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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

0 to 60 Book Sales in 60 Days Challenge, Day 3, IFTTT strategy.

Today is  day three of the challenge and I managed to accomplish a little. I got the second podcast episode up today, with some strategy for IFTTT automated syndication networks to spread your blog traffic across the web with every single post! Go check out the specific strategy for IFTT and a link to an applet  building tutorial, here.



Following the strategy outlined in this post, you will create over 800 backlinks from your blog per year, or, blog  daily and increase that to over 5000! just by posting on your blog! That's right, one time set up, and forget the rest.

So, day three didn't go exactly as planned, but we are gaining some momentum, I got over 60 new Twitter followers, and was added to four large lists yesterday, just through sharing this challenge.

So, I need your votes on the Gumroad.com or Payhip.com platforms to sell from. For now, I'm on Gumroad with the podcast, because the platform offers me the ability to add a file for each episode, and you can access the whole archive just by leaving an email to sign up.

In addition to the Twitter followers, we gained a few likes on our Facebook page, which is here. Please take a moment to go like it and comment. Thanks!

So, we are on our way and tomorrow I'll share some blog numbers so far and more on the IFTTT network building !

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

0 to 60 book sales in 60 days, without Amazon, day 2!

60 day challenge, day 2 was a success! The first episode of the Indie Pub Academy podcast is up and ready for download here! It was a bit of a learning curve, since I've never produced a podcast before. I do however, have a ton of audio engineering experience from my theater days, so it all came out in the end.



I really wanted to get it up on Youtube

In fact, this was my plan, from the beginning but I had a tough time finding a video editor that would do what I wanted, that I could afford on my zero budget. So, after spending the afternoon dinking around trying to solve this problem, I finally came to the realization that it wasn't a problem and I needed to launch it from one of the platforms I'm considering for the challenge, so, there it is folks, ready for download.

I've set the cost to $0+

As the show progresses, I will probably add a price to access the archive, so get in early and you'll get the premium stuff for free once we get going. If you find the information helpful, or would like to support our quest, please contribute generously, every penny helps.

So, here's what's next

Next on my agenda  for the next day or so will be setting up a syndication network for the Indie Pub Academy blog using a tool called IFTTT.com . If you've never hear of it, you should really take a look. Not only is it free, it is the single most powerful automation tool online, and that is no exaggeration.


For our purposes, I'll be setting up some relays to broadcast every post from the Indie Pub Academy blog into several dozen other platforms. I'll set up some repeater blogs, a few bookmarking sites, and some social media automation as well, so don't miss it! You'll learn a lot.

By the way, if you'd like to read one of my books, they are on sale for Christmas! $0+ pricing on all volumes on my Payhip store, so check it out!

If you ever have publishing, or writing questions, please leave me a comment, and don't forget to vote, Gumroad.com or Pahyhip.com for the 60 day challenge platform? Every comment will be entered to win a free membership in Indie Pub Academy when we go premium, so start talking!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Going From 0 to 60 Sales a Day Without Using Amazon, in 60 Days! Can I do it?

I'm frustrated. Amazon is a cool site, don't get me wrong, but when it comes to selling books, there are some serious drawbacks and other platforms can help fix them.



  1. Low commission, the best you EVER get is 70%, and that's if it sells on Amazon, and it's priced right!
  2. No analytics, so you have no clue how well your offers are converting, no traffic numbers, equals flying blind. 
  3. No contact information, your buyers are really Amazon's buyers, unless you convert them to a mailing list. 
  4. Changes are complicated, discounts are limited, and giveaways are extremely controlled. 
So, I am launching a new challenge. I want to take my books and sell 60 copies a day on a platform other than Amazon. The first thing I'm going to do is choose a platform. I've narrowed it down to two choices, and I'd love your opinion!

  1. Payhip.com, instant commissions, earn 90% on every sale, super simple uploading and changes, price changes, give aways, coupons, affiliates and more. 
  2. Gumroad.com commissions paid weekly, more advanced interface, with product selections based on keywords, and a market place where they share your content with shoppers. 
So, which one would you choose, and why? Leave me a comment, today is Tuesday, by Monday I need to decide which one I'm going to use, so add your comment and find me on Facebook to talk more about it.

For more details of the challenge, my rules, what part you can play, and more, check out my latest post on Indie Pub Academy.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

I Found a Really Cool Indie Pub Book! You Won't Believe What's in It!



When it comes to Indie Publishing, you have got to find a way to stand out from the crowd, really make people pay attention. We live in a post-consumer age now, and we are really on the edge of developing an almost entirely attention driven economy, where those that have, get more and those that have no audience, shrivel up and blow away! 



It’s not about talent, or substance, it’s about style. It’s about making people want to  be a part of something. Involving them in an “experience!” right? So, in book marketing, how do you achieve that? Well, in my searching recently, I stumbled across this Indie Pub genius, who calls themselves “Future You” and has put out one book so far, “A Message From Your Future Self”.
 
It’s going viral!
The last I checked, the social media tools I use said over 15,000 people had shared or liked it so far, and the number keeps going up. Well, when I saw it, it was on a friend’s Twitter and I asked her what was in it,   but she would not tell me. So, finally, I broke down and bought it. 

Here’s what I learned!
First, I’m not going to tell you what’s in it, it’s inspirational, that’s all I’ll say, and it was a really great little read. But, I’m going to play Future You’s game and go along with it, for now. Why? Because I like what they’re doing and they are standing out from the crowd with something unique. There are no sales pitches, nothing to keep this chain going, just a simple, inspirational book. 

They got under my skin!
I went to bed, and started thinking about it again. I wish I could show you the order page,  but I didn’t screen capture it, it must have been three in the morning when I broke down and ordered this book and I’m glad I did. It really did speak to me, but mostly for the simplicity of the marketing the boldness of the message!

Kudos to Future You!
Well done, whoever you are, and if you get the book, and find out, don’t tell me. Of course, if it was really my future self sending a message back, I’ll know eventually, right? LOL

Monday, November 28, 2016

Hey, Here's How You Can Learn Successful Self Publishing!



I’ve been working on a series of training lessons for self-publishing, and as I did, I realized, I know a lot of writers who have learned a ton of good stuff that could save a lot of you a lot of time, trouble and money. So, I asked, who would be excited about writing a lesson or two for people getting started in Indie Publishing? I was pleasantly surprised when not one person I messaged, came back with a negative response. Self-publishing is such a big topic, and self-published authors really get excited about it!


In fact, four of them said, yes, I have time to work with you on that, and so, Indie Pub Academy was born! And then I thought, you know, it’s not just writers that I’ve learned from over the years. So, I messaged my business coach and a couple of other friends that I thought could contribute some valuable insights and again, without fail, everyone said, wow, this is a cool idea, and two of them agreed to help!
So, with seven instructors, and an outline of what we wanted to teach, we set out to launch a one-of-a-kind training course for writers just like us! We learned so much of this crap the hard way. It took me over a year of full time freelance writing to make back what I spent, in time, hassle and money on learning how to get started. That’s why I created Indie Pub Academy. 



Here’s what we did. We set up a ten week schedule and I donated about half of my library of books to each student of Indie Pub Academy. We’re sharing interviews, tips, articles, how-tos, checklists and more. In each lesson you will find an interview with at least one author on that week’s topic. Then, they’ll share in written form, in more detail, how they do what they do, with the students of Indie Pub Academy.
I am so excited about the Indie Pub Academy self-publishing course. Really. I woke up with the idea in my head weeks ago and have not been able to sleep for thinking about how many people this could help. It’s being delivered in 10 lessons, because frankly, if we just sent it all this great self-publishing training to you at once, you’d never even read it all. I wouldn’t. So, we broke it down and we take you through the whole self-publishing process, from finishing and uploading your first book, to establishing a marketing plan to keep you going.
I wanted to share this here, because many of you have been very supportive of my work in self-publishing, and I know you’ll want to share this, and take part! So, we are offering a special price of $50 for the first 100 downloads. Get yours now to get the special price before it’s gone!

Friday, August 19, 2016

New Short Story: Roadkill,Snapchat, Murder!

When telemarketer Derek Braggs makes a call to an active murder scene his day goes south. 

 

Derek Braggs parked his Subaru in the only available patch of all day shade and cracked the windows a little before locking the car. He tossed an apple up, catching it in his palm as he walked. He looked back at the fresh paint on the driver’s side front quarter. They’d done a nice job, you really couldn’t tell.
He made his way across the parking garage roof and entered the top floor of a mostly empty office tower that hadn’t been full since the heydays of the oil boom, mid 80’s and hadn’t had fresh carpet or paint since then either.
It was home to an assortment of companies that needed table space that didn’t have to look good. The suite next to VisionQuest Marketing was filled with day traders, and the next floor down housed a collection of antique barber chairs. There were distinct benefits to showing up 15 minutes early, that was becoming obvious. He hadn’t scalded his ass on his car seat since summer started, and with the better leads he was able to collect for showing up early, he was neatly in the lead…
He stopped cold at the end of a short hallway leading into the phone bank. Instead of resting neatly at the top of the leader board, as it had been for weeks, his marker was hanging two spaces down, haphazardly. One magnet was not even making contact with the board as it swiveled. Two names appeared above his, Shaquita Williams and Donald Tunney, both night shifters calling the Australian leads, damn it!
He grunted with disgust as he squinted to focus on the prize next to his name. It was not, he noted, the Vegas plane tickets he’d been vying for in the top spot, but another set of cheap ass steak knives, the kind he’d given away as Christmas gifts to nearly everyone on his list last year, after coming in third six months in a row.
He knew he was lucky to even be in the dial-sales business anymore. Nearly every sales room in the nation now worked from automated digital dialers, with randomized leads that you were lucky to make your minimums off of. It was bad enough to be selling Internet-marketing services over the phone.
He hated agreeing with every smart ass that if their service was so great, they’d sell it on the internet, instead of calling people on the phone. Now, he’d been “promoted” to day shift, an honor they all fought desperately hard to avoid, because selling to their countrymen was notoriously hard.
Americans were too cynical, why not? He was. But he was also good at getting those 16 digits and closing accounts. The night shift had it easier; the Australian leads had been hot lately. In spite of that he’d sold over 150 units this month and was now being edged out by 4 and 6 units respectively.
He adjusted the desk chair to the proper height and slapped a dog-eared copy of “The Magic” off the desk and into the trash can. No time for gratitude today, it was time for blood.
He took a bite of his apple and snapped the rubber band off a stack of leads he’d been saving for just such an occasion. These were the “dead ends”, leads he’d made contact with three times and was technically supposed to have surrendered. Except that he knew, in this stack of 50, there were 12 really soft leads, just waiting for him to offer a price drop. Today was his day.
By the time the rest of the team began to filter in, Derek was on his seventh call, and had signed three contingencies. Once they were verified by a supervisor, he’d be on his way back up. Those three got him 1/3 of the way to what he figured was a safe lead and the tickets he’d been promising his soon-to-be ex-girlfriend if he didn’t win.
He ran a finger over her picture, perched on the corner of the desk. He really kind of owed it to her.
“Derek who?” the voice on the other end said.
“Just Derek, I’m with Social-ism.biz. We offer social media marketing, and I’m looking to speak with,” he squinted at the lead. He needed new glasses, “Charles Mandell.”
There was pause, then a rustle of pages, “Ah, here you are, Derek, how did you know the deceased?”
Derek chuckled, “What? Um, deceased? Are you serious? Wow, I thought I was having a bad day.”
“Yeah, I never kid when I’ve got blood on my little crime scene booties, son, so, you called him three times recently, what was your relationship?” the voice said.
“Um, who did you say this was?” Derek felt his throat tighten, and his head, which hadn’t hurt since yesterday, began to throb behind a shrinking knot he’d gotten somehow, night before last.
“I didn’t. This is detective Bronson, homicide, APD, now, can we get back to how you knew my stiff?”
“APD? As in Albuquerque Police Department? Gotta be some mistake, see, I’m trying to reach Charles Mandell, with Chuck’s Cars, in Carslbad California.”
“Today is your lucky day, because that is the name on my vic’s license, and I am only going to ask you nicely one more time, how did you know him?”
“I didn’t. I’m in phone sales, and wait, how are you answering his phone in Albuquerque?”
“Well, see, they got this new-fangled invention, called a cell phone, maybe you heard of it?” the cop was enjoying this, “And when I’m getting ready to put a dead man on a gurney and his phone rings, I get real curious about who it is. One more time, how…did…you… know him?”
“Look, he’s just a name on a sales lead to me man. That's all. I was calling him back, because last time he had a question. I got the answer about a new price, and I was calling back to enroll him in marketing services. I swear, that’s it,” Derek winced, he’d said more than he intended, he could hear Todd in his head, telling him to shutup. He was thinking about hanging up, when his supervisor came up and put a hand on his shoulder. “It’s the APD…”
“I know. I was doing my quality checks, heard the whole thing, do not hang up. He already knows who and where you are,” his boss whispered. He patted Derek’s shoulder then walked back to the office, where Derek saw him pick up a headset to listen.
“Right. See, thing is, you talked to this poor guy for forty minutes on your last call, and twenty five before that, and fifteen before that. So, either you’re the most persistent salesman in the world, this guy was the world’s nicest man, or my favorite possibility, you knew him, and you’re lying to me. I think I know the answer, what I want to know is. Why?"
Derek looked toward the office. His supervisor glared back, “Yeah, well, sometimes the leads have a lot of questions. It's just part of my technique. The longer they talk, the more likely they’ll say yes.”
The cop on the other end sighed, “Fine, where were you night before last?”
Derek didn’t answer.
“Don’t like that question? Let’s try this one, got a black Subaru Forester?” Bronson pushed.
Derek said nothing.
“I’m taking that as a yes. Tell you what. I’m giving you a courtesy here. You've got two hours to report to the police station there in Amarillo. If you’re not there in two hours to help us answer a few questions, I’ll be sending someone out to talk to you, okay?”

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Steemit.com, the Social Media Platform That Pays You to Contribute!


So, last night, completely by accident, I discovered an interesting new social media platform. Some of you may not be impressed. It's okay, I've reached that age now, where I "find" things I misplaced a week ago and get excited. Anyway, it's called Steemit.com and it might just be the future.

What's so special about Steemit?

Well, first, the platform itself is unique, partially because it's in beta and doesn't have a highly polished user interface yet. But, there are several other reasons.

-          Steemit has its own crypto-currency (it's kind of like  bitcoin)
-          You get paid to comment and post, instead of paying them to get your content read, refreshing, right?
-          They have, as two of their primary goals, the elimination of censorship and the elevation of quality content.

Why I'm on Steemit

First, the way I found it was weird. I was on Facebook and saw a random mention of the site in a comment by someone I'm friends with, but don't really know. It was in the context of being skeptical bout the value of the platform. That. to me, is how treasure hunts begin. Ha

 - I have a fascination with crypto-currency and expect it to be the future, in some form, of most transactions on earth.
 - I love the idea of making money for my ideas, I won't get paid for this post, unless it goes viral.
 - I saw a writer who claimed he made $30k in his first week, so. I had to try it.

Who should try Steemit?

Well, my initial response would be anyone. After all, it could be the next Twitter, or Facebook. Why not? And if you could reclaim even a few cents for all of those hours of pounding keys, wouldn't you?

 - WARNING: this place is the kind of rabbit hole that could be a huge timesuck that may never pay me anything. So, be forewarned.
 - Writers looking to establish their work can get immediate feedback, and might even get paid!
 - Anyone who wants to know what's next online. Whatever comes next is likely to be more egalitarian and "user owned" than what we have now.

Things you should know before joining

 - This is not a get-rich-quick site. You won't. But, some have had some   pretty exciting results. Most of those already had an audience in    other places and simply invited them to join Steemit.
 - The bigger the voter, the more their vote counts. The biggest are known as whales. Many say the only way to get big payouts is for one of them to upvote your content.
 - Don't invest any money. They get you started. Unless you are a savvy investor that understands this better than me, I wouldn't advise.
 - There's a sizable chance this thing will fail in the first six months, so do not move all of your eggs into this basket. Add it to what you are already doing for best results.

If you’re interested, you can find my “blog” page on Steemit here.