An Interview with Eric Lass on How to Make Money with Kindle Books
In this episode of the podcast, I’m joined by Eric Lass of Shuckabuck.com as we talk about how he’s rapidly growing his passive income stream by creating and selling Kindle ebooks on Amazon.
This is a business that I knew very little about, so hearing what Eric had to say was a huge eye opener. If you are worried about all the changes that Google has been rolling out as of late and want to discover an alternative source of passive income, this podcast is definitely for you!
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After graduation college in 2006, Eric soon realized that he hated working for other people, and so he set out to create his own online business starting in 2008.
Success did not come easily or swiftly, however, with persistance and creativity, Eric was eventually able to make the transition to full-time online business owner and today he enjoys a rapidly increasing stream of passive income from his portfolio of niche sites and Kindle ebooks.
In this Session We Discuss:
- The Kindle ebook business
- How to research the marketplace
- How to outsource ebook creation
- How to market your ebook
- Purchase Eric’s eBook (discount code: OIL)
OIL 22: An Interview with Eric Lass on Making Money with Kindle Books
Trent Dyrsmid: Hey everybody! This is Trent Dyrsmid here with the Online Income Lab podcast session no. 22. And man oh man in this one we’re gonna be talking about something I have never talked about before. On the show with me is the author, I guess author is the right term, author of quite a number of, and he’ll clarify if I’m making that wrong or explaining that wrong rather. of a number of kindle ebooks, selling a lot of kindle books. So we’re gonna be talking about how to make money with kindle books. And my guest on this episode his name is Eric Lass. So Eric, welcome to the show.
Eric Lass: Hey Trent! Thanks for having me.
T: No problem at all. So Eric and I, just so you know listeners, we were introduced through a third party and this fellow Shaun said “Trent, you gotta get this guy, Eric, on your show. He’s doing really, really well with kindle books which is something that, you know, not many people are, at least that I know or should say no one that I know is doing. And so for my own purposes I became incredibly curious to figure out what is this guy doing. How much money is he making? Is it hard to do? Can other people do it? And so Shaun thought it would be an excellent podcast or he would be an excellent podcast guest and so I got in touch with Eric and he agreed to come on the show and here we are.
So Eric, just before we get in to the whole business of making money with kindle books maybe just, coz I want my listeners to understand that what you’re doing is doable by somebody else. So what’s a little bit about your background? Where did you go to college? Where did you study? What did you do after school? You know, kinda how did you get to this whole internet marketing thing?
E: Okay. Well I went to college at the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh and I graduated in 2006 with a 2 degrees in economics and another one in finance. And I went on to manage a retail store right out of college. And I didn’t like that too much after about 6 months, I get bored at the job so me and my dad started a drying company where we dried seeds and powders and things like that and sold it to suppliers and people who made products out of those dried materials. That didn’t last either, pretty much went bankrupt in about 9 or 10 months.
So after that I went to work for a finance company as a financial rep and again after about 6 months so I learned everything that I could learn in that job. And when I started at that finance job it was an AIG company and that’s when the whole AIG thing came out and the government was doing the bail outs. Well it was like one year to the day where they laid me off from there. They were closing a bunch of branches in the state and luring a bunch of people around and I was just cut out.
And then while I was in that job I started looking at internet marketing, creating websites and trying to make a profit from those. At first I started looking at what John Chow was doing. I’m sure a lot of your viewers know about John Chow. And I started a website shuckabuck.com that talk about poker because I was really into poker at that time and I played a lot in college. And I’ve played since I was 12 really with friends and family. So I started that and found out about keyword research about 6 months after that. I think I wrote like a 180 articles myself in that 6 months and didn’t make a dime.
T: Wait a minute. You wrote 180 articles not knowing about keyword research? You’re just like randomly?
E: Yes sir.
T: Ooh okay. So that didn’t work very well.
T: Thanks John.
E: That’s what I said. I was mad at him forever. And then.
T: I don’t think he listens to my podcasts folks so he’s not gonna care.
E: Right. Yeah after that I found Allyn Hane. He used to have a website called the bloggerillustrated.net I think. And I was talking with him and found out I should be targeting keywords and stuffs like that. A month later I made my first sale I think it was $24 in the commission. So I started building up websites targeting keywords basically just like what you teach.
T: And you started to make some money?
T: Cool. So how does it go from, where does, how many websites did you build? And how many of them you still have? Then where and how did kindle get into these? Coz you know it’s not, they’re kind of different things.
E: Yeah okay.
T: And by the way this is what you do for full time living now, is that correct?
T: Okay. So no more jobs to get fired from. No more crappy bosses.
E: Yeah I did leave a job out of there. After that financial company laid me off I took another job and about 6 months later they moved me up in a position and I didn’t like it. And they eventually fired me for not showing up so…
T: Funny how they’ll do that. They’re just “you know if you’re not gonna come to work we’re not gonna employ you.”
E: Yeah I still feel kinda bad about that but I think a lot of people would say that getting fired or losing a job was the best thing that ever happened to me kind of thing. If they go on and start a business from that but from there I was, where was I? I have about 50 worth of sites. And I started from 2008 until today.
I haven’t started a new site in probably 7 or 8 months but one of my friend from Milwaukee sent me a link on facebook on December of last year 2011. And it was with a guy making $30,000 a month selling kindle books. And I thought it was just like kind of scam type of thing coz you see that all over the place. But I listened in on the webinar anyway and he was teaching how to create a like from start to finish, do the research and all that kind of stuff. And his research was using keywords which was fine and trying to rank that page for google for your kindle book page on google. And I thought it was a great idea because Amazon has such a high authority in the search engines. So I wrote my first book. It was like a how to type keyword and it just tanked.
T: Well yeah I guess people would go direct to Amazon and type in the search box there.
E: Yeah exactly. So after the first book I did some research and found out that people don’t actually buy books from google. I mean it’s pretty, I should have known that from the beginning but they buy them from the best seller list pretty much especially with kindle devices. I don’t even have a kindle device so I don’t really know exactly how people search for books on there. But the best seller list and promoting with the free promotion that Amazon gives you really helps with everything. There’s no, you don’t need to do keyword research at all. You don’t need to have a domain or a website. It’s just all Amazon.
T: Very cool. Oh man at least I can tell you how I buy on Amazon. I buy a lot of books. I go to Amazon, I type in kind of like the topic that I’m looking for, I look in the category and you’re right and then I look in best sellers and just see what’s there that’s kinda close to relevant to what I think I’m looking for. And if it is I read a little bit, table of contents, maybe some of the reviews and yap if it’s only 5 to 10 bucks or less I buy it.
E: Yap exactly.
T: Alright. So do you make more money now from kindle or from your websites?
E: Oh that’s probably about 60/40, 60% to my sites, 40 to kindle.
T: Kindle, okay. And which do you put more time and effort into developing for the future?
E: Websites I would guess just because it only takes up more of my time. What I’m seeing is, since I’ve only been publishing since January of this year I found that you know the books keep selling no matter what. I mean I haven’t done anything to my first 5 books except upload them mid-January, late January and they’ve been selling ever since.
T: So it’s very passive.
E: Extremely passive yeah.
T: We like that. Oh we like that. If I had a sound board here that made sound effects now I’d likely hit the applause button or maybe like a harp sound (makes a harp sound).
Alright so let’s, before we dive into the how to do this because that’s the whole point of this podcast is to explain to people “hey, here’s an opportunity. Here’s how you do it.” I wanna talk about something that is super duper important. The psychology behind the success. What I mean by that is what is it that happened to your head to make you believe that you can do this? And when I say this I mean make money online, I don’t mean just kindle books.
T: That kept you going in the face of, and I read on your blog lots of failures in the beginning, coz everybody, I mean the sad truth is and it’s not just in the internet marketing business, it’s in any sales or small business, the vast majority of people aren’t successful. They simply, they get the first hurdle and when this isn’t gonna work and they give up. And when they go by somebody else’s course that has another shiny object and another easy button and years go by and they never make 10 cents but boy oh boy they spend on tons of money on courses.
T: Doesn’t have to be that way. And the people who come on my show and myself are examples of that not happened. What happened in your head to keep you going? When? A 180 articles and you made nothing but you didn’t give up. Why?
E: Why? Well the main reason for me personally is just because I cannot see myself working, going to a job at 8:00 or 9:00 or whatever and coming home at 5 for 30 or 40 years.
E: I just can’t. When you think about that it’s just why would you do that if you don’t want to do that with your life. For me I don’t even know if it’s just that just working at the same job. It’s just I want the freedom to do whatever I want kind of thing. And that’s what keeps me motivated in this internet game I guess.
E: But… go ahead.
T: It’s exactly the same thing for me. You said some really keywords there and so listeners I hope that you more than anything in this podcast take this to heart. What drives entrepreneurs is, this is an expression for it but I guess I’ll give the expression, if you’re willing to do what other people aren’t willing to do, you will be able to do what other people can’t do. For me the drive comes from, if you can build a life for yourself as a owning your own business you will have choices that other people in the world simply do not have. How you’re gonna spend your time? Where you’re gonna be? Where you wanna live? How much you want vacation? The car you wanna drive? On and on… you’re gonna have the plethora of choices that are simply not available to the rest of the population and for me that’s my big WHY. Like if you’re gonna be successful at something you need to have a super compelling reason why you’re going to do the work every single day to get yourself towards that goal. And that’s kinda what I was fishing for as what your why was.
E: Right. I’ve had people, just to add to what you’re saying, I’ve had people ask me what I do for a living and I usually just tell them I’m a spammer coz they don’t understand anyway. But I tell them about my business and they’re like “so you just work from home all the time?”. I”m like “yeah” and they’re like, they usually say something like “man, I can never do that.”
E: And then I ask where they work and they’re working on an assembly line for 10 hours a day or something. And I”m like “I don’t know how you can do that!”
E: It sounds like the worst thing ever. I mean I don’t wanna say that to their face and make them feel bad but yeah that’s pretty much my motivation as just that – not having to do something I don’t wanna do.
T: Correct. I got a better answer for you when they ask you what you do. You have an online publishing and training company.
E: Yes. I have a book publishing company.
T: Coz that’s what you do. You publish content and then you have a blog and you wrote this whole ebook that we’re gonna talk about later that teaches people how to make money with kindle books.
Alright so with all that said (drum roll sound) I”m to jump into and let’s talk about kindle books. Somebody knows nothing, nothing, nothing and they say “hey man, this guy Eric, he’s onto something really cool. I wanna do that too.” What do I gotta do first?
E: Okay well the first thing, I’ve already said this before but the first thing you have to realize is how, where, why people buy kindle books. Obviously the kindle is pretty popular. I think they are selling 1 million kindle devices weekly in the month of December of 2011. So that’s just tells you how many kindle devices are out there, lots bought it. I wanna say people type in they use Amazon as their search engine for books but they also use the best sellers list.
T: On Amazon?
E: On Amazon yap. So actually let me pull up Amazon.com quick on my computer just so I don’t miss anything up. So if you go to books in kindle books on Amazon and then look at the best sellers list on the left side.
T: Okay so I’m in the kindle store, kindle books, new releases, departments, average customer reviews. Why am I not seeing best seller list?
E: If you hover over shot by department and then go to books and then go to kindle books. And then on the left side it’ll say best sellers.
T: No it takes me to the kindle store.
E: Right. Do you have a list of categories there?
T: Yeah departments, kindle store, kindle books, fiction, non-fiction, advise how to.
E: Okay that should be right. Does it say Amazon best sellers at the top?
T: No badly enough. Anyway we don’t need to slow the podcast. People will figure this out. They’ll be smarter than me.
E: Right. So there’s a bunch of categories on the left side and pretty much what I do is think of something I’m interested in or I know a lot about or I wanna do more research in or pretty much I wanna write about something. I’m gonna go into, what’s that I’m looking at? Something like dog training which is like the, I don’t know why I was looking at it but I was looking at the category dog training, I don’t even know how to get there right now but you’d basically click on a category and drill down until you get to the last like the bottom most category and just look at the books that are selling there. So if you click on like the no. 1 book in a category you can scroll down and see the sales rank data. You can see the reviews and all that kind of stuff. But what you wanna look at is the Amazon best seller rank.
T: Okay so let’s look at, I’ve been scrolling down here and I’m in this book called The 17 Day Diet. Alright so let’s scroll that down.
E: Right under product details?
T: Yap. Amazon best seller rank no. 270 in paid kindle store. See top 100 paid in kindle store. Maybe that’s the best seller list you’re trying to commit to earlier.
E: Probably yap.
T: Yeah best sellers in the kindle store. Ah don’t know why I couldn’t find it earlier.
E: So the best seller list is where you wanna do your research.
E: Because these are books that are already selling so you know…
T: There’s demand.
E: There’s demand. People are buying what’s there so that’s where I start my research from.
T: Okay so walk me through the process. Coz the very first thing that pops into my mind is I’m looking on the Hunger Games which was totally awesome and all those stuffI”m thinking “oh I couldn’t write that.” So how do you get around that limiting? Like what do you, what are you looking for specifically here?
E: I am looking for a category where I can, where books are selling and it’s easy to get into the top 100 in that category.
T: Okay so can you try and walk me through that here?
E: Yap if you are in the top 100.
T: Yap. Top 100 paid and top 100 free.
E: Of a specific category, not just a kindle store.
T: Okay so now I gotta figure out how to do that. So how would I go, going from the kindle store looking at the best sellers how do I find…
E: Kindle… is there like kindle books, kindle ebooks under that?
T: It says kindle store, kindle blogs, kindle ebooks, kindle magazines, yeah.
E: Click on kindle ebooks.
T: Ebooks okay.
E: And I’ll just walk you through, I’m clicking advise and how to.
E: And then there’s more under that. Let’s do, this is the one I usually like, go over exercise and fitness.
E: And then running and jogging.
T: Okay. Alright.
E: Alright. So you’ll see the top 100 paid there. There’s no free books in this category and I can talk about that later.
E: But you click on the first book.
T: Want to Run?
E: Want to Run.
E: Scroll down to the product details.
T: Yeah no. 521.
E: 521 that’s extremely high. I had one of my books selling around the no. 1,000 rank and it was selling between 80 and 120 books a day.
T: Okay so the rule of thumb, no. 1 – if you’re shooting for anywhere in the top 1000 is pretty awesome.
E: That’s yeah.
T: Overall. And then if I’m understanding what you’re explaining to me you’re trying to pick some drill down categories like this book has where it’s no. 1 in 3 different target drill down categories, is that correct?
E: When I’m doing my research all I look at is the best seller rank at first.
E: So we got no. 521. All you need to know for now is that the book is selling. So there’s a lot of books in this category that are selling.
E: Let’s go to no. 10. Back up and go to no. 10.
T: Okay and that’s Marathon – The Ultimate Training Guide. Okay.
E: Yap and that one’s rank is around 10,000.
E: So that one’s, these are rough numbers coz they update it hourly and you know that kind of stuff but that’s probably selling 20-28 copies a day or yeah 20-28 copies a day.
T: How do you, where do you get the 20-28 copies from based upon the ranking of 10,058?
E: I’m getting them off of my own books.
E: I’ve had books in the 1,000 range, the 5,000. I’ve had ones sitting at the 10,000 to 15,000 and I have ones all the way down to 80,000. So I’m just getting this off of the numbers that I get from my own books.
T: Okay and so going back and I wanna write this down, I didn’t. The one that was ranked about 500 and something rather, 512, how many a day do you think that one would be selling?
E: Minimum 120.
E: But I haven’t had a book that high so I can’t really tell you exact numbers.
T: And what price point would that be like 99 cents, 2 bucks, 3 bucks?
E: Well the price point depends on your competition, that’s where I look at. So if you’re gonna be posting in the running and jogging category I would look at, okay so the no. 1 book is a $10 book. The 2nd one is $2, $5, $14, $10, $10. Most of these books are pretty high.
E: So you would probably be fine starting out at the $2.99 mark testing that price point and then changing it later because you can do that in your kindle direct publishing kdp account.
E: Pretty quickly.
E: So you can test all price points but this category is selling pretty high so I wouldn’t be surprised if you could sell a book for 6, 7, 8 bucks.
E: So I try to get the numbers for the no. 1 and the no. 10 then I go to the no. 20 and grab that just to make sure that there’s no like huge drop off. Look at this one. And there it is, it’s sitting at 15,000 in best seller rank.
T: Hey I’m hearing that click, click, click is that you clicking your pen?
E: Oh yeah I’m sorry.
T: Okay thanks.
E: I’d put that down.
T: So sorry. Back at …
E: So it’s at 15…
T: Yeah which one did you just look at?
E: The no. 20, it’s a Half Marathon title.
T: Okay. So you wanna make sure that when you’re looking at no. 20 it’s not ranked like a 150,000 or something like that?
T: Coz that would mean that only the top 2 or 3 books are selling where as 3 up to the top 20, this one’s down to 15,000 and there’s diversity. People are buying lots of different books, not just the top 2 books.
E: Yap. And you have to realize that people usually buy more than 1 book in a category. I’m guessing especially in this category. I mean it looks like a lot of marathon, running type of books, so I’m guessing maybe people would buy maybe 2 or 3 books from this category. So that’s basically how I do my research. I just make sure that the top 20 books are selling and then to note how to get in to the top 100 I just go to the 100th book.
T: Okay so let’s do that. So that’s gonna be page 81 to the 100th so book no. 100 Chicken Soup for the Soul Runners. And it’s 73,507.
E: Yap. I’d like to see over 100,000 over the 100th book just because it would take about 1 book to get into the top 100 and it will take one sale.
E: With this one it might take 2 or 3 but there are a lot of books being sold in this category so it’s a pretty good one. I would definitely, if you know something about it or hire the right writer to write your book you could definitely sell books in this category.
T: Okay. So is that the next step in your, let’s say that now we’ve done some research, we’ve hit the criteria that we’ve just talked about which is you wanna see that the books are selling. You wanna see that it’s not just the top 2 or 3 books. And then you wanna look at the 100th book to make sure that ideally it would be ranked over a 100,000 coz then that would tell you that you’d have a pretty good shot in getting in to the top 100 even with just a single sale. Did I understand all that correctly?
T: What happens next? You then think I’m gonna write a book on running. Now what?
E: Now it’s, this is gonna seem funny but I go back to the top 20 or the top 100 and I just look at the first page of the top 20 books.
E: So I see no. 20 is half marathon, we got a barefoot running book, train like a mother, how to get across any finish line and not lose your family, job or sanity so I’m guessing that’s finding time to run, something like that. Guide to runners, Daniel’s running formula, marathon again and you just look through and see what type of theme people are looking for. So something in marathon running or something in, I really like the idea of how to train for a marathon, you know, without losing your family, job or sanity, that type of book. You know, finding time to run, how to run even if you’re busy type of thing and I just go through the top 20 books and basically use some little creativity and come up with a title for the book.
E: I usually write down about 5 titles before I choose one.
T: Okay. Alright. And then how do you choose your one title out of the 5? Cut?
E: Whichever one, I like brandable titles. Let me think of an example. I’m in the business and investing category I think I have one in careers and the first 3 words of the book are kinda like the brand and it’s like land that job.
T: Can we pull that book up?
T: What’s the title?
E: I think you can just type in my net job at Amazon. In the first one the ultimate guide to answering interview questions.
T: This coming from the guy who didn’t have jobs?
E: Yes sir.
T: Alright. So you did that. That’s good, nice cover, good looking cover. You got a pen name Stacy Michelle.
T: It’s your pseudonym?
T: Okay so you came up with, we’ll get into the stats and stuff later. So you find, why did you choose this title?
E: I chose it because it stands out. It gets people’s attention.
E: It might be intriguing. Something like that. You want something that gets the attention of the searcher or the browser and something that’s intriguing or entertaining or funny or whatever. Something that will just grab the attention of the potential buyer.
T: Okay. Now is this one of your, how many different ebooks have you published or kindle books rather have you published?
T: Okay. Does the 80/20 rule apply? Are 20% of your books making 80% of the sales? Or is it kinda evenly spread among the 8 books?
E: What’s 20% of 8?
E: 80/20 kind of.
T: So 2 books basically are making 80% of the money?
E: Actually no. I wouldn’t say that. A lot of my books are making a 100 bucks a month. I don’t think I have one that makes less than 50.
E: But I don’t think it’s around 80%, no.
E: But that’s why you create a series of books. This is a series. I think this is the first one in the series.
T: Oh yeah. Coz that’s why the whole brandable title and so forth. Your customers will repeat look. We’ll get to all of that. I still wanna get through this process. So we’ve picked a title, now what do we do now?
E: Now you want to start writing the book, grab an outline. Not grab an outline, come up with an outline for the book. What you want included. And then start writing it. And then if you’re not a writer you can always hire someone to do that. I’m not a writer. I have only written one of my books just because I knew a lot about the subject. But I get all my writers from the content authority.
T: And that would be why Shaun was the one who introduced it.
T: Okay so in the case of land that job if that’s a good example to talk about, what did you have to pay a writer to write it and how many words in it?
E: This one I believe is only around 5 or 6,000 words so it’s about 25 or 30 pages.
E: I paid, I don’t have exact figures. It was around a 100 or 120 for the book.
T: Somebody wrote this book for a $120?
T: Is that typical?
E: Yeah if you find the right writer, yes.
T: Wow! Okay folks I hope you were listening to that. No links to build. No website to build. No articles to write. No nothing. A $120 investment and maybe some more for the cover art. And this thing, how much does this book make in a month?
E: This one is making about $350, 300ish.
T: $300 a month. Wow! That’s a pretty good deal. That is phenomenal. Fantastic! Love it! Absolutely love it!
Okay so you went on to the content authority which is thecontentauthority.com and you wrote some kind of job description, a job offer. Hey this is what I want done and tell me about that. Did you have, did you create the outline? Did you get the author to create the outline?
E: Yeah this was my first series so I wanted to do a lot of the outline myself. And so I came up with like an introduction portion, what I wanted covered since this was an interview question type of book. I wanted to get the most questions that an interview or would ask an interviewee so I gathered all those and then sent it to the content authority. Now I used their support option. I contacted support and got a hold of one of the customer service people and they actually went out and posted it into their forum saying “hey someone’s looking for a book to be written and here’s what he’s looking for. If anyone’s interested and knowledgeable on the subject, let us know. ”
E: So I think I went through, the first writer for this book was pretty good so I chose her and she wrote it up.
T: How long did it take her?
E: A couple of days.
T: That’s it.
T: Okay. I mean for a professional writer if I wrote 6,000 words it’s nothing.
T: Absolutely nothing. Okay so you hired a writer, he came up with a draft, you read the draft I”m assuming.
E: Of course.
T: And said you know change this, I love that. How much changes, how much back and forth did you have to do?
E: A couple of times.
E: I went in, I wanted some things added and you know some sections shortened or talked about more in some areas but for the most part it was pretty good. I think it was finished in a few days and then it’s on to the editing stage once you have all the content in it that you want.
T: And did you hire a separate editor for that?
E: No actually a family member of mine who’s pretty good in writing so I sent it over to him and he looked through it and sent it back to me. But I think you can find editors if you are not a good grammar person for around a $1.50 to 2.50 a page which may seem high but it’s, you don’t wanna publish a book that has errors.
T: No you don’t.
E: It’s fully worth the time and the investment.
T: Okay I can ask you to put your pen down again too, you’re a notoriuos pen flicker. Put it out of your reach.
E: And terrible.
T: Alright so we’ve got content, it’s been edited. What about the cover art? Coz cover art I’m assuming is pretty darn important because if you’re looking at that list of the top 100 books people are gonna go for the ones that look the best.
E: Yeah of course. The two most important things I think in a book are the cover and the title.
E: If you have a good cover and a good title that’s half the battle of selling your book. With this, I have some experience in photoshop so I went and bought some royalty free images. I think I got them from bigstock.com or something like that. And then just created a simple cover in photoshop. I mean you don’t need photoshop either you can use gimp or whatever is free out there. But I just use text and picture and that’s about it.
T: Yeah this is a, it’s a good looking cover but it’s really simple. I mean it’s stock photo of handshaking and then some black text.
E: When I’m, when I think of covers I think simple is better.
E: I just want people to know what the book is about right when they look at the cover.
T: Yeah big, bold title Land that Job doesn’t really leave anyone wondering what this book is about.
T: Okay so you’ve now published your first book for call it under 200 bucks if you have outsourced everything, editing, content writing, cover art, the whole thing. Now what do you do? So if someone, so the author has delivered to you a pdf I’m assuming.
E: Actually I use word, microsoft word.
E: I believe you can do a pdf. Actually I wanna say no.
T: Okay so they give you word.
E: There’s a bunch of different formats. You can go to kdp.amazon.com and look at their formatting guidelines where you can use a doc, a docx and mobile formats too. But I just write it down with word, make sure it’s formatted with headings and a table of contents and go to kdp.amazon.com and log in to my account and upload it.
T: Wow that’s easy.
T: That’s really easy. Okay so what happens after you upload it. Then what do you do? Sit back and wait?
E: No. You wanna get reviews for your book, good reviews. So at first I’m sending them out to my friends and family, people on facebook, twitter, whereever I can find them, forums if it was in a subject area of the forum and I just tell people “hey, I wrote a series of books. I will give them to you if you can give me an honest review.” And a lot of people said “sure” so I gifted them the book. Right under the buy now button on the amazon there’s a give as gift button and you just put their email address in and you buy it for them. When they send it, amazon sends it and they read it and whoever wants to post a review on amazon post their reviews.
T: Okay cool.
E: And hopefully they’re good reviews.
E: So that was the next stop, it’s getting reviews.
T: And so after this particular book here and I’m sure everyone who’s listening to this is probably typed in amazon as we are and we can see there are 6 customer reviews. And what is the ranking of this book by the way, it is 12,523 and it’s no. 4 in job hunting.
T: So you’ve uploaded it, you got some reviews, then did you sit back and just wait for the money to come in? What happened next or what did you do next?
E: Well I found out when you start uploading, when you upload to kindle there’s a program called kindle select which is a program that allows kindle, I think its kindle primie readers to borrow your book to other people so I signed up for that and they allow you to also go free with your book for 5 days every 90 days.
E: So I went, I chose to go free 1 day and when you go free you get all this people to download your book for free and usually they download other books in your same niche, same category.
E: So when that does, and this is after a while of actually publishing a books and reading a lot I found out that the more you get into the queue for the customer also bought list coz right under the book you can see the customers who also bought this item, bought these books, if you get into those list more often your books are gonna be seen by more people. So you’re gonna get more sales that way.
T: And the giving it away for free for that 1 day per month or per 90 days, what did you say that was?
E: You can go up to 5 days per 90 days but usually I only do 1 day. Coz I’ve seen that if you go more than 1 day it usually doesn’t make that much of a difference.
T: Okay so you did it, gave it away free for 1 day and that got you into the queue of customers who bought this item also bought for some other books, was that the tactic there?
T: Okay. So we got reviews, we got it in the queue, prefer we’ll call it a related items queue, was there any other promotional activities that you do?
T: Wow cool.
T: And now what do you do with this book now? Nothing? Just count the money?
E: Yeah pretty much. Yeah I just wait for my check.
T: Now do you, you know I’m a big fan of list building, you put up a niche site, you build a list, you can reach out to your list and say “I’ve got some new stuff, do you wanna buy my stuff?” Is there anything in the amazon world, do you get a customer list? I don’t imagine that you do Amazon probably called?
E: No you don’t. Amazon does allow links in your books so you can link to your website.
T: Or the book?
T: Or your website you could promote all of your own books on your website so every book that you write can just link back to your site and in doing so you’re cross promoting everything you’ve ever done.
E: Yes. We could do that.
T: Under that author name do you use the same pseudonym for all your books? Is Stacy Michelle for everything?
E: No I use different pen names for different categories of books.
T: Oh yeah that makes sense. Okay.
E: I don’t want people clicking on like you can click on the author to go to the author page. I don’t wanna see books on gardening with answering interview questions.
E: By the same author. So I highly suggest sticking with one.
T: Okay so Stacy Land that job, How to write a perfect resume, Get paid, Secrets to Negotiating and Land your dream jobs. You know that’s beautiful. People who bought one of your books will probably buy most of them.
T: Brilliant. Are there any other golden nuggest to get someone started?
E: Golden nuggets? I will just say taking action. That’s about all you have to do. If you do your research correctly and make sure the title of your publishing is actually being bought by people.
E: Then you should be fine. That would be fine with your books.
T: Anyone who’s been listening to me for a while has heard that theme over and over again. If you wanna get wet, stand under a waterfall. If you’re building an adsense site you wanna find keywords with lots of advertiser competition coz you wanna know people that are some money niche, that people are actively spending money and buying stuff and that is exactly what you have just shared with my audience. Don’t go find something where there’s no competition coz there’s a reason there’s no competition.
T: Nobody wants to buy anything. You know like how to make your aunt do country line dance, like how to teach your cat country line dancing. Guess what? There’ll be no competition for that at all. None. You can be no. 1. But nobody’s gonna buy that book coz nobody cares.
E: My dad always uses the expression underwater basket weaving.
T: There you go. Absolutely. So don’t write any books on underwater basket weaving or cat country line dancing. Alright so I’m sure some people, Eric, are listening to this and they’re thinking “hey this is cool but I need more details” so how can they, I know you told me you wrote an ebook on this so if you wanna tell us a little bit about your ebook and where they can get it and what it costs and all that kind of thing?
E: Yeah well the ebook has, well it’s called publishing for profit and you can find it on shuckabuck.com and you can get a few free chapters too if you wanna check those out. It goes through the research process. I have a bunch of screen shots and it walks you through step by step. And then it has more on developing titles, where to get covers made if you don’t know how to create a cover. Writing out descriptions which is as pretty big too. And then everything from getting reviews and pretty much how to sell your books because with the reviews and your product description it’s kinda like an area for your sales page and it should be a sales pitch. So you wanna be selling the entire on your description and it goes through a couple of different ways that I do that with your books. And it goes through the publishing, how to upload the book step by step. And pretty much everything you need to know. Everything that I use to publish and sell books is in my ebook.
T: Okay. And he’s understating his ebook, folks. It’s 45 pages long, I’m looking at it and it has a truckload of details in it. And what do you sell the book for? 20 bucks I think you told me?
E: Yap it’s $20 until May 11th but I think we talked before about…
T: Yeah we’re under a promo code.
E: Yeah we can give you a discount code for your readers.
T: Okay. So if you’re listening to this in your car or whatever and you wanna be able to easily get to the page that hosts this podcast we’ll make it onlineincomelab.com/session022 and that’ll take you right to this page. And the other thing if you want to just go directly of course you can go to shuckabuck.com but you will not get the promo code if you do it that way. And so it makes more sense obviously to go through my affiliate link. Actually I think there is no affiliate link, is there? I may make 10 cents for this. Why, why are you on my show?
E: I could set one up that would be fine with me.
T: If there’s an affiliate link, yeah sure go ahead definitely set one up. But that’s not why I brought you on the show. I brought you on the show coz I wanted to learn about this and I thought my audience would think it as cool as well. Which has been. This has been a really interesting podcast. You mentioned to me before we went on the air and I’m not gonna mention the dollar figure in case it’s private to you but if you wanna share, you know, kinda how much you’re making, you know, as you’re into internet marketing now it’s a great time to do. I know that people seem to place a great deal of credibility on how much someone says their making so if there’s a number you wanna share feel free to.
E: I make a million dollars a month selling kindle ebooks.
T: (Laughs) That’s all? Ah dude, I’m doing a million a week.
E: No I passed the thousand dollar a month mark with kindle ebooks only last month. That was April.
E: And this month it’s gonna be close to 2,000.
T: That’s pretty good folks. He’s only been doing this since January. How many of you would like to make an extra $2,000 a month in 4 or 5 months from the time you started. And outsourcing everything. This is easier than building websites. This is ridiculously easy. I’m gonna have to try this with all the extra free time that I don’t have. I need to go in to entrepreneur start up addicts synonymous. Everytime I see another cool idea that makes passive income I wanna be in that.
T: Well because I have an outsource I think well I’ll just write another check. I’ll always get somebody to do it for me. And that’s generally how I do it. Alright so what are we missing here? So we’ve given out the url of how you can listen to this episode. We’ve talked about a lot of really interesting stuff. And we’re rolling up here on an hour and I don’t like my podcasts to go longer than an hour.
So Eric, 2 thumbs up man. You’ve been an awesome guest. Thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing with myself and the readers a very interesting way to make what seems like incredibly passive income that is totally Google proof. You don’t have to worry about losing your adsense account or Google algorithm changes or nothing. You can tell Google they can go piss off. If you wanna be in the amazon business or the kindle books business. Of course you know Amazon may come up with some trickery of their own one day but I don’t know, I think that’s pretty far off.
E: Yeah. Well you’re welcome Trent.
T: No problem at all. Okay folks again thanks very much for listening. It’s always a pleasure to have you listen to the show. I love your comments and your feedback. Again to get to this episode it’s onlineincomelab.com/session022. Eric and I will both be paying attention to the comments box. If you have questions go ask and we’ll get you some answers. So that’s it until the next episode, we will talk to you soon.