Categories
101 Guide

eBook Publishing 101

Are Kindle Books Just a Fad?

It’s definitely trendy lately to talk about Kindle, and you may be wondering if it’s a fad.

It’s not a fad, not any more than smartphones, tablets, the printing press, or indoor plumbing are fads. If someone tells you Kindle is a fad, they haven’t given it much thought (or maybe are doing so well with it that they don’t want you to know).

Amazon and other companies have finally made ebooks mainstream. It wasn’t that many years ago that the average person on the street didn’t know what an ebook was. Many times when I told people I sell ebooks, they had no idea what that meant, sometimes even when I explained that an ebook was something you download and read on your computer.

Well, they know now. You can hardly go to amazon.com without seeing a big ad for Kindles, not to mention all the TV ads they run for it, or the fact that you can buy a Kindle at Best Buy or Walmart.

Hint: A good sign something might be mainstream is if it’s sold at Walmart.

Let’s say the unthinkable happens and Amazon goes out of business tomorrow and the Kindle store goes with it. Do you really think Apple, Barnes & Noble, Sony, and other big companies that sell ebooks and ebook readers would all shut down, too? Of course not. (Well, maybe Barnes & Noble!)

So if you learn to publish and sell Kindle books, you’ll have the ability to create and sell books for those other platforms, because there’s not a huge difference in the process.
Why Listen to Me?

  • I’ve been creating, publishing, and selling ebooks since 2002. Yes, 10 years. Some of them have been in the Clickbank marketplace for 8 or 9 years and are still selling. Some of them have sold thousands of copies each. I’m not sure how many ebooks can say that (if ebooks could talk).
  • I’ve had three number 1 bestsellers (so far) in the Kindle store. At least one of them was number 1 in two categories at the same time.
  • Some of my books have also hit number 1 on other Kindle charts such as Top Rated and Hot New Releases, for a total of at least seven times.
  • I’ve also had my Kindle books come up number 1 when searching all of amazon.com and even within unrelated departments of the site (like Automotive or Jewelry or Musical Instruments, not just books or Kindle books). Try searching anywhere on amazon for “membership site” and see what comes up. People have to find your Kindle book on the site before they can buy it, and ranking highly in Amazon searches is a great way to help them do that.

I Love Collecting Screenshots Like These:

Number 1

“I’ve gotta give Chris props. I had written a book for my juggling course and had no idea what to do to get it up on Amazon as a kindle book. After going through Chris’ steps and following them exactly as he described, I got my book up on Amazon and am now #1 on all of amazon for my keyword. The sales keep coming in and I’m loving the results I’ve gotten by following his simple steps.”
Chris Hughes from JugglingSecrets.com

Number one of all amazon products for his keyword

“I went from being completely overwhelmed to the creator of two top Kindle eBook downloads thanks to Chris’ advice in a span of a couple weeks. He also helped me format my books and promote them beyond my expectations.

His techniques for getting my books featured and downloaded by more people have helped me gain the number one spot in several categories for my book “The Best Sore Throat Remedies: Direct from Nature’s Pharmacy” as well as to become #1 in the Hot New Releases Category for Naturopathy for my book ‘How to Eliminate the Causes of Acne.’ I now receive consistent sales each day thanks to his advice, and I plan to take things to the next level through tips I’ve learned from his Kindle eBook on list-building. Chris Lockwood knows what he’s talking about, that’s for sure.”
Nicholas J. Meyer, Kindle eBook author and AP-Award winning writerWhy Kindle Is So Much Easier

Kindle publishing is so much easier and cheaper than publishing ebooks the “old-fashioned” way (from your own website):

  • You DON”T have to write a looooong sales letter (or pay a lot to have one written)
  • You DON”T have to build a website or create a download page
  • You DON”T have to pay for a domain name or hosting account
  • You DON”T have to integrate everything with a payment system
  • You DON”T have to pay a fee to create an account or list the ebook for sale, or wait a week or longer to get it approved
  • You DON”T have to handle any customer service or tech support issues

Don’t get me wrong- selling ebooks the traditional way sure beats getting up early and driving across town to work at a mind-numbing job. I still sell ebooks from my own websites, and will continue to.A Rare Opportunity

Over all those years I’ve seen a lot of different ways people make money online, or at least try to.

Kindle publishing is one of the very few online business options where you can be successful without creating websites, building a list, recruiting affiliates or JV partners, or dealing with customer support.

You can start with very little money, yet it is still an easy-to- understand, legitimate business that won’t disappear tomorrow (creating content that people want to buy). You could literally go on a six-month cruise with no Internet access, no employees or outsourcers running things for you, and let Amazon continue selling your books, taking care of the customers, and depositing your royalties in your account.

You could spend your weekdays doing stuff like this (sure beats going on the weekends when it’s crowded):

Someone at the park told me about a book he’s reading on his iPad, so technically this was market research and counts as a work day. That’s also another clue about how mainstream this is, when it comes up in random conversation at amusement parks.

By the way, if 200-foot high-speed vertical drops aren’t your style, you could just relax like this guy:

OK, So What Exactly Is the Product Here?

It’s a video course that explains how to create, publish, and sell Kindle books. It also covers topics like choosing niches, writing and outsourcing Kindle books, selling and promoting Kindle books, and more.

Here’s a more detailed list of what’s in it:Kindle FoundationKindle vs. Traditional EbooksThe Kindle Mindset ShiftKindle Customer PsychologyThe Kindle Niche EffectChoosing a NicheBrainstorming Niches OfflineBrainstorming Niches OnlineStep-by-Step Niche FilteringFine Tuning a NicheKindle Content StrategiesKindle List BuildingPromoting YourselfTypes of Content to AvoidContent Quick StartChoosing a Good TitlePen NamesMind MappingThe Book Writing ProcessHow to Write a Book FastOutsourcing Kindle BooksHiring a WriterWhere and How to Find WritersCreating Kindle Book CoversFormatting a Book for KindleConverting Your Book to Kindle FormatCreating a Publisher AccountPublishing a Kindle BookAnatomy of a Kindle ListingKindle SEOHow to Get ReviewsWhy and How to Write ReviewsEnhancing Your ListingSelling Kindle BooksPricing Your Kindle BooksKindle Sales ReportsFree PromosGetting Paid to Lend Your BookPromoting Kindle BooksSelling on Barnes & NobleSelling ebooks on ApplePublishing Printed BooksPDF ChecklistsCase Study InterviewsVideosRunning TimeLive Q&A WebinarKindleologySilver120+2.5 hours+KindleologyGold3+60+10 hours+“Chris knows Kindle better than anyone else, I ignored all the hype and solely took advice from Chris. I launched an ebook and it’s made over $100 in less than a month! If this keeps up, I’ll make $1,200 this year from one day of work and that doesn’t include the few recommendations in the book.

Definitely the go to guy for Kindle advice for me.”

Categories
Blogging

Bank Operating Line of Credit and Letters of Credit

You are probably wondering what a series on business banking essentials is doing on a natural health website.

Well, stress caused by financial worries will eventually adversely affect your health. Many business owners operate under constant financial pressure, and this series on commercial banking and commercial finance will arm them with the knowledge that they need to deal confidently with diverse business situations, and with their bank managers. Knowledge is comforting, it is the fear of the unknown that is stressful.

How can I help you? I obtained my Chartered Accountant designation (I’m retired now) in Australia. Upon moving to Canada, I worked for a wholly owned Canadian subsidiary of an American bank. Over time, I rose to become the Senior Vice-President responsible for the commercial finance division. This division granted flexible operating lines of credit, which included letters of credit for importers. In this career, I encountered numerous different types of businesses including trading, manufacturing and importing.

This is not intended to be a detailed accounting or banking course. I have put together the essential information you need in order to give yourself the best chance of succeeding in your business. I shall tell you what your bank manager would like to hear from you at your meetings. I shall tell you the early warning signs that your business needs positive action.

These comments are not for retail business; they apply to wholesalers, importers and manufacturers.

To cover the vast amount of banking information, even in thumbnail format, I shall break it down into various segments. Some will apply to your business, others may not. I am intentionally phrasing the segments in very simple layman’s terms. I would advise you to discuss my advice with your accountant, or even your banker, before you decide to act on it.

This first segment deals with the initial loan application. It is assumed that you are applying for an operating line of credit, which may, or may not, include letters of credit. The actual loan within the line of credit will fluctuate at different times, depending on the cashflow, but the bank will put an upper limit which you cannot exceed without special authorization. The limit of the operating line of credit is determined by the bank after evaluating various aspects of your business, including your equity in it.

There is certain basic information that the financial institution requires in order to make the decision to finance your business. You must come to the appointment with the bank armed with this information, ideally accompanied by your accountant who prepared the information package.

” Financial Statements for the past three years

” Pro forma financial statement for the year to date

” Cashflow projections for the current year

” List of aged accounts receivable

” List of aged accounts payable

” Summary of inventory

From the above documents, the bank will ascertain whether your business was profitable in the past, and whether it appears to be profitable this year.

The cashflow projections will show how high the financial involvement will peak at, and how well the loan will be collateralized at any given time.

The accounts receivable list will disclose the quality of the customers and whether a significant percentage of them is delinquent.

The accounts payable list will reveal whether your business is up-to-date with its payments to suppliers.

The inventory summary will show the nature of the inventory and give an indication of whether it can be sold readily.

In addition to examining the above documentation in detail, be aware that a credit check will be done on the business to ascertain if there is any outstanding litigation, and as to its creditworthiness.

Knowing all this, be sure to have satisfactory explanations for any aspects that may appear detrimental to the bank.

It is important to keep in mind that the ideal customer for an operating line of credit, as far as the bank is concerned, is one who:

” Is profitable

” Needs the credit to finance profitable growth

” Does not require too high a loan/equity ratio

” Has adequate collateral to cover the loan at all times

” Has collateral that can be liquidated easily

” Has excellent credit rating

Your strategy? When making the loan application:

” stress the good value of the assets that support the equity of the business.

” Point out that the inventory is current, or can easily be sold.

” Explain that your accounts receivable are up-to-date and that delinquent receivables have been provided for.

” If you have unencumbered fixed assets, point out that there is additional collateral for the bank in them.

” Advise the bank that you have adequate fire insurance to protect the assets, and personal life insurance that could be used to protect the bank, if necessary.

” Recognise that the banker looks to collateral to repay the loan if the business fails. The banker is not really interested in intangible assets, such as goodwill, even though they could be very valuable.

Categories
Blogging

Bank Operating Line of Credit and Letters of Credit

Banking – Business Loan Application

Operating Lines of Credit and Letters of Credit

You are probably wondering what a series on business banking essentials is doing on a natural health website.

Well, stress caused by financial worries will eventually adversely affect your health. Many business owners operate under constant financial pressure, and this series on commercial banking and commercial finance will arm them with the knowledge that they need to deal confidently with diverse business situations, and with their bank managers. Knowledge is comforting, it is the fear of the unknown that is stressful.

How can I help you? I obtained my Chartered Accountant designation (I’m retired now) in Australia. Upon moving to Canada, I worked for a wholly owned Canadian subsidiary of an American bank. Over time, I rose to become the Senior Vice-President responsible for the commercial finance division. This division granted flexible operating lines of credit, which included letters of credit for importers. In this career, I encountered numerous different types of businesses including trading, manufacturing and importing.

This is not intended to be a detailed accounting or banking course. I have put together the essential information you need in order to give yourself the best chance of succeeding in your business. I shall tell you what your bank manager would like to hear from you at your meetings. I shall tell you the early warning signs that your business needs positive action.

These comments are not for retail business; they apply to wholesalers, importers and manufacturers.

To cover the vast amount of banking information, even in thumbnail format, I shall break it down into various segments. Some will apply to your business, others may not. I am intentionally phrasing the segments in very simple layman’s terms. I would advise you to discuss my advice with your accountant, or even your banker, before you decide to act on it.

This first segment deals with the initial loan application. It is assumed that you are applying for an operating line of credit, which may, or may not, include letters of credit. The actual loan within the line of credit will fluctuate at different times, depending on the cashflow, but the bank will put an upper limit which you cannot exceed without special authorization. The limit of the operating line of credit is determined by the bank after evaluating various aspects of your business, including your equity in it.

There is certain basic information that the financial institution requires in order to make the decision to finance your business. You must come to the appointment with the bank armed with this information, ideally accompanied by your accountant who prepared the information package.

” Financial Statements for the past three years

” Pro forma financial statement for the year to date

” Cashflow projections for the current year

” List of aged accounts receivable

” List of aged accounts payable

” Summary of inventory

From the above documents, the bank will ascertain whether your business was profitable in the past, and whether it appears to be profitable this year.

The cashflow projections will show how high the financial involvement will peak at, and how well the loan will be collateralized at any given time.

The accounts receivable list will disclose the quality of the customers and whether a significant percentage of them is delinquent.

The accounts payable list will reveal whether your business is up-to-date with its payments to suppliers.

The inventory summary will show the nature of the inventory and give an indication of whether it can be sold readily.

In addition to examining the above documentation in detail, be aware that a credit check will be done on the business to ascertain if there is any outstanding litigation, and as to its creditworthiness.

Knowing all this, be sure to have satisfactory explanations for any aspects that may appear detrimental to the bank.

It is important to keep in mind that the ideal customer for an operating line of credit, as far as the bank is concerned, is one who:

” Is profitable

” Needs the credit to finance profitable growth

” Does not require too high a loan/equity ratio

” Has adequate collateral to cover the loan at all times

” Has collateral that can be liquidated easily

” Has excellent credit rating

Your strategy? When making the loan application:

” stress the good value of the assets that support the equity of the business.

” Point out that the inventory is current, or can easily be sold.

” Explain that your accounts receivable are up-to-date and that delinquent receivables have been provided for.

” If you have unencumbered fixed assets, point out that there is additional collateral for the bank in them.

” Advise the bank that you have adequate fire insurance to protect the assets, and personal life insurance that could be used to protect the bank, if necessary.

” Recognise that the banker looks to collateral to repay the loan if the business fails. The banker is not really interested in intangible assets, such as goodwill, even though they could be very valuable.

Categories
Blogging

Credit Card Fee Increases

“This month on our two credit card statements are notices informing us that as of Oct. 1st we may be charged “more than two” late fees or over the limit fees” per month. What’s going on?” Asked by Gwen.

It’s estimated that Americans charged $1.8 trillion in 2005 on the 690 million credit cards outstanding. According to a Government Accountability Office study released in September, 2006, 13% of credit card users were assessed over-limit fees and 35% were assessed late fees in 2005. So Gwen has a lot of company.

Let’s try to do three things. First, understand what these fees are. Next, see how fees are changing. And, finally, what Gwen can do to keep from being hurt.

Credit cards have always had fees. Some, like for a late payment, are understandable. Others came along as credit cards took on new capabilities. Think cash advance and balance transfer fees. Still others, like over-limit fees, seem like they shouldn’t be possible. You would think that they wouldn’t allow you to borrow more than your limit.

There are also ‘penalty interest rates’. If you’re late with a payment or go over your credit limit you could see your rate bumped to 30% or more.

The 2006 GAO study looked at fees and penalties. It said that not only were fees increasing, but the credit card companies were doing a lousy job of informing consumers about those fees.

The credit card companies are obligated to tell you about any fees or penalties and how they’re triggered. Some fees, like paying your credit card bill by phone, are sometimes not clearly disclosed. What Gwen received with her statement was a notice of a change in how fees would be charged. And, as long as she’s notified they can get by with almost anything.

Late fees have nearly tripled in the last 11 years. And many cards have adopted a ‘universal default clause’ that says a late payment on any card will trigger the penalty interest rate.

Credit card companies say that the higher interest rates and fees are appropriate based on risk factors. If it weren’t for the higher fees, they claim that they wouldn’t be able to offer credit to riskier consumers.

In fairness, the GAO’s survey found that (at least among 6 of the largest card issuers) 80% of accounts paid interest rates of less than 20%. So the vast majority of card users are not paying penalty rates.

But the study also found that the disclosures were written well above the eighth grade reading level and (surprise!) featured small print. They recommended that the Federal Reserve Board revise rules on credit card disclosures.

Now that we understand what’s going on we can try to help Gwen avoid problems. The first thing is to recognize that the card issuers get to make most of the rules. And, whether those rules are fair or not isn’t relevant. The best she can do is to avoid getting hurt by those rules.

Get familiar with each account. The only way to know exactly what’s allowed is to read and understand the “Card Member Agreement.” Tough duty. But necessary.

Watch out for unexpected fees. Like for balance transfers or increasing your credit limit. Know what could trigger fees or penalty rates.

Know exactly when your payment is due. Keep a list of due dates for your credit card accounts. If you don’t get the bill, it’s your responsibility to contact the company and still make a timely payment.

If possible, the best thing to do is to join nearly half of the cardholders who paid little or no interest. That’s because they do not carry a balance.

Obviously, for many people that’s not immediately possible. Then it’s important to send in your payment as soon as possible. Being seven days early is better than being one day late.

If you find it difficult to get your payment in on time, you might want to authorize the credit card company to automatically debit your checking account for the minimum payment each month. You’ll probably pay for the service, but that way the payment can’t be late.

Talk to your card issuer. If your due date falls at a bad time of the month, they’ll move it.

If Gwen is near or over the limit on any card, she should try to shift part of the debt to a different card. Some fees are even being assessed when an account is merely getting too close to the limit. Your best bet is to keep balances to less than half the available credit.

Although the higher late fees are infuriating, they do minimal damage. The real problem is in the universal default clause. Most credit card accounts now have a universal default clause.

Suppose your rate went from 15% to 30% on every open credit account. For every $1,000 you owe, an extra $150 interest would be charged each year. So if you’re the type of person carrying a $10,000 balance, that one late payment could cost you $1,500 per year. For as long as you have the balance!

Gwen is right to pay close attention to her credit card accounts. With newer fees and penalty rates in place, it becomes more important to manage your credit. In fact, it’s critical to your financial wellbeing.

Categories
101 Guide

Sell Your Home Faster with Seller Financing

Seller financing opens your home up to an entirely new segment of prospective buyers, and the more buyers view your home, the quicker you will find that one qualified buyer. Specifically you will attract more buyers who don’t want to or would have a problem getting a bank loan, or those who want a quicker closing or more flexible payment plans than banks offer. Such buyers include the self employed who may be great candidates but are not viewed as favorable by banks as are W-2 employees. Also those with credit blemishes, who may be going down the long road of credit repair. Real estate investors are another large group, since they may own many properties with mortgages, which makes it difficult to get another mortgage from a bank.

Banks typically take 30 days to close a loan, but with seller financing, YOU make the decision and this can be done much quicker, thereby removing a buyers contingencies faster and in effect leading to a much faster home sale. Regardless of whether you are selling FSBO (For Sale By Owner), or with a real estate agent, make sure you use “Seller Financing” in your marketing and advertising, be it in newspaper ads, flyers, or in the MLS description.

Other Ideas to Sell Your Home Faster

Number 1: PRICE IT RIGHT ! Not too high, not too low, check comparables and local agents to get the right number, if you are not getting any action after a week or two, you probably have it priced too high.

If you will be selling FSBO, use a flat rate MLS open listing. For under $500 you can get listed in MLS with no frills, check the newspaper or call agents to find one who offers this. It will give you much broader exposure and is advertising well spent. Also strongly consider offering a buyers agent commission of 2-4% depending on how quick you want to sell and how hot your local market is.

Put up lots of signs around the neighborhood, especially on weekends, hold regular open houses, prepare your house for sale, keep it neat & tidy and remove the clutter.

Sell Your Home for Full Price

1. Normally a seller will accept a lower price (below market) for an all cash no contingency fast closing.

2. It will sell for market price if the buyer needs 30-60days to close escrow and will need to qualify for a loan at a bank and do a home inspection.

3. You as a seller should charge even more (above market) if you will be giving seller financing terms, maybe 5-10% higher than Case 2, or more depending on the terms.

A Good Investment

Taking back a note can be a very good investment since you will be making interest on your money which is usually better than CD’s, money market rates. In fact you can select the interest rate you want! This is especially appealing if you have no need for the money right now.

In fact it is such a good investment, that many investors buy seller carry-back notes. If you have no interest in holding a note, it is common for a home seller to carry-back a note and sell it at the same time as the home closing occurs. This is called a simultaneous closing.

We Buy Real Estate Notes and can facilitate simultaneous closings, call for more info on this. We can also help in setting the terms of the note so you get the best price.

Tax Benefits

When selling a home, under current tax law, if you lived in your home for 2 of the last 5 years, your capital gains will be exempt up to $250,000 (twice that if married). Otherwise, your capital gains will be taxed in the year that you collect the capital gains. If you will have significant taxable capital gains on your home sale, it may be very good for your tax situation to take back a seller carry-back note and spread your sale proceeds over several years, or postpone it for several years. Talk to your tax adviser.

Steps for Successful Seller Financing

1. Pull the prospective buyers credit report. You will need their permission, but always review a credit report on each borrower, it is a small expense.

2. Can they afford the home, job, income. If they cant afford it, or have a shaky job or income situation, a foreclosure will be much more likely.

3. Use a professional to draft the paperwork. Each state has many laws regarding real estate sales, contracts, and mortgages. Use an experienced attorney to draft the promissory note and mortgage or deed of trust.

4. Down payment – Sellers usually ask for 10-30% down payment to protect themselves in case the buyer stops making payments and the seller has to foreclose on the loan, and take the property back. The larger the down payment the more equity protection you as the seller have. The buyer will also consider how much money he has put down if he is in foreclosure and cant make the payments and wants to walk away from the house. Zero down is very little encouragement for a buyer, should he hit a rough patch.

5. 1st position or 2nd position – A first position note is much safer for the seller than a second position note.

6. Set the interest rate above current bank rates, to encourage the buyers to refinance down the road.