I am excited to announce that I recently published my first e-book on Amazon. I created the book a few months ago as part of a challenge for AppSumo to make $1k / month; however, I also created the book for other reasons as well including:
- Building a brand / eminence
I wanted to build a certain amount of authority and brand around public speaking. I know that authors who publish books instantly build a certain amount of authority and credibility on that particular subject and I wanted to build a similar amount of credibility through publishing multiple books on public speaking.
- Publishing a book
I have always wanted to publish a book and publishing an e-book seemed to be the easiest and quickest way to getting something out into the market. I also used CreateSpace which helps get my e-book published on demand although I do not anticipate that many people would order a physical copy of my book when smartphones and tablets are so prevalent in the world.
- Going through and understanding the publishing process
I knew nothing about publishing an e-book and I wanted to walk through all the steps so that I could make mistakes and avoid the same mistakes for my future e-books. I decided to use this first e-book as a small experiment so that I could pave my way for my future e-books (which would hopefully be more profitable).
- Sharing what I have learned through Toastmasters
I have been with Toastmasters for approximately 7 years and I felt that I had learned a lot through the process. Rather than having others go through 7 years of Toastmasters, I distilled what I had learned into an e-book that could hopefully help others improve their speaking skills.
Here are the general steps that I took to publish my e-book:
- Reach out to friends and family to see if there is demand for a book
- Start writing if there is sufficient demand
- Write some more!
- Edit your book for typos, grammar, spelling, etc.
- Create an account on Amazon through their KDP Select Program
- Upload your e-book
- Create a U.S. bank account to avoid wire fees (I am with TD and I created a TD America account because TD users can transfer funds between their accounts without fees)
- Create an account on CreateSpace (this will let customers order a physical copy of your book)
- Create your e-book cover (you can use Fiverr like I did or you can create one yourself) – the information from uploading your book on KDP and CreateSpace will be helpful in understanding the size of your cover
- Establish pricing for your book (35% royalty on books priced from $0.99 – $2.99 and 70% royalty on books priced > $2.99)
- If publishing through KDP Select, choose whether you want to be part of the KDP Select program (90 day exclusivity and different promotional channels available)
- Market your book (tell friends and family on facebook, send out tweets and try to identify different channels to promote your e-book). For this, I used fiverr to market my e-book as an experiment to see if I would get any reviews or additional downloads. I didn’t get reviews but I did see a good number of downloads during the free period.
Finally, here are the 3 key lessons that I learned from this process:
- Publishing an e-book is fairly straightforward
It seemed daunting at first but everything was fairly straightforward; you just had to follow the steps as you go through KDP Select. Similarly for CreateSpace, you just have to follow the steps. The hard part, I think, is the marketing aspect of the book (and getting reviews).
- Going through the KDP Select program gives you a number of benefits that you can take advantage of
I used the free promotion period for my e-book to get extra downloads; however I haven’t figured out how to get those critical reviews for my book. I will try a few additional things for my next book to see if I can change that.
- Start off small
This book was something that I didn’t invest too much in. I wanted to go through the process and understand what it is like publishing a book. I wanted to make mistakes and now I am better equipped to publish my next book.
P.S. If you are interested in seeing my book, it’s on Amazon titled “Make your speech more impactful”. Note that this is an affiliate link so I will get a few extra cents if you purchase the book through this link. You can also contact me directly to get my book =)