eBook Selling

Thinking of Writing a Book? One recently published author says DO IT NOW!


Sara Canuso, President of Women That Influence, had been thinking about writing a book for over 4 years. Yet the thought of writing a book was overwhelming to her – how would she find the time to write it? How does one even start to write a book? So she kept putting it off. Then she realized how much opportunity she was missing by NOT having a published book. She spoke at a conference with over 8000 women, and was told she could promote her book; but she didn’t have one. She spoke at another conference, where the host offered to purchase 365 copies of her book for the attendees, but again, she didn’t have one. Every time she spoke, she had people asking her if she had a book, because they wanted more information than she was able to share in her presentation; but she didn’t have one.

Recognizing that she needed to publish a book pushed Sara to seek help from SkillBites. She took the SkillBites book writing workshop, which came with the workbook, Writing Made Easy. “That workbook was a huge game changer for me, as it provided the roadmap I needed to write my book,” explained Sara. Shortly after the workshop, Sara took a trip to Italy, and completed the workbook on the flight over. By the time she returned, she had a draft of her book written. Four months later, the book was published.

Within one week of the book’s publication, Sara got 2 speaking opportunities from organizations that contacted her as a result of seeing her book. The revenues from just those two opportunities more than paid for the cost of getting her book published. Since publishing her book, Sara has also gotten a TV interview, a radio interview and more speaking opportunities. She has been sending her book to her major contacts as a calling card. She is planning a workshop for readers of her book who want to take a deeper dive into the material in her book, with ongoing group coaching services as well.

Not only has the book greatly elevated her credibility and visibility, it has given Sara tremendous personal value. Sara explained that she never anticipated the impact on her personally. Completing the book was so liberating, and gave her such a huge feeling of accomplishment, that even if she didn’t get any business from it, she felt the book was worth doing.

Sara offered the following advice to prospective authors:

  1. If you are thinking of writing a book, do it, and do it now! It’s not as hard as you think, and is a very rewarding experience.
  2. Make sure you know what message you want to convey; what you want your reader to feel.
  3. Secure help. It’s important to know what you don’t know, and get help in those areas you don’t know. SkillBites provided the skills, support and encouragement she needed to get her book written, and made the process so much easier for her.
  4. Keep in mind why you are writing the book.

Sara offered to talk with anyone who is thinking of using SkillBites services. She can be reached via email at sara@womenthatinfluence.com.


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Are You Leveraging Your Book?

This month I had the opportunity to interview Bob Schiers, founder and CEO of RAS Associates, an award winning Marketing and PR firm, on the need for authors to plan how they will leverage their book.  Bob explained the difference between marketing and PR, as the two are often confused.  Marketing consists of making the target market aware of your service or product.  PR is one component of marketing, and consists of promoting a product or service through a third party, such as a newspaper review of a book, or a radio station interviewing an author.  PR is NOT advertising, which is paid placement, and accordingly has much less credibility.

Bob advised authors to start planning their marketing and PR efforts well before they finish their book.  Think about issues such as:

  • How will you get the word out about your book?
  • Who will you seek to provide endorsements or testimonials?
  • What makes your book unique or special?
  • Why should your target market read your book?  What will they get out of it?
  • What are your goals for your book and how will you achieve those goals?

While writing a book is a terrific tool for business owners to build their business, the book by itself won’t help much.  You need to leverage the book, and for that you should develop a plan detailing what you are going to do, when you are going to do it and what you expect the results to be.  Then you need to implement the plan and frequently assess whether you are on track.

To help our authors leverage their books effectively, SkillBites has teamed with RAS Associates to create a group marketing program designed to help authors develop a marketing plan for their books at a fraction of the cost of individually hiring a marketing professional.  For more information on this program and to sign up, click here.  We are running a special half off promotion for the group starting February 17, 2015; however, we have only a few slots left.  If you want to take advantage of the promotion, you’ll need to sign up quickly before the remaining slots are taken.


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Using Podcasts to Boost Your Book and Your Reputation

In this month’s SkillBites Show, Doug Foresta shared some valuable tips on podcasting. Doug is a coach and podcasting producer and host. Since 2009, he has interviewed over 700 guests, including New York Times bestselling authors and Academy Award winners.

Doug explained that podcasting provides an opportunity for an author’s followers to hear his or her voice, understand the author’s message and gain a greater sense of connection with the author. The author can thus build a following and create a deeper relationship with his or her followers, which can lead not only to increased book sales, but also to doing more business with those followers.

Doug shared three ways to build a following and a deeper connection with followers:

  1. Provide show notes or a list of resources or other benefit to the listeners that they can access by going to a website and providing their contact information.
  2. Create a community around the podcast, such as by starting a Facebook page. People like being part of a community or movement.
  3. Interview other thought leaders in your area or in areas with a similar market. The interviewer gains credibility when interviewing others, and when the others promote the podcast to their community, the interviewer will gain an increased following.

Podcasts are easy to create, and involve minimal cost. They can be created on any smart phone or tablet, and can be distributed on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or SoundCloud. The cost runs about $40 plus between $5 to $15/month for hosting service. Doug recommended Libsyn for hosting, which provides the RSS feed automatically to iTunes. For a premium service, there is also Audello, which distributes podcasts to iTunes and Stitcher, and makes it easy to share on Google+, Twitter and Facebook. That service is $297.

Podcasts can be audio or audio+video. The latter can be uploaded to YouTube. Audio is much easier to create and more flexible, as people can listen when driving or are otherwise unable to watch. If you do create a video podcast, you can have the audio stripped out, using someone on FIVERR.com or Elance.com.

To make sure you are creating a podcast that is worth listening to, Doug suggested following these three tips:

  1. Within the first 30 seconds, explain the value that the listener will obtain, such as saving money or time.
  2. Talk with excitement and use exciting words: “we have a terrific program for you today” is more likely to pique someone’s interest than “here with me today is Joe Blow.”
  3. Take people from one emotional state to another, such as by providing a story of adversity and then explaining how the characters overcame the adversity to excel, thus going from negative to positive.

Doug offered the SkillBites audience free access to his audio course “How to Get Your Message Out In a Big Way”. Just click here to get your copy. Doug can also be reached at Doug@coachzing.com.


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Using eBooks to Generate Leads

It would be wonderful if every prospect could be converted into a customer, but things just don’t work that way.  It can take hundreds of leads to get a handful of customers.  The struggle for business owners is finding a way to generate those leads in an easy, quick and affordable manner.  Writing a short eBook is a great tool to do this.

If you have your book on Amazon, your book can be found by millions of people looking for the information that you discuss in your book.  And if your book is in the Kindle KDP Program, you can give your book away for up to 5 days in a 90 day period, which will entice many people to download it and read it.

While it’s terrific that others can learn of you this way, you need a way to know who is buying your book.  Amazon won’t give you that information, and you don’t want to leave it to the reader to contact you.  How do you find out who has bought your book?  With eBooks, you can include opt-in opportunities in your book, enticing the reader to provide you with their contact information in order to receive additional information, checklists, workbooks, free consultations or other items that the reader would want.  Then you get them in your prospect funnel, where you can set up a campaign to woo them and hopefully convert many of them into customers.

You can use your book to generate leads even before it is written!  When you are planning your book, start to build buzz about your book with your network. Social media is a great avenue for getting the word out to hundreds of people and getting some helpful advice along the way.  For instance, you can ask your network which title they prefer for your book, or what issues they would be interested in having you address in your book.  Once your book is published, you can conduct a launch of your book, creating massive publicity.  That gets your name out in front of thousands, and as a published author, you will be viewed as an expert, leading prospects to contact you for your expertise.

You can also reach out to everyone in your network to let them know about your (upcoming and then published) book.  Reminding current and former customers of your expertise will lead some of them to contact you for further services.

Having an eBook makes a great give-away to prospects, and can be used as an opt-in tool on your website as well, which provides you with more leads and generates more traffic on your site.  You can easily email the book to prospects, as well as using it as a raffle prize at conferences and trade shows.  These are just some of the many ways to use an eBook to generate leads for your business.

Now, you may be thinking, how do you write a book, and how do you find the time to do so?  That’s where SkillBites comes in.  We have designed our publishing platform specifically to make it easy, quick and affordable for business owners and professionals to write and publish a book.  You can learn more about our services by clicking here, or if you would like to set up a complimentary consultation, just click here to schedule a time on our online calendar.  We look forward to helping you get a book written and start generating more leads.


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How to Sell Your Book in Bulk

book stackIn the recent teleseminar she gave for SkillBites, Charmaine Hammond, international speaker and bestselling author, shared several tips on selling hundreds of copies of your book in bulk. Hammond advised that associations are a great opportunity to sell books in bulk. Start with local associations that have the same audience as your intended readership. Seek speaking engagements with them at monthly meetings or at their annual meeting. Ask the organization if it will increase the registration fee by the cost of your book, enabling each attendee to receive a free copy of your book, or include the cost in your speaker fee.

If there is an event that ties in well with your book, find out if the association (or perhaps a corporate sponsor) would like to purchase copies of your book to give to the attendees, even if you aren’t speaking at the event. Hammond sold 600 copies of her books at one conference when 2 corporate sponsors each donated the proceeds for purchasing 300 copies of her books to give to attendees; and Hammond said it took less than 15 minutes for the 2 transactions. So always ask the event organizer if there is a way to get your book into the hands of the event attendees.

Find out if the associations are doing any kind of holiday gift to their members. Perhaps they would like to send out a copy of your eBook to their members. Write articles for their newsletter, journal or magazine, and mention your book in your byline. After you have pursued the local organization, then seek to get involved at the national level.


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