Jim Cockrum is always pounding in his audience’s heads that we should have multiple and independent income streams. That way, if one goes down, you’ll still have other income streams rolling in so you don’t have to suddenly start over or find a job.
Obviously, selling on Amazon is one income stream. But what else can you do? Write a book!
In his book, Silent Sales Machine, Jim said that he sold millions of dollars of information online and that books are one of his favorite types of content (information). Then during his presentation at ASD, Jim said that writing a book is possibly one of the best business cards that you can ever have.
But how do you write and publish a book? To answer that question, I interviewed author A.J. Bakke. A.J. has several books on Amazon and in today’s post, she’s going to help us get started with our first book!
What Made You Start Writing?
I’ve always had stories romping around in my head, but it wasn’t until four years ago that I actually started putting forth the necessary effort to write and finish them. It takes a lot of self discipline. Dreams and talk only get a person so far. There’s that annoying, nitty gritty work that has to be put into it in order to actually get anywhere.
Lucky for me, I really enjoy writing now that I’ve found, caught, and trapped my previously evasive muse. I get up first thing in the morning, make coffee and then plop down on the couch with the cats and my laptop. I write humorous fantasy adventure to entertain and amuse!
Tell Us About Your Books
The basic setup for the universe I write in is that one world, Deart, is hovering right next to a dimensional border, poised to bulldoze Earth into oblivion should a magical barrier that was set up between them ever fail. So far so good! But the balance is shaky.
My Worlds Akilter series is for all ages and filled with whimsical, yet flawed characters who end up on many wild adventures whether they wanted to go or not.
The Hidden Level Trifecta has some more serious, darker aspects to it, but the series also contains plenty of goofy things to bring a smile. It includes online gaming that gets mixed with magic for some epic results.
Crashing the Game, book 3 in The Hidden Level Trifecta is due to be released this summer!
How Do You Publish a Book on Amazon?
I use Kindle Direct Publishing for the eBook versions for now. I’m still slowly making my way forward on this adventure, myself. It has been a constant learning experience for me and I kind of accept that I won’t get everything perfect the first time. Or the second time, or the third time… That’s okay! Even once your book is published, you can still update and change it fairly easily.
KDP gives you easy to follow step by step instructions to get your book up and going.
I put my books in a Word .doc format and upload them to KDP.
What If We Want to Publish a Paperback?
CreateSpace is the place to go! Once you have published a book through them, they will put it up on Amazon with your eBook. Or, for a more streamlined process, you can start with CreateSpace and they will take you through the process of making a paperback as well as publishing on Kindle.
I always do it backwards because the eBook is a lot easier for me to publish than the paperback. I am slowly getting everything down to where I will be able to do it all in one shot like they have it set up.
CreateSpace provides templates for your book cover as well as templates for the format of the inside of the book. I use the 5 x 8 format with size 12 Times New Roman text. The 6 x 9 is suggested for easier shipping, but in my opinion, it’s too big and bulky. It makes a book that is too heavy to hold over my cats’ heads while reading and we certainly can’t have that!
I don’t get along with the template for the manuscript so I hire FullElvenCreations to put it into a beautiful PDF so it looks good. They do a great job!
The downside to Print on Demand like CreateSpace is that it does make for a very expensive paperback on Amazon. That can’t really be helped, but I appreciate at least having the option of my books being available as paperbacks.
I can also order my own books a lot cheaper directly from CreateSpace so I can take them to book signing events and book fairs.
Nothing beats holding a physical copy of one of my books in my own little hands!
What program do you write your draft in?
I use Google Docs for my initial drafts and editing. It makes it easy to share the books with my friends who proof read for me. I can also download my stories to multiple computers so I have lots of back ups.
How do you design your book covers?
I have the fortune of a family with artistic talent. One of my sisters makes an outline of a picture for me and then I digitally color it in and add the title and my name. However, there are a lot of cover designers out there who can do a great job for a reasonable price. You do want to have a snappy cover in order to get attention. I don’t think mine are quite up to par, but I like that they are made by friends, family, and myself.
Does Amazon have something to help you promote your books?
They provide an author page where you can have your biography and the list of your books. KDP also provides free promotion tools such as a countdown deal or offering the eBook free for a limited time. Those can really help get your name out there in order to build a readership. Those options are only available if you have your book enrolled in their KDP Select program. Read the fine print to see if that program is for you.
They also offer paid advertising services, but I haven’t tried them yet so I don’t know how effective they are.
Here is my author page on Amazon! http://www.amazon.com/A.-J.-
Any tips for someone getting started?
Self discipline and perseverance go a long ways!
Don’t rely on yourself to successfully proof read your own material. You need to have a professional editor, or if you can’t afford one, at least bribe some friends with lattes (like I do) to proof your work. The author’s brain likes to gloss over mistakes because it knows the general idea being conveyed and throws tiny details like typos to the wayside.
Thank you A.J. for sharing your experience and knowledge with us! If you have any questions for A.J., you can connect with her using the Social Media links below:
Follow A. J. Bakke’s adventures:
As always, feel free to contact me in the comment form below or on my Facebook Page.
For more in-depth training on writing & publishing your book, check out Jim Cockrum’s Proven Self Publishing Course!
To learn more about Jim and other income streams, read his Silent Sales Machine book! The Kindle Edition is just $5.00 and you can purchase it either on Amazon or from the Silent Sales Machine sales page.