3 Keys to Selling Your Self-Published Book

Let’s face it; selling your self-published book is really hard. Every year there are 600,000 to one million books being published on Amazon. I wrote about this for Entrepreneur Magazine.

Most authors won’t sell more than 250 copies of their book. If you have self-published, you know it’s hard to sell Screen Shot 2014-09-06 at 7.32.14 PMbooks. There’s a ton of information out there about self-publishing, but a lot of it isn’t very helpful.

It may be hard, but it is possible. I had no audience in 2011, but through some hard work I was able to sell over 82,000 copies of my two self-published books. I did it, and I know that you can too.

I know how hard it is so today I want to let you know what will really help you sell your self-published book. As I always say, you have to test what works for you, but these are the tips helped me sell books.

1. Create a killer product

It all starts with a good book. You can be the best marketer in the world but if your book isn’t good, it won’t be long before the bad reviews start piling up. Good writing can depend on the person, but there are some other things that create a killer book.

  • A good cover. People do judge a book by its cover and with 14 million books on Amazon, you need a cover that will stand out. Getting a good cover doesn’t cost as much as it used to. It can be as simple as putting a job for bid on 99 Designs. You will get a hundred covers submitted that you can choose from.
  • Good formatting. Again, hire a professional! Whether it’s hiring someone on Fiverr or using 52 Novels, the company that I used and recommend to my coaching clients. You will get negative reviews for bad formatting.
  • Get your book edited. This is the biggest regret most self-published authors have, they didn’t get their book edited. Yes, it costs money, but it will be worth it not to see negative reviews complaining about the grammar.
  • Your best work. A book is your legacy; your kids can be reading your book to your grandkids. Dig deeper when you’re writing. Create a professional looking book.

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4 Ways to Pushing Through the Frustration of Building a Business

The stats tell us that eight out of ten businesses fail according to Forbes. I don’t believe those stats for many reasons, but we all know owning and growing a business is hard work. Despite it seeming impossible at times, you can push through those frustrations.

IMG_6016In March of 2012 I was frustrated. I had a guest post for Michael Hyatt that brought 20,000 visitors to my blog and 6,000 email subscribers. I went from being unknown to having a decent size audience.

You would think this led to great income for my business, but it didn’t! I was selling my first book, and I thought with that bigger audience at least 5,000 of those people would buy that book. It didn’t happen.

I did get some book sales, but not enough to quit my day job, which was extremely frustrating. I hated that job and wanted to leave so bad, but the money just wasn’t there yet. I was frustrated!

I think most entrepreneurs reading this can relate. We want to grow our business to support our family, but it seems to take forever! The problem is that frustration could end up forcing you to quit. How do you push through that frustration?

1. Take a step back

The first month after guest posting for Michael Hyatt I had a ton of traffic. Even though people came, they didn’t buy. As I was getting frustrated, I had to take a step back, and remember why I started writing in the first place and it wasn’t money.

Why did you start your business? Taking that step back can give you some clarity and help you focus. Is there a lesson to be learned from the frustration you’re going through? We always have to learn, and especially during rough times. That’s when we learn some of the most important lessons.

 2. Tweak your plan

If things aren’t going well there’s probably a reason. For me, I didn’t have a simple website, and I was too pushy selling the book. Those people didn’t know me yet, so there was no reason for them to buy from me.

I realized that I didn’t to tweak my plan to convert and make a little money. If you’re going through a frustrating time in your business, you may need to tweak some things. As you take a step back, see if any part of your business needs to be tweaked. (more…)

How to Write Articles That Get Published on Large Websites (Replay)

On Saturdays I send exclusive content out to my email list. I don’t share this content anywhere else. It’s a thank you for being an email subscriber. I wanted to give you a sample of that content. If you’re not signed up you might be missing out… Here is one example, your chance to get your questions answered. 

I have written a whole series about this topic, but since that series went live, there have been a lot of new people visiting the site. The number one question I’m asked these days is how to write for large websites. Here’s how.

 Aloha everyone! How are you? Did you enjoy last week’s exclusive content? Here’s some more exclusive as a thank you for being an email subscriber!

I had another great week. My first article for Entrepreneur Magazine went live which brought 30,000 visitors to this website. I was asked by Entrepreneur, and the Good Men Project to write once a week for them! *Since writing this, I have written eight articles for Entrepreneur and become an editor at the Good Men Project.*

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Last week we talked about how to land articles on these large websites. This week I’m going to teach you how to write content that will get published. Here’s the process I used to land my initial set of articles.

Go to the website you want to write for and look at their most popular posts of all time. You may have an idea about what you want to write, but that doesn’t mean those websites want that idea, or that their audience will respond. (more…)

7 Ways to Get Better Results From Your Online Business

In case you haven’t noticed, there are a TON of people online talking about the same things. Building an online business isn’t easy, and there are some hard realities you need to realize CopyBlogger tells us.

I know I’m not telling you anything new. Having said that, I LOVE the freedom an online business can provide.10394837_675534222532018_4800509290936625344_n Look at the picture. I’m writing this post from a Starbucks that’s one block away from the ocean.

While I’m writing this, people are buying my books and other products on my website. I’m making money passively while enjoying the amazingness of Maui. If this is your dream, there are seven things you can do that will help your online business get better results.

1. Stop copying other people

I have written a lot about this topic so I won’t bore you. What I will say is that people buy from someone they know, like, and trust. They don’t buy from strangers.

If you are the clone of someone else, they’ll never get to know the real you. When they want to buy, they will buy from the person you are copying. Use frameworks that work, but don’t be a clone. Let your voice come through, and build a business that’s yours.

 2. Be very clear about who you serve

If you try to reach the whole world, you’ll end up reaching no one because your efforts to reach them will be too scattered. You won’t be able to dig deeper, and help people where they are if you’re not speaking to a specific target audience. (more…)

5 Major Problems With Internet Marketing Today

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You’ve seen it. Right? The courses from the big Internet marketers telling you about their seven-figure system. You see countless testimonials from people who have used their course, and are now millionaires.

The websites look good; the copy on the sales page is very convincing. You’re frustrated that you haven’t seen results, so you start working out ways to afford the course.

You think about it, you may even talk it over with your spouse. You go back to the sales page, but something in your gut is gnawing at you.

Don’t get me wrong. There are many great courses, and products out there from some amazing entrepreneurs. However, there are just as many that promise results, but deliver disappointment.

In my online business journey I’ve spent over $5,000 on courses that promised big results. In the end, the courses didn’t help my business, daily hustle, and basic marketing principles did.

There are five problems in the Internet marketing world today that unfortunately many people are falling victim to. Before you buy a product or service I want you to think about these.

 1. A lot of the advice only works if you have a huge audience

This is the biggest problem in Internet marketing today. There’s a ton of great advice, and systems that will only work once your online presence gets to a certain point. The reason big Internet marketers do so well is because of their affiliates.

A big online presence means they have a lot of affiliates willing to promote their products, and services when they launch them. When I attended Brendan Burchard’s Experts Academy. He told us that he gives his top affiliates Super Bowl tickets!

A lot of the information gives you a great plan, but it neglects the most important part of building an online business: building your audience. They don’t let you know how to get more traffic and email subscribers. That’s probably because they weren’t building their online businesses in a time like ours, where there’s a ton of competition.

My advice is to save your money, and focus on building traffic and your email subscribers. That’s what builds your business to the point where it can support your family. (more…)

5 Ways to Become an Online Entrepreneur

If you’re looking to start a business, or grow your existing business, there’s never been a better market place than the Internet. It’s estimated that 2.4 Billion people are logging on everyday, and in five years that number will triple according to the Cultureist. In 2013 3.6 Billion people had email accounts according to Jeff Bullas.

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Having your business online is great for a number of reasons. The fact that you can be completely location independent is appealing to many entrepreneurs. No longer do you have to have a brick and mortar business, you can run a business with the same income, and less overhead from the comfort of your home.

The opportunity is there, but there are also a lot of businesses doing the very same things. There are over 900 million websites, 250 million blogs and 175,000 being added everyday.

The question then becomes: how can you stand out? How can you become an online entrepreneur in today’s crowded market? Here are five ways.

1. Focus on a specific target audience

When you’re starting an online business, or any business, it’s easy to be too general. You feel like you don’t want to alienate anyone, so you try to speak to everyone. A great entrepreneur, Seth Godin, said, “If you try to reach the whole world, you’ll reach no one.”

The more you can narrow in on that target audience, the better your marketing efforts will be, which can directly affect your bottom line. To narrow in, ask yourself who is your ideal customer?

Once you can “see” them, you can speak clearly to them. You can identify where they’re at online, and the best way to reach them. This is also how you will differentiate yourself from other businesses that are talking about the same things as you. (more…)

4 Ways To Beat the Constant Pressure to Be Great

It’s an amazing feeling when you work hard to achieve a goal, and after incredible struggle, you achieve success.

10599365_681660608586046_6761960602204369804_nFor 12 years I didn’t care about success, I was comfortable living a good enough life. In April of 2012, my father died suddenly at 54 shattering what I thought a comfortable life meant.

My last conversations with my father were a wake up call. I realized that life is too short to live with regret. I immediately took action on chasing my dreams, and changing my life.

It took three years, and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, but I found my success. I lost 170 pounds, I quit a job I hated to write, speak, and coach full-time. Our family moved from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to our dream designation of Maui, Hawaii.

After finding my success, I kept thinking, “what’s next?” I have met people who are where I was, as they’re chasing their dreams. They look to me for inspiration, and I don’t want to let them down. I felt the pressure that everything I did needed to be great.

If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you’re a leader. As a leader, you want to lead by example, you don’t want to let anyone down. If you’re dealing with the pressure to always be great, here are four tips to help you deal with that pressure.

1. Don’t focus on yourself

Success comes from a place of service, which means helping others. It’s natural to think about our selves, and our need to always be great, but with leadership comes a responsibility to lead.

We have to think about the struggles that those following us are going through, and the solution to help them during those struggles. We don’t have time to worry about our emotions; we have to focus on leading. This isn’t about us. This is about helping others. (more…)

Help the World Stop Existing and Start Living

Man, it’s been a crazy journey to get to my dream lifestyle. I had to fail a TON of times, get back up, and chase dreams that I was convinced were impossible.

In the last three years, I quit a job that negatively affected my life. Ok, that was politically correct, I hated that job with every fiber of my being. I now write, speak, coach, and consult full-time.

I lost 170 pounds through a ton of running, and portion-controlled meals. I moved our family from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to our dream designation of Maui, Hawaii. It still feels surreal that we live here!

These are the things I wrote about in my first published book, Are You Living or Existing? 9 Steps to Change Your Life. That book was published in May of 2013. Everything that I wrote about has now come true!!

The book has done well and now something cool is happening November 5-8th. My publisher is going to be dropping the price down to $1.99 on the digital version of the book for those three days, as a part of a promotion.

The reason for this ties into one of my six-month goals: becoming a New York Times best-selling author. If the book has a big enough push for those three days, it can make the New York Times digital best-sellers list. It sounds crazy, but I fully believe it can be accomplished!

I need your help!

I’m forming a launch team to push the book during those three days. For anyone willing to help, I want to offer some over the top goodies that will help you build your dream business.

Here’s what I’m offering:

  1. A digital copy of the book (duh Kimanzi).
  2. A shout out in my newsletter that now has over 16,000 people,
  3. Access to a four-week group master class on building your dream online business. This is what the class will cover:
  • Your foundation- we will cover the basics like what your website needs to look like, where everything needs to go, the best way to set up your email list and autoresponders, your social media presence, the best content to produce to draw people in.
  • How to grow- once your foundation is set, I’ll show you the best way to build traffic, email subscribers, and your social media presence.
  • How to make money- it’s not all about the money, but this is a business. We will cover the best ways to make money, the kinds of products to create, and how to package this all together.
  • The transition how to transition from your day job to dream job. The practical steps you have to take to do this smart.

The class will be on Thursday nights. I’ll get back to you as whether it will be recorded.

What I’m asking:

I want to give you a lot because I’m going to ask for a lot. Here’s what I ask your help with. To be a part of the team, and get the class, I’m going to have to ask that you commit to:

  • 1. Read and write a review for the book on Amazon. If you’ve already left a review on Amazon in the past, then Barnes and Nobles, if you have done both, then GoodReads.
  • 2. Write a review for the book on your blog. If you don’t have a blog, then I ask that you write a “note” on your Facebook page.
  • 3. Share on social media all three days; get the word out where ever you can.

That’s my pitch. If you’re interested, sign up. The promo will be November 5th-8th. I’ll be sending out instructions through email.

The Number One Reason You’re Not Living Out a Big Dream

Wow! It’s been an interesting month. I wrote about booking contracts with companies, and landing articles on large websites like the Huffington Post. I shared a lot of information you can use to grow your online business to where it can support your family.

922691_451150391637070_1137368433_nHere’s the thing though, there are people who read all those posts, and won’t do anything about it because of fear. Fear is the number reason many people don’t chase or make big dreams their reality.

I can completely relate because for 12 years I let fear hold me back. I was afraid of change, I was afraid of taking action. I let that fear talk me out of a lot of big decisions.

Even when this business supported my family, I still gave into fear. I was afraid I wasn’t a good enough writer, so I only sent guest posts to smaller websites. I was afraid I didn’t have any “credentials” so I didn’t coach.

I was afraid I didn’t have anything to teach or that people wouldn’t take me seriously so I didn’t approach any companies. I was afraid of my own shadow. AAAHHH!!! I was afraid that my content wasn’t as good as the A-Listers. I figured since they had so many fans and followers, why bother.

I know there are some reading this that can relate. We let our fear keep us back for going after big opportunities that we can totally get! For two years I ignored the Huffington Post even though it was always a dream.

Fear is holding you back from incredible opportunities to grow your business. If you can’t get over those fears, you’ll never make your dream your reality.

Fear is usually stupid

Most of the time we’re afraid of things we don’t really need to be afraid of. If you try to do something, and it doesn’t work out, so what? Life still continues on, and more than likely that isn’t going to be the only opportunity that you have. (more…)

How to Book Consulting at Companies (Part 2)

If your dream has ever been to get paid for speaking, consulting for companies can be a very profitable introduction into that market. In 2013 companies spent $39.3 billon paying consultants according to Business Week.

That’s a lot of money, and some of that could be yours if you can approach the right company. In the last post IIMG_2808 told you that the first training I did at a company paid me $500.

It was low but I didn’t have to do much. My job was to keep up their social media platforms and grow their presence. The result ended being their social media platforms grew by 26% and customer complaints on social media decreased by 68%.

I didn’t make a ton of money on that contract, but the owner did connect me with several others business owners that lead to some serious money. Flash forward to 2014.

Our family just moved here to Maui April 8th.  I had plenty of coaching business, but with the exposure I was getting from all the interviews, I got contacted by a company here.

They had heard some interviews and seen my work. I was asked to come in and talk about an opportunity. I can’t give you all the details (legal reasons) but I walked out of that meeting with a pretty sweet offer.

I sent the offer to my attorney and we were able to negotiate a sweet contract! My job is to build this company’s overall online presence. For every 1% I grow their overall presence, I get $1,000. I have been working on it for the last two months and have grown their presence 16%. Business is good!

I don’t tell you this to brag about Kimanzi because he’s really not any more special than anyone reading this. I tell you this to demonstrate that ordinary people like you and me can make serious money teaching topics we love teaching.

I hope you’re excited because the sky’s seriously the limit! Let’s finish up. (more…)