Becoming An Amazon #1 Best Seller

As of August 17th, 2012, I can now officially call myself an Amazon best selling author.

About two weeks ago, I did a blog post about how I’m going to write a book, publish it on Amazon and add a new revenue stream to my business. I put the challenge to myself out there for the world to see and got to work.

That same evening, I got to work writing my book about WordPress. Over 12 nights, I worked on my book from the hours of about 10pm until 2am, making sure that I got at least one chapter done each evening.

On August 13th, I officially posted my book on Amazon.

On August 17th, thanks to the power of Facebook and this blog, it reached #1 best seller status in the “Blogging” category, #1 best seller in the “Home Computing” category, #2 best seller in “Web Programming”, #2 best seller in “Web Development”, and the #5 best seller in “Business & Culture” (right below the biography on Steve Jobs). How freaking cool is that?

(Click the image below to see it larger)

The book, entitled WordPress Revealed, sold over 100 copies on August 17th, giving it enough sales to knock it in to the best selling spots in all those categories.

One of the beautiful things about the way that Amazon works is that, once you’re in a best selling category, you tend to stay there because the mere fact that you are in the best seller list boosts your exposure and increases sales.

What I’m going to lay out in this, potentially massive, blog post is exactly how I managed to create and sell my best selling book on Amazon. In reality, I should be splitting this in to multiple posts… But I just feel like making a single, all-inclusive, resource right now…

Step 1 – Create the book

I’ll be honest here. This IS going to be the most difficult part of the entire process. Getting started writing is not easy. People tend to open up their word processor and stare at a blank screen and instantly become overwhelmed at the mammoth task ahead.

The first sentence is always the hardest too. Once you start writing and you get that first sentence out there, people typically find that they can get in a flow and just keep going with it.

Getting past the overwhelm.

The way that I got over this overwhelm of a blank screen was that I leveraged this blog and asked for your help.

I created a blog post and asked for your number 1 WordPress question. I offered up a free copy of the book to my favorite questions.

I was then able to copy all of your questions over to a document and just start answering them… This got me past the overwhelm of having a blank screen.

Some alternatives to this would be to use a place like Fiverr. Hire someone that offers to do research and ask them to research the top 50 questions on your niche and provide you with a list of those questions… Boom, you’ve instantly got something to work off of to get started.

Another way that I just get down to it when it comes to writing is to create an outline first. I just begin by listing out all the different things I could potentially talk about in to a document. I’ll come up with 10-15 topics for the book. I’ll then organize them in to what I feel is a logical sequence and remove any topics that just don’t fit in to the flow of the book. At this point, you can now just start fleshing out sub-topics of each topic.

Having an outline allows you to have a starting point to just go back and fill in the details. It’s always helped me and it’s usually how I compose blog posts as well.

What Word Processor To Use…

Personally, I really like working with OpenOffice. I’ve found that when I upload files to Kindle, .doc files seem to work the best without messing up my formatting too badly. OpenOffice (which is 100% free) let’s me save the file as both a .doc file as well as a .pdf.

I like to save it in both file formats. The PDF version is so I can give out free copies to people for review and the DOC file is the one that I actually use when uploading in Kindle Direct Publishing.

Creating a table of contents…

I haven’t seen this taught anywhere else yet. I had to figure this out from lots and lots of experimentation…

As you’re writing you book, make sure that the title of each chapter title is set to Heading 1. This will help when we go to create the table of contents after the book is completed.

After you’ve finished writing your entire book and you’ve made sure that all of your chapter titles are formatted with “Heading 1″, you can easily scroll back to the beginning of the book and create a real quick table of contents.

I’ll do my best to explain how to do this in OpenOffice. I don’t know how to do it in any other Word Processors but it’s looked great so far using this method.

Scroll all the way up to the beginning of your book, before your actual content starts. This is where we’re going to put our Table of Contents.

On the top menu, click on “Insert” then click “Indexes and Tables” then click “Indexes and Tables” again. This will take you to the page where we create the Table of Contents…

 

On the box that pops up, we’re going to click on “Entries” tab at the top…

The way that OpenOffice is set, it defaults to as if you were going to do a print book. It will have page numbers and dashes. This is not relevant to us since Kindle books don’t actually have page numbers.

We also want clickable links in our book. So, if someone clicks on a link in the table of contents, it jumps them to that section in the book.

We need to tweak some settings. This part is a bit difficult to explain but I’ll do my best.

You’ll see an area that says “Structure” with a few buttons like “E#”, “E”, “T”, and “#”.

We’re going to click on “E#” and hit delete (fn+delete if on a Mac). We’re then going to delete “T” and “#” as well…

We should now have a screen that looks like this… (Only the “E” next to structure)

Now… See that little white box to the left and to the right of the “E”?

We’re going to click inside of the little white box on the left so that you see your cursor blinking inside of it.

We are then going to click on the button that says “Hyperlink”.

This will add a button that says “LS” next to the “E” button. (LS stands for Link Start)

Now we’re going to click in the box to the right of the “E” so that the cursor is blinking inside that box.

Click “Hyperlink” again and you’ll see a box to the right of the “E” that says “LE”. (LE stands for Link End)

Now you can go ahead and click “OK’ at the bottom of the box and you should see your Table of Contents appear inside your document with clickable links. Go ahead and test clicking on the links and make sure they take you to where they are supposed to go.

The cool part is that those links will work on pretty much any device that people can read Kindle books on.

That was one of the most complicated things for me to figure out when trying to publish this book. So there you go… That’s what I do and it works like a charm.

Step 2 – Get an awesome cover made

So you’ve got your book written now and it’s super awesome! You’ve even got a really cool Table of Contents that people can click on. Neato. Now we need to create a cover for this bad boy.

If there’s anything that I’ve learned so far when it comes to Kindle books, it’s that covers sell books. (AKA people judge a book by its cover)

It is possible to upload a book to Amazon without adding a cover. Amazon will just use its default cover which looks like junk.

You can absolutely do this if you want no one to ever buy your book.

I’ve found two ways that work well for me to create awesome book covers that sell books. Unfortunately, both ways cost money and one way will cost you quite a bit more than the other.

The expensive way (but best way) is to crowdsource the design on 99designs.

When I wanted to create a book cover for WordPress Revealed, I wanted the cover to look super professional. By going to 99Designs, I was able to tell the site how much I wanted to spend on the cover… Oh say $200. Designers would then go on 99Designs, see my offer of $200 and submit book cover ideas to me. I get to see 15-20 concepts for cover designs and then pick my favorite and pay the winner.

This worked well for my book and the winning designer will probably be getting even more work out of me. If you want to go the pro route and don’t mind spending a little to get there, this is probably the best way.

The second, less expensive way, is to purchase stock footage off Deposit Photos.

Deposit Photos is probably the least expensive source that I’ve found to purchase stock images that you can use for commercial purposes. There are other places to find stock images for free or for cheaper but the quality just isn’t the same.

For the most part, I simply do a search for images that are related to my topic. For example, if I was creating a book on WordPress, I’d probably start by searching keywords like WordPress, blog, blogging, computer, laptop, etc… I’d look through the images that were available and try to find one that looks like it would make a good book cover on its own.

A lot of the images are already close to the right shape to be a book and they already fit your theme, they just need the title and author and you’ve got a book cover.

I’ll find an image I like, purchase it for $5 or so, open it in Photoshop or GIMP and simply add in my title and author name in a nice font. I’ve made some really great looking book covers this way.

Here’s a tutorial that I made on how to make a cool book cover with stock photos.

I went the 99 Designs route with my latest book and was very happy with the result…

Step 3 – Create an opt-in page

This step may seem a little bit strange in the context of a book but I’ve found it to be very very important to the marketing process. It will also be a huge asset to you when you go to release a second or third book.

An opt-in page is basically a website online where you can collect the email address of the people that purchased your book. Amazon does not provide book sellers with this information, therefore, you need to ask for it.

To do this, either register the domain name of your book or use a subdomain on your existing site. For example, I tried to get WordPressRevealed.com but it was already registered by someone else. So instead I created an opt-in page for buyers at TheWPClassroom.com/WPRevealed/.

On the page I offer to give bonus video training of how to set up WordPress in exchange for an email address.

I’m not going to dive in to how to create a website or how to create an opt-in page in this little tutorial because that’s the sort of thing that I really dive deep in to inside the book and inside the WordPress Classroom. However, it is very simply to do with WordPress and a theme like Optimize Press

Now, inside my book, at the beginning and at the end, I mention that people can go to my website to get actual video training of most of what I teach in the book. I give the readers my opt-in page link and hope that a good majority will go for the bonus training and give me their email in return.

Once I’ve got their emails on my list I can do several things…

I can email that mailing list and ask them to leave a review on Amazon (boosting sales and credibility).

I can email that list and inform them of a new book that I release.

I can email that list and promote my other products like the WordPress Classroom.

I can email that list and promote related affiliate products.

It opens up so many opportunities to further push sales of existing and new books.

I highly recommend implementing this strategy in to your book marketing.

Step 4 – Create an account as a Kindle Direct Publisher (KDP for short)

Once you’ve got your book written, your book cover, and your opt-in page, it’s time to create a KDP account and submit your first book to the store.

To do this, we need to create KDP account, which is really as simple as going to http://kdp.amazon.com and signing up…

Once you’ve signed up, you’ll see an area called your Bookshelf…

Go ahead and click on “Add new title” because this is where we’re going to add our latest book…

Step 5 – Adding your book in to Amazon

For the most part, this is pretty straight forward from here on out…

Type in the name of your book.

When selecting a title for your book, be very descriptive (especially important in non-fiction). If I just named my book “WordPress Revealed”, it probably wouldn’t do that well. However, because I titled it “WordPress Revealed: How to Build a Website, Get Visitors and Make Money (Even For Beginners)”, it probably made a lot more sales. The title is very descriptive and actually lists the benefits of reading the book.

Write a description that’s going to help sell the book.

In the description, I like to put a lot of benefits as opposed to just describing the book. Try to describe what the reader’s end result from reading the book will be instead of just describing what the books about. For example, if I’m doing a book about how to grow tomatoes, I wouldn’t simply describe the book as a book on tomato growing… I would use language like “Imagine yourself biting in to the most delicious tomato that you’ve ever tasted, imagine the satisfaction of knowing that you just picked that tomato from your own garden only minutes ago… You will be so amazed at what simple tweaks to your soil could do for the flavor of the tomatoes as well as how much faster they can grow…“.

That description is total B.S… Seeing as I know nothing about tomato growing. But you get the idea. You can really describe the benefits of the end result of purchasing the book. You can also give a little teaser of what they’ll learn, leaving them wanting more (the simple tweaks)… With Amazon, even the simplest of sales copy can be very effective because you are already borrowing on Amazon’s credibility.

I personally leave language at “English”, I leave publication date blank (it will fill in today’s date by default if you keep it blank), for publisher, I use my publishing company that I’ve began creating books under (but you can leave it blank if you want), and I leave ISBN blank for Kindle books…

Select “This is not a public domain work and I hold the necessary publishing rights.” in the section where it asks.

Now… For categories, you have the ability to pick 2. So look through the categories that they provide and choose two that best fit your book’s topic. These categories don’t always match the categories that they will actually rank under inside Amazon. It’s a bit strange. Just pick the most relevant.

For “Search Keywords”, type the things that you think others would type to find your book. You can have up to 7 search terms so choose wisely. For example, for my WordPress book, I want people who type “WordPress” in the search to find my book. I also want to show up when people search “WordPress For Dummies” or “How to create a website”… Those are all terms that, if people searched them, would probably find my book relevant.

Now you can upload the book cover that we created in step 2 and then browse for your book file (in .doc format) and upload that as well.

Where it asks about “Digital Rights Management”, I always select “Do not enable digital rights management”… This allows people who buy my book to read it on multiple devices if they choose.

Click “Save and Continue” to move on to the next step.

On the following page, we get to set our price.

I usually select “Worldwide Rights”, making my book accessible to any country’s version of Amazon…

For price, we have options…

Amazon’s pricing structure is weird when it comes to what your royalties are.

If you price your book between $0.99 and $2.98 you can receive a 35% royalty on any book sold.

If you price your book between $2.99 and $9.99 you can receive a 70% royalty on any book sold.

If you price you book $10 or more, your royalty drops back down to 35%.

There are two schools of thought at this point. You can charge $0.99 and make $0.35 for every book sold and hope to get massive volume and a lot of opt-ins on the opt-in form we created… Or we can price between $2.99 and $9.99 and get higher commissions per sale.

It really comes down to your motives. If you want a lot of volume and a lot of leads generated to an opt-in page, $0.99 is probably better. If you are trying to generate a good income from Amazon books, pricing above $2.99 is probably better.

For me, I’ve found that $4.99 is about the sweet spot for my books. I can get the 70% commissions and the book price is still low enough to keep it somewhat of an impulse buy.

I would just really decide what your motives are and test what works best. Set it at one price for 30 days or so and see how it does. Then test a different price after 30 days… Repeat until you find the “Sweet spot” price.

Finally, where it asks if I want to allow lending, I always check yes. When people borrow one of my books I still get a little money for it. Lately, it’s been about $2.00 per borrow which, in some cases, is more money than I make when someone actually buys the book. So I like to keep this option checked.

Confirm that you’ve read the terms and conditions and click “Save and Publish”.

Give it 12-24 hours and your book will be live on Amazon!

Step 6 – Create an Author Central Page

With Author Central you can edit your editorial reviews, your books description, your personal profile on Amazon, track book sales, and much much more. This is critical for anyone serious about making Kindle work for them.

After your book is finally live on Amazon, you can go to http://authorcentral.amazon.com/ and create an account.

Login with your existing Amazon details and register for your account.

Once you’re logged in to Author Central, click on the “Books” tab at the top of the screen.

Click the button to “Add More Books”.

Do a search for your book. When you find it, click the button that says “This is my book”.

Your book is now linked to your Author Central account.

Next, click on the “Profile” tab at the top of the screen.

I recommend adding a photo and a biography about yourself. The biography will be added to your actual book sales page and helps people browsing books get to know a little more about you. Most people who sell Kindle books skip this step. It’s just one more thing to make your book page stand out.

You can then jump back to the “Books” tab and click on your book that you just added.

From here you can add reviews from credible sources and edit your book’s description with extra formatting like bold italics. Doing these things just makes your book stand out among all the other Kindle sellers that don’t do this.

Step 7 – Marketing the Book

Admittedly, marketing Amazon books is not easy. Other than writing the actual book yourself, this will probably be the next hardest part.

Often times there’s a bit of a “catch-22″ here… Your book needs sales to start selling.

If the book has 0 sales it doesn’t really move up any best seller lists and it doesn’t really begin appearing in people’s searches. Once it has a couple sales, it will start to get noticed a little more naturally and you’ll start seeing sells come in from random Amazon buyers…

Some tips to get the ball rolling…

1. Post that you’re now a published author on Facebook, Twitter, and any other social networks you’re a part of. Leave a link back to your book so people can grab it.

2. Purchase your own book. This sounds a little lame but it’s actually pretty important. If you purchase it yourself you can actually make sure it looks ok on all of your Kindle reading devices. It also registers as a sale in Amazon and begins your boost in seller ranking.

3. Gift the book to several people and ask them if they’d leave reviews. You have to pay to gift it to people but you actually receive your royalty back so you’re not actually paying full price. This does a couple things… It registers each gift as a sale and helps move you up the rankings. It also prompts people to start leaving reviews. Reviews help make sales.

4. If you have a mailing list, mail that list about the book. If you have a blog, write a blog post about the book.

5. Tell friends and family about the book and ask them to purchase and leave a review.

6. Put author of (book title) in your email signature with a link to the book.

All these things are ways to get the first initial boost in sales so that Amazon notices you and helps move you in to a postion where sales happen naturally.

Once your book starts to sell and people start to give you their email on the opt-in page, make sure to mail that list and ask them to leave reviews for you. The more reviews you have, the more important Amazon tends to think your book is.

Bonus Resources

That’s about it… That’s my whole process that I used to create my book and take it to a #1 best seller on Amazon.

I didn’t learn ALL of this from trial and error. I actually did follow some great other resources that helped me along the way.

Here’s some of the resources that I recommend that really helped and some new ones that have popped up recently to help you. Some of these links are affiliate links… However, they are ALL things I have used myself to help me see the results I’ve seen with Kindle publishing.

9 Killer Tips To Effectively Market A Book – This a blog post I wrote long after I completed the post that you just read. This post was written after I had a little more time to really experiment with Amazon and learn the ropes even more. See what advice I have two years after publishing my book.

The Perfect Publishing System (No longer available) – This was actually my introduction to publishing on Amazon. I went through this little course and it completely opened my eyes to what was possible. These guys are making something crazy like $40,000 a month on Amazon or something like that. When I first started, their model was the model I followed. The link above actually links to a webinar that these guys did on the subject.

Making A Killing On Kindle By Michael Alvear – I recently picked this Kindle book up, right before I launched my book to get some insights in to how to really market it and do things right the first time. This little $5 book has provided me with so many awesome promotional techniques. Some of the stuff I never even thought was possible.

How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months By John Locke – John Locke is literally a millionaire from Kindle publishing. I’ve heard his name over and over again when I was studying the Kindle stuff. When I saw that he had a book about how he did it, I had to grab it. It had some really great advice as well. I’m not completely through it yet but it’s a really interesting read so far. (It’s a $3 Kindle book)

The KDP Experiment on IncomePress.com – My buddy, Joey Kissimmee is doing a little Kindle challenge of his own over on his blog. If you want to follow along to another awesome marketer walking through all the steps to make this Kindle stuff work for them, don’t miss Joey’s series of posts. He’s doing things right and I have no doubt that his first book is going to absolutely kick butt.

Kindle Publishers Unite – This is a private Facebook group that I started with Joey Kissimmee. We created it for people interested in publishing Kindle books so that we can all share ideas, success stories, failures, and more. It’s also a place where we can help each other out to get exposure for our books. It’s an invite-only group but if you head over there and apply, either myself or Joey will probably approve you if you’re really interested in getting going with Kindle.

WordPress Revealed – I had to throw this in here… This is my book that I just released. Check it out, study how I created the sales page, how I weaved in my opt-in page to collect email addresses, and learn a thing or two about WordPress while you’re at it. It’s been getting some great reviews so far and I know that it’s really helped a lot of people out.

Conclusion

Phew… That was a marathon blog post. I didn’t mean for it to be as long as it did. I just wanted to make sure that I didn’t leave anything out.

Despite my best efforts, I’m sure there are still some questions. I’d love to hear them and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Please post in the comments below. If you enjoyed this post, share it on Facebook, bookmark it, like it, etc… I really put a lot in to this one and I really hope that you got something out of it.

Now go get your first book done and I’m looking forward to having some discussion in the comments below!

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  • http://www.topbloggingcoach.com Theodore.N

    Hmmm Mr Matt, words are not really enough to express my gratitude on this post, its such a complehensive and Informative post to think that i just posted most of the questions you answered here on Pat Flynns facebook kindle group and now the answers are here on a platter of gold, I’m joining your group right away.

    People use to make it sound as if publishing on kindle is a rocket science expecially the formating part.

    I have some questions though….

    1. Did you upload the book to kindle on a doc format or is there any other way you have to convert it to before uploading?
    2. Will you select the number of countries that can buy your book like i told you that when you sent me the link for the free copy, i was told that my country (Nig) is not among the countries that can purchase it before you now sent me the pdf format.
    3. How much will i buy the book in other to give it out and how do i go about that?

    I just finished reading the book and i must confess that its the best book I’ve read on the subject of WordPress so far and well detailed, I’ve even emailed my list about it. But when i went to leave my review on Amazon, i was told that i can’t because i haven’t made a purchase, so can i send you the review via email so that you can write it on Amazon yourself or is there any other way?
    Please there was an email i sent to two of your emails yestaday, i mean your gmail and the other one, i will appreciate it if you can check it out and maybe give me a reply.

    I’ve started writing my first kindle book and its also on wordpress, i will give you a copy when I’m done.

    Thanks Matt for this Awesome post, you’ve just answered the questions i was asking on kindle and i just printed it out for easy reference.

    To your success.

    BTW: Please check your email.

    • Matt

      Hey Theodore,

      Thanks so much for the kind words! In response to your questions…

      1. I uploaded the book in .doc format.
      2. You have the option to select the countries it’s available in. I always select Worldwide.
      3. I’m not sure if there’s a way to buy the book in bulk. You can gift it through Amazon though…

      If if you can’t write a review where you are from, it’s ok. I understand. Don’t worry about it. I appreciate the support! :)

  • http://gabejohansson.com/imbasics/oto.php Gabe Johansson

    Although I don’t currently plan on writing any books, this is a killer guide!

    Congratulations on your success! Selling 100 copies is pretty amazing for one day. It definitely shows the potential (and proof) of having an audience and a platform like Amazon to work with.

    I have been using OpenOffice for a while but recently have taken a liking to Google Docs. It definitely doesn’t have all the same functionality, but it’s been improving quite a bit lately.

    Also, the eCover makes a world of difference! I used to have a generic eCover for a PLR ebook that I was giving away to build my list, then I got a new cover and increased conversions by AT LEAST 15%. Even people that already subscribed joined again because of the new cover!

    I am definitely sharing this post and I will know where to find it when I decide to actually put some time into writing long form content.

    Thanks for the awesome post,
    -Gabe

    • Matt

      Thanks Gabe. I love Google Docs as well. I just use it for other stuff. OpenOffice seems to work best for me for formatting specifically for Kindle though.

      The cover is huge. It’s the first impression and definitely makes a difference in whether or not the book sales.

  • http://www.topbloggingcoach.com Theodore.N

    Sorry one more question please……..

    4. How do publishers recieve their money? and how?

    Is it through paypal, cheque or how? am asking because paypal don’t ask some countries.

    and is there any particular amount your money can get to before you request for withdrawal?

    Thanks once again.

    • Matt

      I receive money through direct deposit. Although I do believe there’s an option to receive payment via check.

      I’m not sure about a minimum to get paid. I believe it’s low… Something like $10 if you use Direct Deposit.

  • Bill

    Thanks for the graat resource! I just published my first and will soon launch my second – with greater success thanks to your tips.

    • Matt

      Awesome Bill. Congrats on getting going. Feel free to mention your book in our Kindle group. You may get some feedback and extra reviews out of it.

  • http://incomepress.com Joey

    An AMAZING post brotha. Congrats. Super excited for ya and this just really gets my juices flowing. Now I can’t wait to get my book out and shoot for that #1 spot ;-)

    • http://incomepress.com Joey

      BTW, thanks for the mention ;-) I think our peeps will enjoy our podcast session on this topic …

    • Matt

      Thanks Joey. Glad you enjoyed it. Looking forward to our call on Wednesday. Should be fun!

  • Brenda

    Very exciting and thorough post! May your transparency pay off in spades.

    Most product creators talk about the how-to’s but seldom reveal their actual secret sauce/proof.

    I’ve paid real money for information half as comprehensive as this.

    Cheers,
    Brenda

    • Matt

      Thanks Brenda. I think it took me 3 or 4 days to write this post. I wanted to make sure I included as much as possible.

  • Lee

    Very detailed post with lots of great information. As mentioned above many IM er’s would have charged for this info. As far as creating a book cover, there is available a free creator called Logo Creator which is excellent. You must go to Laughingbird Software’s facebook page and like it. It will then take you to the download page for the software. This will produce all kinds of things for graphics – headers, page covers, pictures, etc. Try it, I think you’ll like it. Again, thanks for this valuable information!!

    Lee

    • Matt

      Thanks Lee. Sounds like a good resource. I’ll definitely check that out.

    • http://www.topbloggingcoach.com Theodore.N

      Hi Lee
      Thanks this info, I’ve actually liked the facebook page is instructed but nothing happend.

      Any help?

      Theodore

  • http://aerial-photography-academy.com David Rodwell

    My gosh Matt, I have no children but to give birth to a book and then watch it grow to Number One must be like having your son or daughter grow up to be President. I can only imagine the pride.

    That being said, this post is a Mini Book in itself. I have 3 pages of notes just from 3 readings of it.

    When do you recharge your batteries buddy?

    It is starting to sound worn out but what you do is a game changer for many of us.

    Thank you.

    David Rodwell

    • Matt

      Thanks so much David. I think I have a problem… :) Whenever I learn how to do cool stuff I can’t help but turn around and teach it. I just can’t keep things to myself…

      Thanks so much for all the support so far. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

  • http://aikenpen.com Richard Van Hulle

    Matt:

    This writing is great, however not all of us are publishing a book as you are. I don’t see how a person selling a product or multipule products could benefit from this writing to a full extent. Especilly a new or intermediate person. Maybe I lost something in the interpertation.

    Richard, Aiken Pen & Pencil

    • Matt

      Hi Richard,

      To be honest, this post may not be for everyone. I write blog posts to share my experiences and what I’m working on in the hopes that others will gain something out of my experience… I can’t make every post I write appeal to everyone who visits the site.

      People who are interested in publishing will like this post, people who aren’t will hopefully see the value in it but browse to some of my posts that are more relevant to them.

      Thanks for commenting.

  • http://Www.videosaleslab.com Joe Fier

    AWESOME post man! I’ve been through some of the courses you listed and this blog post is probably a better starting point than even picking one of those up

    What’s really great about Kindle publishing (or online publishing in general) is that ANYONE can start a new online biz this way… No matter what your previous experience is.

    If I had to start all over again, this is exactly what I would do.

    Thanks for posting this brother!

    • http://aerial-photography-academy.com David Rodwell

      Once early one morning, I sat in a coffee shop in Las Vegas and Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters came in for breakfast.

      I was just sitting in Matt’s Blog Shop and Joe Fier just walked in…OMG!

      Thanks for the visit!

      David Rodwell

    • Matt

      Thanks Joe. I love the publishing model. Obviously you and I have had several calls on the topic. It’s an exciting thing to be in to and I think it’s the future of information marketing.

  • http://aerial-photography-academy.com David Rodwell

    Richard,

    Good morning,

    Welcome to the Blog. It is good to see you here. Matt works in a number of areas and generally responds to those topics we ask him to cover.

    This area of Kindle Publishing as you say, may not be interesting to all but again it is only one post out of dozens of others.

    What Matt is most famous for is his WordPress Classroom:

    http://www.thewpclassroom.com/

    You may find other posts that will give you some of the information you are seeking.

    What is your interest in Internet Marketing? Do you have a Product or Service to offer?

    Again welcome and we hope to hear more from you.

    David Rodwell

  • http://www.childbirthsolutions.com Bonnie B Matheson

    This is so valuable. This information is coming just at the perfect time for my newest book. (One I have just had the idea for today!)

    I only wish I had known all these tips when I first wrote my first book: Ahead of the Curve, an intimate conversation with women in the second fifty years of life. http://readaheadofthecurve.com/

    • Matt

      Thanks Bonnie. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Good luck with your newest book! Keep us in the loop on your progress as well!

  • Gina

    Thank you Matt! Such a great post and exactly what I needed to get my book finished and published. I really appreciate you sharing and putting the time in to compiling this. Awesome – thanks!! Gina

    • Matt

      Thanks Gina! I’m glad it helped! :)

  • http://www.onespicyblog.com Carolyn, Vancouver

    Hey Matt, thanks for the great post! I think it is a topic that has been quite over-complicated; I like the way you’ve distilled it down.

    I was one of the 100 who bought your book. I just couldn’t resist! Wow! a wordpress book, by someone who knows what he’s talking about! So much easier for me than wading through a video to get the one little thing I’ve missed (rinse and repeat, happens a lot!).

    Big congrats on your success, it’s inspiring. Gotta go get my Kindle book happening now!

    Carolyn

    • Matt

      Thanks so much for the support Carolyn! I’m glad you enjoyed the book. Thanks for being one of the first 100 :)

  • http://.marketing-wellness.ca Joy Miles

    Well done, Matt. You could publish this as another ebook!

    • Matt

      Hey Joy. I may actually do that. I was planning on putting together a book on my experience with Kindle Publishing. This will be a good starting point for me to build off of.

      Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Tony Ross

    Awesome guide Matt, as always.

    • Matt

      Thanks Tony. Glad you liked it!

  • Jeff TenEyck

    Wow Matt,

    Amazingly detailed post. As David commented above, this post could almost be a short book in itself. I probably know at least a little better than most just how busy you are and how many plates you keep simultaneously spinning on their sticks. So in the middle of ALL else you have going on, to not only get your book written, published, and marketed, but to find the time to share such a detailed and instructional “Step by Step” here on your blog on top of it all is a VERY solid testimony to your insane passion for helping others be successful.

    A HUGE congrats on the success of your book so far!! This is truly amazing to get such a “birds eye view of, and a lot of fun to watch and get to share in your excitement.

    One question I have, since you mention the “opt in page” at least 3 times….
    Any rough stats on the conversion rate so far? i.e. how many opt ins compared to number of books sold so far.

    Again, this is truly an incredible resource as blog post go, and I’m sure in the next few days you’re liable to have a new “most popular post in the history of your blog”. Good luck keeping up with all the comments that are most likely about to come flooding in here! LOL

    Thanks SO much for sharing in such a helpful manner of detail!!

    ~ Jeff

    • Matt

      Hey Jeff. You’re one of the few here who knows all of the things I’m in the middle of at any given time. :) It’s been a lot.

      I have a passion for writing and creating content though. Despite all that I have going on, I still somehow manage to find time to squeeze in writing here and there.

      As far as the opt-in, I’ve been seeing 45% opt-in rates from people landing on the page. The trick is getting people from the book to the opt-in page. So far, I’ve managed to get about 14% of the people who buy the book to go over to the page. Of that 14%, about 50% actually opt-in…

  • http://www.easywebinarplugin.com Casey Zeman

    Matt, you are one of those rare people that just provide so much awesome information. I also love when you set a goal and achieve it!

    You decide, ok, I am going to explore this avenue of making money and you get it done! Absolutely invaluable .

    I am going to completely retweak my kindle books based on the advice you gave. You rock brother!

    • Matt

      Thanks Casey. We need to have a chat soon about this stuff. I’ve got some ideas for you.

  • http://www.asksusanne,.com susanne

    notice that there are no replies to the comments so wondering if it is worthwhile asking a question regarding your post?

    ask anyway…can you insert images in your doc. to upload to kindle or do you need a separate file?

    thank you for the post so well written and clear

    • Matt

      Hi Susanne. I usually answer all questions on my blog posts. I just can’t always get to them all right away on the same day I make the blog post. I do try though. ;)

      You can definitely add images in to your .doc file before uploading. There’s no need to upload them separately at all.

      Hope that helps!

      • http://www.asksusanne,.com susanne

        thanks for the reply, I just saw all the comments and did not check to see when they were posted. You have a vibrant, busy blog and I have made sure I keep getting your new posts. I appreciate your open style of communicating. All the success to your new book

  • http://sitedeets.com/wallmounteddesk.net how to make a wall mounted desk

    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was wondering what all is required to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog
    like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very internet savvy so I’m not 100% certain. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Cheers

    • http://www.aerial-photography-academy.com/blog David Rodwell

      Matt may not have time to answer many questions here. But the short answer to what it costs….it’s about $7 to $8 a month for the Blog itself and the name that you must register is around $9 a year.

      So all told around $100 a year.

      David

    • Matt

      Interesting name… “How to make a wall mounted desk”. My first piece of advice would actually be that, when commenting on other people’s blogs, use a real name. I’m not going to delete your post but most bloggers would… Using a name like that makes your comment look like spam. (I’m surprised it passed my spam filter to be honest). One of the ways people get traffic is by commenting on other blogs. Using a real name makes people believe you are a real person and not a bot.

      Check out http://www.thewpclassroom.com/free/ to get started with some free training videos.

  • http://www.topbloggingcoach.com Theodore.N

    Just joined your group Matt, Thanks for this one of a kind post. Please do you have any idea of this tool called Kinstant Formatter? I’ve heard alot about it on Pat Plynn ‘s facebook group.

    Thanks

    • Matt

      Hey Theodore. I actually bought Kinstant Formatter and did not like it. I found it much easier to format my books using the method explained in this post than I did using Kinstant. In fact, it actually kept messing up my formatting when I was testing it…

      Your results may vary though. I may do more testing in the future. OpenOffice does the trick for me though.

  • http://www.linkandbuild.com Nathan

    Great post Matt, I have been working on publishing my own book as well (Still a WIP) and the information you have given here is absolutely brilliant.

    Nathan

    • Matt

      Thanks Nathan! Glad you enjoyed it. We’d all love to hear the progress as you move ahead with your book as well!

  • http://www.topbloggingcoach.com Theodore.N

    Thanks for this wonderful replies Matt, you’r a real Gem.

    Based on your reply above about where I’m from, I’m a Nigerian.

    Please one more thing i need to know is if there is a particular size in pixels that the book cover should be.

    I’m enjoying the comments and your facebook group so far.

    Please keep it up.

    Please I’m still waiting for your reply regards the email i sent you.

    Keep it up.

    • Matt

      Hey Theodore,

      I’ve found that about 1,000 x 1,500 is a pretty good size for a book cover.

      Glad to have you hanging out in the group!

  • http://marketingwithsergio.com Sergio Felix

    Hey Matt, this post was simply beyond insane my man!

    I thought publishing on Kindle was very easy since a few friends have done it already but it surely seems like you need a very detailed checklist for doing things right!

    Thanks for the awesome breakdown and this is definitely going to be a come-back post before publishing for the first time on Kindle.

    Cheers man and keep up the awesome work!

    Sergio

    • Matt

      Hey Sergio,

      That’s the beauty of Amazon. It IS easy to publish books. However, it’s not real straight forward when it comes to formatting the book or marketing the book… That’s where you’ve got to get a bit creative.

  • Jeff TenEyck

    Hey Matt,

    Just wanted to step up in support of Theodre’s request. I did get a comment about this from him over at the support desk and sent him over here. He’s having trouble receiving the hard copy based on his geographic location. He was asking if you can email a soft copy.

    ~ Jeff

    • Matt

      Hey Jeff,

      The hardcopy isn’t ready for anyone yet. A few more days and we should be set. I’ve been interacting with Theodore over in the private Facebook group as well so I think he’s getting his questions sorted.

    • http://www.topbloggingcoach.com Theodore.N

      Thanks Jeff, I’ve gotten the soft copy from Matt and its really awesome.

    • http://www.topbloggingcoach.com Theodore.N

      Thanks for that support Jeff, Matt has sent me the soft copy.

  • http://aerial-photography-academy.com David Rodwell

    I just saw where India just opened up for Kindle sales…last count, as I recall, means about 1,000,000,000 just came online as potential customers.

    Maybe something on Yoga or Indian Cooking….well maybe not…but it excites me. If only 1/10000th of 1% bought, that’s 100,000 sales.

    OMG!

    Let’s go with the Kindle book Matt…quick!

    Love the shoulder ink….my wife wants to see a close up!

    David

  • http://www.topbloggingcoach.com Theodore.N

    Thanks Matt, you’ve been a great adviser indeed, please keep it up. Please is still one thing you’ve not attended to, i sent you a mail some days ago about something very vital to me, please how i wish you could check it out.

    Thanks.

    BTW: Thanks for visiting my blog, I’m honored.

    • Matt

      Hey Theodore,

      I got your emails. No worries about not leaving a review. I don’t mind. I’m glad you enjoyed the book!

  • http://www.mandyallen.com Mandy Allen

    Hi Matt, great post and some valuable tips, thanks. I wonder whether you used a guide to creating a book for kindle. I bought one some time ago but although I followed all the instructions my book look rubbish on kindle! It’s all in the formatting but where did you get that information from or does open office just do it? It was something to do with punctuation ending up as hyroglyphics if you don’t change the settings correctly. Anyway, would be good to know if you used a guide. The links above look like they are more about marketing the finished product. I am interested in the steps to create the product.

    Enjoy the journey.

    Mandy

    • Matt

      Hey Mandy,

      When it comes to formatting, I’ve figured it out through trial and error. Open Office just seemed to work the best for me after trying a couple other word processors. Other than that, I did use the guides that I mentioned in the post… Those helped a bit too.

  • http://aerial-photography-academy.com David Rodwell

    Good morning Matt,

    Did you and your family come through the rocking and rolling ok? Your new house is fine??

    • Matt

      Hey David,

      Not much shaking where we were at. Thanks for the concern though. :)

  • http://selfmadesuccess101.com Sharyn

    Massively great post – I am now wading through your links. Have just written my second book “What’s Stopping You” 5 Step Process to Success Learned from my 1 on 1 with Tony Robbins. You have so helped me get into the marketing process. Thanks heaps!

    • Matt

      Congrats on getting your second book written!

  • http://www.mylearningprocess.com Miki Vicioso @ My Learning Process

    Great guide Matt! This makes me wonder if I should give this a try! Keep it up!

    • Matt

      I think you should… Check out my latest blog post (coming later today) to find out more about why I love this model.

  • sania

    Great post, its not a guide its a temptation to write a book

    • Matt

      Thanks so much!

  • http://www.ingeniousinternetincome.com Steve Eason

    Thanks a million Matt for this post. I have been working on an ebook that I had planned to self publish and post on my site for sale. I have been working over the past few days on formatting the document to make it look the best I can inside and out. I showed the current state to an Internet Marketing friend and he looked it over and then said, “Can I be frank on my answer?” Of course I wanted him to be frank.

    He then asked why I wasn’t publishing it on Amazon? Get it where you can get more traffic than you can through your website. So I gave it a lot of thought the rest of the evening and then remembered that you had mentioned something about publishing on Amazon a few days back. So I came here to ask you for a few resources on how to do it right. Guess what I found? You guessed it. A simple guide showing exactly how you did it along with resources to other training.

    You read my mind before I even knew I needed it. As a blogger myself, that’s a great feeling to know you provided something for someone when they needed it. So I get a chance to let you know that you were able to do that for me. I’ll be heading over after this to join the FB group. And I appreciate your information. Thanks a Bazillion.

  • http://www.debhathaway.com Deb Hathaway

    Phew! I’m on Matt overload! I started by reading your Word Press Revealed… and ended with this post.

    As a newbie blogger, I wanted help spiffing up my Word Press site. Your book was a little too advanced for me in some areas… Yet too simplistic in others. All in all I was able to use a lot of the information.

    I am in the process of writing a book and was considering going through normal publishing channels, but now will look closer to KDP.

    Thanks for helping those of us not knowing where to start.

  • Sean Armstrong

    Matt,

    I stumbled upon your website recently and I am glad that I did. You are doing some great work here and I really respect the small internet empire you are building. This Amazon publishing concept has me intrigued and I personally know several authors that I may be able to work with. However, I am a little cloudy on the process of publishing another author’s work. You mentioned it is best to pay an upfront fee for the book and then publish it through the Amazon Kindle store. Could you please explain how this works in greater detail? I guess I am confused because if it is easy to publish to the Amazon Kindle, why don’t the authors do it themselves and reap the profits? Maybe I am over thinking it; please set me on the right path.

    Best regards,
    Sean

  • http://www.katiecraig.com Katie Craig

    Thank you – sometimes we all need a little help to get things moving and this is an an excellent step by step help giude

  • Max

    Hi Matt. read your book and it’s good.
    But you should point out also the dangers of keeping a wordpress site!
    You suggested as an alternative to commercial sites to search google for “free wordpress themes”… but i just discovered they are not always safe!
    http://wpmu.org/why-you-should-never-search-for-free-wordpress-themes-in-google-or-anywhere-else/

  • http://www.jasonfox.me Jason Fox

    Matt,
    This is a must read for anyone thinking of writing their first book. I can’t believe you shared this much information. That is awesome. I forwarded it to a friend of mine that basically has a book written but has been trying to figure out how to bring it to fruition. Thank you.