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Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Review: Your Book Monopoly by Rachel Rofe


Your Book Monopoly is a new guide by successful author and online entrepreneur Rachel Rofe.

It promises to reveal a variety of ways you can boost your income from your book or e-book many times over.

Rachel was kind enough to allow me reviewer access, so here's what I found...

Once you have registered as a Your Book Monopoly member, you are taken to the membership site. Here you can access all the course content, section by section, via a menu that runs across the top of the screen.

Alternatively, you can download it in conventional PDF format. That should cater to most preferences! Bear in mind, though, that Rachel is still adding extra bonuses, so if you simply download the PDF and never return, you may miss out on these.

As well as an introduction and conclusion, the course has five main sections. These are Physical Books, Libraries, Bookstores, Audiobooks and Translations. Each section reveals how you can use the approach in question to boost your total book sales.

The content is well written and presented. Screen capture illustrations are included, and the occasional video as well. None of the sections is particularly long - no "fluff" or padding here - but all provide enough information to apply the method in question.

In the section titled Physical Books, Rachel explains why you should have a printed book as well as one on Kindle. She looks in particular at the two most popular options for self-publishers, Amazon's own CreateSpace and Lightning Source. She makes a compelling argument for using BOTH of these services, and declining the free ISBN from CreateSpace.The strategy she recommends makes a lot of sense to me.

The Libraries section reveals how you can get your book into libraries. There is quite a strong US bias here, but many of the methods would be equally applicable in other countries with a public libraries service. It's not mentioned in Your Book Monopoly, but might be worth adding that in countries such as the UK and Australia, a further advantage of getting your book into libraries is that you can then benefit from the PLR (Public Lending Rights) payments that are made by the government to compensate authors for library lending.

The Bookstores section has some good tips on getting your print book into bookshops. Again, there is quite a strong US emphasis, but it is equally true that the recommended approach could easily be adapted to other countries. Advice is given on selling to individual bookstores and also large chains. You also get a publicity flyer template to assist with this.

Converting your work to audio format is growing in popularity. The Audiobooks section focuses mainly on the Audiobook Creation Exchange, or ACX for short. Rachel says she prefers to use this service, as they distribute, at minimum, to customers on Audible.com, Amazon.com, and iTunes. Those are the three leading retailers, and distribute to the great majority of audiobook listeners.

In the section Rachel discusses recording your audiobook yourself (which sounds a little daunting to me) or outsourcing it. You also get transcripts of a conversation between Rachel's assistant and the narrator of one of her audiobooks, which shows how the outsourcing method can work in practice from start to finish.

The last section is Translations, and this is probably the one I found most interesting of all. Rachel discusses the value of having your books translated to other languages such as Spanish and Chinese, and sets out some great tips for getting this done cheaply but to a high standard. When you consider the size of these non-English-speaking markets, and the fact that many have far fewer book titles to choose from, the sales potential for those making the effort to do this appears immense to me.

There are also, at the time of writing, three bonus sections. One is about making the most of the Smashwords self-publishing platform, the second is about breaking up your book and distributing it as podcasts or videos, and the third is a guide to formatting your work for CreateSpace, by Teresa Miller. These are all well worth reading too, although you can also access Teresa's report free of charge via this archived newsletter issue if you like.

Overall, I thought Your Book Monopoly was an excellent product, and one that more than lives up to Rachel's usual high standards. If you're a US author, it's a no-brainer. If you live elsewhere, some of the information may need to be adapted a bit, but much of it will apply the world over (the advice on audiobooks and translations, for example). At the current low launch price, you can't really go too far wrong.

As I really like Your Book Monopoly, however, I'm throwing in not one but two extra bonuses of my own. If you buy via any of the (affiliate) links in my review, just forward your email receipt to me at NickDaws+YBM-AT-gmail.com, changing the -AT- to the usual @ symbol (alternatively, copy and paste your receipt into my Contact Me form with the subject line BONUS CLAIM).

I will then send you my report on how to apply custom formatting to your Kindle e-book description so it looks much more professional and compelling. And I will also send you Underground Book Promotion, a great 11-page report from Amy Harrop and Debbie Drum on lesser-known ways to publicize your book or e-book (which has some excellent advice on using Goodreads, in particular).

I hope you found this review helpful. If you have any comments or questions about Your Book Monopoly, of course, please post them below and I will do my best to answer them!

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