Steve Scott is the real deal.
I met Steve at the New Media Expo conference back in January of this year. We knew each other virtually before that, and I've always had a lot of respect for his business.
When I met Steve, I was immediately struck with how down to earth and genuine he is. Not only is he making a killing with his business, but he's also the kind of guy that anyone should get along with.
Perrin and I really wanted to have him on our podcast because we are in the process of launching our own Kindle ebook related to our authority site very soon. Steve was out traveling the world for a couple of months, so it took a while to schedule a time…but I'm sure glad we did!
In this podcast, we discuss 2 of Steve's sites: SteveScottSite.com and DevelopGoodHabits.com; and of course his Kindle publishing business. In fact, he was also kind enough to share a link to his author page on Amazon, so you can see a list of all his books! Check them out at HabitBooks.com.
Steve's advice and story is quite impressive as he is only started publishing on Kindle about 2 years ago and is now making anywhere from $30,000 to $60,000 a MONTH! He reveals regular income reports and has great business tips over at SteveScottSite.com.
Finally, Steve has decided to jump into the podcasting game himself and will be launching it soon. You can find out more about his upcoming podcast at: SelfPublishingQuestions.com.
Steve Scott Podcast Notes
I highly encourage you to listen to the full podcast below as there are several tips covered there that are not written down in this blog post. However, if you need to skim, I've written down a good portion of the questions and abbreviated answers below.
What led Steve to starting an Online business in the first place?
Steve was $15k in debt and going through life changes and was trying to figure out ways to make money. He discovered affiliate marketing and went full time around 2005, and has just been improving his business each year since then.
In 2012, he got started in Kindle Publishing.
In his affiliate marketing days, he was creating lots of squeeze pages and using any means necessary to drive traffic and then sold products to those leads. Most of the tactics he used can no longer be applied any more; however, it taught him many skills that he continues to use today.
Why did you start SteveScottSite.com?
He started blogging and didn't really have a specific focus, he wrote about health, money, traveling, or anything. He started to notice that in the comments of his blog, most people were most interested in his internet business.
He eventually started talking more and more about his internet business to evolve where he is now.
What is the Income from your Kindle books?
He started 2014 with income of about $14k to $20k per month. In May he had his biggest month of $60,000 that month in Kindle ebook sales. It has come down a little bit, but is has been between $30k to $50k per month recently.
Where Can People Go to See Your Books?
If people go to HabitBooks.com they can see all of Steve's books in the Habit niche; which is what he is well known for now.
How well has your most recent book sold?
The book is: Master Evernote: The Unofficial Guide to Organizing Your Life with Evernote (Plus 75 Ideas for Getting Started). So far the book has made about $14k in a span of about 2 months.
What's the Process for Launching a book?
Email marketing is pretty much his entire business model. He likes to launch a book at $0.99, and during that time he tries to drive as much traffic using his email list and Facebook groups he's a part of. These initial sales can really boost it with Amazon.
So, when he then raises the price to $2.99 the sales “stick” because Amazon algorithm ranks it well.
How many people are buying from your email list vs. new buyers from Amazon?
In the first week, its probably about 80% from Steve's email list and 20% directly from Amazon.
After the first week, it basically reverses where 80% of sales come naturally from Amazon and only 20% from Steve's marketing efforts.
How often are you emailing your list during the launch period?
Steve takes a more long term approach. He only sends about 3 emails total.
He divides his list in 2: Steve Scott Site list and the DevelopGoodHabits.com list.
The Steve Scott list he emails ones or maybe twice. For the Habit list he emails the first day and then again 2 days before the price change takes place (goes up to $2.99).
How Big are the email lists?
Steve Scott Site list is about 15,000 people. This list has about a 20% open rate.
The Habits list is about 17,000. This list has about 30 to 35% open rate.
What is Your Most Successful Book to Date and how is it doing?
The book is called, Habit Stacking: 97 Small Life Changes That Take Five Minutes or Less. In the last 90 days its done about $25k. During the launch it was selling up to 100 copies a day. He's made around 50 to $60k from that one book.
Most of Sales are coming from Amazon then?
Yes. The catalog approach is good too. They might like one book and then buy others. Or they might not like one book, but do like many others that you have in your back cataloged.
Books can almost be like epic blog posts. By having lots of books on related topics, you can capture an audience and sell more books.
You Launched DevelopGoodHabits.com in January 2013. How do your ebooks and the site work together?
Its mostly one way…Steve is driving traffic to his email list with the blog. He hasn't done much to promote or link build the site.
The site is now getting 250 to 350 unique visitors a day.
Where Are the Email Subscribers coming from?
Most of his email subscribers on the Habits list are coming directly from the Kindle ebooks.
He has has some growth when he wrote related books and promoted them on Steve Scott Site.
Would DevelopGoodHabits.com exist with SteveScottSite.com?
That's hard to say. They do work together; however, Steve feels like he could have built DevelopGoodHabits.com on its own.
What are common mistakes that people should avoid?
Don't just copy what other people are writing about.
Make sure the editing and formatting is done properly. Getting a professional look and editing is very important.
How Important is the Title and Topic of a Book?
When Steve wrote the Habit Stacking book he realized how important the title of books can be. Look at CopyBlogger.com and and other places to get your own swipe file to start building a word document for all potential titles.
MTurk.com can be a place you can run potential titles through and have people vote on best titles.
What Else are You Focusing on for DevelopGoodHabits.com?
Outside of Kindle books, the site does make up to $1,200 a month in Amazon Associates program. He also does audio and print versions of books that generate additional revenue.
He is also looking into foreign translations of the books.
Finally he is also looking to do affiliate marketing to his email list as well (made about $1,600 last month selling one affiliate product).
How do You Launch a Kindle Book without an Email List?
You should launch the book for free. Nick Loper did well with a free launch here; its a great process if you don't have a list or audience.
You can also have an email opt-in in the front of the book to start building out your email list.
Another great strategy is to use the Perma-free technique. You submit your book to Amazon for 99 cents. Then go to SmashWords.com and list it for free there.
Amazon will see that free listing and will price match it for free on Amazon as well.
How do you use Lead Magnets in a Kindle Ebook?
Its just an image with a link to a redirect URL, and Steve uses LeadPages.net for his leads.
What are Steve's Thoughts on Kindle Unlimited?
Steve likes that Kindle Unlimited downloads still counts as sales. This will help move your books up in Amazon's rankings.
They pay $1.80 per download vs. $2.10 for a regular sale. This is pretty good.
However, Amazon also gets more control with this and he's cautious about relying 100% on Amazon. He's still undecided how good or bad it will be.
The center of your business really should be an email list. Drive everyone to your email list.
Email marketing works.
Focus on the quality of the content. You really should write the best possible book that you can.
How Do You Go About Picking Topics for a Book?
Steve tends to write about what he personally find interesting; that's where most of his book ideas come from.
More important than just one topic, find an entire area or market that you know about. You should also do a little bit of keyword research to see what people are buying on Amazon to see what's selling. But overall the brand and topics that sells well.
What About Competition Research?
Steve really doesn't worry about competition. Steve takes long term approach, and will just continuously publish new books and better content. By building that categlog, eventually your books will start outranking other people's books that perhaps just worry more about ranking for keywords on Amazon, etc.
Where Can People Following Along with You?
New Podcast: SelfPublishingQuestions.com
Listen to the Podcast
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