stacked books with a tablet on top

10 Tips For Publishing Your First eBook on Amazon Kindle

I published my first eBook in April this year. Getting it from the ideation to publishing stage, was a superb learning experience. Publishing the eBook on Amazon Kindle taught me so much about the eBook publishing business, and (unexpectedly) made me a more confident writer.

stacked books with a tablet on top

Tips on Publishing on Amazon Kindle

Here’s what I learnt from writing and publishing my first eBook on Amazon Kindle. I hope you will take away something from my experience.

1. Choosing the topic

The topic of your eBook will depend on your motive for writing it. Do you want to write an eBook because you want to make money or do you want to share your knowledge? Ideally, the aim is to do both.

When I began researching my eBook topic, I realised that I should write about what people are looking for online and that I should write in a niche that does not have much existing material.

My eBook called ‘ Guide to Becoming a Freelance Writer-  How to Use Freelancing Websites to Source Content Writing Jobs and Make Money from Home‘  is on a topic that did not have many online searches in the Indian market. But it is my understanding that more and more Indians are looking for a work from home option, especially young mothers and able retirees, and I felt that my eBook will certainly help this section of people outsource their talent.

Also, when I looked online, there were plenty of native English writers who had written eBooks on freelancing websites, but very few well written consolidated guides existed from an Indian writers perspective.

2. Incorporate keywords

Having decided what topic you want to write on, search for keywords ( or phrases that people looking for that information may be using on search engines). Use these keywords in your eBook title, table of contents, subheadings within the eBook, and all through the content.  Also, ensure that your ebook description carries the right keywords.

3. Platform for publishing eBook

After a lot of research, I found out that Amazon Kindle was the simpler platform to use compared to Google Play, so I opted to use Kindle as the publishing route. And having gone through the different stages of publishing and eBook promotion on Kindle, I would recommend it to any first-time self-publisher.

4. Hire a professional for the cover design

People judge a book by the cover, and especially an eBook. I hired American graphic designer Christopher Trimble, who for a very affordable price gave me three to four cover design options. Once the design was finalised he also gave me free bonus images for promoting the eBook on social media. I will certainly use his design services again and recommend him to anyone looking for a professional graphic designer.

5. Formatting your eBook for Amazon Kindle

Ensure that the word document is ready to upload to Kindle. For instance, all images must be in the JPEG format.  Also, it’s advisable to compress the pictures to web resolution once pasted to reduce the digital size of your eBook.  You have to insert a ‘Bookmark’ that allows your readers to move up to the table of contents from anywhere in the book.

Formatting the eBook is easy. Use this link on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing on how to get your eBook published on this platform for free.

6. Write a book description that sells your eBook

Write an eBook description that immediately tells a prospective reader what it is about and why they should download/ buy it. Include an author bio to sell your credibility as the author. Let readers know why they should take the time to read your eBook.

You don’t have to be a roaring financial success for people to buy your eBook. The fact that you have gone through something similar, or made big mistakes and learnt from them, can be motivation enough for someone to download the eBook.

Think about it – if you have lost a job or gone through a bitter divorce and come out of that experience stronger, isn’t that something worth sharing? In my case, it was the transition from a banker to a freelance writer that I knew would resonate with others looking to make a career change.

7. Include a professional author photo

If it’s a self-help book, ensure that the author photo you upload to Amazon Kindle exudes confidence and professionalism.

8. Final editorial check before uploading

Before you upload your eBook on Amazon Kindle, read the document on a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet; this help you spot grammatical and typographical errors. Also, use tools such Grammarly and HemingwayApp to improve the ease of reading of the content.

9. Copyrights and Feedback Page

Place a Copyright page before the table of content stating the explicit ownership of all content. There are various formats in use; formats for eBooks by US authors tend to be a lot more elaborate. I found this basic version apt for my requirement.

Copyright © 2016 by Rhea Gaur

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced, or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

First Printing, 2016

For further information, contact

www.ladybirdink.net 

At the end of the eBook, encourage readers to leave feedback on Amazon Kindle. Also, include your website address so that they can contact you for more information.

10. Social media promotion

Social media promotion requires regular and targeted efforts.  You need to have enough content ( both type of content and volume of content) to create an online buzz, as well as be consistent with the quality of content.

If you have the funds, I suggest you hire a social media manager (SMM) to execute the online promotion strategy for your eBook. If like me you can’t afford an SMM, here are a few tips:

  • Have a social media strategy in place well before the launch date. Experts suggest at 90 to 60 days. But since I didn’t have the time to develop so much content, I started creating teasers only a month prior to the launch date.
  • Customise your existing business page, or create a new social media page, to promote your eBook. Use a social media cover showcasing your eBook.
  • Schedule posts about the eBook – Some posts could focus on why they should buy the eBook, and others can be about the contents of the eBook.
  • Create YouTube Videos – Talk about the chapters of your eBook. Building following on YouTube takes time, so if you can, start filming your videos several months ahead of launch.
  • Become active in social media groups on Facebook and LinkedIn –  Participate in conversations and offer help. Then when the time comes, post updates on your eBook with catchy images, tag lines, and contests.

Publishing an eBook on Amazon Kindle is an excellent calling card letting people know that you are confident about your knowledge in a given field.  Also, as I see it, publishing and selling eBooks on Amazon Kindle becomes easier with each book that you write.

So don’t put off the idea of writing an eBook any further. Start today by listing the table of contents and write the first chapter within the next one week. All the best.

 

 

Facebook-Business-Page

6 Tips on Launching Your Facebook Business Page

A Facebook business page is an excellent way to reach your existing and potential customers. You can share updates, sell products, and engage with people interested in your brand. If you are just starting out, here are a few tips on creating your Facebook Business Page.

Facebook is for every type of consumer business, regardless of your size and the product/ service you are selling. Business-to-business brands ( B2B) use Facebook as well, but probably not to the same effect as a business that is selling directly to the consumer.

Some Facebook pages seem to catch on like wildfire, especially ones that relate to popular topics like parenting, motherhood, baking and  DIY creative ideas. That’s because almost everyone is a parent at some stage in their life, and most of us want to learn new ways to cook food quickly.

If your product/ service does not fall in one of these traditional categories, don’t worry. Your Facebook page can still attract the intended audience.

When I started my Facebook page, I did not have a strategy. And I still don’t make a concerted effort to increase the number of followers. But if I have certainly learnt over the last one year, what works and what does not while maintaining a Facebook business page.

So here are my basic tips on creating your Facebook Business Page (FBP).

Facebook-Business-Page-Guide-011

1. Personalise your profile picture:  For a long time, I used my business logo as the profile picture on my FBP. Then one day, I took a still from a YouTube video I had created and posted that as the profile pic and voila!  All of a sudden, I saw a surge in the number of people outside my social network who became followers.

2. Hire someone to create a Facebook cover photo: The Facebook cover photo for a business page should look professional. You could try creating one with the help of free cover- image creation sites such as Canva, but I think it’s a much better idea to hire a graphic designer on Fiverr or on Upwork to create a few images that are the right resolution and format for Facebook.

3. Post and schedule updates before you invite people to like your page: I have seen friends start their FBP and immediately invite people within their network to like the page. Stop! Even though I am a friend, I will choose what information I want to be fed. So if I don’t see a clear ‘About Us’ description or a few Facebook posts to get an idea about the type of content you will be sharing, I am not going to like that page. Also, to ensure that you keep the momentum going, schedule posts on FB. You can choose the date and time of publishing.

4. Add an action button:   The action button is one of the business promotion tools available on your FBP. You could encourage users to ‘visit your website, watch a video, shop now, call now, contact us, play a game, sign up, request an appointment, or send an email.’

5. Videos perform better than text posts:  Create a few videos about your business, on information that’s of interest your 1, or your promotional offers. In my experience, video posts perform far better than text posts when you want to share something important with your followers.

6. Customise and personalise posts: Your FBP page is about you, but the content has to be tailored to the viewing interests of your target audience.  So don’t feed them content only because you liked reading or watching something. Personalise your posts to the extent possible to make your followers feel that it’s an individual ( with a personality) who is creating the posts and whom they can relate to that’s creating the post, and not someone sitting behind a business desk.

Your popular posts can also be converted to Facebook Ads. You get to choose how many days you want to run the campaign and how much money you want to spend. The exciting part here is that you get to test the demographics of the people you think may be interested in your content. Facebook gives your options of city, age, postcode, interests and gender to target ads.

Have you created your Facebook Business Page yet? If not, you could be missing out . Contact me for a free consult on your Facebook Business Page.

Guide to Becoming a Freelance Writer

Video Series on Using Freelancing Websites to Source Content Writing Jobs

Introducing the video series based on my eBook – Guide to Becoming a Freelance Writer

 

Guide to Becoming a Freelance Writer

Guide to Becoming a Freelance Writer

Those of you kind enough to follow my blog, must be wondering what’s with the silence? After all, there have been no blog posts updated here since the last one month. While I have been taking time off ( it’s the dreaded summer in India), I am happy to say that I haven’t been totally unproductive.

With the help of my nieces who were visiting from out-of-town, I have launched my YouTube Channel. It’s called – Ladybirdink Freelance Writer. So far I have updated five videos here, including an introductory presentation on the contents of my eBook.

The videos uploaded are:

  1. Using Freelancing Websites to Become a Freelance Writer 
  2. Freelance Writing as a Work from Home Option 
  3. Tips on Writing Content for the Web 
  4. Starting on Freelancing Websites – Two Easy Steps 
  5. Tips on Winning Projects on Freelancing Websites

If you like my tips on working as a freelance writer through content writing portals, then you may want to check out my eBook available on Amazon. It has loads of other tips on getting started, working with clients, safeguarding your interests, and ensuring that you get paid for your writing.

Also, watch out for the eBook countdown deal later this month where you can buy it at a discounted price. Read the eBook for FREE if you are a member of Amazon KDP Select.

So let me know what you think about the videos and the eBook, and I promise to be more regular with my blog.

 

 

3835160806_cd5fe8a581_o

The Risks and Rewards of Freelance Writing

As with any profession, freelance writing has its pros and cons. Before you quit your job to become a freelance writer, you need to understand what it’s like to be one.

It’s three years since I became a full-time freelance writer. I dabbled with freelance writing assignments for about two years before I quit my job.

I have no doubt in my mind that in freelancing writing I finally found what I was meant to be doing. I love working for me, and I am a happier person now than when I was as a banker earning the fat monthly cheque. Yet, I would be lying if I said all was hunky-dory. I do at times miss the comfort and security that come with holding a steady job.

Remember those times when you fell in love but were not sure whether the person was right for you or not, and you made a list of positives and negatives, to help you make a decision on the relationship? Well, that’s what I have done with my “love, but not so sure” relationship with freelance writing.

I hope the analysis will help you make a better decision about your pending decision to turn freelancer.

THE PROS OF BEING A FREELANCER

As a content writer bidding for jobs, it’s exciting to get a new contract, work with international clients, write for different businesses, earn in dollars while working from home, and to see your writing help businesses achieve their goals.

I no longer have to contend with long commutes to work, attend business meetings that seem never ending, or go through the dreaded annual appraisal. And oh did I mention the office politics?  That seemingly harmless colleague who is secretly harbouring a ‘pull you down’ agenda, well, there’s certainly none of that. I choose whom I want to work with and how much work I want to take on.

Enterprise mobility may still be a nascent initiative in many companies, but  I already enjoy that as a freelance writer. All I need is a computer and an internet connection. Web-based applications such as Writebox and Dropbox give me access to my work files from any computer. I can work from anywhere and anytime, which really suits me as a young mother and an Army wife. All this while having minimum overhead expenses.

Freelancing is exciting. There is always something to do or learn. When I am not working, I am busy looking for new work and catching up with old clients. I am always learning new ways to improve as a writer and online marketer. I now have a much better grasp of various facets of business,  especially when it comes to product development, branding, and social media management.

Doing my own thing gives a satisfaction that no 9 to 5 job can match. Come to think of it I always had a hard time truly agreeing with the approach the boss would take; I’d much rather do things my way. Wouldn’t you?

THE CONS OF BEING A FREELANCER

When you choose to become a freelancer on the World Wide Web, you take on the challenge of competing on a global stage. You compete with freelance writers from North America, Asia, Australia, Africa and Europe. The bidding war revolves around each writer’s skills, experience, price and proposed delivery date.

With the thrill of being a business owner, comes added responsibility. You are the strategist, salesperson, marketer, social media specialist, customer service, and operations specialist. You have to know it all and do it all.

You are continually seeking new clients and trying to bring in more work from existing clients. You are lucky if your sales pitch conversion rate is more than eight to ten percent of customers.

Saturday and Sunday are no longer sanctimonious as days where you can take off. There are days of no work, followed by days where there is more work than you can So you work when you have to, which may include weekends. Yes, there is greater flexibility for fulfilling personal commitments, but time is as scarce as ever. As a freelance writer, you are multitasking for most of your work day and time just flies. You need to cross-check your planner continuously for delivery schedules, making sure you stay on track.

Quitting the comfort of a well-paying job to start your venture is fraught with uncertainties. As a freelance writer, if you aren’t working, you aren’t earning.

3835160806_cd5fe8a581_o

So should you jump on the freelancing bandwagon? Having weighed the pros and cons of life as a freelancer, this is a question that only you can answer. Although you will receive well-meaning advice from family and friends, it has to be ultimately your call. If you can cope with the ‘uncertainty’ of how much you will earn by when (especially in the initial phase), then freelance writing offers you an exciting opportunity to be the captain of your ship. But, if you aren’t motivated enough to stay focused and work all by yourself, then you will find the going rough in the turbulent world of freelance writing.