Another #1 Thanks to KdpRocket : Exactly How I Did It! [VIDEO]

Thanks @DaveChesson  and KdpRocket for another #1 book ranking!

This started out as a book cover A-B-C test and quickly wound up a #1 thanks to KdpRocket!
Step 1.) Publish Your Book on KDP
Step 2.) Search for categories for your book with KDPROCKET
Step 3.) Choose the BEST 10 categories for your book
Step 4.) Start a help ticket with Amazon/KDP and ask them to add your book to those 10 categories...
Step 5.) BOOM! Better rankings guaranteed ;-)
*You would be supporting me if you used my affiliate link to BUY KDPROCKET:*

You can see the books here: 
(remember that -zon updates the ratings HOURLY)

About Step 3:
Because I made this video very quickly, I want to explain step 3 again...better:
I had previously published a book in this series as a PERMA-FREE book.
And these 3 books are also FREE.
In the spreadsheet from KdpRocket, it shows the "ABSR" = Amazon Book Sales Rank... i.e. the PAID book sales rank.
KdpRocket shows you the sales rank of the #1 book in the category, AND the #20 book in the category.
The #20 book is important -- it is your BARRIER TO ENTRY!
Your job as an Amazon author is to get your book on the FIRST page of search results for your given category and keyword. THAT IS THE #20 book on that page!
Because I had previously published a perma-free book in this series, I had a target to shoot for: 21,000 ABSR.
However, I had to look in the FREE SECTION of Amazon (because I am publishing a free book, simple, right?) KdPRocket gives you the ABSR of the paid (or normal section) books in Amazon.
As you can see in the video, it was easy to correlate on my spreadsheet the PAID books ABSR to the FREE books ABSR by simply noting where my current categories ranked against the others.
Did you know you can add your book to TEN CATEGORIES in Amazon?!
You can and you should! 
Those categories are a gift, and the best way to ace 'em is with KdpRocket!
p.p.s. This was a very spontaneous vid that I made on my "ersatz" windoze computer, so please forgive me of the audio quality.
#Succesful #Authors #KdpRocket  @DaveChesson #Kindle #Amazon

Indomitable Spirit, Motivational Books, and Charity: Interview with David Bird!

This is a Human Story of Courage

David was born with a disfigurement, (I'll leave the details out: listen to the interview!), and had to OVERCOME many challenges in his life. 

Listen in as we talk about handicaps, charity, overcoming challenges, dealing with bullies, and publishing books too! 

His Book:

My Positive Face of Disfigurement

The Podcast


My Positive Face of Disfigurement - Book Cover Image pic
David's book of COURAGE!

How To ACE Historical Fiction: Podcast Interview with Harald Johnson!

I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Harald Johnson, a Historical Fiction MEISTER!

Harald has many years of experience in so many topics, it's impossible to cover them here. 

Listen in as he unfolds the RICH History of New York, and at the same time, how to "do" Historical Fiction right. 

Harald has a depth of experience that I have rarely encountered before. 

From Marketing, to Design, and of course writing CAPTIVATING books (!) well...we will have to do another podcast to cover the rest! 

Topics Covered:
·         Bookbub ads
·         Marketing (media director?)
·         DPI vs Pixel mass/dimensions – Printing industry
·         The perfect Ebook cover dimensions
·         KDP select vs “going wide”
·         Traditional Publishing vs Independent Publishing (Hint: Indie Kicks Trad’s arsch!)
·         The Concept is NOT the premise
·         Amazon Ads (AMS: Amazon Marketing Services)
·         Pay Per Click Advertising
·         “Trickle” ads with minimum bids
·         Fiction vs Nonfiction characters
·         Outlining
·         Henry Hudson
·         East India Company vs West India Company
·         New Amstersdam vs New York
·         Dutch vs British colonists
·         Manahatta: The Island of Many Hills
·         Algonquin speaking Lenape Native American Indians
·         Jamestown
·         Beavers J
·         Swimming the Hudson!
·         Book promotion
·         Quora ads
·         The New World movie with Colin Farrell, Pocahontas (Q'orianka Kilcher)
·         Stephen King’s “11-22-63”
·         Split timelines
·         Ken Follett
·         Chapter length vs Scenes

Enjoy this deep dive into everything from marketing books to Pocahontas!

Harald Johnson's new Omnibus Edition "New York 1609" is launching THIS week!

Make sure to pick it up; it's the culmination of FOUR separate ebooks for only $.99 this week only!

I Met the Muhammad Ali of Ebooks - and Survived for 67 minutes! : Podcast Interview With Steve Scott

The Way of the Successful Author Series: Interview with Steve Scott the Undisputed Champion of Independent Publishing!

In this interview you will learn about:
  • The #1 tip for beginning authors
  • The #1 tip for intermediate and advanced authors
  • How to sustain sales
  • How to validate your book idea
  • Amazon Ads - "Sponsored Ads"
  • Accountability Partners vs Mentors
  • Foreign rights and translating your book
Steve Scott has over 50+ books on Amazon. He has published 10 books per year and made a CONSISTENT 5 digit monthly income with his book palette. Let that sink in...

This consistency is no fluke. It's the result of hard work, planning, and in his own words "Laying the foundation":
"The most important tip is to lay the foundation" -- Steve ScottThe Muhammad Ali of Ebooks [click to tweet]

This kind of consistency is also what SEPARATES the men from the boys, and the one-hit wonders from the true champions like Muhammad Ali, or in this case Steve Scott.

CONSISTENCY, something us authors need more of! 
Listen and enjoy Steve's golden advice from the self-publishing ring:



Steve's Top 6 Books Infographic:

Muhammad Ali's Top Quotes

How To Save America - AND Publish a Book! : Podcast Interview With Eric Martin

What do you do when you are SICK OF IT ALL? 

Run for office! 

Not only did Eric Martin run for the house of representatives, but he published a book to accompany his journey and solidify his platform.

What a GREAT strategy!
Listen in on the insights that Eric Martin won while trying save the nation -- and publish his book!

It does not take a majority to prevail...but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on settings brush fires of freedom in the minds of men. -- Samuel Adams
Enjoy the Re-Ignited Zbooks successful authors podcast:

Liberation Day - By Eric Martin

Eric Martin:

Programs/services/software used:

  • Reedsy
  • Grammarly
  • 99 Designs (look at that cover!)

People mentioned (in book AND podcast):

  • -- Scott Adams
  • -- Scott Perry 
  • -- Samuel Adams 
  • -- Thomas Jefferson 
  • -- Ron Paul 
  • -- Rand Paul 
  • -- Wolf Blitzer 
  • -- Donald Trump
  • -- Hillary Clinton

CreateSpace or KDP Print? Which One Should YOU Use?

Tell me your requirements and I'll tell you which one is best!

With this super simple breakdown, your decision is super simple! (and easy too ;-)

UPDATE! 31 May 2018 -- Make sure to scroll down to the bottom of this post for an important update!
Related Posts

As you can see in the table above, I put a lot of weight on the ability to update your print books “on the fly.”

When you update your print book in CreateSpace, they will “freeze” your book during the changes and review process.

Your Amazon salespage shows “not available at this time” !!!! — and will instead put a link to other suppliers (if any)!

That means you get ZERO sales.

But it is much worse than this. The problem is, this also “breaks the algorithm.”

If you just launched your book, and it is enjoying a good run in Amazon, i.e. Amazon’s A9 algorithm has picked it up and is showing it more and more — well you just broke that connection.


This can be the end of your sales for a long time :-(

When you publish your book with KDP print however, it is just like your Ebooks, you can make changes on the fly, and it doesn’t matter! Your book will be shown, and the older version will still be available until your edits are live.

This is a big deal for me because I like to “bang” the books out as fast as possible and make updates as I go.

I will be publishing my print books with KDP print from now on.

There is however one big reason to still use CreateSpace.

Buying copies at cost.

With CreateSpace you can buy copies at your cost (wholesale) and send them as gifts or as ARC’s (advanced reader copies) to your Beta-readers or street team or ambassadors.

This is also a HUGE point.

Because if you are launching a book, and getting your beta-readers involved, well that can get quite expensive if you have to send everyone a copy of your book through the KDP interface.

With CreateSpace you just buy a copy at your price and send it to your readers = awesome!

With KDP print, you have to buy the book through the normal Amazon salespage! That means you pay full price for the book, and get royalties later. Which does work out to be much more than buying at cost.
I want to be able to change my book on the fly, AND order ARC copies at cost.
For my specific requirements, and my way of publishing though, KDP Print works better.
Don’t Put All Your Eggs in ONE Basket.
Another Suuuuper important point is that CreateSpace, although owned by Amazon, is stil a different company with a different customer service.
This can become an issue reeaally quick!
For example, Amazon blocked one of my Ebooks because I had included an open domain pic from Wikipedia.
After days and days of pleading with them — they kept it blocked — even though I had corrected the “bad” pic.
Solution: I published the print version on CreateSpace — boom! — no problem!
Amazon are real JERKS about using Wikipedia as a source.
CreateSpace is not.
As a matter of fact, I no longer include the word “wiki” in any of my books anymore.
I have even had books temporarily blocked because I included a citation from wikipedia!
This is seriously lame, because it is totally normal and acceptable to reference Wikipedia nowadays. But it looks like Amazon has some kind of checker in their review process that automatically scans your manuscript for “wiki” and if found — blocks it!
So if you are writing a book, ebook or print (remember I recommend to make BOTH) and you have a lot of citations and notes to wikipedia, I seriously recommend you start the print book in CreateSpace.
The above are my three main criteria. You can also see in the table above that I don’t place much weight on expanded distribution, ease of use, 5 vs 7 keywords, and having one dashboard.
The first point (changes on the fly) and second point (ARC copies at cost) are the two that really break the bank for me.
So in order to make it SUUUPER simple, we can put it this way:
  1. If you are like me and need to make a lot of changes after publishing — use KDP Print.
  2. If you have to order A LOT of ARC copies — definitely use CreateSpace.
Another hybrid method comes to mind. What if you want both, like me?
Well you could publish your print book on CreateSpace FIRST, order tons of ARC copies and send them to your readers.
Then when your launch is over, and you find you have to make some updates or changes, MIGRATE your book to the KDP platform.
This is a ONE click issue, and Amazon makes it really easy.
Now this does entail some work, and you will indeed have to input or change some stuff in your KDP dashboard when the migration is over, but this is the only way to have the best of both worlds.
So make sure you have all of the ARC copies you need before you hit that button.

What about the keywords and categories?
In KDP you get 7 keywords, in CreateSpace you get 5.
In KDP you also choose categories according to Amazon’s own category structure, or tree. In CreateSpace they use the BISAC categories (Book Industry Standards and Communications) which are much different than Amazon’s.

I don’t consider this to make a big difference, because you can add the Amazon categories to your CreateSpace book after publishing it.

Createspace customer service is very good and all you do is write them an email and tell them to add your book to a chosen category.
You send them the exact AMAZON category like this: Books>childrens books>animals>crocodiles . 
This way you can add your book to TEN AMAZON categories! I’ve done it(!), just give CreateSpace ten “>chains>” and they will add your book to them.

For example, I noticed my book “Navy SEALs for Kids” was only showing in ONE category. So I quickly went and looked at the categories that the Bestseller “Extreme Ownership” was in. I copied and pasted and sent them to CreateSpace (through the help desk) and they added them within two days.

So it is after the fact, or better said; after publishing, but for that reason I don't consider it a big difference. I put all of my CreateSpace books in specific Amazon categories (after lotsa research!) right after I publish them.

KDP = 7 and CreateSpace = 5.

This does bug me indeed. So I make sure to make every book I publish part of a series. Even if it is a ONE book series. This way I get more keywords.
Those keywords are a gift — use ‘em!
That’s it for now my friends — please leave your comments on my YouTube Channel:


You can now advertise a PRINT book with Amazon Ads (AMS - Amazon Marketing Services).
Even if you DON'T have an Ebook.
Yes that's right.
As of now, if you publish your print book with KDP print, you can advertise it with Amazon ads.
This is NOT available for CreateSpace published books.

I will definitely be publishing all of my print books with KDP Print now :-)

KDP Print VS CreateSpace - Which One is "Best" ?

The Top 7 Inkscape Shortcuts You MUST Master

The secret to getting RAZOR sharp, I mean RAZOR sharp graphics, is to use an .svg editor. SVG = Scalable Vector Graphics.

Inkscape is one of the best svg editors on the market. But that's not the amazing part.

 The amazing part is -- it's FREE!

The first part of mastering Inkscape is to learn the keyboard shortcuts. The shortcuts below are the ones you MUST master first, just to get proficient in Inkscape.

These will give you a great start.

this is a cool infographic to get you started quickly with inkscape!

For more FREE Inkscape tutorials and to download this infographic as a HIGH RESOLUTION pdf, just hit the button below!

Take the 7 Day Challenge!

The Winners of the 1st 7 Day Challenge Are In - Look at what my Awesome students are making!

The very first Zbooks 7 Day Challenge has finished and I am soooo EXTREMELY STOKED and PROUD as Hell to present to you the very first champions! 
Not only did the first challengers WIN a lot of knowledge -- I did too, and had to update my challenge website in real time. 
That was hectic to say the least, but it was extremely rewarding to help people and I'm so glad that people found the material helpful.
Even my funky trick with the star! (rule of thirds and "golden ratio" hack!)
So here they are, the first champions!
(and yes, YOU should take the challenge, it's a powerful kick in the ****!)
Champion #1 got her book on Amazon the fastest!

But it's not about speed: she made a ROCKIN' cover and an extremely AWE-SUM formatted Ebook with one of the hacks in the challenge.

Check out the interior of Melanie's book using the "look inside" function on Amazon. 
Champion #1 (yes we are all #1 here!)

Not only made an awesome book, but she went the extra mile and made a KILLER landing page too!
Another expertly formatted book with great content!
Champion #1 - Jenn is one of my favorites.

Not only did she make a BUNCH of killer covers,(hint: A-B testing!) but she also had the most technical difficulties -- and conquered them all! 

Seriously Stoked!

Going to be covering all sorts of stuff like:
-- The perma-free model : how to make your book permanently free on -zon
-- how to make a cover
-- How to optimize your title
-- How to choose keywords and categories (free methods and kdspy tools etc.)
-- How to make the actual .epub and .mobi
-- How to optimize your books for leads and which platforms to use (and how)
-- Also an overview of how to publish on D2D and Google Play

"For me Z Books 7 Days Challenge became that booster which helped me to get my writing project unstuck and launch it in record time. Just two weeks ago I didn’t even know where to begin and now my book is on Amazon!
The challenge equipped me with the knowledge, tools, and a clear direction necessary to achieve my goal, continuous support to stay on track, feedback to adjust my actions on the go. And what is of particular value – the challenge guided me to the long-sought point where I overcame fear of exposing my writing and connected my work to the world-wide audience.
I definitely recommend this 7 Days Challenge for everyone who wants to succeed in self-publishing." -- Jenn Fiden

"I enjoyed the course offered by Eric Z. He was clear and concise, I was able to follow his direction and completed my book. It was fun seeing the project come together in such a short space of time. I really like the extra tips and links he shares for great helps in formatting the  project. His course is certainly worth the time. My book Papers, Pages and Poetry  is the result of Eric Z'z awesome  7 day Challenge." ~ M. Kari Barr

More Winners!

Lucas decided to publish his entire book during the 7 Day Challenge:

Christi got her book to #1 in category!!!

How To Write 7 SEVEN Bestsellers and GAIN MONSTER MOMENTUM with Derek Doepker

Zbooks Successful Authors Podcast - MONSTER MOMENTUM with Derek Doepker

Derek has "only" written SEVEN bestsellers!

Just one of my favorite methods of his is the "A B C D" method.
When it comes to the title and description of your book it's gotta:

  • Attention 
    • Have a Hook! 
    • If you don't hook 'em in the first SECONDS, they're gone!
  • Believable
    • Doesn't work if it's not believable
  • Curiosity
    • Have I heard this before? 
    • Use the curiosity gap!
  • Different
    • Boring = forgotten. 
    • Different "sticks" in your memory - like curiosity (above). 
BUT...I don't want to ruin everything for you. Listen and enjoy Derek's awesome tips, especially his method for gaining MONSTER MOMENTUM AND MOTIVATION!


Hooks for Books

From Visually.

How To Make $2001 Publishing Your FIRST Ever Book!

Launching Brand Identity, with Gregory Diehl.

This is one of my favorite authors and one of my FAVORITE books. Holding true to the "Digital Nomad" existance, I interview Gregory Diehl in Morrocco.
With the evening prayer blaring in the background from some UNKNOWN source in the highest (the Atlas mountains) mountains of North Africa, you can't help but imagine Humphry and Bacall, or Tim Ferris on the wing in some exotic land!

Enjoy this podcast, enjoy the LESSONS LEARNED:


Now that the dust has settled, what are the SUMS for your first month?

How To Painlessly Create a CreateSpace Book : The Simplest and Fastest Way Without ANY Software!

How to PAINLESSLY create a CreateSpace book: The simplest and fastest way without any software!

Now Available on Amazon!

In this tutorial we are going to learn how to:

  • Make a CreateSpace book
  • Make a cover for that book
  • Upload it all to CreateSpace
  • Publish the book on CreateSpace

Related posts

Making a book for Amazon's CreateSpace can be a total pain in the neck! But not anymore:[click to tweet!]