Steve Scott talked about "How to build an Author Platform and make $20.000-$50.000/month from Books & E-books".
The main theme of his interview was the email list, a theme that is common to several authorsthat I've heard at the Summit and elsewhere.
Steve had a blog and started writing books in 2012. At a certain point he decided to write habit books. The "habit" market wasn't saturated at the time, so it allowed him to write short, actionable books about actions he did every day that made a difference in his life. They're focused on one small/micro topic that he covers in depth. He was consistent in his writing, got books out regularly and built a business.
- build an email list: he knew how valuable they are and knew a bit about building lists
- the blogging mindset: cover one topic thoroughly in each book
- creating free content (permafree) that you give away: people who like it are more likely to check out your paid content. [The idea of the permafree book was also mentioned by Nick Loper.] Steve says it can lead people to your funnel and then check out your other books.
What are some of his strategies for email list building? Putting email capture forms in some of his blog posts. When people read his content (some of it is one-two years old, Google is picking it up now and people are reading it), they join the list and get into his funnel. He's currently testing out a strategy he learned from Chandler, content upgrades of some of his books. He's taking a top selling book, Master Evernote, and creating something that is specialized for a particular type of book reader: checklists and a quickstart guide. When these readers see things that are targeted at them, they're more likely to join his email list.
Yet another strategy is repurposing content and getting to a different audience through a different channel. How is he doing it? He's turning blog posts and sections of his books into Slideshare presentations that end with a link to the original post/book and a link to join his email list.
Before I continue, I should add that Steve is an advocate of having an author platform that should contain free materials. A platform of his own gives him control over his traffic. And it allows him to drive people back to his content or to his email list. He says that it will explode business. [Steve, I haven't seen that yet. I think there are several other pre-requisites that I haven't found yet. But I'm always trying to learn, the main reason for following this Summit. And indeed I'm learning.]
In terms of initial sales, he says he's unconventional. He starts at $0.99 for 5-7 days, lets his email subscribers know it's only for a few days, and asks them to check it out, buy it and leave a review. Then he raises the price to something between $2.99 and $3.99, sometimes above
He considers that his success is a result of being very consistent for several years and sticking to a tight writing schedule, including having a daily word count. And he laid the foundations for each launch based on his blog followers, email list and network.
For someone starting out, he suggests:
- build an email list
- get your first book out for free (it's a good strategy to build a list)
- write 3-4 books and launch them continuously
- have a lead capture page where people join your email list.
A marketing strategy of his that I liked is launching a book bundle of 3-5 of his books older books (six months to a year old) for $0.99 per book, I believe it was. [Six months is old?! Such interesting concepts in the online world!]
Thanks, Steve, for a webinar full of great ideas, some to carry out, others to experiment with!