How To Become An Author
It used to be so hard to become a published author, write the book, send it to a lot of different publishers wait for the rejections to come in and repeat the process for as long as it takes to get fed up.
There has always been the option to self publish, in the past this has been an expensive option, companies such as Lulu grew up to offer POD (print on demand) services, Lulu was the market leader until Amazon acquired its own POD, Create Space. These companies allow anyone to publish their work for a minimal cost, so the barriers to publishing in print have been eroded. But the real seismic shift has been in E-Publishing the range of E-Reading devices is huge and the demand for content voracious.
Amazon really has created a revolution in publishing with it’s Kindle platform, recent figures from Amazon tell the tale. For every 100 physical books sold on Amazon there are 105 Kindle books sold. It is estimated that Amazon has sold in excess of 10 Million Kindles. Now that creates an opportunity, because Amazon needs content and lots of it. This is how we will start to make our money.
Amazon has levelled the playing field for small publishers (that’s you and me) by allowing anyone to publish on Kindle and Create Space without it costing a penny. That removes all the barriers to self publishing that has stopped so many people from succeeding.
The traditional route of approaching publishers suffering rejection often for years on end is over. This has allowed some people to make their entire income publishing on Kindle. Read about the very rich Indie Writer.
But however you cut it Amazon is only about 50% of the whole eBook market as there are considerable sales made on iTunes, Google Play, Kobo, Smashwords and Barnes & Noble as well as on smaller eBook sites.
The above examples are just the big name players there are plenty of specialized book publishers that can distribute an authors work in the same manner as the big companies making their catalog for sale across many different eBook platforms. Take for example Erotica, since “50 Shades of Grey: erotica is big business a whole industry has built up to supply this in demand content and its writers are making a small killing just supplying the market.
An example of a smaller company doing just this is Yellow Silk Dreams, run by writer Jacqueline George. Not only are they distributing there catalog of publications to all the major players in the eBook market place they are also looking for authors to join their growing business. Is This your big opportunity?
So if you are an aspiring writer here is an opportunity to get your work published with a company with a growing reputation for delivering quality eBooks. Just drop an email to the webmaster sorry mistress… Sorry mistress! at Yellow Silk Dreams.
P.s. Its good to share!
Illustrated Books For Kindle Using Comic Life 3
Illustrated books are really big on Kindle, they range from full blown graphics novels such as Watchmen.
Featuring some seriously talented artists and writers (i.e. not me) to simple illustrated books such as children’s ABC books (i.e. me).
Although these books look amazing when viewed on such devices as the Kindle Fire HD and other similar reading devices they do present quite a different challenge to the author than do ordinary non illustrated books.
MS Word and similar word processing programs where never really intended for producing books with lots of illustrations or with complex layouts. Some alternatives do exist such as Adobe InDesign which is commonly used to layout professional quality magazines.
InDesign is expensive and has a steep learning curve, we may not need all of the functionality of the program rather like using a sledge hammer to crack a walnut and I cannot therefore justify cost of buying it.
So what about a cheap, easy to use alternative that will help you produce first class illustrated books with no fuss even for those of use who can’t draw for toffee.
Enter Comic Life 3!
Comic life is available for Windows 7 & 8, OS X and IOS, it costs only $30 but you can try if free for 30 days. Comic life is easy to learn, has lots of pre built templates, panel layouts and output options producing quality comics OR illustrated books.
On Thursday I published my first fully illustrated book for the Kindle Fire HD using Comic life. Here are some example pages from the book. The finished project was exported as a set of .jpg files and imported into Kindle Comic Creator to compile the file for uploading to Kindle. All the images I used were public domain (see What’s Your image like 2). Total production cost of the book $0.
Amazon US Amazon UK
I used my new iMac to produce the book but a PC or iPad works just as well. Comic life is true alternative to high end costly illustration programs at a fraction of the price. As you can see I even did the cover in Comic Life 3, that’s saved a Fiverr!
Want to know more? I am shooting a series of videos showing exactly how I did this, look out for it.
p.s. It’s good to share!
Whats Your Image Like Part 2!
Blog posts are supposed to be interesting and informative but unfortunately all too often they can become very wordy (and I am aware that I am one of the worst culprits there is). Using graphics in your blog post not only breaks up the large bulk of text but can also be interesting and informative when used correctly.
LIKE THIS ONE!
But where can you get your images from? Well the answer all too often is from a Google search then copy and paste the picture, right? Well no it is all too easy to infringe the copyright of others this way. You may get away with it for years but one day you may have a problem.
There are a number of solutions to this problem. Buy a royalty free image from a picture agency such as Fotolia, for a blog these can be relatively inexpensive but if you are using 2 or 3 images a blog post and you are a regular blogger then the cost can be really staggering.
There are plenty of alternatives such as Public Domain (PD) images and Images available under a Creative Commons Licence (CC). Such as these…
A really good place to start is Wikimedia Commons
There are also other sites such as Icon Archive which have images for commercial and non commercial usage, some just require a link back or credit to the graphic artist.
Or you could buy a Royalty Free clipart collection which will allow you to use the images where eve you like without additional fee, as long as you don’t resell the clipart images.
One of the really big players Getty Images has made this service available for non commercial activities such as blog posts etc, by providing an embed code to a large proportion of the images in its catalogue. The image is low resolution but good enough for a blog and has a link back to Getty and the original image.
Here is an example of a Getty image embedded into this blog post.
Try Creative Commons for other sources of images. So if you are looking for images to liven up your blog posts then there are some real alternatives to the Google copy and paste approach which if you are not careful could mean that you are using copyright materials.
Rob, It good to share!!
New Year Plans 2014 And End Of Year Review 2013
Once more we start a New Year we look forward to the plans ahead and with it the inevitable review of the previous year and plans. When you look back it is often sobering to see what you have achieved or have failed to achieve, so here goes.
There has been a BIG spectre haunting me and unlike Scrooge this one did not arrive just before christmas it has been in residence for a long time. It is my long trumpeted, long awaited but not delivered Kindle training course. I never delivered this, I have been unhappy with a lot of the content, I have tinkered with it, messed with it and also left it alone (for too long).
But, I have finally realised what I was unhappy about and with a renewed vigour have created a Kindle course that I am not just happy with but also proud of, so look for that in early 2014.
I have not as yet updated my eBay course Plugin Auction Profits or my 12 Roads to Success course as I was wanting to do in 2013. But, I have the new versions in outline form and intend to move these to there own membership sites with the addition of some new materials. There will also be some additional content available as an optional additions to the product.
I have also been experimenting with Optimise Press 2 as the membership platform for my Kindle course. I find OP 2 both easy to use and infuriating in equal measure, on bad days it is seems more like Optimise Depress.
I am unsure as to whether I will continue to use this after I have used up my 3 licence quota, so stay tuned.
A great positive in 2013 was joining the team at Marketing Mini Classes, I knew everyone personally and I am delighted to be working with Steve, Mandy and Barry. Look for some more classes from me in 2014.
So to 2014, here’s the broad plan.
To release 3 products this year
To update and upgrade my Plugin Auction Profits and 12 Roads to Success to membership status.
To add to my Kindle book portfolio by at least one book per month
To buy myself a Mac computer and publish content to Apple iBooks
To extend my existing POD ventures
To build a more extensive and responsive marketing list
And above all to provide excellent value to all my subscribers and customers
Phew just looking at that list is scary! But these business goal should go someway to helping me achieve my personal goals.
What are your plans? Leave a comment below and share your plans.
So it only remains for me to wish you the compliments of the season and wish you success in all your ventures in 2014.
Oh and remember its good to share so please share this!
Product Creation: A Day At The Office
Firstly a question, where do you work best?
Mostly I work at home in my office, but just occasionally I like to expand my horizons a bit and become more flexible inn my working practices. On these days I prefer to work in one of the many office spaces that are available to me in the fair city of Liverpool. I think these are also known as pubs?
My current “office” (where I wrote this) is known as Bier and is an excellent venue with its selection of quality ales and imported beer it comes highly recommended, (but not on a Saturday night when the worlds worst DJ excels in driving away good custom after attempting first to burst their ear drums).
But is beer and work a good combination?
In my case yes, for me it’s liberating to be away from home with the frequent distractions and constant pinging of the email. Warning me of yet another cannot do without thingumy is for sale and if I don’t buy it now at a massive discount it may be gone forever, it just destroys the erm, what’s it called? Oh yes concentration.
I never take a laptop, or a netbook and the IPad is still where I left it, just me a writing pad a pen and a pint.
Productive, well I have in the past hour, written the copy for my eBay listing of “War of the Worlds.”
Brainstormed a selection of books for Kindle, Written a description and planned the eBay listing of some software products I am going to sell.
Come up with three new product ideas, and written this blog post.
So a fruitful day all round, plus I managed to save 2 pence in real money due to the reduction in excise duty on beer by our chancellor in the latest budget. Thanks George, what ever will I spend it on?
So it only remains for me to ask. How do you like to work?
The Easiest eBay Start-Up Ever?
One of the major problems with selling on eBay is the money you need to spend to invest in stock to resell before you even make a sale.
No matter how much you research your market there is always the possibility that some of the products you buy to resell will be complete turkeys, even if someone else is selling the same product successfully and at a higher price.
After all isn’t the idea of selling on eBay to make money and not to lose it? So here is an opportunity to make start with NO cash at all.
These are products that are available free, you only pay a tiny fee to list the product. This idea may never make you a full time income but it does have the following advantages.
The products are FREE
The listing fees are very small
There are many thousands of these products for you to choose from
I am talking here of using Public Domain (PD) materials or in other word products whose copyright have expired, or are free of any copyright restrictions.
The big boom market is in Audio Books at the moment, the Kindle Fire, Ipad, Ipod and other portable devices that can play MP3 files have fuelled the demand. This creates a business opportunity for us to tap into.
Here are just a few examples of sellers reselling materials in the Public Domain.
Look at the sales numbers 197!
What about radio shows or TV shows or even films in the public domain
Plus it does not stop with audio books, there is a big demand for e-books in different formats for the e-reader market:
Don’t forget video
Any one of these or a similar product will give you a good start plus this is all done on a shoestring, the downside is that selling prices are generally low but apart from the disk, postage and a small eBay fee the rest is yours.
So how do you start in the public domain? Well here is a freebie to get you started, it is by Steve Poke, and as far as PD is concerned he really knows how to make this work as a business.
DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY HERE
Is this one of the easiest start-ups ever? I think so.
If you have found this interesting remember It’s good to share. Please leave a comment.
Want more? Keep checking back for updates.
Published on Kindle: My New eBay Book.
eBay Success Secrets: How To Build Your Own eBay Empire
Just a quick post today, I am working on a new Kindle product which is a step by step course on producing content for Kindle with a template, PDF and about 14-15 over the shoulder training videos plus lots more.
As part of the course I show how to produce Kindle books and get them published, yesterday I shot the entire listing process and video and uploaded the book for publication, it went live this morning! I can now shoot the rest of the videos and get it finished.
Here’s a sneak preview, click the graphic and see the listing and the Amazon preview.
Or click HERE to see the listing.
The cover was ordered for Fiverr and the content was based on my own business as an eBay Powerseller selling non branded products.
I think it look quite smart…. Rob
A Quick Update!
The book was published about 27 hours ago, here’s what I found when I logged on today
My book is ranked number 57 best seller in it’s catagory and in the top 130,000 Kindle books
Not too shabby!! Rob