THIS OFFER IS CLOSED
Have you ever wondered how people make money selling books on Kindle? Well, today Eric Lass is on the show to give us an insider look at how he’s able to make a comfortable living publishing books on Kindle…and he doesn’t even write most of them! Check out his interview about Kindle Publishing For Profit below.
Watch the show below: Duration: 24:36
[leadplayer_vid id=”5148E07C8FDEC”]Stuff mentioned in the show
Episode 123: How Eric Lass Makes Over $2000 per Month CONSISTENTLY Selling Books on Kindle
Mike: Hi there everyone! Welcome to Episode 123 of The Mike from Maine Show, the place where we do daily interviews with successful online entrepreneurs. This is your host, Mike Thomas. And today on the show, I have Eric Lass on from ShuckABuck.com to talk about his Publishing for Profit Kindle Course. Now, Eric is currently making over $2000 a month from his Kindle Books and I actually originally heard about Eric in another podcast and he really got my attention and I was at that time even thinking about going out and trying to go after the whole Kindle System but I was doing adsense sites at that time and working hard on my interviews. So, I never had the time to do it. But now, that I have the show going, I was able to have him come on and talk about specifically what’s in the product and answer some questions that I had about it. One of the things that I like about it is that it’s a step-by-step system, showing you all the little things that you need to do and you need to know in order to sell Kindle Books. For those of you out there that are already publishing on Kindle, I’m sure that you’re gonna learn some stuff that you don’t know from this course. And for those of you that are interested in doing it, I think it will be a great step for you to get involved. Anyways, let’s get right into the interview with Eric. Here’s Eric Lass.
Mike: We are here today with Eric Lass. Eric, welcome to the show. Eric: Hey, Mike. Thanks for having me.
Mike: Why don’t we start off and have you tell us a little bit about how you got involved in online marketing and your – a little bit about your story.
Eric: Okay. I got started in 2008, in October of 2008. And at that time, I was working at a 14500 Finance Company. And before that, I was going to college and I ran my dad’s small like stuff removal service in the summer.
Mike: It’s exciting.
Eric: Yeah. That was kinda my first experience with business. And then I went on to – after college, I got a job at a retail store and I didn’t like that. And then, my dad and I started another business that eventually failed after about 8 months. And then, I went to work at this Finance Company. But the whole time, I was wondering – I knew that I didn’t want to work for 40 years for someone else. So, I was always looking for ways that I could start my own business.
Eric: And I came across an article in a – I think it was an entrepreneur magazine about John Chow. I don’t know if you’ve heard of him.
Mike: I know John Chow. He’s a pretty big famous guy that – what does he say, I make money online teaching people how to make money online. I still haven’t figured out exactly what John Chow does, like I haven’t figured out where his money come from other than affiliate commissions but I guess that’s a whole another story.
Eric: Yeah. And that’s what – he’s the first guy that I ran into and I actually emailed him back and forth for a while before starting my first website and he just said to start something that you’re passionate about. Start a website that you’re passionate about and I just keep blogging, like every day I started writing contents. So, I wrote content for ShuchABuck.com which then was an online poker website coz I played a lot online in college. And for about six months straight, I ended up writing about a 180 articles and I was – after that, I was still getting like maybe 15 people a day coming to the site.
Mike: That’s frustrating.
Eric: Yeah. So then, I started– that was early 2009, I started looking up ways to get traffic and I ran into a guy name Allyn Hane and he had a website called BloggerIllustrated.net. And he did a lot of like videos showing people how to get search engine traffic for free and at that time it was pretty simple. You just get a bunch of links to your site, into your pages and they’d eventually rank. And I started doing that. I created a new website that was in online poker and within like two weeks, I got my first commission. So, that was April. So, it took me about seven months to actually make a penny. So.
Mike: Well, at least you ended up making a penny coz a lot of people don’t even make anything in years of doing stuff online. So, you got your first taste of success.
Eric: Yeah, that was April of 2009. My first commission I think was $26.50. So —
Mike: Cool, cool. So, from there?
Eric: After that, I just started creating a bunch of websites using SEO techniques to get traffic and most of them were around like the poker industry. And then, I’m not sure the time frame when the US government like banned online poker and started closing down the poker rooms. But it was sometime in late 2000 – sometime in 2010. So, I was referring people to all these like poker sites and poker training sites and all this kind of stuff. And I was making commission when they would play poker, I would get a percentage of what the poker room would take from them. So, once the US ban was official, pretty much most of my income was just gone overnight.
Mike: So, how much were you making at that time before the ban?
Eric: Probably between $800 and $1200 a month for those sites. And after that, I started getting into just something out of the online poker industry. And I was doing pretty well at SEO. Until 2011, I got my income back up to around $1500 a month and then on —
Mike: Was that through affiliate stuff or through adsense? Eric: Both.
Eric: I never really made a ton of money with adsense, I think my best month has been maybe $200. But it was mostly through affiliate products. And then, all the updates came from Google, panda and penguin and all that kind of stuff. And that pretty much wiped out about 75% of the income there.
Mike: So, you went up and then you went down. And then you went up, and then down.
Eric: Yup. It is pretty frustrating. So, at the end of 2011, I was looking for just something different, something else to do whether it was selling physical products, ecommerce site, membership sites. I just – I have no clue but I still looking. I was back to square one after a couple of years. So, I got an email from a friend in Facebook about a guy who was making $30,000 selling Ebooks on Amazon.
Mike: That doesn’t sound real. Eric: That’s what I thought.
Mike: That sounds like something that someone would tell you that will try to sell you something. Like, I would have to see a lot of proof or the guy – this person would have to have a lot of really – a lot of people vouching for them for me to believe that.
Eric: Yeah. I didn’t know that guy at all who was holding the webinar. But I didn’t have anything else to do.
Eric: So, I joined the webinar and I was on there. And they pretty much taught everything they did. And it was basically ranking for keywords in Google again and except it’s not a webpage, it’s a book page on Amazon. And at first, I was pretty excited because Amazon has such high authority with Google, that it would be easy to rank books in Google. And I publish my – that was in December of 2011 —
Mike: Okay, so that was pretty much after you’ve been slapped again and had all your income taken away, so you jumped right back in and you published your first book. Nice.
Eric: Yeah. I published my first book. It was like a How To keyword, like how to get rid of something – I forget what it was. But it was pretty much a flop. I mean, I built some links to the page and stuff and it was actually ranking. I just – it just didn’t get any sales and I thought there was like a different way. And I started to read, searched around and I found a couple of websites from authors that have – that write fiction books. And both of these people were talking about all these free days that Amazon gives you to promote your book. And all their sales ranking information, where they are in the bestseller list and all that kind of stuff. So, I went to Amazon
and looked for the bestseller list in all these different categories. And I realized that people really don’t buy Kindle books from Google. It’s actually just searching in their devices. I mean, it was pretty obvious actually. But um –
Mike: Do you think – are people actually doing keyword searches in their devices or are they finding them through like bestseller categories?
Eric: They’re doing both but I think where a lot of it is recommendations to them. So, if they bought a book in running, you know they’d be recommended a lot of books online.
Eric: So, there’s that aspect. There is search. People do search and buy books that way. And then, the bestsellers of course. They see those, too. But I went to the bestseller list and just looked at the list and said, I can write a book on this subject. And I wrote a four- book series in the job hunting category. And that’s how I started. Four months later, I made $1300. The first four months.
Mike: So, within the first four months, total over those four months, you have made $1400 from those four books?
Eric: Oh, no. Within four months, by January I published my first one in 2012. And by April, I made $1300 in a single month. Mike: That’s – I mean, that’s pretty good from four books.
Eric: Yeah. It is.
Mike: And, okay. Once you had that first success, what did you do then?
Eric: Well, I started creating more books in different categories, different series and these books – these are all like non-fiction coz I don’t wanna pay fiction writer and I’m not a fiction writer. So, I just stuck to what I know and I actually posted my success in a private forum, that I was a member before. And everybody was just asking me tons of questions and all that kind of stuff and about a dozen of people said that I should write and Ebook on how to do – how to sell Kindle Ebooks. So, that’s where I get to.
Mike: Okay. So, you ended up writing your ebook Publishing for Profit. And which is something that we’re also gonna talk about today where people can learn exactly your strategy for doing this. Now, is this book completely up-to-date? Like, let’s say I don’t know anything how to do Kindle publishing which I really don’t – I have never published a book on Kindle. If I go ahead and buy this, is it gonna tell me like step-by-step how to do the keyword research, how to find the kind of books that are gonna be able to actually get sales and – I mean, coz I have no idea how to do all that. So, will that tell me how to do that?
Eric: Yeah. The book is very step-by-step. It really takes you by the hand. So, even if you’ve never done any marketing online at all, it will take you from signing up with Amazon which is free of course and to the publishing and promotion and pricing and all that kind of stuff. So, it’s like it’s an A to Z and it’s very step-by-step, yeah.
Mike: Cool. And we’re now in – we’re recording this in March 2013, so how many books do you have now? Eric: I have 18.
Mike: And from those 18 books, I know you’re pretty open with your revenue on your site, how much are you making from these 18 books a month?
Eric: On average, about $2300 a month.
Mike: Okay. So from that, it sounds like – I mean, it’s gonna be hit or miss a lot of times.
Eric: It can be if you don’t know what you’re doing. A lot of my books had published like a year ago. So, a lot of them are not selling you know, 150 or 200 copies anymore. They’re selling more like 50 to 80. So, and then just like Google, Amazon changes too. Amazon gives you five free days every 90 days to promote your book in the free category, so people can download it for free. And it used to be, when I started that if you get more than about a thousand downloads, your book would automatically be within the top 20 in that category, when it went from free to paid. And now, it’s more like 5000 downloads. So –
Mike: So, it’s more competitive?
Eric: I don’t think it’s more competitive. I think Amazon just changed the game a little bit. They made it so the high-quality books are actually on the bestselling list. I think it was a little too easy a year ago to get any book that was 20 pages long to sell. So, there’s a little more promotion involved now but it’s still not that much work.
Mike: And these books that you’re writing, how many pages are you usually producing in each book?
Eric: I would say the average is about 80 pages which is approximately maybe 8,000 words – 10,000? Somewhere around there.
Mike: Are you writing that or are you outsourcing?
Eric: I’m doing both. I have written I think 4 of my own. I’m writing 2 right now. And then, the rest had been outsourced by other people. Some of the subjects that I published that I don’t know a lot about, that’s when I find someone who does know about that.
Mike: Are there any niches that you found – and I know you don’t wanna give away your specific niches, but are there any ones that are in general better sellers than others, anywhere you kinda lead people in a direction of?
Eric: Yes. There are categories that you don’t wanna publish in just coz none of the books are selling there, not even the top 10. None of that category was selling. At the top of my head, I don’t even know coz I don’t even look in these categories.
Eric: I would say, something like Geography books kind of thing. Like, here’s what to do when ** or I don’t know, something like that. I don’t know. Some books like that, I forget what category it was that I was in a couple of months ago. But there are categories that –
Mike: Sorry to interrupt you. Go ahead.
Eric: There are categories that don’t sell. And there are categories that sell really well. And you’ll know what those are by looking at the sales rank of these books on Amazon.
Mike: Okay. And has anyone who has bought your profiting for profit ebook come back to you and said, I put out – I followed your advice. And I published a book and I’ve had success with it. Have you had any successes?
Eric: Yeah. There is a – I forgot his name, Thomas Strock. I think he has an app website –
Mike: I know Thomas Strock. He was actually on the show a while back.
Eric: Oh, okay. Yeah. He sent me a message on Twitter saying that he made over a thousand a month in February – Mike: Nice.
Eric: – of 2013. And then there was a – I barely remember this because this one guy in the forum – coz I have a book and then you get access to the publishingforum.com and that’s where we exchange ideas and ask questions and all that kind of stuff. He wrote a book and I wanna say it was last year Octoberish and he had 400 sales in one day. So, his book did really well that first month. But yeah, there’s been quite a few successes.
Mike: Cool. I mean, the whole Kindle thing is definitely something that’s – I think still wide open for a lot people and people always say, ‘Okay, it’s getting saturated’, and I think that might happen at some point, like people come in and they just start publishing garbage. But I think Amazon kind of smarten up too a little bit and maybe delete some people’s books or – is it, do you think it’s too saturated right now? Do you think there’s still a lot of opportunity for people to get in if they want to?
Eric: I think there’s a ton of opportunity. It’s – I don’t think it’s gonna get saturated at all. It might get to the point where – well, I’m gonna put it this way, if you’re publishing crappy books, you’re not gonna sell any.
Eric: My point of view is the title, the cover, actually sells the book. The content inside gets the good reviews and lets that book to keep selling for years. So, if you have a book that looks really good, the title is awesome, the description is really good, maybe you get a few reviews that are decent in the beginning, but the content inside is just blank and re-hashed stuff from the internet. People will poster bad reviews about that. And you probably won’t sell them anywhere months after that.
Mike: And I mean, whenever I go and buy anything on Amazon or Kindle books or whatever, I always check and see what the reviews are. And if something has a little, even just a few, crappy reviews, it’s kinda make me think twice about buying it. So, I think you’re completely right, it’s like okay you get that nice cover, you get a good title and if you have crappy content, it’s just not a long term viable business mobile because people, like you said, people aren’t stupid. These are real people buying these books. And if you want to have a long-term relationship with them and keep on selling books and have people wanting to come back and buy what you’re selling, then you need to keep that in mind.
Eric: Yeah, absolutely. Definitely, quality over quantity.
Mike: Yeah, which is interesting coz so many people out there, especially with like adsense and niche sites and whatnot, it was all about quantity over quality. It was all about getting so much stuff out there and just putting out so much that hopefully something would make money in overtime and would just be okay, you’ve had this hundred little sites that will all make hundred dollars a month or whatnot. But now, it’s – like you said, it’s all about getting out there with quality and actually producing something that people are gonna want to read. Eric, thank you so much for coming on the show today. Is there anything that we didn’t mention today that you wanted to talk about before we wrap it up?
Eric: Yeah. One thing is since it’s getting – Amazon made it a little tougher to get going from free to paid and having a good ranking after you do that, I think it’s good to build a list, and I’ve been using Facebook to do that, and create a brand around either yourself or the titles of the books like, for example, The Dummies Books, they have a brand and they have tons of books that they publish. You can do that. And stick within one category at a time. Find a category that you really like that maybe you know something about or someone you know – someone that you know can write about for you. And publish a series of books in a category to really spread out your name and get your brand out there.
Mike: Cool. I like that advice. You’re actually – coz then you can build a website and on that website, you can promote all your books and have an email list and every time that you publish a new book in that genre, people are gonna – on your list, are gonna download the free version, like if you do the what is it, KDP five-day free version, you can send out to them, get a momentum going with it, get it to the top rankings. That’s good advice.
Mike: Eric, thank you so much. I appreciate it. We’ll have links to your ebook in the show notes on mikefrommaine.com. Also to —
Mike: I hope you enjoy the interview today with Eric. If you’re interested in checking out his Publishing for Profit Kindle Course, go to mikefrommaine.com/publishingforprofit. That’s mikefrommaine.com/publishingforprofit. Thank you very much for watching and I’ll see you tomorrow.
Thanks for having me on the show!
If any of your readers have any questions about the process, I’ll can answer them right here in the comments (or they can email me using the contact form on shuckabuck.com)
Nice interview guys – thanks for the shout out 🙂 Did $1,800 in February from Kindle books and on track to do a bit better this month thanks in large part to Eric and his ebook.
Thomas, you’re really doing well with Kindle. How many books have you published so far?
I’m up to 15 now with 3 more ready to be published.
Nice work Thomas!