This post is part two of a three part series on building a niche kindle business by publishing ebooks on Kindle. I will cover finding your niche to hiring reliable workers through to marketing and launching your book and blowing away your sales goals.
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The purpose of this post is to provide you priceless training on hiring people. You’ll learn how to create a system so your business does your work for you.
I’ll teach you:
- How to find the most reliable workers so you can trust them not to WASTE your money
- How to save time and money during hiring to get the most profits quickly
- How to AUTOMATE the process so you can spend less time & money on more books
I’ll also provide you negotiation techniques, costs, tips, tricks, templates, and everything you need to REPLICATE what I do to hire my workers.
For most of you, finding time to starts a business is almost impossible to find.
I don’t blame you!
When I published my first book, I was working a stressful, full-time job. I always felt burnt out by the time I got home from work, and I’d spend my evenings cooking, working out, and winding down from my day by watching some TV.Doing more work was like pissing in the wind – it just didn’t make sense to me
Even when I tried to get an idea in motion, I didn’t have enough mental capacity to get the job done. It wasn’t until I learned how easy, and smart it was to hire people when I finally realized what the word passive income really meant.
The idea is simple – spend money to make more money. Build a system to make money and invest your money into it so you can make more money and scaled the system up.
The best part about publishing ebooks on Kindle – your system only requires 2 people to hire:
- You Writer
- Your Designer
By outsourcing most of your work to your writer and designer, you can get a book published while spending less than 2 hours of your own time.
This includes the time it takes to choose, and hire the right people for the job.
Finding Your Writer
Your writer’s responsibilities will include:
- Writing and formatting your niche book
- Finding pictures for your book
- Writing a description for your book
- Creating an author’s page
Finding the right writer can be difficult if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. Most people who apply for your position will not be qualified for the role and you’ll just waste your money and time.
I’ve found it helpful to look at the hiring process as you would a filtration system.
There are layers of people you need to filter through to get to the right one for the job.
In this case, there are 3 filtration stages to finding your writer:
- Acknowledgement of your requirements
- Understanding the target market
- Your final call
1 – Acknowledgement of Requirements
The first thing I want to do is filter out all the people who either don’t read my job description, or will not work according to my requirements (price, delivery time, format, structure, etc.)
I do this by clearly explaining my requirements, and using and then using a code phrase at the end of the job description as a metaphorical ‘acknowledgement’ of my criteria by the writer.
Anybody who uses the code phrase will automatically be filtered through to the second stage of screening.
Action Items (20 mins)
Here’s the step-by-step to setup the stage 1 filter quickly.
- Sign up for an Elance account and register a credit card
- Post a job using the settings shown below
- Category: Writing and Translation – Ghost Writing
- Skills: Article Writing, Content Writing, Creative Writing, English
- Price: Fixed, Less than $500
- Now for the most important part, here’s an example of the job description that would be posted:
I’m looking for a writer who understands grilling, and the basics of grilling for beginners. I need someone who can work quickly and start immediately. The writer’s first language MUST be English.
The successful candidate for this position will understand the topic at hand. In this case, ‘Grilling for Beginners’ and will be able to provide useful, relevant, and experienced knowledge on the subject.
The book should include the following:
– A personalized tone (you and me, one-on-one, etc.)
– Magazine headline-style teasers in the TOC without giving the book away in the TOC
– The use of keywords provided in the title, subtitle, and/or description
– An introduction that excites and sells – what is the problem? What is the solution? Quantifiable and tangible solutions
– A Headline – Background – Resolution – Action Framework throughout the book
o Headline – Why you should be reading this book
o Background – What you will get out of reading this book (state the problem(s) the book will resolve
o Resolution – How to conceptually solve the problem
o Action – A step-by-step process to solve the problem (this would also include recipes)
– Providing the reader with exactly what they’re looking for (how to control the heat of the bbq, how to not over cook your meat, etc.)
– Niche research – find out what people are saying about the subject (use resources like Amazon, Reddit, YouTube, etc.) Know your target market and what they’re asking for.
This position will require you to:
– Create an Amazon Authors page
– Write a brief descriptions for the book following the H-B-R-A framework above
– Choose pictures for the book
– Write the book
– Format the book with pictures included, and an interactive TOC
To apply for this position, please respond to this job description with your past work, related experience, and an explanation on why you’d be a perfect candidate for this position. Please keep in mind that grammar, spelling, and punctuation must all be reviewed before any submissions and your edited work will be expected when submitting work to me.
I don’t want to micro-manage the successful candidate so I’d like you to be able to work well on your own and use your own discretion while working.
My pricing will start with $20/1000 words written and negotiable for the right candidates. The expected delivery time for the books will be 2 weeks from the day you start. The earlier, the better.
To know that you’ve read through all of the requirements, please begin your application with the phrase, ‘Tremendous Trousers’. Any application without this phrase at the beginning will NOT be considered.
Notice how everything’s on the table through this job description alone.
Now – I know that anybody who responds with the phrase, ‘Tremendous Trousers’, has understood, acknowledged, and/or accepted my requirements.
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2 – Understands Your Target Market
As I mentioned earlier, that every applicant who responds with the phrase, Tremendous Trousers, will move onto the second stage of hiring.
The reason I do this is to save more time.
The more I’m able to narrow it down, without spending a lot of time doing so, the easier it’ll be for me to sort through fewer, more qualified applicants and their past work.I then send out automatic responses 3 days after I’ve posted my job
This way I have enough applicants so I’ll most likely be able to find my worker through the first crop of applicants.
Of course, if I’m unsuccessful filling the position, I’ll just repeat this second stage screening process on the newer applicants.
The purpose of this stage in the screening process is to find the writers who are the best researchers, and the writers who know the most about your book’s topic.
Here’s an example of how I’d respond to the applicants:
Thank you for applying to the ‘Grilling for Beginners’ writing position. You are receiving this email because you’ve been selected to take part in the second round of the application process. This round will require you to watch the attached video, and provide a table of contents for the book.
You’ll also be required to provide:
– The 5 most common concerns/questions from readers you found during your research
Please also provide 3 separate, 15-minute time-slots next week between 2PM and 4PM EST on weekdays when you’ll be available for an interview. Please provide your Skype name so you can be added before the interview.
You will be notified within 48-hours of your submission and at least 24 hours before a Skype meet if you’ve been selected for an interview.
Thanks for your time in applying and good luck!
I’ll attach a screen-cast video of myself conducting the research on my niche (similar to what you learned in post one of this series).
If you’d like to skip this step and use the same copy of the video I use to find my writers, you can download it here.
If you completed the action steps from post one, you’ll know how to choose the writers who know what they’re talking about.
It’ll be really easy for you to sift through the Stage 2 responses to find the people who understand your target market the best and who’ll be able to deliver exactly what you’re looking for.
Just compare their answers to what you already know from your own research.
3 – Your Final Call
At this point, you won’t have a lot to go through anymore. You’ll have about 3-5 extremely qualified authors to choose from.
The purpose of this stage is to look through the final applicants’ past work and past work experiences or anything that stands out.
Look for things like:
- Spelling errors
- Improper formatting
- Poor grammar/punctuation
- Plagiarism (use Copyscape to check)
- Poor reviews (flakiness, poor work, poor professionalism, etc.)
Once you’re comfortable with a writer, ask them to meet you for a final Skype interview before hiring your writer.
Interviewing Your Writer
The interview is where you’ll meet each other for the first time. The purpose of the interview is to make sure your applicant is real, and to negotiate the amount you’ll pay them.
The interview shouldn’t last long, and the negotiation process is quite straightforward thanks to your job description.The most I’ve been willing to pay a writer is $25 per 1000 words
I usually pay this amount when I’m pursuing a niche that doesn’t receive a lot of writer applicants.
Once you’ve decided on a price, provide your writer with a shared folder to submit their work to (I prefer using Dropbox).
Shared folders will allow your workers to share their files with each other, while still allowing you to have access in case of any reviews.
This way, files don’t get lost in emails, and you always have the most up-to-date versions available to you in the folder.
I ask my writers to fill out a submission form (see below). They upload these forms as well as a PDF, and Kindle version of the book.
The submission form will look something like this:
We’ll go over this in the next post, but this submission form has everything your designer will need to create the covers, and for you to publish your book.
Editing the Writer’s Work
Many publishers don’t take this seriously, and they end up getting reviews that destroy the book’s social proof.Editing your work can be the difference between the bestsellers list and having 1-week shelf life.
Your writer’s work should always come edited, formatted, and ready to go. Amazon also has a good spell check for books that are uploaded to their direct publishing site.
I still prefer the extra step, so I’m sure to not skip any corners.
I do this by having the writer send me 15-page increments of the book.
Final Review: Family and Friends
I’ll then pass on the pages to friends and family, and I’ll ask them to read over the work and let me know if anything stands out to them.
In exchange for their help, I’ll offer to purchase them a copy of the book once it’s published as a thank you for their time, and help.
Once I’ve received their feedback, I’ll send it over to my writer for a final review before the book is ready to be submitted.
Once the book and submission form are ready, and uploaded to Dropbox, It’s time to hire a designer for your book cover.
Hiring Your Designer
Your book cover will be the first thing the readers look at before they decide to check out your book.
It’s extremely important that your cover design looks modern, professional, and trendy. Many publishers look past this, and put up book covers that look like a grade 2 art project.
Remember, this is a business. If you’re not proud of the book you put out, there’s not point in publishing it. You won’t make any money unless you do it right.
Action Items (10 mins)
Here’s my method to get a book cover done quickly, and for a really good price:
- Visit fiverr.com, sign up for an account, and search for the term – book cover
- Sort by highest rating and find 5 designers to hire for your book cover. This will cost you $25 the first time around, but any additional book covers will only cost $5 since you’ve already chosen a designer you like.
- Request a JPEG version as well as a Photoshop PDF version of the book cover.
- Once you’ve received your book covers:
- Compare them against each other and choose your favourite
- Post them on Facebook and ask which one others like the most
- Show them to your family, friends, and any artists/designers you know to get their opinions
- Once you’ve decided on the cover you like the most, upload the files to the shared folder. You’re now ready to publish your first book!
Here’s a couple of my favourite Fiverr designers. These guys do a great job with book covers so I thought I’d share my findings with you.
Your System is Ready!
Now that you have all of the pieces in place, it’s very easy to add more books to your portfolio.
After the first Fiverr hire, I usually ask my writers to provide the Fiverr designers with the book details.
This way, I don’t have to do as much work, and my writers are often very picky on how their books are portrayed, so they’re often willing to do this for free.
Now that you have everything you need, it’s your turn:
- Create a job posting on Elance to find a writer for the niche you’ve chosen and put the applicants through the 3-stage screening process.
- Interview, hire, and equip your writer with a shared Dropbox folder for their work.
- Hire a designer to create a cover for your book, and have your writer give you some input on what to add for a good cover.
In the next post, we’ll talk about putting all of this information together, publishing your book so it’s available on Amazon as an ebook and a paperback, and how to promote your book so you can make your money back as soon as possible.
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