Ep146: The Writing A Book Show

If you have ever thought about self-publishing a book on Amazon, today I am going to take you behind the scenes of my experience and the steps I took to self-publish my first eBook

Episode Summary:

How did I write my new eBook: How To Podcast on Wordrpess.com?
What tools and resources did I use?
What was the process and workflow and my overall experience?


The eBook:
How To Podcast on WordPress.com: The Step-by-Step Guide

The Story:
If you want to hear the whole story behind why I wrote an eBook on How To Podcast on WordPress.com go back and listen to Episode 142 in which I tell the whole story of me & The Professor.

The Main Tools I used to Self-Publish My First Book on Amazon.com:

Writing Tool:

Scrivener
My writing tool of choice.
I write every script for this podcast in Scrivener and it is what I used to write the entire eBook.

Scrivener: $50

Why I like Scrivener:
The organization ability. It uses a sidebar where you can create folders and keep any size project neat and tidy. This podcast has 146 episodes and all I can see is one folder that says Podcast. Love it.

It’s fast and easy to create a new document and just start writing.

Auto-save. Just like Google Docs, you just have to write and Scrivener saves everything while you work and backups up your project when you close out of the application.

Cloud Backup. Scrivener is backed up to the cloud and syncs on my iPhone and iPad, so I can write on any device.

Design & Marketing Graphics, etc:

Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop & Indesign

Logos, Fonts, Colors, Images, Graphics, Mockups, etc.

The trifecta of design tools.

Adobe Creative Cloud: $50/month

Formatting Tool:

Vellum
Vellum is a standalone application for Macs only makes formatting eBooks and print simple and actually kind of fun. Highly recommend.

Vellum is $200 for an unlimited license

Tip #1: Proofread & Edit!! Have as many people as you can proofread and help you edit your eBook as your eyes will start playing tricks on you and it is really easy to miss errors.

Tip 2: Upload to Amazon KDP first. Hold off on the others (Google, iBooks, Nook) until you fix all errors. Give it a week or so so you only have to replace in one st

KDP or Kindle Direct Publishing:

where all the magic happens in self-publishing

Link to KDP: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/

Past Episodes on Self-Publishing:
Episodes 72, 73 & 74 where I go into detail about Amazon KDP and all of the Amazon self-publishing tools.

If you plan on writing an eBook, creating an account on KDP should almost be your first step, especially if you know the title so you can make sure there is not a book with the same title and you can make sure nobody takes your title while you are writing.

KDP is free and I must say it is a giant wealth of helpful resources and tools to help you with every step of self-publishing a book and I highly recommend setting plenty of time aside to explore.

The Kindle Store is where people will buy your eBook and KDP is where you are going to upload your manuscript and cover and the print version.

I priced How To Podcast on WordPress.com at $3.99 and I make around $2 per eBook in royalties.

The paperback is $15.99 (I chose color) and I make about $1.50.

I make more profit on eBooks.

Quick Recap of the Steps:

  1. Figure out your topic
  2. Create an account on Kindle Direct Publishing or KDP and enter your Working Title and Verify the Rights so you don’t have to worry about a conflict later. This step of creating an account first is also a motivational hack as it one step closer to you self-publishing a book. It’s the taking action that feels good.
  3. Research and write your book in your writing tool of choice. I used Scrivener.
  4. Create a Cover. Go to Amazon and for inspiration for the cover design.
  5. Create a branding scheme so you can be consistent with Fonts, Colors and the marketing of your eBook.
  6. Have a headshot and author bio will also be important.
  7. Edit your book like crazy. Every word matters. Remove fluff.
  8. Use Grammarly or a tool like Hemingway to check your grammar.
  9. Format for Kindle and other devices. This step is challenging. I used an application called Vellum that was $199 and only available on Macs. It was worth every penny.
  10. Upload your book to KDP. Create an author page. Sell your book with a good description and copy. Set the price.
  11. Sit back and watch the money pile up.

My Overall Experience:

The truth: It was harder than I thought to write a 10,500 word eBook. This podcast is 2500 words, so my book was about 4 podcasts worth of content. It was also hard writing a book that had a lot of technical steps and information to cover that would be much easier to teach with videos but have to convert it into a book format. Organizing a ton of content into smaller digestible chunks took a lot of time and effort.

Book sales have been underwhelming so far and it did not generate the immediate buzz I thought could happen because this was a topic not discussed in the podcast community. There are millions of eBooks on Amazon and I’m pretty sure mine is the only one about podcasting on WordPress.com. I’m still optimistic that I’m just early to the game, and when WordPress.com starts actively promoting podcasting, my ebook and video course will be there to save the day.

In conclusion:
If you have always wanted to write a book, starting with an Ebook is a great warmup. It’s more or less the same process, only shorter number of words. I see everything as practice and training for the future.

If you have questions or need help, as always email me at mike@mikemurphy.co or hit me up on the social media channels. 

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