I help make it easy for bloggers and other content creators to self-publish nonfiction books that will help them build instant authority and credibility, establish them as thought leaders, and more.
Kunz shares with you lots of actionable information that you can apply to all aspects of your own book publishing - from writing, editorial, production, design, selling, and book marketing - AND provides practical tips, guidance, and strategies to help new and experienced authors sell more books for years to come.
Who Is My Podcast For?
My podcast is specifically for those that are hoping to self-publish non-fiction as a way to enhance their current business and career. For example, you might be a business owner hoping to show the world that you are an expert in a very particular niche. Or a chef that specializes in pastries.
Or, a licensed medical professional, or lawyer, etc., that is trying to attract new business by writing a book about a particular speciality. We all know that a simple business card, a tri-fold brochure, and a resume, don’t cut it anymore. But, a well written book can become an amazing and very powerful way to stand out from the crowd of “experts”.
What Is My Podcast About?
Creating, writing, marketing, and making money by self-publishing non-fiction. I share with my listeners lots of actionable information that they can apply to all aspects of their own non-fiction book publishing – from writing, editorial, production, design, selling, and book marketing – AND provide practical tips, guidance, and strategies to help new and experienced authors sell more books for years to come.
6 Simple Tips For Writing Non-Fiction In Plain English
Writing in “plain English” is a great way to make a good impression on your audience. This means writing in a way that makes your message easy to read and understand. It doesn’t matter who your audience is or what your subject matter is about. Every audience will benefit from writing that uses plain English. This will help you build a bigger audience and sell more books. Here are my 6 favorite tips to help you start.
What You Will Learn In This Post
1. You will learn how to simplify your non-fiction writing to make it easier to understand and remember.
2. You will learn how and why writing in plain English can help you build and retain a broader readership and following.
3. You will learn how and why writing in plain English will make you look smarter and your writing more powerful.
Writing in “plain English” is a great way to make a good impression on your audience. This means writing in a way that makes your message easy to read and understand. It doesn’t matter who your audience is or what your subject matter is about. Every audience will benefit from writing that uses plain English.
And it certainly doesn’t mean talking down to your audience or using baby words. It means writing in a way that gets your message to your intended audience in a respectful and appropriate manner. Your readers will sense this and respect you for it. This is how you build an audience for your work.
Here are my 6 favorite tips to help you start writing in plain English:
Tip # 1. Write For Your Audience, Not For You
In other words, put your reader first. Always. Writing non-fiction is about providing value to the reader and helping them solve their problems. Their needs come first, not yours. You must speak directly to the reader. You do this by using only words and concepts that are appropriate for your audience. If you’re writing to show off how smart you are, you’ll lose them immediately – and they won’t come back.
Tip # 2. Avoid Big And Fancy Words
This doesn’t mean that you must use simple words. It means that you must use words that are appropriate for your audience. No matter who your audience is, or what the subject matter is, you’ll look foolish and insecure if you use big, fancy, ornate words. Using these kinds of words are the fastest way to lose your readers. If you sincerely want to help people, and be taken seriously as a writer, don’t use them.
Tip # 3. Avoid Slang, Jargon, Abbreviations, And Clichés
These types of phrases typically don’t help your reader. If, for some reason, you need to use one, you must explain what the term means. Don’t ever assume the reader will know what you’re talking about. It would be unfair and disrespectful of your reader, and they’ll sense that. And you’ll have wasted their time.
Tip # 4. Write Short And Clear Sentences
Shorter sentences go a long way to making your writing more comfortable to read and understand. Long sentences tend to be confusing and tiring to read. Writing shorter sentences forces you to cut out all the unnecessary words. Try to keep your sentences under 20 words.
“Writing in “plain English” is a simple but powerful technique that will help you retain more readers and sell more books. Here are 6 tips to help you get started.” (CLICK to tweet this quote)
Tip # 5. Use Contractions
Yes, contractions. Such as: “can not” becomes “can’t;” “will not” becomes “won’t.” They help you sound natural,
4 Basic Content-Sharing Etiquette-Rules
All content creators and authors want their work to be shared. But, when you take too much information and content from them, it can become a problem for you and for the original author. Especially if you take credit for someone else’s work, or don’t credit them properly. Here are the basic rules, as I see it, you need to follow.
What You Will Learn In This Post
1. You will learn my 4 basic rules for sharing another author’s content.
2. You will learn why linking to another author, or providing backlinks, in imperative.
3. You will learn some of the fundamental ways that you shouldn’t be claiming the work of others as your own.
If you would like to share, use, or copy, any of an author’s content or work to use on your website, in your article, in your blog post, in your book, or anywhere else, that’s great. It’ll help that author expand their audience, and it will help you and your audience too. Sharing content is expected. The entire internet is about sharing content.
And all content creators and authors want their work to be shared. But, when you take too much information and content from them, it can become a problem for you and for the original author. Especially if you take credit for someone else’s work, or don’t credit them properly.
So, I’ve made a list of some of the ways that my own content is taken and used without giving me any credit, or not the proper credit, for my work. Many of these offenders don’t even include a backlink to my website. I’m sure that many of you have had these same things happen to you too.
Here are the basic rules, as I see it, you need to follow:
Content Sharing Etiquette Rule # 1:
Use The Author’s Name As They Use It
a. You must use the author’s name, as they use it on their own online and in-print work. If the author’s name is Joseph C. Smith, Jr., don’t re-write it as Joe Smith. Or as Joe Smithjr. The author has a reason to write his name the way he does, and you should respect that.
Content Sharing Etiquette Rule # 2:
You Must Include A Backlink To Original Author
a. If you are sharing or using another person’s online content, such as you might find on their website or blog, a link back to the author’s website or blog is mandatory. Simply including their name is not enough. Backlinks are a major part of blogging. You want them, and so does the author whose work you are using.
“Sharing content online & in print is expected & appreciated by most authors and readers. But, there is a proper way to do it, & an inappropriate way to do it. And, as an author and content creator, you are expected to know the difference.” (CLICK to tweet this quote)
Content Sharing Etiquette Rule # 3:
You Must Notify The Original Author
a. If you are sharing or using another person’s content in your own book, ebook or print, notifying the author is mandatory.
b. Sending the author an email letting them know that you are using their content in your book is expected because it’s just common courtesy, and a sign of respect.
c. The original author can then let their own readers see how and where their content is being used, and share and promote your content too. It’s a win-win-win for all involved. This is how you succeed as an author, blogger, and business person.
Content Sharing Etiquette Rule # 4:
Don’t Put Your Name On Something That You Didn’t Create
a. You cannot re-post an author’s content and then add your name as co-author.
5 Selfishly Great And Satisfying Reasons To Write A Non-Fiction Book
If you like to help people improve their own lives, careers, businesses, and relationships – by teaching, inspiring and sharing your own knowledge and experiences – then you should be writing non-fiction. Here is a short list of my favorite reasons why you should be writing and selling your own non-fiction books.
What You Will Learn In This Post
1. You will learn why writing non-fiction is a great way to help satisfy your own needs and wants.
2. You will learn five amazing reasons you should want to start writing non-fiction books.
3. You will learn about some of the stumbling blocks that are no long standing in your way.
If you like to entertain people, then you would probably enjoy writing fiction. But, if you like to help people improve their own lives, careers, businesses, and relationships – by teaching, inspiring and sharing your own knowledge and experiences – then you should be writing non-fiction.
From my perspective, we all have an obligation to do this, especially if we like to communicate by writing. And, in the high-tech world we live in today, there are no more obstacles preventing us from doing this through self-publishing.
Here is a short list of my favorite reasons why you should be writing and selling your own non-fiction books:
Reason # 1. A Non-Fiction Book Can Boost Your Career and Business
Even with the huge proliferation of self-publishing, having your name on a published book will still impress most people. One of the main reasons to write a non-fiction book is to boost your credibility in the eyes of your current clients, your prospective clients, your co-workers, and your peers.
Handing a prospective client your signed book is infinitely more impressive than handing them a business card and a brochure. Credibility is one of the main ingredients to building a great career and business. A well-written non-fiction book will help you achieve that.
Reason # 2. More People Buy Non-Fiction Books
There will always be a demand for non-fiction books. Just walk in to any big book store, look around, and you will immediately see that non-fiction takes up almost the entire store. Non-fiction sales numbers have been rising for many years, and outpacing fiction. In addition, many book buyers don’t mind paying a higher price for non-fiction books.
Reason # 3. Non-Fiction Books Help Make The World A Better and More Productive Place
You spend your life learning about certain topics. Topics that you have become an expert in. And you get paid for applying that knowledge to help others improve their own lives. A non-fiction book will enable you to help many thousands more than you could realistically help from your own office.
Reason # 4. Non-Fiction Books Are Easier To Market And Sell
With non-fiction it’s much easier to find and understand your target audience. This is half the battle to building a successful marketing plan. And, it’s essential if you have any hope for sales success. And, as an added bonus, non-fiction books generally have a very long shelf life. This means that your book, if written properly, will keep making you money for a long time.
Reason # 5. Non-Fiction Books Aren’t Overly Difficult To Write
Although there is nothing easy about writing, especially for publication, you’re probably writing about topics that you already have a knowledge, understanding, and expertise in. Or, at the very least, a topic that you have a great enthusiasm for and interest in.
And, if you look at writing your non-fiction book not as one gigantic project, but as many little goals that you can achieve one at a time, you’re more likely to finish writing it. So, with some planning, some research,
Book Review: The Public Domain Publishing Bible
This is an updated version of the post that was originally posted on September 22, 2011.
•Title: The Public Domain Publishing Bible
•Sub-title: How To Create “Royalty” Income For Life
•Author: Andras M. Nagy
•Publisher: Murine Communications
•Publication Date: 2011
•Author Website: None
“Great insightful advice for the novice publisher.” JCK
This is an easy to read and comprehensive guide on how to republish public domain books to get started as a self-publisher. Heavy emphasis on starting and running a self-publishing company on a very tight budget. Plenty of practical advice and resources for doing this. Nagy also discusses how, what, and why he republished books that are in the public domain.
I really enjoyed reading Nagy’s book. It’s an easy to read and comprehensive guide on how to republish public domain books as a way to get started as a self-publisher. There’s a heavy emphasis on starting and running a self-publishing company on a very tight budget. He gives us plenty of practical advice and resources for doing this.
It was very helpful to read about how, what, and why Nagy himself republished books that are in the public domain. This is a practical how-to book that will appeal to every budding entrepreneur looking for a way to enter the world of publishing. I wish that I had found this book before I got started as a publisher of public domain books. I had to discover all of this information on my own by doing a lot of research over a long period of time.
My Favorite Piece Of Advice
One of my favorite pieces of advice appears early in Nagy’s book when he recommends that a novice publisher should choose a genre that they know something about. It should be a subject that you already love and can easily see yourself devoting time and money to. Nagy suggests, “If you wish to publish classical literary works, you should be reading and studying your genre. If you like poetry, perhaps that genre is to be tried first.”
More Great Advice
Nagy gives us another great piece of advice when he stresses that we should consider adding original content to the out-of-copyright book. This will add value to the final book. This added content, such as “editorials, footnotes, and illustrations,” will help make it easier for your readers to understand the content of the original book. It’ll also help the buyer choose your “value added” edition over all the others that are available for sale that don’t have the additional content.
A Word From The Author
In Nagy’s Foreword, he explains that “The cornerstone of using public domain information is to creatively build upon existing ideas and works of art.” “With some fresh ideas, and using this book, anyone can do what I have done on a shoestring. There are many aspiring authors who find it comforting to run a publishing company while working on their own creative literary urges.”
How I Relate To This Book
As a publisher of a few public domain titles myself, I can personally testify that Nagy’s information and advice can work. My wife Michele and I own and manage a medical training company here in New York. Most of our students are nurses. We realized that many of them, especially the younger ones, had never heard of, or read the works of, Florence Nightingale.
So, we decided to republish Nightingale’s most famous book, “Notes on Nursing”. We turned it into a “Annotated Nursing-Student Edition.” We added quite a lot of new “value added” content to make the book much easier to understand and use.
How To Create A One Minute Book Promo Video in 4 Easy Steps
My main goal here is to share with you how I create my book promo videos so that you can see the basic steps involved. With a little bit of research, some patience, some practice, and persistence, you should be able to make your own book promo video without too much hassle. Now get ready, because here is a quick run-down of the 4 main steps I follow in order to make my basic 1-minute book promo videos.
What You Will Learn In This Post
1. You will learn the 4 basic steps to create a simple book promo video for your own book.
2. You will learn exactly how I do it for the books that my wife and I self-publish.
3. You will learn which software I use, and where I post the completed video.
My main goal here is to share with you how I create my book promo videos so that you can see the basic steps involved. For my own sanity, I try to keep the process as simple as possible. My goal is to always to take a complicated process, make it as simple as possible, and still produce a quality product. And, with patience and practice, each time I produce one of these little videos, I’ll get a little bit better at it. And hopefully sell a few more books in the process.
Here is a quick run-down of the 4 main steps I follow in order to make my basic 1-minute book promo videos:
Step # 1. Create a PowerPoint deck
Step # 2. Export deck to .jpeg
Step # 3. Import .jpeg’s to iMovie
Step # 4. Convert iMovie to mp4
Here is a list of the software programs that I utilize to produce my promo videos:
1. Microsoft PowerPoint for Mac, ver. 16
2. Apple iMovie, ver. 10
3. Adobe Illustrator 2020
4. Adobe Photoshop 2020
a. Microsoft PowerPoint I bought as a package of an entire suite of Microsoft products called Microsoft Office 365 Home, which has an annual fee to use.
b. Apple iMovie is a free download from the Mac App Store.
c. The Adobe programs are part of Adobe Creative Cloud which I pay a monthly fee to use.
I upload my videos to the following websites:
(For this book, it’s to my wife’s pages)
Website # 1. My YouTube page
Website # 2. My book’s webpage (on the book’s main page, and on the Media Kit page for that book)
Website # 3. My Twitter page
Website # 4. My Facebook page
Here is a more detailed look at the steps that I follow to create my promo videos:
Step # 1. Create slide presentation in PowerPoint
The general rule for making PowerPoint slides is to keep them simple, short, and to the point.
Step # 2. Add a .jpeg picture of your book’s cover, and your headshot
Make sure they are clear, easy to see and read, high quality photos.
Step # 3. Add text to each slide
Again, don’t overdo it. Keep is simple, with lots of white space.
Step # 4. Save as a PowerPoint presentation .pptx
This will complete step 1.
Step # 5. Export slides as .jpeg
Save them in the same folder as the PowerPoint deck/presentation that you just made.
“A successful and profitable non-fiction book promo video must be honest, sincere, short, simple, clean, easy to understand, see, and read, and not pushy or aggressive – a wise strategy to use in all of your book marketing.” a href="https://ctt.ac/XucP0" title="Thank you very much for sharing this. I really appreciate it.
Strippable Books Vs. Non-Strippable Books: A Guide For Self-Publishers
This post was originally published on March 24, 2011, and updated on March 12, 2020.
Understanding the terminology, jargon, terms-of-art, lingo, and slang, of the book publishing industry as a whole, can only help us become better and more successful at self-publishing. Here is a discussion of the terms “strippable” and “non-strippable” as they relate to printed books, and their covers.
What You Will Learn In This Post
1. You will learn the physical differences between a book that is considered strippable, and one that is not.
2. You will learn why a particular book is considered strippable, or it isn’t.
3. You will learn who is concerned and affected by these designations.
Almost none of us that are involved with self-publishing will ever need to deal with books that are strippable or not. But, despite that fact, we still need to understand the book industry in its entirety. Understanding the terminology, jargon, terms-of-art, lingo, and slang, of the book publishing industry as a whole, can only help us become better and more successful at self-publishing.
Here is a discussion of the terms “strippable” and “non-strippable” as they relate to printed books, and their covers.
“Strippable” simply means that a book’s cover can be torn off, or stripped off, by the book retailer or distributor, and then sent back to the book publisher for a credit or refund. The publisher tells the book retailers and distributors which books that it will allow to be stripped, and which books cannot be stripped.
“Understanding the terminology, jargon, terms-of-art, lingo, and slang, of the book publishing industry as a whole, can only help us become better and more successful at self-publishing.” (CLICK to tweet this quote)
Each publisher has its own rules and guidelines about which books can be stripped. By stripping off the cover of a book, and sending the cover back to the publisher, without the body of the book, postage costs will be greatly reduced.
Obviously, it’s much less costly to send back a bunch of book covers than it is to send back a box of full books. After the cover is stripped off the book, the rest of the remaining book is supposed to be destroyed.
“Non-strippable” books are just the opposite of “strippable”. “Non-strippable” means that a book cannot be returned to the publisher for a credit or refund unless the book is complete, with the cover intact.
Who Is Involved With, Concerned About, And Affected by, Stripping Books?
Stripping books is something that self-publishers will probably never need to be involved with. Strippable and non-strippable books are something that the large publishers, book distributors, and retail bookstores are involved with.
The large publishers are forced by the retailers and distributors to accept returns. Retailers feel that it’s too risky for them to put a book in their stores without having the option of sending the book back for a credit or refund.
Distributors feel that it’s too risky for them to receive many thousands of copies of a book from a publisher without having the option of sending the books back for a credit or refund. The large publishers accept returns because they are dependent on the book retailers and distributors for their financial survival.
As a small self-publisher, we generally don’t want, or shouldn’t want, our books in bookstores. Having your book displayed at a bookstore might be good for your ego, but not for your bank account. Once you get involved with self-publishing, you’ll learn very quickly that bookstores ...
Customer ReviewsSee All
Great podcast for future publishers!!
Really great, easy to listen to, and very helpful. Will be using Joe's podcasts to help me get my self-publishing career started.
I enjoyed listening to Joe's podcasts. I learned some interesting new things to help me get published. I am looking forward to listening more. Thank you.