7 Benefits of Writing Short Kindle Books

Why should you consider ditching the old-school traditional publishing EPIC BOOK LENGTH mindset in favor of shorter, punchier, more narrowly focused ebooks? I’ve got SEVEN reasons for you right here as well as another 20,000+ words on it if you’re curious to learn more!

Please feel free to share this infographic on your Pinterest page, blog, or other cool online social media thingamawhatsits!

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TakeThis.Org Podcast Ep. 2 – I Talk Shop about Self-Publishing and Working Through the Challenges of the Writing Life w/ Russ Pitts

I was a recent guest on TakeThis.org’s new podcast and had a great time talking with my colleague and former editor Russ Pitts about books, self-publishing, freelancing, and the writing life. But more importantly: throughout this conversation, we also talk openly about our personal challenges and how we’ve worked to overcome them in our writing careers. I’ve struggled with depression, severe anxiety, and ADHD, which has had a big impact on my day-to-day routine as a professional writer. In this interesting and upbeat discussion, Russ and I both share some of the things we face and offer tips on how other writers with similar challenges can work through them.

You can listen to it here!

Woah, I Hit #1 Kindle Bestseller in Business Writing

bestsellerWOAH. So THAT happened?! Out of all five books I’ve launched, I’ve come close to hitting #1 in my categories at different times (CURSE YOU HUNTER S THOMPSON – who I actually love reading, BTW), but this is the first time I’ve actually hit #1! Super SUPER cool, and it definitely helps make some of the wonkiness from earlier this week a little less frustrating. Not sure how long it’ll stick, but I checked and was able to grab this screenshot! Awesome!

You can help me push upwards in other categories too by grabbing the book for $0.99 today or leaving a review if you enjoyed it! Thanks everybody! FIST BUUUMP!

 

Write Short Kindle Books UPDATE (Only $0.99) — And The Inner Struggles of Promoting Your Own Work

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Welp, it’s been a very interesting week, and I’ve learned quite a bit from my free experiment! After a bit of wonkiness with the free to paid transition, however, I’ve finally got things ironed out and stable. Rather than bump up from free to fully operational death star pricing, I’ve settled on a nice and neat compromise: $0.99!

Write Short Kindle Books: A Self-Publishing Manifesto for Non-Fiction Authors will remain at $0.99 through the rest of the month, but it’ll eventually bump back up towards full price after that point.

So yeah, you can grab a book that’s getting great reviews, a lot of positive feedback, and has done well in the charts for less than a cup of good coffee. I think that’s a fair deal no? I make about 35 cents per copy sold. Not a ton of green, but every sale adds up, and if folks grab it now, it’ll help me rebuild some of the lost momentum from earlier this week.

I’d really love to hit #1 bestseller in at least one of my paid categories, and every download, review, and social media share definitely helps push things towards that goal. For some of my categories, that shouldn’t be impossible, but I’ll def need a bit of a push and that requires you, dear hu-mans of the internet!

So what do you think of the book so far?

It’s been out for a few days now, and over 700 people have downloaded it. That’s awesome! If you’re one of the many who has checked out the book and are enjoying it, I’d love to hear what you think. You can do that AND give me a hand (or huge internet-spanning fist-bump, if your prefer), by leaving a short rating/review for the book on Amazon right HERE! It’s super simple, takes about 30 seconds, and is a HUGE help to me.

Reviews actually have some impact on book charts, and they’re important to book browsers on the Kindle marketplace who are looking to quickly determine whether a book is worth checking out. The more reviews a book has, especially if they’re generally positive, the more likelihood people will grab a copy. So do you think WSKB is worth a read? Let folks know!

A brief aside about the challenges of banging the cowbell as an indie ANYTHING

I know some people might read my posts, tweets, and messages around every book launch and go What an ass. Always asking for help. Always telling me about his books. Always asking for reviews. Always asking us to buy his stupid books. Blah blah blah. I actually had someone say as much recently — when I sent out an early call to my small book mailing list seeking beta readers for this very book, then followed up a few weeks later with a “which cover do you like better” email. Wasn’t asking for much, but for that person it was too much.

Listen, the truth is, I actually spend a lot of my own personal time helping other people out whenever I can — through emails, through my work, my writing, my projects, and just in general. I often don’t get paid for that time, but I love to do it. Like many writers, I struggle to make ends meet sometimes, but I try my best to promote other people’s work, help out author and writer peeps however I can, and generally be a nice and as helpful a dude as I can be — even if I’m having a crappy day.

Yet I often feel guilty asking others for help when I plug my books online, ask for reviews, asking for people to buy my work — especially around each of these launches. I understand it gets annoying. I cringe when I send out one too many Tweets about “Hey, my book is on sale, check it,” because I know that could be the one that spurs person x or reader y to unfollow and scrub me from their radar. I’ve tried to become more creative with my approach to make the dirty work that must be done a little more fun and hopefully a little more entertaining for everyone.

It’s a risk I have to take sometimes, because as an independent author, writer, developer, creator, I can’t count on other people to plug my work, to help me out, or to help spread the word. Many great people do that, and for that I’m grateful. But I can’t take it for granted. So I do what I can to bang the cowbell for my work when I need to the most.

The good news, is I try to be fairly quiet about it during other non-launch times of year, and I also try to create other content that offers additional value to folks while also boosting visibility of my projects that I need to promote. Like my new Indie Author Success Tips Video series I’m posting on the blog M, W, and F, for example.

So thank you for your patience, readers, social media followers, and other folks reading this. Cheers!

When Book Launches Go Horribly, Horribly Awry (And Why I’m Pressing “Reset”)

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Picture this: That feeling you get when you give away almost 700 copies of your book for FREE, you rocket up Amazon’s free charts, you hit #1 in a few categories, everything is going amazing and according to plan, then you flip a switch the wrong way behind the scenes and it all comes crashing down on you? Yup, that was me just a few hours ago! Woo!

So my new book Write Short Kindle Books: A Self-Publishing Manifesto for Non-Fiction Authors launched a few days ago with a limited time FREE promo. People were downloading it. It’s received really positive reviews. And best of all, it pushed me to the #1 free bestseller slot in three different categories (note: not the same as #1 paid bestseller, which I probably could have hit if things hadn’t faltered). But yeah, that’s still AWESOME!

The idea, was to give away copies to boost the book’s ranking on Amazon’s free charts, then at the end of the promo (basically when the downloads started to wane and before the rankings started slipping), the plan was to flip the switch during prime time hours — jumping to the paid charts and getting a nice boost of actual paid sales to make all the hard effort put into this launch worthwhile.

Everything was going great! Until I hit the goddamned SELF-DESTRUCT BUTTON on the whole thing. #facepalm

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Wow, So THAT Happened! (Day One Launch Results)

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You never really know how the results of your experiments will pan out, until you dive in and things start to happen. Day One of launching my new book Write Short Kindle Books for FREE went REALLY well! I’m keeping detailed notes on everything I’m doing throughout this launch and the results they yield, and I’ll be sharing that with folks down the line too. But for now, here’s a quick look at what happened!

Day One FREE Launch Results

WSKDKindleCoverLaunching on a Sunday felt a bit weird, but it worked out surprisingly well and with a relatively minimal amount of plugging online. Granted, I did post a bit here and there on FB, Twitter, and beyond, and I reached out to folks on my mailing list and a few other places, but I tried to ease off the trigger a hair with this launch. You’ll still see me posting about it daily here and there throughout the FREE promo, but I’m looking to drive this more through content than just social media blasts.

I closed out Day One with 327 downloads and hit #1 in the top 100 bestseller free charts for both of my book’s categories. Now…these are FREE downloads, mind you, so I haven’t made any income off this yet, which (to be honest) makes me a hair nervous, but there are a few strategies behind launching for free.

1) It gets the book in the hands of a lot of readers – I have a fairly decent sized core group of folks who like my other books and follow me on various channels. I’m happy to give them a free book, see what they think, and spread the love.

2) It impacts the book’s Amazon ranking in a BIG way – This book is less niche than my other works, and I’m hoping to get it out to a larger audience of people who aren’t familiar with my current books. To do that, I need the help of my core peeps to drive this bad boy up into the charts to get visibility.

3) It puts more reviews on the board – Amazon reviews, particularly positive ones, can have a REALLY HUGE impact on your books sales, visibility, and whether or not people give it more than a first glance. It can be really tough to get organic reviews, since for every few hundred people who download your book, you’ll be lucky if you get a handful of ratings. I’m really gunning to get a lot more reviews on the board with this book than I have with all of my previous books combined. So if you dig the book and want to leave a review, you can do so HERE! (It only takes 30 seconds).

I’m really hoping things keep going at the current pace, because the idea here, is to use the momentum built from this big free promotion to help trigger a lot of paid sales once I flip the switch later this week. So I’m feeling fairly good about things so far. I’m cautiously optimistic, but the REAL results of this launch will spin out in the days to come.

I’ve seen this (and other strategies I’m trying) work really well for a lot of other authors. Will it work out in this case? I really hope so. At the very least, people seem to be grabbing the book, and the reviews and feedback so far has been overwhelmingly positive, which feels GREAT!

No matter how well you think you might be doing as an author, writer, freelancer, whatever, there are always self-doubts and anxieties that creep in with every new project launch and experiment. Thanks for your support so far and I appreciate the help along the way this week!

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Grab your copy now for FREE while you can! And please consider leaving a quick review if you enjoyed the book, that means a lot and helps me out a ton! Cheers!

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Grab “Write Short Kindle Books” For FREE on Kindle – And A Peek Behind the Book Launch Curtain!

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Today I’m super excited to announce the launch of my new book, Write Short Kindle Books: A Self-Publishing Manifesto for Non-Fiction Authors, which is available on Kindle FOR FREE for a very limited time starting RIGHT NOW! This book kicks off a new series for indie authors — whether you’re a newer writer looking to explore self-publishing for the first time or an established indie author looking to up your game with a different approach to self-publishing.

The book is FREE for a very limited time, so please take advantage! Go ahead and grab a copy at this special launch “price” now while you can! If you dig it, I’d love it if you’d please leave a short review/rating on Amazon, which takes about 30 seconds! To make it even easier, here’s a DIRECT LINK to the review form for the book!

Why Free? – A Look Behind The Curtain

Well, for starters, I like experimenting with each book launch. This is my fifth self-published book, and out of all my books, this is the first one that isn’t super niche. It seemed the right book — particularly given its viva revolution / manifesto vibe — to try something very different with.

So what do I get out of launching for free? Exposure? Readers? Reviews? An Amazon ranking push? The answer is all of the above.

So far, in just a few hours, I’ve had over 113 downloads and counting! That’s great! If things keep up at that rate, it should start to trigger Amazon’s algorithms and push it up the Free charts in the book’s respective categories (UPDATE: shortly after I posted this, I noticed it’s ranked at #2 in the top 100 bestsellers in both the Authorship and Business Writing categories on the Free charts!!!!!)

The more FREE downloads I can get today and over the next few days, the better that’ll set the book up for a successful launch when the price eventually switches over to paid. If I can rank in the top 100, which shouldn’t be hard to do if the momentum keeps up, then switching to paid will drop the book in the much more visible top rankings in Amazon’s paid charts. Which in turn, should provide a nice boost in paid sales and help me recoup my expenses.

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It’s an experiment, of course, but one that’s going well so far and one that I’ve been eager to test. This is the first book I’ve felt comfortable testing it with, in-part because it has a much bigger potential audience than some of my other works, and it’s the first book in a new series. Sort of a win-win, right?

It also just feels good to have the book out there and people reading it. So far, customer reviews have been SUPER POSITIVE, which is exciting and humbling for sure. When you’re writing something like a book, you never REALLY know how useful folks will find it, or whether they’ll even enjoy it. To have such positive feedback out the starting gates is really encouraging and makes me a little less nervous about branching off into this new territory with my writing guide books.

I really appreciate all of the social media signal boosting that folks have done and want to say thanks in advance for those who keep it up over the coming days. I’ll def need your help to make this a truly successful launch, but we’re on the right track!

Other cool content for self-publishers

Tomorrow, I’ll be rolling out some cool video content I’ve created to support the book launch, and if you’re at all familiar with my podcast, The Freelance Game, then I think you’ll dig it. Speaking of which! Even though the show is currenty in a brief “between-season break,” I recorded a special solo Bonus episode last night that talks a lot about the book and how self-publishing can be applied to video game and tech journalism!

You can listen to that episode right here!

Listen Now:

So thanks again and please check out the book while it’s FREE! Also, stay tuned, as there’s a lot more great stuff on the way!

-Nathan