Sunday, March 30, 2014

Getting it ready for Sale, What I've learned about Amazon, a look at the hardcopy

I've been doing a lot of research lately about Amazon and how it works.  I've decided to make some changes in my plan for launching and promoting the book.

The more copies are sold via Amazon, the more highly rated the book will become and the more often Amazon will recommend the book to people via e-mail and other on-screen promotions.

I'm thinking about using the available promotional tools to do a big launch and try to get my facebook and Linkedin connections to buy copies of the book.  Maybe I'll offer a discounted price for Kindle downloads in Canada for next weekend.

Hopefully this will give me a big push.

I've also learned that good reviews are important.  Amazon keeps 'score' of its top reviewers and if they buy my book and give it a good review this adds credibility and will also help to push the book up the rankings.

Stronger books keep getting pushed up, weaker books keep falling lower.

I'm learning so much its making my head spin!!

BTW, here's a look at the printed proofs that CreateSpace sent to me...

Friday, March 28, 2014

Final cover- box opening video coming soon.

Here is the new cover I ended up going with.   No copyright issues with the image because I made it myself *chuckle.

I got the proof copy in the mail and read through it last night.  I found a few typos so I've made the changes and have uploaded more files for review.

I think we're done now.  Next I'll get it available for sale and let you all know about it.

I'm getting excited about the promotion part.  I think this book will be a real eye-opener for some people who don't enjoy fun with calculators like me ;)


Monday, March 24, 2014

Send them Post Haste!

Ok, the final, final, final files have passed review and now I can order my proof copies.  I paid extra to get them by Friday.  I'll upload a video.

Final version is 150 pages which means the title and my name will be on the spine.

I'm so excited.

Also, heard back from the accountant.  Turns out my marginal tax rate is about 40% so if I go through all the hassle of avoiding the US withholding tax, I'll just pay the money to the Canadian government.

So I just won't bother with all the paperwork.  I can deduct what Uncle Sam takes against what I owe Ottawa.


Final, Final changes

Last set of revisions and now off to CreateSpace review.  150 pages in the final design and I'm happy with everything... Finally.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Taxes, Taxes

Aaron got another edited copy of the book back to me and suggested some layout and design changes.  I did them and agreed that it made the book easier to read.  I also changed the cover and re-submitted for review on CreateSpace.

Now about taxes... it seems that if you are a non-US person that create space, smashwords, kindle, etc must withhold 30% of your royalties whenever they send you a payment.  Uncle Sam keeps this money since they think it was earned 'working' in the US.

I've just spent the last hour reading up on Employer Identification Numbers, Individual Tax Identification Numbers and other IRS documents and guides.  Apparently Canada has a tax treaty with the US and I can avoid this withholding tax.

I've sent an e-mail to my accountant to inquire if it makes sense to do all these registrations.  I don't want to avoid a 30% US tax just to remit the money here in Canada and possibly get taxed at an even higher rate.

We'll see what he says.

Now I'm excitedly awaiting the hard copy proof.  I'll do an un-boxing video when it comes in and share with you all.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

More fine tuning and a crazy coincidence with a huge diamond.

I submitted my text to Create Space for review and got back some warnings about low-resolution images in the book.

After going through it again, I realized that I also had some colour graphs in a book which is supposed to be black and white.  So I fixed those issues as well.

I went through things again and made a few slight changes.

Here's what I really want to talk about; today I had a totally serendipitous conversation with a building contractor.   I met him at his office and while I was there, a courier came to deliver a package.

He opened it in front of me and showed me a 2.5ct teardrop diamond.  He also showed me the appraisal certificate saying it was worth over $65,000.  I told him about the book project and how I had just written the section on collectibles in the asset class portion of the book.

I asked him how and why get got into gemstones and his answer could have been quoted from the book.  "As a contractor, people are always looking for personal guarantees on contracts for buildings and financing.  They're always trying to assess my property and see what I own that could stand as collateral.  Nobody I do business knows about these gems and if anything were ever to go wrong, I can move on with substantial wealth in my pocket."

He then went on to recount the first time he had purchased a stone, it was a ruby worth only $3,000.  He trades them in  and buys and sells them, he uses three different dealers.

He invests a lot of time expanding his knowledge of this particular type of collectible investment.

I'm hoping the book will help many readers realize the pros and cons of developing a truly diversified portfolio of assets.

I just sent the book off again for a final review by Aaron.  Let's see how much he highlights for review...


Monday, March 17, 2014

Smashwords and a custom URL

So last night while doing publishing research I discovered SmashWords which will allow me to put my book into multiple e-marketplaces with one stop.  This will allow me to get my book into Barnes & Noble Nook machines which foreign authors have no access to.

So here's my plan for distribution:

  • Use CreateSpace for printing and 'real-world' softcover distribution throughout the world
  • Buy some of the books and sell them via this blog, this way I can avoid withholding taxes to the US government.  Also, I think I can get the book to fit with Canada Post Lettermail so the postage won't be too high.
  • I will use Amazon to sell the book to Kindle users
  • I will use Kobo to sell to Indigo/Chapters Kobo and international Kobo users
  • I will use Smashwords to sell to everyone else in the e-book universe.
  • I will sell .pdf and .epub myself to try to keep royalty cuts to a minimum.

Once the distribution is all in place, then I can start the  promotion of the book.

Also, I learned that while I do have the rights to the image on my cover art for promotion uses, I can't use the image on an item I will be selling.  Therefore I need a new cover and will likely go with one of Create Space's standard covers since I don't feel like going out and getting a photo made that I'm sure will not violate someone's copyright.

Wow, am I ever learning a lot.


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Layout and final changes

Okay, its been a busy day entertaining the kids but I managed to get a bunch of work done on the book after bedtime.

I completed the remaining sections on the 7 asset classes.
I shortened the 'about the author' section to two pages by deleting a lot of fluff.
I added systemic risk to the risk section
and I put the whole thing in a template that I downloaded from the CreateSpace website so I'm sure it will fit nicely into a book.

I also took some time to write a blurb for the cover:

Invest Local is a peek into the thoughts of local deal-making expert David Barnett.  His experience and education in business brokerage, small business financing and capital markets gives him an insight into what’s wrong with the common financial planning advice available today and how you can make superior investment returns while mitigating risk and helping your local community.

This is not a book about social enterprises or charity.  It is a book which guides you on how to find and obtain superior returns in the community where you live, far, far from the promises of Wall St.

Barnett offers step-by-step guidance on how to earn three-digit returns by doing car leases, secured loans, inventory financing, buying accounts receivables, financing mini and mobile homes, operating leases on machinery and more. 

High yield investing does not have to mean high-risk investing.

I'm getting excited because I think the time to send it to print may be quickly approaching. I'm thinking more and more about promotion and I can't wait to speak to my Clarity expert next week.

Have a great weekend.


Friday, March 14, 2014

Final Stretch to Finish

Ok, so I got some more feedback.  This time from an actual published author.  The consensus is that I need to shorten the 'about me' section of the book. Done.

Now to finalize my plan for publishing.  I need to get it onto Kindle and Kobo and CreateSpace.  I have found an expert that I can call up via and I'm going to arrange to call him early next week to get some advice. The guy publishes several books a month on behalf of others.

I just want it to be out there and available for everyone to see.  I'm really happy about how this project has turned out.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

The book grows and gets better

Well,  Aaron got back to me with a copy of my book all coloured red and yellow.  This was after he had fixed several punctuation errors himself.

I spent an hour reading his comments and re-writing things to flow better and make more sense.  I also added a chapter on unsecured business loans which I can't believe I had forgotten.

Writing this book is allowing me to remember so many deals.  It's hard for me to believe how many I've done.  I'm always trying to think up the best examples to share with the future readers of the book.

One more addition that I'll do tomorrow is the section on the 7 asset classes.  Then I'll send it back to Aaron and we'll go through it together over the phone.

I am getting excited.  I wonder if there are any advertising sales opportunities for the book?  hmmm. I'll have to think on that one overnight.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

No, I'm not a big JT fan...

Just to be clear, I am not a big Justin Timberlake fan.  It was a corporate event.  A business meeting, if you will.  It was also a fantastic show and he did a great job entertaining the crowd for about three hours.

Last night and this evening I've been doing research on CreateSpace, and other publishing platforms.  I've also learned about Kindle and Kobo and the different royalty systems that booksellers use.  My friend Rick finished reading the draft and says that I need to shorten the section on myself and add a section on the 7 asset classes and portfolio theory.

I tend to agree with him and will likely make these changes.  My buddy Aaron is expected to finish reading the book tonight and I'll see if his feedback is similar. If I take some of the personal stuff out, I can always publish it here on the blog.

I am beginning to see that the biggest hurdle in getting the book out there will likely be promoting it once its available.  I think this journey is going to be a lot of fun.

Also, I believe I've settled on a name for the book:

Invest Local:
A guide to superior investment returns in your local community.  

I even had a proposed cover made up by a guy I found online..

Birth of a book?

So one of my goals for 2014 was to create some kind of new income stream for myself.  This is usually a goal each year and I usually achieve it in some way.

I was laying in bed on February 13th after having been to the Justin Timberlake concert in Toronto.  The idea came to me.. share what I know about private lending deals.

Today is March 11 and I sent my first book draft to a friend who has editing experience for a first reading.  25,000 words and we'll see what he thinks.

I wanted to use this blog both as a way to document the journey of putting out this book and promoting it as well as a forum for discussions on the topics within the book.  Let's see how things go.  I haven't done anything like this before.