Category Archives: Kindle eBook

Why is My Book Taking So Long?

This Book is Taking Too Long to Write!

It has been said that there is a book (or many book) inside of everyone. That is a fact. Everyone has unique experiences, knowledge, skills, and interesting facts that they could enhance the lives of others by sharing. However, getting that into a book is often harder that it seems, and definitely harder than it should be:




Among the hardest part of writing your book is understanding your target audience. What do your readers really need? What do they really want? Getting into their mind is an exercise worth doing.

There are great places one can look to discover what the problems or needs of any group of people is.  If you are thinking about writing a book, one of the best places to start is Amazon.

Discovering Needs on

How do you know if anyone wants a book on your topic? Simple, see if some are selling well on Amazon. The Amazon Best Seller Rank tells you where a book stands in relationship to the other 10 million or so books on Amazon.  An Amazon Best Seller Rank of 1 is the best. As it gets out to 800,000 or so, the book is only selling a few copies a year.

Using this graph from the Kindlepreneur (


The Best Seller Rank shows how popular a topic is by showing you roughly how many daily sales a book gets. So you want books on your topic to have a Best Seller Rank of 50,000 or less.

Getting Needs From Other Places

Other places to look are on blog and news sites. What seems to be mentioned often today? Why is it a problem? How long ago did you hear about these problems?

Use a Google search to find the questions that are being posted on popular blogs and news sites.

Use Forums to search for the questions that come up again and again.

Check tutorial sites to see what classes exist.

Know the Needs, Then Write The Book

Now that you know what people need, start organizing what you want to teach them. Research the answers, and be able to explain what the problems are, why they are a problem, and why your solution will solve the problem.

Give Them The Best Solution in The Best Way

Don’t just state a solution, present the solution. Break it down and present it in a way that anyone can implement the solution. Be direct. Tell them exactly what they need to do and what the results will be.

How many books have you read where the answers were ambiguous, and the solution impossible to implement. If you want to help a lot of people, then you need to present the solution in a step-by-step manner that anyone can follow.

When I have a book that uses a  step-by-step methodology, I usually keep the book around for a reference, to make sure that I haven’t missed anything. I can usually make a checklist to follow.

Step By Step

Make your books useful and impactful. The point of your book is the solution, it is how to solve the vexing problems of your readers. The best way to do this is in an easy to follow format.

Want to know how to make that exciting and educational at the same time? Want to know how to write it fast and to the point. I explain it step by step in the How to Write a Step by Step book.

step-by-step-book-4You will understand your readers better, learn how to answer their questions, and put that into a book faster and in a way that has more impact than anything you have written before.

Go ahead. Make your book writing easier and faster with Write a Step-by-Step Book.

Its all up to you. You can make writing faster, easier, and really more enjoyable.

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Amazon Changes–Pages Read

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Here We Go Again, Amazon Change

Kindle Unlimited Pages Read

Just about the time that you think that you have things figured out, they change right before your eyes. The month of July has seen a big change for authors of Kindle books. The Kindle Unlimited program is paying by the page read now. Here are the details of the program as Amazon reports it. (Taken from:


Kindle Unlimited Pages Read

Beginning July 1, 2015, we switched from paying Kindle Unlimited (KU) and Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL) royalties based on qualified borrows, to paying based on the number of pages read. We made this switch in response to great feedback we received from authors who asked us to better align payout with the length of books and how much customers read. Under the new payment method, you’ll be paid for each page individual customers read of your book, the first time they read it.Royalty payments under the new program

As with our current approach, we’ll continue to set a KDP Select Global Fund each month. Under the new payment method, the amount an author earns will be determined by their share of total pages read instead of their share of total qualified borrows.

Here are some examples of how it would work if the fund was $10M and 100,000,000 total pages were read in the month:

  • The author of a 100 page book that was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $1,000 ($10 million multiplied by 10,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).
  • The author of a 200 page book that was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $2,000 ($10 million multiplied by 20,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).
  • The author of a 200 page book that was borrowed 100 times but only read halfway through on average would earn $1,000 ($10 million multiplied by 10,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).

We will similarly change the way we pay KDP Select All-Star bonuses which will be awarded to authors and titles based on total KU and KOLL pages read.

You can enroll in KDP Select at any time by visiting your Bookshelf. If you no longer want your book(s) to be included in KDP Select you may unenroll from the program by contacting us with the ASIN of the book you would like to remove.

Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (KENPC v1.0)

To determine a book’s page count in a way that works across genres and devices, we’ve developed the Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (KENPC). We calculate KENPC based on standard settings (e.g. font, line height, line spacing, etc.), and we use KENPC to measure the number of pages customers read in your book, starting with the Start Reading Location (SRL) to the end of your book. Amazon typically sets SRL at chapter 1 so readers can start reading the core content of your book as soon as they open it.

This standardized approach allows us to identify pages in a way that works across genres and devices. Non-text elements within books including images, charts and graphs will count toward a book’s KENPC.

You can see your book’s KENPC listed on the “Promote and Advertise” page in your Bookshelf, and you can also see total pages read on your Sales Dashboard report. Because it’s based on default settings, KENPC may vary from page counts listed on your Amazon detail page, which are derived from other sources.


You can view your Kindle Unlimited (KU) and Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL) Pages Read in your Sales Dashboard report by marketplace and title.

We always support our authors’ efforts to promote their books all over the world, but at the same time we work to prevent any manipulation of the Kindle platform. Because we’re always looking to improve our authors’ experience, we’ll have systems in place to monitor for potential manipulation.

What I like about the changes
The changes reflect that users have to remain interested in the book and the topic long enough to finish. I have always felt that I deliver enough value that readers stay on to the end of the book. However, I have picked up books that have lost my interest within the first 20 pages. Those books get less of the divided up profits.
What I don’t like about the changes

The pages read are lumped together in one statistic. I can’t see which books are being borrowed the most, and which subjects I should write more about due to the lending.

What to do about it

I think the most important thing to do about the changes is to write more books that are more compelling. I think that the aim of the program is to reward authors that have more than just an attractive cover and good keywords in the title, they are rewarding authors that grab a readers attention and don’t let it go until they get to the end of the book.

What do you think about the changes? Please leave a comment and let us know.

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How to Sell eBooks

I ran into a popular article on EHow by Robert Egar. Robert had 5 surefire tips that would help Indie Authors sell their eBooks. I really liked his tips and have re-printed a portion of his article below.

You can read the entire article here:


(image courtesy of

The ability to sell ebooks as an independent author is easier than ever before. In some ways, a cult-like following has developed for self-published ebooks among cost-conscious readers and techno-geeks. Many people feel cool downloading books at cheap prices and helping drive the e-reading revolution. If you want to join the fray and sell ebooks to a wider audience, use these five tips to market like a pro.

Sell Ebooks Tip #1 – Give it away for free

One of the best ways to assess if you can make it as a new author is by giving away your ebook for free for a limited time, such as 30 or 90 days. Free is the quickest way to generate word of mouth, which is essential to success. If you’re writing isn’t good enough to get friends and family to share your book with others, you probably won’t get the general public to follow suit. By giving away your ebook for free, you can generate enough short-term momentum to carry you through to the real sales process.

E-book innovator, Seth Godin, encourages aspiring authors to give away their first book for free. “You should give your book away for free and send it to your twenty closest friends,” he says. “And, if that’s the end of it, then you’re not a good writer. On the other hand, if those twenty people send it to twenty more people, then you have four hundred readers, and then eight thousand readers, and so on. If you can get up to twenty thousand readers of your first book for free, there will be a line out the door of people wanting to help you with your next book.”

Using a free approach with your ebook allows you to test your material with readers without losing your shirt financially if you fail. The opportunity to build a new audience has never been this quick and easy.

Sell Ebooks Tip #2 – The price is right

A large percentage of people who read e-books are extremely price sensitive. Amazon started this process by setting prices for most e-books at $9.99. A continual battle rages throughout the publishing industry on the right price structure. But, Amazon created a trend in the minds of many readers. Thus, many independent authors picked up on this trend and now use low pricing as a way to get readers to take a chance on their new book.

For example, Darcie Chan, ebook author of The New York Times best-selling novel, The Mill River Recluse, used low prices to gain her initial audience. “The goal of my ‘e-book experiment’ has never been to make money,” she says. “I only wanted to get my work out there over time and gauge people’s responses to it. For that reason, I lowered the price to $0.99. I think it is true that readers are more willing to take a chance on a completely unknown author at that price point, and I definitely wanted to encourage people to take a chance on me.”

Not only did people take a chance on Darcie’s novel, they gave rave reviews and spread an electronic wildfire. Within four months, she was selling several thousand copies a day. You could argue that Darcie didn’t make much money from this low-price strategy, but with an established fan base, she’s now in a position to get a big advance from a major publisher or sell her next book at a much higher price.

Sell Ebooks Tip #3 – Partner with e-book blogs

E-book junkies are a tight-knit tribe who possess a powerful communication network. Everyone knows where to go for information, and they check-in regularly. There are numerous blogs, websites, newsletters, and social media pages that specifically review and promote e-books. The influence of these reviewers affects a lot of ebook buyers. Below is a list of several well-known blogs and websites with large traffic:

Ereader News Today:
Kindle Nation:
Pixel of Ink:
Inspired Reads:
Kindle Reader:

Getting your e-book mentioned on these websites can help generate a lot of downloads. You can write to the administrators of these e-book blogs and request a feature of your book. Some sites give free listings while others will feature your book for a fee. For instance, Kindle Nation offers author sponsorship opportunities to promote your book for $99 to $400. In addition, you can arrange for web-based ads to run on ebook-related sites, such as GoodReads and IndieReader.

Sell Ebooks Tip #4 – Pursue paid book reviews

Besides book mentions and paid advertising, independent authors can pursue literary reviews of their work for a fee. These review sites can help provide a level of legitimacy to an unknown author. Consider the following organizations if you’d like to pursue a paid review:

Kirkus Reviews: Review fees cost from $425 to $575.
BookRooster: Review fees start at $67.

Sell Ebooks Tip #5 – Subsidize your writing costs with a sponsor

Taking the time to write a book can work against your ability to make a living. If that is the case, consider getting a sponsor for your ebook. This process is similar to getting an advance from a traditional publisher, because someone pays you up front to create your book. In return, you agree to give the sponsor some free advertising space or perform promotional activities on their behalf. Popular services in this arena include Kickstarter and PubSlush.

For example, e-book author, Al Pittampalli, landed Citrix Systems as a sponsor for his new ebook called, Read This Before Our Next Meeting. Citrix invented the popular GoToMeeting videoconferencing service (, which is used by companies around the world. As a sponsor of Al’s book, Citrix got exposure to thousands of potential new customers. Likewise Al got funding through Citrix, legitimacy from their brand, and exposure to a much wider audience.

The key to landing a sponsor is to identify people, companies, or nonprofit organizations that want to reach the same audience you want to reach with your book. In essence, you offer yourself as a spokesperson or product placement opportunity for that organization. The company receives the benefit of marketing their product or service in a non-threatening manner to potential customers or donors. Sponsorship will work only if the company believes your book’s audience fits their target market and that you have the ability to sell a lot of books.

There has never been a more interesting time to be an independent author. The opportunities to publish and sell ebooks are unprecedented. However, the fundamentals remain the same. You must write a great book that provides tangible value to the reader. Ebooks allow you to accomplish this task faster than ever before. Start small, use a low-cost pricing approach to gain new readers, connect with the ebook community to grow your platform, find a sponsor if needed, and watch as the world downloads your message like wildfire.

Richards tips are great. I find some of them quite expensive, however. I have done pretty well with a couple of low to no-cost options of my own.

Tip # 1, Get Great Exposure for the Best Price

I use a Gig on Fiver that helps me get a lot of downloads on my free days, and it only costs $5. A whole lot less than ones mentioned above. The Gig is:

Tip # 2, Join Social Media Groups that will share or tweet your free day for FREE!

Here are some Free groups that you can join on FaceBook. Some groups on Facebook also do twitter.


Other Articles

Life’s Poetry

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Perception Becomes Reality

My Perception

I am often amazed at how someone’s perception completely becomes what they think and feel about someone or some object. The story of the blind men describing an elephant comes to mind. One of the blind men grasp the elephant by the trunk thought that it was like a snake. Another grasp the elephant by the leg, and thought that it was like a tree, and so on. All five described the elephant from their point of view—believing firmly in what they knew to be true. But, none of the five had a full picture of what an elephant was, only their perception of what it was.


I was introduced to an adorable children’s book called Be-U-Tee-Full, by Journi Roe.


The innocence and enthusiasm of Cali, one of the main characters in the book, immediately pulled me in. She is busy doing things like bouncing down the stairs when she has a little friend come to visit her.

Her friend has just gotten glasses. Cali’s friend has the perception that the glasses make her look ugly, a perception that is complete reality to this poor little girl. Cali, through encouragement and love, is able to change the perception and the reality for this one precious child.

Journi Roe

I became acquainted with the author of the book, she is a remarkable woman. She understands the power of perception. Her story is one of courage and overcoming immense obstacles in the way. The biggest of those obstacles were her own self-perceptions.

She found a hope to hang on to, and clawed her way out of a dark abyss. She has managed to change those self-perceptions and her mission is to help others see themselves more clearly.

Help Change The World

She wants to change the world one child at a time, and I think she has the means to do it. If you get a chance check out her book, the first one in a planned series, and her facebook page, Inspirational Me. I am truly blessed for having come to know her, and I know you will be too. I look forward to the next installment in the series.

Dean Giles

Other Children’s Books