A reader emailed me with questions about eBook publishing:
“Hey man. Saw you published an eBook. I’m actually getting ready to release an ebook myself. And so I was wondering if you can give me a quick crash course on what to do after you’ve written the damn thing. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated! :) I saw on a post that you use e-junkie and Clickbank. So, how much did the entire set-up cost? What software and services did you use? Thanks in advance, Kid Strangelove.”
Rather than answer him directly, I thought I’d share my knowledge and write a post about it instead.
So let’s get started!
Why Should YOU Be Self-Publishing An eBook?
Entrepreneurship = Freedom
Many think the Red Pill is only about seducing and bedding attractive women. But it’s also about freedom and entrepreneurship. Satisfying your masculine desire to make something out of nothing. Learning to create and make money on your own, without a boss.
Because that’s the only path to real freedom.
I always wanted to do it. But it wasn’t until I digested TRP that I actually did something about it. Now I see no other way. Entrepreneurship is just the flip side of the Red Pill coin.
The idea of earning royalties always appealed to me.
Money flowing into your account until you die. Hell, yeah.
But did you know that most old-school, traditional authors earn 10-15% royalty per sale?
And that’s not great.
Check out royalty breakdowns:
- Traditional Publishing – 10-15%
- Self-Publishing via Affiliate Sale – 30%
- Amazon Publishing – 30-70% Royalty, depends on price
- Self Publishing via Direct Sale – Up to 90%
With self-publishing you clearly keep more of what you earn.
Scalability & Control
If you’ve read books like the Millionaire Fastlane, then you know that some businesses are just better than others. And while M.J. DeMarco isn’t a fan of blogs, he does endorse content delivery systems. And blogs can be good platforms for content delivery. Automated content systems satisfy certain rules:
- Scalability – Content delivery systems separate your time from your earning ability and they’re scalable. That means if you can sell 1 unit per day, you can sell 1,000 a day with roughly the same amount of work. Of course, you’ve still got to market and get readers – a ton of work is required. But once you’ve got your system up and running, you can just scale up your efforts.
- Control – When you self-publish, you control damn near everything. No one can shut you down. No one can ban you or your content. Yes, you have no safety net. But also, no limits.
Still with me?
Now you understand why…
So, let’s get to the ‘how.’
1) Brainstorm Ideas
This part is challenging. But it all starts here.
There are two main ways to come up with eBook ideas:
- Keyword Research – If you’re starting from scratch, with no blog, you should do research your topic first. Use a keyword research tool like Google Adwords. Then write your eBook based on your findings. I did NOT use this technique, so won’t expand on it here. See the additional resources at the bottom of this post for more info.
- Blog Stat Research – If you own a blog then you’ve already got a powerful research tool at your disposal. I use the Jetpack plugin. You can use it to track statistics and research search terms and popular posts you’ve published.
After analyzing my stats I found that my most popular post was 5 Tips To Give Her The Best Orgasms Of Her Life.
So, I figured if that post is so popular, why not write a book about it? RPO was born.
So what kind of blog should you start? Up to you. Just remember the most profitable topics will likely fall into one of these three categories:
Clearly, I’m biased towards the relationship/sex/game niche.
Consider this next concept:
2) Add Value
It took a long time for me to wrap my mind around this. But you must understand it BEFORE you invest time into your book:
Your product must add value.
See no one gives a shit about your money-making dreams.
No one cares about your online empire.
They only care about one thing:
How Can YOU can help THEM?
So, answer these questions BEFORE you begin:
- How can I HELP people?
- How can I ADD VALUE to their lives?
If you can help people by adding value, making their lives richer, you’ll make sales.
So stop thinking about making money. Think about adding value instead.
Not easy, but simple.
3) Write It
Got a great idea in mind?
Now, it’s time to do the hard work.
Sit your ass down and write.
- Embrace The Grind – No way around it. It’s gonna be hard. Try and fall in love with the process. Learning to enjoy the hard work will make it more tolerable.
- Adopt A Producer Mindset – This is hard. We’ve been raised as consumers. But you’ve got to change your mindset. Start thinking and acting like a Producer not a Consumer.
- Make It A Habit – Make your eBook writing a habit. I went to the same coffee shop for weeks until my book was done.
- Pomodoro Technique – This time management method is an awesome way to get things done. I’ve used it with great results.
- Be Robotic – Think of yourself as a robot. Like a writing machine. Just sit down and put words down on paper. No emotion just production.
4) Edit It
Once you’ve got your book written, you’ll need to edit it. Your customers paid good money for your book. They should get a quality product.
You have two choices.
Do it yourself.
Or hire an editor.
I recommend investing in an editor. It’ll cost extra, but it’s worth it. If you want to be taken seriously, your book must be well-edited. Typos are an insult to paying readers. It’s easy to miss errors when you self-edit. So if you want it done properly, best to hire a pro. Find editors on Fiverr, oDesk, or eLance.
5) Design Cover
You’ll need a professional-looking cover. I used myEcover Maker ($14.95 a month) to design my first cover. Pay for a one-month subscription, make the cover, then cancel it. You’ll want two cover versions when marketing your book– one “Flat Cover” and one “3D Cover.” Don’t want to do it yourself? Find a designer on a freelance site or hire a high-end designer like Matt Lawrence.
6) Buy Your eBook Domain
Your eBook domain should be separate from your blog, if you have one. Ideally you’ll have a separate domain name for each eBook you write. I use GoDaddy.com ($12 per year per domain) to manage my domains.
7) Host It
Once you’ve got your domain name picked out, you’ll need to purchase a hosting package. I use a hosting company called HostWithLove.com for all my sites.
8) Install WordPress
After you’ve got your domain purchased and hosting set up, you’ll need to install WordPress.
Should you go with WordPress.com, or WordPress.org?
Use WordPress.org, it offers more control and better customization options.
For more detail, here’s a rundown of the pros and cons of each.
The installation process differs from host to host.
If you own a blog you likely already know how to do this.
Installing WordPress is beyond scope of this post.
Call your host for help, or Google it.
9) Build A Sales Page
The landing page is key to your marketing efforts. Save yourself time with OptimizePress ($99). It’s the best designed sales page theme on the market. I love it. It’s pricey but worth every penny. Use it and you’ll save yourself countless hours of wasted time, especially if design isn’t really your thing.
See Sean Ogle’s post on creating effective landing pages with OptimizePress and writing copy that sells. I used it as a guide when creating my first sales page.
- Color Theory – This is an important but often overlooked part of design. Color strongly influences buying patterns. I chose the RPO splash page colors for a reason. Choose colors that make buyers take action. You can also use a color palette tool to find colors that complement each other, adding a pro look to your page.
Need more ideas? Take to the web. Study and emulate the best sales pages. Don’t plagiarize outright, but borrow design as needed.
Use e-Junkie ($5 monthly fee) to host and distribute your eBook file. It’ll be delivered in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. e-Junkie automatically sends it to each new customer after each purchase via downloadable link.
If you go this route, you’ll need to integrate e-Junkie (distribution) along with ClickBank (payment processing).
Piracy is a big issue online. No one wants their content stolen. You can protect your content. e-Junkie offers a way to fight piracy – a tool called PDF stamping. It automatically encrypts & stamps each book you sell with the buyer’s unique info – their name, email, and individual buyer code. Not foolproof, but PDF stamping cuts down on copying.
Here’s how set up encryption.
12) Set Up Payment Processing
I use ClickBank ($50 set up fee) for payment processing.
That means CB takes payment, takes their cut, and then deposits your cash into your bank account.
Clickbank accepts credit cards and PayPal.
They allow you to control the timing of your payouts.
They also let you set up affiliate programs, which we’ll look at later.
13) Build An Email List
Building email lists is often overlooked. But it’s critical for your marketing efforts.
So do it right from the beginning.
Use ClickBank and e-Junkie along with Aweber.
Integrating the three is a bit complex but the only way to go.
You’ll make a sale, collect payment, send the book link, and collect the buyer’s email. Automatically, and all at once.
Soon you’ll have an email list of your buyers. And that will help with marketing later eBooks.
Aweber fees range from $20 to $30 a month depending on the number of subscribers you have.
Here’s how to integrate all three.
14) Offer Money-Back Guarantee
You’ve gotta stand behind your product and offer a money-back guarantee.
And if you use Clickbank, a 60-day money back guarantee is mandatory!
That’s not a bad thing.
Your sales page guarantee is a proven way to entice customers to buy, since they’ll have nothing to lose.
15) Minimize Refunds
And if you offer a money-back guarantee? Some buyers will demand refunds.
Don’t take it personally, it’s just part of business.
Want to know a secret? My very first buyer asked for a refund. Yeah! It sucked – bruised my ego.
But my second buyer? A manosphere blogger who I now correspond with. And since then refunds have been minimal.
How can you keep your refund rate low? Create a valuable product that people feel good about purchasing.
I’ve also found that affiliate traffic from fellow Red Pill bloggers is more valuable than traffic from lower quality affiliates. Manosphere readers tend to “get it” and not ask for refunds.
This is another challenging part. You’ll need traffic to make sales. If you’ve got an existing blog, you’re ahead of the game already. If not, then start blogging or marketing to gain readers and make sales.
Remember, not all blog traffic is the same.
Focus on quality over quantity.
More traffic isn’t always better – you want readers that buy not people looking for freebies.
What good is 10,000 visitors a day if they don’t buy anything?
Better to have 500 visitors a day who DO buy.
Marketing is another vast topic that won’t be covered here.
17) Build Affiliate Army
Affiliates are an effective marketing tool, a great way to increase sales.
So far, the bulk of my sales have come via affiliate partners. You’ll make less per sale with affiliates, but there will be more of them. Plus you’re helping another guy make cash, which I find satisfying.
Clickbank has a solid affiliate program – bloggers and marketers promote your products in exchange for commission. Set up an affiliate page so they can sign up.
You can also actively recruit affiliates. Offer your eBook for free to other bloggers in your niche. If they like it, they’ll sign up as affiliates and publish a review of your eBook on their blog – increasing your sales.
18) Hit Your Sales Goals
When I started out my goal was to sell just ONE book.
That’s it. Just one.
So, just focus on all your energy on scoring your first sale, making your first dollar.
Once you do, it’s just a matter of scaling up.
19) Get Killer Testimonials
People want to know that others found value in your product. But at first, you won’t have any testimonials because you won’t have any sales!
So, how can you get them?
You’ll have their email address. Wait a few weeks after they buy. Then send them a message. Ask them what they thought.
If they’re happy, ask to use their quotes for the testimonials section of your sales page.
You can also use blogger review excerpts for your testimonials.
20) Track Conversion Ratios
After you’ve been selling for a while, you’ll become interested in your conversion ratios. This ratio is key to measuring the effectiveness of your sales page.
For example, say you had 50 unique visitors in one day and made 5 sales.
5 sales / 50 unique visitors = 10% conversion ratio
So what’s a good conversion ratio?
According to my research, a conversion ratio of 2% to 4% is within normal range.
21) Publish On Amazon
This is an optional step. But you can self-publish AND publish on Amazon.
I sell RPO on my own, but also on Amazon using the KPD program.
There are a few benefits to publishing on Amazon:
- Fewer Refunds
- Large Global Audience
- Some Prefer Kindle
- Free & Easy To Publish on KDP
- Quick Payouts
Publishing on Amazon can’t hurt, so why not? It’s just another sales funnel.
- How To Write An eBook For Fun And Profit by Victor Pride at Bold & Determined. One of the most valuable posts on the internet – it inspired me to publish my first eBook and also this guide.
- What I Learned From Writing My First eBooks by Pill Scout. He offers his take on self-publishing.
- Orange You Glad Orange Is Good For Marketing from BlueLeadz. An interesting article describing how marketers use color.
Damn, long post!
But if you’ve made it this far, then you’re probably serious about self-publishing your own book. Well now you’ve got all the tools you need, all the steps broken down for you.
So go create. Then publish, sell, and watch the money roll in!
Read More: 10 Reasons Why You Should Climb A Mountain