Sourcing Ebooks to Create a Profitable Business on Amazon: EU 112 with Sophie Howard
I’m extra pumped about this episode, because I got to talk to Sophie Howard, the “Amazon Selling Queen” and creator of Amazon Blue Sky Training Program, about creating a profitable ebook business on Amazon. In this episode, Sophie shares how she has revolutionized the way that everyday men and women can make a legitimate income online by providing value, without having a high overhead, without needing to be a skilled marketer, and without selling physical goods on Amazon.
Some of you might know, I made my first penny online by selling my first ebook. But I’ve made pennies and peanuts compared to what Sophie has been able to do. She has created an entire blueprint for how to help people write and publish cash-flowing ebooks using a very simple process. Sophie has also created a 12-month program called where she coaches people to get as many books published as possible, which allows them to get a diversified income stream on Amazon.
In 2016, Sophie published a book titled “Amazon Jetstream Income” about how to sell products on Amazon. She didn’t market the book at all, and hadn’t paid attention to the sales of the book. It wasn’t until a few years later that she realized she had sold thousands of copies, without any effort.
It was so easy, she wondered what would happen if she was strategic about this topic, and turned this into a real business where she could create assets for profit.
Sophie researched how to outsource books for scale and how Amazon operates so she could have it work for her benefit. She spent a few months creating a sourcing strategy and workflow that is in line with what Amazon and its customers are looking for. Now, Amazon pays her a healthy monthly royalty to crank out books.
The market and demand for ebooks are growing. If you’re looking for a way to gain a consistent income online that doesn’t have a high overhead and doesn’t require you to be a skilled marketer or salesperson, this episode is for you.
You can connect with Sophie below:
Blue Sky Amazon
Kindle Publishing Income
The benefit of creating a library of books on Amazon [9:50]
How you can outsource everything you need to produce books [21:12]
What is the process of creating a book from start to finish? [25:25]
How you can use this process to gain a diversified income stream [50:00]
Is this process for you? [56:00]
… and much more!
EU 112 audio
[00:00:00] Sophie Howard:
If somebody’s looking, how do I grow a container garden and grow my own vegetables? They search for the exact phrase that can be the title of your book, and Amazon slams them together. Bingo, customer buys that book. So it’s really understanding how Amazon works as a search engine and producing what the market’s searching for.
And there’s great data on what the market’s searching for every day. You can see the exact phrases and how frequently people search for those search terms, and you write books on them. You hire a writer who’s an expert on container gardens to grow your own vegetables, which I’m not, but I could easily in, you know, a couple of templated emails, find and hire a ghost writer who writes that book for me, and a few weeks later, it’s live in selling.
And all those people who are searching how to grow their vegetables by my book.
This is experts unleashed, revealing how professionals and entrepreneurs transform experience into income while positively impacting the world.
For years, Joel Erway has helped entrepreneurs develop and launch their expert-based businesses growing them beyond six and even seven figures a year. Now a professional expert serves their community through paid training education or service. This podcast will help you design and execute your plan to become a six or seven figure expert without a massive team.
To get more information or apply now, visit theperfectexpert.com. Let’s get started.
[00:01:30] Joel Erway:
Hey, what’s going on? It’s Joel Erway, and welcome to another very special episode of Experts Unleashed. Guys and Gals, I am super, super excited about this interview and about this guest expert that I’ve got on the show here today. My guest here today is Sophie Howard, a Kindle Publishing expert, and the reason why I am so dang excited about this is because we are going back to my original.
Entrepreneurship roots, right? We’re talking 10 years ago I published my first Kindle book on Amazon, not really knowing what I was doing and that was my, literally how I made my first dollar online was through Kindle Publishing. And since then it has just completely grown. It has completely exploded. And Sophie and I, we met a few months ago, or a few weeks ago and we had an original conversation.
Cause I wanted to know exactly what she was doing in the Kindle publishing space. That has revolutionized the way that everyday men and women. Can make a legitimate income online by providing value and by doing some incredible things without selling any sort of physical goods on Amazon. And so when we connected back, then I told her I needed to get her on this show.
We needed to do an interview. Cause I needed to share this message with my audience because this opportunity is absolutely incredible. And so we’re going to be talking a little bit about my background, my experience with Kindle Publishing, but I’ve made pennies and peanuts compared to what Sophie has been able to do.
And she now has put together like an entire process, an entire system, an entire blueprint for how to help people. Write and publish books, cash flowing books on Kindle using a very, very simple process. And the reason why I wanted to bring her on is because she works with clients and she coaches them over the course of 12 months to get them as many books as they can possibly publish, which gives them a variety and a diversified income stream on Amazon.
So I’m pumped. I hope you’re as excited as I am because this is literally like a time machine for me. It’s going back into, you know, the very first penny I made online. And I’m probably going to have a couple of aha moments of like, Joel, you’re an idiot. Why did you stop publishing Kindle books? It still makes you money to this day, 10 years later, and hopefully you can take away some aha moments as well.
Sophie, welcome to the show.
[00:03:51] Sophie Howard:
Thank you, Joel. Great to be here.
[00:03:53] Joel Erway:
So Sophie, give our audience and our viewers a quick background about your experience, how you got started with Kindle Publishing. Give us a 30 to 62nd background before we dive into the meat and potatoes.
[00:04:04] Sophie Howard: So previously I’d been selling physical products on Amazon also.
So F B A, which lots of people have come across looking at online business opportunities, and that was going really well. But Covid was definitely a bit of a threat there because the suppliers and the shipping got a bit messed up. So while I was at home figuring out what I was going to do to pivot during all that chaos of the initial pandemic, I thought back to an earlier eBook I’d published about how to sell products on Amazon and thought, well, why don’t I look at this eBook game more seriously?
I had some quality time cooped up at home and I thought, well, I’ll, I’ll have a look at this. So I went back to the Amazon platform, k d P, where you publish the eBooks. I looked at how I would rather than do a book at a time and sort of dabble. You know, approach it like I had with my products business.
How do I turn this into a real business that generates real income stream, treat it like creating assets to sell for profits. So that’s what I did. So I looked into how it works, how to play the game, how the rules of Amazon work, what they’re looking for, because it always makes sense to have Amazon helping you sell those books and to give them what they want to sell to their customers and what their customers are looking for.
So kind of data driven, kind of understanding how Amazon operates and how Amazon customers. It’s really a big search engine, so that’s a really fundamental thing we’ll talk about later. But basically, how can I outsource books at scale and build a library of books that just sells every single month and two or three years later now down the track?
Really, really glad I spent those few days figuring out a strategy, a few months kicking off the actual workflow and perfecting the efficiency of that, getting the teams, the, you know, standard operating procedures in place just to crank out books. So now that’s what I do. I crank out books and every month Amazon pays me a very healthy monthly royalty for books I wrote years ago and I didn’t even write.
So it’s a pretty neat model.
[00:06:02] Joel Erway:
You mentioned something in the beginning, so obviously with Covid and the Pandemic, right? You, you had to pivot, you had to kind of come up with an, you know, a new, a new model. But you mentioned you had already published a book on Amazon, is that correct? Like you ha already had one book on Amazon selling.
[00:06:18] Sophie Howard:
Yeah, just a really simple one I think is actually on the floor next to me. Yeah, there it is. So it was called Amazon Jet Stream Income. This is like a probably more than five years old. This was way before I looked at Kindle as a business opportunity. This was really because I was teaching people about how to sell on Amazon.
They all asked the same questions. People wanted to know if that was a good sort of business model for them. And so I wrote this book. So that was my first one and it sold a lot. I mean, I didn’t do much marketing of it. I didn’t run paper click ads for that book, even though I had a business teaching people how to run paper click ads for their products.
I just said it sit there and people would buy it and some people would get in touch and come and get some help with their Amazon business. It was a really easy one for me to write because I was a subject matter expert on that one. But the new ones, I dunno anything about. I’ve got books on philosophy and history and business, some business things I do know about, but certainly a lot of the books that I sell, I’ve got one, I’m the top selling book on how to train a dog in Italian, and I don’t even speak a word of Italian.
So it was just purely following the process of what’s in demand, how do I commission that writer, how do I get that thing translated and uploaded? So you can definitely do this without knowing about the subject.
[00:07:36] Joel Erway:
Let me ask you something about your first book, right? So obviously something about the success of that book had to tip you off with and say, Hey, maybe I should pursue.
a little bit further. Right. So how, how many units, you said you weren’t doing any marketing, it was just hosted on Amazon and you were only selling the, the digital copy. That’s what Kindle is, right? You were holding up the physical book, but you were only really selling the Kindle copy. Is that, is that correct?
[00:08:01] Sophie Howard:
Yeah. So I just let it sit there and did nothing. People are still finding it.
[00:08:10] Joel Erway:
Do you know approximately like how much you were making, you know, per month with that book? Just from royalties and profits? Not even, not even marketing it. Like what I’m trying to get at is, you know, how did that indicate to you that, oh, maybe there’s other opportunity.
Like, were you making like a thousand bucks a month? Were you making 500 bucks a month? We’re making a hundred bucks a month. Like, you know, what were you making with that book as it was just kind of sitting on the digital shelf?
[00:08:34] Sophie Howard:
You know, honestly I wasn’t even tracking it. I just assumed it was a useful resource for people wanting to learn about Amazon.
I was doing things like taking people on trade show trips to India to source products, and so the sales of that book weren’t something I was even paying any attention to. It was only when I looked at it a few years later and realized I’d sold thousands of copies of it without any effort that I thought, well, if I actually was strategic about the book topic and chose something that really isn’t demand now and that there’s not too much competition for, and that I can hire a writer, then I can really crank up and scale this model.
It wasn’t, that book made me so much money, I dropped everything else. It was because it had been so easy. Yeah. It was like, well, if I was a bit more strategic here and stacked up a few books, if I had 20 books doing what this little one, I hadn’t been trying, you know, put a bunch of them together, then that could really start to be a significant income stream.
But the nicest thing was that that initial investment I’d paid, you know, paying $25 for a cover designer and some of that early investment in the thinking behind what’s in each chapter. And for that one, I actually dictated it and got somebody to transcribe it. So it’s a bit different from the current model.
So I don’t want to compare them directly because that one was out of my head. Sure. Sure. But what I could see was that the work back then just kept on paying. Whereas in my products business, you sell the product and you’ve got to restock the product, and you’ve got to have this cash tied up with stuffing containers on the ocean for months, and the cash flows back to front really with selling physical products because you pay it front for the product and then you hope you sell it later for a profit, which is great because if you do it right and you’ve got the right product, that’s really profitable business model.
But with the digital books, you just pay once and there’s no more cost of goods. There’s no shipping costs. There’s no inventory. And so it wasn’t so much that these are really lucrative books individually. It was that. The business model just has no expenses apart from the initial book and they just stack on top of each other.
Month after month, it just compounds. There’s very little management time. There’s no ongoing hard costs apart from if you want to promote them on paper click, which is totally worth doing because it just going to boost your profit more. So the big realization with the old book that had been tickling, ticking along without me doing anything was just that there was no ongoing work and no ongoing expenses.
And that was a very beautiful thing, having spent most of my time scaring around cash flow spreadsheets. How much can I order of this inventory and what’s the timing to launch that new product? And do I do a little order by air or go big with a container on the sea, but the shipping’s cheaper, but then it’s going to be out of stock for a few weeks and then the inventory costs really high.
Oh, it’s like we’re so complex compared to this. It was the simplicity is the really beautiful thing.
[00:11:28] Joel Erway:
Yeah, it makes total sense. It makes total sense. You know, I think when people understand what Amazon provides as a business opportunity, I’m talking physical or digital. You know, Amazon is the world’s largest marketplace.
So what are the benefits of a marketplace? Well, they bring eyeballs to your stuff. Like that’s what they do. They are the best in the world at bringing millions and millions and millions of visitors every single day to come buy stuff, right? And so if you can put products on their marketplace, they will bring you customers.
Like that’s the simplicity and that’s the core benefit of using Amazon as a business model. When you can take that one step further and eliminate all the headaches that come from physical products, now it becomes. You know, dare I say push button easy. I mean, obviously you’ve got your digital products, like you’ve got your book, but if it’s an in-demand topic, right, people are going to see it and they are going to buy it.
It’s like, that’s what I really took away the most from hearing about the success with your first book. Right? It was, okay, I put a piece of content out there. I get it. That was more so, you know, all of your intellectual property. You wrote it, it was your ideas, which is kind of different than what you do now, which is, we’ll get into in just a second.
But you put it on there and you forgot about it, and you checked later. You sold thousands of copies. I mean, like the number one reason why people struggled to sell anything is because of marketing. Like they are not skilled at marketing and sales and. Amazon does it for you. Like that’s the beauty of going onto a marketplace.
And so I love this transition now, this evolution for someone who’s out there just trying to figure out a way to make a consistent income online and something that does not have high overhead and doesn’t require you to be a skilled marketer, a skilled salesperson. That’s why I love this so much. And so I appreciate you sharing that story and that journey because I think that’s appealing to a lot of people.
That’s appealing to me. And it’s like, why did I stop, you know, selling books on Amazon with, with Kindle.
[00:13:34] Sophie Howard:
Yeah. And they look so little like each book costs, you know, maybe a thousand dollars to produce and you see the income streams each month. It’s maybe a few hundred dollars off each book each month.
And so when you’re used to a big physical products business in an associated FaceBook ads account, you know, the numbers sloshing around and that sort of business are huge, but then what’s left at the end, there’s a lot of expenses before you get your leftover profit. Whereas this, nothing comes off it and it just builds and builds and builds and there are lots of little low risk, really simple as passive as you can get.
I mean, I’ve still got to check your account and things, but once a month I get a nice bunch of emails. I get one from Amazon in every different country. Here’s your royalty check. And I’ve got different currencies coming in. You know, it’s just like a little fleet of digital assets, just all compounding and no one of them.
Is a million-dollar product, you know? I’ve had million dollar products. They’re lovely. But, you know, you’ve got the competition on your heels. You’ve got to, you know, watch people doing dodgy reviews. There’s so many things in the, you know, the big games that you don’t have, because the Kindle platforms don’t want to call it amateur, but it’s not full of sharp marketers with huge email lists and dodgy tactics for launching and getting reviews and overspending on ads and pushing the ad costs up.
You know, the, the big game over in F B A is so aggressive and full of people with really deep pockets, a lot to gain, a lot to lose. You know, they play really hardball on that court and over in Kindle land, it’s easy, it’s so low stress. There’s not very many moving parts. There’s not very many steps. Each of your 20 odd books, making a few hundred dollars a month makes a huge difference to your own personal income, but it’s not like a target.
There’s no. Incoming fire to deal with. There’s no stress with inventory. And Amazon really loves their book side of their business. Amazon started as an online bookstore of course, and so they’re really proud of their Kindle platform. They were the first e-reader device. I think it’s still about 10% of all of Amazon’s revenue.
It was a big chunk of their business and they are really proud of it, and they really want to be the platform for people who read books and read e-books. So I do actually do both formats. We’ll talk more about how the printing paperbacks is actually really easy. They do it for you on demand. So I just think that’s a really nice thing.
You know, you can just go with the flow of what Amazon’s trying to build and protect and serve their customers on. And customers do buy a lot of books from Amazon. Amazon bought book Depository, they bought Audible to be the one-stop shop for people who love reading. And there’s the novel and fiction readers, but the ones I like most are the non-fiction readers because.
It’s a very easy process to understand somebody’s got a new puppy, they want to buy a book on how to train that puppy. So it’s a very search and then search results sort of game to get the nonfiction books matching what the customers searched for. So they’re looking to upskill on something to get better at a hobby or some life skill, some self-help type thing.
It could be parenting, it could be how to start a type of business. It could be gardening. It could be some area of history or philosophy. So people want to learn and read to either educate themselves or be entertained. And the fiction game’s a bit different. You know, there’s a whole art to writing a great series of novels, and it’s much harder to find the customers that want to read that novel because you’ve got these really broad genres like they want to romance or a beach read or a paranormal thriller.
But it’s really hard to slot your book under how that custom actually searches for something to read. Whereas if somebody’s looking, how do I grow a container garden and grow my own vegetables? They search for the exact phrase that can be the title of your book, and Amazon slams them together. Bingo customer buys that book.
So yeah, it’s really understanding how Amazon works as a search engine and producing what the market’s searching for. And there’s great data on what the market’s searching for every day. You can see the exact phrases and how frequently people search for those search terms, and you write books on them.
You hire a writer who’s an expert on container gardens to grow your own vegetables, which I’m not, but I could easily in, you know, a couple of templated emails, find and hire a ghost writer who writes that book for me, and a few weeks later it’s live in selling. And all those people who were searching how to grow their vegetables by my book with very little competition.
[00:18:04] Joel Erway:
Yeah. You know, so essentially what you’re saying is the opportunity is massive. Right? There’s a huge market for Kindle. 10% of Amazon’s entire. Business comes from Kindle. I didn’t realize it was that high. That’s enormous. Absolutely enormous. So that’s the first thing that I, I took away from what you just said.
And the second thing which you kind of glazed over and kind of glossed over, which I want to bring back to the forefront is you mentioned diversifying your income stream through various small books. It’s almost like the secret to success here is actually intentionally staying small. You said you’re not going to find a million dollar book and a million dollar product.
And I think what might be a bit counterintuitive is that you don’t want a million dollar product cause you want to stay small. And so I think what you were saying is the key to this is actually just, you know, launching as many books as you can as quickly as possible so you can start sprouting all these seeds and have that diversified income stream, which you can do easily because I think you said it only costs, you know, a few hundred or maybe a thousand dollars to get one of these books live.
Did I hear you correctly?
[00:19:08] Sophie Howard:
Yeah, that’s right. So I mean, if you use that analogy of gardening, you’re just putting out lots and lots of little seeds and germinating them for a while, but then you just harvest forever more. You know, there’s no plowing. You’re just gathering every month. Every one of those seeds that germinates and sprouts, you’re collecting the goods forever.
So I love that. I love that they’re really simple and low cost to produce, and it’s not like this really high tech business with lots at stake and lots of cash tied up in different things. You can go as fast or slow as you like, but I really think given the size of the opportunity, when I’ve understood how big this opportunity is and how many people are searching for so many different book topics all day, every day, all around the world.
I’ll be kicking myself later if I don’t just grab this opportunity and publish books really fast. So at one stage I was doing one a week, but then , I’ve got young children, I kind of do this in very part-time hours and I do other stuff as well. So slow down a bit from one a week, but you could do one a week with a solid team and, you know, bit of organization skills.
But one a month is what I do pretty much, and every month I have loads of fun dreaming up the next topic. I’ve got a wish list of books to produce that just, you know, need to be ordered from the ghost writers. If I go too fast, I get into a bit of chaos and lose where I’ve put that file for that book cover.
And you know, I’ve got an assistant helping me now, but in the early days I did them all myself and got really fast and really slick operations just churning out these books because everyone, you start, you know, you’ve got this hope that it’s going to be, you know, a few thousand dollars a month after your thousand or so dollar investments.
Some of them do better than that. Some of them don’t do as well as that. But in any business it’s really healthy to have a portfolio. But I can’t think of another business where you can build a diversified portfolio within a year in the tens of thousands of dollars of expenses. I mean, it’s unheard of and they’re real assets that you own completely.
You own the copyright. Nobody else is allowed to sell that book. It’s brilliant. I’m sold, so I I’m booked on this. I just keep producing new books all the time. I’ve got so many ideas for them. There’s no shortage of book topics. The market’s growing. The demand for eBooks is growing. There’s a whole industry out there of great writers who are really thrilled to get your order to write another book for them.
And they’re freelancing on agencies or on different freelancer platforms, so there’s no constraints in the service and skills needed to produce the books. There’s loads of great cover designers. I don’t do that myself. Stick the two together. PDF of the book is the manuscript PDF of the front cover.
Bingo off. They go on Amazon and click a button, upload and it’s for sale and you can sell it for 99 cents or $3. I always go for $3 because the royalty splits much more generous if you get the price up a little bit. So I do good quality books, like 30,000 words that like a proper book. I haven’t questioned another one in front of me, but you know they’re books.
This is the one I did. It’s like that sort of size book when it’s paperback. They’re not little spindly. Cheap, nasty books. They’re quality books written by subject matter experts who research them, provide you all the references. We’re not using ai. This is a big topic this year. What’s everybody in non-fiction doing with ai?
Not using it to write books. Getting real researchers to write proper quality books that really help the reader and deliver on the promise on the front cover. Somebody wants their toddler potty trained in three days. Well, this three-day step-by-step system better work because that’s what they want. So quality books, quite substantial books that we can sell for high price.
That’s the model. So really getting the customer the result they want. They’ve gone online, searched in Amazon, they’ve got a problem, they’ve got a got too much stress. They’ve got a, they’re not sleeping well. They’ve got a difficult teenager. They’ve got a garden. They don’t know how to grow the vegetables or whatever.
They want to learn something. How to make sourdough bread, how to train a puppy. Lots of mine start with how to sometimes I just go and look at the Demi’s guide too and get some inspiration for books there. Those are the big mainstream topics that people always want. I keep away from medical stuff and I keep away from things like investing advice and not going to hire some random on the internet, , ghost writer on strategies for day swing trading.
You can’t lose and buy this crypto coin. I mean, I keep away from anything. Tricky or where the experts, you know, really have to be true experts. You know, there’s medical stuff. Don’t want to touch that, but how to grow vegetables or history of Napoleon’s walls here, or you know, military history is a good one.
Biographies is a great, a good researcher with an interest in that subject. And there’s people with PhDs and real experts who just love writing this stuff. They’ll produce a really high-quality book that the readers love and Amazon loves selling them, so they make it really easy. Amazon knows if your books are good quality.
One, there’s no typos and spelling mistakes. The reviews that come in are good. It matches what the reader expected. Then off it goes, you know, Amazon pushes up to the top of page one and then you are on this positive upward cycle. The quality of the book’s good. So Amazon’s happy. You’re getting great sales, so you’ve got more funds coming in, so you start a new book.
It’s pretty addictive. It’s a really fun business. I really love it.
[00:24:34] Joel Erway:
Let me ask you, Sophie. So I am innately curious about this and like, jumping back into the Kindle game, I’ll talk about, you know, what I did in the past with my book that I published. It still provides me royalties to this day, 10 years later going it’s, I can’t believe it’s been 10 years, but it has been.
But I want to treat this like a free consulting session just selfishly for myself. So I want to pry a little bit deeper, and I know you’ve got a system. So take me through your process of like, you know, when you’re ready to launch a new book. Like, you know, what does that process look like of picking the topic, you know, how do reduce the risk as much as possible?
Like I, I’m assuming that there’s ways to mitigate the risk of, is my idea good or is my idea bad? Is there demand for this topic? Right? Take me through what that process looks like. So people who are listening right now, they can start to crystallize what that process is and, and they can see, okay. Wow. Yeah. This makes sense. Cool.
[00:25:29] Sophie Howard:
Oh, I can talk about this all day. So, I’ll try and do a short version. The first thing is to check. There’s demand, no demand, no customers, no money, not worth doing. So even if it might be your very own favorite niche subject, keep out of those. Do what the market’s buying. And we’ve actually got an in-house tool that we’ve developed and own that gives us really great data on which are the books are selling and the search traffic around different keywords so we can see what’s happening.
Amazon has their ranking system, so any one time within the last hour, Amazon’s updated that ranking of all the different books and all the different categories and how many they’re selling. And we can, from that, calculate how many dollars that book’s making a month in sales. We get a little condensed view of the page, count, the reviews.
And the price of the book. So we know kind of for that market on dog training, how many books are selling at what price, how big are the books, how many reviews have the top sellers got? Because we want to go where there’s interest in that subject, you know, quite mainstream. But we also don’t want to find, we’re competing with a book that’s selling really well, but it’s because it’s been Oprah’s Book of the Month or something in Oprah’s book Club.
So we need to check, it’s a good, solid evergreen subject where there’s steady ongoing demand. So our research tool gives sort of a rolling 30 day average of the sales and we can see how that book’s selling and we can check that there’s a bunch of books selling on that subject, not just one superhero book.
But there’s a broad range of book setting, lots of different angles. You know, there might be a book. Anger management. I know that’s selling well, so there’s anger management and then there’s for couples, for teens, for children. And so there’s a whole bunch of, you know, related topics that you can do a series of books.
And I don’t like an orphan book. I like to think I can do a series or slightly different demographics for men or for women or for teens or for, you know seem to have a full vegans for everything at the moment. . So definitely have a, you know, a bit of breadth to go laterally from the original seed idea.
And that’s part of the data in that initial research, which is really easy when you’ve got a research to tool spitting out what’s currently selling. So that’s part one. Check demand. Then a pretty basic kind of common sense screen is this only setting because it’s a celebrity and it’s on every billboard in Times Square, and it’s a big launch with all the book.
Big old school book publishing firm’s promoting it. Somebody’s on a big book tour. So eliminating anything that’s an irrelevant result that can just skew the data a bit. So that’s easy because I can teach you how to do that. And then the next thing is to get a book outline together. So you’ve got your book topic, you get together sort of a, a bullet pointed list, 10 chapter ideas.
So I usually just study the top sellers, see what they’ve done that their readers have enjoyed. You know, I’ll scan the reviews, I’ll read the front covers, I’ll read the book descriptions, what are they promising those readers. And then ideally, I’m going to do a better job than the best. You know, that’s what I shoot for.
That, you know, I think of an, an angle or a hook that’s going to really appeal to my readers or I see that this is a great popular topic, but all the book covers are awful. And I know my book cover designer will do a much better job. So I study within that category. What selling, try to understand why, what are the readers actually looking for so that when I write my brief for the ghost writer.
They, they know what they’ve got to do. They, their job’s really clear who’s the exact demographic and what do they want from the book. So I don’t need to be an author for that. I don’t need to be a subject matter expert or a, you know, an amazing researcher. It’s just scanning what’s there on the top of page one of Amazon, what’s there and what’s selling and why.
So I put that together as a one pager or half a pager, and get an outline together with the chapters. Give that to the ghost writer so you can use an agency. And that makes it maybe a bit over a thousand dollars for really good quality book that’s been proofread, formatted, edited, everything done back to you a few weeks later.
And there’s some really good agencies out there, but also some really bad ones. So need to know who to use and how to work with them. And for some subjects, I’ll actually just go and find a subject matter expert on. Upwork one of those freelancer platforms. So if it’s a really general subject, I’ll use an agency.
If it’s really specialist and I think I’m going to do a whole series, I might try and find a one-on-one writer to work with to do a whole series in the same voice and kind of commission a bigger job. So at the beginning though, I would totally, you just use one agency, one stop shop, one brief to them. A few weeks later, finished book comes back.
Then while the book’s being written, which takes maybe a month I’ll get my cover designer on Fiver for a whopping 20, 30 odd dollars to do a cover design. And what I like to do is the book in every format. So I’ll do a paper back because for some books they just sell better. When I buy a business book, I’ll always buy the paper back cause I want to mark it up and refer back to it.
So a reference type. And all our non-fiction books, people do buy a lot of paperbacks. I do an eBook because that’s cheap, an instant, and some people just do eBooks. And there’s also a program within Amazon Kindle called Kindle Unlimited and some people just devour books and you basically get paid by the pages read and they don’t have to buy those books individually.
They basically have a monthly subscription, all you can read. So eBook for those readers, paperback for the people who like a hard copy. And then I also later it down the process, get it narrated as an audio book because that’s really easy. Extra income, three different formats, different demographics. So the book comes back from the agency.
It’s a pdf. Basically click attach and upload. I also get the agency to get a really nice punchy title in the book description, which is a couple of paragraphs promising the reader what they’ll get out of this book. I used to do that myself, but actually I reckon the writer. Knows the book better than me by that stage.
So they better write that bit. And so they give me that to copy and paste, attach the document of the book, attach the front cover, comes back from the designer. All of that takes maybe 10 minutes. And then that book’s for sale. I set the price usually $3 for an eBook. And then obviously the paperback, the bigger the book, the high the print costs.
But the nice thing is Amazon doesn’t do a big print run and charge you up front for all that printing and all that storage. Every time the customer orders the book as a paperback, Amazon just prints it on demand there and then, and ships it. So I don’t sit on stock. I don’t deal with deliveries. The beauty of Amazon, again, things they’re good at, shipping stuff to customers, doorsteps not my game, but what they do best.
And then once that’s up in selling, I’ve got the manuscript, I’ll give that to a narrator. You do all that through the audible part of Amazon and they narrate it, send back audio files, you upload those. And that’s the third income stream. So every one book generates three income streams. And I like everyone book to have a series potential, you know, related topics around if somebody’s growing vegetables, maybe they also want to grow herbs, but maybe they also want to learn to cook with their vegetables or you know, do other things with their garden or have windowsill plants, whatever house plants.
So I try and follow a bit of a seam just so I have some efficiency with the, you know, the people who like this book might also like that book. Amazon’s great at making those suggestions. And that’s it. I mean, I could talk for a few hours about each one of those steps, but it would actually, talking it through would take longer than it takes me to do those steps.
You know, the book research I could teach you over a few hours, but I could also find a book. To publish a book topic in half an hour using a research tool, knowing what to do, easy when you know how.
[00:33:23] Joel Erway:
Yeah. So let me just quickly recap. You know, what you just went over. So really there are, if I took notes correctly, I had five steps in which there are to launch a book.
So first step is to, you know, do the research. So find what’s in demand or an evergreen subject, right? Then it’s create the outline by studying what’s doing well and just doing a better job, right? So it’s kind of like the, the prep stage, like once you picked your topic, now prepare the content. Third step is get it to a ghost writer.
So find a subject matter expert, get a ghost writer who is intimate with the topic and hire them. You said you typically pay about a thousand bucks for a ghost writer, and you said it’s 30,000 words typically. Yep. All right. So that’s the third step. Fourth step would be get the cover design, and you typically pay 20 to 40 bucks on fiver and then finally set it for sale.
Right? So did I get that the overview, like the five steps?
[00:34:16] Sophie Howard:
That’s about it. And there’s not really too many more things to do. Once the book’s live. You can start Amazon Pay per Click advertising, which is a real turbo booster to the profits, and that’s just something you set it once. The book’s live in selling, and that’s it, because you actually don’t get the customer’s details.
I mean, if you are a classic marketer and you’ve got say a Shopify store and you’re selling socks, you know, just a physical product through a Shopify store with all those customers, you get their contact details and then you’re like, oh, we should do a newsletter and we should do a Black Friday sale, and we should.
To launch this new thing and we should email them and run FaceBook ads here. And there’s all these things you have to or should do with most of the online businesses, but there’s actually nothing else to do. You don’t even have the customer’s details. So there’s nothing you can do . So Amazon just takes care of all the customer side and that’s what they do and that’s why they earn their 30% commission, which I’m really happy to have them do for all the credit card and delivery hassles and all the logistics and all the marketing.
You know, they’re the front shop window of your store. So I’m really happy for Amazon to do that. Their customers are there searching, very happy to be on their platform and accessing their customers. There’s no marketing, there’s no social media, there’s no newsletters, and there’s just nothing else you need to do apart from get onto the next book.
[00:35:35] Joel Erway:
So the biggest question that comes into my mind right now is if I were to pursue this right, you know, if, if I’ve never written a book before and I’ve never done this as an opportunity or done this as a potential income stream, like the biggest question that comes to mind is, Man, like writing and editing 30,000 pages sounds like a big job.
How does somebody who isn’t a professional editor, isn’t a professional writer? Like, how do we simplify that? Like, how can I get over that objection of like, I can do this even if I’ve never done it before? Because that just sounds like an insurmountable task. 30,000 words To me, it sounds like a really, really lot of work.
Even if I got a, if I’ve got a copywriter, like, then I have to read through it all. Like how do I know if what I’m reading is good or if it’s what the, you know, the audience wants. Like how do you judge, you know, a 30,000 page book that you didn’t.
[00:36:33] Sophie Howard:
Yeah, it is a big leap of faith to trust the process and to trust experts who know more about the subject than you do.
But that’s what all the books that are sold are like. I mean, it’s a huge industry, ghost writing, and so the agencies that I use, there’s peer reviewing, there’s editing, proofreading, all the formatting’s done at that agency, and that’s what they take responsibility for and that’s how the process works.
I couldn’t possibly scale a business if I was second guessing all their research or proofreading everything myself and marking it all up in red font and sending it back with suggested changes. I mean, I just pay for finished professional book that they undertake to write and fully reference it. I guess with some subjects, I wouldn’t be comfortable outsourcing writing if somebody’s about to try and cure.
Neuropathic back pain, cancers, mental health. I don’t touch those topics because I’m not an expert enough to feel comfortable with, you know, outsourcing to a writer. Not sure who that writer is in the real world. But for something like gardening or hobby, totally happy that those people who are researching the books, they’re professional researchers, their works being peer reviewed and carefully managed, I’m really happy to sell those books.
And they do some research online. They’re great researchers. They write really well. They take the customer through that arc of wanting to learn about a subject and introduction to the subject, a step by step guide to getting better at the skill, introducing the skills, teaching the skills, action steps at the end of each chapter.
And by the end of the book, that customers had a great experience reading about a thing they wanted to learn about, learning it, implementing it, understanding what they wanted to understand. So, That’s where AI actually can’t come anywhere close to a real human who understands what the reader wants and putting together a flow through the book that takes them chapter by chapter through what they’re trying to learn.
So something like a biography of, keep talking about Napoleon, say Napoleon’s biography. You could have somebody research all that online. They’re going to reference, you know, the great classic biographies and history and research Steph online as well, and write this great book that the readers will love.
So it’s fully outsourced. If you are hands-on and meddling with the writers, you’re into an area of business that you’re not going to be an expert on. And they are. So trust them and use good quality writers. I have really good agencies and work with them really closely.
[00:39:05] Joel Erway:
I’ve never had an issue. And so that’s, that’s part of it. Meaning like you have to pick a subject or pick a topic that you’re remotely interested in and that you have experience with. Like, you don’t have to be the subject matter expert, but you have to be able to, I guess, screen it. To say, okay, yeah, this is good or no, I can totally tell this is just, this is just bs.
Is that, is that correct?
[00:39:26] Sophie Howard:
Yeah, but I think the agency takes care of that risk that you get junk. I mean, you’re not going to get junk from an agency when you’ve paid for quality book. Just that’s what they do. They wouldn’t have a business if they gave their clients junk. So I don’t even read all of them fully.
You know, I skim them, but I don’t read everything word by word looking to correct or double check things. You know, there’s references and it reads, they’re quite lightweight books. They’re not really hardcore technical manuals on things. You know, they’re an introduction to a subject generally with good references.
One idea per chapter, take the reader through a good reading experience.
[00:40:05] Joel Erway:
So out of curiosity, right? In my mind, if there are agencies out there that publish these books and they’ve got writers, they’ve got editors, they’ve got proof readers, like they’re doing all the legwork. Why aren’t they just out there doing what we’re doing or what you guys are doing, meaning publishing them on Kindle and, and taking them to the finish line.
It seems like they’re, they’re taking it like 80 to 90% of the way. Why aren’t they just churning these out and, and, and doing it themselves?
[00:40:38] Sophie Howard:
Well, it’s a baffling thing to me too. I mean, I think the thing is you are either programmed to want to have success in life, to want to follow entrepreneurial opportunities you want to own and be proud of a business yourself.
And in which case you do what, say you and I do. And we go out and look for great business opportunities, understand them and execute them well. And we’re willing to pay up front for those resources we need. We pay a writer up front to have the sales afterwards, but just not everybody’s wired like that.
So with the ghost writers, I think the big difference is they’re just not wired to be entrepreneurial. They’re really happy to be paid to do their service. They enjoy writing. They enjoy the research, they enjoy the security of employment, and that’s what they do. And it just doesn’t occur to them to think, to build a business.
It’s like when I sold products, I was always amazed the suppliers didn’t sell the product direct themselves, but they don’t have the skillset to research the books and understand where the opportunity is. They don’t necessarily think like Amazon, like you need to understand how Amazon thinks. What do they want to put on this platform for their customers?
There’s a small amount of investing in your own future. Not nearly as big as in most online businesses with an eBook, because you might pay a thousand or so dollars to produce that book. But not everybody’s able or wants to do that. It’s just a step into investing in yourself and your own future returns on that investment that I’m willing to make and you are willing to make.
And people listening to this might be willing to make, to learn how to make money for yourself in the future through learning a skill, implementing the skill. And managing the assets you’ve created. Whereas a lot of people are just happy to be paid hours for dollars to write the books. Just different breeds.
And lucky for us, those people are really grateful for the work. They’re really proud of what they produce. They do a great job and we both do what we love doing. Brilliant. Match made in heaven.
[00:42:29] Joel Erway:
So, out of curiosity are you the author of these books or do you come up with a, what is it, a cover name or?
[00:42:40] Sophie Howard:
Yeah, I have pen names. Pen. I’ve got a bunch different pen names. . Yeah, so I’ve got ones that do the gardening stuff or the self-help stuff, or the music ones or biographies. and that’s been really good. It just means it’s really standard in the industry. It’s really weird thing to get your head around some of my students who I teach how to do this.
Like, that’s weird. Can I not just do it as myself? It’s like, no, just follow the process because you might sell that business one day or you might actually want to write your own book on something one day and it just gets a bit murky because once you’ve registered that author’s bio with Amazon, it’s sort of the umbrella that all those books are tender and if you use your own.
and you want to do a bunch of books on different topics, which you will, it doesn’t really make sense when they’re all under somebody who’s got their name on a gardening book and a parenting book. So I like to branch out and have a sort of a brand, an author for each series of books in each niche. And I don’t have hundreds of them.
I’ve got lots of books now, but a bunch of different pen names that you create and I can teach you how to come up with the name and make it a quality experience for the reader without them needing to know who you are personally. So you’re a business owner, you’re creating assets that the market’s buying, but they’re not really buying you as a person.
They’re buying the content of that book. So the name doesn’t matter, the cover design does, but your name is not going to help sell that book. And I like to keep a bit of a line between me personally and my businesses. And that’s just how I do it and it’s how most people do it actually, unless you are a business person creating a book to establish your credibility in that business.
So I’m sure I’ve got some on the floor here, but say, Here. Profit First is a book by Mike Malowitz. Mm-hmm. . He’s a great guy. He writes really, really helpful books for all entrepreneurs. Highly recommend him. But he wrote this book under his name because in this book, he’s selling his system on how to run profitable online or actually all physical businesses too.
And he’s got a course and a qualification and he wants the readers, this book to come to him. Personally, I don’t, I just want them to buy another book by that pen name author off Amazon. Keep going, keep reading. Go, go, go . But I don’t need them coming back to me personally. There’s no relationship between the reader and me as a human.
It’s just my books are what they want. Got it. That’s so, that works. So it’s a bit weird to get your head round, but it’s totally standard in the industry.
[00:44:57] Joel Erway:
Let me ask another question. Why longer books and like, you’re only selling them for three bucks, right? What’s the psychology or the reasoning behind, you know, 30,000 word books versus say, Short guides, you know, pocket guides or whatever that might be, 10,000 words or 5,000 words, you know, especially if you’re only selling them for a couple of bucks.
What’s the reasoning behind that? Have you tried shorter books? And if so, I’d love to hear kind of like how that experiment went.
[00:45:28] Sophie Howard:
Yeah, I tend not to mess with things that aren’t broken. So the 30,000 words there’s a few reasons. One is when they’re narrated as an audiobook, they’re over three hours, and then the price of the audiobook and the commission’s a lot higher.
So for one of the income streams, the length really matters to your payout per sale. So that’s one reason. Second, that upfront cost to produce a book is very quickly forgotten. You’ve got years of that book selling, and if you’ve just sort of made it shorter, but the price isn’t necessarily lower, you really want the price to be $2 99.
Royalty sends 70%, which is good. If you sell your book for 99 cents, you only get like 10 cents. It’s hardly worth it. So you want a bit of substance, you want your readers to be happy with the book. You want them to leave a good review that they got lots from the book. So there is probably a whole strategy out there of doing even shorter books and keeping the price down and churning them out faster.
But I just found that that’s my sweet spot. It’s what the market’s used to. It’s what people are happy to pay $3, the psychology to buy a $3 book’s not too high. You know, it’s no complicated decision making going on. If you’re trying to learn how to get better at a hobby, you buy two or three books on that subject without really flinching if they’re eBooks.
If you’ve got a big problem or an opportunity in your business and you want to learn, you know, spending 15 or $20 on a great paper. It’s going to turn out from Amazon in a couple of days. Time is a great investment. So I just think if the problem is interesting enough for the opportunity’s, interesting enough for the reader, give them the very best product you can.
And then you might even go, I’d be tempted to go bigger rather than smaller. I’d be tempted to do a whole series of books and then a box set on something and then up the price tag rather than go smaller and cut out the upfront costs. You could probably go a little bit faster by going shorter, but I think long term the profitability on each individual book would be better, going bigger and better quality with the book.
And I want books I’m proud of. I mean, I don’t have my name physically on the books, but I put my name behind what I’m doing here talking to you today. And now I want to sell good quality books and the readers to have good reading experiences and learn what they wanted to learn in those books. If it takes 30,000 words, you just, it makes the process easy.
You’ve got a style guide for your outlines. You’ve got a fixed rate card with your writers. The formatting, you always do six inches by nine inches and it makes the book the right dimensions and sickness. It’s just like copy and paste. Business is a lovely. Don’t want to reinvent things every time.
[00:47:58] Joel Erway:
That makes sense.
Right. You know, I think the biggest thing for me, just perceived value. If somebody gets a shorter book, the likelihood of them leaving a positive review is probably lower. Like, that’s, that’s just not, that’s not true across the board. Actually, the book that I published 10 years ago was very short. Maybe 40 pages.
Yeah. Like it was, it was meant to be a study guide for engineering exam. The book was called How to Beat the Fe Exam without Beating Your Head. And very small, very niche audience. And I priced it at 10 bucks probably. I broke every rule that that you’ve talked about. Priced it at 10 bucks and, you know and it was only 40 pages, but it was my intellectual property.
It was meant to lead people into working with me directly, but you know, still produces royalties to this day. So the idea of a longer book, higher perceived value probably leads to more reviews, more positive reviews, and as long as the content is good. , which obviously helps with your sales rank and getting you more sales, et cetera, et cetera.
So that makes total sense. So one final thing right before we kind of wrap this up is I want to talk about the business model, what we talked about earlier, which is diversifying your income streams and, and the idea of quote unquote staying small with a bunch of small books to possibly, you know avoid competition, avoid, you know, competing with lots and lots of different, different products.
But, you know, talk about the power of. Publishing as many books as you can so you have diversified income streams. Cause I know that’s, that’s the biggest thing that you guys preach and that’s why you work with people for 12 months is so you can help them get their first book live, help them get their feet wet and, you know, get their sea legs, get their author legs, and, and start to produce another book as fast as possible over the course of, you know, over the course of 12 months.
So talk about that diversified income stream with these eBooks and, and why that’s so important to your values and, and helping your students have success. Yeah.
[00:50:09] Sophie Howard:
Well, everybody starts a business. If you’re entrepreneurial and you want a business and you’re, you know, you’ve got various things running through your head as you start a business, you want to create something.
Lots of people are creative, lots of people want the financial reward. People want to do something for themselves. You know, everybody’s motivation’s different and everybody’s end goal is a dollar value is different as well, and not just the dollar value of. Say monthly income off this business. But you know what they do with that income.
Do they get to retire? Do they get to spend more time with their children? Do they get to quit the day job or work part-time or travel more? I mean, everybody’s motivations are a little bit different, but one thing that’s common for everyone is the security that you get. The work you do up front needs to give you a reward.
So you’ve taken some risk and put some effort in at front, and that reward just keeps on rolling. If you’ve made the right choices with the book topics and done the work the right. So the more books that you publish, the more income stream rolls in. But actually the hardest bit of the process is upfront getting started, learning how to choose a book topic getting familiar with the process of hiring a ghost writer.
Once you’ve done that once and being right round the circuit of full book production, launched it, it’s live, it’s selling. You’ve got a paycheck from Amazon. Why not just do that more because you’ve invested in that sort of lurch. There’s big hump at the front, learning the process, being taught how to do this.
But once you know how to do it, repeating it is really, really easy. So you’ve got your long list of book topics. You’ve got a process to outsource the writing, the cover design. Uploading. So the more you can have different books and different topics selling, the better. Some might be more summer themed and therefore a bit more seasonal or books about habits.
And you know, self-improvement tends to kick off in January when everyone’s got great intentions for the year. So you can have some seasonal variations, you can go into different markets. So some of my top study books are in Italy. So you get the currency, you get another whole market where just the English language books aren’t even competing at all.
So the more diversification you can get, currency, time of year, different subjects then you’ve got the three different formats, audiobook, paperback, and eBook, I have to think about that. So you’ve got three formats, different languages, different subjects all around the world. And so that’s a really robust business that lets me sleep while at night.
And I really like that. So there’s no one superstar book. It’s the portfolio that works. And any investor wants to have a portfolio. Nobody, Warren Buffett doesn’t just buy one business and sit on Coca-Cola. He’s always looking for solid quality assets that perform you want to portfolio because it protects you in the future.
You get the upside of the good ones. If one has a wobble, it’s averaged out and gets lost in the noise of the other ones that are charging ahead. So it’s just good business practice. It’s also smart to use your skills. I mean, there’s a great time here, great opportunity with the timing of the market where the demand for eBooks is so high and the competition is so low that if you are set up with the knowledge, know what to do, go for it.
You know, get 12 books out in a year and then five years from now you’ve got, you know, all those books still selling. And if you want to add more, you can, or you get it up to a size that you’re happy with and then ease off. But I haven’t ever had a day where I don’t want to produce a book that’s going to make me profit.
It’s what I do. So it’s really easy when you know how it’s really low incremental effort to add one more book to that library of book selling. And it just makes the payout from Amazon higher and higher and they just compound and build and build. And suddenly you’ve got a, you know, multi six figure income stream running each year, which then gives you lots of nice options.
But if you stopped at one or two books, you don’t get that big breakthrough where it really changes your lifestyle. So I think it’s a portfolio game. You can dabble. Some people just want to do one book about their own family tree or something, you know, total personal interest. They want to be a published author.
They might only do one book, but the opportunity in the model I teach is doing this as a serious business that generates a serious enough amount of income that gives you financial freedom. It’s the goal for me. Hopefully, lots of you listening you can see that adding a few of these books together gives you a new income stream.
And that’s what it’s all about.
[00:54:32] Joel Erway:
The more that I think about this, the more that I listen to you talk about it, the more I realize how incredible this is for especially, you know, busy working professionals. Like if they’re looking for their first kind of like side hustle or side income stream to start, you know, dabbling on the side.
So many business opportunities really require a ton of your time and effort to get started up. And this is something that. Doesn’t, you know, it’s, it’s totally outsourceable. It’s a skillset that you can learn, and it doesn’t require a high investment. It doesn’t require a high startup cost to get these, to get these products created, which that’s like the biggest aha moment for me.
It’s like, if you’re looking for something, if you’re looking for a business opportunity or a side income stream that can really be done part-time that, you know, you can slowly work your way into, get your sea legs and, and, and learn this skillset that doesn’t have a whole lot of risk. Like, I can’t think of another opportunity that lets you, that lets you do that.
Right. For me, my whole goal, when I launched my first Kindle eBook, I thought I was going to become rich selling a $10 eBook online. And, you know, I knew nothing about, you know, the size of my market. I knew nothing about market dynamics marketing. I’ve, I didn’t study marketing at all. I’m like, okay, cool. I’m going to make a bunch of money selling this eBook.
And I’m, you know, I didn’t even put together the business model, but, you know, did I become rich selling that eBook? No. Did I make, you know, a few hundred dollars every single month on autopilot without ever doing any marketing? Yep, I did. And it was, you know, it, it’s just kind of like when you reflect on it, it’s a going through that you don’t know what you don’t know.
I thought that was a failure. Little did I, and that was my first business opportunity I ever started. Little did I know that once I pivoted away from that book, I mean, yes, I did keep that live, so that kept making me money. But I pivoted away from that market and that niche, and then I started a million other biz ops.
All of which failed, or I struggled, or I lost way more money than I did in writing my first eBook and collecting profits. And so it’s almost like, man, you really don’t know what you don’t know. And like, I actually, I hit a triple, like, you know, I hit a home run with my first book. I started making money, which then I tried a whole bunch of other different biz ops inside hustles and creating my own courses and products and doing drop shipping on Amazon and start trying to start a software company, right?
Those were all misses. But yet I look back at my first attempt ever, man, I actually, like, I hit a triple, I hit a home run on my first attempt, and then I just thought that the W grass was greener on the other side. And I tried all these other op, these shiny objects ended up costing me tons of money and tons of time.
But if I just stuck with eBooks, I would’ve, yeah. You know, I would’ve built up a portfolio stream. And so, You know, it’s just kind of like, man, that’s why I was so excited to talk to you, because it’s like going back to my roots and trying to get people to be like, Hey, this stuff works. Like getting them to see the opportunity, getting them to just, to, to focus and find a very low risk, low cost investment that anybody can do.
It’s like, just start batten singles, right? Just bat as many singles as you possibly can and start stacking the cash because. These are income streams, monthly income streams. If you listen to any business guru, they’re going to tell you, and they’re going to tell you to focus on, like collect the monthly recurring revenue, monthly recurring revenue.
And, you know, that was why I get addicted to like building a software company. Like, oh, just get monthly recurring revenue. But like, if you get monthly recurring revenue with like eBooks, like man, that stuff starts to compound over and over and over and over again. Especially if you can pick Evergreen products and, and you start building that portfolio like you talked about.
It’s just, it gets me so amped up, it gets me so excited. And so anyway, Sophie, thanks for sharing that. It was it was really, really incredible. Spend a couple minutes talk about your mentorship program. I know you work with people over the course of 12 months to help them launch as many books as they possibly can.
And it’s by invite only. So give us a little bit of an overview of, of what happens over the course of those 12 months, who you’re specifically looking to work with. And ultimately, you know, why is it by application only? Why is it invite only you know, what does that allow your team to do?
And you know, let’s, let’s talk about that for a minute.
[00:59:00] Sophie Howard:
Sure. So it’s a program I’ve put together. Assuming somebody who knows nothing about publishing, not any experience at all, Amazon books, nothing, not a writer how would you need to get from where you are there to a successful eBook business owner with recurring revenue?
So there’s obviously a bunch of skills that you need to learn some training on. Book topic selection’s a really important thing. And then the steps of the process, which are quite mechanical, but easy when you’ve got templates to follow. So it’s basically anyone who sees this business model as something that’s really appealing but knows they don’t have the knowledge to actually go out and do it, but wants to get there really quickly.
So we, I move really fast. We can, you know, take you through the training as fast as you want to go, but basically also support you along the journey as well, one-on-one at times, you know, really digging into your book topic ideas. Does that manuscript look good? Is that right? At the right match? Is the quality of the book good?
Right through to you pressing upload and hitting for sale on Amazon and then onto the next book. So we’re going to teach you if you want to learn how to build a business out of this model. So not just how to produce one book or you know sort of a list of what to do. We’ll work with you through the whole journey with you, you know, tailoring it for your goals, which is really important because some of you are really busy.
You’ve got a big day job, you’ve got a limited amount of extra spare time, and you can just sort of chip away at it in the background. But we’ll make sure that time that you spend is really productive and well spent moving you forwards, going at the pace that suits you. Some of you might want to be like, right, I want 12 books.
Let’s go. And, you know, if you want to sprint at it and really go fast, we can do that with you too. So, because we’ve got a team that work with you in lots of small group time, one-on-one supports, we really want the people coming into the program who get what this opportunity’s about. Really clear with your goals, you know, you want 10 k a month income stream.
So you’re going to build 12 or 15 books or whatever, a book a month for a year over the 12 months. Get really confident with the systems, get really organized with, you know, just what goes in at the front end, your book briefing for your writer books coming out the other end. Stack them up and just start adding up that monthly recurring revenue.
So everything I’ve learned along the way, the people I use and don’t use the way I write the brief for that, the tools I use, we’ve got in-house tools to do the research that nobody else accesses. So you get really great data on what’s selling and where the hotspots of books are. We’ve got all sorts of monthly trainings different topics that you’re going to need to learn about.
Some of it’s sort of a technical training. The next bit might be building your own team and getting your own gang around you so that you can keep going. Without me, you know, it’s no good if you’re still dependent on me and my team at the end of the year, we want you self-sufficient. You know, fledging the nest, ready to keep scaling.
So the, the model’s quite easy to learn which is good. It’s not really tricky. Each book’s the same, so it’s very rinse and repeat kind of model, which is one of the things I really like about it then it’s really just up to you, your budget, your time, availability, how fast you go at it.
So we’re really flexible in working with your goals. One of the first things we’ll do is find out what do you want this business for? How much do you want to generate an income each month? What do you want to do with it? What’s your new lifestyle like? And really getting clear on what you want and why.
And then from that we’ll map out kind of a profit map for you. Well, you need to do these books at this pace to get to there by then. And you just add the pieces together and hit go, and we’ll take you through.
[01:02:41] Joel Erway:
Now you mentioned in the kind of the research process, like it’s really important to pick a niche that is already selling.
Has evergreen demand an evergreen an evergreen product? You said you got a tool to help shortcut that, that is, that is unique that, you know, analyzes the, the sales demand. Talk about that a little bit and cause that piqued my curiosity.
[01:03:03] Sophie Howard:
Yeah. So I spend a lot of time diving around on Amazon, looking at the rankings and what’s selling and at what price, and then look at.
How big is that book? How good is the cover, the description? And so there are ways to do that research, but we’ve built a tool that just shortens the time to do that research so you get a nice snapshot on one page in that niche. What’s selling, how much are they making? How big’s the book? What are their reviews like?
So it just gives you a kind of a quick bird’s eye view of each topic and lets, you know, if you’re onto a good, interesting area, which you then dive into using that research tool. So it’s really up to date by the hour data from Amazon and giving you a really condensed snapshot of what’s going on so that your book topic research is way faster and you’ve got accurate data to make a really good decision.
We’ve built that in-house, so we’re very proud of it. It’s very helpful and I use it. So that’s how I choose book.
[01:03:59] Joel Erway:
That’s awesome. And so that’s not available anywhere else, meaning like are there any other tools that do anything similar to that? I mean, it sounds like a pretty unique competitive advantage if somebody’s looking to, you know, really accelerate their success and accelerate their progress into picking a, you know, their first or their next winning, winning book.
[01:04:17] Sophie Howard:
Yeah. So I mean, there are other ways to do the same research, but we’ve commissioned this and got developers to work with us and using our exact process. We teach, it’s designed to work with how we teach and how we do it. So Perfect. Custom-built. That’s awesome.
[01:04:34] Joel Erway:
And so you’ve, I’m assuming you’ve got, you know, a support system in place and coaches and, and mentors that, that, that guide people, you know, over the course of the 12 months?
[01:04:43] Sophie Howard:
Yeah, so we’ve got coaches who are successful, published kind. Book sellers not writers, they’re not people who write the books themselves. These are people who follow the process I teach. And, you know, outsource the writing. So used to the leap into the gosh, I’m not confident, you know, you get this imposter syndrome.
I don’t know about this subject. I don’t know this writer. I don’t have my own name on this book. You know, people guide you through this psychology of this model as much as the technical skills to write an outline or hire a ghost writer. So we take you through, we’ve got what we call the flight path. You know, there’s skills to learn, bits of Amazon to understand.
Opening your Kindle account, getting things set up the right way to be serious about the business. And then once you get into book topic research, we’ll do that with you one-on-one. There’s, you know, calls one-on-one with these great coaches who can check you on the right line going along the right lines.
Your research looks correct, you know, everything’s checking out. Give you feedback, spot checks on the work. If you want something checked over a cover design or manuscript your author bio that you’ve come up with, you know, all those things that you’re going to be really foreign the first time through will hold your hand through that, make sure you’re really comfortable with each step.
And then as you get more confident the second time round, you’ll have a, you know, far fewer questions. And whipps, you’ll know what you’re doing by the time you’re on the third and fourth, but you are whizzing, you know, so our aim is to get you up to speed and just really confident with the process, with the strategy, with implementing it all.
So you’ve got your own business and The reporting and the Amazon interface side is really simple. You’ve basically got books, sales dollars coming to you each month. So every month Amazon sends you a bunch of paychecks, few monthly royalties from all the different marketplaces you sell in. So that’s great.
So we just approach it in a very business-like way. We’re not dabbling, we’re not doing it all ourselves. We’ll teach you how to build your team, what to outsource and how, and that just makes it scalable in a really robust business. And everything I’ve learned building my business, I share with you.
So we have weekly calls. We have one-on-one coaching as a whole range of support in this program that’s fully designed to help you get the best result, which is whatever result you are shooting for will help you design your business and, and work backwards to help you build it.
[01:07:08] Joel Erway:
That’s awesome. I love it.
Understanding that there’s support along every step of the process is so critical, right. And knowing that you have that in place, like, oh, I need my book covered as, you know, checked over manuscript or, you know, Hey, what do you think about this niche? Or what do you think about this topic? Like, that’s why you’ve got all those people in place now.
You know, the main question that, you know, I think people probably have is, you know, it’s invite only, it’s application only. Like, why not just open this to the public? Like, what, what is, what’s so exclusive about this and, and why is there an application process?
[01:07:44] Sophie Howard:
Well, it’s really because it’s me and my core team of coaches delivering a lot of one-on-one and small group time.
So we want the culture of the people in the program to be people who are, you know, thinking progressively they want to build a business. They want to produce quality books that’s profitable and that follow the model that I teach. And so because we’ve got so much contact time, we really want that right fit, you know, not so much sort of ambition levels because some people will be super ambitious and charging and some people have got, you know, limited time, want to go a bit slower, want to, you know, do one thing at a time and people move along in different styles.
But we just want that fit where, you know, we can see how you want to grow your. What your goals are, how committed are you to the results? That’s what we really want to check because we’re really committed to you and we’re committing a lot of our time to you when we could be doing our own books and doing our other things in life with our families.
You know, if we’ve, if we’re setting aside lots of time to run this program and teach you, we want you to be the people we want to be teaching, we want you to be coachable and taking a step on our advice and actually doing the work. And you know, it’s not very rewarding to share all our knowledge and then sit on it.
Don’t do it. We want people who are action oriented and want to grab it and go, that’s the kind of people we want to be teaching this to. So that’s why we want to have a conversation before anyone gets started just to check that the fits right. And you know, also you get to ask us all the questions and we get to find out more about what you are trying to get results-wise and check that we can work together and we can meet your expectations and and that you understood what the, the game’s all about and that you are ready to go for it because we want to support you.
If you want to go for it.
[01:09:26] Joel Erway:
That makes a ton of sense. And so Sophie, I know if, if I were just starting over or if I were starting from scratch, like I would be all in on this process only because like, I’ve seen it, I’ve experienced it. Like it was, you know, if I could go back in time and just kinda like slap old Joel in the face and be like, listen, like your first attempting you hit a home run, like, do it again.
Do it again. Yeah. And do it again. I would tell Joel, stop bouncing with shiny object syndrome and focus on like the proven path to get, you know, predictable income streaming coming in every single month. And just keep doing that over and over again. And so if you’re listening right now, I highly recommend that you avoid the same mistake that I made and really think about, really consider this opportunity because it’s a growing business.
10% of all of Amazon’s sales go to Kindle. That’s freaking incredible. Like that’s a massive, massive number. And. It’s only growing, you know, every single day. Like the market and the appetite for great information will never go away. It will never go away. And so if you see the opportunity and if you’ve listened to Sophie’s story and you believe that her process and believe that this opportunity is legitimate and it can fit your goals and your lifestyles, and you understand that planting as many seeds as possible and building that diversified portfolio makes a lot of sense.
I encourage you to figure out wherever the link is on this video or down below on this page and book a call and just chat with one of soap’s team members and figure out if this is the right opportunity for you. Because I’ve experienced it firsthand. Now, it hasn’t been Sophie’s Sophie’s program, but I’ve done Kindle in the past.
It still makes me money to this day. And as someone who has built a successful, you know, Agency and built successful products. Like I can vouch, it is really hard. It’s really expensive, and you need a lot of skillsets to make it work. I’ve failed way more times than I’ve been successful, and it just so happens that when I, I tried the first time with Kindle, I was successful, right?
It’s because the marketplace is there and Amazon is willing to send you customers, and if you can eliminate physical products, which is what most people sell on Amazon, now you’ve got just a profit center where your only upfront costs are paying for a copywriter. So maybe you’re out a thousand bucks and okay, fine.
If the book doesn’t sell, you’re only out a thousand bucks, right? If you don’t sell a single copy, you’re only out a thousand bucks. Go find me another opportunity that isn’t going to cost you less than a thousand dollars to get started to test and figure out if this opportunity actually does work.
Right? Very, very, very few and far between. But if you do get a book that actually is successful, that can produce hundreds of dollars for you per month, if not thousands of dollars for you per month in income. And now you start doing that again and again and again and again. You get two books, you get three books, you get five books, you get 10 books.
Like how many books can you write for this to build you four figure per month income stream, a five figure per month income stream. It’s pretty incredible. Sophie, actually before we wrap up, I have one final question that’s been bugging me. It’s just kind of more curiosity base like, you know, what was, you know, cause you talked about like picking niches and picking topics and you know, you have a good gauge on what might work and what might not work.
But was there ever a book that just flat out surprised you? Like, oh, okay, like, I’m going to pick this topic, but it just blew your expectations out of the water. Like, you know, have you ever had one that just kind of like took off to, you know, beyond your wildest expectations? Yeah.
[01:13:12] Sophie Howard:
Well that’s why.
You do need a portfolio because they, you know, you’ve got a snapshot when you choose the book topic of what it’s doing today and its past history of that subject, you know, how that subject’s evolved over time, how much money spent on it, who else is in the game. And so you commission your book based on a projection on that.
So you usually pretty close. I mean, the data’s really strong out of Amazon. There’s absolutely to the hour, you know, what was ranking and what’s sold and how many copies and it’s all there in front of you. But I have had a few that I still dunno why so many people buy them. There’s one that’s got a horrible front cover.
And I keep thinking I should improve it, then I, maybe I shouldn’t touch that one. It’s really good and it was meant to be just like a placeholder and it’s cranking. I think I’ve just been a bit disorganized with that, loading the right cover on time. So it’s got this really ugly cover and I run some ads on that book and nobody else must sell it, you know, it just must be a little small pocket.
But I get every sale on that subject and it’s a winner and that’s what I like. They’re so under the radar, you know, nobody would ever think that there’s an income stream of a book on that win. Wonderful topic. It’s really obscure, but sales and sales and sales every single day, and the ones in different languages.
I translated a few books into different European languages and the. The German one’s. Okay. French one’s fine. Spanish, not a lot, which I thought Spanish would make sense to be the biggest, but no Italian top of the whole chart in Italy. Wow. For dog training. number one seller. That’s crazy. Under a pen name in Italian, you know?
Yeah. Didn’t pick that one. I think maybe everybody got puppies in lockdown. So anyway, it’s just, it was the right book at the right time on the right topic, and it’s just held its spot. Because once you’ve got that real estate at the top of Amazon, that’s the book that gets the most reviews. That’s the one.
Amazon goes, well, that’s the best book on the subject. And you hold your spot even when people come in after. So you’ve just got to be in the game to get the winners. You can sit on the sidelines and try and land, analyze the perfect book for 12 months. And that’s why a coaching program’s good, because we won’t let you do that, but you just pick something and get going because the winners can be you.
Weeks away, but you can’t get the result until you’ve pressed the go button. So get going. If you’re interested in this, don’t want to miss out and sit on the sidelines and watch other people sell all these books when you had the opportunity to, but didn’t think you could choose one or you start the program and never quite get round to choosing a book.
We don’t want to, you know, have that situation. If you, if you join our program, we’ll really push you to get started and pick a book, get it out the door.
[01:15:47] Joel Erway:
Awesome. So if you’re seriously considering this, find the link wherever it is on this on this page or on this video. Book a call with Sophie’s team, fill out the application.
I promise you’re not going to regret it. I truly, truly believe that there’s probably no simpler, less risky opportunity out there for many, many, many people. Really build a predictable income stream. You know, Amazon’s done it all, really, they’ve just helped so many people build their own business.
And I really do believe that this niche within Amazon is the lowest risk possible. And so if you are considering this, please get off the fence. Let’s do it. Go book a call with Sophie’s team and I’m excited to hear what your success is. After you go through, do that, join the program and start writing your books.
So go write your books today. Go get started now and thanks for tuning in. We’ll see you on the next episode. Take care.
Thanks for listening to this episode of Experts Unleashed. If you are looking for new and innovative ways to design and execute your plan to become a six or seven figure expert without the massive team, apply email@example.com.