Category Archives: General

Roundup of recent conversions by KindleExpert.com

I wanted to share the exciting news of several authors who recently launched their books on Amazon Kindle, all of whom I grateful to for trusting me to do their conversions.  Check out a few of them out and let us know what you think! Here’s some of our most recent conversions:

Here’s what one of the authors had to share about the process of working with KindleExpert:

“When I bought Brian’s digital conversion service, I got a lot more than just digital conversion. Brian worked with me to get my book just right, and provided valuable advice regarding the self-publishing process and marketing my book. The time I saved was worth three times the price for the conversion.” -Carl Forest (Caribou Creek)

I’m grateful this year to have worked with some many incredible authors. Happy Holidays!

Minefields in digital publishing (Part 1)

I am not a fan of 3rd party aggregators.  These are sites that make it all too easy to upload your book to them.  The majority of the ones I’ve come across have you accept T&Cs that essentially make them your e-book distributor. The idea of an ebook distributor is pretty ridiculous when you consider they really aren’t distributing anything, once it’s setup, it is delivered to the buyer without anyone’s involvement (there’s nothing to ship).  Also, most of the ones I’ve seen have no way of providing DRM (Digital Rights Management) on your title, which means there’s nothing to prevent the buyer of your ebook to post it online or send it to all their friends.

I’ve been hearing alarming stories from fellow authors… And it’s a reminder why I need to get out more and expose the truth about digital publishing.  There are companies offering digital conversions for a low fee, but then retaining as much as 80% of all the proceeds from each sale of the digital versions.  Whoa! That’s exploitation of technologically naive authors.  The price of ebooks will inevitably fall, and likely fast once the market gets saturated.  There’s simply no room for a middleman.  They might say they are going to do a bunch of marketing for your tile, but really, unless they are setting up a facebook page for you, doing article marketing, and have your title on an SEO optimized site, I’d advise you to ask to see examples. Besides, the work that will likely take them a few hours to complete (the digital book layout), and is nowhere near the amount of time and energy you put in as an author. So why in a million years would you be so willing to give up 50% of every sale?

Spend the 20 minutes it’ll take to upload your own title, with your own bank account, directly to the various marketplaces – you need to have direct access to your own sales data so you can see if your marketing efforts are working.

What else do you need to watch out for?

Vanity publishers who retain a % of every book, despite the fact the author pays to publish. Xilbris, iUniverse, and Morgan James all keep 50%, Tate keeps 60%, on every ebook sale. How often do they pay the author?  It varies, but in some cases, only 2x/year.  This bothers me because these are pay-to-publish companies… you’ve already paid all the production costs associated with your book, so why are they entitled to a hefty % of every digital book sale?  Set your own titles up and you’ll get 100% of your digital profit monthly.

In summary, here’s my advice:

  • Don’t ever accept the assignment of an ISBN (or eISBN) unless you’ve purchased it yourself through certified reseller of ISBN #’s (ie. Bowker).  The person/company Bowker assigns the ISBN to is the publisher on record for the title.
  • Only use the 3rd party aggregators to distribute excerpts of your book, or create specifically branded content so it’s not competing with your own.
  • If you do sign an agreement with a vanity/hybrid publisher (where you pay to publish), be sure you retain full rights to your digital editions.

About KindleExpert.com – We provide high quality and affordable digital conversion services.  You receive all the file formats you need with tutorials that walk-through how to publish your books to Amazon, BN, Apple, Google Editions, etc.. Unlike the high volume conversion shops, we guarantee that you will be happy with the result.

Kindle Expert on Facebook

Dear friends!

I’ve created a page for Kindle Expert on Facebook. I’d love for you to add it to your list by clicking on the ‘Like’ button.

You can bookmark the page at:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kindle-Expert/161562447217096

Check back here after you ‘like’ to see yourself listed.  I greatly appreciate your support and plan to share special news and pass along discounts through my Facebook page.

Kindle vs. the iPad – one users comparison…

I wanted to share my initial observations between iPad & Kindle.  I’ve been asked on more than one occasion by my friends which one to buy for reading our eBooks.

Here’s what I found as one major shortfall on the iBooks app on the iPad:

One of the things I love about my Kindle is that I can type in a keyword or phrase, and it searches for that keyword or phrase across every single book & document on my Kindle device! This is huge to me because I have lots of non-fiction books and I can’t always remember which book, or even where in that book that concept existed when I need to refer to it. Kindle has solved this problem for me by having a lightning fast global search capability.

On the flip side, I also now own an Ipad with the iBookstore app installed, and from what I can tell, there’s no way to search across all the text in all my books I purchase or transfer to the iBookstore. Yes – you can search within a book, but that doesn’t help me when I can’t remember which book had the phrase, keyword, or concept I was looking for!

For what I see as a very important feature in the evolution of epublishing, Kindle has it, iPad doesn’t (yet :-)).. I can’t speak to the nook because I don’t own one (yet).

The other feature I love about my Kindle is that my Kindle comes with it’s own email address.  I can email a variety of different types of documents (including MS word files) to that email address, and magically, my document appears on my Kindle (over WiFi).  The iPad requires that you manually drag the pdf or epub into iTunes and then sync up your PC/Mac & your iPad for the documents to appear in your iBooks app. I also don’t believe you can just drop an MS Word doc into your iTunes library – you’d have to convert it to PDF first.

What I do however love about the iPad is the bigger screen.  So ultimately, what I’d recommend, if one can afford it, is the Kindle DX. If not, then the Kindle 3 Wifi (I have the 3G version but rarely ever use the 3G connection, but do use the WiFi connection often). It’ll be really nice if/when they come out with a WiFi version of the DX. That’ll probably be the next eReader I buy.

If anyone does have the nook, I (& other readers of this blog) would greatly appreciate your comments below!

Study shows that eReader users read more & are buy more books

More encouraging news from a recent survey just posted on School Library Journal that reports 1 in 10 Americans now use an eReader and that those who do are consuming books at a faster rate.

Need more proof? I got my Kindle this week and I haven’t been able to put it down since!

If you are an author, you owe it to yourself and your readers to provide the most ideal e-reading experience.  I have come across far too many poor conversions (likely left up to automation software which simply falls way short), which is a shame, because your book can look as good if not better than those from the NYC publishers.  Check out some of my recent conversions to the right and then hire me to get your book converted for Amazon Kindle and Google Editions!  I offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

An author who's earning $4k/month off the Kindle sales of his book alone

There’s a great article on Media Bistro I recently came across… Would you believe there’s an author out there who’s selling 180 books/day on the Amazon Kindle?  It’s netting him $4k/mo. and he talks about it in this interview.

One thing that strikes me about why authors like J.A. Konrath are finding so much success in digital publishing is that the path to purchase for a buyer who discovered them online is seamless.  Your write a blog post about your book, and excerpt from a chapter, you engage the reader and then make it seamless to buy through a link to your Kindle book, which they can access instantly.  That’s really what the Kindle does for authors who are already publishing online. It gives them one of the absolutely fastest paths to profit for there work that used to show up on bookshelves… Bookshelves that are quickly being replaced by virtual ones.  So what are you waiting for?

Kindle can breathe new life into that old book… :-)

The Amazon Kindle truly is a new frontier for authors.  Do you remember the excitement you felt when you first saw your book in print?  That same excitement will return when you see your book on the Kindle. Getting your book on the Amazon Kindle provides a unique opportunity for an author to rebirth their book.  The author becomes a publisher, in a digital self-publishing sense.

Hopefully, if you do have an agreement with an existing publisher, you own the exclusive rights to the digital versions of your work.  Just last month, best selling author Seth Godin announced a departure from the traditional publishing path in favor of digital self-publishing.

If you are looking for a high quality conversion to Kindle, then we can help.  Our conversions are fast and I personally guarantee you will be extremely pleased with the way your book looks in the Kindle format.

I encourage you to learn more about the exploding digital publishing options available to you.  If you would like to speak with me about what the conversion entails, how long it takes, and the simple steps you can take now to capture the fastest growing segment of the eBook market, please feel free to contact me for a free 10 min. phone consultation.

You can also purchase my 2 hour video course on DVD that I recently taught in Denver for The DaVinci Institute to a sellout crowd.  If you do hire me to do your conversion, the DVD is provided free-of-charge.

Video: A brief overview of why you should convert to Kindle now!

I created a short video for those publishers who haven’t yet published their content to Amazon Kindle.  After watching this, I think you will agree with me that now has never been a better time.  Contact us to get started and within 72 hours, your ebook will be in the largest eBook marketplace, Amazon Kindle!

Watch it now at: http://www.kindleexpert.com/kindleexpert-demo.swf

Getting setup with WordPress in 5 easy steps

Blogging doesn’t have to be so hard. While there are a million different things you can do, I’ll try to distill down in the the simplest way I can. It really is easy as 1-2-3. This all begins of course AFTER you’ve already selected a niche that is aligned with something you can get passionate about AND an audience you can actually reach (think big fish in a small pond).

Step 1: Setup your own self-hosted version of wordpress.

If you don’t already have a domain registered, you can get free domain registration when you host here.

Step 2: Install the essential plug-ins

In my opinion, there are only a handful of truly ‘vital’ plug-ins. The easiest way to find these is to search for them within your wordpress backend panel (that way you will also be sure you are getting the latest versions):

Here they are:

  • Google XML Sitemaps (to make your site Google-friendly)
  • Akismet (to eliminate SPAM in your comments)
  • Twitter Tools (your posts automatically get tweeted)
  • Wordbooker (your posts automagically go on to your facebook wall)
  • Deep Link Engine (To help your search engine rankings)
  • WP-Stats-Dashboard (Great site analytics right inside your own wordpress control panel!)

Step 3: Pick a theme

This is is an important step! You need to think about picking a theme that represents the kind of blog you want to have. Changing themes later is not out of the question, but the further you go down the path of one theme, the more disruptive it will be down the road.

Step 4: Become an affiliate

Ahhh… so you are working hard now to build a blog that provides value to others, right? One of the best ways to get compensated for your efforts is by becoming an affiliate for products & services relevant to your site’s content. Think of becoming an affiliate as a commission only sales person that works for you 24/7. Some of the best places to find companies looking for affiliates are:

You can learn a lot about affiliate marketing by joining one of the many forums the pros use:

Step 5: Learn from the best. Emulate to Earn!

That’s where this site comes in. By becoming a member, you will get exposed to successful bloggers. Some of whom are making six figures annually from their blogs. If you haven’t registered already, do so now. It’s free! We’ll get into how to apply the techniques, using widgets, what PLR products are, squeeze pages, and integrating email marketing.

Recommended but optional steps:

Good luck & talk to you soon!