2015 KD Blueprint

2015 KD Blueprint
All right. Well, welcome to the 2015 Kindle Blueprint. I wan
t to kind of explain to you how this is going to work. OK? F
irst of all, thanks so much for picking up the 2015 Blueprin
t. It means a lot to me that you have place your trust in my
abilities. And I’m excited to share with you my big takeawa
ys from 2014 and my big plans for 2015.
So let me explain to you how this is going to work. OK? This
is not going to be something with a ton of spit and polish.
I want to give you real, raw, and relevant information inst
ead of having something that was fancily produced. So whethe
r you’re listening to this on audio or you’re watching the P
owerPoint – my map video, please understand, this is going t
o be like you and I in your favorite location having a drink
, alcoholic or not, you decide. It’s not going to dictate th
e information.
But I really just want to share with you what I learned in 2
014 and how I’m applying that in 2015 and how you can apply
it to your business. I learned a lot of tremendous and amazi
ng things that I want to share with you that I think are goi
ng to immediately benefit not only how you produce your cont
ent, how you promote it, how you stand out from the crowd, a
nd most importantly, how you scale it up to make whatever in
come level that you desire.
So again, welcome. Thank you so much for picking up the Blue
print and let’s get started. Now, if you’re brand new, if yo
u have no experience, you may be thinking, “Well Tim, why is
it that you are so excited about Kindle and why is it that
you continue to focus on Kindle year after year?”
Well, the reason I like Kindle is it has got a lot of things
going forward. The first thing is I can outsource a majorit
y of the work. When it comes to editing, when it comes to gr
aphic design, when it comes to formatting, when it comes to
promotion even, a majority of that stuff I can outsource and
have someone else do the work.
The other reason I like it is real simple. I get a 70% commi
ssion every time they sell a book for me. So if I sell a boo
k for $2.99, I get a lower two bucks a pop every single time
they sell one of my books. And as long as I do the initial
pumping promotion work, Amazon usually does a really good jo
b of promoting my book in the future. OK?
For me, I like the status of being a bestseller. I’m a two-t
ime bestselling author on Amazon with The Creativity Checkli
st and the 2kH Formula. It’s a status thing. It’s an ego thi
ng. It’s one of the things that when they put me in the grou
nd, they’ll say, “Bestselling author, Tim Castleman.” So I’m
super excited about that.
That is an absolute ego stroke to be able to say, “Oh, I’m a
bestselling author.” Conversely, even when I wasn’t a bests
elling author, it was still really cool to say I was an auth
or. Back when I decided years ago to quit my job, I remember
my mom was, “Well, what are you going to do with your life
and how’s this going to work and how is X and Y and Z going
to all pan out?” And basically, I just told her one day in a
fit of frustration, “Mom, I’m going to write a book.” And i
t suddenly changed everything. I went from, “That’s my son.
He quit his job. He’s going to do something on the internet,
” to, “Hey, that’s my son. He’s the author.” Like the halo c
ame down from the sky and seas parted. It was just a total n
ight and day reference.
And if you don’t believe me, do this. Next time you go out a
nd someone asks you what you do, don’t tell them what you do
. Don’t tell them whatever it is. Tell them, “Oh, I’m an aut
hor. Oh, I’m a writer.” And see the response that you get fr
om them. Everybody believes and I do believe that everybody
has got a book inside them. They just have to find the best
way to get it out and get in front of those people that need
ed the most. And that’s what I’m here to help you with. All
The other thing I like is you have the ability to scale up q
uickly depending on your niche, depending on what type of bo
oks you’re going after, depending on if you want to do it yo
urself or outsource it. You can scale up very, very rapidly.
At the height of it, I could produce a book every 7 to 14 d
ays if I was outsourcing it. It takes longer if I’m writing
it myself. But the fact of the matter is I’m only limited by
my budget and my imagination.
And the great thing is this, it has got a low risk, high rew
ard. Now, think about this. If you were going to do Facebook
ads and you’re going to do $20 a day like all my friends su
ggest that you do and even I suggest that you do, in 10 days
, you will have spent $200 dialing in that ad. It may be wor
king for you. It may not. You may have some sales. You may n
ot. You may have a list. You may not. But what you don’t hav
e is anything tangible for that 200 bucks. You probably can’
t source a physical product from Amazon for – to sell on Ama
zon for 200 bucks.
But for 200 bucks, you can get a well-written by English wri
ters a story up on Amazon, published, ready to go and probab
ly less than 200 bucks with the pleasure being the fact that
you have something now that you can use forever. You can us
e it for content on a blog. You can use it as PLR if you wan
t to down the line. You can use it as a lead generator. Ther
e are so many things you can do with an actual physical piec
e of content that you can’t do with paid advertising or you
can’t do while you’re trying to initially source out product
s to Amazon.
So, I really like Kindle because it has got low risk and it
has got high reward. For my bestselling books, they were sel
ling hundreds of copies a day and I wasn’t doing anything. A
ll Amazon was doing that. And the great news, Amazon takes c
are of everything for me. They take care of the promotion. O
nce I do the initial part right, they take care of the publi
cation. They take care of the refunds. They take care of tak
ing care of customers. They do all that great stuff for me.
And as a result, I don’t have to worry about that and I stil
l get the lion share of the money.
And you do have the ability to have passive income. Now, I w
ill tell you this. OK? In order to be successful on Amazon,
you have to be a regular and frequent publisher. That’s a wr
iter downer by the way. In order to be successful on Amazon,
you have to be a regular and frequent publisher. Every four
to six weeks, you need to be putting out new content of som
e kind. So don’t mistake easy for simple. And certainly, don
’t think, “Oh, I’m going to put one book up and I’m going to
just retire to St. Barts off of all that.” Because that’s n
ot going to happen.
What you need to do is be a regular producer of content and
once you get a system set up, it can be done extremely passi
vely. And OK, let’s just be real, if you’re like me and you
get overwhelmed sometimes with the other parts of life and y
ou want to be the “lazy”, that’s OK because you can still ma
ke passive income. On a few of my books, I haven’t touched t
hem in
months just because I’ve been busy with other projects. But
Amazon is still sending me checks month in, month out giving
me money because they have been publishing and promoting my
books for me.
All right. So, who am I and why should you be listening to m
e? Well, my name is Tim Castleman. If we haven’t had the ple
asure of meeting, welcome. It’s great to have you here. I’m
excited that you’re learning from me. I’m excited to share w
ith you what I’ve learned. I want to let you know why I’m an
expert on the subject. I’ve published 27 books over the las
t 14 months in five different niches.
Now, majority of these were outsourced. However, the two boo
ks that I have actually taken the time to write myself, and
by the way, each one took about 8 hours, so I spent about 16
hours total writing those books, The Creativity Checklist a
nd the 2kH Formula, they both went on to be Amazon bestselle
rs and my bestsellers to date, bringing in probably the lion
share of my income in 2014 and beyond with the self-publish
ing work. OK?
My goal in 2014 because I don’t want to over pressure myself
and say, ‘You know what? Can we bring a consistent four fig
ures per month on average?” and we are able to do that. So m
y scale in 2015 is to scale that up. My goal I should say in
2015 is to scale that up to five figures per month. And I’m
going to share with you my plan to do that exactly step-by-
step during our time together today.
So, I’ve written up a few books that have gone to be bestsel
lers. I published a bunch more that are consistent earners a
nd we went from four figures, now we’re going to five figure
s. So, let’s start at the very beginning which is the idea g
eneration process. This is probably one of my favorite thing
s to do is just sit down and come up with ideas.
Now, if you are a die-hard do-it-yourself for and it has got
to be something that you do then what I recommend is you do
the four square exercises. And what that is take a piece of
paper, fold it into four squares and on it, I want you to w
rite four main headlines, previous jobs, skills learned, hob
bies and interests, and people I know; jobs, skills, hobbies
and interests, people I know.
And then I want you to spend 15, 20 minutes filling out each
one of those sections and write down every single job that
you’ve had that you can remember. And then go job by job and
go, “OK, what skills did that particular job do for me? Wha
t skills did I learn because of that?” And then go down the
hobbies and interests. Maybe you like photography. Maybe you
like playing guitar. Maybe you like doing crazy diet experi
ments. Maybe you have a crazy hobby. Maybe you like to trave
l for really cheap. Maybe you like to go to Vegas and spend
as little money as possible and have this great time as poss
So, find out again, jobs, skills, hobbies and interests, and
then if you’re just like the most boring person in the worl
d and you don’t have any of that, think about all the cool a
nd exciting people you know or could easily get access to. I
mentioned this before but I have access to my family which
may not sound exciting at first but my mom started a busines
s in her 60s. I’m sure there are a lot of people at her age
or around her age that would like to know how she did that.
that’s something that we could cover and that’s something th
at we could definitely talk about. I know some people are pr
ofessional poker players. Again, that’s a cool topic.
And believe it or not, if you spend the time, if you spend 2
0, 30 minutes and you fill this form out, you’re going to be
shocked and amazed at how many people you know and how many
skills you have and how many abilities you have and how man
y hobbies and interests that would be interested in learning
And the thing that I want you to understand about idea gener
ation is it’s not – I’m not looking for a homerun here, OK?
I’m not looking for the guy that cured cancer although if yo
u have a book about that, I’m going to guess that will proba
bly do pretty well, I’m looking for the guy that has done so
mething that is important enough for me to give you $3. So w
henever you’re freaking out and you’re like, “Well Tim, this
isn’t going to like set mankind back a hundred years if we
publish this.” It’s like let me ask you a question. Would I
be willing to pay you $3? If a friend would be willing to pa
y you three bucks or the cost of like a crappy drink at a cr
appy bar, chances are, people are going to be interested to
know that information especially if it relates to diet, heal
th, financial, well-being, fitness, relationships or hot nic
he or trend in the markets, which is the next thing which ar
e hot topics and niches.
Now, I’m shooting this video in January 2015 and we just hav
e gone through the New Year’s resolutions. So, all the gyms
are full right now. Everybody is on their diet. Everyone is
doing everything they’re supposed to be doing for at least a
nother couple of weeks until they fall off the wagon and eve
ntually revert back to old behaviors except for you because
this year is going to be different. But for unfortunately a
majority of people, that’s what happens.
Well, if you can – if you know every single year there are g
oing to be people that want to get in shape, simplify their
life, get their finances under control, write a book, have a
better relationship with their family, get a new job, learn
a new skill or hobby. You know that’s going to happen every
single year. So if you can just set up your books to be aro
und a central topic that maybe gets brought up each and ever
y year, you’re going to have built-in traffic. Every single
year, you’re going to have – for instances, one of our books
is a thanksgiving cookbook. We do a book of thanksgiving re
cipes. That book sells tremendously well each and every year
because of the fact that it’s Thanksgiving. And we have bui
lt-in traffic each and every year.
So, if you would do books about resolutions or how to change
some area of your life and it’s something that people espec
ially during the month of January thinking about improving h
ow they could do better and better and better and better the
n you’ve got a built-in homerun.
Upcoming events, now this one I always look at when it comes
to like movies. So to give you a cliché one that has been b
eat to death, I’m just thinking about what I’m about to talk
about and the fact I said beat to death but everyone has he
ard of the book, the Fifty Shades of Grey. If you haven’t, i
t’s an erotica novel. It’s self-published. I think the perso
n like now owns an island. They’re so rich. It’s just ridicu
So the books came out, all these horny housewives read these
books. Well now, the movie is coming out. It’s actually com
ing out in one month. So if I knew that which you do now kno
that by the way, what I would be doing is how can I tap into
what’s already going on in the marketplace?
So here’s what’s going to happen. A lot of people are going
to go to Fifty Shades of Grey, see that then they’re going t
o go buy the book because they want to see if the book is be
tter than the movie. Then when they get done with that book,
they’re going to go, “Hey, you know what? I still want to r
ead similar style books. Well, I’ve already gone through all
the author’s books so now what are some secondary authors t
hat I could go through with or that I could read to fulfill
this need?” if you will.
So, always be looking at upcoming events. Find out is there
a major holiday coming up? Is there a major movie? Is there
a major trend? So last year was really like the Paleo or the
caveman diet seemed to be really huge. So this year, it wou
ld be interesting to see what the big diets or the big fitne
ss fads are in 2015. I actually read an article the other da
y that said in the fitness field, body weight exercises are
popular and are making a comeback where you do squats and pu
sh-ups and sit-ups. You don’t have to use fancy gym equipmen
t or whatever.
So if I knew that and I really believed that that’s what was
going to happen then what I would do is I would be producin
g books around that trend and it’s like, hey, if the Paleo d
iet is really awesome then you know what? Let’s do a book on
the Paleo diet. Let’s do a book on Paleo diet recipes. And
then you could even niche and go even more specific like wel
l, let’s do Paleo breakfast, Paleo dessert, Paleo dinners, P
aleo snacks. And you can really go down and be that niched-s
pecific. And if someone is hardcore about that diet just lik
e I have been in the past about slow carb or low carb diets,
it’s like, well, I’m going to get as many books as possible
to make myself as successful as possible.
And whenever you’re looking for success, you can do no bette
r than looking at the current bestsellers. Find out what is
already selling well and make sure it’s not something that’s
a fad, meaning not something that someone has just promoted
for one day and it’s selling well. But if you see the same
books over and over and over and over and over again on the
bestseller that means it has got sticking and longevity.
My book, The Creativity Checklist was a bestseller for 90 pl
us days. It’s number one in its category whereas my other bo
ok, the 2kH Formula, was a bestseller for about 45 days. The
difference being that The Creativity Checklist was wide. Me
aning, it has a wide net. It was like OK, anyone who wants t
o be creative should buy this book. Compare it to the 2kH Fo
rmula, which was just for writers and people who wanted to w
rite faster. So, that’s my recommendation when it comes to t
If all of this fails by the way, here’s a real simple one an
d I call it the self-improvement challenge, and that is, wha
t was your resolution 2015? Whatever it is, is there a way t
hat you can track that you can say, “Hey, listen. Here’s the
thing. I wanted to become a writer so I’m going to start a
blog and I’m going to talk about my process and I’m going to
share my discoveries and my struggles and my triumphs with
these people and I’m going to give them all of the knowledge
and skills and ability that I have so that they can benefit
from it as well.”
Just remember, what is someone willing to pay you $3 for and
you don’t have to be a bestselling John Grisham style write
r in order to have success. You can simply say, “Hey, I’m ju
st a few steps ahead of you and because of that, let me show
you the pitfalls you’re about to experience.” I would much
rather learn from someone that is just a few steps ahead of
me than from someone that’s at a complete and total top of t
he mountain.
All right. So continuing on, so now that you got all your id
eas, now we got to go into niche research. Now, I’m not goin
g to sit here and tell you that Amazon is not becoming sligh
tly more competitive. It is. Here is the thing. The bar is s
till so low that you can separate yourself from the competit
ion quickly and easily by doing just a few things.
The first thing is, I want you to start ratcheting down your
niche categories. So back in the day, it used to be well, f
ind a niche that has an Amazon bestseller ranking of 50,000
or below and you’ll be OK. Well now, with things being more
competitive, I want you to get even more stringent. So here’
s what we do now. If we can’t find let’s just say for instan
ce, we were going to do the Paleo. Let’s just stay with that
So Paleo diet, say we’re going to do that. If I can’t find t
hree books within the first 20 books in that Paleo category
that have an Amazon bestseller ranking of 20,000 or below, I
’m not interested in appearing in that niche because at 20,0
00 or below, you’re selling a few dozen copies per day.
And if – let’s just say you’re selling 12 copies a day at $2
a pop, you’re making 24, 25 bucks per day, which doesn’t so
und like a lot of money. But when you have three books doing
that, you’re making close to a hundred. And when you have m
ore, then of course you’re making more. And if you have that
homerun book that’s selling a couple of hundred copies or 5
0 to 75 copies per day, well then you’re making some real mo
So again, going back to the research part, let’s just say –
I was saying about getting a Paleo, I would go look in the P
aleo category and I will find books that have a bestseller r
anking of 20,000 or below. The next thing is just as importa
nt to me as books can be easily assembled or written by me.
So for me, easily assembled mean books that are 20,000 words
or less. I’m not trying to write the next Warren Peace. I d
on’t want to write the next Warren Peace. I don’t want to sp
end 9, 10, 12 months on a single book, put it out there and
then it flop. I’d much rather spend a few focused hours, day
s or weeks putting a book together, it not doing so well and
not having so much of my life invested in it.
So, I’m looking for quick books that I can put out, quick, q
uality books. Let me preface that. This isn’t pump and dump.
This isn’t just copy Wikipedia article and put it there. Th
is is none of that crap. It’s quick, quality books. Short in
duration but not short on quality or good information.
Another reason why, I’ll just be real honest with you, I go
with short books is this, we as human beings are getting bus
ier and people are finding it harder and harder to read. Ask
yourself this
question. How many years have you said to yourself, “You kno
w Tim, this will be the year …” you probably would not say T
im because you’re probably not talking to me and if you are,
you should probably talk to someone about that. But where y
ou said to yourself where you’re like, “Hey, I want to read
more this year. I want to read more.” And then next year, “D
ammit! I wanted to read more and I just couldn’t find the ti
I think the average American reads 12 pages, I think it’s a
month of books if that, and it may be even less than that, m
aybe 12 a year. So by having a short book, you can not only
produce them quicker but your end user gets through them. An
d because they get through them, they have the sense of acco
mplishment because they’re like, “Holy crap! I got through t
his book.” And they are better off to actually use the infor
mation provided inside of said book instead of just blowing
it off and relegating it to someday, which of course we all
know leads to nothing and never. All right?
So once – so I have decided, let’s just stick with the Paleo
example just because it’s simple and easy for people to und
erstand then I’m going to start taking over that niche. I’m
going to start my plan. So my plan whenever I enter a brand
new niche, when we did this all in 2014 and we’re going to c
ontinue it in 2015 is I want to commit to producing a minimu
m of three books in that specific niche. This is another rea
son why I want short books because I want books that can be
produced and published rapidly. I don’t want something that’
s going to take six months lead time for each and every book
And the reason why I want to do three is a couple of reasons
. One, it allows me to bundle those books up so I can actual
ly get four books out of them so that – or four listings on
Amazon so I have a better chance. But the real reason is thi
s, you’re going to make some mistakes every time that you pu
blish your books. Look, I published over 20 books, almost 30
books in five different niches. We still make minor mistake
s each and every time. We still learn each and every time th
at we do something. So don’t expect perfection because that’
s never going to happen. Just expect progress and try to get
better with each and every one.
So maybe, your title isn’t as great on the first book as it
is on the second so it doesn’t have the same hook as it norm
ally would. Maybe – who knows? Maybe someone got really mad
and left you a negative review and that kills your first boo
k sales right off the bat. These things unfortunately do hap
pen. But if you have three swings at the plate, you have a m
uch better chance of hitting something than you do of just t
aking one. So, commit to three books within a specific niche
So again, Paleo, I’m saying I’m going to do three books on P
aleo. Maybe I’ll do a Paleo dessert, a Paler dinner, a Paleo
lunch, a Paleo breakfast, whatever those type of books. Wha
t I’m not going to do is go to a Paleo one then one on like
coconut oil and one on proper shoe tying techniques or whate
ver. Not that there’s anything wrong with those books. If th
at’s you, feel free to do it. But for me, I want to keep it
in a specific niche because you want to build a name and a b
rand and a reputation in that specific niche.
So, with those five different niches that I talked about in
the beginning, what I was able to do was set up a pen name f
or each one of those authors along with a domain name for ea
ch one of
those authors so that if those books blew up, I was able to
keep – stay under that pen name and have that credibility.
The other reason I did it was if you use the same pen name f
or your kid’s books as you do your adult erotica books, chan
ces are you’re going to have some angry parents and really h
appy kids if you kind of screw that up. So what I would tell
you is a single niche, a single focus, a single name. That’
s a writer downer, a single niche, a single focus, and a sin
gle name.
And you can use pen names. Don’t make it overly complicated,
OK? I’ll go on Facebook and I’ll take the – if I’m writing
for a male pen name, I’ll find the first male. I’ll take his
first name then I’ll find the next person below them, take
their last name and that’s my writer. I’ll put them into Ama
zon. I’ll make sure nothing crazy comes up. And that way, I
can rank really easy for the name and that becomes my writer
. Don’t overcomplicate things. Don’t get it out of Ouija boa
rd and have sounds [0:29:20] [Phonetic] or anything. Just pi
ck a name. Go put it in Google, make sure it doesn’t come up
with anything horrific or anything popular.
For instance, if I came up with the accidental name of Tim F
erriss, probably not going to use that because Tim Ferriss i
s kind of badass and well-known and respected throughout the
community, right? So that’s the first thing, is I’m going t
o commit to producing three books in a specific niche.
Also again, 20,000 BSR, that’s bestseller ranking that’s on
Amazon. I want to find three books within the first 20 that
have an Amazon bestseller ranking of 20,000 or below. And th
en I want to find books that I can be successful that have a
word count of 20,000 or below. And trust me, that’s easy to
do. In fact, I have to go back and look. But I’m pretty sur
e all of my books are 20,000 or less words and a lot of them
are even smaller than that especially if you get into liker
recipe books, children’s books. You’re talking about less t
han a thousand words. OK?
Now, here is what I recommend. You don’t have to follow this
advice. But I’ve been pretty successful with it so maybe yo
u should. I enroll in KDP first. So I enroll all my books in
Amazon and I put them all in KDP for at least the first 90
days because here is the truth of the matter, if you can’t m
ake it work on Amazon, chances are you’re not going to be ab
le to make it somewhere else. OK? I mean that’s just the bot
tom line is that if you’re not going to make it work on Amaz
on, you’re not going to make it work anywhere else. And that
’s just my belief and that’s just kind of what I’ve seen.
So with KDP, that gives me access for free days. It gives me
access to countdown deals. It gives me access to Kindle Unl
imited. So I want to initially put them in KDP and see what
And then above all, if I could just implant one thing into y
our brain, it would be a regular content production schedule
. Amazon – this is how I equate it. Amazon is like your new
best friend. So you move into a new town. You meet this guy
named Bill. And Bill goes, “Hey man, I want to take you arou
nd and introduce you to everybody.” So over the next course
of a few days, weeks and months, he introduces you to his fr
iends until one day Bill looks at you and go, “Hey man, look
, I’ve introduced you to everybody I know. Best of luck to y
Well, unless you – Amazon is the same way. They’re going to
take your book and as long as it does well and sells well an
d has got good reviews and people are happy with it, they’re
going to keep pumping and promoting it to as many people as
possible. But after about 30 to 45 days, they’re going to g
o, “All right, dude. We’ve done everything we can. We’ve pus
hed it as hard as we can. Do you have something new that I c
an go back out and say, hey remember this guy? You liked him
so much. Well guess what? Now, he’s back and he’s got this.
” If the answer yes, they’re going to go, “Hurray! Let’s go
back on this world tour again.” If the answer is no, chances
are, Amazon is going to say, “OK. Well, let me know when yo
u do have something.”
OS the more regular and the more of a schedule you can produ
ce for content, the better it is. When I see anyone on Amazo
n doing well, doing bad, I mean anybody that’s really doing
well, I mean anybody at all that’s really, really, really do
ing well, they’re doing it because they’re producing on a re
gular schedule. They don’t have one book. They have ten book
s. And the guys are doing better have 20 and the guys that a
re doing better have 40 to 60. So please understand. This is
something that’s going to take on-going effort on your part
. You can scale it up to where you feel comfortable with.
And also understand, if you miss a little bit like I have wi
th my nonfiction books, I have not released my third book ye
t. It’s long overdue. I’m still making four figures a month
even though I screwed this up. So understand its importance
but don’t let it freak you out and paralyze you with an acti
Now, if you’re like me when I first got started, I like to h
ire outsourcers. I find – I learned a ton hiring 27 differen
t authors for the books that we’ve produced and I kind of wa
nt to share with you my big takeaways from that. I started o
ff the year using oDesk and then I quickly switched to Elanc
e. A lot of people on oDesk, they cracked down on erotica wr
iting which is funny because that’s where we’re getting a lo
t of our writers for. And I just found the quality of oDesk
kind of dropping off.
So, what we do now is we use Elance. I really enjoy using El
ance. It’s very similar to oDesk. You can sign up and go thr
ough that whole process. What I focused on now and again, th
is is different in the beginning of 2014 is I want US writer
s or US-speaking writers. I don’t want someone from a third
world country or someone where English isn’t a primary langu
age. And I just do that because I believe in my heart of hea
rts that the US writers, they understand the language, they
understand the lingo. I don’t have to explain to them. They
get to call for reference and they just write and speak and
talk naturally instead of being very forceful or being direc
tor or reading like a medical text.
And the good news is you can get US writers for about a penn
y per word in the fiction category. The more specific, the m
ore specialized, obviously, it’s going to cost you some more
cash. So, just kind of understand. But for basic, every day
good writers, it’s going to cost you about a penny per word
Now, here’s my hiring process I kind of want to share with y
ou. The first thing I do is I post the job description. I te
ll them exactly how many words I’m looking for. But a lot of
times, I will
create or I will buy plots and give them a plot and say, “He
y, this is what I want you to do with the plot.” So a lot of
times, I will do that.
But one of the things I always do is I include some type of
keyword trick where I basically say, “Thanks so much for you
r interest in writing this adult novella story. When you res
pond, please use the word “Red Dragon” in your first respons
e so I know you’re a human being and not a bot.” If they don
’t use those words, 95% of the time, I will eliminate them b
ecause one, they can’t follow direction and two, if you’re n
ot going to listen to what I need specifically enough to do
it how I asked now, chances are, after I gave you money, it’
s not going to get any better. All right?
So in addition to that, I will also ask for them to create a
piece of sample work. And if I’m not sure about sample work
or I’m not sure if they can write it, I will ask them, “Hey
, would you please write a little bit of the story? Could yo
u write the first chapter? Could you write the first couple
of paragraphs?” Whatever. And I will tell them, “Hey look, I
’ll pay you for it.” Don’t go cheap here. I know the thing i
s like, “Hey, I want you to do this 97 test and if you do th
is test then I might grace you with a job.” Don’t do that.
Instead what I want you to do is say, “Hey look, it’s betwee
n you and Bob. I’ll pay you both $20 each if you write it. A
nd figure it this way, you’re paying 20 bucks to find out th
e person you do want to hire and you’re also paying 20 bucks
to find out the person maybe you don’t want to hire. So che
ck out their sample work. Have them create a sample work, ju
st a small piece of work. Don’t ask them to do a whole story
for 20 bucks. Ask them to do a little bit of it.
And then what I do is if I like it then I talk to them. And
one thing I always tell them because it’s true is, “Hey, if
this does well, I really want to hire you for a long term wo
rk.” I’m not looking for someone to just create one book or
one story and disappear. I’m looking to hire someone for thr
ee stories minimum. And if those go well then we’ll probably
looking to do more.
And the last thing and this I started doing towards the end
of 2014 was we actually had them start signing releases, our
writer, which basically gave us all the rights to the infor
mation. I went to a lawyer and add an official document, a r
elease drawn up that basically says, “Hey, it gives us all t
he rights and makes it very clear that we’re paying you. We
own the work. Once you’re done with the work, we own it free
and clear. You have no rights to it.” And that’s more of a
CYA. I didn’t run into any issues. And again, I wouldn’t let
it stop you from hiring someone if you can’t get them to si
gn a release or if you don’t buy a release to have them sign
. But I just like to have the legality of it in case for som
e reason it ever comes back.
So if you’re looking for something like that, reach out to u
s. We do have one that’s available for sale. That way, you d
on’t have to spend the 600 bucks that we did getting it draw
n up. It’s way more affordable than that.
So, that’s if you want to hire an outsourcer. If you’re like
I have in the second part of 2014 and for the foreseeable 2
015 and you want to write it yourself, I just keep things ve
ry, very simple. Again, I keep my two books that were bestse
llers were both under 10,000 words. They were books that I w
as able to create in just a matter of 8 to 10 hours after I
went to the outline process
and wrote it all out and got it all taken care of. But 8 to
10 hours, I was able to write the book that I wanted to. As
a side, I’m getting ready to write my third book and I’ve se
t aside two days, two separate full complete days to be able
to write. And by being able to set aside those two days, I’
m 99% confident that I’ll be able to have that book complete
ly and totally done.
So real quick, here’s the nonfiction writing formula. I have
a product called the 8 Hour Bestseller that goes into huge
amounts of details with you. I just want to give you the hig
hlights here. What I do with this is I just break it down in
to four different categories which is why, what, how, and if
then. So why is basically, well why would you want to do so
mething or how did this come into – how did this system or e
xperience come into being? What is the complete and total sy
stem? How is exactly how they implement the system? And if t
hen is, if things go well, here’s what you do. If things go
badly, here’s what you do instead.
So again, why is multifaceted, right? Why is here’s who I am
, here is why you should listen to me and here’s why this ha
ppens. So with The Creativity Checklist for example, I say,
“Hey, here’s why this checklist happened. For years, I strug
gled trying to come up with the ways to organize my ideas an
d get them out there in front of the right people but I fina
lly was able to once I came up with this checklist.”
And then I told them a story of how I was out boozing with m
y buddy and we were having a good time and all of a sudden,
all these questions started pouring into my head and I was l
ike, “Man, I need to write this down. These are great questi
ons. These should be used for every time that I come up with
a product or a service or an idea.”
The what is the complete system. So again, with The Creativi
ty Checklist, I told them, “Hey, here is all of the 11 quest
ions that I asked myself each and every time. Here is an exp
lanation of each and every question. So question one is what
is your story about this.” And then I would just explain. H
ere is what I mean by that and let me give you some examples
. Let me give you some helpful tips and tricks that can help
you out. So, that’s what the what section.
And then the how is, well, here’s how I use it. So for that,
again sticking with The Creativity Checklist, what I did wa
s very simple. I said, “Hey, here’s what I do. I sit down. I
take out a yellow legal pad, my blue Pilot G2 pen and manua
lly write all these answers to all these questions here.” I
manually write all these answers to all the questions here.
And then if then, if the system goes well and the checklist
comes out completely, then here’s what I do with it. If I ge
t to the checklist and it’s a struggle and I’m not able to a
nswer it and I don’t feel like it’s good, then here’s what I
do with that instead.
So why, what, how, if then. If you learn nothing else about
the nonfiction writing process except this formula, it can h
ave a tremendous and radical impact. Go check out the 2kH Fo
rmula and The Creativity Checklist. You will see they follow
this formula to a tee. And again, if you want to learn more
about actual nonfiction writing, just go check out the 8 Ho
ur Bestseller.
Now, let’s talk about where I spent my money in 2014 and whe
re I’m going to keep spending it in 2015. The first thing is
cover. It amazes me with all of the graphics people out the
re and how
cheap it is, how crappy a lot of publishers, self-published
covers look. Here’s the thing. You want to avoid as my frien
d, Bryan, tell me, you want to avoid the stink of self-publi
shing. Meaning, you do not want to look like you were self-p
ublished. You want to look like a major publishing house pub
Now, this is a little bit of bragging. But if you go look at
the 2kH Formula and The Creativity Checklist covers, they a
re amazing-looking covers that stand out from everyone else
around them. Those covers by the way cost me less than 50 bu
cks a piece. Oh my gosh, Tim! $50 for a cover. Guess what? I
f they do amazing work then it will pay for itself. You will
stand out. And above all, you will be proud of that work.
I’ve had my books transferred from Kindle to CreateSpace. I’
ve had them printed. I’m proud to give them to people and I’
m proud to share them with people and I’m proud to say, “Hey
, this is my book. Take a look at it.” And it doesn’t look l
ike some self-published piece of crap. So cover is number on
e. The reason why they say people judge a book by its cover
is because you judge a book by its cover. Just like you judg
e wine by its fancy label. The majority of people do. The sa
me thing with books. If it looks pretty, it probably is pret
ty inside. If it looks like crap, it’s probably crappy insid
The next thing I started doing was I realized that much like
my English writer said, my writing was an abomination. And
that I just needed some help when it came to editing. Now, I
write just like you and I are talking right now, in a very
conversational tone. So, I write like you and I are having a
beer and I don’t want them to edit from my tone or voice. W
hat I want them to add is the grammars, syntax, all the crap
that I slept through in high school, junior high and colleg
Again, very, very inexpensive. You can get people on Fiverr.
But this is what they do. They’re professional editors and
they’re looking to make some side scratch. And for 5 bucks,
they’ll edit a few thousand words. I think when we were doin
g our erotica books, don’t quote me on this but I want to sa
y our cost to edit was anywhere from $20 to $30 per book. Ag
ain, this is something that specializes or that makes you st
and out from the audience. It’s like holy crap! This guy has
a nice cover and he has an editor that looked through this?
Now, I don’t give my editor any credit like as far as in th
e book or anything like that, as I’m speaking this to you, I
’m thinking I wonder if I should just because it will give t
hat air of credibility. It’s like, “Oh, this guy has an edit
or. Wow! This is pretty freaking awesome.”
So, I highly recommend that you spend money on your cover an
d your editing because a neutral third party can give you so
much more information and feedback than you because you’re
in it, you believe it, you just – in your heart of hearts, y
ou know X, Y and Z instead of having someone that no emotion
al attachment to it that can say, “Hey, this is really good
or this sucks or we need to change this or we need to do any
thing like that.”
And then the last thing is list building. I have – with a co
uple very simple tools, with the WordPress domain, WordPress
setup, and a squeeze page, I have been able to generate alm
ost 2,000 people, maybe even over 2,000 people in a year on
my various list by just using a very simple setup to do list
building. And the reason why you want to build an email lis
t is pretty well-known but I definitely want to talk about i
t because here is the thing. Initially, you’re going
to be using Amazon to get some leads, get some buyers, and g
et some sales. But where the real power comes is in the list
because you can send that list anywhere that you want. Anyw
here that you want, you can send that list. You can send the
m back to Amazon for a new book. You can send them to Barnes
& Noble. You can send them to Smashwords. You can send them
to Apple books.
But guess what? If for some reason tomorrow, my Amazon accou
nt just totally got fried and they said, “You know what Tim
Castleman? We don’t want any devilishly, good-looking, succe
ssful humor authors anymore. We’re all full up here.” I can
still go to my list and say, “Hey guys, look. We’re no long
on Amazon but now we’re over on Barnes & Noble and you can p
ick up our books here. Here is this new book.” So you defini
tely, definitely want to build an email list. What I do to b
uild mine is very, very simple. I use a plug-in called Lead
Rocket. It’s on ClickBank. I think it’s 47 bucks. If you wan
t to get an affiliate link from us, you can. If you want to
go buy it direct, feel free to.
But the cool thing is, we just set up a single page on the d
omain and all they can do is opt in. There’s not a blog. The
re’s not anything else about us. All they can do on that sin
gle page is opt in. And if they opt in, then they get an eth
ical bribe. They get either what I call a missing link which
is something that will help them. So for instance on our re
cipe books, we give them like a printout guide of the recipe
s and a shopping list so that they can just take that to Wal
mart and get that taken care of. So, that would be an exampl
e of something that’s a missing link.
Or, it’s in addition. So, “Hey, if you like volume one of Bo
dy Snatchers, sign up here to get a free mini Body Snatchers
story sent to you free of charge.: So it’s like, “Man, I re
ally like it and I want to have an additional story. Or, “He
y, you know what? I really like this book. I’d like to get t
he recipe guide and how can I put it out there and give that
to people?” So what happens is people go to the website. No
w, where did they get and find out about it? At the very beg
inning of the book, I tell them. I’m like, “Hey, thank you s
o much for buying. Here is where you go get your free gift.”
Before they see – I think it’s even before they see the tab
le of contents. Let me grab one of my books here.
So, The Creativity Checklist, you got page one table of cont
ents. Page two is my free gift to you. So page two, right af
ter table of contents, it’s right there. Again remember, if
the average reader only reads 121 pages a month, well chance
s are, if you bury that in the middle or you bury it at the
end, you’re not going to have as much success as if you put
it right at the front when they’re all hot and bothered and
excited about the prospect. Just like the same people that t
his month are buying gym memberships and workout plans and n
utritionists and diet guides and blah, blah, blah, blah, bla
h. If they tried to buy or sell the same thing next month, t
he enthusiasm would already be gone because people had coole
d off. It’s February. They’ve already forgotten whatever it
is that they were working on. And oh well, I’ll try it again
next year.
So, simple domain with squeeze page set up. And again, if yo
u check out the 2kH Formula or Creativity Checklist, you’ll
see those. And then give them a free story or a missing link
to help get the email list. So I call them an ethical bribe
. There’s nothing wrong with doing that to get people on you
r email list and it’s highly, highly effective. And then onc
e they’re in the email list and you can tell them, “Hey, thi
s is the new book I have coming out. Hey, these are some top
that I’m thinking about writing about. What would you be int
erested in? What questions do you have?” I mean there is a n
o limit to what you can do when it comes to getting informat
ion or helping people on your email list.
And again, all I need is a domain to set up WordPress. You h
ave someone on Fiverr set up WordPress for you. Have someone
set up the plug-in for you. Get an email autoresponder. I p
ersonally use GetResponse. You can use whoever you want to.
And get it taken care of. It’s very, very simple to do. And
if you don’t know how to do it, go to Fiverr. Tell someone.
Show them this part of the video and tell them, “Hey, this i
s what I need.” And have them do what they need to do and th
ey’ll get you taken care of. OK? And I do this again all bef
ore I’m getting ready to release the book.
Now, now it’s time. So we’ve had the book written our self o
r we’ve outsourced it. We’ve got a nice cover. We spent mone
y on editing. We have an email opt-in page set up. We have t
hat in front of the book and the book of the book so that we
can get people at all times. Now, it’s time to actually lau
nch it.
Now, if you have a name and a following, do the three-day la
unch plan. If you don’t, do the Pump the Brakes. And then wi
th your second book, do the launch plan. So let’s do this. I
’m going to share with you the launch plan because this is w
hat I did with tremendous success. And I’m going to share wi
th you the Pump the Brakes stuff, at least the high level ov
erview of it.
So, what I did with all my books in 2014 that had tremendous
success in niches that I had in email list or following is
I would run a limited promotion and I would say, “Hey guys,
the 2kH Formula is out. And for 99 cents, it’s going to be f
or the next three days. Go grab it now.” And then a day late
r I would say, “Hey, just a reminder, 99 cents, this book is
99 cents. It goes up to 2.99 in 48 hours.” In the last day
I would say, “Hey, here’s the last day.” And do that.
What happens is you get a huge boost in sales when you do th
at initially right off and Amazon takes notice and then they
put you on the hot new releases or the up and coming list.
They put you on a lot of different various list. So that’s r
eally cool. And use time-based scarcity with your email list
and let them know, “Hey, this is 99 cents. When we get done
in three days, it’s going to be 2.99.” And then you raise y
our price to 2.99. I have found 2.99 for me to be the sweet
spot. What I’m going to be doing more in 2015 that we didn’t
do in 2014 but I want to do it is I want to get it up to 2.
99 where it’s consistently selling then I will bump it up to
3.99. And as long as sales stay relative as far as total in
come and stuff like that then maybe I want to take it up to
4.99 and basically see where the limit is.
When I start noticing a huge decrease in sales or people ups
et with the information then I will reduce the feedback down
a dollar. Again, keeping in mind that 98% of the world unde
rstands it’s a $3 book that hopefully their life will be cha
nged but maybe not because I’m spending less than the cost o
f a cup of coffee. The 99% of world gets it. Are you still g
oing to have idiots that are like, “I paid 99 cents for this
book. I’m deeply disappointed. I was here at the public lib
rary on the public bus system reading over the shoulder of t
his homeless guy on his Kindle for a 99 cent book and I was
really disappointed by it.” Of course, you’re going to have
those people.
But you know what? You’re not going to be able to please eve
rybody. And in times like that, you just have to ignore them
unless it’s really what you got to do. So, 99 cents for a l
imited time, 72 hours then raise it up to 2.99. If it keeps
selling well after that, raise it up a buck. Raise it up ano
ther buck. Raise it up until the market goes, “Well hey, we’
re not willing to pay a $197 for a six-page book. Thank you.
Thank you.”
Now, if you’re like the majority of people and you don’t hav
e any initial customers and you’re starting from scratch, th
at’s OK because here is what we did when that happened to us
. The Pump the Brakes is this. What we do is we use Fiverr o
utsourcers to promote your free book on Amazon. So what we d
o is we go hire specific people and they go around to specif
ic book sites and they list your book. You got to give them
7 to 10 days advanced notice. But let’s just say you’re like
, “Oh, next weekend I want to have my book free for three da
ys.” So they go around and they put all the information on t
hose sites for you manually so that you don’t have to screw
with them. And it’s well worth the 10 or 15 bucks.
Then what happens is this. We leave it free for 24 hours. So
we get all these people to download the book for free which
is awesome. And the other thing that’s really cool is we’re
building an email list. Now, you’re not going to build a hu
ge email list but if you give them another free story or you
give them a missing link or something that can help them wi
th the book they just bought then guess what? You are going
to build a better email list and just going, “Hey, sign up f
or my list.”
So, the first 24 hours, we leave it free. Then the second 24
hours, we look at it. If we have a high level of downloads
then what we do is we switch it from free to paid at 99 cent
s. Here is what happens. Customer goes, they see it, they’re
sent to it and they go, “It’s only 99 cents. I’m going to p
ick it up.” Bam! “I’m going to pick up.” Bam, bam. Bam. Then
what happens is you start making more sales. Amazon takes n
otice of it and it improves your sales ranking. Again, putti
ng it on those different people’s lists.
If you’re not comfortable doing that, I understand that. Som
e people don’t have the stomach for marketing and sales. So
what you could do is just leave it free for two or three day
s. I like to do the Pump the Brakes where we switch it from
free to paid, free to paid, free to paid because at the end
of the process, I do not want people out there going, “Hey,
thanks. You now have the book.” Downloaded five million time
s but nobody actually sign up for email list or more importa
ntly, you didn’t make any money off of it. So, I recommend y
ou alternate between free and paid.
So again, day one, 100% free all the time. Day two, free unt
il about noon then switch it to paid. If the sales starts sl
owing down then you switch it back to free again. And then u
ltimately, leave it at paid at the higher price. So this is
the world’s worst domain. But if you go to kdptb.com, you ca
n pick up our Pump the Brakes promotion. It gives you the ou
tsourcers that we do. It explains the process in detail. I w
ould do it here except it’s two and a half hours long and I
know we’re already approaching an hour and I don’t want to k
eep you here any longer than necessary.
So, I typically do a three-day promotion on Pump the Brakes.
First day is free. Second day, we pump it. Third day, we pu
mp it and then we let it go from there. So it’s a great way
to build that
initial list and that following. And then what you do once y
ou build that initial list is you go back and you do the thr
ee-day launch plan with them. So if you’re brand new, if you
’re brand, brand new then you just do the Pump the Brakes. I
f you have an email list and you this and that then what you
do is you do the three-day launch plan. So build an email l
ist and then do the three-day launch plan.
Now, here is another cool thing. When you build a list, you
can start asking a little more stringently for reviews. Now,
let me be clear. You should not purchase reviews. You shoul
d not influence reviews in one way or the other. For instanc
e, if I were to email you and say, “Hey look, I want you to
go buy my book and I want you to give me a 5-star review.” T
hat’s not going to happen. And I’m breaking a lot of Amazon
terms and service and ultimately, I don’t want to get screwe
d and lose my account by doing it. So that’s one thing I rec
ommend that you don’t do.
Here’s what I do. When I email my list I say, “Hey, listen.
Here is the book. It’s 99 cents for three days. If you would
be so kind to go pick it up and leave me a review, I will s
end you something as a thank you gift.” Now, I’m asking them
to leave me review. I am not telling them it will be a 5-st
ar or 1-star. That is up to them to decide. So, what I tell
them is, “Hey, leave me a review. Take a screenshot of it. E
mail it to me at this email address and I’ll get you the spe
cial gift,” or the ethical bribe to get a review left.
And again, if they leave me a one star review and they scree
nshot it and they send it, they get the same gift as a 5-sta
r. So you can’t pick and choose. Everybody has got to get th
e same gift and it’s got to be as neutral as possible. You c
an’t ask for a good review. You can’t ask for a 5-star revie
w. I just say, “Go and leave me a review.” And I have had pe
ople leave me one star review, screenshot it, send it in and
they got the same thing that a 5-star review person got. No
w, they may or may not got kicked off the list after that bu
t at least fulfilled my end so that they couldn’t go and go,
“Yes, this person asked and I didn’t get my gift after I ca
lled his book “the worst thing ever written”.” So understand
Now, I will admit to this. One of the reasons we have the sc
reenshot is one, to make sure that Amazon has all those revi
ews. But the other reason is very simple and that is this, h
ow many do you know are going to leave a negative review, sc
reenshot it and then email it into you? Not that many. Have
I had a few? Of course, I have. That’s fine. They get it. We
move on from those people.
And let me also talk about that. I don’t have it down here b
ut I do want to talk about it because this was a big lesson
I learned in 2014. And that is this. If you get negative rev
iews, it’s going to happen. Both my books that I’ve written
myself have close to 200 reviews each and they have one star
reviews. One guy wrote that it was a scam because I wrote a
product on outsourcing even though I wrote the book myself.
That guy is just an idiot and you can’t fix those. Amazon i
s not going to take them down.
I used to get a big verbal battle with these people. And her
e’s the thing and the truth about it. No matter what happens
, no matter what’s said, no matter any of that stuff, you’re
the person that comes looking off bad because you’re the au
thor. So you’re supposed to be the well-respected guy that c
an hold his or her own temper and anger and all that stuff.
You’re supposed to be the
guy that can do that. But if you don’t, you come off looking
like a jackass and that’s just being real.
So, I used to engage all those people. Now after talking to
my buddy, Kamal, who is a bestselling author, now what I do
is I just ignore them. What I try to do is go in, learn from
them. So if they’re like, “Oh, the formatting really sucks
and the content blue and his mom is fat.” Like I would be li
ke, “OK, so the formatting sucks and the content needs revie
w. OK. Those are two things I can learn.”
But if it’s just like for instance, I had someone that ironi
cally was on my email list that was upset that I emailed my
list for reviews and how dare I use marketing and sales to s
ell my book, what a terrible human being I must be because I
actually took the time over the last five years to build an
email list up that I could email cool stuff out to really i
nexpensively and then ask them to help support me when I nee
ded something. What a terrible human being I was and think o
f the manatees and the puppies that were killed.
I actually had a negative review from some crack head custom
er. I got into it with him. I came off looking bad. Ultimate
ly, I just decided to ignore him. And you have to understand
this. It’s an unrealistic expectation although we still hav
e it as human beings that we, “Oh, everyone is going to like
me. I just want everyone to like me.” Not everyone is going
to like you. There are tons of people in this world that ha
te your freaking guts for no good reason or for a food reaso
n. And you just have to understand sadly and unfortunately,
that’s a part of life.
And if you let the negative people drag you down then they w
ill gladly do that because they’re dragging you down and I’m
not talking about people that leave constructive criticism.
I’m talking about people that are just trolls. They are dra
gging you down because their life sucks because they live in
their mom’s basement because they never had the balls or th
e stones to publish something because they don’t believe tha
t you deserve the life that you want to have. And to those p
eople, I say this. Cover your ears if you don’t like dirty w
ords. But fuck them.
Seriously, just ignore them. Let them be in their little cys
t pool of hate and let them go to their shitty job, live in
their mom’s basement and continue to troll the internet for
years upon. Just let them go. Ignore them and wish them the
best in life because they clearly need it. So, that’s what I
would tell you about getting reviews. And more importantly,
just don’t respond to negative ones. Let them spew. Learn f
rom it. If you notice two or three reviews have the same thi
ng then feel free to learn from it. If not, just ignore them
and just do what you need to do and keep producing your con
tent. All right?
Now, let me tell you about some cool things that you can do
to help your success plan going. First of all, I enroll all
my books in Kindle Unlimited. What that is for those of you
who aren’t familiar is it’s a cool program by Amazon. You pa
y $9 a month and you get unlimited Kindle books. And the coo
l thing is, an author is you don’t get paid when someone dow
nloads your book. You get paid when someone reads 10% of you
r book.
So for us, what we do is we do smaller books so that we can
get to that 10% quicker. Now, when you open up and you got t
able of contents and when you’ve got free gift and you got a
welcome note, chances are, that gets you to that 10%. OK?
So the cool thing about it is I get paid right now, currentl
y, about a $1.30 per book. There are some debates because yo
u used to get paid about – normally, I get paid $2. So I’m l
osing 70 cents per book. But here’s the thing. I look at it
as free and found money. And here’s the other thing, with Am
azon, the Kindle Unlimited borrows count towards your Amazon
bestseller ranking. So if I only sell 15 copies of a book b
ut I get 15 borrows, to Amazon, they equate that, well, that
guy made 30 sales today. So it counts towards your Amazon b
estseller rankings so it counts towards your visibility.
I don’t know what’s going to happen with Kindle Unlimited. I
t would be very interesting to see how it plays out in 2015.
For the time being, I’m going to use it at least initially
to prove the viability of the product. And then if I start n
oticing that it’s cutting my sales down or that it’s just no
t doing well then I’m going to opt out of Kindle Unlimited b
ecause you can opt out with it without opting out of KDP Sel
ect and I’ll just be like, “Hey, you’ve got to buy my book.
That’s what you have to do. You have to buy my book and that
’s all you can do right now.”
So Kindle Unlimited is a great thing I believe for initial a
nd starting artist, look at it long term. Who knows? But at
least initial, heck yeah. I’d much rather make a $1.30 guara
nteed than someone go, “Well, I’m not going to buy that book
because I don’t want to spend the two bucks.” OK?
Kindle Countdown Timer Deals, this is something we just fail
ed to take advantage of in 2014 that we will be making up fo
r in 2015. So here’s how this works. You can lower the price
but still get paid your full commission. So what I can do w
ith the countdown deals, I can say, “Hey, you know what? For
the next five days, this book is going to be 99 cents. It’s
normally $2.99. Buy it.” You buy it at 99 cents, you’re lik
e, “Goddam! I got a great bargain. I’m happy because I get p
aid my full commission on the $2.99 sales price.”
Now, you have to be able to lower the price a minimum of a d
ollar. So $2.99 down to $1.99. It can’t go 99 cents down to
zero. That just doesn’t work. OK? You have to be in KDP, Kin
dle Direct Publishing for 30 days and it has to be 30 days f
rom your last price change. So what I would typically tell y
ou to do because you can’t do a free promotion and a countdo
wn promotion at the same time is this, I would do in your fi
rst 90 days in KDP, I would do a free promotion if you’re tr
ying to build a list. If you’re like me and you already have
a list then I would do the countdown timer deals.
If you do both of these with various books to where I’m goin
g to do a free deal on book one so I’m going to get people t
here. Book two and three are going to be on sale via the cou
ntdown deal. You’re going to have a better chance of success
. And again, what people are hot and bothered, they’re super
excited about your product or service, guess what? They’re
going to be like, “Man, I bought this book. I really like it
or I got this book for free. I really like it. These other
books are on sale but for a limited time. Bam! I’m going to
pick them up.” Because I put a countdown timer on the page a
nd it’s just a really, really, really, really freaking smart
way for
you to get paid your full amount of commission and have some
built-in scarcity that you can use to create more sales.
And again, let’s say you take those three books and you bund
le them up like I told you to. Now, you got a fourth book. W
ell, you can release that book free or on a countdown timer
and then have the other ones be free to kind of lead to. I m
ean there are just so many ways that you can do this that yo
u can make good money doing it with building a list off your
free days, with doing Kindle Countdown Timer Deals, with do
ing a limited price time scarcity.
And the other thing is this. You can drop your price to a do
llar anytime. And I’ve seen successful authors do that. They
just go, “Hey guys, you know what? My book is normally $2.9
9. I’m making it 99 cents for this weekend. Enjoy.” And they
get another burst of sales from people who are super-duper
excited about it or who were upset because they missed it th
e first time because we all know there are bit times when we
wanted to take advantage of a sale but we missed it for one
reason or another.
So let’s talk about the exciting thing, how I plan to go fro
m four to five figures in 2015. I’m going to do a combinatio
n. I’ll just tell you. I’m going to do a combination of writ
ing books myself and then using the profits and the proceeds
from that to outsource my books. Now, I’m not going to get
into the niches that I plan of going into yet just because I
want to test them out and make sure they’re viable without
having the whole market watching. And then once I find the v
iable niches that are making me money, I’ll be more than hap
py to share those with you.
But here are my specific plans for scaling up. One, I want t
o publish a book every four to six weeks whether this is a s
elf-published book, a book that I’ve written, a self-written
book or an outsourced book. I want to build and continue to
build my email list at every chance possible. Then once I g
et those three books done in this new niche that we’re going
to, I’m going to bundle the books together to give me anoth
er chance to sell them all together and to give what I call
a slack adjuster. Actually, I call it that way because Dan K
ennedy calls it that. But that’s basically a way to go and s
ay, “Hey, if you like these three book that are $2.99 a piec
e, why don’t you buy all three of them for $4.99?’ And now,
I’m making a higher commission off of those.
And as long as I make a profit off my first three books and
continue to scale it up or as long as I have those three boo
ks, let’s just say for easy math, each one of those books co
st me a hundred bucks. And at the end of 90 days, so my cost
for the three books are $300 and then you can bundle them t
ogether. So let’s just call it 350. And at the end of 90 day
s, I’ve made more than 350 bucks or I’ve made darn near – if
I made 349 bucks, I would scale up. If I made more than 350
bucks, I’m going to reinvest my money.
Think of these as like mini real estate properties. You don’
t make any money with one real estate house. Trust me. I hav
e one real estate house. You don’t make any money with it. Y
ou’re just keeping it afloat. Where real power and leverage
comes is having multiple real estate properties that are pay
ing you rent so to speak, each and every month, each and eve
ry month over and over.
Now, what’s better than one house? Ten houses. What’s better
than ten houses? A hundred houses. And then you can start t
o expand to different niches and topic and then you can go w
ide. But I want you to go deep first. Stay in one niche. Pro
ve it successful. Go deep. Go deep. Go deep. Then when you g
et tired of that niche then you could say, “OK, here is the
thing. I’m tired of that niche. Here’s what I’m going to do
So let’s say I do the three books and it just bumps. OK. Wel
l, life experience, that sucks. That happens. I’ll keep them
out there. I’ll over time make my money back because all I
got to do is sell 50 copies of a book between now and the re
st of my life to make my money back. So I may not be making
10 to 15 to 20 sales a day but maybe I’m making one to two a
week and over time that will still pay for itself. And then
I’m going to go out. I’m going to find another niche to app
roach and I’m going to repeat the entire process.
And again, I’m going to go one niche at a time. One of our b
iggest problems that we had in 2014 was we were trying to do
too much too fast. It was like, instead of saying, “OK, we’
re going to just do romance. That’s all we’re going to do, r
omance and we’re just going to focus on that for all of 2015
.” We were like, “All right. We’re going to do romance. We’r
e going to do kids. We’re going to do recipes. We’re going t
o do this. We’re going to do that and that and that.” And we
just spread ourselves too thin and we never gave ourselves
the ability to win inside of a specific market.
So for 2015, I’m going to pick one specific market or two sp
ecific markets, three specific markets at most to go into. I
’m going to go very deep with them. I want to set up long fu
nnels with lots of books that can be producing income and th
en and only then will I either scale up or eject or go to a
different niche. So pick one niche. Give it a minimum of 90
days. Focus completely and solely on that. Then look at the
results. If the results dictate it, give it another 90 days.
If they don’t, pick another niche.
And then once successful, once successful then consider enro
lling in KDP Select and Kindle Unlimited and all that and th
en start transferring your books over to Barnes & Nobles, Ap
ples, Smashwords, all of that that stuff. Again, I truly bel
ieve this, is that you are not going to be – if you can’t ma
ke your book work on Amazon with all the tools that they’re
giving self-published authors to be successful, you’re not g
oing to be able to make it anywhere. If a book doesn’t work
on Amazon, I doubt it’s going to work on Barnes & Noble. And
if I’m wrong, that’s fine. I don’t mind being wrong. And I
hope I’m wrong in that. But in my experience, I haven’t been
So, what I’m going to start to do in addition to trying a bu
nch of new marketing techniques in 2015 is I’m going to take
some of my books that are high-performing books and scaling
them out to other platforms just to see what the response i
s, just to see what happens and just to build a bigger secur
ity net. Because that way, if Amazon goes away, yes, it will
hurt but not as much as if Amazon was the only thing that w
e currently have.
So with that in closing, let me share with you the fast acti
on plan for you for 2015. First, I want you to create a list
of ideas. Then I want you to start researching them, keepin
g in mind, 20,000 or less words and 20,000 or less Amazon be
stseller ranking. When you do that, I want you to select a n
iche and I want you to commit to that niche. I want you to g
ive yourself, I want you to
have an obligation to that niche. I want you to say, “I’m ob
ligated to this niche for at least the next 90 to 120 days.”
If you do a 120 days that means you could do three differen
t niches in 2015. Trust me. That will be more than enough to
get you started.
Then I want you to hire a writer or outline the book yoursel
f. Then I want you to create a squeeze page or have a squeez
e page created for you with an ethical bribe. Publish your f
irst book. I would not publish your first book by the way un
til your second one is written and almost ready to go becaus
e what you don’t to do is to be waiting on an author or an o
utsourcer to complete the work. So I would not publish the f
irst book until the first two were done or number two is dam
n near finished like being formatted. Just so you know it’s
there and you’re happy with it and you don’t have to fight w
ith it or anything like that.
So, publish your first book then know four to six weeks, you
need to publish book number two. If you don’t’ have a list
and I know most of you don’t, use the Pump the Brakes promot
ion. Again, you can find out more about that at KDPTB.com bu
t use the Pump the Brakes promotion, get the rush of sales,
get the people on your list. And then once you have people o
n your list then do the three-day launch on your second book
or once you have a list and start getting those people trai
ned to, “Hey, the book came out at 99 cents. It’s going to b
e 99 cents for three days. Now, is your time to grab it. Gra
b it now. Grab it now. Grab it now. Almost gone. Too late. S
till enjoy it.”
And then once those three books are all done then you want t
o bundle all of your books and use a countdown timer with yo
ur books in order to successfully see how well they do. At t
he end of 90 days, tally up your cost, cost for production,
cost for promotion. Tally that all up. Tally up your number
of sales. And as long as you have broken even or made more m
oney or very close to it, continue to scale in that niche.
Remember, real estate property. Ten houses is better than on
e. A hundred is better than ten. One is better than none. Do
not let perfection paralyze you here. So many people want e
verything to be perfect. It’s never going to be perfect. Aga
in, we published 20 plus, almost 30 plus books and we’re sti
ll making mistakes each and every time. Now, we just use the
m as learning opportunities because we look for progress not
perfection. And that’s what I want you to look for is progr
ess not perfection.


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