Blogging with a Purpose: An Invite to Create a Kindle Book (Join Me!)

Hey there,

I am now on a journey to create a Kindle book by writing blog posts on a daily basis. I’m doing this over a span of ten days, which makes up

My 10-day Indie Author Kindle Book Creation Challenge!

Blogging with a Purpose: The Name of the Game

Blogging with a PurposeI reckon that since I’ll be blogging everyday, I might as well do it with a clear purpose in mind – to create a Kindle book that shall serve me in various wicked ways!

From now on, that’s it for me, for always – blogging with a purpose.

It’s not just to make me money from selling it at Amazon’s Kindle Store. It’ll be for so much more but I’ll share that with you in my future posts. For now, I’d like to keep it under wraps (but do remind me if I forget, will you?).

I’m now actually in Day 2 of my 10-day challenge.

It’s quite a lonely ride. If you’ve been an indie author or freelance writer for a while, you know how it is.

It can be a solitary life –

  • staring in space for ideas with those wide-open, unblinking and starry eyes;
  • scampering to get to your notebook, journal or anything you can write on every so often, to capture thoughts that can easily slip by;
  • pounding hard and fast on your computer keyboard day after day even in the wee hours of the night (if you’re a night owl, like me);
  • and more.

But it doesn’t have to be.

Create a Kindle Book Challenge Invite

Create a Kindle Book Challenge Invite
Create a Kindle Book Challenge Invite

Today, I’d like to invite you to journey with me in this 10-Day Indie Author Kindle Book Creation Challenge.

Let’s journey together with one post a day for 10 days to come up with our own Kindle book.

Let’s cheer each other on everyday, most especially in those days when we lose our fire.

Let’s learn from each other every step of the way.

At the end of the marathon, we get ourselves ten high quality blog posts almost ready to publish at Amazon’s Kindle Store.

We just need a few more steps to see our blog posts packaged into a Kindle book!

Then, it’s party time to celebrate each other’s success.

And it doesn’t end there. We can give each one a complimentary copy of our work.

How about paying it back with a tweet, a Facebook share or like, or an honest review at Amazon’s customer reviews section?

We can run wild with the support that we can give.

How about that?

But first, you must take me on in this challenge.

Create a Kindle Book: A Simple Plan

Create a Kindle Book Simple PlanHere’s my simple plan:

  • List down topics that you’re passionate about or interested in.
  • Do some research.
  • Decide on one topic to write on.
  • Come up with an outline for your book.
  • Post daily in your blog over a span of 10 days.

So as you can see, the target really is to blog for 10 days using your outline as your guide.

Ten days would certainly pass but if you commit to your plan, you get yourself ten high quality articles that you can then compile and format into a Kindle book.

Now, let me know: How doable is that for you?

Are you in on the challenge?

i would surely love to have you, my friend.

If you have suggestions to make this challenge even more fun, exciting and productive, please leave me your comment below.

To know what goes after completing your ten blog posts, please read my next post.

Cheers!


MARIA SILVO, Entrepreneur l Children’s Book Author l Blogger

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Day 2 Challenge ~ A Perfect Book Cover: Can It Make Your Book a Bestseller? (Yes and No!)

business-books-2Can a perfect book cover shoot your book up to bestseller?

Certainly!

But not always.

Have you ever wondered how some books become bestseller even with a plain-looking book cover?

Exactly! There are a lot more factors that come into play and your book cover is just one of them.

So if you’re still under the impression or misconception that a perfect book cover is all you need, wake up and see reality for what it is.

If all your efforts and investment fail, don’t beat yourself up. Don’t even think of quitting.

Winners never quit and quitters never win. ~Vince Lombardi

After this discussion, you’ll be a lot wiser.

Now, let’s examine what these factors are and turn them to your advantage:

  • Hungry Market

This is a major factor, no doubt.

Your book cover may be the plainest and most boring. It may come naked, with just the book title and author name.

If you hit the right market – one where hungry buyers devour just about anything on something that makes them happy or solves their problem – then you have a jackpot in your hands.

You must therefore hit this thing on the head!

Hard.

You can be an overnight success if you do.

  • Keyword Optimization

You may often hear the advice about keyword optimization or using the right keywords for your book.

Use of the right keywords simply lets your book get easily found when people search for a certain topic.

For what good is it to have a book that can solve the world’s worst problems when people can’t find it… or got a clue that it even exists?

If you go to Amazon’s search engine or to Google’s, you’ll find below the search bar a row of words or phrases relating to your topic. They are the most searched words and that’s why they are there.

You must use them, therefore.

You may also use other keyword search tools like the Google  Keyword Planner Tool, Kindle Samurai, Kindle Spy, Micro Niche Finder and more.

There are plenty of them, both free and paid.

  • Active Marketing

Have you ever wondered why Kindle book authors put a badge on their book claiming that it’s a bestseller?

If you look at the sales rank, you’ll notice how its position is way below the 100,000 mark. Some, even worst.

It’s not that they were not telling the truth. On the contrary. And I believe them.

Their book did become a bestseller. At one point. Perhaps, for a day or few days. And that’s possible.

That can be done through active and effective marketing.

They do it in a lot of ways like paid ads (Facebook, Adsense, etc.) social media, give-aways, email marketing, joint venture partnerships, and more.

This is not a general picture though. A lot of bestseller books remain on top for a long period of time.

And there’s certainly nothing wrong with embarking on active marketing to achieve success with your book. In fact, you should learn to do this. It pays.

  • Leverage from a Series or Number of Existing Books

Other authors who already have a series or number of books published link them all up so that when someone buys and reads one book, he’s introduced to the author’s other books, too.

People who like what they read, in most instances, buy other books from the same author.

Brilliant, isn’t it?

And that’s one way why the book cover doesn’t count that much anymore.

  • Huge Author Following

Marketing all the more becomes powerful when the author has a huge army of followers.

That’s why it pays to “build your email list” where the money is.

Just one push of the “send” button to thousands of subscribers can spell a huge difference to your book.

Imagine converting 3% of your 1,000 subscribers to buyers of your Kindle book that is priced at $2.99. That’s a gross income of $89.70 for one email alone.

Write a more compelling email and convert by 15%  at the same price. That’s a gross income of $448.50 or net of $313.95 from 150 subscribers.

What if you have 2,000 subscribers? Or 5,000? Or 10,000?

Many established authors, bloggers and internet marketers have more than that.

Now, go on. Play some more with the numbers and do the math.

The income is just amazing, isn’t it?

It’s a no-brainer how your book can easily be a bestseller.

As an author, your job is no longer confined to writing and the creative stuff.

If you want to succeed in your self-publishing career, you need to learn the ropes of effective marketing.

And at the heart of it is building your list or database of subscribers. Using your website, social media or your book , you provide would-be subscribers with something valuable in exchange for their email.

With a direct access to them, you can now keep in touch regularly for reasons like

  • building trust
  • promoting your existing or upcoming books
  • affiliate marketing
  • feeling their pulse on new topics for your succeeding books,
  • and more. 

You’re no longer at the mercy of the big players like Amazon because you have an asset – your list!

In future posts, we’ll touch more on this but for now, let’s leave this at that, okay?

In summary, a perfect book cover can make your book a bestseller. But again not always.

There are many factors why books, or Kindle books, to be specific, become bestsellers. It is to your advantage as an indie author to learn alternative ways for your book to succeed.

For sure, get that perfect book cover done. It’ll make your book look eye-catching and professional and add credibility to it, enough to make your target readers buy it.

BUT explore the others as well because they work!

Let me know what you think of this article by writing your thoughts and comments below.

If you’re looking for my Day 1 Challenge post, part 1 is here while part 2, here.

As always, I value your contribution to making this post awesome!


MARIA SILVO ~ Entrepreneur  Ι  Children’s Book Author  Ι  Blogger

Day 1 Challenge ~ What Exactly Does Your Book Cover Do? (Part 2)

The 3C’s of a Book Cover

A book cover has three main functions. When it performs all three, you got yourself a perfect book cover!

I’ll call these functions as the 3 C’s of a book cover:

1. Captivate

Kindle Book Cover Your book cover should have the “oomph” to turn heads and grab attention.

Whose attention? Your target readers’.

It should not only be different but unique, interesting and attractive.

In an ocean of book covers, it should be able to stand out from the pack.

It should charm your target readers, disarm them and warm them up.

It flaunts and flirts with its target readers, which is a fun way of describing it.

Yet, it is a valuable worker – hardworking, untiring and unstoppable.

It’s your book’s emissary and sales agent that’s up 24/7 to do its task.

As your book’s author, it is therefore your task to cloak your book cover with the qualities to captivate!

2. Capture

Kindle Book CoverAfter grabbing your target readers’ attention, your book cover should be able to hook them in, lock them up and take control of them. In a psychological way, of course.

How? Stir their senses. Arouse curiosity. Create excitement. Let them want more of your book.

At this stage, your target readers are flooded with questions like:

  • What is this book all about?
  • What’s so special or different about it from others that I’ve read?
  • What’s with the images?
  • What does it propose or promise to do?
  • What can I learn from it? Or what more?
  • How can it ease my pain or alleviate my situation?
  • How can it make my life better?
  • Plus more (you name it!).

All these happen in a flash. Subconsciously. Unconsciously.

If your book cover is doing an awesome job, your target reader instinctively reaches out for your book, looks at the table of contents, reads a chapter or two.

3. Compel

Now you’ve struck a chord in them. And they’ll want more.

To satisfy their curiosity. To ease their excitement. To get all their questions answered.

Then, they’ll reach out for their credit card, click the “buy button” and complete the sale.

They just bought your book!

And that’s what you want.

Now, your book cover has served its purpose. Perfectly.

Read Part 1 of this post here.

Day 1 Challenge ~ Just What Is a Book Cover? (Part 1)

Drive Thru

Today, I am embarking on a 10-day book writing challenge where, each day, I write a post or two to build up sections to a non-fiction book.

This book is on Kindle Book Covers. It will be at least 5,000 words with around ten chapters.

That’s about 500 words per chapter. It can be more. But not less.

Why this topic?

Well, ebooks are sprouting by the millisecond. From all corners of the world. From both writers and non-writers. It’s pretty clear to me how useful it can be.

This book is intended for indie authors, internet marketers and writers, who are looking at creating their own digital book covers – whether for Kindle, Nook, or other online publishing platforms.

This post is the introductory part, broken down in 2 parts.

Just What Is a Book Cover?

Pretty obvious huh?

An old Chinese Proverb states: “On a journey of a hundred miles, ninety is but half way.”

It’s like writing your Kindle ebook. Just when you thought you’ve written the last word, you realize you need a cover to go.

A book cover is essential to your book.

All authors – amateurs and veterans alike – require a cover for their book. A publishable manuscript that lacks a cover is an unfinished one;

just as a sentence without a period at the end is incomplete 🙂

For centuries, books went in plain covers. Everyone was okay with that. Besides, in the olden times, only the moneyed few can afford them.

But not anymore. There is just a tsunami of books now in the market, whether offline or online, physical or digital. Each one is competing for attention.

To stand out, a book therefore must have the “X” factor to call attention to itself.

As an author, it would do you wonder if your book wears the perfect cover. (I should add here though as a disclaimer that a perfect book cover doesn’t necessarily make you a bestseller nor assure you of a sale. I’ll discuss that in later sections.)

Beyond the Aesthetics: What a Book Cover Is

So… what exactly is a book cover? What can it do for your book? What is it supposed to do?

Your book cover is, for one, a protective layer or wrapper. It safeguards your book from the elements and extends its lifespan.

It adds to your book’s aesthetics… like eye candy. It makes it striking, pleasing and attractive.

It gives your book a unique personality or a distinct character. All its own.

More importantly, your book cover is a marketing tool. It is designed to promote and sell.

It plays three main functions that I’ll call the 3C’s of your book cover:

  • Captivate
  • Capture
  • Compel.

You may read about it in my next post.

Publish on Kindle: Indie Author Must Know

Publish on Kindle as an Indie Author

Publish on Kindle 2Anyone can write and publish on Kindle… and you’re no different!

True.

It can be intimidating at the onset but once you publish on Kindle continuously, you eventually get the hang of it. You learn the skills of the trade.

One day, you realize that what seemed a daunting task has become second nature. Once you develop the habit of self-publishing, it sticks with you. As the popular saying goes, “Practice makes perfect!”

“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” ~ Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics

Indeed, anyone can publish on Kindle or other book publishing platforms, for that matter.

Anyone can be an indie author. Including you.

But don’t get me wrong.

Publish on Kindle But Do the Work

Self-publishing does require a lot of work. I’ve proven that many times over and, sure, avid marketers would sell you into the idea of creating a product effortlessly… in 24 hours, even less.

Perhaps, that’s possible. Just because they’ve mastered the craft.

Or they know something I don’t.

Or they’ve got a magic wand in their hands!

However, if you look at the amount of work that goes into book publishing, 24 hours is just not enough. At least, for me – not only with my children’s books at Amazon but for other fiction and non-fiction books as well.

You may certainly work out a 5,000-word non-fiction book on how to make money or how to parent your kids successfully.

Or a short fiction story of 7,000 words.

Publish on Kindle: Challenges as Indie Author

But do the math. Self-publishing is not merely writing. A lot more goes into publishing on Kindle, as you may glean in this partial list:

  • niche and keyword research (talk about not being found in Amazon’s search engine!)
  • content research
  • outlining
  • formatting or layout
  • sourcing photos or images
  • editing and proofreading
  • outsourcing (if you must)
  • conceptualization and design of your book cover (that you should not take lightly!)
  • uploading at the Amazon Kindle Store or other similar publishing platforms
  • writing blurbs for your book description
  • plus other tasks behind the scenes that don’t seem apparent but you must do!

Unless you’re good enough with sloppy work… but if you want to survive long-term and succeed in the self-publishing industry, sloppy is sloppy no matter what you call it.

And many readers, whether paid or free, wouldn’t bat an eyelash at getting back at you for these failings. Even if all they spent for your book was a measly $0.99… or they got your KIndle book for free!

And get this: You won’t hear a word of gratitude. You may call them ingrates but that’s just how it is.

Capture -- Kindle Reviews

Beating? No doubt. And it can go on and on and on. It will tear you apart.

That’s no joke. Go through the customer reviews section of Kindle books at Amazon and you’ll get a crystal clear picture of what I’m saying.

Publish on Kindle and Reap Your Rewards for Excellence

At the flip side, you’ll enjoy boatloads of buyers and positive customer reviews, day in and day out, if you do an excellent job.

And that’s what you must aim for. Nothing less.

Despite all the challenges that indie authors face, self-publishing is fun, rewarding and worth pursuing.

So… go on and get yourself dirty with Amazon’s great publishing opportunity.

If you’ve already done so, publish some more. The more you publish on Kindle, the better you get. The better you get, the better it is for your pocket!

Indie Authors Go Gaga over Self-Publishing

The-best-time-to-plant-aPeople from all walks of life tread to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Smashwords and other publishing platforms to have their books published.

Reading this, I bet that you are an indie author or an aspiring one.

You have something to say… and want to say them in written words through your self-published books!

Now, you are an indie author (or someday soon, would be).

Who wouldn’t want to be one?

The advent of self-publishing has indeed opened vast opportunities for you as an independent author to not only

  • express your thoughts, feelings or insights
  • share your stories or discoveries that can possibly change the world
  • be heard.

It has made it easier for you to position yourself or create a personal brand that would advance your business and/or career.

To top it all, you can make money from self-publishing with little money or by “mining” only your diligence, talents, knowledge, skills and experiences, connections or relationships and other resources that were there all along but didn’t take notice of.

Self-publishing has truly empowered people to do on their own what used to be the domain of traditional publishing companies.

It has revolutionized the book publishing industry and leveled the playing field.

Now, indie authors are in the same league as the big ones.

It doesn’t matter if you have the backing of a big company or not, whether you have much capital to invest or not, whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting down the road to writing and publishing.

Whether you’re old and dying or just a 7-year old kid… black-skinned, brown or white; male, female or LGBT.

Who cares who you are?

What matters is what you have to tell and bottle up in your self-published book.

If you haven’t started writing your book yet, now is the perfect time!

What’s holding you?

You can do it.

Please leave your comments below. I would love to hear from you!