Category Archives: Marketing

What we do

website-headerWe work for authors & publishers to convert their books to high quality ready-to-sell digital versions, suitable for publishing directly (allowing you to retain 100% of the profit for life, get paid directly, avoid monthly fees, and retain full control for the life of your book) to the major marketplaces. You only pay a small affordable one-time fee, we provide the file formats and all the training to assist you in uploading your titles, allowing you to become the digital publisher. This means you get paid directly by Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, Google, and any other marketplace you choose to setup accounts with. This means you will never be hassled with an annual fee (or service account fee). There won’t be any middle man taking a percentage of YOUR royalties. You retain complete control which is essential to succeed in the world of eBooks!

I highly recommend you begin by reviewing our initial consultation page. It answers many of the initial questions we receive from new clients.

We are a FULL SERVICE author/publisher services firm, offering a value proposition that has been tuned to the needs of hundreds of authors & publishers we’ve had the pleasure to work with since 2009.  All of our work on a work-for-hire basis, meaning you retain all of the rights to your work (as it should be!).  The majority of work comes through referrals and repeat business from past clients, so we must be doing something right!  In addition to eBook formatting & layout, we provide:

Pay only for the services you need.
Most conversions are completed within 7-14 days (turn around will depend on our backlog at the time of your order and the complexity of your title).

In addition to the services we provide, at no additional cost, you will also receive:

  • Over 3 hours of video tutorials to assist you with marketplace setup, optimization, and marketing.
  • 60 days of post-sale support through our Pixels To Profit website.
  • A copy of our ePub Template and with access to over 50 tutorials ($37 value).
  • 24/7 Access to our ever expanding customer support portal

Unlike the large volume conversion shops, we are not satisfied until you are. You won’t be stuck with an eBook that doesn’t reflect how you the author intended it to look. You get to proof your eBook before it’s published and our conversions are guaranteed to be 100% compatible with the major eBook marketplaces.  Before a converted file is delivered to you, we test it on each device and always allow ample time to do a thorough review so you don’t have to.  If there’s ever a problem with the file, we’ll fix it for free.

Our pricing varies depending on the complexity of the book and the file type provided.  You can submit a bid request here.

You can also book a complimentary 15 minute consultation (please schedule your day/time a minimum of 24 hours in advance).

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).

Wondering whether or not you should signup for KDP Select?

Dear Authors,

I received several emails shortly after Amazon announced the KDP Select program in early 2012. Everyone was asking me what I thought they should do. I honestly couldn’t answer because I didn’t know the answer! But today, I can. I received an email from a past client that validates how incredibly powerful the KDP Select program can be! Keep in mind this is a first book, she published it herself (with our help) and is just about to finish her 1 week KDP promotion of offering her Kindle book at a $0.00 price on Amazon (which you get to do only if you sign up for KDP Select). As of today (3/5/12), in the short time it’s been up (since 3/1/12), she’s had over 30,000 downloads and The Eighth Sea is currently ranked #1 in the historical fiction category and #5 Overall (Free) Kindle books (whoa!). She’s even outselling Charles Dickens! Time will tell whether or not the explosion in exposure will translate into sales, it’s her only book. And she’ll be putting a price back on her book on 3/8/12).

But based on Nancy’s experience – I would give an enthusiastic thumbs up on the KDP Select program.  If you are a talented author, as Nancy is, you can see how much of a boost the KDP Select program gives.  I would not be surprised if she gets calls from NYC literary agents and major publishers.  Not bad for a first time author who just published her first book on Amazon 3 months ago!

You can learn more about the KDP Select Campaigns we run for our clients here. We’ve created over 20 number 1 Amazon bestsellers in the past 6 months alone!

Two titles that have broken into the Kindle top 5000!

I wanted to send out a quick update… this unusual to say the least, but two of the books I just finished converting to Kindle are now among the top .5% of all Kindle books sold. In other words, they’ve broken into the coveted top 5000 spot I often speak of.  This equates to a huge amount of visibility (& profit) to both the authors. Congrats!!

The two titles I am very proud to have worked on are and just published to Kindle that are among the top .5%:

As of today (2/29/12) – here are their rankings respectively:

I often tell authors – if you have a single goal, it should be to break into the top .5% of Kindle books. The rewards will be reflected on your commissions report and you’ll be hooked to doing it again.

Best Selling Kindle Books in 2011 that were Self-Published

Another example of how much Amazon an Kindle are transforming the traditional publishing industry, and how accessible publishing is now; 20% of the top 10 best selling Kindle books of 2011 were self-published!

Back in May of 2011, Darcie Chan (a former Coloradoan) self-published her only novel she had written 5 years ago that was rejected by over a dozen publishers.  There is a great article in the Wall Street Journal on her rise to the top, in it they state “…book publishers are losing ground to independent authors and watching their powerful status as literary gatekeepers wither.

Also on the best seller list was The Abbey by Chris Culver, another self-published author.

Wondering which Kindle books are the hot sellers right now? Check out the running Top Seller list here. Interesting to note, that given it’s the start of a new year – Brian Tracy’s Eat That Frog is currently in the Top 10.

FYI, I’m hosting a weekly Q&A session through the end of February. The first one is this coming Wednesday, Jan. 11 at 4PM MST. While they are intended to be general Q&A (since I get a lot of the same questions on a daily basis), I plan to spend a portion of the time analyzing and discussing the strategies and tactics these and other best selling authors are using to become top sellers in this new evolving era of digital publishing.  Hope you can join us!

Want to earn an extra 5-8% for every ebook you sell on Amazon, BN, Apple, or Google?

Are leaving money on the table with your ebooks?

Become a BN affiliate at Linkshare.com and earn an extra 6% on every nook book sale!

Sign up for the affiliate programs offered by the major ebook marketplaces and earn a extra % of every sale you refer (especially if you are linking to the marketplaces from your own site or Facebook page which I recommend).

All the major marketplaces now offer affiliate programs for authors, publishers, and anyone else who refers a sale (allowing you a way to provide your readers an incentive).  Click on the links below to sign up today and earn more profit from your ebooks!

Did you know that Kindle Expert also has an affiliate program?  You can earn $25 for any client you refer who hires us to help them with their ebook conversion.  To sign up and learn more visit our affiliate page.

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. Netspeak.org 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.

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)!

The 'Freemium' model for authors

Often the topic of giving away your book for free comes up in conversation. You might heard about the book from Chris Anderson that talked about this relatively new paradigm in depth (you can still download the entire 7 hour unabridged audio book here).

The question is (or the argument presented), that you can sell more books by giving your book away (online, perhaps as a free download).

Let me make this clear: I do believe the freemium model can be good for authors. But you need to have some strategy behind it, and it’s going to take more effort than just providing a link to download your book for free (which I don’t recommend you do). Unless you are a high paid speaker (like Chris Anderson), giving away your entire book for free may make you famous, but I know a lot of poor famous people.

Take note to what they refer to in the app world as the ‘freemium model.’ Over 1/3 of all downloads from the iTunes app store are free. But I don’t suggest you just give away your entire book for free, because doing so devalues the book itself, and people generally don’t pay attention to something they perceive as little value.

GigaOM posted an insightful post about how the iTunes app developers are leveraging the free apps. I do want you to pay particular notice however that GigaOm itself is using the freemium model themselves: That post I just referred you to is free, but in it, there’s a teaser to read an article that is available by subscription only.

So how can authors adopt the freemium model to sell more books?

  • Create mini-versions of your book and post them to several of the 3rd party aggregator sites for free (ie. Scribd, Smashwords, Feedbooks, etc.).
  • Strategically implant hyperlinks throughout your free book to your own *website (or directly to your listing on Amazon (Amazon will appreciate that) – offer a relevant compelling download in return for their email address.
  • You might try to us an auto-responder that send your prospects a series of carefully planned emails, each of with more reasons to buy your book.
  • Create .99 mini versions of your book and put them on Kindle. Amazon will be rolling out ‘Amazon Singles’ soon which are mini-versions of popular books to give readers a taste (a step towards a ‘pay-to-preview’ strategy which Amazon already has patents on).
  • Give your readers some ‘exclusive’ content in return for joining your facebook page. Facebook is great because it allows you to interact more and more with your readers.

One of the fears an author/publisher has is the ease file sharing technology allows to share content, which in fact, GigaOM also reported that ebooks (pdfs) are one of the most pirated items. To prevent this from potentially stealing your profits, take a tip from What Color is My Parachute, and Dan Poytner (now up to his 16th edition): release new editions of your book annually… nobody will want last years copy when the find out a new edition is available. The changes each of those title usually makes are minor, but buyers still don’t want the older editions.

*Be sure your site is ‘Kindle Friendly’ website by tailoring it to mobile browsers (use the plug-in for wordpress) or build your site using Google Sites (which incidentally looks really good on the Kindle web browser).