Back Matter 101: How To Add Killer Call To Actions To Your Books

book back matter

Non-Fiction sales are rockin’ on Amazon and other retailers but books sales is not where you’re going to make your “longtail” money. It’s all about how you serve your readers AFTER the book. So how do you do this effectively? That’s where the term “back matter” comes in to play.

Back matter is the portion of your book that comes directly after the final chapter of your book and it is absolutely essential to any nonfiction author. This is where you can place a plethora of information that will lead your readers into taking the next step. Here are some examples of information you can place in your back matter so that your reader becomes a life long fan.

1. About the author – Place a short bio here so readers can learn more about you and your credentials.

2. Other books by this author – The reader just finished your book and is craving more from you.  Tell them about your other books.  If you have a book on preorder, let them know the preorder is available at select retailers (Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble and Kobo).

3.  Connect with the Author – The reader loved your book, they think you’re AWESOME, and they want to connect with you.  Add your active links for Facebook, Twitter, your blog, your website, and your mailing list. Once a reader connects with you via social media, they can start to get to know you and appreciate your super-awesomeness on an entirely new level.  It’s an opportunity for you to start a long term relationship building process that can help casual readers become fans, and help fans grow to become super fans.

4.  Sample chapters of other books – Give them excerpts of your other books with an order link at the end.

5.  Special Free Gift – Many authors provide a special downloadable free gift at the end of their books for readers. A downloadable action guide, to-do list, or other free book is a great list builder.

Shelfari Is No Longer An Option In Author Central

ShelfariI just got off the phone with a very nice representative over at Amazon’s Author Central. I wanted some help incorporating Shelfari into my Author Central profile like I’ve seen on many author’s Amazon pages. I did a little Google research on how to do it but found that the instructions were outdated or just play wrong.

When I called, even the associate wasn’t sure what happened to Shelfari. She had to run and check with someone else. Sure enough, Shelfari has been eliminated as an option for adding to your Amazon author page. When I asked if it was for a certain segment of books (ex. nonfiction vs. fiction), she said “No. All books.” Her words were she thinks that allowing the option “was more trouble than it was worth.”

I’ve heard that some authors abused Shelfari. I’m not sure how. Probably only promoting their own books and not actually sharing and recommending books written by other authors. When sharing good books was really the point. Shelfari was suppose to be a book sharing and social site like Goodreads; but alas Goodreads does it so much better.

So now that Amazon owns Goodreads, I wonder how they will incorporate it (or some of it’s features) into the Amazon book marketplace? It will be interesting to see how it unfolds and hopefully will be of some benefit to us indie authors.

What Are The Most Well-Read Cities In America?

top 20 well read cities

Amazon recently announced via its annual list the most well-read cities in America. This is the fifth year that Amazon has compiled this sort of information and they do it by gathering and analyzing sales data of books, magazines, and newspapers in both print and Kindle formats. This years data was compiled by looking at statistics between April 2014 and April 2015 in cities with more than 500,000 residents.

This year’s top 20 well-read cities are:

1. Seattle, Wash. 11. Charlotte, N.C.
2. Portland, Ore. 12. Baltimore, Md.
3. Las Vegas, Nev. 13. San Diego, Calif.
4. Tucson, Ariz. 14. Houston, Texas
5. Washington, D.C. 15. Indianapolis, Ind.
6. Austin, Texas 16. San Jose, Calif.
7. San Francisco, Calif. 17. Jacksonville, Fla.
8. Albuquerque, N.M. 18. San Antonio, Texas
9. Denver, Colo. 19. Nashville, Tenn.
10. Louisville, Ky. 20. Chicago, Ill.


There was also some interesting data that Amazon pulled when taking a look at the statistics. It’s not surprising that Seattle was the #1 city considering that is Amazon’s home base. They probably have a very strong and loyal buyer base in that city.

Another interesting tidbit was that Las Vegas was the #1 city for buying romance on Amazon.

California is that state that seems to be the most well-read because three cities represent the top 20 from that state: San Francisco, San Diego and San Jose. Maybe when the weather is great you tend to read more:)

One more interesting fact is that Washington, D.C. was the #1 consumer of print books.

Cool data huh?


Google Play Is Closed To New Publishers

Thought this was an interesting piece for indie writers and publishers. Google Play had to close their Publisher program because there were so many book pirates on there uploading other author’s books and selling them at a fraction of the cost. Evidently it was rampant in Google Play. Check out the article from




Kindle Blog Publishing Is Amazon Bestseller!



I’m so excited to share that my new book on Kindle Blog Publishing has cracked the bestseller lists in the Business Writing and Computers & Technology categories. Yippee!!!

If you own a blog and would like to learn how you can generate an easy passive income stream by having readers pay to subscribe to your blog via Amazon, then this is the book for you. At .99 it’s a steal!

Available on Amazon:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU

How To Add An Author Page At Amazon For Your Pen Name


Author Central allows you to manage up to three Author Pages within a single account. If you write under your real name as well as a pseudonym (pen name), you can manage both Author Pages from the same Author Central account. Here’s how:

1. Log in to Author Central (
2. Click the “Books” tab located on the top of the page.
3. Click on the “Add more books” link that appears under “Are we missing a book?”
4. Search for books written by you via title, author, or ISBN.
5. Click “This is my book.”

Once Amazon verifies that you’re an author of the book selected, a second Author Page will be available for you to maintain.

*Please note that Author Central is separate and apart from KDP. You still have to manage all your books (for all your pen names) under one KDP account, one tax ID, etc.

How To Launch Kindle Previewer On Mac OSX 10.8 and Above

kindle previewer troubleshoot

Kindle Publishing Tips Series

A lot can happen in between Mac operating system updates and Kindle Previewer updates. I found this out when I was publishing my latest book to KDP. If you have an updated operating system on your Mac (Yosemite) and are trying to preview your Kindle manuscript/ebook in previewer, then read this…

Issue: When trying to launch Kindle Previewer in Mac OSX 10.8 and above, you get the error message “Kindle Previewer can’t be opened because the identity of the developer cannot be confirmed.”

Question: So what do you need to do to get Kindle Previewer working?

Solution: Hold down the “Control” key while clicking the “Kindle Previewer” icon in the Dock or in a Finder window. Click “Open” in the menu that appears. A dialog window displays the original error message, with the additional message that clicking “Open” will authorize this program to run on this Mac. Click the “Open” button in the dialog window.

*I use a Logitech wireless mouse and keyboard, instead of Mac’s, so you can just “right click” your mouse if you’re using a mouse like that (instead of holding down the control key) and follow the directions for clicking “open” in the menu etc.

How To Get Your Book Proofread On A Shoe String Budget

New writers often ask me about for proofreading and copyediting referrals and when I give them some names and a quote, they run for the hills. Often submitting their unpolished, unedited work to Amazon and the other marketplaces and getting horrible reviews in return. Reviews about editing are some of the worst negative reviews a writer can receive because it speaks to the quality of the book, not the content. People will interpret mistakes in the book content as a direct reflection of the writer’s talent and ability–which we know is not always the case.

But I totally get it.

Many new writers simply do not have the funds to hire an editor for $500 bucks. Not when you haven’t made one dime yet at this whole new publishing adventure:) So here are two suggestions:

1. Try The Hemingway App

proofreading app


This is a really cool editing app. After you’ve spellchecked your work in your own word processing software, you can then use this web-based app and type or copy and paste your text right on the page, then edit it for readability, length, sentence structure, passive/active voice, adverb use, etc. Best of all it’s free!

If you want to use it offline, there is a desktop version for both PCs and MACs that is $6.99 USD. Totally worth the investment if you ask me.

2. Fiverr

Believe or not, you can find a really decent editor on Fiverr. Obviously they are not going to edit an entire book for $5, but you may get 1000 words for that price and then you can just add on gigs to get your entire book done. Still a totally affordable way to have your book edited.

The easiest way to find the right editor for you is to go to the proofreading/editing category. Click on the “high rating” tab and take a look at some of those editors. Pay attention to how many good reviews they have and exactly what they promise per gig. Make sure the gig is NOT for beta reading but for PROOFREADING and/or EDITING.

Want to hire me? Here’s my proofreading gig on Fiverr


Indie Publishing Predictions 2015

I would not imagine myself to be the “expert” on the independent publishing world, so what I do is follow some of the reigning experts out there and wait and see like the rest of you. One of my favorite experts on independent publishing is the owner of Smashwords, Mark Coker. I tend to listen to Mark because he has a pulse on independent publishing and ebook trends much like whoever runs Kindle over at Amazon or iBooks over at Apple. Except Mark is WAY more transparent and of course ultimately more accessible than the experts at the big retailers.

Indie publishing is not the gold rush that we read about in 2009. Ultimately what I’ve noticed through my own experience as well as through the eyes of the experts out there, is that indie publishing success is going to be a bit more difficult than it was a few years ago, but it’s going to be a way better experience for the reader. The cream is going to rise to the top in 2015, so it’s going to be extremely important for us independents to focus on quality: the craft of writing, editing, covers, marketing.

Here’s what Mark had to say about what he thinks we’ll see in indie publishing in 2015:

1.  More authors will aspire to publish indie – In 2008 when I founded Smashwords, nearly all writers aspired to traditionally publish.  Self-publishing was viewed as the option of last resort – the option for failed writers.  Today the former stigma of self publishing is evaporating.  Indie authorship has become a global cultural movement, as I described when I published the Indie Author Manifesto earlier this year. The indie author movement will grow stronger in 2015.  Traditionally published authors will continue to transition to indie, led by midlist authors.  We’ll also see more hybrid authors reorient their publishing strategy back in the direction of indieville.

2.  Indie authors will capture more ebook market share – The percentage of reader dollars going to indie ebooks will increase.  The growth will be fueled by a continued increase in the number of indie-published ebooks, and by more indie authors adopting best practices to publish with greater pride and professionalism.  In March I shared some of my longer term market share projections here and here.

3.  Screen reading will increase, but at a slower rate – For readers of English language books, the early adopters of ebooks have adopted.  I think reading will continue to transition from print to digital, yet the rate of growth will slow.  One bright spot will be the continued growth in screen reading in developing countries aided by the ubiquity of smart phones.

4.  2015 will be slow growth for most authors, indie and traditional alike – I blogged about this topic last month in my post titled, Ebook Publishing Gets More Difficult From Here.  While some indies had a fabulous year in 2014 (look no further than the Smashwords bestseller list published in Publishers Weekly each month), most authors experienced a slower growth year – especially when compared against the go-go days of exponential growth from 2008 to 2012.  The causes for this slow down include a new equilibrium between print and ebook formats; immortal ebooks published by publishers and indie authors alike that will never go out of print; the continued growth of self-published titles; and myriad low-cost and free non-book alternatives competing for slices of consumers’ time such as social media, Internet video and games.

5.  Indie authors face increased competition from traditional publishers – For the first years of the ebook revolution, large publishers all but ceded the $4.99 and lower ebook market to indie authors.  Publishers tried to maintain higher prices, and indies – empowered with the ability to earn royalty rates of 60-80% list price –  offered budget-conscious consumers high-quality books at low prices.  The low prices, including the ultralow prices of FREE and .99, made it easier for readers to take a chance on unknown writers…

Read The Entire Article Over On Smashwords

Should You Expect To See Higher iBook Sales Because Of iOS 8?

iOS8 ibook sales

The ePublishing world is always changing. Not so long ago, Barnes & Noble was the clear #2 ebook retailer in the market. That is not the case any longer. Barnes & Nobles sales are down and iBook sales are slowly creeping up. Now with the introduction of Apple’s new operating system, it may be that iBooks will see a serious boost in sales.

Some time today, Apple will start updating its mobile device operating system to iOS 8 for all its users. For ebook publishers, it’s the most important update yet, as iOS 8 will come pre-loaded with iBooks, a new development.

According to an Apple spokesperson, some 150 million Apple mobile devices have iBooks installed as of June 2013, the latest figures available. As of June 2014, the company had 800 million iOS devices in circulation, and 90% of them had iOS 7 installed, the latest version.

Assuming that even half of the 650 million Apple users who do not already have iBooks on their devices install the new operating system by the end of the year, that’s potentially 325 million new iBooks customers — and that’s not even counting the millions of iOS users Apple adds every month and expects to add with thelaunch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

The company can’t expect all those people to convert over to paying iBooks users, but if even a tenth of one percent does, that’s over 300,000 new iBooks customers. If just one percent does, that’s over three million new paying customers, something that iBooks, which now looks like the No. 2 ebook retailer in the U.S. (and likely worldwide), can cheer as Amazon continues to press its advantages here and around the world.

Continue reading this article over at Digital Book World