    Tuesday, August 14th, 2012 07:34

    19

    Great post with new ideas on how to distribute content. Thanks! I love articles like this where I can learn a bit more of this business. :)

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Wednesday, August 15th, 2012 01:40

      22

      Luis, you’re deep inside yourself already! :) Thank you – hope this story will inspire you as well!

      0
  • David

    Tuesday, August 14th, 2012 02:27

    17

    What a conversation. In one of my college courses, I had to write a 12 page paper. Thinking now to publish it but it has many quotes and references to outside resources. With that, not sure it would work.

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Tuesday, August 14th, 2012 03:51

      18

      12 page may be a little too small. But I like this quote – “If you would get one-paged treasure map, would you still complain it’s only one page?”

      0
  • Ruhul Amin

    Saturday, August 11th, 2012 01:42

    10

    Thank you for this post. I am benefited with it. It is helpful for writing e-book.

    0
  • Tanveer

    Saturday, August 11th, 2012 01:30

    9

    Thanks Danis for such an article, its a inspiration for i think i could also write a book. But still have a fear should i start it or not.. :(

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Saturday, August 11th, 2012 04:46

      11

      Tanveer, but what can you loose? Fear from what? :)

      0
      • Tanveer

        Saturday, August 11th, 2012 14:54

        15

        So i am going to start it..:)

        0
  • Damian

    Friday, August 10th, 2012 15:11

    8

    This is an excellent article!! I read each of the eBooks you created here when they were first coming out and it inspired me to do my own. I wrote/published one book through a traditional publisher and I agree with others that it is a miserable experience. Currently I’m working on two different eBooks to self publish (also using Sellfy).

    I think the biggest challenge with writing eBooks and self publishing is the marketing. You need to have a good marketing plan or a large following in order to draw in yours and get them to buy your book.

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Saturday, August 11th, 2012 05:01

      13

      Damian, oh that’s awesome :) Can you share more of your experiences when publishing with traditional publisher? You basically write and that’s it, they take care of everything else right? But in exchange you get really small commission.

      Sellfy is pretty good, they accept only paypal though, but to those who are interested for credit cards, I can just lead them to Amazon then. Yes, without good marketing, message and promotion – it doesn’t matter how good your book is if none knows about it! You are totally right..

      0
      • Damian

        Saturday, August 11th, 2012 08:40

        14

        With the traditional publisher they give you a small advance up front, plus a small commission for each item sold (10% is the industry standard). The 10% only comes from the profit though; so for example if you have a book priced at $50 dollars…you subtract printing costs (about 50%) and then take 10% of the remaining $25 or $2.50 for your commission. Now also keep in mind that most technical books won’t sell more than 5000 – 8000 copies over a 3 year life span. So if you take the average sales (6500 copies), multiple your commission ($2.50) and then subtract your advance (usually around $3000) you get $13,250. This is the earning potential of the book over a three year period. If you divide by 36 months you would get about $368 per month. Something else to keep in mind…publishers only pay out every 6 months.

        Outside of the “money” issue, the traditional publisher does all the marketing for you which is nice if they have a good reach (most publishers do). They also provide proof reading and editing, however this is where a majority of my problems come from. My book was extremely technical and the proofreaders were not. They missed countless mistakes (which were only caught after the printing of the book). Also the finalized copy of word documents I submitted are formatted by the publisher. Their formatting software introduced so many issues into the layout of the book (spacing, fonts, cutting off code). I think money aside I would have done much better with my sales had the book been edited and formatted properly. After the fact I went through the book and found almost 15 pages of errata that needed changing…which will never happen because a publisher pre-prints thousands of books for sale.

        I know with the self publishing you will have to do all the work yourself, but you have control over everything which makes the end product a true reflection of your hard work. I also think a good idea for a business would be for someone to start a “digital only” publishing company. Someone submits their manuscript to the company and they format, editing, and promote all digital forms of the book for the client. You would make much better royalties because there are no costs associated with physical copies. The limitation here is the digital company would need really really good technical staff to edit so things aren’t lost in translation.

        0
        • Dainis Graveris

          Sunday, August 12th, 2012 04:26

          16

          Damian, oh huge thanks for deep insights! Didn’t know all the little details :) Current digital age really helps out to writers who can do everything on their own..and it’s not so terribly hard as well!

          0
  • Anli

    Friday, August 10th, 2012 14:24

    7

    Thanks for this in-depth analysis Dainis! I was waiting for this post. It motivates me for creating my own products. For me the hardest part seems to be the start of a project when you don’t know what will happen. So, you’re right when you say “just start!”. You find your way as you go.

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Saturday, August 11th, 2012 04:54

      12

      Thanks Anli, doing something for the first time is super hard, time consuming and sometimes discouraging. I feel you, these ebooks took few months more just because I didn’t know how to do everything. But check again that Kindle Cash ebook – it really helped me to understand the rights steps.

      0
  • Zulhilmi Zainudin

    Friday, August 10th, 2012 09:58

    5

    Very inspiring. I hope that I could publish one ebook soon. Pray for me! :)

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Friday, August 10th, 2012 10:37

      6

      Zulhilmi – just start! :)

      0
  • Manuel Garcia

    Friday, August 10th, 2012 09:26

    2

    This is a very detailed journey, Dainis. I like the way you shared your mistakes (which I rarely see on other blogs) and I think, it boosts the trusts on the side of the readers, like me.

    By the way, congratulation with this successful activity. More powers!

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Friday, August 10th, 2012 09:55

      3

      Hey Manuel, thank you for honest comment! :) Glad to understand what’s the most highly evaluated in article :) Hope it will inspire others to start too! More powers!

      0
  • Ifham khan

    Friday, August 10th, 2012 09:12

    1

    A very nice and detailed article Dainis. I am planning to write an ebook, but as a designer I am too busy with my projects, but the idea to hire professional writer is cool. Gonna use this tips. Hope I will hit the market. :)

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Friday, August 10th, 2012 09:56

      4

      IFham I never heard person saying he has too much time! If you don’t have enough time – find it! And for parts you don’t enjoy – outsource!! Good luck, if you have any more questions feel free to ask in comment section!

      0

Comments are closed.

54.90.153.141 - unknown - unknown - US