Monday, April 30, 2012

Amazon KDP Select Experiment - Non Fiction Travel Book Day 12

So, I was away for the weekend and unable to post. I was so itching to, I got 240 downloads on Friday, my free day :). Woo Hoo! I was ecstatic, after the free day was over I made 1 sale on the same book. I will continue to update as I go along on this journey.

I have to decide on when to list my book for free again as I have four more days allowed on the Select program.

Happy writing.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Amazon KDP Select Experiment - Non Fiction Travel Book Day 6

So It's day 6, as the post title says and I have 3 sales total over 3 e-Books (each book 1 sale) since I joined the KDP Select Program. The breakdown however is this, I gifted one e-Book to a friend who then turned around and purchased the other 2, though I told her not to. But thanks for the support B. :)

I always tell my family and friends not to buy my books. I've been helping them for years learn how to travel on a shoestring budget so there really is no need for them to. Also if they want a copy I will gladly gift it to them. I am trying to build a brand and a career on my books, so even though I love them for supporting me, I am trying to focus on finding an audience and eventually making enough sales to write full time.

So in my eyes I have zero sales since I joined the KDP Select program. Meanwhile on the other side of this coin, I've made 2 sales on Barnes and Noble. Go figure, lol.

My Budget Travel Tip e-Book will be free on April 27th, so I will post on that as soon as I can. Hoping for the best!

Happy writing!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Marketing My e-Books aka Arghhh!

I have to say that I love writing. I love sharing my ideas so that other single parents who are like me, the Working Poor, can find a way to take a nice vacation with their kids without going into debt.

I'm always happy to hear that because of one or a few of my ideas someone else's children had a blast somewhere new. It really is a great feeling! :)

And I want to help more people in the same boat while also earning a living for me and my kids, but how? How do I let those people know that my books exist? How can I transition from a few books being sold each month to what I need to earn as much as I do at my job? And FYI it isn't much, about $1,500 a month before taxes.

My problem is that I don't know what to do, there are so many blogs giving advice for e-Book marketing and I try and read up on ways to get the word out. And maybe it's just that I have yet to choose the right combination of marketing tips that are going to work for me, but I haven't seen any uptick in sales from the few things I have done so far.

I will keep trying through, because if I don't then who will?

Hope your marketing is going well for you :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Amazon KDP Select Experiment - Non Fiction Travel Book - Week One

I find myself looking for ways to get my name and books out there, a lot of it seems out of my reach, Blog Tours and guest posts. I haven't really looked into what a Blog Tour entails yet but I have reached out to a few blog owners that target single parents and I'm still waiting. Hey you never know, maybe I will open my email tomorrow and get a positive response! :)

I just uploaded my new booklet "Budget Travel Tips: Six Mistakes to Avoid When Traveling With Friends and Family". I don't know how this will turn out since most of the people that have had good to great results using the KDP program are fiction writers. And as you know my books are non-fiction. I will keep you posted. And if anyone else would like to let us know about their results, please feel free to email me if you would like to guest post about it.

Happy Days!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Second Broke Single Mom Travel book done...Bam!

Finally done, yayyyy! Whoo Hoo!

 I finally finished and uploaded my Traveltini on New York to both Kindle and Nook. It's live on Kindle already, has been for hours, but not on Nook, go figure. I went with the top cover here, the one with the NYC skyline which I do like, however I personally favor the sense of fun and whimsy of the second cover.

 I made my decision based on two things, the fact that my sales were (still are actually even though I changed it) sluggish on my first eBook with a similar cartoon "fun" cover and also because when you scan the list of best selling eBooks in travel barely any have vector or cartoon covers. I'd love to know which cover you guys prefer? Email me at BrokeSingleMomBooks (at) or leave it in the comment sections. Thanks:)

Friday, April 13, 2012

I need to start writing more. I can't sell eBooks if I don't write them

A couple of nights ago I lost sleep to make sure and polish then upload my first book back onto Kindle and Barnes and Noble. I was so happy and relieved to put that behind me and be able to concentrate on finishing up book #2. But I haven't even touched it. I realized that I have spent my past 2 lunch hours reading the success stories of other self published/indie authors instead of using that time to finish my own work and get started on book #3.

Now, I have always loved a good underdog comes out on top and rags to riches story, be it in novels or in real life. But when I am wrapped up in these stories shouting "you GO girl" and "yeah buddy" I am not helping myself further my writing career. I have to stop. It's like an addiction, especially with my pathetic sales. It gives me hope, you know?

Game face on, it's Friday and I plan to skip reading up on the wonderful successes of the fabulous ones that have gone before me and work on prayerfully becoming a success story myself. :)

If you would like to read up on some of these authors and find out what they have accomplished and sacrificed to get where they are now you can visit any or all of the following blogs.

Get some inspiration and then AIS people. Ass in seat and gets ta writing!

Happy Writing

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Writing and revising the non-fiction e-book, no help from Amazon or Barnes and Noble

A few months ago I uploaded my ebook to Kindle and Nook. Then my computer crashed and I lost my original manuscript. Since then I read an article on previewing your ebooks and going over it with a fine tooth comb as it is always easier to find typos etc when you've have some time away from your work.

And that is exactly what I found. Except how could I fix these problems with my final draft gone? I emailed KDP and Barnes and Noble and got no help. I explained my situation and asked if it was possible to get what I uploaded sent back to me as an email attachment. I didn't think it would be a problem as big as these sites are. I was wrong, this is what I got back in return.

From KDP/Amazon

Hello Lyza,

I'm sorry, we are unable to provide the content file of your book. However, you can download the uploaded copy of your book in MOBI format by following these steps:

1. Visit and log in.
2. Check the box at the left side of the book and then click on the "Actions" button at the top left.
3. Scroll to the bottom of the page to "Preview Your Book," under the box labeled "Enhanced Previewer box" Click on "Download Book Preview File"
4. Click on "Back to Bookshelf" to return to the previous page.

Also, please ensure you have Kindle previewer installed on your computer before trying to view your Kindle book. If you don't have one installed, click on "Download Previewer - Windows or Mac" found under "Download Book Preview File."

I hope this helps. Thanks for using Amazon KDP.

From Barnes and Noble


There is no need for you to purchase a copy of your own eBook. To
download a current copy of the .epub file for yourself, log in your
PubIt! account. On the "my titles" tab, next to your eBook's title,
click "Actions" and then "Edit". This will load the "Edit/Add A Title"

On the "Edit/Add A Title" page, scroll down to section 2, entitled
"Upload Your eBook". In the lower part of that section you should see a
box with the following:

Want to make changes?

There are two ways to edit your NOOKbook.

Option 1: Take a look through our _Formatting
Best Practices_ to learn more about how best
to format your source document, make some
changes, and then upload your fixed file and

Option 2: _Download the ePub file_ and make
changes to it. Note that knowledge of HTML
and ePub are necessary to tweak your ePub.

Click the link that says "_Download the ePub file_" next to Option 2,
and the system will offer you a copy of the .epub file. Please note,
this will give you a non-encrypted (non-DRM) copy of the ePub file. To
test the layout of your eBook, view the .epub file using either "NOOK
for PC" or "Adobe Digital Editions". Below are links to the installers
for each of these two reading applications:

Adobe Digital Editions:

NOOK for PC:

For help reading your own .epub file on a NOOK reading device, please
contact Barnes & Noble Customer Service. Tell them that you're trying to
"side-load" an .epub file into your NOOK device. Here is a link to the
web-based Customer Service system:
You can also call 1-800-THE-BOOK (1-800-843-2665) to request help on
this topic.

The PubIt! Team

Thanks for nothing. In case you got bored and didn't tread completely through each email response, they both basically gave me instructions on previewing my book, something I had already done, which is why I wanted to get my uploaded draft back in the first place so that I could edit and update.

I would have been more satisfied with a simple "No, sorry we can not help you" than with what I got. If I had emailed asking how to preview my own book I could understand, but I didn't.

Anyway, thank God, I found a rough draft of the final draft and went to town. Over the course of the day I have spent a total of almost 6 hours on this and just uploaded my latest revisions.

Had I not found it, I would be royally screwed as I would have had to retype the entire 52 pages from the preview option on either site.

Anyway, now I can get back to book #2 and outlining #3 with a lighter load, it was irking the hell outta me, let me tell you.

Good night everyone :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

E-book Authors Selling Big Numbers on Kindle

When  I log on and see that I've only made another 2 sales in the past few days I get discouraged. No, I don't want to stop trying, but I am human and so it's daunting at times. Then I read about an e-book author list naming names and counting numbers.

So if you, like me, are looking for a little encouragement that it can be done, here is a list of e-book authors that have sold 50,000+ books as of March 2012.

The list was alphabetized on the Kindle Forum by Zelah Meyer . I'm here and Zelah is in England, thinking, thinking, got it...we should trade places ala Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet in The Holiday :) Let me know Zelah, anytime!

Susan Alison

Melody Anne 150,000

Dani Amore

Bella Andre

Jake Barton

Robert Bidinotto

J Carson Black

Cheryl Bolen 145,000

Kathleen Brooks

Catherine Bybee

Sarra Cannon 62,400

Karen Cantwell 86,000

Ruth Cardello

Darcie Chan

Mel Comley

Shelly Crane

Martin Crosbie 66,700

Blake Crouch

Chris Culver

David Dalglish - around 175,000

Susan Denning 60,000

Saffina Desforges

Mainak Dhar - almost 100,000

Mark Edwards & Louis Voss

Sandra Edwards 90,000

Ellen Fisher - over 100,000

Penelope Fletcher - over 50,000 (? how much over?)

Tina Folsom

Marie Force - 200,000 in the last year

Barbara Freethy

Jenny Gardiner

Eliza Gayle 65,000

Debora Geary

Lee Goldberg

Allan Guthrie 63,000

Gemma Halliday

Liliana Hart 100,000

Michael Hicks approaching 100,000

Amanda Hocking

Sheila Horgan - over 80,000

Hugh Howey - over 100,000

Nancy C. Johnson

Ty Johnston - over 60,000

Selena Kitt

J.A. Konrath

Eve Langlais - over 56,000

Stephen Leather

Jason Letts / foreverjuly - almost 50,000

Victorine Lieske

John Locke

Terri Giuliano Long

Carole Davis Luce - 100,000

CJ Lyons

H.P. Mallory

KC May

Bob Mayer

David McAfee

Stephanie McAfee

Courtney Milan

Rick Murcer

Scott Nicholson

Anne Marie Novark - Over 75,000

Shayne Parkinson - over 50,000 (? how much over?)

Michael Prescott - 995,000!

Rose Pressey

T.R. Ragan 239,592

Terri Reid

Adam Rendon

Lexi Revellian

Shadonna Richards

Imogen Rose

Nick Russell over 100,000

L.J. Sellers

Michele Scott - 100,000

Tori Scott 84,000

Christopher Smith 700,000

Andy Straka

Michael J Sullivan

Denise Grover Swank 60,000

Vicki Tyley 100,000

Heather Killough-Walden

Michael Wallace - over 80,000

Kerry Wilkinson

Nicole Williams

Rachel Yu - over 60,000

I wonder how many sales they are making over on Barnes and Noble.

There is hope, happy writing.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Spreading the word aka Marketing my e-book

Why oh why is it so hard to market? For me at least. It has gotten to a point where I find myself zoning out at my desk or Starbucks and even while driving. Just trying to figure out ways to get my book in front of the people who can benefit from it, other single mothers who live on a tight budget but love to travel. Some might say that the easiest thing to do is to visit blogs that have single mothers as their target market as well. But how?

Not only is my target a very niche market but I prefer not to randomly visit blogs as a one off just to leave a comment with my blog or book as my signature. Yet I don't have time to visit the thousands of blogs that might be beneficial in getting my book into my target markets hands. I did email about a dozen site and blog owners a few months ago asking if any of them would be interested in a free copy of my book. Sadly, no responses. I mean WTF!:)

As I mentioned before I have to choose one form of marketing and dedicate time to it. Because seriously there are so many opinions about what works best that it can drive a girl mad.

I decided on using Yahoo Answers for a while and answering questions thoughtfully and closing with a signature link to my blog. I have seen a slight uptick in visits though no sales from it yet. Though I will keep at it since I can easily answer 5 or more questions in 10-15 minutes.

And I know that I have to add to that, just not sure what to choose yet. Maybe you have some ideas for a sista cuz I need help. Check out this very partial list of e-book marketing ideas you get on the web:

Bookmarks (for an e-book? really?)
Create Hype (okay, um how?)
Contests (This I want to do, perhaps a giveaway though instead of a contest)
Word of Mouth (The mecca o'marketing in my humble opinion)
Create a website for each book (no can dosville baby doll - I can barely keep up with my blog peeps)
Create a book trailer (this sounds fun and I have seen some cool ones)
Sign up at affiliate sites (I don't know, seems sketchy to me, but maybe it's just the word "affiliate")
Be active on forums (read above)
Write guest posts (I'd love too, anyone? people?)
Use coupons (?)
Business cards (?)
Use Twitter (read below)
Use Facebook (read below)

And these are just some, it's intimidating. I am not a social network person though a fellow newbie BIWer suggested Goodreads to me, thanks Laura . It seems insincere and not all organic to only put up a FB page to promote my book, so what am I to do? Make a page anyway and force myself to check it and update it daily?

For now I will keep on writing and editing and posting on Yahoo Answers. I'll keep you posted on they next move in my massive publicity campaign. :)

Here Ye Here Ye!

I have changed my business focus which actually suits my blogs name to a tee. I will be building a business around myself, literally. I am shifting away from trying to start my ebook publishing business with other peoples work and instead I will be writing and publishing my own ebooks on sites like Amazon and Barnes and Nobles etc. While I've been published on Yahoo's Associated Content, I am a newbie through and through when it comes to the new frontier of ebooks. I am so scared I wanna pee my pants, but I am going for it anyway!