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Authors Direct: The Best Upcoming Audiobook Platform? https://www.archangelink.com/authors-direct-the-best-upcoming-audiobook-platform/ https://www.archangelink.com/authors-direct-the-best-upcoming-audiobook-platform/#comments Mon, 26 Oct 2020 08:51:17 +0000 https://www.archangelink.com/?p=5382 In this video, I give a preview of Author’s Direct. Is it the best upcoming audiobook platform for authors looking to make audio versions of their work available to the public? What’s up everybody! This is Rob of Archangel Ink www.archangelink.com, and in this video, I want to talk a little bit about Authors Direct. Now, it is […]

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In this video, I give a preview of Author’s Direct. Is it the best upcoming audiobook platform for authors looking to make audio versions of their work available to the public?

What’s up everybody!

This is Rob of Archangel Ink www.archangelink.com, and in this video, I want to talk a little bit about Authors Direct.

Now, it is audio August here at Archangel Ink. And we’re really excited and jazzed about audiobooks, and encouraging people to look into them. There really is an opportunity for folks to get in kind of at the ground floor.

The Expanding Audiobook Market

The audiobook market is definitely expanding and expanding fast relative to the digital and print book market for self-publishing authors, and it’s something that more people are getting into. And you have a lot of opportunity to get in when the competition is low.

So we’re encouraging authors to look into audiobook production, and really take advantage of the options and possibilities that are out there. Now, in terms of options and possibilities, one of them, as I mentioned, is Authors Direct. [At the time of recording] Authors Direct was in soft launch or beta launch and it’s through Findaway Voices. Findaway already has a system in place that allows you to distribute outside of the ACX channels (Audible.com, Amazon.com, and the iTunes bookstore).

If you want to make your book available more widely, and you have a non-exclusive arrangement with ACX, then you can do that. And Authors Direct is a way for you to send people over to a custom branded website, and you get to keep 70 percent of the sales price which you set.

Authors Direct vs ACX Audible Creation Exchange

Now, with ACX, you don’t have the option to set a sales price, and your realty percentage is actually going to be a good bit lower. I believe it’s 25% for a no-exclusive and 40% for exclusive.

In this case obviously 70 percent is really nice. And if you’re able to set the price point yourself, then you can actually set the price a little bit lower and get 70 percent of that. Your royalty may actually still more than what ACX is offering at their 25 or 40 percent rate and it’s a better deal for your prospective listeners.

Now Authors Direct has their own integrated apps, speed control, and it’s designed to be user friendly. So it’s just another option to consider.

I’ll include a little bit of information down below and if you are interested [you can now visit their website] and they can give you some more information to figure out if that’s a good option for you.

Platform Competition is Good for Creators

Again, it’s just a good opportunity, I think more competition is going to be good for the audiobook market. Right now, ACX has the lion’s share of the market. Most of the audiobooks sales are going to be through them, through their 3 channels, and they’re able to get away with, what I think is not the best compensation for their content creators. Being able to keep 25 or 40 percent of the project, is not as good as being able to keep 70 percent.

Now, ACX also has their bounties, which highly incentivize users. So they have their pros and cons. But having different options is good and worth considering,

Again, if you’re interested, feel free to contact www.authors-direct.com or leave a comment down below.  I will do my best to answer any questions or give you some direction and assistance in exploring that new choice for audiobook producers and self-publishing authors out there.

Again, this is Rob of Archangelink.com and I will see you folks next time!

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Gorilla Mindset by Mike Cernovich: Book Review https://www.archangelink.com/gorilla-mindset-review/ https://www.archangelink.com/gorilla-mindset-review/#respond Sat, 24 Oct 2020 18:21:33 +0000 https://www.archangelink.com/?p=5325 Review of Mike Cernovich’s Gorilla Mindset Hey everybody! This is Rob and today I want to talk to you about Gorilla Mindset by Mike Cernovich. I want to describe a few things about this book and highlight some things that I liked about it, maybe areas of improvement. And here we go. So, Mike wrote […]

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Review of Mike Cernovich’s Gorilla Mindset

Hey everybody! This is Rob and today I want to talk to you about Gorilla Mindset by Mike Cernovich.

I want to describe a few things about this book and highlight some things that I liked about it, maybe areas of improvement. And here we go.

So, Mike wrote this book a couple of years ago, 2015, and it’s a mindset book. Now if you’re familiar with mindset training and some of the core concepts of mindset work in personal development, a lot of this material will be somewhat familiar. For example the importance of maintaining a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset.

Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset

What does that mean? Well a Growth Mindset is one that views challenges as an opportunity to grow. Okay something bad has happened to me, and what can I make of it? How can I use this to my advantage? How can I rethink this and address this challenge, rather than kind of fold and accept that the world is unfair and nothing’s gonna go my way?

In education, it’s often encouraged for parents and teachers to commend students for their effort rather than their achievement. And the focus of that, or the purpose of that, is similar to why we have a mindset of growth, a mindset of accepting challenges and learning from them.  Because if we praise achievement exclusively, then kids who are naturally bright and talented will tend to do really well and enjoy the praise for however long it last.

But once they face a problem that is not easy for them to overcome. Then they often lose interest they don’t know how to cope with that, they don’t know how to deal with that. And in many cases they will justify their struggle or shortcoming by refraining from engaging with that field, saying it’s dumb or they don’t like it, or they don’t want to do that, and it’s not really useful anyway.

Learning as a Process

In contrast, emphasizing your effort allows you to pay attention to what you’re doing as a student and as a learner. And you may not get the answer right away, maybe you won’t get the answer at all. But you can take satisfaction and learning from it, and putting some time and energy into improving and trying to make sense of it. And in the long haul you will find that you’re able to meet challenges more effectively if you develop that pattern of demonstrating effort when faced with something that’s unfamiliar, rather than simply resting on your laurels, because you’re bright and things come to you pretty readily and then shying away from new challenges.

So Mike talks about that and that’s somewhat familiar to me. One of the things that I really like about his book, he offers a handful of very useful exercises. He mentions throughout the book that this book is very participatory. That it’s not about finding material, it’s not about just reading this and trying to make sense of it in your head. But actually: put it into practice.

And so he provides a number of useful strategies and recommendations for ways that you can do that. And there are two in particular that I really like.

The Life Audit

One of them is  “The Life Audit,” and he encourages you to think about the people in your life, circumstances in your life, and be somewhat ruthless if you are not yet reaching your goals. And use this ruthlessness to weed out individuals, and circumstances that might be energy sinks for you.

So he says, let’s say, we have a scale of 1 to 5, and 1 is a person that you interact with who afterward you think, “Boy, who is that guy? Why do I even have them in my life? I’m drained, they make me exhausted, I would rather be doing anything else.”

On the other end is a 5, somebody who after the interaction, you feel energized you, feel motivated, you feel inspired, and your sense of satisfaction and happiness is higher. And those are the people that you want to spend your time around.

And the 3 would be the typical person that you think, “Yeah well this person I don’t care so much about” Or “I don’t mind so much.”

But, they offer something or other that makes it worth my while. And he recommends starting off culling everybody who’s under 3.

If you are an energy sink, if you are undermining my sense of satisfaction, then it’s time to go.

And then over time as you continue to work on things and have only those threes, fours, and fives in your life, you might find that you are much more satisfied, you might find that you are able to focus on things.

Life is a Game of Percentages

He talks about life as a game of percentages, and putting yourself in a higher percentage position to find some luck. And how much more lucky might you be if you are not spending time on the ones and twos?

How much more lucky would you be if you also let go of the threes and fours and were only spending time with fives, with people who left you motivated, and inspired, and energized  after spending time with them? The kind of folks that help you feel really engaged with the world around you, and just have a good vibe about?

If you’re spending time with only those people, then how much more likely is it that you will end up finding the sort of lucky breaks that essentially all successful people have? So that’s one good thing that he does, this Life Audit exercise, that I really appreciated

And then the other is the Perfect Day. Sketch out your perfect day: what are you doing? Very specifically visualize the five sensory experience of what your perfect day looks like, and work on achieving it. And how can you incorporate more of those perfect day elements into each of your days?

Goals vs Vision

One other thing that he also discusses that I really appreciate, is the idea of goals versus vision. And vision is something similar to what Scott Adams would call a “strategy”, which is what you’re specific idea or non-specific idea about what your life is going to look like.

How can you set yourself up, so that the practices that you’re engaging with every day, tend to be putting you in that position to find success, to find those lucky breaks?

And what I like about Scott Adams and I plan to do a review of that book as well, once I finish it is: when you set goals, you find yourself in an essentially continually defeated position.

The Problem of Future Goals

Either you have this goal in the future, that you’ve not yet achieved (let’s say you want to lose 20 or 30 pounds, or you want to make X number of dollars or whatever).

And most of the time is the lead up, and you’re not actually experiencing the satisfaction of having achieved that goal.

And then let’s say you do achieve that goal. Well there’s often a hollowness there. What do you do afterward, what comes next?

Do you end up reverting to old habits and old practices that, put you in the position that you found yourself in before? Or do you put yourself in a position where you’re searching for the next goal and you’re kind of continually searching for that new high, that new thing to chase

There is some advantage to that mindset, that’s often what you see among fitness, or exercise enthusiasts, or athletes, or a lot of people who have goals based thinking.

The Benefits of Strategy Over Goals

But what Adams proposes instead, and I think this dovetails with what Mike describes, is you have a strategy, you have the way of life, that allows you to essentially meet those goals, and be in alignment with your vision every day.

And if you’re doing that, then regardless of the future outcome, regardless of what happens then you can feel satisfied, you can feel that continued energy to persist and go on. And from an outside or objective standpoint, that persistence is perhaps the most important part of success.

Many people will work tirelessly for years and years before they catch their break and at any point of the way, if they lost the energy to persist, then they would have seen all of that energy as wasted, all that time spent as wasted, and would never have had that breakthrough.

Instead if you essentially appreciate the process and the day to day experience of whatever your life strategy is, or life vision is, then the end goal becomes less important, and incidental almost. But paradoxically, might end up being more likely.

Criticisms

A couple of things that I will comment about, that I think could be could be better about Mike’s book. I thought that his writing was clear and simple and direct. It could be a little bit more elegant at times it But it may also be a consequence of trying to broaden the scope of who he’s speaking to.

And there were some sections that I had a little bit of a hard time making sense of even having engaged with it. The difference between the mindset and frame, was still a little bit fuzzy to me. Maybe it’s because of my background and the way of all of those concepts interact in my mind, and are perhaps not discreet.

Or it may be that the definitions that he was using were a little bit idiosyncratic and unfamiliar. I just had a hard time getting past my own assumptions about what those meant. Then I had a hard time kind of teasing out those concepts.

All of that said he in a seminar that I tended of his recently in New York, ended up saying very directly, that the terminology is less important to him than the practice. How you define things is up to you, and he’s not interested in parsing definitions. Because ultimately the goal is to get some value from this writing. And to have some inspiration and motivation to change your practices, to engage with life in a different way, to be clear about your own thinking and your own responses to situations.

Empowering Takeaway Message

And it’s a very empowering message ultimately. This notion that when we allow others to control our emotions, when we say things like, “You make me angry,” or “You’ve wronged me,” we are focusing on the impact that others have and not on what we can do ourselves.

It’s ceding over a lot of power to other people. And we have the power to control our thoughts, we have the power to control our own approach and mindset. And maybe that’s the only thing that we have control over in the day-to-day world.

We can’t influence external circumstances perhaps as much as we might like to. We’re all subject to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. But, how we interpret those, how we recover from those, that’s up to us, and that is empowering. That gives us a lot of leverage to impact our lived experience.

As Mike says, each of those worldviews is true, in some reasonably objective sense. We can see ourselves as the victim of circumstances, but we can also see yourselves as agents of change and transformation in those circumstances.

And which one is going to help us live a life that we enjoy more? That’s what he’s after.

Really great book. I appreciated it and am glad that I had a chance to read it, make sense of it, and had a chance to see Mike.

Pick it up on Amazon or Cernovich.com

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Should I Use DRM (Digital Rights Management) For My Book? https://www.archangelink.com/should-i-use-drm-digital-rights-management-for-my-book/ https://www.archangelink.com/should-i-use-drm-digital-rights-management-for-my-book/#respond Mon, 19 Oct 2020 05:34:41 +0000 https://www.archangelink.com/?p=5297 Should I use DRM to protect my book? Does it work to prevent piracy? Are there downsides? In this video, I discuss why I don’t recommend DRM and don’t view piracy as a priority issue for most authors.   What’s up everybody this is Rob Archangel of Archangelink.com and in this video I want to […]

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Should I use DRM to protect my book? Does it work to prevent piracy? Are there downsides? In this video, I discuss why I don’t recommend DRM and don’t view piracy as a priority issue for most authors.

 

What’s up everybody this is Rob Archangel of Archangelink.com and in this video I want to talk to you about DRM.

Should you or should you not elect for DRM when you’re uploading your Kindle title? My short answer is no. Generally we do not use DRM, and we do not recommend that our clients use DRM. But I’ll go over a little bit of the pros and cons and talk about why that is.

What is DRM?

So, first off, what is DRM? DRM stands for Digital Rights Management. Theoretically it is a way to help add an extra layer of protection to your digital materials so that people will not be able to pirate it and you will prevent unauthorized access.

So in theory, that sounds nice but there are two problems with that. The first problem is, you as a creator, as an author, can’t actually fully prevent piracy. There are ways to get around the Digital Rights Management blocking and if you’re technically proficient, you can still pirate material if you are really set on doing so. So it’s not actually any guarantee that your book will not be pirated at all.

The second issue with it is: because of the way DRM is structured, occasionally it does present issues for authorized users, for people who actually buy your book, to access it on multiple devices. They might have a smartphone, and their tablet, and their E-reader and their home platform. And because the way DRM works, sometimes you have a hard time accessing it on all of those. And so there are some readers, who, on principle will not use and will not purchase any books that have DRM.

Why Finding Readers is More Important

So, let’s talk about the idea behind why you would use this. Theoretically, it’s because you want to make sure that anybody who’s accessing your material, is paying fairly for it. And that you’re compensated as a creator, and that is important, that’s valuable and that’s totally valid.

However I would say that the bigger issue, especially for starting out authors, is not widespread unauthorized use, but actually getting people interested in reading your book in the first place. This is why so many people have a hard time, even with free advance review copies, getting people to read their book, to spend time with it, because there’s so many books out there. There are so many free resources available and people have limited time. They don’t have access to it and the likelihood that they’re actually going to go out and search your book and read it pirated for free, as opposed to one of the gazillion other free resources that are completely legal out there to cover whatever topic that you’re covering, is relatively low.

So if you are in a position where you’re actually able to get people excited and interested in your book, chances are: you have some loyal followership and you’re actually being compensated on the aggregate fairly reasonably for the material.

So that’s a good thing. It is a problem of success if you have some piracy. And yeah it is on principle not great. Obviously, we want to be compensated, we want to not be taken advantage of it.

Our DRM Recommendation

So I totally understand the decision to use DRM, if that’s your inclination. However, I would say for the technical reasons outlined a moment ago and because generally it is a signal that you are successful and that you actually have a followership, it’s probably worth it to focus on that instead, and not worry about DRM.

Instead work on getting people really excited and interested in your work. And chances are if that’s happening, then your business will grow. And you’ll be closer to achieving whatever goals you have for your particular business.

But let me know down below what your thoughts are on DRM. Whether you use it, why or why not, what the experience that you’ve had with DRM is? And let me know if you have any other questions or comments on the matter.

This is Rob Archangel of archangelink.com and I will see you all next time.

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How Can I Sell A Hardcover Book on Amazon? https://www.archangelink.com/how-can-i-sell-a-hardcover-book-on-amazon/ https://www.archangelink.com/how-can-i-sell-a-hardcover-book-on-amazon/#comments Sat, 17 Oct 2020 15:22:42 +0000 https://www.archangelink.com/?p=5300 CreateSpace (now KDP Print) only prints paperbacks- how can I make a hardcover version of my book? In this video, I discuss hardcover book options for the self-publishing author.   Hey everybody this is Rob Archangel of Archangelink.com and the question today is: I’ve got my book on Amazon Kindle, I’ve got it on CreateSpace […]

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CreateSpace (now KDP Print) only prints paperbacks- how can I make a hardcover version of my book? In this video, I discuss hardcover book options for the self-publishing author.

 

Hey everybody this is Rob Archangel of Archangelink.com and the question today is:

I’ve got my book on Amazon Kindle, I’ve got it on CreateSpace (KDP Print) paperback, I’ve got it on Audible as an audio edition. I want to make a hard cover edition available for my readers. What can I do to make that happen?

And there are 3 different things that you can do.

Hardcover Production Options

The first is order a print run. Now the advantage to that is, you will probably have a lower per unit price. So even priced at the same retail price you can actually make more in royalties. However you’re going to need to provide your own ISBN  and you’re gonna need the funds to invest in a print run. Usually it’s something like 1000 copies minimum, sometimes 500, sometimes 2000, depending on the press. And you’re going to also have to deal with the distribution options. You might you be able to do something like “Fulfillment by Amazon” but it’s going to be a little bit more complicated and involved, so be prepared for that.

Now, the second option is to use a print on demand hard cover fulfillment option. And one of them which is totally free, that will provide its own ISBN, at no cost to you, is Barnes and Noble Nook Press. And they’re pretty good, their quality seems to be pretty good, and their price is not bad relative to other hard cover book prices. Hard covers in general are going to cost more than paperbacks. But Nook Press  could work for you in certain situations.

I have a copy of one of the books that we’ve done using Barnes and Noble Nook Press. And it looks really good, the quality is good. We’re actually able to use the same interior as the CreateSpace/KDP Print edition and do a little bit of tweaking to the cover but for the most part, we were able to use a lot of the same templates and files. So that’s nice. It’s not going to require a whole lot of additional technical work and investment in time and energy in making those files suitable for hard cover.

Now the problem with Barnes and Noble Nook Press is: they’re a competitor to Amazon. You’re actually not going to be able to look at this book up on Amazon.com in hard cover edition and find it. You can go to BarnesAndNoble.com and you can see it there, but you’re not going to be able to see it side by side with your other Amazon listings.

Our Recommendation: Ingram Spark

So what’s the best option? I would say generally, it’s going to be Ingram Spark.

Ingram Spark book quality is good. I think Barnes and Noble actually use Ingram Spark as the printer, so the quality is going to be comparable. But they do make it available pretty widely including to Amazon.com.

Now, I do want to mention a couple of things about it.

One, is – again- you’re going to need your own ISBN. You may have one of those already, but if you don’t, then you’re definitely going to need one. You have to get one to do a print copy through Ingram Spark.

Two, Ingram Spark requires an initiation fee. There’s a set-up fee. Something like $25 each for the interior and the exterior and theoretically, they can also charge you for any updates that you make after the fact. Now, I’ve heard from some authors that they don’t, that they’ve been able to make updates with no charge. But as I understand it, that is the policy: that you will be charged for updates. So, you really want to make sure that your book is in Tip-top shape and that you don’t anticipate making any additional changes.

With CreateSpace/ KDP Print, you can change it every day if you want. It’s not going to affect the cost to you as a creator. But with Ingram Spark they want to dis-incentivize that, it really make sure that they’re putting out the best quality books and books that don’t have errors and so they incentivize their authors not to put out stuff that they’re going to have to fix later.

So Ingram Spark is pretty good and it’s a decent option. You will be able to see it alongside your Amazon.com listing so feel free to check it out. I’ll include some links down below which you can explore and if you have any questions on hard cover options for yourself publishing project, let me know in the comments down below and I’ll do my best to answer them.

This is Rob Archangel of Archangel Ink and I will see you next time.


Related Resources: Barnes and Noble Press: https://press.barnesandnoble.com 

Ingram Spark Print on Demand: https://www.ingramspark.com/plan-your-book/print/print-on-demand 

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Top Tips for Aspiring New Authors, from Authors https://www.archangelink.com/top-tips-for-aspiring-new-authors-from-authors/ https://www.archangelink.com/top-tips-for-aspiring-new-authors-from-authors/#respond Tue, 10 Mar 2020 18:52:03 +0000 https://www.archangelink.com/?p=4925 It’s 2020 and the landscape is changing. Writing and publishing a book is easier than ever. But doing it right and making money is harder than ever.  Success takes grit, determination, and the ability to learn on the go.  To help you along your path, we’ve curated a list of the best tips from authors, […]

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It’s 2020 and the landscape is changing. Writing and publishing a book is easier than ever. But doing it right and making money is harder than ever. 

Success takes grit, determination, and the ability to learn on the go. 

To help you along your path, we’ve curated a list of the best tips from authors, for authors. 

Enjoy, and comment with your own. As always, if you have questions, just ask.

Contact us today!

The Best Tips from Authors just Like You

“To be abstract and not so uptight about the protocol of our language… writing should be an open minded and learning experience. It is more of an adventure then it should be an occupation and in my mind, I am quite sure an eternity can become a word many can’t believe, but I ask this “Y for does any word exist if not actually in someway real..? Whatever blows your kilt up without being kilt… Do that…” —Justin James Douglas 

“Don’t be discouraged if the first thing you write isn’t great. Writing is a skill, just like playing guitar or playing tennis, and you shouldn’t expect to be a master at it on your first try. Just keep writing and learning. It’s a process. Oh, and have fun!” —our very own Chief Editor, Erica Ellis

“Write; even the people you see as influencers online make mistakes.” —Bonnie Phillips 

“Be flexible.” —Dale L. Roberts 

“Schedule time to write in your calendar just like you schedule any other important meetings or tasks. My first book I scheduled every Sunday noon to 6 pm and every Wednesday 2 pm to 8 pm. 1 year later, my first book was handed over to the Archangel Ink editor, and the rest is history. It’s not a race, slow & steady wins!” —Cassie Sobelton 

“Follow your dream. No one else has your story so get it out.” —Glenda Jaquez Dykstra 

“Pull from your life find your voice in the things that are interesting to you to find your audience. Just like  Eddie Murphy or Tyler Perry, you can create a following if you follow your own heart!” —Dirrick Robinson 

“Don’t be afraid to let people read it, and be willing to take constructive criticism. I know it isn’t easy, but, if you have a few people that you feel comfortable enough to let them read your work, they’ll each offer individual insight from the reader’s mind.” —Dawn Lockett 

“Puke your words out; then let Archangel Ink clean up the mess.” —Tim Steele 

“Be yourself. Don’t lose what makes you love writing!” —Angel Moore 

“Follow your intuition and bring the reader into your world through creative detail.” —Nelson Akanni 

“Don’t be discouraged and get used to criticism and the critic, and learn how to keep the reader’s attention with a good twist . And don’t be a Stephen King & over elaborate chapters.” —Michael Freed 

“WRITE!! Every single day! Or at least, that’s the advice that I give myself, as a new author.” —Jamie Fall 

“WRITE — don’t worry about editing. The first version of whatever you pour out is going to be crap. Accept that. —Grif Pritchard 

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”? —James Jack 

“Keep writing. Build an extensive catalog so you’ll have more to bring to the table, and less work to do…” —Antonyo Harrison 

“Find a good publisher.” —Joseph Sokol 

“Keep writing.” —Ta Nisha 

“Follow your heart and trust your gut! Have fun, GOD bless!” —Jeramie Buchholz 

“Write!!! Then rewrite and repeat Ad Nauseam.” —Justin Frederick 

“Keep the Facts STRAIGHT (NONFICTION). Keep it JUICY AND INTERESTING (FICTION)” —Nikki Nicole 

“Feel the words.” —Angie Goodson 

Thanks to all of those who contributed their advice and feedback. We wouldn’t be here without authors JUST LIKE YOU! 😀

-The Archangel Ink Team

 

                                                                                                                               

 

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The Death of Low/No Content Publishing https://www.archangelink.com/the-death-of-low-no-content-publishing/ https://www.archangelink.com/the-death-of-low-no-content-publishing/#comments Thu, 03 Oct 2019 17:19:48 +0000 https://www.archangelink.com/?p=4750 Low/no content publishing is one of the newest fads in the self-publishing industry and it has become harder than ever to break into. Authors are reporting diminishing returns across the board, and content creators giving it a go for the first time are finding they have their work cut out for them. Oh well, the […]

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Low/no content publishing is one of the newest fads in the self-publishing industry and it has become harder than ever to break into. Authors are reporting diminishing returns across the board, and content creators giving it a go for the first time are finding they have their work cut out for them. Oh well, the only constant is change, right? 

What is Low/No Content Publishing?

You might not be familiar with publishing no and low content books. It’s the process of listing paperback books like planners, calendars, guest books, and journals of all kinds on Amazon. These types of books do sell on Amazon, and they take comparatively little effort to put together. 

At the beginning of this year, my wife Miranda and I (Jordan here) listed about 600 low and no content books for sale on Amazon. There is a learning curve to creating these types of books, but once you get past that, the sheer number of books you could create is staggering. We created journals, workbooks, guest books, prayer journals, etc. We put a lot of time into creating these, but put in little to no capital investment upfront to do so. 

Thus, the lure of publishing no and low content books on KDP:

  • There is only a slight learning curve
  • Products are easy to create and upload
  • It costs only your time (unless you’re paying for covers or for someone to upload your books for you)

Looking over the above, you can see why this era is coming to an end. It’s way too easy to get into and doesn’t have any real staying power. Sure, you could create thousands of offerings and MAYBE one or two of them will stick on Amazon’s top search rankings, but maybe not. And other people are creating thousands as well, flooding the marketplace. 

I remember a story from a guy in a Facebook group who uploaded around 20,000 products in only a few months. I was advised early on to only upload around ten per day to avoid getting on Amazon’s bad side. And let me repeat, if you have ANY business on Amazon it’s worth it to stay on their good side at all times. We are by and large flies that they have no problem swatting away if provoked, regardless of how much “good” content we upload to help make them money. 

Uploading several hundred a day seems like a bad idea, right? Well, I haven’t heard from this guy in months. He most likely was banned or suspended for too many uploads. Or MAYBE he’s on a beach somewhere raking in the royalties. Some people get away with these shady tactics, but it doesn’t make them any less shady or risky. 

The Call to Diversify

Don’t jump on a fad bandwagon like this without diversifying in other areas as well. Build a platform that isn’t dependent on one source of income. 

I know some people that are doing extremely well with low/no content publishing and making a ton of money with it. I’m happy for them. My humble suggestion is that publishers of this content should also have other revenue streams and paths to success outside of Amazon. 

Archangel Ink’s recommendation for a rounded business model is to create offerings at several price points to allow your audience to support you. Something like this:

  • something entry-level for free (like an email opt-in incentive) to lead with value
  • low-cost content ($1-10 or $20) to demonstrate your expertise
  • a mid-tier product ($50-500) that’s scalable, such as an audio/visual course or seminar, to deepen the connection with your core audience
  • a high-tier offering $(500-$5000+) that is more time-intensive, such as in-person events, mastermind groups or individualized coaching, to profoundly impact your key followers

As the tiers go up, you need fewer opt-ins to provide a significant source of revenue. You build a library of offerings that can operate on auto-pilot to bring followers into your funnel. This early capital investments in quality production sustains you over time and brings your target audience up to speed. With the time freed up, you can dive deeper and expand more broadly in your arena of expertise, building a legacy alongside of a comprehensive business model.

How I Approach Diversification

I often share on my blog that my ultimate goal is to become a full time author and maybe a speaker someday. I don’t want my only dividends from writing to come from Amazon. Of course, a large part of my royalties come from this platform, but I also sell books outside of the ‘Zon as well. It’s smart to do so. It’s also smart to have other goals and other ways of making money that don’t depend on one source. 

If Amazon blocked your account or decided to close up shop, would your business follow suit? Don’t be 100% dependent upon any one thing. Keep an eye out for alternative platforms and opportunities.

If you are one of the lucky few to jump on the low/no content bandwagon while it was hot, all the best to you. If you are doing it now as a side hustle without depending too much on it, consider yourself prudent. OR maybe you’ve already made enough from it to retire to a Cancun resort. In that case, enjoy a Mai Tai on my behalf.

For the rest of us, the adage is true: it’s not safe to put all your eggs in one basket. The low/no content publishing route is starting to turn into a casket, unless you have ridiculous design skills or are a market research genius. Go ahead and give it a try (and check out Rob Cubbons excellent resources here to get started), but don’t drop everything to do so. 

Best of luck to you as you continue building upon your publishing empire! 

-Jordan and the Archangel Ink Team 

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5 Book Cover Mistakes to Avoid https://www.archangelink.com/5-book-cover-mistakes-to-avoid/ https://www.archangelink.com/5-book-cover-mistakes-to-avoid/#respond Mon, 12 Aug 2019 16:03:15 +0000 https://www.archangelink.com/?p=4401 So you’re considering whether to make your own cover DIY style, or hire a professional to do it for you.  Either way, you don’t want to be caught dead making these mistakes. Your cover is the most important part of your book marketing. Everything else will fall apart if you don’t get this right.  People […]

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So you’re considering whether to make your own cover DIY style, or hire a professional to do it for you. 

Either way, you don’t want to be caught dead making these mistakes. Your cover is the most important part of your book marketing. Everything else will fall apart if you don’t get this right. 

People do judge books by their covers. This is how it should be. If your cover is amateur and unappealing, why would the content inside be worth reading? 

A less than stellar book cover means:

  • No sales
  • No customers
  • No readers
  • No one will share your book with others
  • No point in writing your book

Avoid the following five mistakes when picking a final cover and you’ll be off to the races to garner book sales and find success as a writer. 

1) Avoid Covering Important Elements with Text

Your text needs to fit in with the rest of the cover. If it’s an afterthought, too big, too small, or in the “wrong” place, your cover won’t look good. 

Make sure the text fits and blends well with the other elements you are adding into the cover. Most of the time, you can make the title bigger than the subtitle to save space. 

2) Avoid Undistinctive Images

I’ve seen some of the same unaltered images used for multiple book covers on Amazon. Make sure your book cover is using either A) an original high quality photo you took or B) the stock photo is artfully manipulated to best suit your book cover. 

Need a perfect example of a cover that masters these two elements? Check out this one below:

In this cover, we used an image the author took and edited it in with other stock imagery to work seamlessly with the rest of the cover. 

Stock imagery is the norm in cover design. But don’t just plop a stock photo on top, add the title and author name to the bottom and call it done. You spent hours upon hours getting your manuscript written, give it the cover it deserves! 

3) Avoid Cuss Words or Inappropriate Terms on the Cover

We don’t offer this advice up as a deterrent for your creative energy. Heck, Mark Manson kills it with his books, and he also uses the “f” word on all his covers. 

You aren’t Mark Manson. 

You need to avoid this type of cover (and title) for one reason. Amazon ads. 

Running ads for your book on Amazon is the best way to sell it. Period. You’ll get the biggest bang for your buck and the best ROI. 

The challenge is that Amazon ads are even more particular in which books they allow to use their service. I know, it’s weird that you can publish a book to KDP and then be unable to run ads for it, but it’s true. And it sucks. 

Keep the title and book cover clean so you can utilize this service and get a leg up on the competition. 

4) Avoid Using Fonts That Don’t Match

Make sure your fonts look good together. Some fonts are like water and oil and look terrible when mixed. Make sure you ask for feedback on your design from someone who understands this design element. 

Better yet? Pick one great font you like and use that for the elements on your cover. Will it look perfect? Maybe, maybe not. But it will look better than a comic sans mixed with a wild cursive. 

5) Avoid Busyness

When it comes to making a book cover you might want to add all kinds of “stuff” to it to make it perfect. Don’t do this. 

Sometimes a basic design will outshine all the rest. Check out another cover we did below:

This cover doesn’t have a lot of craziness going on, and yet it performs extremely well in the market. Sometimes the best covers are text based—simple and clean with great contrast. 

We realize this whole process might seem a bit complicated. Well, it is. That’s why we recommend hiring a professional to do it for you OR taking a class to learn design skills (but make sure you get feedback from authors and prospective buyers first!).

In the end, a great book cover sells books, and a bad cover… doesn’t. Good luck with your book marketing!

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How to Create a Kick-Ass Brand (for Beginners) https://www.archangelink.com/how-to-create-a-kick-ass-brand-for-beginners/ https://www.archangelink.com/how-to-create-a-kick-ass-brand-for-beginners/#respond Tue, 18 Jun 2019 11:50:53 +0000 https://www.archangelink.com/?p=4356 Before we begin, you might be wondering, who the hell is this chic and how what does she know about branding?!? So I’ll get the intro’ out of the way so we can get down to business… My name is Kelly Servis and I’m the owner of Alchemic Creations, an intuitive brand strategy and soul-infused […]

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Before we begin, you might be wondering, who the hell is this chic and how what does she know about branding?!? So I’ll get the intro’ out of the way so we can get down to business…

My name is Kelly Servis and I’m the owner of Alchemic Creations, an intuitive brand strategy and soul-infused web design company for heart-centered entrepreneurs. I’ve been in this industry for almost 10 years. I’ve seen, heard, and experienced some of the absolute BEST brands out there, and of course, even more of the most cringe-worthy worst.

One of the biggest mistakes I see new entrepreneurs make as they begin creating their brand is a lack of direction and overall strategy. I can’t tell you how many times I see Facebook posts with new bosses begging for someone to design them a logo on a budget—because they “need a brand!” It takes every fiber in my being to keep from commenting how much precious time they’re wasting. Now, I know you’re probably shaking your head thinking, WTF, isn’t a logo EXACTLY what I need? Let me stop ya right there my friend. The short answer is an obvious yes—But in this post I’m going to share a more detailed answer of why I’m going to say, no you don’t…at least not right away.

Lay the Foundation:

Before I even begin a conversation about brand identity with my clients, I make sure they’re quartz crystal clear on how a brand should be developed correctly and what the difference is between the various pieces of the term “brand.” I make sure they understand the importance of being completely dialed in on their brand message long before they even start thinking about their visuals (i.e. their identity: logos, colors, fonts, etc.).

The first thing you need to know is that you must have a strategy in place before we make a single move. We need to know exactly what the game plan is to get your brand strategically placed in the mind of your soulmate clients. We must be 100% clear on why you’re even creating a brand in the first place.

Next, is to determine exactly how you want your clients to experience your brand—from start to finish. If we’re not clear on the big picture from the beginning, there’s no way to have a defined path of how to get to your destination.

5 Steps to Brand Success:

If you’re just getting started with the branding side of your business, these 5 simple steps will help you determine the best brand message and visuals for you and your soulmate clients:

  1. Clarify your message: Get crystal clear on your why. Why are you creating this business? Why are you here? Why are you grinding to make this dream work? What is it that drives you day in and day out?
  2. Determine who you’re here to serve. You need to know exactly who your soulmate client is. What are his/her most prominent pain points? And how can you make his/her life easier by solving said pain points?
  3. Clarify your voice: Fine tune your brand voice, tone, and language. How does your brand sound? What does your brand talk like? If it was a person, what type of mannerisms would it exhibit? Is it loud, outgoing and fun? Is it soft, feminine and dainty? Listen to how you talk to your friends and family. Pay attention to how you write content. These are the things that will help you develop your brand voice.
  4. Create your look: Once you’ve established the core foundation of your brand and 100% dialed in on your messaging, then it’s time to start on the visuals. This is when you’ll start developing the look of your brand. I strongly recommend putting together a mood board to get started. This creates a visual vibe you can use as a focal point as you begin developing your core brand identity items such as logos, your color palette and fonts, etc.
  5. Execute your visuals: Finally, it’s time to bring mind to matter and start executing your visuals. Create your logo, choose your brand specific fonts, develop your color palette, select a brand pattern or two you identify with and then put all of your brand imagery together to ensure it flows seamlessly. Make sure to check for consistency across ALL platforms. You want to be showing up consistently in the same manner everywhere your brand is represented. This means every time you make a post, how you write, your imagery, what you wear, how you talk at a speaking engagement—anytime you create content—be consistent. Brand recognition is the biggest piece to becoming a staple in your soulmate clients’ mind and getting you booked every time they need you.

And there you have it! These simple tips are the quickest starting points to guide you toward the enlightened path of creating a brand you’ll not only be proud of, but one that feels true to you from the inside out.

If working through this process feels overwhelming, you’re past the point of DIY’in it, or you just have some questions that are keeping you from executing your intuitive brand and creating your drool-worthy visuals, then let’s setup a quick compatibility chat to see what we can do to start creating that soul-infused brand of yours. Book your spot here.

If you’re currently working with Archangel Ink or you’re an author / entrepreneur interested in using self-publishing to help build your brand, their team has some amazing package options to meet all of your needs—including working with yours truly! So if you’re ready to schedule a free consultation with Rob and the team, reach out to them here for more information.

You know what they say, “time is money” and I appreciate you spending it here with me. Now get those action steps in place and start executing, your intuitive brand is waiting to be unleashed on the world! Comment below and let us know what your first move towards it will be.

Kelly Servis

Alchemic Creations

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How to get “The Big Four” Versions of Your Book Live On Launch Day https://www.archangelink.com/how-to-get-the-big-four-versions-of-your-book-live-on-launch-day/ https://www.archangelink.com/how-to-get-the-big-four-versions-of-your-book-live-on-launch-day/#comments Thu, 25 Apr 2019 07:55:14 +0000 https://www.archangelink.com/?p=4279 The hardest part about launching and marketing a book is the timing associated with getting everything synced up and ready to go on launch day. I’ll show you why this isn’t as hard as you might think. Yes! It’s possible to get the big four versions of your book live on launch day. The big […]

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The hardest part about launching and marketing a book is the timing associated with getting everything synced up and ready to go on launch day. I’ll show you why this isn’t as hard as you might think.

Yes! It’s possible to get the big four versions of your book live on launch day. The big four are:

  • Paperback
  • Hardback
  • Kindle
  • Audiobook

It will look like this:

four versions of book live on launch day
At the bare minimum, you want to have a paperback and a Kindle edition of your book, but it’s nice to give potential buyers the option to grab the book in their favorite format.

I personally have a Kindle book, audiobook, and paperback going at all times, and you never know which type I’ll need to add to my queue next. I love having the option to choose any format.

If you decide to go all out and get all versions of your book up on launch day, follow this step by step process to accomplish your goal.

Step One: Have Finished Files Ready

In order to follow the above timeline you’ll need to have all final files. This is tricky, as you need a completed manuscript before you are able to begin the audiobook recording, and THEN you have to edit and produce the audiobook.

This is incredibly challenging, and a first time author might be overwhelmed. It might be better for you to release the Kindle and paperback first and do the audio later on, but that will be up to you depending on your goals.

Here’s how to get all final files ready to go:

1) Paperback

You will need a formatted PDF interior and a matching cover to upload the paperback book to KDP Print. Don’t forget that the paperback will need its own ISBN.

2) Hardback

If you are uploading to IngramSpark (KDP Print does not do hardback) you’ll need a properly formatted interior and cover according to their specifications (templates available on their site). You’ll also need an ISBN specific to the hardback. For more on getting a hardback book on Amazon see here.

3) Kindle

Kindle books are uploaded as either. Mobi .Epub or .Doc files. It’s best to get a .MOBI file as this is the Kindle specific file type, but some authors choose to upload a Word doc or Epub. No matter which option you choose, be sure to check the launch previewer within KDP for any errors when you upload.

4) Audiobook

Getting audiobook final files is the most challenging of the versions. You have several options for getting finished audiobook files:

  • Record, edit, and produce it yourself. If you have the expertise and the right gear this might be an option for you, but for most people this is out of the question. I have a good mic and a nice closet that provides consistent sound quality, so I’m able to do this. I’m also trained to master and produce audiobooks which makes the process doable for me. 
  • You can commission an audiobook to be recorded and produced for you;
  • Or you could enter a royalty-share agreement with a producer/narrator on a platform like Audible Creation Exchange (ACX) (more on that here).

Don’t forget, you’ll also need to get an audiobook cover (sized at 2400 x 2400 pixels.)

See here for more on how to turn your book into an audiobook.

When it’s all said and done, here are the files you need to have:

  • Paperback cover (PDF)
  • Paperback interior (PDF)
  • Hardback cover (PDF)
  • Hardback Interior (PDF)
  • Kindle cover (ideal dimensions for cover files are 2560 x 1600 pixels)
  • Kindle interior (Mobi, Epub, Doc)
  • Audiobook cover (2400 x 2400 pixels.)
  • Fully mastered finished audiobook files in the form of MP3s

Phew! Now that you have your final files, follow the timing below and you’ll be all set. I know it’s a lot to put together, but to maximize sales potential it’s worth considering.

The Timing

Follow this guide to get the timing right.

Day one: Upload the paperback to KDP Print and the hardback version to IngramSpark 30 days before the official launch date.

Day three: Give the paperback a few days to be live on Amazon. Now you can upload the finished audiobook to ACX (submission guidelines here). They require that a matching book exist on Amazon’s system first before you can even start their process. Therefore, the audiobook version cannot come first.

Their review process can take up to a month, so this is the tricky part timing wise. You need to ensure that your files are top notch and free of errors. If they have any issues with your files, the timing can be messed up, but 30 days should be enough time to approve the book and it be live before launch day.

A week before launch day:  Upload the book to Kindle (you could also choose to do a pre-order and upload the Kindle at the same time as the print editions. (We have heard mixed feedback on the pre-order option so choose wisely. Dale Roberts has more info on pre-orders here.) Check back in a few days to ensure that all versions sync up.

The bottom line: If you have the foresight to plan your launch accordingly, it’s possible to get all four versions live on launch day. The key is getting all final files ready to go and then moving forward with the time schedule from there.

If you need our help producing or just need some coaching on the uploading process, please feel free to reach out.

Best of luck,

-Jordan and the Archangel Ink Team

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