We talk a ton about self-publishing your fiction on this podcast, but we know a lot of you are into publishing nonfiction and/or using platforms like Kindle e-publishing to promote your business. We all want to make money, but the nonfiction route is arguably more direct. That’s mostly what we talk about in this episode.
But first, we talked about a few other loose ends.
I’m loving writing to music
I read in what could be called this podcast’s bible — On Writing — that Stephen King writes while listening to loud music like Metallica and AC/DC. This always seemed strange to me because I need total silence to concentrate. But what he says is that the music is “just another way of closing the door,” and you need a closed door in order to write.
But, prior to these past two weeks, I’ve only had two hours a day to write (6-8am), and they’re fitful hours at best because although the house is at its quietest then, I’m still constantly interrupted. And if I sleep in, I’m fucked. I can’t write that day. That sucks. I figured if I could learn to write to music, I could write whenever I wanted… and so I made myself try.
It’s amazing. I recommend anyone who is unable to find distraction-free time give it a shot… and if you think you’ll be distracted by the lyrics, I thought that too. It took a bit of getting used to, but now the door is fully shut, and I can write whenever.
In case you’re wondering, I’m currently writing to Eminem’s Recovery album and Rob Zombie’s Past, Present & Future. I’ve also tried Rancid, Bad Religion, Green Day, Social Distortion, and a few others. Social Distortion’s White Light White Heat White Trash is probably my favorite to write to so far.
NOTE: I think a key to making this work is getting a good set of comfortable, “cans” style headphones. This is the pair I use, and they’re AMAZING. Check ‘em out.
Self-publishing for nonfiction and business strategy
Then we got on to the main topic. But first…
DISCLAIMER: We say toward the end of this episode that the Kindle Marketplace is not some kind of a spam playground, or at least that it shouldn’t be. Don’t think “make money by publishing on Kindle.” Think “promote using e-publishing as one intelligent strategy” or “sell a lot of good, solid books on a topic people care about.” There’s too much get-rich-quick thinking in this area, and it WILL come back to bite get-rich-quickers in the ass. An intelligent business strategy is a much better investment of your time and energy.
With that out of the way, we talk about how to:
- How to target and organize your nonfiction book
- When to use which strategies — breaking your book into nuggets vs. using a single, larger book
• How to use a nonfiction book as a call to action for another part of your business
• How to use nonfiction as lead generation.
This is what I’m doing. I have a book, The Universe Doesn’t Give a Flying Fuck About You, that was simply a repurposed post from my blog that I put up on Amazon so it could reach people that my blog couldn’t. What surprised me was that it sold very well on Amazon at 99 cents, probably due to its title. So, I recently made it permanently free and it now “sells” around 80-100 copies per day.
I’m using this to get new leads for my business. I have a manifesto called How To Be Legendary that is very much in the same style as the “Universe” post/e-book that I’ll be releasing shortly, and when this funnel is complete and the manifesto posted, it’ll work like this:
1. The “Universe” post sells for free on Amazon, and thousands of people get it each month.
2. There’s a call to action at the end of that e-book, telling people about How to Be Legendary
3. People go to my site and get the manifesto. In doing so, they’re joining my email list.
4. They’ll get a series of emails about the same topic.
5. Those emails end in a pitch for a new “legendary” (and very inexpensive) membership program I’m developing.
Sean and I also talk about a zillion other ideas to try, while Dave groans about us in the background.
Better Off Undead update
Last week, Sean, Dave, and I — who are all either published horror writers (them) or working on zombie books (me) — launched our new podcast, “Better Off Undead”, as a vehicle to talk about the things we like to write about and to begin connecting with people who might enjoy reading our stuff. It’s our first serious, intensive effort to “get into the world of our readers,” and the effort is off to a great start. Despite the fact that the show is brand, brand new, over 200 people have downloaded our first episode reviewing the horribly hilariously good/bad movie Birdemic: Shock and Terror and the feedback has been fantastic.
Our second episode, about fast zombies vs. slow zombies and about a billion other things, is available now. We’re also having insane amounts of fun recording the show.
So we’d call this an early success, but we’ll keep you updated here on how it works as a promotional tool.
To view the video version of this episode, go to: Self Publishing Podcast #16 – Using Kindle and Self Publishing to Build Your Business