You’ve published quite a range of books. Which was the first one and how did you get started?
My first book was Running A Web Design Business From Home. It has over 100+ good reviews on Amazon. I wrote it in 2013 and it still sells most days these days. To be honest, the first draft was a few of my blog posts stitched together.
I know that you have a successful business teaching online. Can you tell us a bit about your online courses. Did the courses come before the books?
I started the courses almost at the same time as I started the books during 2012/3. The courses and the books were basically on subjects I knew the most about: running a web design business, web design with WordPress, building an audience online, etc.
Do you only publish on Amazon or do you also publish elsewhere?
Pretty much only Amazon.
What are the main advantages and disadvantages when publishing on Amazon?
The advantage is the huge market Amazon gives you. The disadvantage is that it's Amazon. They hold all the cards, the customer emails, and they make up the rules, they can remove you off the platform at a moment's notice for no reason, although, mercifully, that is fairly rare.
What do you do to promote your books?
Now I will have to explain that I publish two types of books and they have different marketing approaches.
The first type of book I publish I've already mentioned. These are non-fiction how-to books I write in the solopreneur, make money online niche. The marketing I employ to sell these books is too involved to explain here but basically it revolves around building an audience through a blog, a YouTube channel, and other platforms and selling the book to that audience.
More advice from Rob…But the second type of book I publish are low content books. "Low content" books are books like notebooks, logbooks, and planners that don't take so much time to create but can easily be sold as paperbacks as "print on demand" on Amazon. I can't sell these books to my audience. But on Amazon, the best way to sell things is by choosing a keyword that has a fair amount of demand but doesn't have a great deal of competition. There is information on the Amazon site, as well as research you can do on other sites that show you which keywords could work as a title for a book.
If you get a good keyword this will trump anything with regards to sales. Good keyword research is more important than advertising, promotion, marketing, it's even more important than the actual content in the book! Good keyword research is essential to selling any book on Amazon: fiction, non-fiction, low content, anything!
Example of a low-content book, THE LITTLE NOTEBOOK OF BIG IDEAS | A Motivational Journal For Entrepreneurs.
Do you use Amazon advertising? Or Facebook advertising?
A little bit of AMS (Amazon Marketing Services ) but definitely not any Facebook advertising. I don't think it's possible to make money on Facebook selling non-fiction books for $15!
If you started publishing all over again, what would you do differently?
Do keyword research properly and write titles of my books accordingly. I shouldn't have been so dumb to call one of my books "The New Freedom" when "How to run a small online business while travelling: Location independent entrepreneurship" explains what the book's about and will be more visible in Amazon searches.
What are your plans for the future?
That's a really difficult question for me to answer at the moment. I'm engaged in a lot of businesses at the moment, online and offline, and I'm trying to double down on what's working while cutting down on the most labour intensive activities. I will continue to produce video content, blog posts and books, both free and premium. Ultimately, data will be the biggest economic driver, and those who can make sense of it will thrive.
Rob's web site: https://robcubbon.com/