HOW I REACHED NO. 1 SPOT ON AMAZON!!! Halleluyah…

Jaylen GraceSECRETS FROM UNKNOWN AUTHOR WHO RACED INTO NO.1 SPOT ON AMAZON THIS WEEK

Reaching the Number One slot for Three Faces of Sex on Amazon this week was another fulfilling moment in my life – firstly for me as the unknown horse in the race who charged past the favourites to cross the winning line – and secondly for every other unknown out there who seeks proof that when unshakable self belief is applied to practical nut-and-bolt thinking and steps, everything in God’s world is achievable.

You’ll know if you followed my series of Self Publishing blogs.  that I promised to show you how you could make money self publishing. You will also know about my earlier claim to fame for a book I wrote which is currently selling for $350 on the internet!   The irony of that story is that I didn’t make a penny – but today I’m ready to share with you the components that comprised my CONSCIOUS journey to the No. 1 slot on Amazon and to tell you how to keep the momentum going when new horses start galloping past to claim your throne.

As a long standing international life coach who has spent the past 30 years helping others realise their dreams, the first thing I want to say to YOU is that you can do anything you set your mind to. The reason why some never see their dreams become reality is because their goals are too fuzzy, so let’s blow fuzziness out the back door and make our priority CLEAR GOAL VISUALISATION.   In this case, we’ll apply the principles I used for Three Faces of Sex so that more of you unknown authors can bask in the glow of reaching No.1 position in the charts.

If this blog was about how to find a soul-mate/life partner, I could offer you techniques that have often been known to take root within a miraculously short time.  However, getting a book into the top three requires at least a year’s prep work.  Rather than going through it step by step and wasting paper space, please read at least a couple of my self-publishing blogs and we’ll move on from there.

So, assuming you have a great website that attracts regular visitors, have spent time building up your following on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, have written regular blogs so that you’re not a complete unknown to the world, let’s fast forward to six weeks before publication of your ebook when:  Your book cover has been designed, the blurb for back cover sorted and you’re ready to hand your work to a publisher who can also help you with the marketing side of things.

Since for Three Faces of Sex, I wanted to showcase the most inexpensive way of gaining global recognision for your work so that even those with limited funds could join the race, I chose Publish Nation as my publisher. Their editor proof read and formatted book to best effect for £95. The cost of publishing ebook was £95 and the marketing deal for free Kindle download weekend on Amazon was £95.

Whilst this was bubbling in the background, [Read more…]

Self Publishing #5 of #12 Beginner’s guide to optimizing blogs

This week in our Self Publishing to Make Money workshop, we’re looking at how you can optimize your blogs so that they reach further than your Mum, Auntie Maureen and her dog.  (should you wish to follow this Self Publishing for Authors from the start, click here).

If you’ve been blogging for years, my advice won’t be of much help. This is for those who are not quite sure how to use keywords, links, titles, tags and categories.  To get the basics right is really important because when I first started blogging my approach was a bit ‘pot luck’. I wrote my piece, dabbled awkwardly with the SEO elements, pressed publish and that was it – AND THAT WAS IT – If I received 5 blog comments, I thought I’d made it big time!

So, let’s use this short blog as an example of how you can go about optimizing yours.  Mine is about self publishing so I want to highlight it in as many ways as poss so that it’s picked up enthusiastically by search engines.

Fix what a WordPress page looks like in your mind when you’re on it writing a blog.

My blog title was: Beginner’s Guide to Optimizing Blogs.

The blog is written but what do we do next?   We check through it for keywords and keyword phrases.  In my case I won’t use many because the piece is so short but keywords/phrases are those that reflect what a blog is about and we want to use words which will attract a wide audience so we have to think about what people type in search bars when they’re looking for something- And to remember that our audience is human.  If for example you were afraid of the dark, you might type in How to overcome fear of darkness.  Keep thinking about what your blog has to say that could draw hoards of people to search for the subject.

For my blog, my first choice was ‘Self Publishing to make money workshop’

We highlight these words then look along the top bar for the 5th symbol from the right which looks like tied rope or a sideways 8.  This is the Link symbol.  We press the link symbol and are directed to a box which says URL on the top line and Title on the line underneath.

Taking it from the top so you can see and understand everything, here’s what it looks like:

Beginner’s Guide to Optimizing Blogs.

First keyword phrase choice:  Self publishing to make money workshop

URL   http://jaylengrace.com

For title, we want to say similar thing in different way so perhaps  Title:   Self publishing to get rich

 

The second keyword phrase I used was:  Self Publishing for unsure authors.

For URL I’d write: http://jaylengrace.com

Title:   Self publishing for authors

Taking care of the above, ensures that anyone reading your blog will be directed to your website.  Also if you use keywords and titles that have wide appeal, your blogs will appear fairly high on Google search lists.

Let’s move onto Tagging.  You’ll see a line at the bottom of your blog which says Tags. Apparently, Google only picks up the first five so these have to be the strongest. We could say that Tags are like the index in a book, so again you’ve got to think ‘wide appeal.’

In my case I might say: self publishing blogs, make money self publishing, setting up WordPress blog, SEO self publishing guide –and would then go on to add smaller chunks of the above – self publishing, make money, SEO, authors, writing etc.

Lastly, we have Category to add.  Mine is Everything about Self Publishing.

If you wish to add an image, you will see a pic of a camera, top right of page.  Click this and it will take you into your stored images. Choose one and add. Simples.

When you write your next blog, print this out and use it to shape yours.  Let me know how you get on.

Stay blessed.

Jaylen Grace is the author of Omtopia (The seven steps to enlightenment), Omzak The Space Cat Warrior and Porridge The Two Faced Parrot

Self Publishing #4 of #12, Marketing your books, build a website and take the social media plunge…

If you’ve been following my 12 week Self Publishing to make money series, you’ll know that today we’re going to talk about how to set up an exciting website. (If you missed last week’s blog on book publishers and setting up your own publishing company and want to read it, click HERE).
So that this blog about websites, doesn’t turn into a book, I am doing it in three parts. Moving into the flow, this is the first.
OK. When I set up my first website 18 months ago, I didn’t know that it needed to be a whole lot more than stunning to attract visitors. I didn’t know the importance of the demon SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), I thought tags were things you put on clothes, and my blogs would reach thousands by clicking the ‘Publish’ button. (The result of this was that my stunning website spent the first part of its life with few friends – and cost me nearly £2000).
This year I hired someone to work with me through the marketing maze and ensure my latest website, ticked the right buttons from the second it went live. This one cost £250 and whooshed into the search engines like a rocket. We’ve talked about head banners in a previous blog where I said that what we are trying to do is entice those who visit our home page to stay. Offering a freebie, (we’ve all got something we can give away) is a good draw, then we want to add snippets of info to titillate our guest into browsing our site This is how I went about it. Take a look because, I’ll be using examples from the home page to explain their benefits to YOU.
www.jaylengrace.com
So, now you’ve got some ideas of what you might, or might not, like on your own head banner, and have a think about it eh?
If you run your eye along the bar under the head banner, you will see that the last one says Sitemap. This is very useful because with a click it brings up your website menu. In mine, you see ‘October Hot Picks’. This takes you through to Amazon Affiliates page – which you definitely want to know about.
When you set up your website, join the Amazon Affiliates Programme, set up your store and when anyone clicks on your chosen products you receive a small commission from Amazon. Initially this might be peanuts but as your website grows in popularity so will your shop. I know people who are earning £500 a month, so it’s something to work towards.
Whatever social media platforms you decide to join, one should be Twitter and this should be linked to your website. Whenever you send out a tweet it will come up automatically in the right hand column of your home page. It is said that posting 8 tweets throughout the day is about right. You aim is to tweet stuff that will encourage others to interact with you. I’m not brilliant at this yet but am slowly learning the importance of using hash tags and will explain in a couple of weeks. You can check the sort of tweets I send out here www.jaylengrace.com and please follow me @jaylengrace and @omzakcatwarrior.
Tweeting is a simple way of keeping a website active and on the move which is what Search Engines are looking for so when you set up your new one, use this idea. The BEST way to keep yourself in the sights of search engines is to ensure your website has a home page you can easily update yourself so that you can add regular content to it – as in pics, articles and blogs. To capture the picture I’m transmitting, I’d like you to imagine your home page is your Facebook page (if you don’t have one, I’m sure you’ve seen one).
A Facebook page is updated whenever you’ve got something to share, whether that’s a picture, an article or your thoughts. It is this content that keeps your page fresh. In the same way, you want to keep your home page fresh – except that here there is a trick.
Let’s say your website is called Kates Kakes (because you bake and sell cakes). On your home page you’d want pics and articles on cakes and cake/bake events. Your blogs should be about cakes, baking cakes, Victorian cake recipes, funny stories about cakes.
If you read that last para again, you’ll see I used the word cake 7 times. Imagine how many times that could be used on a page if you were writing a blog?
Using the above example, ‘cake’ is obviously one of the keywords that would attract people to Kates Kakes website.
Let’s think of other keywords that would be useful to Kate…Cakes, Cake recipes, cakes for occasions; wedding, birthday, anniversary, baptism, birthday cakes, cream cakes, chocolate, carrots – and there are dozens of variations.
(This is just a taste of where we are going with SEO and keywords. I’ll come back to it next week to give you a chance to enjoy your cake in bite size mouthfuls!)
Let’s end with a chat about website designers. You can find good professionals on People Per Hour. The cheapest go from £75 – 300). Whilst my current designer is sometimes a test of patience because he takes longer than I’d like, I would thoroughly recommend him because he’s honest, helpful, shows enthusiasm and does an inspired job for the price (£100 – 200). Also be provides an inexpensive ongoing service so you can add new plug ins, social media links, iron out crinkles and get advice. (I am happy to give you his details if you’d like them).
Whoever you choose, however, you need to know that building an amazing website depends on the quality of collaboration between your website builder and yourself. Before you ask him to start working on your website, you need to have done your homework. You have to have your written words and images ready for each page. You have to know how many pages you want and the title of each. You have to know which social platforms you want to be linked to and have your list of keywords ready. If you haven’t read it, this blog might help:
Think about your book or product, let your mind roam and write a list of keywords that apply to you.
Next week we’ll look at how to make the best use of your keywords in the blogs you’ll write to make search engines fall in love with you. This, as always, will be explained in simple language for others out there like me. Blessings
Jaylen Grace has been an international life coach for over 30 years. She’s loving the new challenge she set herself and hopes her Self Publishing series will prove useful to other beginners who want to make money from self publishing.

Self Publishing #3 of#12 Two book publishers you need to know about

For those of you who have just come across me, I’d like to say that last year I wouldn’t have been able to advise you because I was still making costly mistakes! My intention is to help you avoid this, and to take the confusion out of where to start, who to use and in which order. I have sorted the wheat from the chaff – everything I suggest has been tried and tested by me – and I’m making money – So you’ll now be able to set up your Self Publishing company, without all the push/pull hassle I experienced and get off on the right foot.

Today in our Self Publishing to make money blog – I’m going to talk about two book publishing companies you can put your trust in – Who also offer exceptional value for the service they provide. This is blog three in a series of twelve. I add a new one every week. If you find this one interesting, you can check out the earlier ones here

I know what it’s like – you’ve written a book but don’t know which publisher to choose from the array on offer. It is overwhelming. I chose my first publisher (a costly mistake!) without having done proper research. Before settling on the two publishers I am working with now, I grilled at least ten more before making a decision.  They offer different packages. From these you can judge which one might best suits your needs. Should you decide to go with a publisher of your own, you will know what to look for and what to expect.

[Read more…]

Self Publishing #2 of #12 Finish your book and start to make money…

Self Publishing #2 of #12 Finish your book and start to make money…

We are now a couple of weeks into my 12 week Self Publishing blog series (How to make money).  In the first few we looked at the importance of ensuring we included lots of keywords in all that we write, and at ways of standing out from the crowd  (if you missed them and wish to read, you’ll find them at here

Some of what I write will not be relevant to all right now (dependent on how far you’ve got with your current book) but I’m certain you’ll be able to glean enough gold nuggets for future use.  What is unusual about this series is that I’m going to share the low down on costs, and give you the names of people/companies that are inexpensive and shine in their fields.

Next week, I am going to tell you about two brilliant publishers I am currently working with. However, before we can choose a publisher we need to have a finished book to give them, so today we are covering editors, book covers and back cover blurb.

After much research, I alighted on two editors I will definitely use again. The level of help they give is reflected in price.

The first – www.global-editing.com – charge $300 for 100K words – and for an extra fee can assist with book promo if required.  The book they edited for me was titled Omtopia.  This was only 50K words so their cost was $150.  For these amounts, we would not expect the editor to tell us how to reconstruct whole paragraphs so we have to be pretty sure that our book does not need major corrections.  Naturally, they correct grammar etc, point out sentences that don’t make sense and such like. Omtopia is based on the work I have been doing for 30 years so with this book I was confident to go ahead with Global and was very satisfied with their input.

 

 

 

The second editor I worked with was a different kettle of fish but this was for a children’s book called Porridge The Two Faced Parrot. Writing for children is relatively new for me, so I knew I needed all the help I could get – and received it at Writer’s Advice Centre. http://www.writersadvice.co.uk/ This cost me £350 and was worth every penny. My editor, Louise, was incredibly supportive. She sent me a page of notes which showed she’d gone through the book with a fine tooth comb and made valuable suggestions where she felt it could be even funnier (I was shortlisted for Funny Writer 2012 for Porridge by the way).                                      

 

Porridge The Two Faced Parrot

 

So far so good, but what about book covers?  Again, I believe I’ve found two shiny needles in the haystack. Again, they are very different and this is reflected in price.

The girl who did the Omtopia book cover charged £40 (front and back).  If you don’t like it, don’t blame Laura because she was working from a design I had in my head. Laura is wonderful to work with and has tremendous patience.  She has done two more book covers for me since but these I won’t show you (they’re amazing) because those books won’t be published until later this year. You see can more of her work at http://bookcovermachine.wordpress.com/ or write to her direct at Lauragordondesign@gmail.com

Now, I need to stop and say a few glowing words about Almuth Scheller.  Almuth illustrates and does the book covers for my childrens books.  You’ve seen Porridge and here is Omzak The Space Cat Warrior for you to check out.

 

 

Cover_3

 

Whilst again, these were based on what I saw in my head, Almuth worked tirelessly to tune in and EXCELS at what she does.  (you can see Omzak book illustrations at www.omzak.co).  Almuth charges around £150 for a front/back cover.  Her price for book illustrations varies on how many you want but I find her reasonable and without doubt, she’s a star.  Contact: athscheller@gmail.com

With editors and book covers done and dusted we are left with who is going to write your back cover blurb – In my humble opinion, it doesn’t matter how well we write – blurb is an art which I personally would not attempt.   I’ve tried a fair number of blurb writers and two I use and highly recommend are:

Denise Ashhust – deniseashurst@gmail.com     I love her quirky take on words, the way she picks out the chaff from the wheat and introduces drama or humour as required.  All you have to do is send your outline and let her work her magic for £15.  She can also help to spice up blogs and assist in other areas where you might feel stuck. If you are interested, have a chat with her.

Rebecca is my second choice.  She has a natural talent to get to the core of what our work is about and make words stand out.  She also offers a press release and distribution service for £60 – which we’ll be talking about in more depth towards the end of the twelve week course. www.dakotadigital.co.uk

Next week, I’m giving you the low down on two publishers you should definitely know about, and the week after we’ll get cracking on everything I’ve learned about setting up websites that ensure we get LOTS of return visits – and simultaneously make us money.     Blessings.

Self Publishing #1 of #12: Beginners guide to making £50,000 and more!

Until six months ago I didn’t know a URL from my elbow and what I knew about marketing and book promotion could have been written on the back of a postage stamp. However, after I received my last measly royalty cheque from my publisher I decided it was time for the ‘Empire to strike back’ so I set up my own self publishing company.

What I am going to prove, is that, if a total beginner like myself, can make a success of self publishing (as I am doing) there is no reason in this galaxy why you shouldn’t!  Unless we’ve written a Fifty Shades, there’s not a lot of chance that we will emulate E. L. James success, but we can make a good income until we hit the jackpot with our own bestsellers! And this is what we are going to do…

Self publishing is a new addition to my skills, and I’m aware I still have much to learn. However, having spent 30 years as an international life coach helping others find success, I have the confidence to succeed in this.    (Ooh, now there’s a powerful affirmation – ‘I have the confidence to succeed in this’ –  Let’s make a note of that one).

This, as some of you know, is the first in a series of twelve blogs on Self Publishing that I hope will bring courage to those who are thinking about taking the plunge. Or have held back because their confidence was dented and have allowed rejection to make a home in their minds.

The first thing I’d ask is that you regain belief – and stop beating yourself up because some agent or publisher rejected your work! First of all, they’re inundated with manuscripts. Secondly they rarely read past the first chapter, and making it into the minute percentage of new authors who are taken on each year, is no guarantee you’ll see your book in print. (I’m sure some of you have been there). Over the years, I’ve studied many books that were rejected by main stream publishers. They’ve gone on to sell books in millions by themselves for something they were told had no future. I want you to become a believer. I want you to believe you’re as good as anyone else out there and dust yourself down with a smile when things don’t happen as quickly as you’d like. I want you to visualise buckets of money pouring down from the heavens. I want you to give yourself the gift of self trust.

I think you’re feeling me? [Read more…]