Category Archives: Advice

Some boilerplate legal ease for your copyright page

Often I receive books to format/convert without a copyright page. I think it’s best that you have one to protect yourself and increase the credibility of your work. And while I’m no lawyer, the following is commonly used by the vast majority of authors/publishers. I also recommend putting your contract info on the Copyright page in case someone would like to request permission or license your work!

By virtue of you publishing it, it’s protected by copyright, however, if you do want to register your eBook with the Copyright office, you can do so f8or $35 if you e-file. The website is: and you will need to have a PDF version of your book available to submit.

You should include something like the following on the copyright page of your eBook:

Copyright 2017 © [AUTHOR NAME]

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except in the case of a reviewer, who may quote brief passages embodied in critical articles or in a review.

Trademarked names may appear throughout this book. Rather than use a trademark symbol with every occurrence of a trademarked name, names are used in an editorial fashion, with no intention of infringement of the respective owner’s trademark.

The information in this book is distributed on an “as is” basis, without warranty. Although every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this work, neither the author nor the publisher shall have any liability to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by the information contained in this book.

Library of Congress Control Number:

If your book is fiction, add this statement:

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Hope that helps!

How your Kindle edition can get you more reviews on Amazon

Do you have as many Amazon reviews for your book as you’d like?  As a publisher of over 50 books on Amazon, I can share first hand that there is indeed a direct correlation between the number of reviews a title has and that title’s book sales.  The more reviews an author has (good or bad), the more he/she will sell. How many reviews?  I recommend getting as many as you can, but a good, realistic goal is 1-2 per month.

So how do you go about getting yourself more reviews?  By issuing a call to action!  Thankfully, Amazon does this automatically on its Kindle books with a pop up screen at the end of the Kindle book asking the reader to leave a review (& providing a live link to make it easy for them to do so). Of course that assumes they get to the end of your book.

So I recommend you provide your readers an added incentive to post an honest review earlier in the book.  Perhaps halfway through. Tell them that you would be grateful for their authentic feedback (whether it’s good bad) and that you are willing to provide something in return.  I say honest because I’m not going to just give someone a 5-star review because they asked me to. Why? If your reviews are only good reviews,  they won’t carry as much weight when readers see your other reviews.

This is yet another good reason why it’s important to have your book available on Kindle.  If your print & kindle editions are properly linked, any reviews left on your Kindle edition will also show up on the listing for your print edition.

Still struggling with getting your book up on Kindle, Nook, or iBooks? Hire us and we’ll take care of the ebook layout and conversion for you – usually with 10 days, and we guarantee you will be pleased with the result (often our clients like the eBooks we create even better than their print edition). I’m proud to share that most of our business today comes via referrals, so you can move forward with confidence because we will do whatever it takes to make you glad you hired us (& thus refer future clients to us).

Take advantage of Amazon’s little known short URL ( capability

Do you post links directly to your own book or kindle book on Amazon? If not, you should! But if you are, do your readers a favor and use the Amazon short URL to it.

Amazon has the highest consumer trust of any company on the web. URL shortening services like are becoming more dangerous and people are reluctant to click on those links.

So guess what? There’s a better way.  You can use Amazon’s own short URL capability.

Here’s how:

Step 1: Find the listing you want to link to on Amazon, for example:

Step 2: Copy the # at the end of the URL or the # that appears right after the /dp/


Step 3: Insert the # the follows /dp/ at the end the Amazon Short URL:

So using the above example, it would look like this:

And here’s a link to the Kindle edition of the same book:

Want to run ePub checker on your own PC?

Do you need the ability to check if your ePub file passes the ‘epub checker’ validation tool?  Rather than upload your file to one of the various epub checkers on the web, you should install and run it on your own computer.  Why?  Because if you are having any errors after you try to upload your formatted ebook, chances are, it didn’t pass the epub checker.

It’s a bit confusing when you try to follow the fragmented instructions you’ll find around the web. So I wanted to share the exact process I went through to successfully install the ability to validate an epub on my own PC:

  1. Download and install Java if it isn’t already on you computer
  2. Modify your PATH to enable the ability to run Java from your command line/prompt.  This is exactly how mine appeared (it’ll make sense after you view this tutorial): ;C:Program Files (x86)Javajre6bin
  3. Download ePub checker binary (version I have is 3.0.1)
  4. Unzip the file and place all the files in a root directory on your c: drive (ie. /epub)
  5. Put the .epub file you want to check in the same directory (ie. /epub)
  6. Run your command prompt application (type command on the start bar)
  7. Change directory to /epub (by using the basic command cd until you get to the root directory (c:/) and then type cd epub.
  8. To run the epub checker, you will need to yype something similar to this on the command line (it will vary depending on the version of epubcheck and your epub file name): java -jar epubcheck-3.0.1.jar filename.epub

Here’s a screenshot of how it looks when you have a successful epub check (in this case, the file I am checking is entitled ‘gaddafi.epub’).

If you are still struggling getting it to work, let me know because I can post a YouTube video to walk you through the process and will post the link when it’s available.

Need help finding better keywords to sell more ebooks?

If you have worked with me, you already know how important keywords are when setting up your book on any of the marketplaces.  Keywords determine how often your book shows up in each marketplace, so it’s vital that you take time and choose wisely!  This is one of the major reasons I advise my clients to avoid using 3rd party aggregators.

Amazon allows you to use up to 512 characters for your keywords,  so be sure to make full use of all the space they provide to fill your listing with relevant keywords.  Barnes & Noble only allows you to use up to 100 characters for your keywords, so be extra careful with that limited space they provide.

Here’s where you list your keywords in the back-end of your Kindle book listing:

There are two great tools I recommend you become familiar with as you get seek out relevant keywords; Google Insights & Netspeak.  There’s tons of great resources around the web on how to use Google Insights & Google will show you how when you visit their site. on the other hand has little documentation to go off, so I created this video walk-through to show you how I use NetSpeak to come up with keyword ideas for the titles I setup:

Let me know if you need my help in optimizing your marketplace (Amazon,BN,Apple,etc.) listing for you, I do charge a very small fee, but I’m confident that the resulting increased book sales will provide a quick return on investment (ROI).  Alternatively, you can attend our next webinar and learn to do it yourself.

Fixing a common issue – What to do when your physical book & ebook are not associated with each other on Amazon

What do you do when the digital version of your book isn’t being associated with the physical version of your book? And why is this a big deal?

If you have any reviews and/or tags on your print edition, when the two are linked, the same reviews and tags will be reflected on both listings.

Because someone who finds your physical book on Amazon may pass on it because they don’t see a ‘read it on your kindle now’ option!

Because the default search at Amazon and BN is still for physical books… and print books still get the greatest visibility for keywords entered from the default search bar.

So how to fix the problem?

One important caveat: Be sure the titles on both editions (physical & ebook) are an exact match (title & description) – Amazon won’t link the two unless the titles are an exact match. If they aren’t a match, than first edit your title in your Kindle bookshelf (it will take 24 hours for the new title to take effect). Once you are certain both titles match, here’s the process you will need to follow to get the problem fixed:

  1. Check to see if your print edition reveals that your book is also available on Kindle (in the example below, it is not).
  2. Make a note of your ISBN # (print edition).
  3. Make a note of your ASIN # (kindle edition).
  4. Notify Amazon of the correction through the contact us tab (available after you log in to your KDP account.

You will need to provide Amazon KDP support with both the ASIN # of your Kindle book & the ISBN # of your printed book. The ASIN is your unique identification number that Amazon uses to catalog your title.
Here’s a graphical step-by-step:

Step 1: Confirm if the print & kindle editions are already linked (In this example, they are not)

Step 2: Make a note of your ISBN # for your print edition

Step 3: Locate & Write down your ASIN # for your Kindle edition

Step 4: Go to the Contact Us page from your KDP account

Step 5: Provide the Title, ISBN # & ASIN to Amazon so they can correct the problem

Hope that helps you get the issue resolved if you are one of the many authors dealing with this issue. If you haven’t yet hired us to help you with your ebook conversion (to Kindle, Nook, Ipad, Sony Reader, Google Books, etc..) feel free to contact us to find out more. We also now provide MS Word and Open Office templates (optimized for the marketplaces) if you prefer to do the conversion yourself.

Putting your book & ebook sales on Autopilot (Part 1 of a two part webinar)

I am very grateful for the opportunity to address the National Speakers Association last week, and I’ll be giving Part 2 next month that will dive deeper into the marketing side of what we do at 50 Interviews.  Hope you enjoy it and I welcome your feedback. FYI, it’s about an hour long. You can hear the audio and the slides advance automatically when you hit the ‘play’ button:

Putting your book & ebook sales on Autopilot

Our next AuthorSwap begins May 3rd and I hope you can join us (you’ll be glad you did)!

How to upload a new/revised version of your book to Amazon KDP

I know many of you will want to upload a new version of your book to Amazon Kindle on occasion after you’ve made some improvements, done some additional editing, or simply added new content.

Doing so is fairly simple. Below are three screen shots that provide a step-by-step walk through on how to upload a revision to an existing title via the Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) platform.

STEP 1: Login to your KDP account

STEP 2: Upload your new file

STEP 3: Set pricing, save & publish!

Hope that helps! If you do need our help fixing a file you’ve already created, we’d be happy to assist further. Simply submit the file you’ve been struggling with and we’ll get back to you with a price of what’ll take to fix it (in most cases, we’ve been able to provide fixes to the file for the most nagging issues for under a hundred bucks). provides fast, high quality digital conversions for Kindle, Nook, iPad, and more to authors & publishers.  To date, we’ve helped more than a hundred authors publish their books to the digital marketplaces for a low one-time fee… allowing the author to retain 100% of their royalties.

Successful authors dive deeper to uncover reachable niches – 7 Tips

7 Tips to help you uncover a reachable niche

In order to stand out in the crowd, it’s better to be a big fish in a small pond, so you must first find a small enough market to reach.  Picking a reachable niche is the most important thing you can before you begin writing & researching your book.

I can tell you first hand, the key to selling books, in addition to having good content, is visibility.  Uncovering a reachable niche can go a long way in boosting your visibility.

Here are some tips to find your niche:

1. Think about your own experiences first. What groups are you most familiar with, if you did a search for a topic on, what would it be?  What is something nobody knows about you?  What is something you’ve always been drawn to?  Those things we did when we were 10 years old till about 25 years old likely point to some of our true passions in life.  What do you like to do when you aren’t getting paid to do it?  If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would you likely spend your time doing?

2. Is it something others are searching for?  Use tools like Google Insights to find out.

3. Are there already tons of books on the topic same on Amazon? If there are less than a few hundred titles on the topic – then go for it! You can realistically rank towards the top utilizing some of the techniques we’ve learned.

4. Visit the library or your local bookstore. Browse the sections and spend time in the magazine isle. You see some things that will trigger an idea that you can evolve into your own niche.

5. Brainstorm yourself, and with others. It’s a magical process when others give their perspectives.  Be open to others suggestions, as they are indeed a microcosm of your the audience you will be exposed to.

6. Take a close look at advertisements.  Grab some free publications, magazines, and newspapers.  Take a look at who others are marketing to.  There’s a high likelihood that if someone is marketing to a specific audience, then there is already demand.

7. Test the niche for a few weeks.  A well defined niche can be described in one sentence. Having your niche described well will not only help you keep your content focused and relevant, but also rank you high in Google.

I learned this through first hand experience, the hard way, as my book 50 Entrepreneurs is a subject space that is already highly saturated (with over 12,000 titles listed on amazon for the search term entrepreneur.)  It’s a big ocean, and a small fish like us will always have a hard time getting noticed.  I have since learned I would have been better off if I had refined the topic of entrepreneurship a level or two deeper.