Coca-cola doesn’t need internet 😊
by Deepak Chopra
1. The source of abundance is infinite
2. Whatever you want to receive, start by giving
3. Money is the exchange of values
4. Wealth is a state of consciousness (spontaneous creativity)
5. Intention and attention is what matters in the field of infinite possibilities
6. The key to abundance is letting go
7. The purpose of wealth is creating joy and expanding happiness
by Deborah L. Jacobs, Forbes staff
Not so long ago, the first hurdle for an aspiring book author was to get past the gatekeepers. First you would have to spend weeks or months writing a book proposal and sample chapters. Then you might contact a bunch of agents to see if they would be interested in pitching your book to major publishers. Most would grumble that your idea would not be likely to make a lot of money, or that it sounded “more like a magazine article than a book.” At this point you might abandon the project or, if you were really persistent, send your proposal directly to publishers. If they didn’t ship the package back to you unopened, they would either send you a form rejection letter or make you a lowball offer.
Various tools for self-publishing have taken down these barriers for authors who prefer to go it alone. I’m one of them (see my post, “How My Book Became A (Self-Published) Best Seller). Paul Jarvis is another. He’s a web designer and author who has self-published four books, including Everything I Know, which between the print and ebook versions sold a total of 4,000 copies. His upcoming book, The Good Creative, due out June 4, explores 18 traits of the world’s most interesting and respected creative professionals. In the following guest post he provides a roadmap to the various Amazon services that have liberated authors from traditional publishers. You can follow him on Twitter.
Most independently published authors fall into one of two camps: Those selling books on their own website using an ecommerce tool; and those selling only through Amazon.
I started out in the first camp two years ago when I used Gumroad to self-publish the ebook, Eat Awesome. Gumroad allows you to sell a variety of digital products from your own web site, including ebooks, music and software. Setup takes less than five minutes. They take a very small percentage (5% + 25 cents) of each sale. I sold 5,410 copies of the book I published with them, netting about $12,033 (after they took their fees).
My second book, Be Awesome at Online Business, I sold exactly same way. I also signed up for distribution through Bookbaby, but didn’t promote those avenues, so I noticed little or no sales.
Curious about Amazon’s services for independent authors, last year I listed my third book, Everything I Know, for sale exclusively through their website. Sales during the first four months exceeded 4,000 downloads. That’s more than double the number of downloads of either of the previous two books during the first four months of publication. I also now sell paperback copies, which Amazon prints as orders come in, accounting for 10% of my book sales each month. Typically I sell 70 to 100 print books per month, netting around $400 per month from that version of the book. In addition, I’m averaging about 700 digital downloads per month, which net me $2,870.
Amazon’s suite of services for independent authors makes it possible for me and many other authors to bypass traditional publishing companies. It gives us the tools to create and sell digital books; print and sell paperback copies on demand; add author pages and even market books. Here are five Amazon services, all of them free to set up, that every indie author needs to know about.
Kindle Direct Publishing. This service, known by the shorthand KDP, enables indie authors to sell the digital version of their books on Amazon.com (or other Amazon country websites). There’s no charge to upload the file. Authors get royalties of 35% to 70% of the sale price, depending on whether the book is sold on KDP or through another Amazon service called KDP Select (more about that below).
Unlike most other digital retailers, KDP uses the format known as “mobi.” This is simply the file format for digital books that Amazon uses, and it works on all Kindle devices. You can upload your book on Amazon using other formats as explained on the Amazon site, including ePub, which is the most popular one (that’s what Apple uses), and others such as HTML, Doc, and RTF. However, in my experience it looks better if you start out with a mobi file because any formatting you create – for example for images, charts and tables – stays intact.
Let’s say you have written your book in Word and want to convert it to mobi. You can do this using the free software Calibre (available for PC or Mac). I’ve used the Mac version and it works very well if your Word document has no page numbers. For best results it should include links to each chapter in a table of contents that’s formatted to meet Amazon’s specifications listed here.
Another option is to pay one of the many digital publishing or formatting companies that offer the service of converting a Word file to the digital format of your choice. Pricing is either per book or based on the number of words. With a professional service you should expect to pay in the hundreds of dollars to have your book set up, formatted and converted from a Word DOC to a mobi or ePub file. You can locate less expensive services through fiverr.com. But as with so many other things, you typically get what you pay for, so look at the company’s portfolio and speak with some of their author clients before retaining the firm.
You will also have the ability to preview your Kindle book before it’s published on Amazon.com, so if you catch any mistakes, you can make your changes and re-upload.
One of the nice things about KDP is that Amazon does not require digital exclusivity. So authors can still sell the same digital book anywhere else on the Internet on through other stores like The Nook Book Store or iTunes.
KDP Select. By using this service, rather than the plain-vanilla one, you tap into Amazon’s marketing muscle. To do that you must give them an exclusive on your digital book for 90 days. In return, KDP Select pays higher royalties (closer to the 70% mentioned earlier), and allows those books to be part of the lending library for their Prime Members. Authors get paid a percentage of the total amount Amazon Prime members pay for each book lent out.
For example, if the total amount Prime members pay in April is $1 million and 300,000 titles are lent out, if your book is lent out 1,500 times you would make .5% or $5,000. Last month it worked out to $2.12 per book for me, which is average. This month alone 127 people have grabbed Everything I Know from the lending library, so it’s a decent chunck of “sales.”
KDP Select also gives you the option to make your book free or discounted for up to five days, as part of your promotional campaign. During that time, it appears on sales pages on Amazon.com, which drives more people to it. Though you will obviously earn nothing from these sales, it can help build buzz for your book just as you are launching it.
If you subscribe to the theory that offering a book for free – even briefly – can ultimately pay off, there are also lots of websites that promote free or discounted Kindle books to massive audiences. Bookbub is the largest, with over 2 million subscribers. Bookbub and other larger promotion websites will charge you a fee (from $40 in less popular categories to $400 to $1,500 in very popular categories) to advertise with them. I think it’s worth it (if you can afford it), to put your book in front of a much larger audience.
Using Bookbub, Book Gorilla (the second largest Kindle promotion company) and my own marketing efforts, I drove 39,000 downloads to Everything I Know in just three days. Four weeks later, after the book went back to the normal price of $6.99, sales continued at a slightly higher volume than prior to the sale. I have now sold more than 4,000 copies.
Based on my conversations with other indie authors and their posts on various message boards and blogs, other authors also see huge sales on days when their books are discounted, and even more massive downloads on days when those books are free. This, in turn, leads to higher than usual sales on the days right after promotions (when the book has gone back to its regular price), and generally helps to expand awareness of the book.
CreateSpace. This is Amazon’s print-on-demand service for indie authors. It lets you sell a paperback copy of your book either on CreateSpace.com or directly from Amazon.com. All you have to do is upload a PDF based on their specifications and set how much you’d like to make. (They give you a base price; you make the public price something over that.)
You don’t pay for book printing – you simply collect a commission whenever it sells. You’re in charge of the price and associated commission as well. When you upload your book, Amazon tells you what their costs are — $2.50 for example, for a 150-page book. From there you can price your book at anything higher, say $9. Under that scenario, for each paperback sale, Amazon keeps $2.50 and the shipping costs that it charges the buyer, and you keep $6.50.
Authors design (or can have CreateSpace design for an extra fee) a cover and upload their content in PDF format. Once it’s uploaded you can download or physically order a “proof” copy or view it directly on their website. That way, if you need to make changes, you can do that before it’s made available for sale.
CreateSpace also lets you link a Kindle version of your book to the paperback. This way, purchasers can pick their format on the same sales page, which is a helpful customer-oriented feature. All it requires is that you upload a properly formatted Kindle version as well. If you’re already added your Kindle version to KDP or KDP Select, Amazon will connect your paperback to the digital version on the same page on their website.
Print on demand is perfect for most indie authors because it’s hard to judge how well your book will sell, and ordering copies before they’re sold can be a massive expense. With CreateSpace, those obstacles disappear. However the current limitations are that there’s no hardcover option and I’ve found the binding and spines of the books printed through them are weak. You also have to use one of only a few options for the size of the book.
I didn’t think print was worth it for independently published authors since it can leave you with unsold inventory (which you will need to store at your house or arrange to store elsewhere). But as soon as I started offering paperback copies of Everything I Know through CreateSpace, I noticed that at least 10% of my sales were physical copies. Since it’s printed on demand through Amazon, there’s no inventory — just royalties, automatically deposited to my bank account each month.
Amazon Author Central. Whether your book is published by a traditional publisher or you are an indie author, Amazon lets you create an author page like this one. You can add your biography; your photo; editorial reviews; and your blog’s RSS feed (so it grabs new articles). It’s even possible to share upcoming speaking and book-signing events and show your latest tweets.
Every Amazon page for your book links to this enormously useful marketing tool, so it cross-links other books you have published, too. On your author page, readers can even sign up to get email notifications from Amazon when you release new books.
Having an Author Central page doesn’t require using other Amazon services. All that’s necessary is that one or more of your books is for sale in any way on Amazon. From there it’s simply a matter of letting Amazon know that you’re the author and following the prompts to set up the page.
Amazon Associates. This is an affiliate service that pays you for linking to products on Amazon.com. You can use this to link to your own books (it’s not against the rules), and make an extra 4% to 8% on each sale. You also get commissions from any other item someone buys on Amazon.com if they landed on the site by using your affiliate link.
Anyone can sign up for a free affiliate account — you don’t even need to be an author. After that, there’s a step-by-step walk-through for generating affiliate links. I use affiliate links on my own website, as that’s a large sales channel. So each time someone clicks the link to buy my book from my website, I get paid twice: once from the affiliate and once from the royalties I receive.
On average, I make a few hundred dollars each month from my affiliate account, because every time I link to my books from my website I use an Amazon Associates URL that’s got a tracking ID attached. This tracking ID tells Amazon that I sent that sale to them, so they’ll send me a commission of that sale.
There are important rules to be aware of with Amazon Associates. For instance, you aren’t allowed to use associate links in newsletters, emails or PDFs. It’s also against the rules to shorten your affiliate link on social media (which Twitter and Facebook do automatically).
The downside of selling on Amazon is that authors don’t get access to customer information (like name or email addresses) and the royalties are lower than they would be selling directly on an author’s own website, using services such as Gumroad.
Returns or refunds are handled by Amazon. I’ve never seen a refund request for any paperback copies of my book, but Kindle ebook purchasers do request them within the seven days that Amazon allows. Of course some buyers abuse the system, reading the book and then returning it. There are even petitions from authors to stop or shorten the refund time. But I don’t object to the policy. The return rate for my Kindle books has only been about 1%. And I even think the policy helps encourage customers to take a chance on indie authors. If they dislike the book enough to request a refund, they should get one.
Self-publishing through Amazon makes sense for authors who are willing to give up the customer details and accept lower royalties for a potentially higher sales volume. I’ve seen a massive spike in sales by selling this way, rather then with services like Gumroad. Everything I Know, which has only been out a few months, has already had double the sales of my previous book, Be Awesome at Online Business, which has been out 1½ years. So I don’t plan to ignore Amazon anytime soon.
For future books, though, I plan to sell on both platforms. I will still use Amazon but avoid the exclusivity that’s part of KDP Select.
Do you need to? 🙂
Every company in the world does everything to rank high in google while nobody searches for Coca Cola, yet they would not be bothered if internet existed being the brand that everyone knows regardless if they drink it or not.
Well done Dr Pemberton!
You let yourself in to the wonderful world of adventures journeys discovering your talents within yourself picturing in front of you which you have never known you have got them.
That is the beauty of Roddy’s workshops where in the uplifting atmosphere of kindness you grow in admiration of watching your own discovering talent and others:)
Treat yourself to the luxury of the ocean of abundantly flowing happiness of wonderful time.
Now subscriptions taken worldwide, no longer geographically restricted.
You know what you feel and you can hear your intuition, if it tells you to tell someone something, tell them!
Well, if you do depending how old or how young you are, you can make a decision to add a fairly good amount of money into your retirement pot.
If you stop smoking today and you save about $10 per day not spending the money on cigarettes then in a month you have $300, in a year about $3650, in ten years it will be about $36,500 and in the lifelong career time of 40 years you will have $146,000 to enjoy when you retire or you can burn it in your lungs and get cancer!
Every baby born today has a chip inserted in their wrist…
How would you continue writing this story?
Have you read “1984”? It is in some ways interesting to step back and look from a mental distance how the societies are evolving, how it leads us, addict us and how the promises on sale to save you money and time rob you at the same time from it in greater measures than ever before…where is the world heading to?
“Joe and Ringo”
It was Saturday morning, little Joe woke up early and very pleased it was not a school day for him, the rest of the family were still asleep. His adventurous heart told him to get up, and after grabbing a piece of bread, he washed quickly not spending much time in the bathroom and ran through the back doors to the garden. It was his world, he said “hello” to his dog Ringo which was so pleased to see him as he knew it was the time for a long, adventurous walk through the woods nearby. Off they went, the day was dry but cloudy, birds were singing, squirrels were jumping the tree branches, the natural smell of wood freshness was all around them, Ringo was happily walking alongside Joe who was silently singing and enjoying the wonderful morning time which he always had looked forward to for the whole week. “Favourite time, favourite time” he sang, the joy of his voice was clearly understood by Ringo who was waving his tale with his head up listening to his human friend. Joe had a dream overnight where he saw a huge castle somewhere in the woods, it was a beautiful white building with sharply ended several little towers around the top edges of its structure, he could not remember anything else of it, however, this dream kept him greatly inspired for the whole morning walk. Life seemed better in the nature of the wood environment than the busy, noisy streets of San Jose which Joe did not like. His school was not a big one but Joe loved Ringo most of all his school friends. Coming along the wooden path there was still no castle on the horizon, Joe knew the difference between the dreams and reality, however, he also knew that all is possible in his world, the joy of the time was most important to him, he also knew that Ringo loved their time together which was always making them both so very happy, their friendship grew and grew beyond any description. They understood and trusted each other. Soon the morning became noon, both friends had had a wonderful time and were on their way back home as Joe was helping his parents with the housework on Saturday afternoons so he did not want to be late for that duty. He loved helping his mum and dad in anything that they were doing, let it be baking, cooking, gardening, or car repairing. Everything was always an enjoyable adventure for him, life was fun. When they arrived home, mum was getting ready to cook dinner and dad was in the garden, he needed some help from Joe as he wanted to repair the shed that day. Some of the parts of its roof began to be loose so Joe and his dad were working on it till the dinner was ready. Joe enjoyed learning to use all the tools needed to repair the wooden parts of the shed, the metal parts were still in good shape and needed no extra work. It was a warm, sunny day so the work was going pleasantly well for both of them, there was a small radio in the shed so they could turn it on at any time they wanted, however, they preferred to chat when they were together, they always had something to talk about. Suddenly they realized they were running out of nails so Joe jumped on his bike and left off for the local shop to get some more. It only took him less than twenty minutes and he was back.
Suddenly they heard the news on the radio that there was a virus spreading all over the world. Joe thought to himself “How is that possible? “, “What is it?”, “What will happen if anyone of us will get it?”, “Does it also affect dogs?” He had no answers to his questions at that time, however, the happy day has just had a dark cloud arrived on it, things were about to change.
Joe’s and his parents’ neighbour came down to see them to ask if they have seen the news, Mrs Griffiths was in tears and could not speak clearly. Joe’s mum has welcomed Mrs Griffiths warmly and offered her a drink, they both sat down and talked. They were always there for each other for all the years they have lived in the street, next-door neighbours sharing kindness and help almost every day. Mrs Griffiths was an elderly lady whose husband passed away some years ago and they did not have children, she was living alone as her brother and sister also passed away. Mrs Griffiths was the kindest person you can ever meet. Joe could not stop thinking about what he has heard and found it difficult to fall asleep that night. Sunday came after a long night for everyone. First time since the war the church service was not held at the local church, instead, people were heading to the groceries shops and supermarkets to get more food and more household essentials, that was caused by a massive spread of fear that soon shops may not be open and there will be no food apart from what was growing in the gardens if one had one. Life took a completely different turn, people became to worry and felt unprepared for a possible long-term social shut down. Joe could not believe what was happening, he would normally be happy to hear he did not have to go to school but this time he was not. Schools were about to close and there was no certainty when they would re-open again. “What will happen to the teachers?”, “How will he see his friends from school?”, so many questions were popping out in his mind, scary time, no one knows any answers for the coming weeks, months, what is happening.
There have been more deaths reported that the virus caused, many people had to self-isolate at their homes, hardly knowing what to do apart from waiting for seven or fourteen days and hoping they will feel better and the sickness will go away without killing them. It seemed to be worse in larger cities, gladly Joe lived in a small town, people were friendly and kind to each other, it was sad to see some of them already died and some of them you did not see as they had to remain at home, especially elderly people.
The next day, Joe and his father went to the shops and made larger shopping, they have bought some groceries and several tins of food for Mrs Griffiths so she would not have to worry as she could not go out anyway, they would not let her feel any more worried than she was. Mrs Griffiths loved to read, she hardly watched the television, maybe that was good as there was a constant flood of bad news on there all the time, the world has changed dramatically within a few days, all over the world on each continent. Things were getting worse, soon there were many people who died in hospitals.
I deeply believe you can heal your life through healing your thinking. Expect a miracle if you do not believe it is possible. Every day, every moment is for you, the whole world helps you to develop your friendly thinking independent of external events and situation you are in. This chapter is not the last chapter of your life, better ones are on way to you which will make your life begin to be harmonious and very happy. Send away everything what was unpleasant and not good and clear it from your mind. Slowly your own thoughts will be becoming kinder and friendlier. This book is for you and its purpose is to encourage you to write your interesting story, uplifting those who are now waiting to hear it from you, just from you, not from me. It is certain that there already are many people you have blessed in your life being a blessing to them. Focusing on it will bring more goodness into your life, it all begins with a though which is that invisible force which rules the world. Everything we see around in this world which was created by a human always begins with a thought, thoughts rule the world, belief creates facts. Believing in tragedy leads to a tragedy, believing in goodness leads to goodness. Everyone of us has times of depression or doubt, then we need support, understanding, silence and focusing on gratitude, counting everything what is good in our life beginning with air and oxygen we breath. Our breath is the most important miracle of each moment in each of us, without it we would not be here after a few minutes. There are so many of us who cannot move freely, luxury for them would be simply to stand on their own feet, get a cup of water using their hand or feed themselves but being paralysed they cannot do that. So many of these peoples’ attitude teaches us how to be grateful to God for gifts such as our eyesight, legs, hands, ability to move freely within our homes, town, country or world. It is good to stop and think what do we really need more of, if we need something more than we already have. Happy people are those who have enough rather than not enough. Western world wastes so much food that it could feed every hungry person in the whole world. So many people do not have running water, how about you?
Nevertheless, we see so often smiling, happy people in the “poor” countries, those people are pleased with every moment of their time, every breath, who is poor then? Them or us? Are you happy?
Often, we are speeded up by this “commercial clock” pushing us in the direction of accumulating material objects, chasing after promotion, building bigger and bigger houses while at the same time we lose touch with ourselves, one’s own soul, silence and the ability to enjoy life without any special, outstanding reason. We are chasing life which is to become better, when we get a promotion, when we buy a bigger house, when we pass an exam, when we pay off our mortgage etc. What is the most important in your life? What are your thoughts focusing on? What makes you joyful? Do you love your life, your thoughts and yourself? Any worries and troubles about current issues today will not matter at all in five years in our ocean of awareness. I wish you that your persistent faith in achieving your deepest dreams is helping you every day to breath happily.
We often ask ourselves in so called hopeless situations; why me, why is it happening to me? Always, you always have a choice to direct your attention on these aspects of your life you can be grateful for, I will help you now, thank you that I can breath, that I can see, I can walk, digest and can read and write, I have water, peace where I live, thank you that I have voice and can speak and thank you for the food and on and on…I am also grateful for this situation I am in, I accept what has happened to me and I know that it is the first step to accept of whatever life throughs at us. When you are reading these words now, know that when I was writing them I had not at all been in a wonderful situation myself at all, rather opposite, that is why I understand you. Everyone of us is on their own path and each journey is rich in experiences and this is the greatest treasure of each and everyone of us, we are ourselves they key to our own inner peace. Our reactions to what is happening to us is something we want to be in charge of, being able to be in charge of them is so worthy skill which you cannot buy anywhere despite how rich you might be. The triumph of life is something that is happening in your mind, the will to live, the ability to forgive yourself and others is a priceless gift of free will of choice which you can gift to yourself NOW! Yes, now, because we live now, not yesterday and not tomorrow, however our thoughts often are not focused on the present moment but they travel somewhere producing different pictures to our minds, various situations that happened in the past but they are still alive in us now. A wonderful skill to have is the ability to focus on the present moment.