Category Archives:Book Publishing

Fast-track your Personal Brand

A brand is a fragile and powerful thing. The more in-demand the brand appears to be, the more people want it. Simple economics.

Brands are also easily tarnished — we’ve all seen it play out — but that’s another article.

Apple has built a perception of luxury and desirability around its products through incredible branding and carefully positioned pricing points, which have arguably been the keystone to its success; a luxury product, which is still attainable by the masses.

But branding isn’t just limited to companies with products or services to sell. Every single person has a personal brand, and how that brand is perceived in both your personal and professional lives has a direct impact on almost every aspect of your life.

Besides neighbourhood gossip and nosy journalists, it was significantly easier to hide any faux-pas’ prior to the internet, and there was little ability to fact-check fabulous claims to fame or success. Now — all your dirty laundry is out there for the world to see. 

Yes, there are the negatives; but the savvy ones out there play the game to their advantage. Most people reading this will understand the importance of having a professional profile online, and should by now know that almost every professional interaction with another person will be followed by a Google/LinkedIn/Facebook search.  It doesn’t take a Tim Cook to work this one out, but not everyone has Apple’s branding budget. So what can the ‘average Joe’ do to stand out from the crowd? How can YOU  compete in your industry, either to grow your small business or step up the ranks in your career?

Fast-Tracking Your Brand

Everyone is an expert in something. Not everyone has the time to set up and maintain an industry blog or post inspirational quotes to their social profiles on a daily basis to showcase their expertise. No — some of us are too busy being experts in what we do.

Several years ago, I set out to achieve a goal I had had for many years — to write and publish my own book. What that book did for me was life-changing; and I was only fresh out of university. As a young journalist in an incredibly competitive job market, this book gave me a point of difference. It became the topic of conversation at job interviews, sparked hundreds of questions from my peers and gave me the confidence to talk about my topic of expertise with those who had been in the industry much longer than I had. All this from a 60-page book.

Fast-track five years, and I have now published 100+ books for myself and other professionals — many for profit and others for personal branding purposes. I might add — these days, you don’t need to sell your soul to a publishing house to see your words in print; companies such as Amazon now provide amazing independent publishing platforms that have made it easier than ever to publish your own book — both as an eBook and in print.

Whatever industry you’re in, and whatever stage you’re at in your career, you have something to talk about. Get those words on paper and show them what you’ve got.

If you’re interested in publishing your own professional book, get in touch to find out what I can do to help. My team offers everything from idea generation and market research to ghost-writing and design. 

Case study: Does $1 make a difference to sales?

I had a great response to my previous post on how to optimise your Amazon book page, mostly on Reddit. A quick note on Reddit, though – there are some MEAN people out there, particularly on the indie writer subreddits! I’ve only been using it for a month or so and I’ve had to ban myself because I had sleepless nights over some of the horrible comments people made (yes, I’m a wuss!).

Anyway, of the good comments that came from my article, a couple of people told me that on top of optimising their sales pages, they were increasing the prices of their books and still seeing an increase in sales. I’ve been considering raising the price of some of my better-selling books for some time, but this gave me the push I needed to try it.

Spoiler alert: this tale does not have a happy ending.

I put the price of 5 of my books (which had at least 3 sales a day, and varied from $2.99 – $4.99) up by $1, and left them for a week. (By left, I mean I checked it every few hours and felt my heart break as sales went down to zero.)

I couldn’t handle it anymore and after a week, I put the price back to what they were. Out of the 5 books, none of them maintained the same number of downloads as previously. Of course, if there were slightly less sales but the overall profit was higher, that would have been fine – but it wasn’t the case.

So $1 clearly is a deal breaker for many purchasers. Perhaps with people pricing books so low these days, they’ve forgotten that traditional books can cost upwards of $15?

Now, I’m wondering if I were to drop my books by $1, what impact would that have? But considering that books below $2.99 can’t take advantage of 70% revenue, sales would have to be sky high for it to be worthwhile. I might give it a go on some of my $4.99 books though, and get back to you all!

Has anyone else experimented with their book prices? What results did you see?