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Successful Ebook Publishing Slides: Password: zurich2 with Joanna Penn @thecreativepenn Sunday, 20 January 2013

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Successful Ebook


Slides: zurich2

with Joanna [email protected]

Sunday, 20 January 2013

J.F.Penn - Author The Creative Penn Ltd

Over 55,000 copies soldRepresented by Irene Goodman Agency NYC

* Multimedia courses

* Non-fiction

* Live workshops/ speaking

* Consulting

Blog live Dec 2008 - full-time income from Sept 2011Sunday, 20 January 2013

(1) Pros & cons of self-publishing

(2) Why ebooks?

(3) How to publish an ebook & budget

(4) Tips for success Sunday, 20 January 2013

* Quicker *me to market & income (but its not a get-rich-quick scheme)

* Total control and choice

* Sell by any means as you retain the rights

* Niche markets perfect

* Get into the game! Test the market and then approach a publisher with evidence of sales. Jump the slush-pile to agents & publishers

* You need to do it all yourself, or find professionals to help* For a pro result, you need a budget for pros

* Hard to get distribu*on into physical bookshops

* Less pres*ge than being published (but the s*gma is lessening every day)

Independent/ Self-Publishing

Sunday, 20 January 2013


Self publishing or indie author?

* Truly independent - no publisher. Direct to the

platforms, no middleman (so no

vanity press)

* Indies are entrepreneurs and

business people. They are professionals and

invest in other pros (editors, cover design,


Sunday, 20 January 2013


Self-publishing will not ruin your chances at a traditional deal (Writers Digest Jane Friedman)

Hugh Howey: Indie author: $150,000

per month in ebook sales. Sold print rights

only to Simon & Schuster.

Film rights optioned by Ridley Scott.

Sunday, 20 January 2013


Hybrid Model. Its not an either-or choice anymore* Authors are choosing to have some projects with traditional publishers and others as independent - best of both worlds

* Hugh Howey, CJ Lyons, Scott Sigler, Chuck Wendig ... and many more

* Decide PER PROJECT which might be the best route for your book. Empowerment of the author as the centre of the model.

* A third of traditionally published authors are interested in self-publishing their next book, according to a new survey from Digital Book World and Writers Digest.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

(1) Pros & cons of self-publishing

(2) Why ebooks?

(3) How to publish an ebook & budget

(4) Tips for success Sunday, 20 January 2013

But I will never give up printed books

I love the feel and the smell

I hate ebooks

Sunday, 20 January 2013

* Sell to anyone in the world over the internet without printing or shipping costs.

* Huge growth market globally in coming years. US & UK mature.

* Proliferation of smartphones, tablets & e-readers + kids reading on devices = future

* More profit per book even when priced reasonably, unlike print

* Speed of publishing and changes - 24 hours!

* Lower entry costs, lower risk

Sunday, 20 January 2013

(1) Pros & cons of self-publishing

(2) Why ebooks?

(3) How to publish an ebook & budget

(4) Tips for success Sunday, 20 January 2013


Write your book and publish it to .mobi and .ePub with Scrivener. Its only $49 for a once off payment and you can format forever.

For complicated multi-media (but book well in advance)

ROUND-UP POST on publishing here:

Format your edited manuscript

Sunday, 20 January 2013* Biggest share of ebook market revenue* Direct to all Kindle stores worldwide * Published in 24 hours, change whenever you like - pricing/content etc * KDP Select - your book in lending library and also free promos available for ranking - BUT/ exclusivity* Transparent reporting on ranking, sales & income * Payment by cheque/bank transfer monthly 90 days later

Sunday, 20 January 2013


Sunday, 20 January 2013


* 20% of the ebook market now - beating B&N Nook, 2nd to Amazon

* Aggressive global expansion

* Partners with independent book stores

* ePub format and user friendly interface

* Electronic payment in authors currency

Sunday, 20 January 2013


Apple iBookstore. Non-fiction & kids

* Can go direct or go through distributors. Direct requires a Mac and US tax number (also required for with-holding tax)

* Kids at home with iPads and being used in some schools. Some kids publishers moving to iPad only editions. iBooksAuthor

* Takes time so dont remove later e.g. for KDP Select. Leave it and promote it.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

* Distributes to all ebook stores so use for the ones you cant get to directly

* Free to publish to, takes % of sales - so they take the risk, but more money later if youre successful

* Formatting can be a real pain - for those who like to tinker & DIY or pay one of Smashwords freelancers. ePub just available or Word.

Fantastic, free book!Sunday, 20 January 2013


* Pay cost up front (~$199) and get 100% of royalties - so you take the risk & more money if you succeed * Opt out of Amazon, Kobo etc which we can do directly.

* Easier interface than Smashwords - ePub* Offers a lot more services if you dont want to DIY * Difficult to change once published

Sunday, 20 January 2013


How does the money work? Upfront Costs: * Professional editing ~300 - 1000* Cover design - ebook ~125* Formatting - optional: ~125

Income: * Amazon: 35% under $2.99. 70% 2.99 - 9.99. Pays monthly, 90 days after, by check/transfer in USD & GBP & EUR. Reconciles to sales report (awesome)

* Kobo. Pays monthly, 45 days after by EFT in authors currency w/ report

*Smashwords. Quarterly by Paypal * Bookbaby. Set payment limit & paid when it reaches that. Check/EFT/Paypal

Sunday, 20 January 2013

(1) Pros & cons of self-publishing

(2) Why ebooks?

(3) How to publish an ebook & budget

(4) Tips for success Sunday, 20 January 2013





* Speaking* Search* Articles/blog* Social* PR etc

* Amazon/ Kindle /Nook/Kobo etc* Browsing lists * Algorithms* Bookstores

Sale / Relationship

People will find your book in two ways

Sunday, 20 January 2013


** Write more books ** * Most authors need 5+ books before they build enough of an audience to make a decent living

* More digital shelf space, more chance of discovery, more reader word-of-mouth

* More fans, wanting more product

* Better craft & better niche & better list

My own sales growth: * May 2011: $200 (with extensive online platform) * Jan 2013: $4000 (3 fiction, 1 non-fiction)

Sunday, 20 January 2013


The Secrets Of Amazon Algorithms?* You can never sell as many books as Amazon can

* Personalized emails based on your buying preference

* Recommended for you on home page

* People who bought this, also bought

* Understand your customers, genre & expectations. Deliver on the promise.

* Reviews * Sales

* Ranking over time* Likes * Tags

Sunday, 20 January 2013


Correct category for target market

* Look for categories you can rank in as this helps sales algorithms & gets attention

* You get 2 categories on Kindle as well as print. Tagging can get you into others

* Meet expectations of the category

Sunday, 20 January 2013


Book Reviews on Book Sales Page

* Social Proof* Recommendation algorithms. Keeps it selling after the spike.

* Add to your description

* US feeds into other stores so focus there

* Give free copies to your list for reviewing. When you get fan mail, ask them for a review

Sunday, 20 January 2013


Great Book Cover

* Optimize for Amazon page and thumbnail size

* Revamp old books with a new cover* Must be able to read it - be bold

* Look at others in the genre Sunday, 20 January 2013



Killer Back Blurb & Sales Page* Meta-data * Based on your target market research * Can include table of contents * Use keywords that your target market use * Include review quotes in description box - theres no limit so use it. * Model successful books * Load on Createspace/ KDP * Also extras on Amazon Central

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Non-Fiction Tip: Use keyword research

* Research keywords on Amazon & Google keyword tool

* Use in book title if possible and keywords when loading to book sites (also works for fiction keywords)

Sunday, 20 January 2013


The Sampling Effect Or Look Inside the Book

* Ebook readers sample. Its how we buy. If you dont hook me in the first 3 clicks/pages, I delete.

* You can get millions of samples, but people have to click Buy.

* Do you jump straight into the meat? Give people a reason to get the rest?

* Have you used beta reader/editor feedback to improve the book & first few chapters?

Sunday, 20 January 2013


Appropriate Pricing / Price Pulsing * Amazon royalties: Under $2.99 = 35% , $2.99 - 9.99 = 70%

* $4.99 - $9.99 for non-fiction ebooks. Look in your category/niche at what others are charging. What is your market happy to pay?

* Cost / benefit to the customer?

* There are no rules - you can play with it.

Sunday, 20 January 2013


Strategic use of Free (ebooks only)

* No.1 strategy of many authors who have done well

* Its a marketing exercise. Gets you more exposure, more data on Amazon algorithms. * Often translates to paid list for a time afterwards, hence the pulsing. Best if you have multiple books.

* Do it through KDP Select or making free on Smashwords which then translates to the other sites

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Need more help?145+ episodes

or on iTunes The Creative Penn

Slides: zurich2

Sunday, 20 January 2013