The Kindle Publishing Challenge 53


You may have already heard about the 5 day experiment that Ryan Deiss is doing live.  It’s a challenge to take a brand new Kindle book (in a gardening niche, so there is no existing list to use for leverage during the release) and try to get it #1 in it’s category.

So far, they are on day 5 of this experiment, and by his own admittance, Ryan screwed up with the first release of their gardening book.  It had formatting issues.  To tell you the truth, the copy I downloaded (which was supposed to be fixed) STILL had formatting issues, so it’s not a great start.  As of this morning, they had received just over 4000 downloads.  That’s free downloads, not books sold, but that’s all part of their strategy to get their book ranked well in the Kindle marketplace.  We’ll have to see how that goes.

This experiment is clearly a build up to a launch of a new product, and Ryan does not hide that fact during the videos.  I am not sure how expensive the product will be yet (I know Ryan has released some really expensive stuff), but he promises it is not a $2000 course.  The price will be revealed on Monday 27th August I believe when the course launches.

I haven’t seen this product as it has not been released yet, but it is supposed to be a complete system with tools and support for “dominating” the kindle niche of your choice.

There will also be an exclusive community to help “boost rankings and launch your books”.

I know that I am looking to learn strategies to help me launch my own Kindle books so I am hopeful this course will mean I don’t have to learn it all on my own.  While I cannot say any more about the course right now, you can download a free book for signing up.  It’s called “Kindle Publishing Revolution”.  Naturally this book is a Kindle book Winking smile

I recommend you download this book and read it.  It’s got a lot of useful/interesting information inside like:

  • There are more Kindle books sold on Amazon than all other books combined.
  • Kindle publishing has already created millionaires (out of ordinary people who would never have gotten their books published via a traditional publishing company.
  • The different types of books you can publish.
  • 12 common methods for creating streams of income from your Kindle books.
  • How to publish your book on Kindle (this is very easy).  It includes info on formatting the book (and images), choosing the pricing and rights for the book.
  • The last part of the book has tips and tricks for marketing your book.  He directs you to another free eBook of his called “How to Sell 100 Books a Day” for more details (you can download that here if you want a copy).  He does however include 7 tips you can use right now to help you launch your Kindle books.  These tips related to user reviews, how to get better ranking on Google by optimizing your Kindle submission, author central tips, using Facebook, free Kindle book sites & using Youtube.

If you are new to Kindle publishing (like I am) or you want a few more ideas, this free book is well worth a read.

Whether his Kindle course will live up to expectation is something I cannot guarantee.  I guess we’ll see on Monday.  If you want to watch the five videos so far in the “experiment” I mentioned earlier, sign up here for access:

Number One Book System

Inside that free membership area is a nice little calculator that lets your estimate how many sales a particular book is making per day.

UPDATE

OK, this promotion has run it’s course and we’ll find out the price of this course later today when it is released.  Before then, I just wanted to update this post to include the information found in the final couple of videos on the site.

In the free promotional giveaway, Ryan achieved 6000+ downloads.

Video #6 offers some tips on how you can promote your book for these free downloads.  Now, you may ask what benefit there is to these free giveaways.  The whole point of them is to:

  1. Get reviews of your book.
  2. To help your book rank better so that when you do go from free to paid, your book will be ranking high in the Amazon search engine, so sales should follow.

The second point above is the one that most people will be interested in.  Did the free promotion achieve these goals?

Well, in Ryan’s 7th video he shows you what happened in terms of rankings, and how many sales they had made since the book switched from free to paid.

Overall, I don’t doubt Ryan’s system, however, we’ll have to wait and see whether it is affordable.  Release date is Monday 27th August.   I recommend that you read all of the comments on this page, as I will give my opinion when the product is released, and I am sure other newsletter readers will have interesting points of view Winking smile

I would highly recommend you download the free book “How to Sell 100 books a day” that was released during this pre-launch.  This book has some great tips on how to promote your book, and I expect that many of the techniques included in the course will be those listed in this free eBook.  Combine that with the information in video #6, and you’ll have a great starting point for promoting your own books, whether or not you end up buying this course.

As always, I am interested in your opinions on this experiment, the techniques in the free eBooks, and just about anything else to do with Kindle Publishing.  If you want to follow my own Kindle publishing journey, pop along to the Facebook page I setup after I bought Geoff Shaw’s excellent Kindling Course (which started, and continues to be, the roadmap for that journey.  Incidentally, that link to Geoff’s course is a link to my full review.


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53 thoughts on “The Kindle Publishing Challenge

  • Norm

    Hello Dr. Andy

    A most inauspicious start for Ryan Deiss. Frankly, the whole thing looks a little too slick to me. However, his free stuff leading up to it did point me in some new marketing directions that I needed, as in places to promote a freebie book campaign. I sent Shaw a note about this suggesting that he expand on this important topic. Just tossing up a free book won’t get you that many downloads. Found that out the hard way. Gotta have an edge. Still looking for it.

    Always mining YOU for nuggets. Ha!!

    Norm

  • Lee

    Am I seeing this right? Are you really promoting Ryan Deiss?

    His “challenge” and subsequent training and membership group reek of a cash grab. Sorry, it does. I’d be shocked if it comes close to Shaw’s training.

    Save $492 and get these two books from people who’ve actually made money from Kindle:

    http://www.amazon.com/Blogging-Facebook-Guerilla-Marketers-ebook/dp/B007XVWEIU
    http://www.amazon.com/Sold-Million-eBooks-Months-ebook/dp/B0056BMK6K/

    Need a list of places to promote your book while free? Google “kindle free book promotion” and you’ll find plenty of places to promote.

    • Andy Williams

      Firstly, I am reserving my opinion until it’s released. I don’t know what the price will be yet, and I am not sure where you get $492 from. If this does turn out to be a $200 or more course, I won’t be buying it, however, the two free books and calculator you get when you sign up for the experiment are worth getting, especially if you are new to Kindle or just starting. I have gotten some ideas from the 100 book a day eBook.

      As for Geoff’s training, it is excellent. However, it is let down IMO during the promotional stages of the book. He is still working on that area of the site, so I expect it to pad out nicely, but as things stand, the stuff that Ryan is promising (and maybe those books you recommend – I got a lot out of the Locke one) is the missing link for me.

      • Lee

        Well, now it comes out that Locke spent quite a hefty sum on paid reviews, and they may or may not have contributed to his initial rise.

        I’ve linked to my fiction pen name website, but I also produce non-fiction. I’ve had a few successful free campaigns on non-fiction books, one of which gained me 22,000 free downloads. The result was a #1 ranking in the sub-category and sub-sub category. The book went on to sell over 50 copies a day priced at $3.99 and then 2.99.

        I spent 30 minutes promoting it. I got lucky and ended up being picked up by a couple of the big sites, which in turn boosted me into the top 20 free on the second day of the promo. From there people started finding it naturally. The unfortunate part is that my follow up book wasn’t the best match. Now a month + later the book is starting to slide, which is natural based on the way Amazon’s algo works. Those free downloads, and all sales, only count for so long toward your popularity rankings.

        From what I’ve seen with my fiction Noble Intentions series, writing a good fiction book and keeping the series going tends to work well. I’ve hardly done any promotion for that series and am very happy with the sales. I just released the Season One compilation book, which comes in at close to 500 pages (I did that??) and will be making the first episode permanently free next week.

        My problem with the Deiss product is that it will most likely be over priced, information you can find for a lot less or in some cases for free, and frankly, based off the work he gave away, he does not come across as a professional independent publisher, rather as someone looking to cash in. My estimate of $499 might have been too high. He’s going to coordinate this with a monthly mastermind of some sort, right?

  • Pearson Brown

    I wouldn’t call this ‘slick’. They didn’t even have a link to the UK version of their sales book until I pointed it out. Also their Amazon listing for this same book had the misspelling of Kindlle in the title, again until I pointed it out.

    As regards the Vertical gardening book, I don’t think this shows off any great promotional skill. They are not going to hit their target for downloads. Indeed, they are not going to do much better than half the target. This in spite of the fact that many people such as I, and apparently Dr Andy, have downloaded the book out of curiosity and not because we wanted to read the contents. In addition, they also had an initial target for sales once it was no longer a free book. This has been quietly removed.

    One or two of the five star reviews look very suspect to me as well.

    Geoff Shaw is the guy to go to. Not some marketers riding on the latest bandwagon.

  • Hank

    This Ryan Deiss promotion seemed like a bust to me.

    He GAVE AWAY 6000 copies to get 9 reviews. (3 of which didn’t like it much). That seems quite inefficient to me.

    He admitted (in passing) to having spent several hundred dollars DURING the promotion to promote the book.

    So, even on his VERY inflated numbers of 5-10 sales a day (over the longer term of 90 days), it is month 2 before he will make any profit. And that is assuming he isn’t currently promoting the book with paid methods, which I suspect he probably is.

    His sales rank is 19,788 currently. Which is good. Probably 5 copies a day. But the number 5 ranked book for Vertical Gardening on Amazon has a sales rank of 82,000; so is (maybe) selling 5 copies a week, which is perhaps a more realistic indicator of longer term potential sales.

    The rank of Deiss book is after all coming off the back of a big promotional effort, so without any further promotion the only way is down.

    So, say the average is 20 sales a month. at $2 profit each (if priced at $2.99) then the average profit for a book in Vertical Gardening is maybe $40 A MONTH.

    Now, if that is hands-free, no-other-money-to-pay cash, then honestly, I think that is just fine.

    But, its not 5-10 copies a day. And if you are spending $300 a month to promote it, then that is a losing proposition.

    Which kinda indicates why Deiss is selling this as an expensive course.

    Without knowing the truth about how much Deiss has spent on promoting this book, and is spendng on an ongoing basis to keep sales coming in, I would say his numbers are simply fiction.

    Having personally ranked number 1 on Amazon in the past for a book on a search term that (supposedly) gets 3,350,000 searches on Google (according to their keywords tool), as opposed to the phrase “vertical gardening” that gets 22,200; and getting no-where like a consistent 5 to 10 sales a day. I personally think this promotion is fueled by Deiss spending out lots of money to make sure his book continues to rank, despite not being profitable.

    Which perhaps simply shows that selling IM courses off the back of it IS profitable…

    • Andy Williams

      Hank
      I think you are right to be suspicious about any IM “sales letter” and this is no different. Without knowing the true costs of his promotions to get so many downloads it’s difficult to argue either way. I don’t remember seeing a $300 spent on promotion, but I’ll take your word for it. I would suspect there are a whole lot of free ways to promote the book without having to spend that much, it any. I am going to be trying to compile a list of these places to share with my “Kindle Journey” facebook page, and hope others will contribute their own sources and experiences with them.

      Is Ryan’s course worth it? I have no idea as I don’t know how much it will cost, nor do I know what is inside it as I haven’t seen it. However, as marketers, we can all learn a thing or two (good and bad) about promotions by watching this launch and I do think the free stuff that was given away is incredibly useful for people like me who really don’t know how to start promoting Kindle books yet.

  • chris

    Hey Andy, been a long time since I made comment but been on your list since 2005 back when you had a forum for your first site builder which im sure many of us got started in IM using. Anyways, looking forward to seeing your report on Ryans product but as poster said above, im always hesitant with him and many times its him re-doing an existing product, though i do like the freebie stuff he’s given away. Im about to embark on a kindle journey soon so will be following your journey.

    • Andy Williams

      Hi Chris, nice to “see” you again. Believe me, I am equally hesitant on this release. At the right price it could be great, but something is nagging away at me. I think it will be expensive and I for one won’t be buying it if it is. I think there are a lot of great resources out there that are free or cheap while offering great information.
      I am also hoping that Geoff Shaw’s course can add a lot more in the area of book promotion. It’s the one area that I think his course is lacking.

  • Pete

    Ryan presents pretty well but as far as putting out a good impression with his ‘challenge’, he was way of the mark. You really would think he would check formatting etc… Before publishing the book if he is using the process to sell his course. Anyway…

    He is an Internet marketer and his main business is selling courses to tell people how to market products on the Internet. He is asking 3 x $97 to give people what quite frankly they probably already know…. How to market a product on the Internet.

    There are probably some time saving tips and a few ‘oh, i never thought of that’ peices of content in his course but it’s not something for me.

    Over the years I’ve learnt that any type of course is really what you make of it. If I buy something and it saves me time or improves what already works for me, great… It was worth it…. even though I may be didn’t follow the complete course. Just take what you need 🙂

    Pete

  • Pearson Brown

    Don’t be fooled into thinking that you are going to join a “club” of thousands of people all downloading your books and posting good reviews. Amazon are really good at controlling this type of ‘shilling’. No doubt they will be joining the club and keeping an eye on it.

    I know I am a grammar nerd but I counted seven mistakes in that final presentation. This whole project has been really sloppily done. The complete opposite of Mr Shaw, in fact 🙂

  • Hank

    Hi Andy,

    I personally think that producing books for Kindle is a great idea.

    But this whole…

    “even if you JUST get 5 – 10 sales A DAY at $2.99 you will make say $300 a month. Not much. But kinda cool”

    Sales pitch hat Deiss is selling, is not realistic for most non-fiction books in my experience.

    Keith Baxter sent out an email recently where he said he was number one on Amazon Kindle a little while back for the single word search “acupuncture” and sold hardly any copies. So, whilst big sales is certainly possible. Simply because you rank for a nice search phrase on Amazon doesn’t mean that you will ACTUALLY sell a lot of copies of your book.

    Moving forward the quality of the books will need to improve considerably as well. Its early days, so you can get away with the 20-40 page “books”, that are really pamphlets at the moment (Deiss’s water purification book is 21 pages). But moving forward Amazon will put a stop to that (in my opinion) and make sure that the quality improves, because they need to protect the reputation of their Kindle Platform.

    The first step was banning PLR, but it will only move on from that. So moving forward you will need to write a proper book to have success, and that is not as simple as these courses would have you believe.

    With print books publishers do the quality control. No-one buys 21 page paperbacks. Amazon will have to step in at some point and have higher quality control on the books they let in, because even now there are rumblings amongst buyers in the kindle forums about feeling duped by buying books that are too short, or not formatted correctly.

    The deiss course incidentally costs $241 one-off or 3 payments of $97 ($291) – So not exactly cheap.

    I think Fiction is actually a far better proposition for MASSIVE sales. But you can’t fake that. You have to write good books because the money is made by having a series of books, not one offs.

    Also, the whole “give books away” strategy has changed quite recently. In March 2012, Amazon changed the way they rank books after a free kindle promotion to take away the uplift in sales after the end.

    Additionally, honestly, the number of downloads (without your own promotion) has dropped since then.

    KDP Select is a lousy way to get reviews. No-one reads them. Let alone reviews the books they download for free.

    Deiss needed to give away 666 books for EACH review he got.

    Nevertheless, I agree that promotion is the one missing ingredient from all these courses, and if anyone has that cracked then Ryan Deiss could be the guy.

    I am actually very positive about Kindle. I think it is a tremendous opportunity to produce outstanding content and have people consume it. But most of the hype like Deiss is selling that gives the impression it’s easy to produce a book that gets 5-10 sales a day is simply not true in my experience.

    • Andy Williams

      Hank
      Yes, I agree about quality control, but I think about that in every aspect of my business. I wouldn’t put out crap books just for the sake of a quick buck. Far from it. When I start a new part of my business, I look for the long-haul, and quality has to be the number one factor.

    • Marshall

      The issue with shorter publications of 20 to 40 pages is people want to call them books instead of articles. Amazon publishes articles too. Price your shorter articles as such and call them articles in your description and I think you will be ok.

  • Andy Iskandar

    Hey Andy,

    I’m curious about something. Reading this post and your comments, it strikes me that you seem to place more importance on the absolute price of a product than its relative value. Correct me if I’m wrong though.

    What is your position on pricing, especially in this market of ours?

    Thanks.

    • Andy Williams

      Andy
      I look at the price of something, and what it can help me learn. For something like this, I know that a lot of the information in this product will already be out there in other products. I’d much rather find 3 – 4 experts in this field and buy each of their products than buy one product at $297 or whatever this looks likely to be. I have Geoff excellent course that I stand behind 100%, but where it is currently let down is in the promotion areas. However, he is addressing that with new tutorials. If I can find a couple of other people with reasonably priced products that deal with promotion, I can pool their ideas and strategies and that usually ends up with a sum of knowledge greater than what I bought because ideas in these books trigger your own.

  • Hank

    I actually bought Geoff’s course on your recommendation Andy.

    I like it. But was also disappointed by the promotions section. Lots of talk about twitter and social stuff, which in my experience is a total waste of time.

    Honestly, by far the best book/product I have read on Kindle Publishing is “Make a Killing on Kindle”.

    It’s honest. High quality and costs $5. What’s not to like?

    He too had no luck at all with social media as a means of getting kindle sales. He found it a total bomb.

    What he does prove though is that you CAN make money on Kindle.

    The ‘trick’ for him was to produce an outstanding book, with some seo elements, a good cover, decent keywords and a good description, and get good reviews.

    The book is light on promotion strategies. But I found it refreshing that he spoke about how Facebook and Twitter were a total waste of time for ‘no-name’ authors.; because that has been my experience as well.

    And it does put the focus back on where it should be, which is producing LESS books, but making sure that the content in them is outstanding.

    I think luck plays a fair part as well. Who picks you up. Who reads you. Who recommends you.

    Certainly that is until you pick up a following, or write a series of books so people start to be fans and do the promoting for you.

    It is VERY hard to get reviews on Kindle. That make a killing book has 51 reviews. And yet is being BOUGHT (not given away free, so the people probably read it), over 100 times A DAY. And yet, in all the months it has been out, only 51 reviews…

    Today his book is ranked 1,297 on Kindle.

    By my reckoning he is selling somewhere between 120 and 150 books A DAY at those levels.

    He is making $3.50 a book. So that is $420 to $525 a day in profit.

    Honestly, he deserves it. The book is great.

    And NO, its not my book! lol – Wish it was!

    Be interesting to hear what you come up with as an amalgam of promotion strategies Andy.

    What promotion strategy have you been doing for the kindle books you have put out to date?

    • Andy Williams

      Hank
      I only have one book and haven’t done much at all to promote it. I have two other books waiting for me to find time to edit them, and one more book in the works. I am looking for ways to promote my future releases, and that is why the fee stuff Ryan is giving away interests me. I will look at the book you mention.

  • Norm

    This has been a fun thread to follow. Here and another couple of writer places I have started homesteading I can’t find anyone who is gung ho about Deiss, and the bad reviews started coming in on day one. I think he burnt his grits permanently. But you gotta admit…He surely stirred up a lot of free publicity. (Just not the good kind.)

    I’m to the point that I’m spending a lot of time working to beef up my reviews, likes, tags, and such. What we need is a powerful Kindle marketing forum for the purpose. I can’t find one of any size. Geoff could do a proper one with his following if he would. Amazon actually likes good, honest, legit reviews.

    Having worked Shaw’s system pretty hard, is Kindle worth the time? I dunno. Some say they are doing great. I am not. I know I’m missing something… I just haven’t figgered out what it is yet. The tipping point seems a distant point of light. But like any good old IM gold miner, I’m a posimist.
    Norm

  • Andy Williams

    Hi All
    OK it’s been released and the price was 3 x $97 as some had suggested it would be. So am I buying it? No, I decided not to and I’ll tell you why. It seems to me that much of the perceived value of this course is in the membership you get to other people who can buy and review your books, to help collectively to promote each others offerings. I totally agree with what Pearson Brown wrote in one of the comments above.

    “Don’t be fooled into thinking that you are going to join a “club” of thousands of people all downloading your books and posting good reviews. Amazon are really good at controlling this type of ‘shilling’. No doubt they will be joining the club and keeping an eye on it.”

    For me, this “club” is not something I want to join. If the methods in this course worked so well, why would you need that club to help promote your book?

    I am going to be looking for other resources related to Kindle promotions and will update my Kindle Publishing Journey Facebook page with what I find.

  • Art Howard

    Andy,

    I’ve been following your newsletter for a very long time now, and have bought several products on your recommendation. I have always appreciated your reviews, but right now I’m surprised you’d recommend downloading this pile of junk even for free.

    I hate bashing anyone, but Deiss needs a bit of bashing for the constant stream of scammy products he releases.

    Ryan Deiss only releases overpriced crap that he claims he’s been using for a while. I doubt he’s ever created a product that has made anyone a dime, other than himself and his JV partners. Even being free, this “how to” release is worthless.

    Deiss would be nothing if he didn’t have his buddy Frank Kern to help him cook up his slickster marketing crap. Deiss, like Frank’s cousin Trey Smith, simply rides the coat tails of Kern. Even Kern’s fame has outlived his actual contributions to the Internet Marketing community. He made his millions back when any slick marketer (which he was) could slap up any piece of trash and charge $2k to $5k and have thousands of suckers lining up to be fleeced… Frank is still a very slick marketing guy, who understands the psychology of selling, that’s what he’s good at, but creating “how-to-make-money-online” products other than “sales copy” and “list building” products is something he’s not very good at. Nor is his “mini-me” protoge Ryan Deiss.

    Deiss should probably stick to his forte, which is list building, at least that is something he really is good at. But he should really stay away from teaching how to make money by publishing on Amazon until he’s actually successfuly done so. He’s like one of those dime a dozen found on the Warrior Forum “fake it till you make it” marketers who sell “how to make money online” products without ever first having made any money online.

    But I digress.

    You even point out his lousy formatting in your pre-review, and other’s have pointed out numerous errors as well. Not to mention the really horrible reviews he’s already gotten on Amazon, which should be a major hint to anyone paying attention. Those bad reviews don’t instill much confidence that his upcoming product launch will teach anyone how to be successful with Amazon.

    He has zero experience and zero credibility. Yet, he’s probably going to make thousands from his email list of suckers and his JV partners from this pile of dung 5 day experiment. Why would you encourage anyone to waste their time or money on an experiment that has already gone bad from the start? Why recommend they even read his free give away? It is not filled with useful or interesting information as you say in your pre-review.

    Oh, and about that “amazing – calculator” Deiss has thrown up on the web to somehow prove his credibility…

    Don’t waste your time plugging numbers into it, I’ll save you loads of time. See the table below to see the results you’ll get by using it. It’s all made up theory from his so-called “testing data.” Amazon does not publish this data, so it’s entirely conjecture. Unless he has actually interviewed every top selling author on Amazon, he has no way to extrapolate daily sales estimates from Amazon Sales Rank.

    Here’s the results you’ll get from his calculator.

    Amazon Sales Rank: = Daily Sales Estimates
    1-5 = 3,500+
    6-10 = 2,000 – 3,500
    11-20 = 1,100 – 2,000
    21-65 = 650 – 1,100
    66-80 = 550 to 650
    81-200 = 300 to 550
    201-1000 = 100 to 300
    1001-2000 = 55 to 100
    2001-3500 = 30 to 55
    3501-8500 = 10 to 30
    8501-40000 = 1 to 10
    40001-100000 = 1
    100001+ = 0

    If you give this pile of junk a positive review when all is said and done, you’re stock is going to drop very fast.

    Regards,

    Art

    • Andy Williams

      Art
      Thanks for your thoughts.
      At no time did I promote his course – I don’t promote stuff I haven’t seen and as my last comment on this page states, I am not going to buy it. I have given my reasons there.
      As for stating that the free downloads are “not filled with useful or interesting information”, I totally disagree. I have found a huge amount of useful information in there (maybe that is because I am new to Kindle??), which gives me new options to explore.
      It seems that a lot of people, for whatever reason, don’t like Ryan. I have never taken much notice of his stuff in the past (although I think Nicheology was his, wasn’t it, and that was good value to me) and to bring names like Frank Kern or Trey into this, I just don’t get it. I don’t follow those guys so what has it got to do with any of this. You expect me to know why your have a problem with Ryan? Perhaps you can email me and tell me because I really don’t know what he has done that is so bad.

        • Andy Williams

          Hi Lee, I think you’ll find that Nicheology was started by Ryan and Jimmy Brown in around 2004, I think. Cannot remember whether they sold it to Paul, but that is how I remember the beginnings of Nicheology. I may be wrong so stand corrected if that is the case.

          • Lee Anderson

            You are correct – I also subscribed at the launch of Nicheology and recall that it was started by Deiss and Brown, and was promoted heavily by Ryan at hat time.

          • Isobel

            You’re 100% right about Nicheology Andy – I was a charter member and they sold it to Paul Evans a couple of years ago I think. It’s always been good value – both Jimmy and Paul are highly ethical marketers so I wouldn’t expect anything less from them.

    • Norm

      Hi Art,
      You seem pretty well advanced with this stuff. As such you said, “Why recommend they even read his free give away? It is not filled with useful or interesting information as you say in your pre-review.”

      I actually did learn a couple of things from the teaser. Well, not so much a “how to” as a “where to look.” My resume with Kindle still has baby hair on it, so everything about it is new to me. Andy is a magnitude smarter than me but he is still learning too.

      Andy’s still the pro we know. He didn’t take the swing. No strike, no foul, no harm.

      • Art Howard

        Hi Norm,

        Yes, perhaps I was a bit harsh on the freebie stuff. Things of great value can often be found in piles of trash. I won’t be taking anymore swings at Mr. Deiss and his Guru pals. 🙂

        Have an awesome day!

        Art

        • Pearson Brown

          Art, you brought up a very important point. This group of marketers are extremely good at cross-promoting each other’s products. Indeed, I found out about this particular product through Ed Dale. I imagine that many many people at least looked at Ryan’s course.

          And yet he got nowhere near his target.

          I don’t believe that he has any real promotional secrets to teach us. Ok, the Pinterest book did well but that is one that I would buy myself, a new topic that I want to find out about. But Ryan makes his money from training, not from selling Kindle books.

  • Art Howard

    Andy,

    Thanks for your reply, and I’m sending you an email response since I think I’ve already said enough here.

    The only thing further that I will say here, is that I think this is probably an over priced rehash of a product released by Jonny Andrews about 8 months ago on the Warrior Forum as a special WSO called: Perfect Publishing System
    Kindle Ninja Edition. That was a very useful product but costing a whole lot less than Ryan Deiss is no doubt going to repackage and resell it for.

    That WSO is no longer available, but anyone smart enough to know how to do a Google search can probably find it for free and save themselves several hundred dollars. I only suggest finding it for free since it is no longer available, unless you want to over pay Mr. Deiss for what I’d bet is the same thing.

    Regards,

    Art

    • Andy Williams

      Hi Art
      I did hear about Jonny’s WSO but is was wtihdrawn I believe because a major strategy in it was out of date with changes Amazon made. I cannot give you more details on this as I don’t remember them.

  • V. Michael Santoro

    Andy,
    I did buy the course as it seems to cover the topic and focuses on promotion which is the most important aspect. Their is one OTO which is composed of three parts: Cover designer software, an online Kindle formatting tool and access to his new Kindle Freebee system that will be used as part of the launch program to get free downloads for rankings. It is overpriced and is as much as the course. I did not buy this as I can create my own covers or get them on Fiverr. The Facebook group is supposed to be for support and to get reviews.

    When I logged in only the course intro was available with the meat coming tomorrow and Thursday.

    I am an author and have published both traditionally and via Kindle. Its all about promotion and ranking on Amazon page 1 for your book. I bought the other course you suggested and it was okay if you are new but all I’m looking for is the promotion part and how to tweak things in the Amazon tags to get better rankings.

    I’ll re-post by weeks end when the content is released. If there are no Aha moments, then I’m going to ask for a refund. I agree that his products are usually overpriced, however if he nails Kindle promotion, then it’ll be worth the investment.

    Thanks,
    Vito

  • Rob

    Hey Art,

    Your views of Kern, Deiss, and Smith are spot on. I’ve been burned by Kern once, Deiss twice, and I would never buy anything from Smith. I spent a lot of time implementing their overpriced crap and never made even half of my money back.

  • Nick

    To be fair to Geoff Shaw; he is constantly updating his Kindling membership. Go back in three months and I’m sure that the promotions side will be considerably enhanced. Also you can email him. He is very responsive and uses questions to help plan further content for his site.
    Not keen on Ryan Deiss. I see him as one of the old style gurus. He along with the rest of his kind are finding the public are wising up to their act.
    Plenty of time for Jimmy Brown and Paul Evans though.

  • David K

    I have been exploring Kindle strategies for the past few months and launched 2 Kindle books. I watched the entire VSL by Ryan and almost pull out my credit card and buy the course. But after some thoughts I decided not to. I am not against him but I have some reserve in the overall strategies. Free downloads will boost the sales ranking but whether it will relates to sales in future ? I am not sure …

    I have seen people promoting free downloads, post reviews in exchange for entry in their iPad giveaway and blasting it in their mailing list. If we were to promote any products to our own mailing list, definitely it will attract some downloads and reviews. All the techniques mentioned, are common … no secret in the IM world. You owned a mailing list, blast it , get traffic then convert to sales.

    What I have experimented and I feel it should work a little …

    a) convert your EXISTING ebook to kindle. make sure the quality is there. you can take a small section in your entire package and create a new kindle book. many kindle publishing courses will ask you to do reverse engineer. find a topic that’s popular and create content. personally, i don’t have the knowledge on the topic and time to do it. so, i just take my existing product for experiment.

    b) utilize the 5 days promotion. I did not use any social marketing, ppc, and mailing list to promote it.

    c) buy some reviews. probably 3 reviews a month. just to make it active.

    I published my first book in June. My monthly sales are between 20-50 copies at $0.99 using the method above. I re-invested all the earnings into review purchase. Just launched my second book last week. no stats yet.

    I have links inside my Kindle book to a landing page where I collect email opt in. I would say, less than 1% opt in. Just beware that you need to design a page that fits nicely into Kindle browser. Otherwise you will get ZERO opt in.

    I’ll definitely get Geoff’s course and see what else I am missing in the overall promotion strategies.

  • Wim

    As of today most programs on Kindle are advertised as ‘make money fast’ solutions in the traditional marketing hype style we know from sites like Clickbank and the Warrior Forum. At this stage Kindle is still in its infancy and Amazon is working hard to make it a viable alternative to print , this will take time and effort. When all the dust settles I’m sure Kindle will become the premier marketplace for books with the same quality and quantity as the traditional bookscene it will replace in the future. I’m sure once Kindle matures all the ‘fast cash’ marketing boys will have left the arena and quality will rule. At this stage it is give and take for Amazon. They want to market the Kindle application and are following a thin line between quality and quantity. I’m sure Amazon will work on quality more and more as times gets by . I guess it is not a bad moment for one to buy a Kindle product now and get to know the system inside out and be ready to build a longtime sustainable business using this feature. Amazon is a serious company and Kindle is here to stay.

  • Wim

    On another note : I appreciate this thread : not many people dare to speak out in the marketing lobby these days !

  • Tony Crofts

    Hi Dr Andy

    I’m not a fan of Ryan Deiss ever since he posted that article about getting his mate a set of golf clubs in an hour or so just by doing a promotion to his list of the first Clickbank product he found and then expected his list to buy just ‘cos he said they should. Like you, and many of the readers of your blog, I expect that if someone is promoting a product for a commission then they should have at least looked at it to see the quality.

    Quality is something that RD has no concern for whatsoever. You would think if he’s selling a formatting product as an upsell, he would use it for his own books. As has already been pointed out in these comments quality can be something as simple as getting the spelling and formatting right. It could also include a layout that is easy to read and, hopefully informs the reader to the level the reader was hoping for and as advertised in the sales page..

    It would be nice if Amazon could define what is an article, a pamphlet, a book, etc; so the buyers may have some kind of idea what kind of reading length to expect. In the world of offline fiction there are categories such as novel and novelette that are defined by number of pages. Online it could be very difficult to define by anything other than word AND graphic count. I’ve heard some marketers promote making Kindle books of less than 500 words but making it up with graphics. Not ideal for the Kindle Readers themselves with their limited graphics capability but ok for those reading on Ipads etc. Just changing a font size up a couple of points can increase number of pages dramatically, so that would not be a good indicator.

    One thing Amazon are rumored to be doing is de-listing books with affilliate links in them. Not sure if this operational yet but it is said to be coming if not already here.

    Many books being sold have links in them but some books are no more than camouflaged sales pages and have a number of links in them. To make up for selling a 99c book with a 35% commission payment it is very tempting to put a link to a more profitable product in there. How, or if, they are going differentiate between an affilliate link and a link to an authors website where, hopefully, you can see what else is on offer I’m not sure.

    A lot of free information can be obtained by reading author blogs. Fiction authors like Joanna Penn have loads of interviews, podcasts and info on them that would be worth a lot to the novice and some experienced authors too. None of the sales hype there either. Just good solid info from people in the trenches who are actually doing what they talk about and have been for many years in some cases.

    Glad to see you are not getting drawn in by the style of Mr Deiss which for some strange reason still seems to work for some.

    Best wishes

    Tony

  • Nancy Hendrickson

    I have already written several Kindle books, but the allure of doing a better job of promoting them was hard to ignore.

    I actually signed up for this but on the same day requested a refund. In checking out the “community” (which seems to be the heart and soul of the program) it was clear that a) there was no organization whatsoever in terms of doing legitimate purchases and reviews; and b) it seemed really thrown together; and c) there were no guidelines at all – which for me means no one knowing how to actually WRITE a good review; and d) the HUGE possibility of Amazon shutting down a whole bunch of accounts.

    The good news is, within an hour I had a refund – am glad I took a look but even happier than I didn’t stay. Still searching for better ways to promote. Just like everyone else 🙂

    • Art Howard

      Nancy,

      You make an excellent point about Amazon shutting down a whole bunch of accounts. If Google was smart enough to figure out how to shut down Link Farms by looking at footprints in the sand, Amazon will also eventually figure out how to shut down Review Farms by using the same manner.

      I’m glad you got your money back, that does put a plus in the Ryan Deiss pros column. 🙂

  • chris

    this turned into a great thread here. Now my one big question on Kindle publishing is…. if you are in any niche, lets say, weight loss, finance, etc, how are you going to compete with the well known big name authors in those fields. I looked at a particular niche I would target and every top seller is a well known author and if im looking for a book on finance and i see Dave Ramsey or some unknown person, who do you think Im going to go with?

    Now i ask this being complete newbie to Kindle and havent even explored it yet so maybe these courses talk about this.

    • Art Howard

      Chris,

      In a comment above made by John, he offered a link to a thread on Reddit that has a lot of good stuff for free. I’ll repost it here (thanks John) 🙂 http://www.reddit.com/comments/m2ejo/broke_1000_in_one_day_for_the_first_time/?sort=old. There are a number of things that you need to be careful about, but I’ve made a synopsis of a section of the thread most appropriate to your question. But before I do, I’d recommend you purchase a course by James Jones, “Kindle Triangularion.”

      Anyway, here’s the excerpt from the Reddit thread…

      “When you upload a book to Amazon, you’re allowed to choose 2 categories to put it in. Every successive book you write should reference the 1st book via an html link inside and in the description.

      In addition, each book after the 1st should ONLY reference the 1st book, plus, all the successive books should go into new categories.

      What this does is put your book out to as many audiences as possible. If you write 5 books, you have 10 categories, right? All 5 books point to one, your first.

      People see the book, find your first one, then buy it. It goes up in the rankings. Because it’s up in the rankings, people buy more of the follow-up books.

      Basically, you need 7 books total before you really see the first one hit.

      EDIT: Oh, and every link in every book you write should be an affiliate link. That way you get 6.5% or more of everything someone buys on Amazon after they use your link. I make an extra 5 or 10 bucks a day off that. Not anymore.
      So there’s not a rule for placing your novels into different categories? Do the categories fit with your book at all or is it completely random? For example, a story you wrote about an intergalactic war can be filed under biographies or something else unrelated?

      Well, let’s say you wrote a Science Fiction book about robots. You’d put it into categories thusly:
      Book One: Sci-Fi-General, Sci-Fi-Hi-Tech
      Book Two: Sci-Fi – Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi – Space Opera
      Book Three: Fiction – Thriller

      And so on. Each book gets two categories. Remember, you’re trying to hit a target demographic that will enjoy your story. No point in putting your book into Romance – Classic when it’s about robots.

      That’s very clever!

      All you have to do to figure it out is spend months heads-down into sales figures 🙂

      You said to write 5 books, but put them in 10 categories. Can you stretch it a bit or should you really try to write many different books in highly diverse categories? Cookbooks, self-help, children’s stuff, investing for example.
      And if I do run off into left field and write a random cooking book to reach a different category, you still link to the first book? What if my first book was a sci-fi and a successive book is a cookbook? Even then do I link to the first or do you recommend something else?

      Thank you for taking the time to answer all these questions. You are a tremendous help and inspiration.

      Put your writing in the same categories. If you want to do a different topic, use a different pen name.

      When people see “Amusette” and have read something you’ve written, they already have an idea what they expect the next book to be. Don’t disappoint them. I’ve tried to change and it doesn’t work.

      Also, you don’t link diverse books. No point. You want them to stick with you (or whatever name you use), not bounce around. The more time they spend, the more likely they are to buy someone else’s book.

      That makes sense. So you could just use different names if you’d like to venture into divergent categories- perfect. I just wanted to clarify since there are a few unrelated topics I’ve written on and am considering publishing in this manner. Thank you!

      Yep. Then, when you have out books by each “author”, you package them together as a collaboration.”

      I’d just like to add one thought on the above excerpt. Do not add affiliate links in your kindle books.

      Hope this helps.

      Art

  • Jim Hunter

    Andy, I downloaded the freebie Kindle ebook and took a look at it. I’m just getting into Kindle so i can’t evaluate the quality of the content yet. However, when I started reading it, I found two typographical errors in the first two paragraphs of the first page. Ryan Deiss is an established marketer and this is inexcusable. When slipshod typo errors that should have been caught by any beginning editor make it into a finished product, the reader has to believe that the final product will be just as rushed and careless as their promotional piece.

  • Cruiser

    Does anyone have any experience with Apex Authors (www.apexauthors.com)?

    They seem to have a legitimate program. The big claim to fame is a monthly subscription ($39) including software which directly formats from Word.

    As a newbie to Kindle it looked promising. They produce several non-hyped 1 hour tutorials and add weekly.