My Nook Color Review: Love it!

I recently purchased a Nook Color e-reader from Barnes & Noble for my online writing and marketing business. I’m working on Nook Color ereadera book for the Kindle and Nook platforms, and wanted a Nook to better understand the e-reader experience. Not only is it a tax-deductible business expense, but it’s a fun way to catch up on blogs, magazines, newspapers and books pertaining to my niches.

My Nook Color Review:

Overall, I’ve been pleased with the Nook, which is sort of a hybrid between a tablet (think iPad) and ebook reader (such as the original Kindle). It has a color screen, basic web browser,  and thanks to an update this past week, the ability to run certain paid and  free apps created just for the Nook. On the ereader side, it features book navigation and note-taking features as well as instant access to all of Barnes & Nobles NookBook library. And unlike the Kindle, you can use it to read books borrowed from your local library or pdf ebooks purchased or downloaded online.

It’s easy to navigate the Nook with its simple touch screen menu options and finger-scrolling feature. It’s also very simple to buy and organize new ebooks, and reading from it does not bother my eyes. Video and apps run smoothly and are clear and crisp.

I can see how one would spend hundreds of dollars very quickly if you did all your reading on the nook and didn’t take advantage of library ebook borrowing options and Nooks LendMe feature.

In sum, it’s great. But since I’d like to also experience a dedicated e-reader with the ink screen technology and 3G capability, I’m planning on investing in an Amazon Kindle reader as well.

Do you have an ereader? What do you like (or dislike) about it?

5 Tips for Kindle Self-Publishing

The Amazon Kindle e-reader, with its newer rivals such as the nook and the Apple equivalent, has revolutionized modern book publishing for popular authors and new, unknown writers alike. For self-published authors, the benefits are most clear: virtually no overhead and a large, growing market of book buyers who like the instant information access afforded to them by ebook purchases.

Follow these tips to maximize your Kindle ebook publishing success:

  1. Write your nonfiction ebook on a micro-niche topic. A general book, such as “101 Work from Home Ideas” will typically not sell as well as a more focused title, such as: “How to Create a Successful Virtual Assistant Business from Home.”
  2. Do hire a proofreader/ editor to polish your work and catch any mistakes (we all make them). Believe me, the editor will catch errors you’ve overlooked. Readers will feel they’ve wasted their money if your book is full of typos or poorly organized. Don’t risk losing your audience or getting bad reviews; make sure your content is clean.
  3. Price your ebook wisely. The $2.99 to $9.99 range is considered the sweet spot: most buyers won’t hesitate to buy ebooks in this price range, and you’ll get 70% of each sale. Higher-priced books will give you only 30% royalties and in most cases it doesn’t make any sense to go higher. If you are a new author and your book is on the shorter side, stay on the lower end of the spectrum. More established authors, or those with highly specialized, topic-specific information, should price in the $8.99-$9.99 range.
  4. Review your ebook both on an actual Kindle (it’s worth the price for this step alone; the least expensive one is only $135) and on a Kindle ereader downloaded onto your PC (this option is free). These two formats are how most readers will view your book. Make sure it looks great on both screens and quickly re-format or fix any problems you catch after seeing the book through your readers’ eyes.
  5. Market your book — expect to spend more time marketing your book than you did writing, formatting and publishing it. Create and use a Facebook fan page, Twitter, and blog to share information on the topic covered in your ebook. Link to your Amazon book sales page from these social media outlets. Offer review copies to bloggers in your genre. Create  profile on the Kindle boards and link to your book or author page in your signature — do the same on forums dedicated to the topic or niche your book is about.

For further reading, I recommend:

    Publishing on Kindle may be easy, but finding success as an ebook author takes more work. Have you published a book on Amazon Kindle? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments, below.

    Residual Income Opportunity: What’s good?

    How do you recognize a profitable residual income opportunity? Evaluating potential sources of long-term income is part of the process in building your online business. Wasting time and resources on dead ends and sites that don’t earn proves to be the nail in the coffin for many would-be online entrepreneurs who become discouraged and give up after initial failures.

    But the fact is, there will be failures — large and small –along the way. The key is to minimize them and learn from them so that your success is long-term and far outweighs any previous mistakes.

    First realize that the principal determination of success versus failure is yourself. You can stumble across an amazing opportunity, yet flub it because you don’t put in the necessary effort to see success. Conversely, you can work tirelessly at what is really only an average opportunity and yet see incredible success based on your steady, long-term efforts. Your own work ethic and the amount of time, research and good old work you put into a thing will be a large part of your success.

    Of course, it would make sense to put your efforts into something where your success will reflect the amount of work you’re doing. So what do you look for?

    • Past success: Have other writers earned well on the website you’re considering writing for? Have ebooks on the general topic you’re writing about sold well? The past can help indicate the future, but remember that the web is constantly changing. You can break old barriers and a great website of yesterday can go under tomorrow.
    • Demand: How many people are actively searching for the keywords you are building a website around? How many shoppers are looking to buy the product you want to sell? Don’t write a whole site around a topic nobody cares about.
    • Competition: If there already a dozen well-written sites on your micro niche topic, you might want to look for a less-saturated topic. Are there very few search results for the long-tail keyword you’re writing an article series on? Then jump on it!
    • Attraction: Do you love the new user-generated-content site you found? Are you passionate about a niche topic you’d like to write about? Even if the other aspects don’t quite add up, your attraction to a particular site or topic may me all the motivation you need to make it a success.

    You can truly make your own residual income opportunity in this era of the internet and mobile communication. Now go do it!

    Wealthy Affiliate: Days 4 & 5 — it’s paid for itself


    I had high hopes but really did not expect to see my investment pay off so … quickly.

    My Wealthy Affiliate membership, which I’ve been blogging about for the past week, has already paid for itself.

    I spent $359 for access to the Wealthy Affiliate course and resources for a year (the price will more than double, forever, starting tomorrow) and, following their action plan, will more than make that back through affiliate sales from the past three days.

    If I’d subscribed for the $39/ month plan, that one $39 investment would have earned itself back in spades even if I quit and never spent another hour on the site. For those on the fence about joining this incredible community of internet marketers, webmasters and online writers, I urge you to try it — just for one month — as it might be the best $39 you’ve spent all year.

    While I first heard about Kyle & Carson’s membership site two years ago, I waited until now to join because I always had more work than I could handle and was trying to earn money without spending a penny — and I did. But my knowledge of affiliate marketing is a hodgepodge of what I’ve read and what I’ve experienced through my own trials & errors.

    I make a few thousand dollars a month — which is amazing considering how few hours I really devote to it — but Kyle & Carson and their numerous success stories show much higher earnings than I can imagine achieving on my own.

    For me, spending the money made sense — doubly so now that I’ve already earned it back after implementing only a fraction of the material in WA — as it furthers my goals to bring my online business to the next level.

    Whether or not you purchase this particular resource depends on where you are and what goals you have. I wonder, if I’d joined two years ago, what kind of success would I be seeing already? But then I remember — the second best time to start is now. And I have.

    Wealthy Affiliate: Days 2 and 3

    I’m blogging about my Wealthy Affiliate journey as I go, to share what I learn along the way and perhaps give you ideas to use as you build your residual income, whether or not you decide to take the course yourself.

    The day after I joined the WAU affiliate training course, I completed the first lesson and was notified I had to wait another two days before having access to the next segment. There was a list of extra things to do in the meantime, and I soon found myself browsing the Training Center. It was there, under Intermediate Resources, that I found a short guide on “Building a Mailing List.”

    I’ve long known that an opt-in subscriber list is like gold for internet marketers. If you have a website on dog training, and an email list of visitors who are interested in dog training tips and resources, you can better market your website articles as well as dog-related products and services, to an interested audience. This is true for any niche across the web. For those who wish to receive them, your subject-specific newsletters can be a helpful resource. For you, it can be an opportunity to build credibility with your audience, as well as increase online income.

    Typically, you wouldn’t work on building an opt-in subscriber list on day 2 of an internet marketing course. Most students are still learning the basics of internet marketing, unless like me they’ve already had some experience before taking the course. But since I already have blogs, websites and articles going, and am simply waiting to delve deeper into the meat of the course, seeing that simple guide was the motivation I needed to get moving on my subscription list.

    A free service,  MailChimp, which is really very robust and actually quite cool, handles my subscriber list. My initial list is less than 300 contacts, all of whom opted-in in the past six months to receive my ebook updates, and it’s a good start. I have also created a newsletter subscription form which will import subscribers to my MailChimp account to help grow my list.

    On day 3 of my WA course, I sent my first subscriber list email. In reaching out to my subscribers, I want to make sure  that my newsletters are first and foremost helpful and useful resources. We all hate junk mail and sales pitches, and I respect my readers’ time. I intend to only send information I’d be glad to receive myself. In addition to good content, links to helpful resources — whether or not I may receive a commission on them — will also be included, but only if I have tried them and believe them to be good and worth MORE than the cost.

    Any tips on what you as a subscriber want to receive in a newsletter? If you have a website, do you have a subscriber list? What kind of updates do you send to your list?