Podcast: Trevor Page


I frequently follow the blogs from Pat Flynn — Smart Passive Income. He occasionally has some tips on marketing eBooks, but so far his ‘eBooks’ have been in the pdf format.  He has a weekly podcast in which he covers a variety of topics on how to make money on the Internet — something he has very successfully done. In podcast session #55 Pat interviews Trevor Page who tells his inspirational story about quitting a well-paid programming job to start a web-based teaching site, publishing a best-selling eBook and launching a new career — doing something he always dreamt of doing.

To hear the podcast with Trevor Page go to Pat Flynn’s blog and click on the podcast icon found near the top of the page — see figure below. (In my opinion he could clean-up some of the clutter on his website.)


Promotional Strategies

BookBaby president Brian Felsen spoke to Joanna Penn (author, speaker, and keeper of the popular blog The Creative Penn — voted one of the Top 10 Blogs for Writers two years running).

In this clip, Penn discusses the promotion strategies behind her first two action-adventure books, Pentecost and Prophecy, and explains why the strategy behind Prophecy converted more successfully into sales, attributing the success of that campaign to her heavy focus on customer book reviews. 

Removing DRM

DRM Free
DRM (Digital Rights Management) is used by publishers to control which devices you can use to read your ebook, and stops you converting your ebooks from one format to another. It makes buying and using ebooks harder. Some DRM schemes limit ebooks to one device only, so if you want to read that ebook on a different device, it’s necessary to download the ebook again. Others require new devices to be authorised by a central server on the Internet.

The ethics of DRM removal should not be for ebooks to be  ‘pirated’ but to provide full access to ebooks you have bought.  Dedrmed ebooks should not be uploaded to open servers, torrents, or other methods of mass distribution. Authors, publishers and ebook retailers all need to earn money to be able to carry on making great ebooks available.

The simplest way to remove ebook DRM is to use Calibre plugins. Calibre is an open source ebook management and conversion utility  for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, and the latest version can be downloaded from http://calibre-ebook.com/download

Calibre cannot, on its own, remove DRM from ebooks. However, it is possible to added third-party software to Calibre (“plugins”). DRM removal tools are provided in the tools archive from http://apprenticealf.wordpress.com/

The plugins available can remove DRM from Kindle eBooks, Barnes & Noble ebooks, any ebooks using Adobe Digital Editions DRM, and the older Mobipocket and eReader ebooks. Follow the instructions given on the http://apprenticealf.wordpress.com blog.

Some of the plugins require further information from your original purchase details. No configuration is required for ebooks from Kindle for Mac or Kindle for PC or Adobe Digital Editions.

Beware: these tools only remove the DRM. No attempt is made to remove any personally identifying information.

Do you own your ebooks?

Well, not exactly — if you read the fine print fully and carefully, you would be surprised to find that you are not actually ‘buying’ an ebook but obtaining a conditional license to hold it in a sort of long-term lease which is controlled and policed exclusively by the vendor  — such as Amazon. This license can be revoked without notice or explanation (or refund) at any time a ‘violation is deemed to have occurred. And according to a Supreme Court ruling last year — this applies to anything you “Buy” online  (software, ebooks, apps, etc) that is not delivered to your doorstep in a cardboard box!

Compared to buying a physical book which you read and then hand on to a friend or resell it at the second-hand market or give it away to a charity — all these are acceptable. But paying $15 to rent a file that contains a book that is controlled by the book-seller begins to look somewhat expensive and intrusive. What is worse, you are prevented by the DRM-coding from moving your ‘rented’ book from one device to another.

If you want much, much  more, read Boing Boing’s Cory Doctorow and the blog comments.

Add to this iCloud storage for your rented book and ‘they’ really have you by the short and curly. How can this be changed?

A one-stop spot for readers.

If your ebook has to do with pets, consider collecting all variety of resources for pet owners—website links, a publications list, articles including information on various aspects of your topic—pet ownership, for example. You might post articles or links to information on topics such as choosing pet food, behavior issues, dog training, a list of plants that are poisonous to cats, breeders, etc.

For fiction, resources for your audience might include short stories in the genre of your ebook, interesting facts about aspects of your genre and the themes in some of your books (Western, historical periods, military, the medical field, etc.). Post quizzes, lists of famous authors who wrote in this genre and so forth.

The more information you offer to interest, inform, educate and entertain your particular audience, the more visitors you will attract to your website and the more books and ebooks you will sell.

For more see BookBaby

Winning and losing at the Facebook promotion game

(from BookBaby Blog)

9 ways to turn off your fans on Facebook
There are thousands of authors who are using Facebook the right way, winning new readers with engaging posts and videos. But if your Facebook fan interaction is on the decline, you might be guilty of one or more of the following social media sins.
1. Creating multiple events for a single reading/workshop/LitFest
If you’re involved in a literary event that involves multiple authors, do NOT all create separate events. Put your heads together and create one great Facebook event listing. First, it’ll look better when everyone is RSVPing in one place. Second, you’ll ensure that the intended audience isn’t getting multiple invites from multiple authors about one event.
2. Constantly asking for people to review your book or vote for you
It’s important to encourage your readers to leave reviews (hopefully positive ones) on Amazon and community book review sites, but don’t make a weekly habit of it. You’ll look desperate. Also, if you’re involved in some kind of literary competition that involves online voting, do NOT pester people every single day asking for more votes. Art is not a popularity contest.
3. Leaving your facebook page half-completed
Did you get all excited about Facebook at some point and then abandon it? Is it hard to tell from your page if you actually exist in the real world? If so, either complete the missing info and post some new content, or de-activate your page. It looks unprofessional.
4. Posting your stream of consciousness updates every 20 minutes
If you’re posting more than a few times a day, it better be good stuff! Don’t use your Facebook page as your personal profile. The few folks who might care what you’re up to every day will stop caring quick.
5. Incessant negativity
Every once in a while it’s ok to be honest and vulnerable on Facebook. You can vent your frustrations from time to time. But keep those kinds of posts as the exception. Bitching, whining, sour grapes, jealousy, and putting other writers down– no one needs a daily dose of that.
OK. WE GET IT!!!!! You have something really important to tell us. May I suggest instead you choose from the following list of words: excited, thrilled, stoked, psyched, amped, beside-ourselves, overjoyed, blitzed, inspired, amazed, flushed, or atingle?
7. Posting crappy photos that you’re not even in
Oh, great. Another highly pixelated image of… what is that? A pint glass next to a taco wrapper? Next! take great pics. And be sure to relate them somehow to your writing life (or travels) with the description.
8. Advertising by posting on someone else’s wall
Remember MySpace? This is the kinda nonsense that would happen on MySpace all the time– and why people stopped using it. Do NOT put your marketing messages on other people’s Facebook walls. That is what YOUR wall is for.
9. Begging for “likes”
It’s OK once in a while to ask your personal friends on Facebook to “like” your author page. Don’t make a weekly habit of the practice, though. Your page won’t get “liked,” and you might find that even your personal Facebook profile is losing friends.

On free eBook readers

eBooks can be read on virtually any device, from Macs to PCs and iPads to smartphones. Best of all, it’s free. While you’ll still have to pay for each book (unless borrowed from a library) you don’t have to invest in a dedicated reader if you don’t want to. The most popular format is ePUB, which can be read on any mainstream eReader apart from Kindle (made by Amazon.com and arguably the most popular e-reader on the market). Kindle uses the MOBI format.

Windows and Mac
There are a couple of different options for reading eBooks if you’re using a computer. Kindle Reader, which can be downloaded free from Amazon.com, is one of the more popular and makes for easy reading. It lets you customise the book’s formatting and fonts to suit you. It does require setting up an account with Amazon, though this works in your favour, as the next time you purchase a book online it’ll automatically load in your Kindle Reader. The other alternative is to download a free Sony eReader which will require registration, etc but it will allow you to read DRM-free eBooks in the ePUB format.
Download Kindle Reader  — Download eReader

However, the Kindle Reader only reads MOBI format, and while there are other programmes to convert and change the different formats, they require downloading and installing new files which can be quite a hassle. So for everything else, there’s a programme called Calibre. Not only is Calibre an eReader for your computer, it can also be used to convert eBooks into any format of your choosing — providing the eBook is not DRM protected!
Download Calibre.

Reading eBooks on the iPad is also easy. The iPad comes with a dedicated application called iBooks, which can read most eBook formats, and Amazon’s Kindle Reader is also free to download, meaning you have all bases covered for the one-off cost of free. The same goes for all iPhones and iPod Touches.
If your smartphone is an Android, there are all the same apps available for you too, with Kindle, Kobo and Nook free to download.