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An Interview with Kristen Eckstein on the Democratization of Publishing, Writing, and eBooks

Posted: 11/24/2013 8:11 pm

Kristen Eckstein is both very knowledgeable about the publishing industry-and probably a little nuts. She's writing and publishing a new Kindle book every week for 4th quarter 2013. I sat down with her to talk about her unique quest.

PS: Can you talk a bit about the democratization of publishing tools? How it's possible to even do what you're doing?

KE: The publishing industry has changed drastically since I joined the ranks as Marketing Director for a vanity self-publishing services company back in 2003. In the past five years, the trends have led to more tools offered directly to authors, with no need for the large middle-man publishers. Tools like Amazon's Direct to Kindle program and print-on-demand printers like Lightning Source, Inc., CreateSpace, and the brand new IngramSpark have opened a wide door for authors to get their content into the world. It's by taking advantage of these tools that I'm able to crank out an e-book on Kindle every week for my personal end-of-2013 Kindle Monday challenge.

PS: What gave you the idea to do publish once per week??

KE: I had one of those 3:00AM brainstorms to write a quick and easy guidebook series for authors. By 9:00AM that same day I had the first Kindle book written, edited, and sent to my e-book programmer to convert into Kindle format. When I told my business coach later that day what I had done, and how I'd already brainstormed about 18 e-books for the new series, she asked if I could write and publish one every week through the end of 2013. Of course, I'm absolutely crazy, so I said "Yes!"

PS: What do you hope to achieve here?

KE: Several things. First, to be able to inspire busy business owners how they can write and publish short Kindle books fast that will help answer their audience's biggest questions, create qualified leads, and generate some passive income. Second, I'm using the series to accomplish those same goals for myself--help my audience get answers and fast results, increase quality leads in my business sales funnel, and create passive income through Kindle sales and the back-end sales of my own products and other people's products I recommend in my e-books.

PS: Can you talk a little about your process for writing and publishing a Kindle book every week? Where do you get your ideas?

KE: I started by brainstorming topics I could write about and then I curated articles from my blog that already had outlined summarized bullet points and step-by-steps that could easily be expanded into a short e-book. Then I posted these topics as a poll to my Facebook group, Candid Conversations about Everything Books and asked the members (my target audience) what topics they'd like to see me write about first. Starting with the one that got the most votes, I wrote Author's Quick Guide to Making Money with Your 99-Cent Kindle Book, and then I worked my way down that list to write the next three most-requested topics. This makes it easy to sell e-books because I'm giving my audience what I want, and there's no mystery about what I should write about next.

PS: I've seen your Author's Quick Guide series. You're writing one between 10,000-12,000 words each week. How do you stay motivated? Ever hear of writer's block?

KE: Funny you should ask that, as one of the e-books in the series is Author's Quick Guide to Staying Focused & Motivated. I actually chose to write that e-book the week after I seriously lost my writing mojo. A lot was going on in my business, I took a few days off to relax at the beach, and getting back into the writing groove wasn't easy. I finally did, then realized everyone gets blocks and every writer needs help to keep going. Shiny objects demand our attention and it's so easy to get distracted, it's amazing anyone can finish writing a book! One of the biggest ways I've stayed motivated through this process is to keep my audience on social media updated. I prefer Facebook, so I've been keeping my Facebook friends and followers updated when I'm writing, what I'm writing, and I post the cover images each time a new e-book's cover is completed. This opens a huge door for them to hold me accountable to get each e-book written, and develops a relationship with them so I have people lined up to hit the "Buy" button the day each book shows up on Kindle. Knowing they're waiting and asking for it motivates me to get it done and published.

 

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