Zbooks Lessons Learned 2016 and Awesome Way Forward for 2017!

Thanks so much for your feedback!


First a last minute announcement:


Our fellow Zbooker Bronwyn Leroux has her book on sale starts on the 25th:




Zbooks lessons learned 2016 and an awesome way forward:


So I have some good news, and maybe not so bad news, first the good news:


I have read “The One Thing” by Gary Keller, and it has helped me focus...enormously.


And I myself have come once again to the realization that I am spreading myself too thin. Seems to be a talent of mine, but nevertheless...


My one thing next year is KIDS BOOKS.


After finally breaking the $1,000 threshold with my Kids Books, it’s obvious that I must complete this book palette!


Check it out, PARETO is not a dude, or some guideline—he-is-the-LAW!



As you can see, once I hit the $1,000 (thank you Christmas bump!!!) $843 of it came from ONE book.


“How’s that for Pareto?! 84% of my revenue from ONE book. Pareto pure!”


Holding true to the Pareto Principle, I have taken inventory. And you should too, at the end of each year:


  • During my inventory I realized that the most effective things aren’t always the things I love.


  • I LOVE PODCASTING AND INTERVIEWING AWESOME PEOPLE.
    • But it was bringing in ZERO subscribers.


  • The Perma-Free tutorials in Amazon are still #1. So amazing, I don’t think this will ever change—publishing something useful, for free, on the biggest platform in the world, is definitely the best source of FREE traffic, to YOU and your content...ever...hands down!


  • I absolutely LOVE teaching, and the Bookmaster course, and the entire “infopreneur thing”.


Result:
I am cutting out the podcasts in 2017! :-(


I will be replacing the podcast with more free tutorials, in the form of WEBINARS, for you! (and according to your feedback e.g. you had to click a link to see this post.)


Notice I am still splitting my time between infopreneur/Bookmaster and my Prio: Kids Books.


This is wrong per se, but once the BookMaster MVP is finished, 1st quarter of 2017, there will only be 2 activities: 1.) Kids Books, and 2.) Webinar tutorials.


I hope you don’t mind my way forward for 2017, I KNOW it will serve you and me better.

More lessons learned, the nitty gritty:

1.) The Perma-Free model kicks KDP Select’s butt!

A book funnel!



KDP select does not work as well, even that 5 day bump you can make with a giveaway promotion doesn’t come close to a perma-free book gathering downloads (even if it is only 5 per day) and subscribers DAILY.


So in 2017 I am going to pull ALL of my books from KDP select and make it an experiment.

I will closely monitor (utm links!) the clicks, downloads and sales and see if KDP select has any negative or positive effect. After all, even if KDP Select doesn’t make you a bunch of money, as long as it’s making some sales and subscribers...why not, right?


Well I plan on clearing that up.


Some say you lose sales through KDP select, others say you get more coverage, and it’s worth it, even though you don’t see it in your metrics...
Don’t guess — TEST!

2.) Facebook’s lead ads are volatile, like a knife fight in a dark alley in L.A.

Actually I really like FB’s lead ads.


BUT there are some things you must know and MUST DO before you even think of using Facebook Lead Ads:


  1. Keep the scent
  2. Single opt-in, NOT double opt-in
  3. A good qualifying email sequence
  4. More details in next year’s webinar!


3.) Fiction vs Non-Fiction:

You will definitely make more money, quicker, and easier with NON-fiction books. Especially p.o.d. (CreateSpace) books!


Case in point: my best selling kids book is 46 pages and only 1057 words.
Actually it’s much less than that because hundreds of those words are just front matter about copyright, ToC, and disclaimers, and blah blah.


The book is $14.99 on CreateSpace and I get $5.49 royalty per book.


That is MUCH better than selling a 2 or $3.99 Ebook for 70% royalty!


Let’s do the math:
A $3.99 book at 70% royalty = $2.79 .
If it’s a standard novel around 50,000 words, that’s 50,000/279 =
179.2 words PER PENNY.


The kids book at $5.49 royalty and 1057 words: 1057 / 549 =
1.92 words PER PENNY!


Holy cow! Talk about more profitable for LESS work! This blows away several myths now:

  1. You gotta have a bunch of reviews to sell books.
    1. WRONG. The above book has THREE reviews.
    2. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in reviews, but when it comes to Kids Books...well more on that later (end of post or emails.)
  2. You gotta have a professional cover for 1,000 $ .
    1. WRONG. You gotta have a professional LOOKING cover, but it does not have to be a 1,000$ airbrushed master piece.
    2. It’s sole job is to STICK OUT on the Amazon Sales page and catch your customer’s eye. Full stop.
  3. You gotta have an editor, and a proofreader, and and and...
    1. WRONG AGAIN! All my kids books were made with NONE of the above...
    2. They will cost you an arm and a leg, and now you have spent THOUSANDS of dollars on cover designers, editors, and proofreaders, and your book isn’t even done, or making sales yet!


So, getting back to the fiction versus non-fiction thematic:
When you are writing non-fiction, the author doesn’t matter.
It’s more entrepreneurial:
“Find a need and fill it.”


The readers don’t care who you are, as long as you solve their problem.


With fiction, you are trying to be a rock star.
The marketing, audience building, pre-launch and launch phases are totally different.
The best thing to do in this case is EXACTLY what Andy Weir did— build your audience FIRST, and then take them with you to Amazon.
With non-fiction it’s much easier.
You probably already know what you want to write, or which problem you want to solve. So you go to your audience and solve that problem. (I know, easier said than done!)


Then you build out your airtight MEASURABLE funnel on your “back end” i.e. your website, with your full palette of info-products and other goodies.


(btw this is exactly what my buddy Gregory Diehl did with his 1st book, and netted over 1k in his first try!)


This is MUCH more attainable than trying to make money off of a $3.99 book.


Once you have a $50, $100, and even a $1000 price point, you can really invest in advertising to scale up your biz and maintain sales.


Nearly impossible at the $3.99 price point because of that magical word “margin”!

4. Amazon’s Ad platform absolutely ROCKS!

But Facebook Ads are better for reaching NEW people.
Webinar is coming — Q1 next year!

OK my friends, that's enough for now, tank up on that holiday energy, then come back in 2017 like Gary Vaynerchuck on a Reindeer!

See you at the top,
Eric