Print books are still going strong and Createspace awaits YOUR book file!

Well, it HAS been a long time since my last post here! Time which has shown the remarkable staying power of the printed book. Ebooks are growing, but after some dips print books are rising too. And Createspace makes it SO easy for the self-publisher to get a share of the print book action, anywhere in the world, with NO costs to you apart from the little initial hurdle of formatting and uploading to their website. My experience with my own Ferrocement how-to book Fantastic Ferrocement, which is for sale as an ebook and on Createspace, is very clear: the royalties from the print sales through Createspace (selling on Amazon, their parent company) are several times greater.

So, think uploading to ebook AND to print, and once you’ve done that you can sit back and relax with no worries about any cost to print bind store or distribute – it’s al done for you. Focus instead on writing great content, editing it well, illustrating it and of course promoting it, via website, blog, Youtube videos, your own networks, etc.

I’d recommend using a formatting, graphic design and upload service like mine to get your books up ASAP! The techno-angst that web stuff can generate isn’t worth the one-off saving. Keep your head space for the most important stuff: your content, and promoting it!

ps: I am not an all-out fan of Amazon because of their monopolistic tendencies (half the royalty rate – 35% – for ebooks if they are sold anywhere else apart from Amazon) but I AM a complete fan of the Createspace website and its service. Amazing to get say US$5 for every book they print and sell for you anywhere in the world! No charge for uploading, or for printing or freight or money collection – they do it all! So, what are you waiting for?

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New resource – overview flowchart and youtube video

See the new page in the menu or just click here:  This is for you if you want to ‘see’ the process I use, and also if you want to do it yourself. With my compliments! I hope you will want to also buy the book when it comes out. It will go into all the details, in a step by step way. Easy when you have a guide, not so easy when you don’t! At around $3.99 it will be well worth it. follow this blog and be one of the first to get the ebook! Also you can consider using my method as the basis for a service of your own, and continue to use as a resource too. All I ask is, benefit yourself and me by investing a little in my book. Thanks! Oh, and contribute to this blog if you have some great tips etc! email me at, or just put your tip in a comment in the blog.

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Amazon Createspace uploading now part of the ebookuploader service

Great thing, Createspace! Your book permanently available on Amazon as a Print on Demand book in Europe and USA. And you can order copies of your book from Createspace at good prices, to sell in your local area. Without committing to large quantities – there’s no minimum.

So, for US$97 I am offering conversion to Createspace, for normal book size and complexity. I will confirm by email when you send me your files; or if it is a more complex book I will estimate or quote on it for you.

This is a separate option – basic ebook option is (currently – December 2013) $97, making a total of US$194.

My COMBINED EBOOK AND PRINT BOOK UPLOAD OFFER: only US$150! (Subject to complexity and condition of book files)

(This is overdue, as I’ve been finding my own how-to  book (Fantastic Ferrocement more royalties on Createspace as print-on-demand print books than as ebooks. Unit sales not as big, but print books sell for more and the royalty on this book is more than the entire price for the ebook…)


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How to create an Information Product in one sitting

This is genius for ‘jump-starting’ your forays into info products of any kind online. It is from Jason Fladlien, a young ‘guru’ online well worth googling. This is a summary of his method I found googling ‘one sitting product creation jason fladlien’. It is from this website:

“I’ll start with a little disclaimer here. I’ve learned this product creation technique by watching one of Jason Fladlien’s webinars and I can honestly say that this is one of the most incredible content I’ve seen in 2012 so far. Using the methods I am about to show you, Jason Fladlien made 2 million dollars from March 1st 2011 until February 2012. With that out of the way, lets get started.

In the short term, a mediocre product with good marketing will make you more money than a good product with mediocre marketing. This is true for the short term but not so much in the long run. Over time, good products will start to almost market themselves as long as you can get some customers with your mediocre marketing because in the long run your customers will be a lot more interested in your products and it will be a lot easier to sell to them. On top of that they will be interested in recommending and promoting a good product for you.

You don’t need proof to successfully sell information products online. Proof can help but is not required. Proof usually makes the difference between five figure products and six figure products. But eventually you will get proof as they buy your product which will push your product to six or even seven figure results.

Many people say that most good product ideas have already been taken. That is false! Every day technology evolves and new opportunities that previously didn’t exist are now available to product creators. Look at how many information products have been created around Facebook, Kindle or Pinterest. Pinterest is very hot right now and everybody is talking about how much money can you make on Pinterest. I bet there is something being created right this very moment that will be a go to product in the future and you could create an information course around it and make sales.

Speed is more important than ever for product creation. I am going to show you how to create top quality information products in 2 hours or less that automatically can generate traffic and convert with sub par marketing. The products have to be top quality if you want to make it the easiest way in the world to make money.

Here’s the product creation formula that helped Jason make his 1st dollar online and millions later on: 1 sitting, 1 problem, 1 solution product creation! “If ever there was anything to write down, this is it!” But don’t just write this down, you need to memorize it, you need to tattoo this on your mind, dream about it and wake up in the morning doing it!


From his experience Jason realised that if he gave himself a week, he could not finish creating a product. If he gave himself 2 days, he still could not finish creating the product! The same result with 24 hours time limit, he still could not finish the product! In fact, if he stopped at any point when he first sat down to create a product, he could not finish it!

THE SOLUTION? The product creation starts when you sit down and begin working on it and the product is FINISHED when you get up! Someone asked ‘What if I got to go to the bathroom?’ Well there are really only two options available to you: you either hurry up and finish the product or you hold it :) That’s how serious you need to be when it comes to this stuff. You sit down, you start, when you get out of that chair you’ve finished! Whether it’s an info product, an audio or a video, this is what you have to do, this is the goal, this is the formula!

Jason sits down looking at a blank screen and he gets up with something that made him thousands of dollars every single time, usually tens of thousands of dollars and sometimes even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

What does this mean? Your product must be short, must be actionable, must cover the essentials, in other words you don’t do anybody any favors by taking 50 minutes to explain something that could be said in 5 minutes. For some people it takes 50 minutes to explain something that could be done in 5 minutes because they allow themselves too much time to create the product but when you have the clock set up for a 2 hour window or when you sit down and when you get up the product is finished, you have to get right to the point.

This is great for your customers because they don’t have to sit through the fluff, they can get right on with it and get some benefit out of it immediately! It’s good for them and it’s good for you to be able to create immediately good quality products. You don’t have to spend so much of your time to make that money!

The product must be short and actionable. Actionable means step-by-step: first do this, second do that and so on until the problem is solved. Your product has to cover the essentials which means you can’t start with the basics, the boring stuff, you can’t start with the history. You just get to the point and say ‘Hey, if you want to do this then start here, go!’

The average person who is purchasing info products is not used to get value like that so they immediately are going to love your stuff if you can present it within these parameters. So don’t present them history lessons, don’t try to anticipate every possible scenario, dont cover the minutia, no big grandiose solutions, just provide them one solution for one problem and not one problem, fifthy solutions! You need to focus on one problem and provide the best solution for it and don’t try to cover 50 different things.

If you follow this formula so tightly focused on solving just one problem, it will be a lot easier to market even if you’re not that good at marketing because you’re so tightly focused on covering a very specific segment and solving a very specific problem, you’re immediatelly getting the attention from somebody who suffers from that problem and they are going to be even more likely to buy your stuff because it’s so tailor made to them. Thus way you automatically improve your marketing without even trying to improve your marketing. You create products in one sitting that focus on solving one problem with one solution!

It might be a little bit of a challenge, it might push you a bit but with practice I think we can all do it. It does not have to be perfect, just try to make it good. You don’t have too much to lose since it didn’t took you that long to create it.

Anyone who has a good amount of desire, some ambition and a bit of focus can do this. You don’t have to be Superman to make it happen. You got to want it and be willing to put in some work if you’re willing to make some real money. You need to have the focus to work two hours here, two hours there in order to make it work. Desire is the most important. You really have to desire your wealth! You can be the smartest person in the world but without desire you won’t accomplish anything! Even if you have a below average intelligence but have all the desire, guess what, it can change your life.

So when you create a product you need to follow this path:

  • 1 problem, 1 solution, 1 sitting.
  • Presented in step by step format.
  • Sold at a ridiculously low price!

Now you’re probably asking yourself why would you sell your product at a ridiculously low price? You might of thought that you have to sell at such a low price to build a list and if you thought of that, that would be incorrect. It is a secondary benefit but that’s not the main reason. If that’s not the reason then maybe it is to make sales. That’s true, you will make money but that’s still not the main reason. Maybe it is because you want to establish some authority, get a reputation, speed up that process. You can do all those things for sure but that’s still not the main reason.

The reason why you have to sell it at a ridiculously low price is because it takes all the pressure off! There is no pressure when you sit down to create a product that will sell for a couple bucks. Guess what pressure invites in: procrastination! Pressure leads to procrastination. On the other hand, with lack of pressure, no pressure at all, you just get it done! So you need to do this just to get it done, get it out there and start making money. That way you’ll see it’s possible. Think about it like having a giant check in your brain waiting to be translated into cash.

You can agonize over potential success inviting in procrastination or you can understand that success is inevitable.

Here’s the inevitable success:

  • If the product sells well, great! You will be financially successful immediately.
  • If it doesn’t sell well, great! Who cares if it does not sell well? First of all it only took you a couple hours to create it. Second of all you can use the product that doesn’t sell well to leverage it, to make everything else you do in the future infinitely easier to make money with. For example you can take that product and offer it as a free bonus to the next product you create. That way it would be a lot easier to sell that product. Or you can take that product and offer it as a bonus when you’re promoting affiliate offers. You can also take that product and offer it in exchange for an email address and build your list. You can chop that product up and create multiple articles you can use to submit to article directories in order to create backlinks and get more traffic to your site. You can take those articles and create videos to submit to Youtube and other video directories. You can leverage that product several ways to make money easier in the future.
  • If it does ok, great! Because it does not take so many ok products to build a six figure income.

This is inevitable success if you truly get this and not just intellectually. If you truly get this it will alter your behavior and you will actually do it and you will truly embrace inevitable success and you will become inevitably successful!

Try to create the best value products you possibly can within these parameters. Not all your products will be home runs but with experience, eventually some of them will get to that level.

– See more at:


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the illusory haven of the big publisher – an affronted indie goes back to self-publishing

This is typical…  Extract from the article I got on google alert for ebook promotion:

You achieved the dream of many a would-be author when you were signed up by HarperCollins. Why are you self-publishingyour new book?

  1. Feral Youth
  2. by Polly Courtney
  3. Buy the book
  1. Tell us what you think:Star-rate and review this book

When I signed with HarperCollins, I thought “Great! This is the golden ticket I’ve been waiting for!” I thought it would be a great collaboration between me and the publisher, given my success self-publishing my first two novels. The reality was a big disappointment. The publisher seemed intent on pushing my books into pre-existing moulds (“misery lit”, “chick lit”) that didn’t reflect
the contents.

“Brand Polly Courtney” was increasingly muddled, leading to confusion for readers. It turned out that my editor hadn’t actually read my first two books. There was no marketing budget, which meant that it was up to me to promote each book. This wasn’t a problem per se, but my job was made hard by the frivolous book covers and titles assigned to them. I actually felt ashamed of the product. Now I’m back to self-publishing, I’ve regained control.

full article here:–PDZ9MR97qg

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This bookmark will surely die. But Ebook Heaven offered!

I had some fun doing this bookmark to distribute to cafes around NZ (or that’s my first idea – libraries too? and RSA and…?) The message is one that all of the last pre-web generation need to hear, so they can upload to the web their precious works of all kinds – books they have had printed and are now mouldering away, out of print; reports, memoirs, all sorts.

Ebook Uploader This bookmark will die SIMPLER LIGHTER 16 04 13

Forward this to whomsoever may need its message of good hope… 🙂


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Uploading to Kindle – as-is Word or zipped doc?

Recently I had two writers tell me they have uploaded straight from Word to Kindle. I always ‘send to zipped folder’ and upload the zipped file, which is more fiddly steps to do, but it may be worth doing. The Table of Contents hyperlinks didn’t work when I tried one book straight from Word, and they worked when I uploaded the zipped file. i will look into that.

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A little-known fact about free ebooks

Well, the experiment in FREE goes on with volume one of the Epic Apples of Aeden

new oval vol i cover symetrical

remaining free indefinitely on Smashwords  (here: – AND via Smashwords, on Kobo and Apple among others. Now, yesterday I was looking up something on Kobo and decided to search for my volume one. To my surprise and joy, I found it under Free ebooks filtered by highest rating. There it was on page 2 of 33, with two 5-star ratings. I went back to the Smashwords sales stats and found Kobo had zero downloads of volume one recorded. I emailed Smashwords and they tell me Kobo quietly dropped reporting on downloads of free ebooks some time last year! And the APPLE never reports free ‘sales’ either.

So we are at sea with free, partly. Fortunately Barnes and Noble for example do report free sales. Thank you, B&N! Judging from my 700 or more free downloaded from B&N and the 2 reviews, I suspect Kobo must have quietly shipped a similar number of free volume ones…

So, the reported SALES number of $3.99 volumes 2 or 3 they have sold will presumably be a result of the other hidden FREE number…

Sigh. It’s still not easy to know exactly what’s going on, even in the web age. Bottom line: until they do start reporting free, I will have to guess based on the other retailers who do report free.

One thing’s for sure: I’d so rather have a sacrificial ‘trojan horse’ FREE ebook and see some exposure and some paid sales of the rest, than nothing selling, zip. which was the case with volume one when it was (years ago) $9.99, and even when it was 99c the sales were tiny. Not that sales of vol 2 and 3 are big, but there’s one or two most weeks. Now, how to get them telling other readers to read it…? 5 star ratings and even better, reviews, must start to help…

Oh yes and Kindle – of course volume one would be free there too if they allowed it on their non-exclusive option (KDP). It’s there at 99c. And selling a few, in spite of the fact it is free on every other platform! hmmm…

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Filed under Apple, ebooks, free ebooks, Kobo, marketing your ebook, Smashwords, Tracking your sales, ways to promote ebooks

My own books uploaded, and some observations

Well another goes up today, in between work for others. It is always nice to remember oneself and honour him or her too!


This is the third out of four. Volume one remains free on Smashwords as a (huge) ‘trailer’ for the rest, at least until the end of 2012…

some thoughts:

1 The world of a fantasy or scifi author has a major cost to entry, in time and effort (even seconds are hard to come by from a browsing stranger online, let alone the minutes and hours to get into a new author’s world!), so it is vital to consider what can I do to make the barrier as low as possible? For a series or a collection, I think you can’t beat FREE. The proportion that go on to buy is variable and unknown, but at a marginal cost to the author of zero, I think it’s worth the gamble! Who knows where one of the free books might end up – just one read by a big reviewer on a populous special interest site, and you could be seeing a huge ‘spike’ in uptake…

2 I keep getting keener on doing colour images in my ebooks. Why not? It’s free, and most ereaders now are in glorious technicolour. Especially the ipads and their ilk.

3 Using Smashwords is good. Even if not many sell on the website itself, it is a gateway to Apple and many other retailers. And you can make books free there. and you can download in many formats, not just kindle – epub, PDF, RTF, etc. And there’s graphs…

4 It’s such a relief to get an ebook up, compared to all the cost and ongoing bother of a print edition. You can even upload and forget. It’s way better than a lotto ticket! It never expires.



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A mathematical dream of virality – chickenfeed to retirement fund

My free offer for the Apples of Aeden Volume I (,

Cover for 'The Girl and the Guardian'

extended to the end of the year, has had 244 on Barnes & Noble at last report, and 124 on Smashwords, so that’s about 368 downloads in a month of the epic vol i, and 368 potential readers/fans/people who recommend to friends… IF say 10% per month of say 350, recommend and it results in 3% more downloads (30% of friends download it), this means within 10 years 12,148 per month could be downloading! If only 2 percent go on to buy vol ii, iii and iv at $3.99 each = US$12, at say 50% royalty on average, that would be $1457 a month. In NZ, I could retire on that! Especially if it carried on increasing…

If one managed 10% virality a month (say 30% recommending, and 1 in 3 acting on the recommendation), it would reach about this level by end of month 37, or at 25%,  end of month 16. (and after 24 month I really would be retiring! at      $8,800 a month…)
this is known as counting your digital chickens before they hatch…:)  However it does show the power of large numbers, which ARE out there on the web, and the compounding effect of anything viral.  Even slightly viral – like 3%, if you wait out the first 10 years…
 Of course in practice it is really unusual to get something going even mildly viral. Friends, even if they really do like it, are nervous of recommending something to friends unless they’re sure the friends will love it and not say something disparaging. and then the friends might be having an off day and delete the excess emails or forget to look up the recommended link…
Fascinating pursuit though, the pursuit of the X factor that turns a book viral.
Also the above doesn’t include the ‘breakout’ effect – the ‘tipping point’ where the sales attract the attention of bigger ‘friends’ with greater reach, who recommend to thousands or even millions. Reach Oprah’s book club, for example, and zoom! mass inoculation of an entire population of readers.
Back to the lab, to tinker some more with those book genes…

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