Karla Marie From $800 to $20,000 Publishing Fiction Books

hey what is going on everybody Jason here and welcome to episode number two of the self-made show we have a special guest on today by the name of Carla Marie she is someone that I actually really came into the business with we both got started at the same time and she has done a tremendous job publishing fiction books and we're going to get into all of that and then some in really kind of pick her brain and see what she's up to so how's it going Carla Oh going great how are you okay pretty good so I appreciate you taking some time out of your schedule to jump on the show with me today oh great yeah thank you thanks for having me on hey you're welcome and um so I guess we'll just jump right into it um can you kind of give me a little bit of your background how you got started into Kindle publishing yeah sure um I've been publishing since October 2013 and before that I had so many different different jobs always exchanging my time for money but always looking for that opportunities to to get away from that to get some passive income some residual income had also been a writer a freelance writer since 2002 on and off and I you know I'd been writing things getting paid by the piece and knowing that whoever was buying what I was writing was taking it and using it and making money from it and I just decided I needed to get to the other side of it and get into get into publishing um and I knew there was money and ebooks that I wasn't I wasn't sure how to do it and so when I came across Kindle money mastery course I what got into that and I started in with it mm and just Dover I'd in and started doing nonfiction and had some mediocre success publishing nonfiction between October and April of 2014 I had about 23 books published and I was doing okay but I found that the I wasn't getting the results as looking for and that I found the books didn't have the longevity I wanted and so they were like falling the rankings kind of quickly and what kind turned me under fiction was I read an article talking about the proportion of Kindle books the sales how it's mostly mostly fiction that sell in Kindle and ebooks in general it's a fiction there's huge and then within kitchen within a fiction the romance niche is massive massive massive so I that kind of made me think that maybe I should try and get into this so I got a um a writer write a romance blog put an ad up had it done just as an experiment just to see how it go and I've got a cover made and got it back and I thought that the book was terrible huh I thought it was really cheesy and but I'm like okay this is an experiment let's just publish this and so I did that and I saw that without reviews or any kind of promo or anything it was started selling and so I was like oh okay there must be there might be something here so I started a couple more fiction books and they were they were doing okay and by August I had six so I had enough that I knew that there was an opportunity there and I decided last August I'm like I have to take this opportunity that's sitting in front of me and just dive right into it take massive action and start publishing every week and so I did and I just kept it going and I had my eye on my goal I set a goal for myself at that point to be earning $10,000 a month Canadian by December 31st 2014 and I reached it I actually surpassed it I ended up making almost eleven thousand Canadian in December and so I grew from nine hundred in July Canadian to almost eleven thousand in December so yeah I grew fastest continued to grow and March was my best month yet um where I made a little over twenty thousand dollars Canadian so congratulations garlis thank you that's a crazy transformation and it shows you exactly like how quick you can grow in this business yeah it's the opportunity is huge for sure and I am impressed because you took a a really strong stance you know a lot of people were going nonfiction which I still think is a great way I mean if you mm-hmm I prep I published most of my books and nonfiction but you seen a different direction and so you took it so um do you have any general tips I know um one of my people in my group had a question about like cover design um do you have any specific advice to get a cover for maybe a romance theme book yeah for sure um basically what I do is I look at bestseller lists continually checking out what's selling what the covers look like what the books are about and so what I do is I look at best-selling covers and I have cover designers that I work with on Fiverr generally and I will send them examples of best-selling covers and say I want something that looks like this in this color tone or with a similar image so give give ideas to the cover designers based on what's selling right now and that's that would be bad but my advice is always look to the market to let them tell you what to do and that's what I've continued to do is always always gone to bestseller lists check out what's happening what people are into and let that be my my cue awesome um and you mentioned a little bit about processes and systems can you give me just a have a walkthrough through your like your day as it relates akin to publishing sure yeah I'm establishing a process was huge for me I'm in reaching my goals and so basically I I broke it down to all the the critical tasks necessary to to reach my goal and so broke it down to like niche research keyword research category research again looking at covers looking at descriptions and and then deciding based on that how how much I can publish in a week and so I was doing a two or three new ones a week in the fall and that seemed to be a good amount and um then I would each I would have specific things done on specific days so that I can keep the machine running every week and also just to be sure that I always had new stories coming in so I always had material to work with and finding finding good writers was this key as well and the wonderful thing about fiction is that it's less expensive than nonfiction because there's no research required and so it's uh it's surprising but it's true these are these writers I have I spend a cent a word all of my my stories are quite short they're just eight to ten thousand words and um I have all native english-speaking writers that do a fantastic job for one cent a word so it's uh yeah it's really it's really awesome really I wouldn't say it's a rigid process but you definitely have a nice system you have going for you I do I have a system I do the same thing with every single book yeah the same thing as far as what I do with my keywords what I do with my categories the description what I do for free promotion yeah so and I don't do anything I don't do any promotion beyond a little bit of free promo yeah I don't I don't submit to websites or anything like that so and I think that's kind of goes into the 80/20 principle I think somebody would get caught up all let me do this in this but Amazon's our best friend I mean it's a huge Factory it's address you know so totally just have to be visible you know do what you can to make yourself visible in the store right and you were mentioning as far as research you turn to Amazon as well for research right to find niches and topics and stuff like that yeah yeah for sure I get a lot of people reaching out to me and telling me they're like I want to do fiction but I don't even know where to start like what kind of books do I do and so my suggestion is to look again at bestseller lists look to the subcategories and bestseller lists and just look through all of the books that you know top 20 or whatever in each subcategory and make a note of what the themes are what they're about check them out just look at what its selling people are into right now and let that kind of guide you in the direction of where you want to where you want to publish and what you want to tell a writer to write for you right you're just modeling and then improving upon what is that yeah exactly yeah and I know we'll get to this a little bit more at the end of the call but you do have some coaching set up and and they can find you what's your website where they can find you it is a WWN success publishing com awesome and we'll put that in the show notes as well so great I know you're getting some success getting your coaching students up to speed on fiction so that's really exciting as well so yeah I love it I love being able to teach this process to other people and see them have success because it can be so transformative and you're easy to talk to you were a former or current yoga instructor so that kind of really gene write like you you're sure calmness and all that stuff so mmhmm yeah I feel like it's this isn't my new opportunity to serve essentially because I serve through yoga and now I'm serving through teaching people something that can transform them financially and no so my office is in a yoga like it's above a yoga studio so all the the yoga instructors are constantly hey you need to you know you need to do this and that so I need to I need to probably get in there and yeah for sure do you hear lots of oming coming I do I do when I'm recording sometimes I'll record the self-made show on Sunday nights cuz I think it's gonna be quiet but they're still in there about five or six o'clock at night doing you know the yoga whatever they're doing I know there's like 50 different variations of yoga so yeah that's true it's true but um that's cool so everything's going pretty good for you it sounds like you're really on the right path and and what are some of your future goals so you're around 20,000 Canadian a month where are you trying to take this – I've been setting goals for every three months and so my next goal is for June 30th 2015 and I'm looking at 40k a month point that's my next goal and that's in I must I should clarify that's for kindle books and coaching combined and so I would probably think that by June I would hopefully be at 30,000 for from Kindle alone and I'm sure you can get there because it was a definite like revelation just talking to you and not only that doing a little research before I talk to you about just how massive the fiction market is and maybe we gas bouncing what we described a little bit on the before we recorder the corner um how maybe some people will buy a paleo book once but they'll buy a fiction book you know hundreds of times right exactly exactly the markets huge and there are a hungry market and they consume like crazy like the Kindle unlimited program is awesome for this because people pay $10 a month and they can keep borrowing books so actually most of my income comes from Kindle and limited and yeah so like I was talking talking with you before before the call in nonfiction a lot of the niches like say you're in whatever coconut oil coconut oil buck exactly so they're in the coconut oil neesh someone is going to buy maybe one maybe two coconut oil books and get some information and that'll be it and so um for the keyword coconut oil if you're not on the top then you know you may not get the sales you're looking for but in romance especially when you get into specific sub niches of Romo is like really specific sort of sort of areas there's people that that is what they want to read and they will read everything that comes out in that area people will buy a new romance book every day and just doesn't happen in the non fiction nonfiction world as much so that's there's a huge opportunity for their the market especially in erotic romance because I mean there's lots of different kinds of romance to but in rhotic romance there is a massive opportunity a massive audience and um I don't see it getting flooded any time soon I don't know how it would because there's always going to be a demand for it of course we never know what's going to happen in the future but at this point the opportunity is huge yeah and I think you know combined with you know like you said Kindle unlimited a hungry audience they have a limited buying power they can just consistently buy books and it doesn't they don't care they'll just continue to buy your book over and over yeah you're reaping the benefits on that and I know a lot of you know a little bit hesitant about Kindle limited but it's helped my business and it sounds like how's it oh good yeah yeah I can some people some people I they you know have had negative comments about it I've only seen growth and awesome potential with it um and as one another thing about fiction and romance in general is is that that reviews don't hold the same weight as they do in nonfiction because of nonfiction you get a one star review and it's like oh no my authority on this mace has been destroyed right but you get a one star review in fiction and it's like well that's that one person's opinion and I've had one star reviews help me because they've complained about something some aspects of my book and other people been like oh that's exactly what I'm looking for thank you for telling me like other customers commenting on the one star review so um yeah it's a they don't hold as much weight the reviews aren't as important that's cool yeah I mean it's just a completely different animal and yeah I was looking at some of the numbers and I don't know if you know I'm off the top of your head but I know that Amazon's in the romantic fiction especially is number one right like if you go can top 100 it's 80 books yeah the hundred oh my gosh yes huge it's huge so even just like browse through the fiction categories and sub-categories and check out how they're ranking and it's like mind blowing the fiction books yeah I think so many people are you know confused about it and which is you know why I urge them to reach out to you to have you help them with your coaching and oh yeah yeah awesome that's great if anyone has any questions definitely please don't hesitate to reach out and can have a chat and discuss it and see where you're at with your publishing I feel like I have a pretty good handle on Kindle I mean obviously I created a course and stuff but I you know fiction has been I've made a run at some fiction you know I made a catch seven books come out and they just didn't do well so I need to probably invest in your coaching dish yeah million romance yeah I was in romance but I think I was so vanilla I was trying to be like kind of a romantic comedy or whatever and it just didn't really yeah didn't really get um some of the some of the buyers you know really excited so I'm sure I need to make a you know make a change in what I'm doing a little bit you know but I think choosing a specific sub niche is important like for instance in your saying it was like it was too vanilla but there's also there's a huge market for what it called sweet romances and Christian romance and there's actually a specific sub category for Amish romance and they do they sell really well people are into this so I mean if you're not comfortable I mean what I teach in my coaching um is I teach from my experience which is in erotic romance but um there's definitely if you want to experiment check out some of these other other categories there's so much terms I was getting here like historical romance and in things like yeah it's like a very just anything you know people are into all kinds of stuff and so if you can see totally give them what they're looking for they're gonna buy your books over and over so mm-hmm exactly and you find one of the things I teach is kind of building a brand you try to brand your author and give them that kind of you know put 10 20 books under that person's name to get that authority is that something you try to do yeah yeah I have a few different pen names one of them is the kind of the primary that I do most of the publishing on Joe and I think it's just easier to cross-promote when you have fewer pen names um so yeah I do I have I do have a list to a mailing list for my for my romance books and I kind of have them all kind of lumped together under under one list um but um I could probably do more in the way of developing a brand so that's probably something like they'll be the next next step with me to is to maybe develop more of a brand I mean I have an author page and everything but beyond that I really have done that much I think whatever you're doing is working so I don't think there's yeah oh yes you know one thing I've always learned is just constantly keep you know improving you know always but I mean that yeah you know when something works figure out why it's working and then repeat that in your process over and over again specific tools use Evernote to use the Dropbox to keep you know your your people your team up to date or to use any other things that might benefit some of the listeners um I'm actually just getting more into automating my my business right now but I have made really good use of just Google Drive sharing Google Drive folders and yeah but at this point I am I'm in the process of getting removing myself a little more from the business automating a little more so I'm not working in it so much so I feel like I'm a still a student and really new to the head because that's just where I'm at right now because I've been in the business doing most of it myself up to this point Carla how many hours do you think you spend doing just Kindle publishing every week just Kindle um I would say just for the publishing probably about 15 15 so it's yeah and I know you talked to me before the call you actually even were able to take yourself out of here you were spending so much time of your yoga business that you've actually taken that down a little bit so it's that working family and everything so yeah yeah it's been great since Christmas I've had a lot more freedom and that was my when setting the goal to have developed this passive income that's grown so much I went to I looked out the why behind that and I think that's really important for goal-setting is not just to be like oh I just want to make money and just leave it at that you have to explore within you your why so what's your deep reason for that and a couple of years ago actually I guess it probably a year and a half ago or so I figured out that my most crucial why my most important why was freedom and a feeling of freedom and bringing more space into my life and so that is something I've been focusing on the whole time and so now that I have that opportunity to let go of teaching yoga so I can have more space with this this business I decided to do that so I let go of my yoga business and now I am experiencing more freedom which is awesome freedom of location too because obviously I work from a computer I can be anywhere and trial my family lives all over of the country or all over North America really and so um get to travel and uh yeah so that's that's been really important to me is having that freedom yeah one things I teach too and one of the things I really behind is it's like the money if you're just in it for money and you have a road block you're gonna a lot of people just fail but if you have that strong why like hey I want to travel I want to spend time with my family yeah this might not be going good that's gonna get you through the times of exactly stay committed exactly and and connect to that daily I find with goal-setting having a very specific ilysm portent and like I mentioned I been doing goal setting in three-month periods which has been working really well and within that three-month period every morning and every night I visit my goal and I write it out as though it's happening in the present tense so for you know I wrote at this marine I'm easily earning $40,000 per month income by June 30th 2015 by selling I can't remember the specific number blank number of e-books per day on Kindle and through coaching and so just writing that every day and really feeling it as a present truth um I found it's been really important as well as staying in a state of gratitude and openness and so every morning the first thing I do is I write out three things that I'm grateful for and really feel those in my heart so starting the day from that place of gratitude and being thankful for where I am at where I am in the moment and not getting caught up in what's going to come in the future that's very important I started using something similar it's called the five minute journal or using that's what I did yeah and like writing off successes from the day before and outcomes for the current day yeah I love the five-minute journal it's awesome keeps Emmy keeps you grounded like I mean I think it really like no matter what like gratitude is so important because if you're not celebrating your victories and you know what is it all for right you know what are sure so we're just celebrating the ability to like see or to type or have Internet and technology or warm water or these things that we take for granted and yeah this has been a huge shift for me when I since I've been bringing that into my daily experience I feel like my success has grown more because of that mindset and that attitude I think I was listening to an audio book years ago and I think it was Josh Dale Carnegie or somebody he said that I would if I gave you a billion dollars but you had to be blind what would you say what would you take and you know the question is obvious right our site is such a good like just one little thing that you so many people not I was thinking about this yesterday kind of like what if I was blind you know what if I was I could not see the birds and the trees and all this what that would not be cool right and so yeah sure taking that time out to really be thankful I recommend everybody and I've talked about it on the show you pick up the five-minute journal I think it's like thirty bucks but I can change your life you know what I mean just definitely yeah it's it's awesome it's a it's a main part of my day now and of my sense of well-being I think you know ground it is grounding exactly as you said it's a good way of bringing you into the present moment yeah and in Kindles awesome and I think so many people are so laser focused yeah I want to learn this niche I want to do this but as I tell people and I'm sure you do it's it's yes we can teach you all these tactics we can show you every single thing step by step but if you don't have these core principles in place all right the goal setting you know I talked a lot of successful people and everybody that I talk to is successful is doing about the same thing you know hey your goals in the president doing journaling in gratitude stuff like that you know it's not rocket science but so many people I think fail to do it right I definitely yeah and just state yes ting committed to that as being part of your process to that it's not just something like oh I'll do it when I have time it's like that is an important part of your process and just back to the Kindle thing I'm looking over some questions from my audience and they were asking a couple things um so the question I have for you you do most of your promotions via Amazon right you don't go outside of Amazon not at all Wow okay not mostly no i have had success with facebook ads though I only have Facebook ads running for to my books but they've been on the ads for I guess one or two months now and it's been really really good for them so I'm gonna be playing with doing some more Facebook ads for some of my books um but yes that's the only thing I don't do website submissions or anything like that I just do one day of free promo just to get reviews and that's all that's amazing can we talk a little bit more about your Facebook Ads kind of your strategy yeah sure how are you hiring somebody to run those ads are you doing that yourself or no I've been doing it myself but I think it's something and I teach my specific strategy for Facebook Ads in my course it's something I've been running I've been doing myself but it's I can teach it to somebody and so it's something I could outsource and automate in my business as well yeah so just to go on that so you're kind of leading someone from you Facebook just to the Amazon sales page for your book then yes yeah that's correct I have a Facebook fan page but um it doesn't really it doesn't it's not like integral you don't have to have like million followers for it to work yes so um but yeah it's been good like doing doing the paid Facebook has it's been good in fiction I had I've heard of some people trying to do it in nonfiction with not the same kind of success I think as people aren't as I don't know I think with fiction people like I said they consume and so if someone sees something that looks like they'll enjoy it based on the image or based on the audience then they're gonna buy it rather than someone in nonfiction sometimes they're looking for more free information if you know your meditation neesh or whatever any sort of niche oftentimes people are will look for free information before they'll buy a book too so yeah not too down not to be like Oh nonfiction isn't the way to go it just wasn't for me so that's why I'm in fiction yeah yeah I mean it's cool to hear your perspective on it in kind see were and like you said with the Facebook thing like I think it's so the sub-niches that you're picking they can't go out and get free content mostly right they can they go your stuff or maybe competitors but sure like the free I mean I think there used to be a lot more free like erotic romance available in the Internet and there isn't anymore because everyone's realized you can put it on Amazon and sell it you can actually make profit from it so why put it up for free um pricing so there's a lot freeze back yeah but now I understand in pricing structure wise you are you in the 299 399 range may mean I am yeah $2.99 all my books $2.99 I don't do like $0.99 promos or anything like that um I am going to play with the next Facebook that I do I think I'll put it down to 99 cents to see if that changes the number of sales but uh yeah so I'm still like I feel like I'm still a student and I'm still learning and this is still a process for me that I'm testing things out and seeing how it goes and sometimes I have like my clients in my coaching someone will come up with a cool idea and I think uh I never thought of that looks like I'll try that so it's like we're all kind of growing in this together I think it's the more you teach them where you learn you know definitely that's it totally what it is like us and you start teaching something and that's when you learning really starts beginning right I feel like I have a long way to go to become to like master this ya knows I mean mastery such a innocuous term but I think ya $20,000 a month I think you're it's not that bad not madam student you know when I went to school they didn't pay me that much you know didn't pay me anything at all to pay them to go there so well it's been an absolute pleasure picking your brain get into I know figure out some of your processes and what makes you successful is there anything else you'd like to say to the audience and it cut will remind them a little bit more about where they can find you and everything like that sure yeah um you can reach me through my website and I'll be in contact with you it can give you some information on my coaching program it's a small group four-week program and so yeah if you have any interest in getting into some romance fiction publishing get in touch awesome well hey thank you very much car that we hope to have you on again sometime oh thanks Jason that was great have a great day bye thanks bye

38 thoughts on “Karla Marie From $800 to $20,000 Publishing Fiction Books

  1. A lot of commenters here don't seem to be familiar with the term "disruption." And because of big publishing house marketing, they also don't understand what it takes to sell books. Stephen King didn't get popular because he's a sublime writer. He got popular because he had/has one hell of a sales team that got him lucrative publishing deals, movie rights etc. Amazon evens the playing field and makes it possible for anyone to "blow up."

  2. How is it yours if other people are writing it? 1 cent per word not if I were writing for someone.

  3. You suck, typical lazy ass white woman, don't even write your own material…but what the hell, it sell right and you still can look yourself in the mirror. But I give you praise for being a leach.

  4. She specializes in certain 'sub niches' of erotic romance. …..Something tells me this woman is a freak. A freak of business of course. lol

  5. In summary, her system is to:
    – Search for genres/niches that have high demand.
    – Choose a sample of a bestselling novel from that genre/niche.
    – Send sample cover to fiverr freelancer and have him "imitate" it.
    – Send sample text to ghost writer and have him "imitate" it at 1cent per word.
    – Assemble pieces and send off to Amazon for Kindle publication.
    – Withdraw filthy, artless, unethical profits from local ATM every week.
    I LOVE IT!!!

  6. Thanks for the sparks, both of you! I appreciate you sharing your stories and systems.

  7. Hi great video, I have a new ebook I'm writing coming out soon, a futuristic romance, man and cyborg

  8. I've published two books that are now on Amazon. Three Paranormal Short Stories-Roxanne Lewis
    http://tinyurl.com/gwgksnk and From Riches To Rags-Roxanne Lewis http://tinyurl.com/occbaju

  9. If you have any problem with your ebook format than contact me here…!

  10. Wonderful interview, thanks. Jason- I tried to visit your website and it's down. I hope you get that fixed. Thanks for finding this gal.

  11. Friends, and fellow book writers. Please help me figure this out. I need help with questions as I am just learning how to start publishing on Create Space/ Amazon.com. While writing my book, and adding photos, what software program or app should I buy for my Mac Apple computer to write and type my text in and then save it as what type of file? Also when I want to add upload photos from my camera which software program or app should I use or buy to save my photos in and save as what type of file to upload for my book for to create space. I wish there were a step by step guide to help me do my book, or is there? Thank you in advance!

  12. Hello friends, i can create 2 ebook covers in 36 hours for $5.. Order now!!
    Offer closes soon


  13. Hello. Thank you for the video. What I keep wondering about is where you get photos for your pennames in author's central, Facebook, etc?…

  14. Where are her books? I can't find anything under that name. I went to her website I don't see any links to books etc., does anyone know?

  15. Writing for the sake of purely getting money disgust me. All of her goals were to get more money, and experiment more with new books every week. This kind of approach is so greedy, and I bet her books suck, given that she writes them in a week.

  16. $800 is way more than most start out with. Most of us self published writers are lucky to make over $200 publishing fiction.

  17. A word of warning! You have to lay out about $110 to have a book written and a cover made. If you don't get it right you can soon lose a lot. I found it best to write my own books. If they flop they have only cost time. It's not that hard to write an erotic romance 10k words.

  18. great info. I'm a writer and I was wondering, do you feel odd knowing you aren't the writer of any of the books you sell? I guess in the end, if lots of money is your goal, it doesn't matter. I'm not saying it's bad, I just would feel wrong about it. Do you read every book before you upload or just tag a pen name to it and upload?

  19. Great interview. I'm working on an erotic romance, so good to have this info. The other book I'm finishing up today/tomorrow is a non-fiction romance/relationship book, so we'll see how that goes. Am also re-publishing a magazine that I originally published 10 years ago in print (first issue will be up next week) but was hit by the 2008 financial crisis which killed my distribution. The world of ebooks has changed so dramatically over the years. I'm anxious to see how it goes.

  20. She makes sense and I am a fiction fan. I've almost completed the "Outsourcing – How I Run a $20,000 a Month Home Business" on Udemy, Jason. Excellent course. Now I turn my gaze to Karla Marie so I can learn the Romance industry.

  21. I gather from some of the comments here that some people think outsourcing the writing is robbing others of their talents and is kind of a dishonest thing do to. Hmmm… something to consider.

  22. I want to write a book. I have the idea in my head, I just need to get it on paper. I wouldn't feel right hiring somebody to write for me. I'd feel like a crook.

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