Tuesday, March 27, 2012

We Need Your Help with Building Our Self-Publishing Book Product

HI, all, we had our presentation last week on publishing and it went very well. I put together a checklist, a resources list, and a book of the notes. All of these are available if you sign up over on the right. What we need now is help with feedback on what you are looking for. We have set up a 10 question survey on Survey Monkey that we would love you to take. Shouldn't take longer than 5-10 minutes. Click on the link below and thank you very much

<a href="http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XFCN6Q2">Click here to take survey</a>

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Researching Your Topic Using the Power of Amazon

 
Use the Amazon Search box to take an initial pass at your top and key word phrase
Today we are starting a short series of posts on how to use Amazon.com to research and help you fill in the gaps in your topic.

To learn more about your topic, what is selling, if there is a market, what are the products and what people are saying about it, you can’t get any better information than Amazon.com. Amazon is one of the most incredible sites and resources to look at to see people’s buying habits. If it is selling, it is selling on Amazon and people are writing about it. Their data is pulled collected from millions and millions of visitors looking for very specific products.

For this exercise we are going to pretend that we are working on a book on Fly Fishing. No real reason, just thought fly fishing would be fun. To start the process we will take our initial key word "fly fishing" and drop it into the Amazon search box. The first thing we notice as the we type the phrase is that words start to appear just below the box. This is Instant Search, this also happens in any of the popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, YouTube.

What you are seeing is Amazon's attempt to fit our phrase into other phrases that people have already type in. They are trying to guide you in the popular direction for this topic and get you to your book faster. This is very useful information that we can use on how we should be looking at our topic and making it work with the searching engines. What you will discover is that maybe we aren't setting up our phrase correctly, or we are missing a term, or the order of words, or maybe no one is searching on this term. Remember items on the web are found by search so you want match up and be found in search. What this also tells you is that people think in a very similar way.

This initial research will help you figure out your positioning, maybe the title,  areas you were missing. You can and should do this exercise in Google, Yahoo, Bing and also YouTube. You will see very different results in YouTube, but YouTube is searched 2-3 billion times a day.

Next post, looking at the results of your search, what shows up, products, that kind of thing.

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Make, Market Publish Talk on March 21 and the Main Takeaways

J. Bruce Jones speaking at the Boston Internet Marketing Meetup Publishing Event
We had a great night at the Boston Internet Marketing Meetup with my talk on publishing your book. We had about 25 people and then a great pizza party afterwards. Huge thanks to Lew Sabbag and Keith Spiro. The main takeaways from the night were:
  1. Self publishing can be almost free with print on demand and Kindle publishing
  2. Huge changes happening in publishing, people are taking over
  3. All items sell, especially if you can drive traffic to Amazon and to your products
  4. Social Media and your online presence is super important
  5. Break things into smaller packages, instead of a 300 page book, do five 60 pages books
  6. Get Going, just start

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Succeeding in Business as a Graphic Designer

A question came up in my Make, Market Launch course I am taking on getting a Kindle book up on Amazon. I hadn't done an ebook for a while as most of my books are print-on-demand so I went through some of my articles and adjusted one for a book.  

Getting a book is pretty easy, you can do it in a couple hours. You just need a MS Word file of your book and a cover image. If you want to just use the basic Kindle upload then the file should be very simple with very little formatting, bolds, italic, and not much more. Put in a title in the word file, then a page break, Table of Contents, then a page break and then the text of the book. Use the H1 style for chapter heads, just put one space between each paragraph. Generate a TOC, Kindle likes that. For the cover, 600x960 pixels at 72 dpi works just fine. I made mine with an image from Dreamstime.com and Adobe PhotoShop, but you could also use an paint program on one of the on line like FotoFlexer.com. You can also make one right off of your MSWord file with a screen capture program like Snagit.com, if you don't have PhotoShop. Keep it simple, fill in all the boxes they give you and you should be fine.

Most of the time was making adjustments to the text. I need to learn more about spacing between paragraphs. I also had to push together a cover pretty fast. My goal was to do this in one sitting.

Our book is Succeeding in Business as a Graphic Designer, Quick Tips for Developing a Second Income Stream with Your Graphic Design Knowledge. This book is about using your graphic design skills to develop a second stream of income that can help support you while you are managing and building your design business. Something that can give us a base under our regular graphic design business, sustain you when times are tough, and build a passive and continual stream of income. Tips include producing books, video products, products and more.

We will be writing more on this as we continue to add to our program. Check out our book at Amazon.com

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Why are Stats Important when Writing a Book

Stats, Research, Test
  • A key to understanding what readers are interested in is to using the built in stats package built into your blog or if you don't have one then installing Google Analytics to analyze what is being read on your blog and then responding to it. Set up a feed back loop, 
  • One goal in building your blog platform is to figure out what people are reading and interested in. Once you know this then you can write more on this topic, or add to this topic. Visitors figure out pretty quickly what your blog is about even if you don't actually know. Watching your stats is one of the ways to figure this out.
  • Test new material.
  • Blogs allow you to research different topics quickly and easily
  • Test concepts, plot lines, and designs with your readers using polls, set up surveys, and ask questions.
  • Get reactions and comments
  • Some writers even write their entire books right into the blog.
Most blogs have stats built right into them, if not then check out Google Analytics and get it installed. It is free and gives you some amazing information on what is going on with your blog or website.


http://www.google.com/analytics/

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Making Your Publishing Platform and Building Your Followers

I am going to put out parts from our new book, How to Publish and Market Your Book,

Chapter 1. Making Your Platform and Building Your Followers
This chapter is built on three ideas
  • Building your platform
  • Building followers
  • Reviewing your stats, doing research, and testing ideas

Build Your Platform
• Your publishing platform is based on a blog or website, your email list, people who come to your talks, any place you connect with your readers

• It is built on your social media platforms like Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Any place that you can connect, communicate and contribute to the conversation and collect followers.

• Your platform (blog or website) also allows you to assemble components for your book, text, images, videos, links, articles, etc. Once you have enough material assembled you can pull it off and create a book. In the mean time you have been communicating with people and building followers.

Sign up on the right to receive our free How to Publish and Market Your Book including marketing tips and resources.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Publishing Trends for 2012

Book and Publishing Trends
  • Bookstores are declining which will cause a lack of distribution and a drop in non-bestseller types of books such as specialty and coffee table books.
  • Traditional publishing houses will decline or be under intense pressure to sell just best sellers
  • Books are exploding across many different platforms, from e-book, tablet, audio, smart phone, pdf, and interactive.
  • Increasing growth of e-books and textbooks on tablets with interactivity, audio, video and animation
  • E-books will be huge in the education market, Apple is putting in lot of resources into this with release of iBookAuthor and selling them on the iBook Store
  • The definition of a book has changed from 300 pages to 30-50 pages to even less, from paper to electronic to media to interactive.
If you would like to get a free copy or our new book please sign up over on the right

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Benefits of Self-Publishing, the Ups and Downs

Benefits of Self-Publishing
My upcoming book, How to Build Your Own Publishing Platform, is about my self-publishing efforts and how I have built my own publishing system to promote my books. Publishing has changed a lot over the last several years. Authors have more control of the content and rights of their books and with the explosion of e-books, tablets, and print-on-demand there are more and more options. Below are some of the things I have learned in today's every changing publishing environment.

Upside
  • Control over your own destiny, the word no doesn’t exist. You have control over the editing, the book layout, cover design, inside design, the marketing and the rights.
  • Speed to market is very much higher, traditional publishers can take 1-2 years to get your book to market if you can attract the attention of a publisher
  • Much higher royalty payments from the print-on-demand sites like CreateSpace and Lulu.com
  • More opportunity to create additional products because you keep control over all your rights
  • Publishing can be close to free and with print-on-demand there is no need to have excess inventory hanging around

Downside
  • No book advance
  • You have to do all the work yourself, editing, design, formatting, publishing and marketing
  • You don’t have a group of professional marketing people to support you. Often though these people don’t really exist and a lot is put on the author to promote and market 
If you are actually self printing physical books you would need to front all of the printing costs.



If you would like to get a free copy of this please sign up over on the right

How Top Build Your Own Publishing Platform

Been hard a work getting the book for my talk on the 21st finished up. I am just about there, still need to add in the resources which I can do over the next several days. I will be putting it as a free give away for anyone who is in the mailing list, so make sure to sign up over on the right and it will be coming your way as soon as I have finished it.

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U.S. Publishing Facts, and Exciting Time to Be Involved

Publishing is big and strong and changing. That is the message today. If you are coming from the traditional side of book, magazine and newspaper publishing you are no doubt going through some tremendous stress. If you are on the internet, e-book, tablet side you are also going through stress but in a much more positive way. There is a dynamic shift happening in how content is being delivered and consumed and it often feels like the wild west. It is an exciting time to be involved and to participate. I thought I would throw out a few facts to ponder.

U.S. Publishing Facts
• USA Today poll, 82% of Americans want to publish a book
• The Publishing Industry is a $8.5 Billion Market, made up of Adult Hardcover, Adult Paperback and Adult Mass Market*
• E-books have grown $969 Million*
• Children/Young Adult Paperback $546 Million
• Children’s/Young Adult Hardcover $661 Million*
• Educational Books Higher Ed $4.5 Billion
• K-12/High School $3.5 Billion
• University Press Hardcover and Paperback $120 Million
• Professional Books $812 Million
• Religious Books $645 Million*


• Most Books never sell more than 150 copies
• Almost 900,000 books were self published last year
• Amazon only sells 7-10% of all the books sold in the US, there are lots of channels
• 40 Million iPads we sold in 2011, 100 Million+ iPhones sold worldwide
• 5.9 Billion mobile subscribers
• Millions of Kindles


*http://paidcontent.org/article/419-new-stats-2011-was-good-for-e-books-not-so-good-for-print/

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Make, Market, Publish talk on March 21

I have been working hard on getting my initial publishing talk ready for March 21, 2012. I will be presenting my talk at the Boston Internet Marketing Meetup session in Cambridge, MA. The talk will focus on how I have set up a publishing system and work my books through it. I will also include a handout with notes and resources.

Here is how the talk will proceed, hope to see you there. If you are interested you just need to be a member of the Meetup group and then sign up for the event. All is free.
Click this link to learn more, Make, Market and Publish Your Own Book


Make, Market
Publish
• Your Book •

Building Your Self-Publishing
Platform and Producing Your Book

J. Bruce Jones


Today We’re Going to Discover 3 Important Things

1. Making Your Platform and Building Your Followers
• Build your Platform
• Build Followers
• Stats, Research, Test

2. Marketing Your Book Before and After You Publish
• Pre-Marketing
• Post Marketing
• Marketing Platform

3. Publishing Your Book
• Print, Print-on-Demand
• PDF, E-Book, Mobie, ePub
• Re-Purpose Your Content

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What Price Should My Kindle Book Be?

What should I charge? This is a big question that anyone who publishes on the Amazon Kindle Program asks. What should I charge. Today on www.PaidContent.org there is an excellent article on the Kindle Singles program and how it is working. There is some excellent info on what people are charging that I think will answer this question. The majority are charging $.99 to $1.99 with over 50% at the $1.99 price point. At this price point the author gets 70% and Amazon takes 30%. Not a bad deal.

You can check out the entire article at www.PaidContent.org and the article
Amazon Has Sold Over Two Million Kindle Singles

Just How Much are People Making With the Kindle Single Program

A very cool article on www.paidcontent.org today on how much authors in the Amazon Kindle Singles program are making. The Kindle Singles program is their 30,000ish word, shorter book program. The Kindle is just flying and we should all be pushing our material out through this channel. You kind of have to be invited or be somewhat established to be in the Single program but you don't have to be anything to put your book up Amazon and Kindle itself.

Here is the article on some of the top ten bestselling authors on the Kindle Single
http://paidcontent.org/article/419-exclusive-how-kindle-singles-authors-are-faring/

Monday, March 12, 2012

How to Add to a Video to Your Blog and Enhance It To the Next Level

We just put up a new short lesson how how to take one of your videos that you have on YouTube and give it more life and make it work better for you on your blog. We are contributors to the Bill Gentile Backpack Journalism Workshops and I produced this video to help with one of the social media lessons that I was teaching. The question was ask about how to make videos stand out more and how to use them to add to your story.

This video takes you through the process of adding additional information and how to beef up your blog in the process. Check out our Video Marketing Lesson.

Results of Our Logo Poll

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Make, Market, Publish Logo Poll. Polls are great ways to get feedback, test the market, and get comments on how effective your efforts are. We got some great comments in the process. From what we learned we moved forward with a design.

What is interesting in doing a poll is that very quickly you can see results and they don't really change over time. Once it is set it just goes with that. We opened our up so that you could vote on more than one idea, but even then idea B moved right to the front. You can see the original design concepts that we used here.

Thank you to all. Ok now on to building the mailing list and developing the marketing for our program.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A New Logo for Make, Market Publish Your Book.com




The poll for logo ideas has been going great, we have run it here and on Facebook. Tons of great feedback. The poll isn't done yet but we got such good ideas it is time to move forward. Comments came back along the lines of, the logo is to American looking, that Publish stands out to much, the colors look more like a political campaign. So I took all that in and produced new direction that will work for our book and upcoming course.

The logo has a nice range of colors that we can use. The fonts are a little more flexible and the entire web address is built right into logo.  I will get the new Publishing Resource Guide shortly

Monday, March 5, 2012

We Need Help with Our New Logo, Please Vote for Your Favoriate

I have been working hard pulling the pieces together for my talk on March 21 about our Make Market Publishing Your Book program. I spent a lot of time this past weekend pulling together some of the elements. I did a very quick temp logo for our Resource and Tips booklet. Time to work on a real logo and identity. I have come up with 4 logos and would love your feedback and which one you like. I realized that I could also drop in the .com address and solve two problems at the time. A logo and then a logo with the URL, that is why you see a couple of each. Please vote in the poll over on the right, thank you, comments welcome.

Logo ideas for the Make Market Publish Your Book Program

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Benefits of Self-Publishing Books

Engraving of printer using the early Gutenberg letter press during the 15th century.
Publishing has changed a lot over the last several years. With the explosion of e-books, tablets, print-on-demand there are more and more options and authors have more self control over the process. Below are highlighted some of the up and downsides of today's publishing environment.

Upside
• Control over your own destiny, the word no doesn’t exist. You have control over the editing, book format, cover design, inside design, the marketing and the rights
• Speed to market is very much higher, traditional publishers can take 1-2 years to get your book to market
• Higher royalty payments from the print-on-demand sites
• More opportunity to create additional products because you keep control over all your rights
• Publishing can be close to free and with print-on-demand there is no need to have excess inventory hanging around

Downside
• No book advance
• You have to do all the work yourself, editing, design, formatting, publishing, marketing
• You don’t have a group of professional marketing people to support you. Often though these don’t really exist and a lot is put on the author to promote and market.
• If you are actually printing books you will need to front all of the printing costs.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

How to Self Publish Your Book

I am working on an upcoming talk on self-publishing, which if all goes well will be turned into a small course about doing it. The talk will by March 21 in Cambridge MA through our Boston Internet Marketing Meetup group. It will at this point cover 4 topics. I am also hoping to have a tips booklet done for the event.  Below are the topics.

1. Building Your Platform and Researching Your Book
Learn how to put together a simple web based marketing system for pre-marketing, researching and developing your book.

2. Publishing Your Book
Learn about some of the popular sites for self-publishing
   Physical Books,
   e-books, Kindle, Nook and Tablet
   PDF books
   Tablet Books, iPad, Kindle Fire

3. Marketing Your Book
Learn a couple of techniques for marketing the finished book using your platform

4. Re-Purposing Your Content
Learn about how to expand your book into a product line.

I will be posting much of the information here on the blog from the talk.