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Writing Your Bulletproof Kindle Description

If your goal is to get your book in front of as many readers as possible, developing your description is an essential part of the process. It is important for two primary reasons. First, it is your opportunity to include keywords that potential readers might be searching and second, it is your chance to entice readers who were interested enough to look further at your title page. This is your chance to make the potential reader feel excited to read your book. It is also your chance to lose that reader if you don’t take the time this section deserves.

Lets preface the instruction with a couple of points to note. First, writing strong copy can make a difference, but I will provide you with a template to help you through this process. Secondly, HTML to effectively format your text is crucial, but I will provide the only HTML you’ll need in your description so don’t be overwhelmed. It should also be noted that if you do not want to endure this process it can be outsourced which I’ve done through fiverr.com. I do recommend, however, if you have limited funds and need to be selective in how you spend your money (which most people are) that you should allocate money in marketing and promotions before you spend it to outsource your description.

To help you see what a description should look and sound like, lets take a look at an sample (from my book The Declutter Formula):

The Ultimate Guide to Decluttering Your Home and Taking Back Your Life

Are You Ready For an Easy Formula That Will Get Rid of Clutter and Keep Your Home Clean?

If you are done with clutter, tired of having stuff everywhere, and ready to take back your life, this is the book for you. Home organizational expert and author Michael Marani shows you step-by-step how to reduce the mess and get rid of the clutter that is filling your living space.

Research has consistently shown a strong link between a clean living space and a happy, low stress life. You may not feel it consciously, but clutter eats away at your sense of control, increases stress, and can dramatically affect your health and that of your family.

Inside this book you will learn:

  • Where to begin
  • How to remove the excess from your life
  • The best ways to cut down on the amount of paper you have around
  • How to find a place for everything
  • The power of a project list
  • What to do with miscellaneous items
  • The best ways to deal with common trouble areas
  • How to change your habits
  • How to keep living a clutter free life
  • And Much More

You didn’t accumulate everything in your home in a single day. Instead, clutter, is the evidence of a pattern of bad habits and disorganization. This book does more than simply show you how to clean your space. It shows you how to change your life so that you will never live a cluttered life ever again.

The sooner you get a copy of this book, the sooner you will feel the sense of peace and accomplishment only a clutter free home can bring.

Don’t Wait Another Second. Get Your Copy of The Declutter Formula Right Now.

Note the different size in fonts and formatting. This is a result of the HTML you’ll learn shortly. Before you look at that though lets look at the parts of the description so we can create a template for you to follow when you develop yours.

First line states what the book will provide and/or what problem will be solved.

Second line asks a question that prompts a potential reader to question whether or not they are interested in what the book is providing.

Next two paragraphs introduce the author and also state some signs that the problem is occurring (i.e. “If you are done with clutter, tired of stuff everywhere, etc.). Then imperative need to read the book is set when you read “Research has consistently shown a strong link between a clean living space and a happy, low stress life.” In other words, I’m not just offering strategies to clean your house, but I’m offering an opportunity to reduce stress.

To clarify, at this point we have focused on convincing the potential reader of the need to read the book. The next phase is offering a nice and neat list of what a reader will learn by the time he or she finishes the book. Followed by another paragraph or two that reminders the potential reader of the need beyond just cleaning up.

At this point we close the description with a strong call to action that incorporates a sense of urgency. We’re not saying to buy it when they’re ready, we’re politely saying stop procrastinating and buy it now!

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The Proper eBook Length

I’m often asked about the optimum Kindle eBook length should be. Unfortunately, a clear cut answer does not exist. However, it is possible to identify a range but before we do it is crucial to express the strong need to focus first on quality and second on length. In other words, depending on your writing style, readers can be entertained or helped with a low or high amount of words if in fact quality content is provided.

Assuming quality is the first priority I would suggest that a non-fiction be approximately 15,000 to 30,000 words. This is not a rule, rather a common range among helpful non-fiction books. If you are writing fiction then unless you’re selling a quick read, I would suggest a 30,000 word count minimum. Assuming you don’t have too many images or tables and your font is standard, it is reasonable to estimate that 250 words will generate a Kindle page.

When considering what your book length to aim for keep in mind that more pages has greater potential to earn you slightly more income. Again, it is imperative to reiterate that excessive words purely aimed at increasing the word count will not be helpful for you or your reader.

The greater revenue potential is caused by the Kindle Edition Normalized Pages (KENP), which is the amount of pages read  by customers who borrow your book from Kindle Unlimited (KU) and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL). Each page read equates to a fraction of a penny so a book with a low amount of pages is less likely to derive significant royalties through this source. Conversely, a novel that is 100,000 words and can successfully hook readers until the end can offer great additional royalty potential.

Before closing, I’d like to add that for me personally the only time word count matters is when I set a goal to complete a certain amount of words within a writing session. Most of my writing sessions require 1000 words before stopping, however, I would not continue within one particular section of a book until I reached that number. Moreover, if my writing session brought me to my book’s conclusion then I’d shift focus to hiring an editor rather than adding more words to meet my 1000 word writing session quota. In other words, I never focused on adding words for the sake of increasing my word count.

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Four Approaches To Design Your Book Cover

There are a variety of approaches and methods to design your book cover, so if you attempt the upcoming four options and you do not meet much success then keep going. Do not quit. There are plenty of options that can come from a simple Google search, so just keep pushing ahead, step by step.

Option #1Canva.com. If you’re on a budget and/or have a creative eye Canva.com is the most user friendly design platform to help a novice designer create his or her own book cover. It offers both free images and images for $1.00. It is free to sign up so the only expenses you will have will be based on the amount of premium images, designs, and fonts that you pick, but each cover will not cost you more than $5.00.

Option #2Fiverr.com. You’re probably beginning to see that I use and recommend Fiverr quite a bit. That would be an accurate observation because I use it all the time. Quite honestly it is the first site I go to when I’m unsure about a specific task that I need to have done. It is always relatively cheap, quick, and hassle free (I’m not an affiliate). Do a search for “Kindle ebook cover designers” and you’ll see a great deal of options. To avoid multiple purchases, be sure to hire work from a seller who offers free revisions and be sure to specify that it is for Kindle. You want to be sure that the image is the standard dimensions.

Option #3Etsy.com, Elance.com, Upwork.com, 99Designs.com. These options are helpful because they allow for greater customization. Typically the designers that you find in these platforms are a bit more skilled than the average designer that you might find on Fiverr, but this will cost a premium. I personally have one designer that I occasionally turn to and she charges me $35.00 for a book cover. The nice part about paying a little more is that it justifies your right to be a little more picky and detail orientated when you review your first drafts.

Option #4Archangelink.com. Essentially if you just want an awesome cover produced by professionals check out Archangelink.com. A bit pricey at $199, but if you can afford it I highly recommend it. I know a lot of authors who use Archangel Ink for a variety of services they offer and it just seems like these authors always end up selling a ton of books. Sure, the cover isn’t the only factor, but if the successful authors are using them and you have the budget, I recommend it.

Between these four options you should be good to go but I want to caution you that you should avoid beginning this process before you complete your title and subtitle. I remember when I first started self-publishing I got so excited about a book idea that I had that I started to have my cover designed prematurely. Needless to say, I ended up with a cover with an outdated title and subtitle. This isn’t a big deal if you’re using canva.com and paying only a few dollars, but any more than that is inefficient business.

With that being said let us take a minute to recap what we have covered so far. At this point we should be comfortable following the steps to creating a book title and maintaining certain criteria when developing the subtitle. Remember there is nothing wrong with looking at other books to help you develop an understanding of the appropriate format just be sure to avoid doing what everybody else is doing. Your goal is to stand out and peak a potential reader’s curiosity. That is going to happen with a creative book cover and a strong title subtitle combination.

Once you feel like you have a solid foundational understanding of the outside of the book along with your completed draft, there are some additional components that can be placed in your book to help grow an audience and increase the income potential. Beyond these items we’re also going to cover some typical book components that most readers scan right over and first time authors might forget, but are still very important to include.

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Product Review: Sentey LS-4560 B-trek H9 Headphones

As we attempt to perfect our writing process it is essential to reflect upon the setting. More specifically, we need to assess whether or not we can sit down and write and not only avoid distraction but ideally reach a zone that enables us to create high quality content in a short amount of time.

It goes without saying that this is very difficult to do, but it doesn’t mean we stop trying.

One of the factors we need to consider when creating a setting conducive to efficient writing is the sounds we hear when we’re writing.

Enter the Sentey LS-4560 B-trek H9 Headphones.

Headphones 1

I recently received that as a Christmas present from my wife. Before this I had been using the standard Apple earbuds that come with iPhone purchases. These were adequate, however, outside of blocking external noise it didn’t seem to be overly helpful.

Advantages

  1. Comfort. The leather material that surrounds your ear feels great against your skin as opposed to an earbud stuck in the ear for an hour or more. Headphone Buttons
  2. Bluetooth connection. While I type on my computer, I connect to my phone via Bluetooth, which means no annoying wires. An added bonus with a wireless connection is that whether you have to go to the bathroom or you need a refill of water, the headphones stay on which means less chance of being distracted in the process.
  3. Reasonably priced. Though I received them as a gift, these headphones cost just under $40.00. Compared to the majority of the competition this price is very affordable.                                               Headphones Package
  4. Easy storage. You can see in the image above that the headphones come with a shell shaped case. The headphones fold up and fit in perfectly. These go right in my nightstand for easy access whenever inspiration strikes and I have time to immediately begin writing. This is also known as the stars aligning.

Despite these advantages it is important to point out that these particular headphones do come with some negative attributes as well.

Disadvantages 

  1. Lacks noise cancellation. Personally, I have not used headphones with a noise cancellation feature, but this product does not offer such a feature. I have to assume that this would maximize efficiency throughout the writing process by better helping prevent potential distraction.
  2. Microphone is next to worthless. I do not use the headphones to conduct phone conversations, but if I’m writing and I receive a call that I have to answer, I want to be able to seamlessly answer the phone, have the conversation, and get back to writing. The two conversations I attempted to have while using these headphones resulted in me disconnecting the headphones, using the phone normally, then reconnecting to the headphones upon hanging up. Not a huge issue but an issue nonetheless.
  3. USB charger only. Though the battery life can last for up to 8 hours, when I want to charge them I have to plug directly into my computer as opposed to an AC wall outlet.

Overall 

For the price these headphones are excellent and far exceed my needs. I strongly recommend this product to any writer seeking the isolation feeling to maximize writing efficiency. I should note that though the sound quality seems be perfectly adequate, I am not an audiophile and therefore couldn’t tell you if it is produces a dramatically different sound compared to competition.

Hope this helps. Happy writing!

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Three Phases of Editing for Self-Publishers

Three Phases of Editing for Self-Publishers
I need to preface this section by acknowledging that there plenty of resources that explain the formal editing process depending on your platform (book, newspaper, magazine, etc.). This section is intentionally informal. I’m going to discuss with you the three rounds of editing that I take when I complete the first draft of any one of my books. These phases are debatable and it is very possible that you could find many other successful self-published authors that take a different approach. To each is own, however, I’m going to share with you what has worked for me in the most affordable yet professional way possible.
Three Phases of Editing for Self-Publishers-2
Phase 1 – Flow, Tone, and Structure. During this phase it is important to have this reviewed done by an editor that does not know you personally. To clarify, most of your readers will not know you personally, therefore it is important that the person who is assigned the task of interpreting the tonality of your words is somebody who can’t hear your voice as he/she reads it. Despite this, it is helpful to have a consistent editor who understands the tone you strive to maintain throughout your work. In other words, avoid having a friend or family member handle this portion of your work but once you find a strong editor during this phase try to keep him/her for you future books.
The goal of Phase 1 is to make sure that your book is written in a sequence that makes sense for your reader. For example, this book could begin with the creation of the KDP account, however, as the author of this book I believe that if you approach this section too early it can actually become overwhelming and cause people to quite. Therefore, the sequence of topics and the transition from one to the next play a crucial role in the overall effectiveness of your book.
This phase also covers any sentence or paragraph that doesn’t sound quite right and could possibly take the reader in an unintended direction. Lastly, this phase should help assess and firm up the overall voice and appearance of the book. In other words, do you as the author want the book to sound like a friend might be sharing this information or maybe a lecturer? Whether it is one of those two or a completely different tone it is important to appreciate the difference the tone can make on the reader and therefore the significance of keeping the tone consistent throughout the entire book. As far as appearance, you want to make sure that section separations or bulleted lists for example are done in an organized and consistent way.
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Phase 2 – Word Choice, Redundancy, Transitions, and Grammar.  Now that you have the tone and sequence figured out from Phase 1, you’re ready to have your word choice looked at a bit more closely. The first draft of a book can take a long time to write. It is very difficult to determine if you’ve used certain language redundantly and transitioned from one section to the other effectively and efficiently.
This phase should also cover anything else that the first editor may have missed in regards to a phrase, sentence, or paragraph that might be sending mixed or confusing messages. In addition, the Phase 2 editor should be looking out for grammatical issues.
Three Phases of Editing for Self-Publishers-4
Phase 3 – Grammar. The final editing phase that makes the book go from unprofessional to professional. Up to this point your first editor may have made some grammatical changes and your second editor definitely should have made a significant amount of grammatical repairs. The editor during the third phase should be going through your book with a magnifying glass and making sure that all grammar concerns are repaired.
A couple of points that should be noted before discussing strategies to find effective editors. First, inform the editor during phase one that any grammatical errors noticed should be corrected, however, he/she does not need to seek them out. Second, be sure to make it clear to all editors that you want them to make the necessary repairs. What you want to avoid is receiving a document with highlighted unprepared errors. Third, if possible you should be reading through the revised version in between each phase, however, if you find yourself stalling to move from one phase to the next because you haven’t had time to sit down and read it yourself then just send the revised version the the editor within the upcoming phase. Fourth, if you can afford it or you know somebody who is willing to help you out, have two editors complete the third phase. Start with one editor and relay the revised version to a second editor with the same goals. Fifth, read the book out loud after the third phase before publishing. Make changes as you go.
Sixth and finally, no matter how many editors and phases you go through  you will be nervous when it comes time to publish. You’ll likely feel like it isn’t high quality. Remember, the beauty of eBooks is the ability to easily upload revised versions, so even an error falls through the editing cracks you can still make the necessary repairs. The point is, avoid sitting on an unpublished book.
Do what you need to go and get the book published!