033: How to Successfully Sell Your Book Online and Sustain Huge Sales (w/ Dave Chesson)
Dave Chesson is a 9-year veteran of the US Navy who spent his nights working in online marketing, creating niche websites which earned him advertisement and affiliate commissions. Within a 3 year period, he now has 27 websites, 7 published books, and multiple YouTube channels with his greatest project being www.kindlepreneur.com. While working on the websites, Dave perfected his skills in SEO, website development, social media marketing, online video marketing, and a whole lot more. Later on he started publishing his own books and combined his online marketing skills to his self-publishing endeavours which created a consistent steady stream of sales that have made him a consistent No. 1 best-selling author on multiple topics. Through his new endeavour, Kindlepreneur, he does everything possible to show self-publishers how to harness the power of the internet to not only help them sell more books, but also build their author name brand
Generates revenues from his books (Amazon pays him every time a person buys). Also generates revenue from being an Amazon associate where he uses Amazon affiliate links and gets paid for every person the links send to Amazon. His third largest revenue source is Google advertisements where Google puts ads on his website and when anybody clicks them, he gets paid. All the sources generate revenue for him without his presence or constant input.
Starting out in business
Started by weighing the options of leaving the Navy by choosing whether to go into an 8 to 5 job or starting a business. Settled on building up his own business and decided to start an online marketing business that he could do while still serving in the Navy outside of the US.
Discovered the viability of the business when he read a book about it. Tried out affiliate marketing and made a $1 sale when someone clicked his link. That’s when he realised it was a good business model and started to develop it from there.
Began by testing different ways to direct online traffic to landing pages and was also doing Facebook advertising and Google AdSense while paying for traffic. Later he decided to learn Search Engine Optimization (SEO) so that he could avoid paying for traffic by generating the traffic for himself. Became passionate about SEO and started creating his own niche websites that generated a lot of traffic. Eventually, he was selling a lot of different books through his websites and decided to start writing his own books to increase his revenues. He writes books tailored specifically to different markets to capture a larger market share of the global self-publishing industry.
Pre-determining the viability of every book
Used Amazon to determine whether every book he wanted to write had an existing market. He also used the same method to validate that every target market was willing to pay for books and that his books could beat the existing competitors’ books in terms of sales. That way he would always know in advance that he could publish a book that Amazon could sell for him. He would then use his websites to direct massive traffic to his own books.
Discovering the valuable resource that is Amazon
By applying his knowledge of Google and Google-oriented SEO, Dave discovered that Amazon was a huge search engine too because when people go to Amazon they first search for the product they want and they get search results about the product. Just like with Google, the products that show up at the top of the Amazon search list are the ones that sell more.
That raised his interest in Amazon-oriented SEO which has so far enabled him to sell massive numbers of his books.
Ranking high in an Amazon category
Tip 1: You first need to be indexed for a particular search keyword (Amazon asks for 7 keywords)
Tip 2: Make sure the keyword (s) is somewhere in your book title, sub-title or description so that Amazon can index it
Tip 3: Increase your click to buy ratio by making your book very attractive (including nice cover page, title that talks to the customer, etc.) to potential buyers so they actually click on your book from the search results and buy it. This increases your conversion rate
Tip 4: Tell people you know who would want your book to go directly to Amazon and buy it so that Amazon can automatically rank your book higher
His first book has made about $1,300 per month for the last three and a half years. The book has little to no competition which has also contributed to making it very successful on Amazon. He chooses to write books about topics that have high search volume and little to no competition. That ensures that his books rank at the top of Amazon and he never really needs to do any extra aggressive marketing to promote the books. Dave uses pen names in his publishing and has 9 books published that generate $9,000 per month
Tip 1: What makes Amazon more money is always put at the top of rankings
Tools for discovering what people look for in Amazon
At first he used to use Google search terms to determine what people search for in Amazon and after that verify which search terms can be used to produce a book people will want to buy.
He used to use cumbersome manual excel spread sheets to collect his search terms research which led him to develop a software called KDP Rocket to help do the Book Idea Research. He now sells KDP Rocket to the mass market of different self-publishers who sell on Amazon.
This is a software that works on any PC or Macintosh and uses Amazon’s API to go into Amazon and pull the needed information and present it. The software provides the Amazon Best-Seller rank on each book which enables the person doing his/her book idea research whether the books they want to write/sell can make money on Amazon. KDP Rocket provides self-publishers with the all the details they need to determine whether their book can sell on Amazon.
KDP Rocket was created in 8 months by a team of software developers he brought together.
Fear of failure and moment of real failure
Spent three and a half years building his business while still in the Navy so that he could have a strong foundation to start on once he left the Navy. He was afraid of not having a stable salary which kept him from leaving the Navy earlier to concentrate fully on his business.
Biggest breakthrough in business
“Realising that Amazon was a search engine just like Google which enables him to sell his books continuously and sustainably from the very beginning.”
Faith, Fun, Family, Finances, and Friendships
Family comes first then faith, finances, fun, and friendships.
A day in life when starting in business Vs. a day in life now
In the beginning he made sure that he prioritized his time properly to ensure he spent enough time on the business and family. Used to wake up at 4am and would work from 4am to 7am on the business after which he would leave for work. After work he would spend time with his family until 7pm when he would work on the business until 10pm. Sometimes he would spend the 7 to 10 pm time with his wife when needed
Today, he works from home. Wakes up early, has breakfast with his family, has lunch with his family. He is now very flexible, he doesn’t have to work from 9 to 5 because his business is most of the time self-running. He achieves better flexibility by planning out every week instead of single days by deciding what he needs to achieve every week.
Tool and Resources
Trello – uses it to plan his week in advance.
Common items on weekly to-do list
Always makes sure he is cultivating his team by not just making sure they fulfil their tasks every week but also grow on a personal level
Also spends 2 hours a week reading about how to improve his writing and spends 5 hours per week writing.
Hasn’t invested in a mentor yet but highly recommends that every entrepreneur should invest in a mentor. Believes that every entrepreneur should look for people who are ahead of them in the same industry they are in and ask them for mentorship. That way one can thrive more and faster in their business
Book recommendation for entrepreneurs:
The One Thing – Gary W. Keller (what one thing will have the biggest impact for you?)
The ten times rule – Grant Cardone
To make sure that his children can look back at what his done and be proud of him, to give them the tools and capabilities to be able to take care of themselves and find their own success – Dave.
Best way to connect: www.kindlepreneur.com – Dave’s Business website
@davechesson – Dave’s Twitter handle
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