Have you ever considered publishing your own eBook?

Are you wondering what the advantages are for marketers?

To learn more about publishing your own eBook, I interview Jim Kukral for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast.

More About This Show

Social Media Marketing Podcast w/ Michael StelznerThe Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner.

It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.

The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting).

In this episode, I interview Jim Kukral, founder of Digital Book Launch and Author Marketing Club, and author of the book Attention! This Book Will Make You Money and many eBooks including Book Marketing for Kindle Authors.

Jim shares his experiences with publishing in print and digital form.

You’ll learn about the various book publishing options and what it could mean for your business.

Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below!

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You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, Stitcher or Blackberry.

Here are some of the things you’ll discover in this show:

The World of Publishing

Jim explains why marketers should care about what’s happening in book publishing. You’ll learn how books can increase your credibility and help you close business deals.

books on tablet

It's never been easier to publish a book. Image source: iStockphoto

You have to give people enough information to incite them to give you their business and publishing a book can help you do this. A book is the best business card you will ever have. It’s a game-changer.

Listen to the show to discover why now it’s easier than ever to publish a book in print or digital form.

The benefits of an eBook

Before Content Management Systems (CMS) existed, the only people who could put content online were those who could write HTML. Today anyone can put their thoughts and expertise out there.

Jim explains that to publish a book today, you don’t need to have a publisher and you don’t need to print books that sit in a warehouse.

Publishers are in the business of paper and the world is changing to digital.

gutenberg print press

Publishing has come a long way since Gutenburg, and continues to evolve. Image source: iStockphoto

Of course you can still do print and print-on-demand. But why print 10,000 to 20,000 copies of a book to sit in a warehouse, when publishing an eBook is so much easier?

According to Jeff Bezos, there are currently more digital books than print books.

Listen to the show to find out why nonfiction is still outselling fiction.

Where consumers find eBooks

Jim talks about how consumers find eBooks on Amazon and other websites like SmashwordsBarnes and Noble and Apple.

ibooks textbooks

Apple's iBooks store.

There is also a growing number of websites that recommend their favorite Kindle books. And if you already like an eBook, you can recommend it or loan it to someone through your Kindle device.

Amazon has the Kindle Direct Publishing Select Program. On this program, authors give Amazon a 90-day exclusive right to sell the eBook. In return, Amazon allows you to give your eBook away for free for up to 5 days during this 90-day period.

Jim shares how to discover the top 100 free eBooks on Amazon.

Listen to the show to find out the benefits of giving away your eBook.

How your book can be a lead-generator

You’ll learn how to use your book to bring in business. Giving your book away for free is a great lead-generation tool.

amazon free business books

There are many free digital business books available on Amazon.

As a marketer, Jim has calls to action in his books. You’ll learn how he uses this tactic to leverage lead generation with his free books.

When someone reads your book and reaches out to you, they are usually “warm leads.”  They are more likely to do business with you.

Another benefit is that people feel they know you after reading your book. This makes it easier for you to connect with them.

Listen to the show to find out how books are lead-generators.

How the financials work from the author’s perspective

You’ll learn about the money you can earn with your book, depending on how you publish it.

dollars in books

There are many options for revenue and pricing in different publishing methods. Image source: iStockphoto

For printed books, if you publish with Wiley for example, on average you’ll be paid 15% royalties on wholesale prices. Listen to the podcast to find out why if your book is sold for $20, you’ll only earn $1.35 per book. This amount can go up or down based on the quantity of books you sell.

Another consideration is the publishing “earn out“: if your publisher prints 10,000 copies of your book, you won’t earn any royalty until they have sold all 10,000 copies. Although sometimes you can get a signing bonus.

Regarding eBooks, the advantage of a digital book on Amazon is you can upload the eBook you wrote last night and set the price you want.

Currently Amazon says if you price your eBook between $2.99 and $9.99, you’ll get 70%. If you price your eBook outside of this price range, between $0.99 and $2.99 and more than $9.99,  you’ll only get 35%.

This pricing structure reflects Amazon’s desire to set the market on eBook prices and Amazon knows what sells at what price point.

The opportunity to earn revenue is much greater with a digital book compared to a print book.

Listen to the show to find out more about the best ways to price your eBook.

Special considerations authors need to keep in mind

You’ll find out how long your book should be and why. Jim says a book can be anything from 1,000 words to 100,000 words. You could write a book of 5,000 words, upload it and sell it if you want.

A story and information are not about length. Jim has a book on Amazon that is a short story of 8,500 words. He priced it at a couple of dollars and sells around 40-50 copies a week or so. The length is not huge, but it’s a great story.

Amazon has a Look Inside feature that allows people to read the first 10% of a book, which gives them a chance to try before they buy. This is why it’s good to put some of your best content at the beginning of the book.

look inside

Amazon's Look Inside feature is a great way for people to read 10% of your book before they decide to buy it.

Listen to the show to find out why it’s important to include some of your best content in the very beginning of your book.

How blogging fits into eBook creation

Jim explains that he’s been blogging since 2001 but stopped blogging consistently about 3 years ago. This is because his goal was to write 20-30 books over 5 years. He realized that all the time and effort he was putting into writing blog posts was time he could be writing chapters for his books.

You don’t have to quit blogging, but think about how to get more from your writing. Will you get more out of 20 blog posts or a 30,000-word book with 20 individual chapters? Use the format that gets you more results.

You could write both a blog and a book by taking the blog content you have and fitting it into a book. It’s a new content distribution model that allows you to still keep your blog.

blog to book deals

Many blog owners have the potential to go from blog to book.

Listen to the show to find out how you can have both a blog and a book.

How to launch and market your eBooks

Jim explains the importance of marketing your eBook before the product is finished. Book marketing always starts at the conception of the book. The day you have the idea for the book is the day you start marketing it.

You can use Facebook and Twitter to share your book idea with friends, and from this you can get some great feedback regarding title, and so forth. Once you have a cover made for the book, you can show it to your audience on Facebook, Twitter and your LinkedIn groups and get their input.

This way you can build a warm list of people who will potentially buy your book once it’s published.

jim kukral facebook

Involve your community in the creation of your book.

Listen to the show to hear how you can have a successful launch of your new book.

Jim’s Top Tip

Jim’s advice to everyone out there who is thinking of writing a book is to believe that you can do it.


Believe you can do it and start writing. Image source: iStockphoto

Begin by opening a Word document, Google doc or download Scrivener and start writing. The time spent creating content and putting it into book format is going to be one of the greatest things you’ll ever do.

You have to get past the fear.  The format is not difficult and you can even upload a Word document to Amazon.

The feeling you’ll have when you see your book on Amazon, or show it to a potential client or employer, is amazing.

Listen to the show to find out how having a book can dramatically change how your business or brand is perceived.

Discovery of the Week

Clicktotweet gives you an easy tool to pre-craft a tweet. You simply write a message in a box and then click the “Generate” button to create a custom link.

When you share this link and someone clicks on it, it will show your message in their Twitter status box and all they have to do is click to tweet your message.

click to tweet generator

Use clicktotweet to generate a custom link.

Listen to the show to learn more and let us know how this works for you.

Other Show Mentions

Social Media Marketing World is Social Media Examiner’s latest mega-conference—taking place at the waterfront San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina in San Diego, California on April 7-9, 2013.

As you’d expect, Social Media Examiner recruited the biggest and best names in the world of social media marketing for this conference. Only the best for you! Be sure to check it out.

Key takeaways mentioned in this episode:

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What do you think? What are your thoughts on publishing your own eBook? Please leave your comments below.

Images from iStockPhoto.
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  • Great interview Mike and Jim! I find the idea of writing my own Ebook a very interesting concept to explore in the future. I think entrepreneurs should check out all the possibilities of marketing their business, though it’s true that some will work while others will not, but they’re still worth a try. Enjoy your black Friday everyone!

  • Thanks John – Go for the ebook

  •  Thanks John. The key is to stop thinking about it and just find a way to get it done. 🙂 You’ll thank me later.

  • Thanks again for doing the interview Jim

  • thanks for this post 🙂

  • Tahiera Monique Brown

    I wam truly impressed with this information, as I am in the process of putting two existing books into eBooks and I have a third one that is about to be released. The attention to detail on this site is amazing. I try to look at it everyday to see what gold nuggets I will receive. Tahiera Brown

  • This was another great podcast. I’ve been listening since the summer and I’ve enjoyed every episode. Keep up the good work. Helps me sharpen my saw every week.

  • ME Harmon

    I published an urban fantasy novel. The Blood Gem, using Amazon’s KDP.  Kindle Direct Publishing makes the process extremely easy. Though KDP is free, looking professional is a must. There are costs involved with self-publishing for editing, cover art, and formatting. Some of those can be DIY.

    The best piece of advice from this article is – start marketing before the book is published.  I wish I had.

  • Thanks for your comment 🙂

  • Thanks Tahiera – I wish you the best with your ebook

  • Thanks Chris, glad you like the show 🙂

  • Great advice from the trenches 🙂

  •  Yep, you have to start right away!

  • Great, thanks! I have been working on an idea for an e-book as an extension of my digital magazine and this was the extra push I needed to really get started. I also have used Scrivener in the past and can attest to its usability. 
    Luisa Editor and Publisher, The Long Haul Magazine

  • Glad this was helpful Luisa 🙂

  • AWESOME! That’s all I gotta’ say. lol

    No seriously this is a fantastic interview. I like Danny Iny’s approach as well. Ebooks are a fantastic way to get yourself published and be a “real” author. Oh, and thanks bunches for the scrivener shout out. Looking into it now. Awesome Michael, just awesome. How was your holiday?

  • Thanks Mys – Glad you like it! – Thanksgiving was a great time of recovery, fun and relaxation at my home. How about you?

  • Excellent conversation! Super helpful content and direction. Inspiring too! I have a couple of ebooks in mind. Thank you…

  • Glad you liked it Dr. Nicki

  • I really enjoyed this episode and all your episodes. I’m an author who has self-published two books and they have sold over 75,000 copies. After the books started selling and I started getting attention, I got several publishing offers and I did sign a 4 book deal. I loved self-publishing but as an author it was always my dream to have a traditionally published book. I figure if it’s a bad experience I can always go back to self-publishing once my contract is up.

    The one thing I never thought of that this podcast made me think about was the other ways to use my books. I never thought of my books as lead generators for my other products and services but it makes sense, a lot of sense. Up to this point I have only focused on my books and my speaking career but I see there’s so much more! Thank you

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  • Hi Michael. 
    GREAT podcast as always. I want to thank you so much for this interview. It’s really inspiring for me because I struggle for some time if to write a book or no, and after I listen to this episode, I’m sure I will do it some time, I have to.And thanks for the great resources you mentioned here.Keep up with the great job you do here and I wish you all the best.