March 16, 2022

How to Become a Published Author and Start Making Passive Income - Ep. 36

How To Become A Published Author And Start Making Passive Income On The Side

Here's A Step-By-Step Process

It's now easier than ever to become a published author in the digital age. Listen to the full episode and learn how to become an author and make passive extra income on the side!

Welcome to Degree Free, where we explain what you can do instead of going to college, and how to teach yourself, get work, and make good money.

In this episode, we talk about:

• How to be a self-published author and start making passive income
• Everything you need to know on the process of how to write, publish and market your book
• How to self-publish on Amazon and why it's currently the best platform to publish your book

Ryan talks about why you should hire a professional editor to ensure a much better quality of your book.

Hannah also shares tips and tricks on how to get reviews on your book so that you can increase your social proof and gain more sales.

Enjoy the episode!

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Check out the previous episode to learn how to educate the younger generation on how they can become more successful through a different path from college.

Links and Notes from the Episode

Episode Transcript
Please enjoy this transcript or our episode!

Please note the transcript may have a few errors. We're human. It can be hard to catch all the errors from a full length conversation. Enjoy!
  • Ryan: Aloha guys, and welcome back to the degree free. We are your hosts, Ryan and Hannah Maruyama. On this podcast, we share the fundamentals we've discovered and mistakes you've made while self-educating, getting work, building businesses and making money. We'll tell you how to make it happen. No degree needed.

    Hannah: Welcome back. Welcome back everybody. We are happy to have you with us today. And if you would like to get degree free news, degree free job ideas and career options as well as resources that you can use to teach yourself so that you can get work and make money. Then you are going to want our newsletter.

    We send that thing out once a week, and it is chock full of stuff that you are going to want to not miss. And yeah. So if you want to get it, then go ahead and run over to and sign up. So you don't miss anything.

    Ryan: Yeah, absolutely. If you haven't already please like, and subscribe so that you can get notified whenever we post a new episode, which is every week, we'd love to have you as a loyal listener. And let's get to today's subject. Today, we are going to be talking about how to become a published author and start making passive income.

    Hannah: A lot of our listeners are interested in different types of business and beginner sort of side hustle ideas as they call them. And this is a good one.

    Ryan: Yeah, definitely. It's a good one because it offers a lot of learning.

    There's a lot of skills that overlap into running a traditional business, whether that's even product or services. There's a lot, a lot of overlap that you can learn from by writing books and publishing books. And then also if you're able to do it, it's a good way to make you know passive income. May not be enough to pay the bills might not be enough to quit your job or anything like that, but could help. Definitely.

    Hannah: And another thing about it that I found too, as we've, as, as Ryan and I have done this ourselves, is that there's a lot of information available around it because it's a primarily online thing, self publishing. Especially now with Amazon and, and their, you know, their adoption of that. So there's a lot of information as far as if you get into it and you're trying to figure out how to do something.

    There's a lot of readily available blog posts and information on it too.

    Ryan: Yeah, definitely. And today we're going to be talking about how to become a published author and starting to make that passive income. That being said, we're going to kind of briefly touch on the most important part of it, which is the marketing, but that is a very deep rabbit hole. And I think we might do it in another segment if people have interest in it, but that's definitely once the book is written, that is all you're going to be doing. And not as the most important part, even before the book is written in many cases, that is the most important part. So I just want to mention that that being said, we're going to talk about how to execute and how to do it, but in order to do so you kind of already touched on it.

    We kind of have to talk about the different types of publishing and there's traditional publishing and there's self publishing,

    Hannah: Kind of the self publishing Renaissance right now, too. I would say.

    Ryan: Yeah, definitely. I think self publishing has never been easier. Definitely. It's never been more accessible as a reader and also as an author so quickly to give an overview of traditional versus self publishing, traditional publishing is going to be where very usually, especially if you have no name or rather you haven't created a name for yourself as an author. You're usually going to go to those traditional publishing houses, whether it's random house or

    Hannah: Penguin

    Ryan: Yeah, penguin. I was seeing them McGraw-Hill but that's actually like textbooks.

    Hannah: Yeah.

    Ryan: Yeah.

    Hannah: I don't know if that one you can just waltz in there.

    Ryan: Right, exactly.

    Hannah: Here's my story of the birds and the trees. And then I'm like, well, we're not really interested in that. Thank you though.

    Ryan: So you're going to walk into these publishing houses and you're usually going to have the, whatever it is written already. You're going to have it completed and you're going to read it and then

    Hannah: Or say, this is terrible, or this is great.

    Ryan: Yes, this is terrible or this is great, we're going to buy it from you and buying it can be different in many ways. I think there's a, there's a lot of ways to structure author deals, but in any case, they're going to take it over from there and they're going to be working on it with you and you have access to their editors.

    You have access to their connections, which is where they really come into play. Right. You have access to their book printing to their distribution channels.

    Hannah: That's going to be the biggest one for a lot of, for a lot of authors too.

    Ryan: And then also marketing, you know, so that is, there is valued, definitely value in doing the traditional way. But today we're going to be talking about self publishing and especially for us, because we really know nothing about traditional publishing other than what I just said, but we've, self-published a couple of books already and we're probably going to self publish more.

    Hannah: Yeah that's the intent for sure.

    Ryan: Yeah. Sometimes in traditional publishing, they do give authors advances for ideas. And prior to finished work being done, usually that's for people that have a name

    Hannah: Or yeah. Or that are, have already published with them.

    Ryan: Right. That's what I mean, like you have a name.

    Hannah: Yeah.

    Ryan: And so,

    Hannah: It's worth the gamble on you because you've already proven that you can make sales so you can write something that people will buy.

    Ryan: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. There is not as risky.

    Hannah: Yeah.

    Ryan: You're a known entity.

    Hannah: You have a track record. Right.

    Ryan: And so self publishing, it's none of that. It's just going to be you. The type of self-publishing that we're talking about is going to be you write it, you come up with idea. Edit it make the book cover, put it up on wherever it is that you're going to sell it. And then, you market it. And it can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be. You can pay somebody to do literally all of that.

    Hannah: Yeah.

    Ryan: Or you can do it all for free or mostly free.

    Hannah: Yourself.

    Ryan: Right? Exactly.

    Hannah: Yeah

    Ryan: Cause you're gonna pay with time.

    Hannah: You're yeah, you're paying and you're paying in time in minutes and hours and days and years and months.

    Ryan: And so, self publishing can be accomplished in many ways, but some of the most notable are going to be publishing with Amazon KDP, Kindle Direct Publishing, doing print on demand services. Where you get an order for the book, you then order the book, they print it and then they sell it out. They ship it out to the customer or you can just do a complete ebook PDF style.

    Hannah: There's only one way to buy it and read it, and that's on the internet.

    Ryan: Exactly.

    Hannah: Print it if you want at your own house, but it's online.

    Ryan: And so that's, that's pretty much the avenues. I think that's pretty much it for self publishing.

    Hannah: Yeah, I think so. I think so.

    Ryan: The next thing. We are going to talk about is the most important thing before the book is written, which is picking a topic.

    Hannah: And this is this one's interesting because you can pick whatever you want. So an unbeknownst to people, you can write a book about whatever you want to write a book about. If you want to write a book about different blueberry recipes from around the world, you could blueberry muffin recipes from around the world or if you wanted to write a detailed history of the last hundred years of biological advancements in science, you can, because anybody can write about anything they want.

    Ryan: And that's one of the contributing factors of what makes us the most difficult, but also the most important decision. And also it's, there's so many choices. There's so many places to go. And this is where a lot of people get stuck. And a lot of people think in order to write a book, you need to be an expert in a space.

    Hannah: Yeah. They think there's all this, this barrier of you have to have, you know, you have to have whatever degrees in order to write a book. No.

    Ryan: Yeah, or just, you need to be an expert in it.

    Hannah: Yeah. Like you have to know everything about it ever.

    Ryan: Right. You don't have to be an expert in it. You can research something. Okay. Learn it up to a point where you understand it and then write a book about it.

    Hannah: It's that easy.

    Ryan: Yeah and you could write a book about, learn about the learning process that you went through as well.

    Hannah: Yeah, you could. It's very meta.

    Ryan: Yeah. Super.

    Hannah: I'm writing a book about how to write a book.

    Ryan: So if you already have an idea about the subject that you want to write about. That's a good enough reason to write the book.

    Hannah: Yeah. Just because you want to, if you want to write the mermaid myths of Michigan have fun.

    Ryan: Exactly.

    Hannah: Like you want to write about that, so just do it.

    Ryan: And there are a bunch of reasons why you can or you should write a book. I think we're going to do that in another episode. So I'm not going to belabor this year, but just knowing that. Okay. Just because you want to write a book is a good enough reason to write one.

    Hannah: Absolutely.

    Ryan: And okay. If you are strictly honing in on the second thing that we said about the title here, which is making the passive income, that's kind of what we're talking about here. When we're talking about this is important because the subject is really going to be what dictates supply in demand.

    Hannah: Basically, if you're writing a book to write a book that you want to write, write that book. If you're writing a book that you want to make you money, write a book about something that people want to buy a book about.

    Ryan: Exactly.

    Hannah: It's, it's that simple.

    Ryan: Yeah.

    Hannah: If people are like really into comparing different types of toothpaste for whatever reason, you know and they want to see a breakdown of whichever toothpaste is best for their kids' teeth and that's selling right.

    Really good right now you may not care about it, but if your goal is to make money, guess what? You're writing a book about toothpaste.

    Ryan: Yep. And the way that you're going to do that is you're going to do that through widely keyword research. If we're taking a strictly analytical approach to this and we want to make it the easiest to kind of learn a lot.

    About creating a product that people want and then marketing and selling that thing. And so keyword research, that is the very beginnings of like what is called search engine optimization, which is a really fancy way of saying how to put things on at the top of Google for when you search for them.

    Hannah: You're basically making a path from the searcher to you.

    Ryan: Sure. Yeah. And so when somebody searches best oatmeal cookies, there's going to be a website that pops up right at the very top. There's going to be a couple of ads and then there's going to be the best oatmeal cookie recipe that in order to get that top spot, do you need to basically make your content fit that keyword that search criteria.

    Hannah: You have to write your recipe, article, life story whatever in such a way that you can, that you can put enough keywords in that whoever's looking for it can find it,

    Ryan: Yeah, exactly.

    Hannah: Which is part of the reason actually, to why those posts are so long.

    Ryan: Kind of worst.

    Hannah: Oh my gosh, you get to the auntie. You're like, em, and at my Nana's ex cousin's funeral and you're just like, how did we get here?

    Ryan: This cookies made me cry.

    Hannah: I'm like after my daughter's graduation, oh my God. Where is the recipe? How long did they need to go in the oven for I digress, but I really hate those recipes.

    Ryan: That's a lot of reason why,

    Hannah: Why it's so long,

    Ryan: So long,

    Hannah: Yeah, so they can pack it full of what they need to in order to help you find it. So there is a purpose for those biographical posts that will tell you how to bake salmon.

    Ryan: And not to go off topic, but also the longer that you stay on that page, especially if it's ad driven.

    Hannah: The more money they can charge for the ads.

    Ryan: More, right..

    Hannah: On the page,

    Ryan: The more money.

    Hannah: Of which there are 87,000.

    Ryan: Right and gonna show up and therefore the more money they make.

    Hannah: Right.

    Ryan: So it makes sense.

    Hannah: Yeah. So a lot of people didn't know that. Oh, don't know that though. So it's good to explain that.

    Ryan: Right, and so that is keyword research and it is a very complicated. Realm. And this is something that you're definitely going to have to do research on research on how to do keyword research, but I will just give a, the general gist of it, which is you're basically looking for search terms that have high volume and low competition.

    So what that means is you want something that people search a lot for, but there's not a lot of people writing about it. And ideally, if you're writing a book you're going to want to go to someplace that has a lot of people searching for it. And not a lot of books written on it.

    Hannah: Or even a lot of blog posts written on it too, because then now people are looking for information and they can't find adequate information and people will buy books when they cannot find adequate information.

    Ryan: Exactly. And this is a lot easier said than done.

    Hannah: Yes.

    Ryan: It's a very,

    Hannah: It sounds broom that makes it sound really easy, but it's not.

    Ryan: Yeah, exactly. Especially you have to be very, very creative.

    Hannah: Yeah. SEO is complicated thing too.

    Ryan: Yes.

    Hannah: And it does change constantly, but that's the general, as you said, the general gist of it.

    Ryan: Yeah. And so there are a couple of different tools that we can use and I'll just name them. I'll just name 'em. And then we'll put a bunch of links in the show notes as well, And, you know, the first is going to be Google keyword planner. Very simple it's free or at least it was. So the very first tool is going to be Google keyword planner. Pretty sure it's free. I'm pretty sure that you just said in the very beginning, when you set up your account, you're going to have to put in credit card information.

    They might charge you a penny. I forget, but, or they might just hold an auth on it. I forget. But I forgot when we, when we set it up, but it's free.

    Hannah: I saw on Tiktok the other day, somebody talking about using it and it's free so,

    Ryan: Yeah. And so Google keyword planner is a really good one. Google trends is a really good one as well.

    Hannah: Google trends is super fun. If you're ever curious about something, that's a really good way to just see what's going on.

    Ryan: Yeah.

    Hannah: With how many people are interested in it.

    Ryan: Yeah.

    Hannah: It's a fun, it's a fun tool.

    Ryan: It'll shows you the trends over time of certain search words.

    Hannah: And like, where people are searching them too, which is kind of fun.

    Ryan: Yeah. And then, the other things you're going to be like, cool ads, Facebook ads, or they're even keyword research, specific tools like SEM rush, or, you know, so, so many more.

    Hannah: Yeah.

    Ryan: So to keep it simple at the very beginning, we're probably just going to want to stick to like keyword planner on Google trends.

    Hannah: Yeah. Just easy just to make it easy on yourself, especially if you're new.

    Ryan: Yeah. And this is a really, really deep rabbit hole.

    Hannah: Yeah. There's, there's a lot here.

    Ryan: There's a lot that, you can just convince yourself that you haven't picked the right topic. You can convince yourself that you need to find another topic. Okay. I say when you figured out something and you're kind of, in the right direction you think that that's where you should, what you should do. Stop right there. It's got good volume, not a lot of competition. The quality of the content that you clicked through is not up to the standards that you think that you could deliver.

    Hannah: Yeah. Or you think it's just not, you're like, oh, this isn't as interesting as it should be. Or I just don't find this super compelling or it doesn't, I don't feel like I'm getting my questions answered. That's really good too. Cause you're like, huh? I feel like I could answer these better or make this more clear. That's really good too. That's a good sign.

    Ryan: Yeah, absolutely. And you know, just pick it. It's your first book and it's not going to be perfect.

    Hannah: Yeah. Your first, your first try it. This is going to be far from perfect. You just gotta be okay with that too, because that's just how, that's just how things work. Your first try is not going to be that great.

    Ryan: It's the way that we're thinking about this right now is that we're learning. This is going to be our first one. And then we're going to be able to write more and build upon it from there. And so I say, think we say it's better to be done than perfect.

    Hannah: Yup. Done is better than done is better than anything else, cause done is done. As we say, sometimes in the house done is done is done.

    Yeah. So something else too, that you can really do to help yourself when you are writing your first book is not to write fiction because it's just easier to write nonfiction. And not only that, but I find too as somebody who is a creative and does sometimes write like fiction pieces for myself, I've never published any. But I feel like there's way more barriers to the you could put up for yourself in between like a nonfiction subject and a fictional subject, because there's no real definition of perfection for a fictional work also right. Done for fictional work as much harder to define than a nonfiction book, because you can go, okay, this has the necessary information to answer this question, the, or, or to tell these people what they need, but with fiction, you could just go on forever.

    And a lot of people do, a lot of people will write massive novels and just never really be done. And that's because they don't know when to stop.

    Ryan: Fiction's also harder because you have to create an entire world on nothing. Right. You have to create the characters, you have to create the plot. There's a great the story.

    Hannah: Yeah. And there's a lot more complexity to doing that in an engaging way that people will buy.

    Ryan: Whereas nonfiction, you're just trying to tell them how to do something. Yeah. And so not saying that you can't write fiction for your first book, if that's what you want to do, do it. Absolutely. But this is going to be more geared towards non-fiction.

    And I think that's probably, if we're worried about trying to test this out, you know, that's what we're going to be thinking about is doing nonfiction. And so, you know, when picking a topic, you might want to pick a topic that interests you, you don't have to, that's not a prerequisite. That's why it's so far down.

    Where it's not necessary, but it's just going to make life a little bit easier because you're going to be a little bit more interested in it.

    Hannah: Yeah. And because you're probably going to be doing quite a bit of research and reading. So ideally the topic shouldn't bore you as maybe a better way to put that.

    Ryan: Yeah.

    Hannah: Yeah. It doesn't have to be the most interesting thing you've ever seen ever, but at least don't be bored by it.

    Ryan: Especially as this is your first one and you're going to be doing a lot more work on it probably than you would your second, third, fourth book, one of the easiest formats, a couple of the easiest formats that they come to mind are going to be like how to.

    Hannah: Yeah.

    Ryan: Right. Just to kind of get the juices flowing as far as creativity, like. What are some suggestions even look at and, and so it could be how to do anything.

    Hannah: Yeah. How to build a chicken coop.

    Ryan: Yeah.

    Hannah: How to, how to do interior design in a small house.

    Ryan: Exactly. Or real estate investing. If you're a realtor or anything.

    Hannah: How to become a snowboarder.

    Ryan: The second thing is going to be like general topics, just an overview of general topic.

    Hannah: Everything you need to know about whatever.

    Ryan: Yeah. Volleyball.

    Hannah: Like, oh, like how to the, for dummies, like whatever the dummies books. Right. Those are a good example of those.

    Ryan: Yeah. Those are also guides too.

    Hannah: Yeah. That's true. That's true.

    Ryan: Reference books,

    Hannah: Yeah.

    Ryan: Which definitely you can, you can definitely make.

    Hannah: Yeah,

    Ryan: Definitely.

    Hannah: That is true.

    Ryan: But if you're just talking about like, what is this esoteric thing? In this certain field, you know, and you niche down and you, you know, you can just totally write an overview of what that thing is.

    Hannah: Yeah.

    Ryan: And then the last one is going to be like, here's what to expect when you're buying your first home. Here's where it went to. Here's what to expect dot, dot, dot.

    Hannah: When building, when rebuilding your first classic, 1965 Chevy, whatever.

    Ryan: Exactly.

    Hannah: Yeah.

    Ryan: And just kind of, these are just things that you can kind of hopefully use to spark some creativity when thinking about keywords and different topics that you'd like to write about.

    Hannah: Yeah.

    Ryan: And so the last thing that I wanted to talk about on the subject of picking topics is going to be, you can always outsource this. You could hire a fiver, somebody on Upwork or Reddit or whatever to do all this keyword research for you and come back with a, you know plethora of different options with different keyword volumes and everything like that. I think for your first book, I wouldn't hire out for this.

    Hannah: Yeah. I would do this yourself the first time.

    Ryan: Just so you know what you're doing.

    Hannah: It's a kind of a system to down if you want to continue to publish books.

    Ryan: Yeah. But on a note of hiring out all of these subjects, all of these things that we're gonna be talking about, you can hire out for all of it.

    Hannah: Yes. And people do.

    Ryan: Yeah. And you know, you can write up, you can write a book for a couple hundred bucks. You can write a book for a few thousand.

    Hannah: Yep.

    Ryan: There's a massive range. And it just depends on what you want. What are your expectations are, and honestly, the quality that comes out of it. But that doesn't mean not more expensive.

    Hannah: Books necessarily sell better.

    Ryan: Or does more expensive service people mean quality.

    Hannah: That's true.

    Ryan: So, Yeah. For your first book, I would probably not hire out for the keyword research, which is why I brought it up last. But it is something that you could do.

    Hannah: Yeah, you could.

    Ryan: Definitely.

    Hannah: Okay. So I think the next thing we want to talk about is like writing the actual book. That, that seems to be a big one. So one thing that I think is probably really most important to keep in mind about this is it seems like a gigantic task, right?

    Writing a book. When you, when you initially thought about that, you're like, whoa, writing a book, what a gigantic thing to do. But really the reason that people think that is because they think that often books have to be long books do not have to be long. They can be as short as you want them to be. You can have a 20 page book, if you should so desire. You can have a four page book, if you so desire. I'm not saying that it would sell super well. I'm not saying that people wouldn't feel like they got gypped a little bit, but you could, if, if that satisfies your topic. Right. So I think that, that, that's a good thing to keep in mind that there's no required length for something to be a book.

    Ryan: Yeah, definitely. I think there's all required length for it to be a book. And also for it to be a quote unquote successful book in order for it to make profit every month, the days especially since we're self publishing, traditional book publishers they have their certain pages that they want to hit the 250 to 400 page range or whatever it is.

    And I remember I read an article years back of the reason why, but I forget, I think a lot of it has to do with the way that it sits on a shelf to

    Hannah: Really?

    Ryan: Like, I think the spine and everything that they show it's large enough to read.

    Hannah: How about that?

    Ryan: I'm pretty sure that's one of the reasons. But there's a bunch of other reasons that I can't remember for the life of me right now,

    Hannah: I would think of the top of my head, it would be like, literally the weight of the book when you pick it up, like, you'd want it to feel like it was worth whatever somebody paid for it, you know? Like you want it to be big enough for people to feel like they got their money's worth.

    Ryan: Sure. And I, with the self publishing, you don't have to worry about that.

    Hannah: Yeah.

    Ryan: There are books that are 20 pages long that make lots of lots of money.

    Hannah: And they help a lot of people.

    Ryan: Exactly. And it's all good. It doesn't have, it just, it just has to be as long as is needed to get whatever a point across that you need.

    Hannah: Yep.

    Ryan: So we have a friend that is a published author and they went through this whole thing, this whole playbook that we're, that we're doing now and their book is, I think it's like 20 pages, less than 17,

    Hannah: 17 pages.

    Ryan: Something like that.

    Hannah: That's I recall. Yep.

    Ryan: Yep, and they sell a hundred dollars a month.

    Hannah: In it's category.. It was like one of the top performing books, which that's something that people should know too, is that if you pick the right category on Amazon, your chances of being a bestseller in that specific category is, is increased too. That's another thing,

    Ryan: Yeah,

    Hannah: That you can accomplish with research.

    Ryan: Yeah, definitely. And that's all I'm going to be allowed into the, when you actually publish a book and marketing and stuff like that, but yeah, definitely. It's definitely where you put it in. Amazon matters, assuming that you are going with Amazon, but if you don't actually, you go with your own website.

    Hannah: Then it is matter.

    Ryan: That's totally fine too.

    Hannah: Yeah. It's all SEO.

    Ryan: But yeah, there's just a good example of book length. You can, write something that's useful to a lot of people and you can market it well enough through any other channels, through all the channels and you can still make a decent amount per month.

    Hannah: Yeah. It's wild. You just got to you, you, that's a good example of writing something that there wasn't a lot of information on that people needed information on. All right. So for the research you're just going to be Googling like a lot of stuff, like so much, so much Googling all that Kukula just hours and hours. He's, he knows I can get really deep. I can get really deep in, in the Google. But you also need a good tool to kind of organize and write as you go along as well. I prefer doing that in one note. I think that one node is a really good way to organize all of that information and, and kind of keep it separate ideas as well, especially in the, in the initial research part.

    Ryan: It's important to keep all of the information compiled together. And you can do that through links in one note and everything like that or you could also use something like Google drive or one drive for Microsoft as well. And, you know, you can kind of create a book folder and keep the information that you're gathering and the documents that you're gathering there, as far as research is concerned, you can do it yourself. As well, or you can hire.

    Hannah: Yeah. If you're, this was a really cool thing that I realized you can do. On Fiverr specifically, there is a lot of low costs researchers and analysts like data analysts and people that can compile scientific research, which is really cool. And so if you're writing about something that requires a lot of statistics or a lot of numbers, or a lot of just, you see a lot of stuff and you're like, I want different numbers, I need to ask a different set of questions about these, these numbers, they can literally go in and do, they can do background Excel, they can make charts, they can, they can, they can write, you know scientific papers about whatever it is and then give it to you, which is super cool. And that's a great way if, especially if you're, if you have a very information, heavy topic, that's a great way for you to create new value in your book as well.

    Ryan: Yeah. You're going to wanna make sure that, you're not plagiarizing. That's just needs to be said, just because a lot of those guys, they do end up just copying and pasting.

    Hannah: Yeah. So make sure you're not like, just check.

    Ryan: Like a lot of them do run it.

    Hannah: Through a checker.

    Ryan: And then, so as far as like other tools to use, one note is something that you can use to write in definitely. You can even write something in doc, like Google doc,

    Hannah: Oh yeah.

    Ryan: Or a word document. Right. You can use something like Scrivener, you can use Evernote, whatever,

    Hannah: Whatever you want.

    Ryan: You know, just use something even use like a plain text file.

    Hannah: Yeah. You could, you could, if you were really bold.

    Ryan: Yeah. Some people like it and he's like the no-frills aspect of it. You're not going to be able to do any of the formatting or anything like that, but you'll be able to capture that you're not at that stage anyway so,

    Hannah: That's okay.

    Ryan: Right. You can capture ideas without, I guess destruction.

    Hannah: That makes sense.

    Ryan: Yeah.

    Hannah: Okay. So after you've written your first draft of your book, you're going to want to find an editor. And this is another thing where Fiverr Upwork E Ellanse I think, which I think is Upwork now, but different freelancing sites where you can find somebody who is qualified to edit your book. Oftentimes they're not incredibly expensive, but I will say from our experience that have been incredibly helpful we got a pretty, very reasonably priced, but also really high impact editor. So, when we initially handed in our draft of, of our first book, it came back looking completely different and it was much better and much more reasonable much more readable. And she had reorganized it and reformatted it and, and edited thoughts. So they were really clear. So it was really invaluable because then we did another, we rewrote again and then did it again because then we got an even. better product. And that was huge. That was a huge thing, realizing that you can hire an editor like that for us.

    Ryan: Yeah. And I think that, this is one of those things that I suggest hiring. I actually just hiring an editor because you're going to get, depending on the editor that you hire and you're going to have to test, but you can get a lot of value as how to just set and going the free or cheap route is you wanted to be typical asking family and friends and not is very useful. We've definitely done it. Definitely done it. We've definitely used family and friends as editors. The. As doing both the difficult part, we're doing it with family and friends is that a lot of times they're not professionals. So they're not going to give you the quality of feedback that editors are going to give you. Also, they're going to just say things like this area here doesn't make sense. I think it's better if you did this. Whereas a lot of editors might do that, but a lot of them also just change it for you as well.

    Hannah: Because they know this part doesn't work like this.

    Ryan: Yeah. They just go ahead and change it.

    Hannah: Cause it's their, it's their job.

    Ryan: Right. And a note on that structure, nobody that we've ever given written work to has ever edited structure.

    Hannah: Yeah.

    Ryan: There never been like chapter four should actually be chapter two and chapter one should be chapter nine.

    Hannah: She literally reorganized our, our, the way our book was structured to make more sense.

    Ryan: Yeah. And so, it doesn't have to be expensive when hiring, but just as a frame of reference, I think we used Fiverr at the time. And I think we,

    Hannah: Maybe two hundred dollars?

    Ryan: We spend a hundred bucks or 120, something like that. Which, I mean, that was a lot of money.

    Hannah: Yeah. At the time it was, at the time for us to relatively it was quite a bit.

    Ryan: It was a lot of money.

    Hannah: Yeah.

    Ryan: But,

    Hannah: It was worth it.

    Ryan: Totally it was worth it.

    Hannah: We definitely got a better, we got a much better product because of what she did.

    Ryan: Yeah. I agree.

    Hannah: Yeah.

    Ryan: I agree. It was completely I read it. Right. I mean, I read it through and I thought it was pretty good.

    Hannah: Yeah.

    Ryan: The, the original, and then it came back and there were like,

    Hannah: Oh, way better.

    Ryan: Way better.

    Hannah: Yeah.

    Ryan: Yeah.

    Hannah: So something else that kind of gets mixed up with editing is formatting. Formatting is actually a separate thing. So formatting is making the book, especially if it's an, especially if it's an e-book or a print on demand book, it has to be formatted a certain kind of way so that it prints correctly or displays correctly in whatever, in whatever, whatever you're using to publish it. And it's really important actually, because if your book looks wonky, people are not gonna be able to read it. Cause it's going to look weird. And that's actually something that I had not anticipated when we first started. I didn't realize that you needed somebody to do that. And I also didn't realize that you, that that's really something you want to pay somebody to do. Cause it's really annoying.

    Ryan: Yeah. This one. I also suggest hiring out. And it has a lot to do not necessarily like, because it's gonna be awesome,

    Hannah: Cause it's not doing it is gonna be awesome.

    Ryan: Rather, because you're going to save a lot of time and a lot of headache.

    Hannah: Yeah.

    Ryan: Overall. I'm not saying that if you're like me and your, the do it yourself, kind of person by all means, there's plenty of articles out there that teach you how to format your word doc or whatever it is. It's usually a word doc. There's plenty of articles out there. You can find them. There's a lot of, there's a couple of templates out there as well that you can just copy and paste it into. But even when you do that, you're still going to have to format it. And it is a headache. That being said, if you want to do it by all means definitely. You're going to learn. I mean, I didn't learn. Oh, I mean, it took me doing it rather.

    Hannah: Yeah, to learn that it is irritating. What was funny. It was when we so I'm one, I'm one of those, ah, let's just find somebody to do it. And Ryan's a doer and when we first did that, I was like, that seems like something that we should just pay somebody to do. He's like, no, no, no, I can do it. But then some things we have come to the conclusion are way more annoying than is worth actually doing. And it took you a long time. It's hard, it's difficult. But if you know how to do it and you're set up to do it, it's way easier. So paying a freelancer to do it is just like a no-brainer.

    Ryan: Yeah. It's a no-brainer cause they're they're professionals.

    Hannah: Yeah.

    Ryan: They've done it before and they've do it all the time and they'll do it. And they'll have it back to you within a couple of days.

    Hannah: Yeah.

    Ryan: It's not very expensive. Even the cheaper ones on those types of sites, Fiverr or Upwork and stuff like that.

    Hannah: 25 to $70.

    Ryan: Something like, something like that.

    Hannah: If you don't get an editor for your book, I would highly recommend still getting somebody to format it.

    Ryan: Yep.

    Hannah: Like even if you decide not to have somebody edit your book and you're just going to self edit and keep writing drafts over and over until you're happy with it. I think you should hire, I would say you should still hire for matter.

    Ryan: Whereas I fuss with that thing for,

    Hannah: Oh my gosh weeks, probably.

    Ryan: Yeah,

    Hannah: On and off.

    Ryan: That was, and I'll tell you sort of like the second time that we, our second book, we, I had the template.

    Hannah: Ready to go.

    Ryan: Ready to go where I used our first book as a template to format the second book. So I tried this twice people. Okay. So I failed,

    Hannah: Glad you're telling the story because I was gonna, I was gonna bring this up.

    Ryan: So I failed the first time and I like K, dog with my tail between my legs

    Hannah: We didn't fail. We just decided to get it formatted.

    Ryan: So before how it got, we bought somebody, we hired somebody to format it.

    Hannah: Hired a guy.

    Ryan: And then, the second book. I said, okay, well I have this template now, I can just, I can just copy and paste it.

    Hannah: And I said, I said, are you sure you wanna do that? Cause it was really annoying last time. And he goes, yeah, I can do it. I can do it.

    Ryan: Well,


    Hannah: You could do it. You could do it. If I can just take you again.

    Ryan: And I sat there for another three weeks.

    Hannah: It wouldn't got done.

    Ryan: I would have figured it out.

    Hannah: I believed that you would accomplish it. I just

    Ryan: I would have figured it out.

    Hannah: My only point was that it's way faster to get somebody else to do it. It's just a very annoying task.

    Ryan: Yeah. So anyway, I spend about a week doing it and I couldn't get it right. And then we just ended up hiring somebody and then it kicked back in like two days off. What the hell?

    Hannah: I'm sure when we published the third one.You're gonna be like I can do it.

    Ryan: I probably not gonna do it again.

    Hannah: He's going to wanna take a crack at it.

    Ryan: Yeah, yeah.

    Hannah: But this time though, it'll probably only take you three days ago already done.

    Ryan: Yeah then I give up. Yeah.

    Hannah: Yeah, you got, gotta put it in the old, the old one to try though.

    Ryan: So if you learn from other people's mistakes,

    Hannah: Learn from that.

    Ryan: Just hire somebody. If you're like me and you don't learn from other people's mistakes and you don't learn from your own mistakes,

    Hannah: Just learn faster.

    Ryan: Just yeah. Try it. And then if it goes well, let us know.

    Hannah: Yes. If you become a master format or let us know, we have some work for you.

    Ryan: So one of the things that you're going to have to think about while you're writing the book is you're going to have to think about the book title, right? You're going to have to think about what are we going to title this thing and titles matter for sure. People definitely will either buy your book or not buy your book based on the title.

    They will. It should be, your title should be something that, especially in nonfiction, it should be something easy and tells people what this book is going to be about. Traditionally nonfiction has a title and it has subtitles as well, but ideally you'd like to have it at least give a kind of an idea of what the book is like in the title.

    Hannah: Yeah. Because you want to tell, you want to tell the buyer slash reader what they're about to get.

    Ryan: And then also when it comes to the marketing and search engine optimization it. If you do it well, it's going to make it a little bit easier for people to find your content rather than somebody else's. So what I mean by that is if you have a book about how to play golf and you name it 14 sticks in a ball.

    Hannah: And it's like, okay, well, when someone's looking for information on golf, that's not what they, that's not what they look up.

    Ryan: Yeah. That's like, what are you talking about, dude?

    Hannah: Yeah.

    Ryan: But if you name your book, how I play golf, it's a lot easier to, for the reader to be like, yeah, that's, this is a book about golf and it's going to be a easier for them to find it as well, especially in a digital world, because with the self publishing, you're not going to have Barnes and Noble carrying your book, usually

    Hannah: In the golf section.

    Ryan: Right? So there's, people are going to be looking online for golf books and they're going to find yours by searching for it.

    Hannah: Yep.

    Ryan: The way that you're gonna test these titles testing is an important part of this. A lot of times there are authors are spying authors. You'll start with a title first. Right. And you'll be like, I want to name it this. And you're like, okay, that's good. I'm glad that you have the title. And if that's what you want to name it by all means name it that.,

    Hannah: That your book.

    Ryan: Do whatever you want that base that if you want it to do a little bit more research, there's a ways that you can test titles and some of the ways going from like, cheap or free too expensive. You know, one of the cheapest ways that you could do it is just doing like a social media poll with your followers.

    Hannah: Yeah. Just see what they think.

    Ryan: See what they think. Give them a couple of working titles and create a poll on Instagram or a poll on Twitter or whatever. And just how people vote. One of the good things about this as well is that it gets people that are in your circle or the people that you know, interested in

    Hannah: They're engaged.

    Ryan: The book or the future book. Like. guys I'm working on a book about dah, dah, and I am thinking about naming it X or Y, please choose. Please help me. And then that just gets them ready to engage. Otherwise, you could do it always. You're going to be tapping your family and friends for a lot of this. You could always ask family and friends.

    Hannah: Yeah. Just text him. I'm thinking of this or this for usually giving people two options is best narrow it down to two more, more than two and people tend to be a little overwhelmed by choice.

    Ryan: Yeah, and then the next thing is going to be, you can use something like PickFu.

    Hannah: That's a really cool side, actually. It's just interesting. It's kinda like it, it holds the same interest for me as Google trends. Cause you can, you can give people, you can give a random pool of people. So it's kind of like you know, you see those old and older movies that focus groups, right? They still do them, but in older movies usually see this people in a room and there's glass and you can ask them a question and it's the same thing. So you will give this, you'll give this cite either like two pictures and it can be of anything products. You can give a book titles, you can give it like descriptions and then send it to a bunch of random people of different. You can choose like the gender breakdown, the age breakdown and see what it is that they think of whatever you just gave them and it's, and you get the results really quick. So it was super cool actually.

    Ryan: Yeah. And it's very useful. It's also sometimes not useful to be honest.

    Hannah: Cause it looks like it's a, it's a crapshoot in general asking people their opinion on things. Cause like sometimes they'll tell you things that they don't actually mean.

    Ryan: Right. But it's as useful as anything else is.

    Hannah: Yeah.

    Ryan: In order to help you make a decision.

    Hannah: On pick food, they sometimes they'll justify their, their choice and they'll give you a description of why it appealed to them or not. And that's actually really useful.

    Ryan: Yeah that is useful.

    Hannah: Yeah.

    Ryan: And so the last way that you could do it is you could run ads, either Google ads or Facebook ads and Google ads you can run just text only ads. You can pick certain keywords that you've identified in your keyword research and target those and see which ad they click more, right. And you can be like working title A versus working title B.

    These are these used to be cheaper. It's kind of expensive now to run this. So if you've got some money to throw at it, I would, you know, I'd give it a try. And there's also just a good, low stakes way of trying out Google ads for the first time, or try out a Facebook ad. Facebook ads are a little bit different. You can, instead of targeting just a keyword, you can target a demographic of people. You can make an audience so you can pick male, female, age range, whatever things very similar to that pick food, what you were talking about.

    Hannah: It's very similar to that. Yeah. What's interesting. They have buying habits.

    Ryan: Yup. And then you can do a working title

    Hannah: It's creepy and cool.

    Ryan: Working title A, working title B if you already have cover designs of these two.

    Hannah: Run a cover designs.

    Ryan: You'd also run cover designs.

    Hannah: To people click on.

    Ryan: That's a little bit difficult, because if the covers aren't the same, except for the writing, then you don't know.

    Hannah: If that's the cover or the copy,

    Ryan: Right. Yeah.

    Hannah: That's pulling them in. So you gotta get a run control test. It'd be kind of hard. I feel like if you were new to the whole thing, but you could definitely try. It's a good way to learn.

    Ryan: Yeah, definitely. This is on, this is all good way to learn and you know, so try and let it run for a few days and spend a hundred bucks or something. You know, hopefully you end up making that money back because you've picked such a great title.

    That's the hope at least. So one of the next things that we want to talk about, what is book covers and you know, people definitely do judge a book by its cover. And so we are going to want to have a really nice one. Just like all of this, you can do it yourself, or you can hire somebody hiring somebody is pretty easy on the platforms. There's plenty of people that do it. Doing it yourself is actually pretty simple now, too, though, there are things I Canva or like the Adobe suite of tools.

    Hannah: There's, there's actually templates for it too. You can buy.

    Ryan: Exactly. And then there's also like, if you want to go a free, free version, it's like has templates as well that you could use. It could be as simple as just getting a stock image and just putting your title on top of it.

    Hannah: That's a lot of book covers on, especially on Amazon.

    Ryan: Yeah, absolutely.

    Hannah: You see it all the time, then it's not like they look bad either. It's just, it's just a style and the reason styles, cause it's simple.

    Ryan: Yep. And that's what a lot of the lower end book cover designers are going to do. They're not gonna format it in any, in any way. They're not going to make. They're not gonna worry about typography. They're not going to like put boxes or borders around if boxes and borders around your titles are necessary. Those types of things. They're just going to create a book cover design, slap a template on it or slap a stock photo on it, and then write your book cover by your title rather.

    Hannah: And then I, I know a lot of people are going to wonder too about ISBN numbers, which you are, you are the number sky.

    Ryan: So ISBNs are those barcodes in the back of the book. That those are very important in order to get your book cataloged.

    Hannah: It's like a fingerprint for your book.

    Ryan: Yeah. And the thing about ISBNs just so people know you're going to need a ISBN for every format of your book. So you're gonna need one for your ebook. You're going to need one for your paperback. You're gonna need one for your hard cover one for your audio book. So on and so forth. On Amazon, I think if you, especially, if you do ebook only, I'm pretty sure if you do print on demand as well, you don't need an ISBN.

    I think they provide one for you, or at least the, if you're not going to sell it anywhere else, I think they, they offer Amazon store identification and a SiNi think is what it is.

    Hannah: Oh, look at them.

    Ryan: And it's just like another string of numbers and letters that they're gonna append to your book cover to help them find it in their inventory. But if you want to sell the other places, you're going to need an ISPN. And you can get ISBNs @bowker b o w k e r, I think is or something like that. We could put links in the show notes as well for that, but yeah, if you're going to want to get it distributed amongst many other platforms you're definitely going to need ISBNs the ISBNs are kind of pricey, especially since it's monopoly, they charge whatever they want. I haven't looked at it recently, but I think it's like $70 for an ISBN or something. Something like that.

    Hannah: Not, not terrible.

    Ryan: It's, yeah not terrible, but it's also not cheap.

    Hannah: Yeah. For a digital, for an imaginary barcode.

    Ryan: Right. And then while you're buying the catalog, I suppose the catalog in their catalog,

    Hannah: The spot.

    Ryan: Of books. But yeah, it is kind of expensive, especially if you don't have a lot of money, which I'm assuming that if you're listening to this, you don't write, or at least

    Hannah: We didn't at the time.

    Ryan: Or at least you're trying to do it pretty low costs.

    Hannah: Yeah, you're trying to be frugal about it.

    Ryan: Right. So. The next thing that we're going to talk about is pricing, right? And pricing is very subjective. Super subjective.

    Hannah: Yeah. There's no, there's no rules about how much you're going to charge for this book, you can do whatever you want.

    Ryan: You can charge a thousand dollars per copy, or you can make it absolutely free. There was no rhyme or reason to it.

    Hannah: It's completely up to you.

    Ryan: It's just depends on how you want this information to go out there and what you want to price your book at. One of the ways that you can do research on this and one of the thousands of ways, so we won't get into it is looking at comparable titles. So looking at if you're writing a thing on will you just use golf again? You can look at what other golf books are selling for.

    Hannah: In a similar topic to yours.

    Ryan: Right? I think you can just sell it for the same price.

    Hannah: Yeah, a lot of people do that.

    Ryan: It can be that simple. It can be. I mean, you're probably gonna want to get more advanced later on to, okay. How much does it cost to produce? When am I going to see profit? How long will it take me to break even?

    Hannah: Oh great question.

    Ryan: Yeah, you're gonna want to run those numbers, but that's a little bit outside of the scope of this right now for the very basics of it. If you're, especially, if you're doing print on demand, you're definitely going to want to make sure that whatever the publisher, the printer rather is charging you. That you price your book more than that?

    Hannah: Yes. Because otherwise you're going to be paying for people to buy your book.

    Ryan: Right. So if they charge you $3 to print your book, and they're gonna take a dollar in processing fees. You have to at least charge four bucks to at least make zero

    Hannah: Or you're gonna be paying.

    Ryan: Right. Exactly. And so, you know, it'd be great if you charged $3 for your book. And then every time that somebody wants to read it, you're paying a dollar.

    Hannah: That would be, that's one way to do it.

    Ryan: Yeah it it's. I mean.

    Hannah: That's one way to get that's one way to get readers.

    Ryan: Yeah, Definitely.

    Hannah: I mean,

    Ryan: I mean , and if you have another business attached to it and you have strong call to action at the end, then maybe they sign up for a first service or something like that. And you hit them there,

    Hannah: Maybe.

    Ryan: Right?

    Hannah: Yeah, that's true.

    Ryan: But if you're just selling books, that's probably not, that's not a good, sustainable,

    Hannah: Yeah, if you're trying to make, if you're trying to use the book to make money, don't,

    Ryan: Don't do that.

    Hannah: Don't pay more to sell the book. Then you're making off of selling the book. That's not a good, that's not the, that's not the goal.

    Ryan: Now the last thing that we want to talk about on, as far as the book, writing the book and everything, before we kind of touch briefly on marketing, I know there's a long episode today, and so I'll try to start wrapping it up. But the last thing that I wanted to talk about here is going to be the publishing on whatever platform. And so you have to choose a platform that you're going to sell your books on. Amazon is going to be the 800 pound gorilla in the room. You're gonna have the most access to customers. You're gonna have the most robust tools and the widest distribution by going with them. Right. But you can also try to publish it yourself. What I mean by that is like on your own website or something like that.

    Hannah: Build a site, post the book, take payments yourself.

    Ryan: Exactly, where Amazon really thrives is going to be in the fact that they make it really easy for you. And they also provide all the customers. But if you make your book available to other markets as well, it can go international. And now you're getting money from all over wherever Amazon is, and it's makes the payments really easy because they're paying in there, you know, they're paying in yen or they're paying in the peso and you're getting dollars into your bank account.

    They're gonna take a larger fee for doing that for the convenience of all of that, but it can be worth it, because you're taking you're borrowing their customers. You're having access to them. With doing it on your own site, it's going to be a lot more lucrative per book. You're gonna keep a lot more per book.

    So you might not have to sell as many books.

    Hannah: In order to make money.

    Ryan: But the challenge is, is actually getting the customers to buy it.

    Hannah: Which is basically means you're gonna have to do a bunch of other work

    Ryan: Because you're gonna have to set up the website or set up whatever, however you're going to get there's a plenty of other ways to do it. You don't have to buy a website. You use that Gumroad or something like that.

    Hannah: Yeah. There are other publishing options besides Amazon.

    Ryan: Yeah. Well, none of that, but like distribution is what I meant, like payment

    Hannah: Yeah, distribution.

    Ryan: platforms. And if you did that, now that's all set up and now you just have to get people there, whereas Amazon they're already there. So, can't really tell you which one to do or don't do. If you're, if you're planning on doing multiple books, maybe try some on Amazon, maybe try to publish a couple on a website by yourself.

    Hannah: Yeah, see what happens.

    Ryan: See what happens. The biggest thing that you can do to help yourself out in the marketing is going to be creating a name for yourself and kind of creating content around the book, so that you can broadcast and market it when it is time. So regardless of whether or not it is on Amazon or regardless of whether or not you're selling it on your own site, you can take advantage of having a platform to speak to a bunch of people that hopefully are interested in this topic, and then they buy it. Which kind of goes really nicely into the last thing that, the last part of this discussion, which is the marketing.

    Hannah: This is, this is the biggest one. People. If people don't know that you're selling a thing, they can't buy it from you.

    Ryan: Yep, the marketing is gonna be the most important and unfortunately, we are going to spend the least amount of time talking about it in a different episode. If there's interest, we can talk about more in depth ways to market your book, but really quickly, we'll just kind of go over a few bullet points. One of the best ways to do it is going to be by, like I said, establishing yourself. With an online presence, whether or not it's starting a podcast or whether or not it's YouTube videos or whether or not it's Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, whatever it is Tiktok, whatever it is that you're using. Try to gain a bunch of followers, especially that are interested in the niche that you are trying to write in. It doesn't necessarily even have to be with your face on it. Like how you and I are doing this with our voice and our video and stuff like that.

    Hannah: Yeah. It doesn't have to be, you can, you can you can just record you can get somebody to voice over videos. You can just make little cartoons. You can just write words. It doesn't matter.

    Ryan: Yeah. And it doesn't even have to be exactly related to, but if you're writing a book on you know, terriers like the dogs you can start an Instagram page of like terriers of, of Instagram or whatever. I mean, I know that it's a crowded area already. I know that, but that being said, you know,

    Hannah: I think I know that some things are crowded, but there's always room.

    Ryan: Yeah, there's always room

    Hannah: Yeah.

    Ryan: You know, make a, make a terrier page and then try to find people that


    Post pictures of the terriers

    Hannah: Post cute videos, post yeah, cute pictures

    Ryan: Yeah.

    Hannah: And then link your book in the every single one.

    Ryan: Exactly. There you go. That's it does it, it can be as simple as that you're going to need some sort of marketing plan, whatever that is. And like I said, that's way outside of the scope of this podcast. But suffice to say, before you even distribute the book before this thing is finalized and written and published, you're gonna want to see how do I plan on selling this since this is the most important thing without selling it, it's kind of useless. I mean, the exercise was good, right? I mean, we learned a lot by doing it, but ideally we'd like to sell some. If for no other reason, if it's not to make money, there's just to get your ideas and the thing that you've written and that you've created into the hands of other people.

    Hannah: Who value it.

    Ryan: Right. That's huge. That's awesome. Right. And even if that's like a couple of hundred people.

    Hannah: Yeah.

    Ryan: A couple of hundred people.

    Hannah: That's two people.

    Ryan: Right. They just read the ideas that you had and you put on paper. That's awesome.

    Hannah: Super cool.

    Ryan: Yeah. And so,

    Hannah: It's very gratifying.

    Ryan: Definitely. And then, it's kind of similar to this, right? Like we love hearing from people.

    Hannah: Yeah.

    Ryan: Right. Even the trolls, I mean the troll shopping.

    Hannah: Even the trolls.

    Ryan: Yeah. But yeah, creating a marketing plan of how to get this book in front of people is huge. Right. So, yeah, just to kind of briefly go over the bullet points here, just to kind of get it over with and wrap this up. You can partner with influencers in your niche or nitch, and you can offer commissions even. A lot of people, especially if they're smaller, they'll just do it because they need to create content. Right. But if you offer a commission on it, say, if you sell it, especially if you sell it on your own site, if you just give them an affiliate link and they click the people click through and then ended up buying it, you can offer them 20% on the sale or whatever. And you can do that because you own the site.

    You own the book and it, it's easy. You're making a lot more money because of it. Same thing with Amazon though, if, if they have, if they're an influencer likely they're using Amazon affiliates and you can just have them use their own affiliate code to link to the book. Right. I mean, they're not gonna make as much money off of it, but Hey, they'll make some.

    Hannah: Yep.

    Ryan: Right. And it helps them create content

    Hannah: And they, they got to do that.

    Ryan: Right. Exactly. And the next thing that you could do is you could get on podcasts.

    Hannah: Yep. The, as you, Ryan says this a lot, but podcasts are the new book tours.

    Ryan: Yeah, definitely.

    Hannah: Like, cause you see it all the time. People are going on podcasts and it's usually new authors, they just got out a book and you see them all over the place or on this podcast or on this podcast. And why? Because they have a book they're trying to sell.

    Ryan: Exactly.

    Hannah: That's the reason.

    Ryan: Instead of doing the whole

    Hannah: Talk, talk shows, sitting in Barnes, noble signing things.

    Ryan: Yep.

    Hannah: Borders.

    Ryan: Borders and novel.

    Hannah: Cause borders still exists. Wow.

    Ryan: Yeah.

    Hannah: What a world.

    Ryan: Yup.

    Hannah: No borders. Alright.

    Ryan: Borders, barnes and noble.

    Hannah: So what you're telling me is there's no open borders.

    Ryan: Yeah.

    Hannah: Wow.

    Ryan: Instead of nice. And instead of doing it like that, They just go to different podcast studios or they just do the podcast over zoom.

    Hannah: Right. And now more people know about their book.

    Ryan: A big way to get your book out there. As we've kind of talked about already is search engine optimization. Now that you've done your keyword research, because and you pick your topic and you made great content. Now you're going to create web pages or create content within Amazon. And you're going to, you know, hopefully get your book up there so that when somebody searches for your keyword, your book pops up and then they buy it. Yeah pretty simple.

    Hannah: Yeah pretty clear.

    Ryan: So the next couple of things is gonna be like getting reviews and especially like on Amazon and stuff like that, those different platforms getting reviews from family and friends, if they could just leave honest reviews. That's huge. Right. And if it just

    Hannah: Because you're going to get family and friends who buy your book and just, just remind them, Hey, please write a review for it after you're done.

    Ryan: Right. Social proof. Which, I mean, we've been there. It's kind of like pulling teeth.

    Hannah: Oh yeah, people hate doing it..

    Ryan: People don't wanna do it but,

    Hannah: Funny that even people that support you to like, and they'll buy your stuff, but they will not review,

    Ryan: They won't review. Yeah. So if you can convince them for some, some, some way to leave an honest review, that's really awesome.

    They just give social proof that that is a good book. Right. And it does the things that it says it does also another way to do it is kind of trying to find the emails of Amazon top contributors and sending emails to them and having them review your book.

    Hannah: Okay, I've done this. Let me just be the first one to say, this is a very difficult, the only way for you to go through and find emails of Amazon top reviewers is to manually scroll through the reviewers and manually click into each individual page and see if you can find an email somewhere in their bio or their, whatever. That is the only way to do it.

    Ryan: I think you could probably write a script to do it too. If you knew how to do that.

    Hannah: If I knew how to do that, I would.

    Ryan: Yeah, right.

    Hannah: Yes. But I don't.

    Ryan: But you don't, right.

    Hannah: So I have to like the me and the rest of the commoners have to go through and manually click through. And it's like, it's very difficult because it will reset the pay. Anyway, it's a whole thing. It's a whole thing, but yeah, you got to manually go through and hunt. And I did that and I did that and it took me probably a week to scroll through and get like 200 emails. And then I emailed all 200 of them. And I think only two,

    Ryan: Three maybe.

    Hannah: Three maybe, wrote reviews but one of them reviewed my first book and then reviewed the second book as well.

    Ryan: Yeah.

    Hannah: So it was worth it and it was a top reviewer. So,

    Ryan: And so the next thing is going to be paid out and that is a very, very deep rabbit hole. That suffice to say that if you do it well, and you have a good product and you have good marketing, paid ads can really, really help.

    Hannah: Yeah. Those are not a magic bullet people, especially if you don't know what you're doing, I will say just Ryan and I have had a fair we have, we've had an experience with some, with paid advertising that did not, it was not good. So just be careful with the paid ads. If you do not know what you're doing, go small, go slow.

    Ryan: Yes, exactly. Just start with us. Very, very small budget, whatever you think your budget is. Cut that thing in half.

    Hannah: And then watch it very carefully because they will like go over it. Cause they'll have your credit card information. And then you're going to be tangling with Google, trying to get your money back because it started, it kept running or something happened.

    Ryan: We can say it's a cap but it's sometimes, sometimes.

    Hannah: Yeah. But if you're new to it, sometimes you don't know.

    Ryan: A simple misclick is and then you don't set, you don't set the right. You don't set your, your right cap out a certain whether or not it's a dollar or whether or not it's per thousand, whatever per click. And now you just spent 20 bucks on a click and then that does your whole.

    Hannah: That was it, that's your whole budget.

    Ryan: That's your whole budget.

    Hannah: Yeah. So careful.

    Ryan: Yeah. So that is a very long episode of how to publish a book. And, you know, at least the beginnings of making that passive income, because the thing about books is it's very front heavy. There's a lot of work that you have to do upfront and then there's a lot of marketing obviously that's the most important part happens during and after, but it's not quite as much work because you're only doing the one thing while you're writing the book. You're also thinking about marketing time. You're also thinking about marketing it, you're also marketing it, but then once you write it, now you're just marketing it.

    Right. And if you get it to the place where it lives on its own, And it just starts creating passive income because there's enough people that have bought it and more people just buy it and buy it and buy it. Then it really becomes passive. I think James Altucher, he's like a, you know, another is a podcast there that I used to listen to

    Hannah: And he's written quite a lot of books and he's really, really knowledgeable about this area.

    Ryan: Yeah. And he, he's also, self-published, he's also done traditional publishing as well.

    Hannah: Also. He's a smart dude in general.

    Ryan: But I think he said that or somebody on his podcast said twelve hundred , five star reviews or 1200 reviews in general is really where. This is on Amazon is really where it starts to perpetuate itself in sales.

    Hannah: So it'll sell itself once it gets to that many reviews.

    Ryan: Right, which is very difficult to get to.

    Hannah: That is a lot.

    Ryan: Which is very difficult to get to. Okay. Yeah. So I think that that's pretty much it. I think that's pretty much it for today.

    Hannah: Yeah, I think so. Like I said, at the beginning of the podcast, if you want to hear more ideas about different degree free careers and work that you can do, resources that you can use to do the sort of stuff we're talking about here.

    And just general degree for news, like companies that are rolling back to Greer requirements, making the path easier for alternatively educated people. You're gonna want to get the newsletter, that thing is free. Comes out once a week and you can sign up

    Ryan: Yeah, definitely. And if you guys made it all the way through, I know that this one is really long.

    Hannah: Well done.

    Ryan: And there is a lot of information. Hopefully we made it coherent enough for you. That you can take some notes and then, you know, actually take action on some of this stuff. If you haven't already please like, and subscribe. If you guys need any of show notes, is where you can find it.

    We're going to have all the show notes there for you, so that, and all the links so that you can go and find some of these resources that we're talking about. If you guys want to reach out, please we'd love to hear from you guys [email protected] that is the best way to get in touch with us.

    Other than social media. I'm @ryankmaruyama on all the socials and she is @hannahmaruyama as well, the podcast is @degreefreepod. That is it, guys. Thank you so much for hanging in there. Until next time. Aloha.

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