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A book that is too specific?

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Tossek

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
May 5, 2019
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Germany
Hi,

I recently joined this forum after finishing unscripted and fastlane millionaire.

The last three years have been very successful for me on paper: I got my phd, got promoted every single year and then something broke starting end of last year. I felt ... unhappy. I am a group leader at an automotive supplier and I am barely doing anything. Yes, I know, it sounds weird. I am good at leadership and my team is really efficient and loyal to me. But I felt unsatisfied that I did not create anything directly. This is part of a longer story but last year December I started to write a book.

I did not have any direction just that I wanted to do something. And so I started about the very first thing that popped into my mind and that was my studying at (German) university and what I think most people do wrong and what I would suggest as improvements. Because I am covering mainly the situation of German students, the book is written in German as well. It includes some facts on earnings and mainstream courses that can be substituted with more versatile choices. Explanations on common wording is given and some rumors are unglorified (e.g. being a scientists is awesome).

I know, this is a topic of mediocrity that people dislike here. Still, if you want to be a gear in the machine, at least be the best gear :). In the time from Janurary to March, I have been very persistent and creative. Now, due to some ... work related issues, I am struggeling to find an end. Like literary: How much should I write? Did I even pick the right format to give this to the youth? Especially since the youth is not very wealthy and usually interested in reading, I think that noone will be interested in the book. Maybe audio would be a solution. I do not know.

I am close at 20k words and I think I should stop at some point. But what is enough?

Also, if you have suggestions for the distribution, I am glad for any help.
 

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MHP368

Gold Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Aug 17, 2016
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Sahuarita AZ
so its a guide on how to do better at your specific university? from an isndiers perspective?
 

Tossek

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
May 5, 2019
126
143
129
Germany
No, actually the other way. Let's say you finish your high school degree and you ask yourself: What shall I study now? Most of the books and studies rate on a very abstract layer infrastructure, reputation of professors and connections to other university as marks whether you should study at a certain university. I found this to be too far away from reality and knowledge level of the former pupil. They should first understand what studying is about and what the obstacles will be (Motivation, arrogant professors, failing tests, connecting with good students et cetera).

E.g., after I finished high school, I had no clue what an university is really about or what the difference to an applied university is. What are the benefits of distance learning and when does a private college make sense. Why are there so many courses that do not fit to the schedules I had in school?

It is more an overall orientation of the univeristy landscape with insider information.
 

MHP368

Gold Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
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Speedway Pass
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Sahuarita AZ
So I could see this as an ebook, parents buy it for kids about to graduate, maybe you give a discount code to universities to resell to incoming students, perhaps you could even rework the book a bit to target the different tertiary schools in germany vs the ones who go the apprenticeship route (i'm only vaguely familiar with the german system so , you get the idea)

How many pages is 20k words? , I feel like a content heavy bulletpoint type ebook (short and sweet0 would be the way to go but i'm american.

I feel like for the time you've already put into this perhaps you should edit it according to recommendations from those that have already published in germany

and maybe even have an editor do a once over before publishing

Maybe to get some traction you could go talk to the administration at german schools and explain what you're offering and then give them coupon codes that will allow for free downloads, do this until the book has some ranking and reviews and then begin charging.
 

Tossek

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
May 5, 2019
126
143
129
Germany
What do you think a suitable price would be? I thought around 5 € for the ebook version. It is now around 110 pages.

I have the feeling that 5 € is very cheap for the content but on the other hand - pupils usually do not have much money. If the parents buy it, they will spend more for sure. On the other hand, I do not really need the money, I am happy for every person that I can help ... but a return would be nice nevertheless.

Most of the similar books are sold by Kindle unlimited and have no costs. But I doubt the value of the books in most cases. Do you have experience here? I read some articles that this system is not really good because it pays you by page something around 0,33 cents. Which would relate to ~ 50 cents per read-through. Many people bloat up their page count by double line spacing. Can someone help me out here with a bit experience?
 

Tossek

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
May 5, 2019
126
143
129
Germany
So, I am close too finish now. Over 26k words! I just have to revise the literature links. MJs Fastlane book is mentioned as well :p . And I need a Bookcover.

I am still not sure about the price and how to do the publishing. I am quite lazy in this regard and thought of just putting it on amazons KDP because they can scale the selling better and I wont have too much problems if it does not sell well.

I think that I will sell the book for 9 €. It is at least 30% cheaper than any other book on this topic but also more compressed concerning this topic. However, my PhD gives me much more credentials than the other authors.

I saved a fitting URL for doing advertisement but I still have to let somebody work on a suitable marketing concept. Or I have to think on my own about this ...

If it works out, I will work on an audio book version as well just to get extra monetize channels.

My expectations are not very high to be honest. If I sell already 10 books a month, I will be quite proud of my achievements. Actually I am already finishing it.
 

Tossek

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
May 5, 2019
126
143
129
Germany
So in the end, nobody is too interested right now. For holding myself accountable it is still worth to post and update here something.

1. My book is out at Amazon KDP *yeah!*. I decided to make a softcover first, on a later point I explain why.

2. I made the cover on my own - lessons learned ... next time I'll take a Amazon cover from the creator. Took me too long.

3. To support the students I registered a small website studiumleitfaden.de but I have not been able to update it or take too much care about the design ...

4. because I still want to make an audiobook and an ebook, the timing is not so crucial. The advertising is planned to be done by the several days free ebook time.

5. I will use the whole process for the further education project (synergy! :-D ). I have to make a project for 8 weeks. So the whole website, audiobook, ebook has to wait until this "project" can start.

At the end of the year I want all this to be finished. Yes, next to my full time job...
 

Tossek

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
May 5, 2019
126
143
129
Germany
Hi,

I have introduced the ebook version now and it is for free the next 5 days -> here. I am a bit disappointed that on the first day there have been just 7 downloads so far. I expected more interest for free content but it seems like people are not observing amazon for this stuff. I put up a facebook ad but no leads occured so far, I will keep it up throughout the days. Also, I booked a newsletter advertisement.

From the statistics, there should be a review rate of around 1 by 200 downloads but with this low amount, I will not even get bad once :hilarious: . My project aims are around 5 reviews and 1000 downloads, I think, I will have to put more effort in if the newsletter does not show enough effect.

Who could have thought that already offering is a difficult task ... :happy:
 

Tossek

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
May 5, 2019
126
143
129
Germany
Hi, so this is the 4th day I am offering. On the first day, the acceptance was terrible (10 downloads). But on some actions I would like to comment already: I find the ebook market odd and interesting at the same time.

The odd situation occurred when I managed to hit top20 of the kindle books in Germany on the third. I was proud and looked what my competitors were offering. Quite astoundingly, I found that most of the other top20 stuff was erotic drama. There was just one other science literature about ... opening a third eye. Seriously? Well, if mr. Market wants it ;).

The interesting part was to find that soooooo many books are offered for free. Sure, you have to look closer in the hidden depths of the top40+. But there were real gems, seriously. I found one book about autonomous driving which would cost otherwise 50€. I can work with this one on my real job. :) with such a great offer of material, one will never run out of reading material.

I suggest you out there to check your amazon kindle for free offers regularly. You can use the kindle app for reading, so you do not even need to buy a kindle.

It is a great time to live in.
 

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
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I know that International schools in Germany encourage parents to participate, but are there any such parents groups associated with the top tier Gymnasium schools?

Parent's groups in such schools that have high entry criteria would be a good place to advertise your eBook. Perhaps you could give it a more provocative title such as: "Prospects for your sons and daughters after graduation - The Real Truth."

Walter
 

Tossek

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
May 5, 2019
126
143
129
Germany
Hi Walter,

every school has a constitutional envolvement of the parents' body - at least for the public ones. I attended a public one and think that far over 95% of pupils attend such schools. I do not have any insightss to the private ones, hell, I would not even know where one would exist nearby :) . I have had similar thoughts of going directly to a school nearby and doing some advertisment ... but that would be a next step after my project. I would like to stick to the planning My project is listing now an advertisment of a reduced cost offer, I have changed a bit from the original time baseline to help for more reviews.

There is already one quite positive and thorough 4 star review. I hope that more positive reviews come in meanwhile and that the reduced version will have more resonance afterwards.

In sum, I had over 700 downloads within the last 5 days. I think, this is a great start. Also, there have been at least two Amazon Unlimited reader (one from France, one from India) which read several dozens pages. So I earned today like 30 cents. Thank you guys, my first fastlane money :innocent: :halo::innocent: :halo::innocent: :halo:
 

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Last edited:

Tossek

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
May 5, 2019
126
143
129
Germany
So, I have a problem. Apparently, I am not able to do a for free action and a countdown in the same KDP Select quarter. I misinterpreteded the sentence - I thought I can do both but each just once and now it is quite messy, because my intention of the project goals and planning is totally screwed.
I made up specific success criterias in the start:

28730
And right now without the amazon intrinsic opportunity of a count down deal, it gets quite tough to achieve the goals. I would say that just a sell of a paid (e)book is possible. The problem is that my project should contain just digital marketing methods. Does anybody have suggestions for other marketings methods? Most (all?) newsletter marketing list just accept countdowns.

I was thinking to pay a youtube channel for reviewing it - but I do not know of any right now and a fast search did not show (m)any who do reviews of ebooks (did I find a niche?!).

Any ideas from your side?
 

Tossek

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
May 5, 2019
126
143
129
Germany
Ok, well, I extended the project in a cost neutral manner.

In the meantime, I got 3 reviews with an average of 4,6 stars. And finally there is a sell of the hardcover! Yes! *Yeah* And this happened without advertising. So, I am fine. I plan for February an advertisement session with discount. I wonder how much this will help.

Also, I checked some of the free books that pop up on the for free charts. Every two to three days I snap in and order the hell out of the library. I got now 50 or so books in lib. I did not do any investigation beforehand on the market which is usually a bad thing. I am glad that I have not done it! Otherwise, I might have published earlier because the standard of the published ebooks is not very high. I would consider some of them even as crap. There was no professional lectorate of my book but jeeeeeez some of the other books are insane. I even found an "author" who just seems to google translate his books from English.

I should plan for a second book. I like the positive feedback loop I received though the monetary impact has been on a very negative scale so far. But I consider it right now as a hobby with synergies that might pay off at a certain point.
 

Tossek

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
May 5, 2019
126
143
129
Germany
Hi guys,

so I just want to update this topic here to make a complete picture because it might help a person. I am using this book project to make my project management certificate this year and I had to write down all the stats and project things in German anyways - that's why I take the opportunity to share this.

I started offering my book for 5 days for free at amazon in the hope to generate some feedback. Mostly this has been positive, and after half a year I got around 4 stars out of 8 reviews which is ok for a non-professional first time tryer I guess. Those reviews with text were all very good: 1 time 4 stars and 3 times 5 stars. Captions are "very good book" and "a very informative guide". So on this behalf I am glad (or even proud?!)

But: I misunderstood the kdp system and the discount system of amazon not at all and I am glad that I think I get it now. However, generating ebooks sales in my target audience (high school finals and college freshers) is very unlikely because ... well who reads a book about the possible futures of university ... life is action and adventure :) But if I helped a single person with this book, that is fine, because I get a lot of synergy .

I think that I will extend the book at some point this or next year and give it a nicer cover. The one I made is kind of bad tbh...

33147

I made two rounds of advertisment mostly by sending the book to ebook newsletters. Each round costed me around 50 €. I used each time 3 different newsletters. I got back around 6 € each time out of it ...

The first round was very successful with around 750 downloads when the book was for free. However, I posted it as a freebie on a well known discount information webpage which made around 90% of the clicks, I guess. I got up to top 20 (#13 to be exact) of Germany:

33150



The other advertisment round in February just caused one sale effectively. Most sales were generated close to christmas. I guess ebooks are not a common christmas present :). Here are the stats:

Softcover
eBooks
free eBooks
KENP
November
0​
0​
753​
148​
December
2​
1​
0​
4​
January
0​
0​
0​
162​
February
1​
1​
0​
176​
Sum
3​
2​
753​
490​
Overall
758


One KENP is like 0,3 cents. In sum, this KENP number is the equivalent of around 3 books read.

With 758 sells, I have a rating return rate of around 10. Which everybody should keep in mind when building up their ebook dream.

So is this project a success?
Moneywise: No.
Experience: Yes, for sure.

Lessons learned:
- Use a good cover, it is catchier
- get a lector even if it is just your sweetheart to read it
- the book has to make you much money by single sale just to be able to pay amazon's advertisment system, otherwise it just gives you possibility to lose money. The 2 € I get out of it right now does not give a chance to "train" the algorithm. Maybe I need to raise the prices just to be able to deal with these cards.
- advertisement on other platforms is just effective if you did not use them beforehand on your free 5 day trials (stupid me :-D)
- I might use a young influencer at some point for an advertisment just to test the impact

I hope this helps some folks out there.
 

Tossek

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
May 5, 2019
126
143
129
Germany
Again a small update.

Interstingly, most of my revenue comes from KENP. However, though I have an eBook, it is not much sold except of the time in August in which I offered it freely for 5 days.

SoftcovereBooksfree eBooksKENP
March00027
April0000
May000169
June100482
July20019
August0011141
Sum3011838
Overall14

There are however good things to talk about:

1) I used this overall project to get a certificate in project management from the German chamber of commerce and industry while being on further education. This helps me alot to be a bit more free on the choice of my employer. Also, it helped me to learn how to plan something from the being to the end. I made a book - yeah well, for most people that is a question of a well placed fiverr order. Still, it fills me with pride that I achieved such a thing next to my main job and it cheers me up that people of young age can extract value out of it for their whole life. Because ...
2) ... now there are 11 recessions with an average of 4.2 points. Hey, not bad for a first book without professional promoting and creation tools.


I think that the medium is unfitting. My next step should be to extend this book to audio. I do not know really how to do it in a good manner because in Germany ACX is blocked. I heard about integrated distributors like feiyr but I do not know about the legal permission if amazon has single rights on the written book whether I can use such distributors. I hope someone could help me here out - maybe I just need to call them.

Another point would be an update of the book to a second edition. Does someone know how to "overwrite" the product but not lose the recessions?

Thank you, I hope that this time someone can help me out.

PS: SInce I have 9 reviews, my book never felt under place 1.2 Million in the store. Just a side info....
 

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