7 Harsh Realities of Self-Publishing as a Side Hustle

Guest post by Ryan Hanley.

It’s easy to romanticize self-publishing.

Indeed, self-publishing is an amazing experience for sure, but romantic, it is not.

self-publishing with side hustle 2

I’d like to share with you a few realities of self-publishing learned while producing my first book, Content Warfare: How to find your audience, tell your story and win the battle for attention online.

Writing Content Warfare was my side hustle. I have a full-time job. I’m the managing editor of Agency Nation, a digital publication for the insurance industry. Not to mention maintaining my own podcast and blog.

Self-publishing is a side hustle for many first-time authors. But as a first-time author, there are aspects of self-publishing you haven’t experienced yet. [Read more…]

How to Present Like a TEDx Speaker | Conversation with Britta Wenske

How to Present Like a TEDx  Speaker with Britta WenskeIn this episode of Conversations with Experts, I welcome Britta Wenske of Speak Up Now. Britta’s passion is to help you take your public speaking skills from adequate to amazing – on stage, on camera and beyond! 
Does this sound familiar? You are delivering your presentation and somehow you cannot seem to captivate your audience. People seem bored and uninspired. You leave the stage feeling you have not made your point. That’s what we address in this Conversation… how to turn that around.

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How to Make Your Kindle Ebook Stand Out on Amazon

You're about to publish your fabulous Kindle ebook…will it stand out from the hundreds of thousands of other ebooks featured on Amazon?

One of the most important elements you need to add to your ebook is a cover image. While it may not be quite as important as your content, it is the first thing people will see, before they even read a description or review of your ebook. 

You need to create a cover image and virtual book images of your cover you can use to promote your ebook.

There are a few ways to create your cover:

  1. Hire a graphic designer – if you have the budget, then I recommend going with a professial designer vs. doing it yourself
  2. Use Fiverr or elance and request bids for design services
  3. Create it yourself with royalty free images

I'm frugal so I like to do it myself for low cost products like a Kindle ebook. When I create high fee products , I hire a designer (I highly recommend Heidi Frieder of ArtHead).

Back to ebooks.

For my $.99 ebooks I usually buy a royalty free image and create a simple cover. Make sure to choose a large image that is colorful so it stands out on the page. My favorite source of royalty free images is BigStockPhoto. I buy credits in bulk and buy images for blog posts, reports, and PowerPoint presentations.

You can see I'm not much of a designer. I create a simple cover with the image I purchased, title, my name and the URL for my website. The next step is to use the two dimensional cover image to create three dimensional images to promote your ebook. Take a screenshot of the cover image you've recreated so you have a jpg you'll need to create three dimensional promo images.

Over the years I've bought several software programs to create 3D product images. They all required you to download software and then install it on your server. And, the results were not that great. Then, a few months ago I was introduced to a great online program called BoxShot King. Nothing to download, easy to use and more than 40 types of product images you can create in about 1 minute. Love it! The image above is a "package" of three product images I created with BoxShot King in five minutes.

BoxShot King also includes many extra graphics you can add to your image. In two of the images above, I added an badge that says "Free Bonus" since I offer access to free videos when people buy the ebook. Ellen Britt did a beautiful job on her ebook cover for The Littlest Angel, with an gold ribbon on the cover annoucing a bonus.

Why is this important? The image reassures your buyer that your content is a "real" book and that they can consume it on their Kindle device. They don't have to imagine it, they can see it as it will appear on their reader. The 3D product image can be used on Amazon, your blog, social media sites and sales pages if you also sell your ebook on your own site.

While writing this post, I realize I need to update my ebook pages on Amazon to include the 3D images. I think they are more compelling and interesting than flate 2D images. 

Would love to get your comments about using images to promote your ebooks. Do you create 3D images for your ebooks and digital products?

Are You Publishing on Amazon and BN.com Yet?

In the last two weeks I've had the good fortune to interview two experts who have spilled the beans (and I mean they both are the definition of "over deliver") on how to use Amazon.com and BN.com (Barnes and Noble) to get visibility, credibilty and create passive streams of income.

If you missed the interview with Marnie Pehrson of IdeaMarketers.com, who took her book to bestseller status on Amazon in about 5 hours, you can get access to the audio replay here. She shared a lot of details that most people would not usually divulge in a free, no strings interview. 

If you missed the high energy, content-packed webinar with Daniel Hall of Real Fast Book, on how to publish your content on BN.com's Nook eReader, you're in luck. He's making the webinar replay available for a few days. And he's not kidding. The replay disappears on Monday 6/20. 

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