How to Make a Cool Golden SEAL For Your Book Cover [Inkscape Vector Graphic Tutorial - FREE!]

Check out this FREE tutorial to make your book cover POP!

With INKSCAPE you can really get EXPERT results - really fast and with almost zero effort.

It's amazing what you can do with FREE open-source software!

You don't need any talent to be an awesome graphic illustrator and make professional looking book covers.

JUST the willingness and patience to learn...

Download the SEALS

The Influential Author : Podcast with Gregory Diehl and Eric Z

What do you do if you are under 30 and already living from your self-published books?

Which countries do you conquer first?

Listen in as I interview our serial entrepreneur and Amazon-Dominator Gregory Diehl!



Hi Gregory! WHERE are you right now?

I recently arrived in Davao, Philippines after an an extended stay in my ancestral home of Armenia. I spent a lot of time going around from village to village looking for somewhere I could settle down in the future. I found a great opportunity in a place called Kalavan with a bright community of entrepreneurs and professors settling in the area, so I purchased some property there and hope to return soon to develop it.

Tell us about your new book.

After my last books on travel, branding, and personal development (Brand Identity Breakthrough and Travel as Transformation), I decided to share what I’ve learned about the process of turning valuable philosophies and ideas into profitable books.

The Influential Author takes a unique and profoundly in-depth look at all aspect of book planning, writing, editing, and promoting for self-publishers. It’s meant to appeal to a more philosophically minded group of aspiring authors who feel compelled to put their unique ideas into writing for public consumption. At over 500 pages, it is the result of my background of education, entrepreneurship, publishing my own books, and now having helped several unconventional authors publish their own.

What has changed with your marketing tactics?

My first book on branding was the hardest to launch and market because I was new to book publishing and hadn’t built any sort of name or following for myself. This time around (even though all my books tend to be on fairly unrelated subjects), it has been much easier for me to tap into the goodwill and my knowledge of the connections I’ve already built with readers, online blogs/podcasts, and various paid marketing channels. It was much easier to recruit a team of early readers, reviewers, and promoters.

How was the writing and editing process different for you this time?

Because it’s been almost three years since I started writing, my endurance for and understanding of the craft has vastly improved. I have a much better idea of the final draft I am aiming for, so I write in a way that requires much less editing in the traditional sense. Often, I simply have to rearrange my first draft content into a more cohesive order.

Because I’ve seen the public responses to my first books ranging from wonderful to terrible, I also see better now how to tailor what I include to circumvent most of the extremely negative responses some people might have if they are too confused by my writing or have the wrong expectations about the nature of the book. I am much better at targeting my writing for a specific and desirable purpose.

Let's talk about targeting:

The primary way I drive consistent new traffic to my books is through Amazon PPC ads. It inherently makes more sense to me than bringing in visitors from another website who likely aren’t already in the mood to buy books. On Amazon, they just have to click over from a related book and decide that mine is worth buying instead of or in addition to what they were considering before.

Have you tried any book launching services?

I’ve used Buck Books to help promote my new books when I do a one- or two-day free ebook promotion. That combined with hiring virtual assistants to share the promotion in key Facebook groups has made it relatively easy to get each book I’ve launched get into the top 100 of all free books on Amazon for at least a little while.
[Sleek! Buck books free launch - then Amazon ads]

What's on the horizon for you, any new projects?

I actually started writing another book long before I finished The Influential Author. But, as I discuss in the book, the production timeline can be all over the place when working on multiple books at once. Some are only outlines, others can be finished rough drafts, others might be getting feedback from beta readers, and still others might be nearly ready to release to the public. It’s a good way never to get bored with just hustling on one book for 16 hours a day.

The next book I should have available for launch within the next few months is tentatively titled The Exceptional Individual. It’s a series of snippets of life advice for young people who have recognized the way they want to live their life and the filter through which they assess the world is fundamentally different than anyone else around them.

Aside from my own books in production, I am preparing a few others for launch from authors I work with. Get Bail, Leave Jail by Sean Plotkin is the first comprehensive guide to hiring a bail bondsman and navigating the legal system in California to get released after an arrest before trial. Venus and Her Lover by Becca Tzigany contains 20 years of personal memoirs from travel around the world and exploring sacred spirituality.

What about audiobooks?

Audiobooks are something I think are still woefully neglected by self-published authors. I think the reasons why are that either:
  1. The author doesn’t listen to audiobooks, so they assume the format must not be very popular.
  2. They don’t know how to narrate it themselves or don’t want to make the investment of hiring a narrator.

Depending on the genre of the book, audio can actually be the bestselling format. My branding book, Brand Identity Breakthrough, has consistently sold extremely well in audio since I launched it two and a half years ago. I think it’s primarily because a lot of business readers prefer the hand-free format.

If you’re going to bother putting so much time and money into promoting your book and bringing visitors to its landing page, you might as well give them as many options for purchase as possible. This will maximize the chances they buy one and improve your conversions and total revenue. The same is true with offering your book in hardcover format, which is another format many self-publishers neglect.
Is your book still on sale?
The Influential Author is still on sale for 99 cents and will probably stay that way until Christmas. The book is also available in paperback, hardcover, and audio narration.

Zbooks Interview with Dr.Bernie Siegel : Jungian Symbology and Interpretation of Drawings

  • Eclusive Interview with Dr.Bernie Siegel!
  • What do your drawings mean? Symbology and Colors and more...

Dr.Bernie Siegel's resume and life experience is longer than Sigmund Freud's and Carl Jung's combined!

It was an honor to interview him and ask him ANY questions I wanted.
One of my favorite, just as an example:

At the hospital radiology department, UNBEKNOWNST to the radiologist, the machine was not working.
The radioactive element was NOT installed.

The radiologist however treated people for ONE MONTH with the "empty" machine.
The patients all improved as if they had been treated with a normal working machine!!!

Listen in to this interview for one JAW DROPPER after another!


"Consciousness can be experienced as a universal field that affects us all, and studies by quantum physicists have verified this."




An Effortless Strategy to Build Your list and Stimulate Reviews. Podcast with Larry Froncek from

The New Best Way to Build Your List (and get some reviews)!

Since Amazon has "kicked" the 3rd parties from their API and made it impossible to contact reviewers, the easy way to get reviews is GONE.


The mother of invention comes on cue and a new service fills the void!


Listen in as @ErocZ of takes a deep dive with Larry Froncek of on:
--Email lists and list building
--Facebook Ads
--Building a Business
--Book Promotions
--Validating a product/service
--Getting reviews
--A-B testing book covers
--Book blurbs, log lines, hooks
and more!...


Hover over image to share!

How To Do Amazon Ads RIGHT with Brian Meeks: Hardcore Lessons! [Podcast]

Learn how to do AMAZON ADS right

Boy did I get a REALITY check,

I thought I already was doing them right until Brian Meeks gave me some hardcore lessons.

Listen in as we take a deep dive with the Master of Amazon Ads - Brian Meeks:


Reality Check #1: ACoS Sucks!
He wishes that Amazon wouldn't even include it in the Ads Dashboard...


Instead of focusing on ACoS, which is simply the sales divided by spend, we should look at the entire picture.

That is, how much End to End profit does our ad really make?

You have to measure EVERYTHING, from KENP pages read, to KU downloads and "Read Through".

Only when you have the whole picture can calculate if your ad was really profitable.
Because it's all about CLV: "Customer Lifetime Value."
I love his approach and how he reverse engineers things.

Because once you have the whole picture of your book sales, you can then figure out EXACTLY how much you can pay per click for an ad.

CLV is nothing new actually, but us book authors, well, you know we are a special case ;-) 

The point is to calculate your CLV so you can then know how much you can pay per click to get that initial sale.

A simple example:

  • You have a non-fiction book for 5.99
  • You offer a video course on your website for 49.99
If 1 out of every 20 readers buys the course: 49.99/20=2.50 (rounded up)

This means you have 50 bucks to make 20 sales and break even.

Let's call that $2.50 Earnings per reader.

You know it takes 20 readers to make ONE 49.99 sale.
And you can pay up to 2.50 per reader to make that sale.

However...not everyone who clicks on your ad buys the book.

So you have to know exactly how well your book's description on the Amazon sales page converts too:

You have to figure out the conversion rate of your ad. The "1 in X"!
If your ad is converting at 1 in 20 then:  2.50/20=0.125, which means you can spend .12 big cents on your cpc bid, just to break even.

However, what if your ad is converting at 1 in 10?
Then you can spen .24 cents on your cpc bid!
Reality Check #2 We are bidding TOO HIGH!


If you run an ad, and it’s crushing it for TWO months (e.g. it gets 30-40k impressions per day for two months) – what does that tell you? What’s happened with that ad?
Well you're just going to have to listen to the podcast! (C'mon - you didn't think I would give it away that easy did ya?)
(note however my answer to this question in the podcast = FAIL!)

Rule of thumb: NEVER change the bids on your ads -- it screws up your statistics.
Reality Check #3Your book's description i.e. AD COPY makes ALL of the difference in the world!
That's another thing I like about Brian's book: 
You not only get the DEFINITIVE guide on Amazon ads, but also an excellent tutorial on COPYWRITING!
2 books in 1!
Remember to buy and READ Brian's book FIRST, and then join his Facebook Group -- it's awesome!

 Get the book!

Get Brian's Course Mastering Amazon Ads Here

Topics in this podcast+Show Notes:

·         Genre Hopping
·         Blogging
·         Copywriting – DESCRIPTIONS!
o   HOOK
o   NOT more than 6 words!!!
o   1st line should look like ONE word
·         Conversion
·         CPC bidding!
·         In KU or not?
o   In KU One in 10
o   NOT in KU One in 20
·         ACoS
·         Improving the bottom line!
·         Statistical Variance
o   (Law of Large Numbers!)
·         Ad converts at 1:5 BUT DESCRIPTION converts at 1:30 !
o   What is conversion rate for your BOOK/description?
·         BACKMATTER
§  We’re all doing it WRONG!
·         Brian’s course
·         20 books to 50k
o   Michael Anderle
·         Ad Week – Joseph SUGARMAN
·         Don’t copy other authors!
o   Are you leaving $ on the table?
·         A-B testing
o   Can’t be done with Amazon ads
·         How to SCALE Amazon Ads
·         Audience Exhaustion
o   Rarely happens – even in UKELELE instruction
o   You’re only going to get 5 – 7 good days out of an ad, you’re gonna be killing ads all the time anyway (!)
·         QUIZ!!!
o   If you run an ad, and it’s crushing it for TWO months (e.g. it gets 30-40k impressions per day for two months) – what does that tell you? What’s happened with that ad?
·         CLV
o   Calculate your CLV!
§  Kenp
§  KU downloads
§  Read Through
§  ALL other tertiary sales/numbers
·         Go deep
o   If you have multiple series; pick ONE and focus on it!
·         Mastermind groups
·         Favorite book: Candide – Voltaire
·         Fav author: Elmore Leonard
o   Get Shorty
o   Jacky Brown
o   Valdez is Coming – Western – First book – mindblowing ending!
·         #1 tip for beginning authors
o   Build that list!
·         #1 tip for intermediate/advanced authors
o   Buckle down and learn analytics
·         Las Vegas
·         Public speaking
·         DO THE MATH!
·         7 day moving average vs 21 day moving average
·         Running ads to the first book in a series
·         Back Matter

Coffee & Crime in California with Anita Rodgers! Zbooks Successful Authors Podcast

Go on a deep dive with Zbooks and Anita Rodgers! 

She is a successful Crime Series Author - NOT an easy thing to do - listen in as she gives her insider tips and techniques.
Goodness Guaranteed!


Topics in this podcast:

10X Your Book Business with the James Bond of Independent Publishing: Tyler Wagner! [PODCAST]

In this episode Eric Z learns Insider Tips from Tyler Wagner about how to 10X your business by building the Perfect Funnel and using Podcasts to multiply your efforts EXPONENTIALLY! 

Yeah--that has Awesome Sauce all over it!

In this podcast:


The Perfect Funnel For Authors

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!