Mesmerized by a program that allows me to start catching up on all these course videos I need to produce. So I’m like a pig in muck, enjoying every minute…
“Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity.” ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Total Subscribers – 2484
Heritage Subs – 64
IF subscribers – 2293
New IF API Subs – 4
New Non-IF API Subs – 1
Webform Subs – 3
Veterans – 337
Inactives – 27
Still dwindling. Need to ramp up promotion to get subscribers from other areas. Still busy with other stuff.
Book Sales: Back to usual. Peak from lockdown user sales back to usual range.
Fiction Books In Progress:
- all on hold – see below…
Non-Fiction Books In Progress:
- Also on hold…
Courses in Progress:
- Author Freedom Guide (in beta – upgrading)
- Backwards Book Publishing (in beta – upgrading)
- Get Your Self Scam Free (back into beta – upgrading/moving)
- Becoming a Wealthy Writer – overall program (pre-alpha)
- Writing Non Fiction (alpha)
- “PMA: Science of Success” (now in beta)
- “Strangest Secret” (now in beta),
- “Get Everything You Want Out of Life”, (now in beta)
- “If You Can Count to Four…” (now in beta),
- “Completely Change Your Life in 30 Seconds” – still in alpha.
- And some more that I already recorded for podcasts – will probably move to BAWW…
I got into this service that’s opening huge doors to my courses.
All because they told me their old product was going down and I wouldn’t be getting affiliate payments any more.
What they have been working on and developing is a solution to video production. And I’d fallen into the trap that I laid out some years ago about Backward Book Publishing – that courses are the most remunerative leverage you can get from the original text authors sweat over – but they are seldom worked up, just because of the cost in time and money that it takes.
What these guys did (formerly Market Samurai, now Vidnami) was to put everything under a single online interface so you can get help automatically finding video clips and images that match your script, add in audio and background music, then allow you to tweak the product before you generate the high-quality video file.
Why this is great is that it takes tons of steps out. Right now, I’m in the middle of producing “Backwards Book Publishing” because I have the audio and text already. This has brought home to me the exact thing I described years ago about why courses never get produced.
Four days ago, I spent three of them taking an existing book that I wrote from the course backwards, and recorded all the text myself. I’d already edited all the video and everything matched up.
But it just sat there.
Until I got started. And in three days, I cranked out 8 videos.
Yesterday (and outside of spending half the day at the local auction) I took a straight text file and created a video from it using their high-quality text-to-speech voices. That test proved I could now take all this tons of content I’ve built up over the last few years and start generating courses from it. Too simple.
So that got me doing a lot of thinking about my plans.
Fiction writing it a tough market to break into.
My sales (and what sponsored my fiction research for the last three-plus years) have come from my non-fiction books. What’s needed is to leverage all these books with matching courses. And with this service, I have no problems of having to edit new versions of these books and record them, generate the artwork, and marry these up into a video.
What I don’t have to do is much besides just providing the script. I don’t have to fire up a graphics editor, and then a video editor. I can do it all through my browser.
And I can take book excerpts and turn these into lessons (giving credit to the author and not trying to do much more than simply provide this material gratis to readers.)
Of course, this opens up a two-way street of content production. All my earlier original podcasts, as well as the audiobooks I’ve paid to have produced and used as podcasts – all of these can be harvested and leveraged into courses and course lessons. I can take this material and generate podcasts out of them, and also take the earlier podcasts and turn these into courses and lessons.
Fascinating application for all this. Sure, my monthly investment goes up. It just saves precious time and money.
The Real Value
Of course, this is more valuable than just saving me time. This Vidnami service, and the actions I can now take, allows people to get my distilled research and get into action with what they are doing. I can help more people – and feed right into this huge demand for courses.
The New Content Approach
I could say that my Content Inc approach has been lacking. But not really. The real problem is that the fiction area, and books in general (as sold online) are polluted. An author can’t be discovered today unless they simply buy tons of advertising. Even then, it’s a crap-shoot.
Now, when you have a top-selling or even regularly-selling book in non-fiction – you need to generate a course out of it and have the book sell it. Have all those books leverage sales of the other versions.
The approach to getting these courses produced is to utilize the course-providers like Udemy and Skillshare (plus some others) to pay you to put a mini-course there. And of course, those mini-courses sell your mega-course and all the books you have up on this.
What this simple service does is to enable me to produce the full leverage for the text and audio I have. For years, I’ve known this to be the route. And this simple service enables me to produce and publish the full range of material in every subject I’m interested in.
So, I just need to shift gears and start exporting all this massive amount of content I’m sitting on.
Why Didn’t Fiction Writing Work?
Well, it did – as a paying hobby. Without running ads, it’s pretty much an author graveyard. But running ads is a crapshoot. And no one is telling what their profits are – just their high payments. And it’s called “profitable” when you make even a few cents more than it costs. (Sheesh.) But that’s a cynic’s view and a summary from testing all the guru’s advice (besides blowing money on ads…)
I tried doing the prolific author route, utilizing the same methods that the veteran Pulp Method authors used (Ray Bradbury, Erle Stanley Gardner, Louis L’Amour, Robert Heinlein, and tons more). I was able to become prolific – under the Wikipedia definition of “prolific”, which is a mere one hundred books in a lifetime (while I’m around two hundred original fiction works in three years, not to mention nearly 50 non-fiction books) – anyway, I was prolific and no one hardly noticed. As measured by sales, anyway.
Fiction writing is completely free, as is its publishing. There are no gatekeepers. Different from the pulp magazine days, where people bought magazines of short stories every month. If a story wasn’t good enough, then the editors didn’t buy it. Because their reading public wouldn’t.
Unlike Amazon, free doesn’t mean cheap. But when you look at the books on Instafreebie and on Amazon, you see there is a lot of shlock out there. People are starting out and publishing anything they want. Which is fine. Everyone has to start somewhere. But people have to weed out these books. And so they are buying according to covers and blurbs. In the early days of publishing, a couple of authors were bally-hooed for becoming the first million-book seller on Amazon – and another author got a million-dollar deal from a traditional publisher to take over her publishing for her. But they both were selling their books (and these were full novels) at 99-cents each. Because of Amazon’s algorithms, they were pushed way up in their own recommendations.
Of course, you can’t do that today. And so these guru’s are recommending authors buy ads on Amazon.
Now, if you do keep your book on Amazon select, you’ll get more promotion from them. And follow that up with ads and special time-sensitive discounts, then there is a lot of reported success. Reported success.
What they don’t report is that if you went global, you’d have 2/3rds more income. The trick is that your Amazon income drops by half in that. So figure that you’re going to double your income overall. And if any one of these publishers finds some reason to ban your book (or cancel your account) you aren’t looking for another line of work.
Amazon-Proof Your Income.
With courses, this completely takes the worry of book sales off your lines. Amazon doesn’t have any course-services. They aren’t interested in that market. So your ebooks (and paperbacks, and audiobooks) that you sell on Amazon have a little ad in the back of them to buy your course. Once they are on your course, you have their email address. And now you can deal with them directly.
Your text book, in all versions becomes a paid “loss-leader” for your course, which can be a hundred times what your book costs. Because people value courses that much.
On top of that, you have additional paid loss-leaders when you take a single module out of that mega-course and post it there as a course on Udemy, Skillshare, et al. Or take each module and sell it as a set on those providers. (Just work up your modules to be standalone as well as a part of series in the mega-course.)
So you aren’t dependent on Amazon. And you can promote your course – actually all versions of your book – in all sorts of places. So you can pick the best places to advertise and let Amazon pick up what sales they will. Your most responsive ads seem to be on Bookbub, right now. So when you advertise there, Amazon will get some of those sales. Because some people are simply stuck to that platform for their shopping. (Kobo is better for ebooks, Walmart.com is better for everything else – IMHO.)
You’ll then start taking your whole ecosystem to account in order to see where you are and aren’t getting your advertising-dollar returns.
Again, you’ve Amazon-proofed your income. It no longer matters how Amazon changes their algorithms. Because your income is now independent of them.
It does mean I’ll have to set this site up to accept payments and so on. Because both Thinkific and Teachable make you subscribe to get their full services. On my own site (which I pay a premium for hosting) I have complete control. So this is the ultimate service that I can provide, and so my income is now completely under my control.
It’s not just ebooks and paperbacks anymore. It’s an “all of the above” approach and “sell them everywhere” approach. Because I can. And because this is the best possible value I can deliver.
Original Fiction and Non-Fiction
All on hold now. Sure, if I get stuck on courses, there are many books I have in note form, all ready to be rolled out. But meanwhile, I probably have a year’s worth of courses.
What I’ll be doing is to get all versions of these books published, testing my backwards book publishing research. So while I’ll be “publishing”, it’s going to be according to what my courses hold. These courses are going from closest to being ready – meaning I’ll be reviewing all the courses I’ve laid out already – on any platform. But I’ll be bringing all these courses to my own site and making them into paying ones as they go live – or opt-in bait otherwise.
Meanwhile, Classic Publishing Continues
I will still be cranking these out. Without doing much to promote them – but their time will come. With the courses I have in the pipeline, this opens up tie these into the fiction writing challenge courses. And will make nice bundles.
Pointing to Next Year’s Challenge
This video producer is more than I asked for. And so a complete shift in production priorities.
This brings me right back to Content Inc.
The platform has to be regular new content via podcasts. And those podcasts become perennial through rescheduling them annually. Each lesson can become a podcast episode on its own. So I’m free to crank out 50+ lesson courses in a single podcast series – and each episode having an add for the course and books on my site.
Each course then becomes a perennial podcast. Meaning my network of podcasts is going to expand hugely.
And with that much audio, I need to ensure that the audiobook is published. And those have ads for the course and books, too…
The point is getting the goals sorted out at the outset. Then start in on the 6 other steps Pulizzi lays out. In other words, start over again, with the audience I already have.
Last week’s to-do’s:
- Sun: This analysis & emails – Late, but yup
- Write the next short fiction – Yup
- Publish one each of PD SF and Mysteries – Yup
- Any “other” time – produce courses (PMA:SOS Intro) – Nope
- Set up blog/podcast/lesson pattern – Nope
This week’s to-do’s:
- Sun: This analysis & emails
- Publish two classics in series
- Continue cranking through courses – current: “Backwards Book Publishing”