Years ago, when we lived in the Caribbean, we had a blog.
Several times a week, I would post an update about our life in the islands for our friends and family back home.
When hurricane Ivan hit in 2004 and mashed everything, we ended up in Florida… And I went through the blog and pulled out all of the entries and pasted them into a Word Document.
It was almost 500 pages long!
There were several posts about the Redwings (my favorite hockey team) and about poker (a hobby) and other random stuff that didn’t have anything to do with living in the Caribbean…
So I deleted that stuff, and still ended up with 300 pages of great content.
I went through it with a fine-tooth comb, and edited it down again…
And the end result was a great little 200 page book about living in the Caribbean with kids.
I just submitted it to the Amazon Kindle and Apple iBook stores.
The point of this story?
It turns out that it’s really easy to write a book.
All you need to do is build a blog, and then write blog posts several times a week!
Think about it – Deciding to sit down and write a book is a huge, daunting task… But writing a blog post takes what, 10 minutes?
Do it 5 times a week, and at the end of the year chances are good that you’ll have a 200 page book sitting there, ready to edit and publish!
I’ve been working on publishing some books to the Amazon platform, just to explore that space a little.
It’s been interesting…
So I thought I’d share some thoughts with you 🙂
1. Some stats: Out of the top 100 books on the Kindle right now, almost 1/3 of them are self published… And according to Amazon, Kindle books are outselling print books 2 to 1. So the platform is definitely worth exploring.
2. Formatting and uploading my book was a real bitch. I started in Pages (since I work on an Apple MacBook) and I ended up turning it into a Word Document, a PDF, and an HTML page in a valiant attempt to get the formatting right.
I STILL couldn’t get all the way to the finish line… and I’m pretty skilled with websites and technical computer-type stuff. If you’re a newbie, you might want to just hire someone on Fiverr to do it for you:
This is what I eventually did.
3. I recommend putting your book in the KDP Select program. By doing this, you’re basically committing to not publishing your book anywhere else for 90 days… Which might sound bad at first, but there’s actually tons of benefits!
First, your book will still be available on iPads and iPhones. Users just access it through the Kindle app. If you publish on iBooks (Apple) the reverse does NOT hold true… There’s no way to access that purchase on a Kindle.
Next, Amazon Select users (or elite users, or whatever the hell they call them) can download your book for free… And you’ll still get paid royalties!
Finally (and most importantly) with the KDP Select program, you can set “promotions” where you offer your book for free for a limited amount of days! And by doing that, you can effectively organize a “launch” for your book… To get a ton of downloads, a ton of reviews, and a great running start.
Just set a 2-3 day promotion, then announce your promotion on a bunch of Kindle blogs and book review websites.
This website has a great list of them:
Once you’re “launched” you can get out there and promote it!