Featured Author: International Bestseller Tom Corson-Knowles
Tom Corson-Knowles is the international best-selling author of The Kindle Publishing Bible and is the founder of TCK Publishing, an independent publishing company specializing in digital marketing. You can connect with Tom on Twitter and Facebook.
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Up Close with Tom Corson-Knowles
Q: You got into marketing at a very young age? What motivated you to do so and how did you catch on so quickly when some people haven’t been able to do so after years of trying?
A: When I was 19 I was in business school at Indiana University in the honors program. We were required to do an internship to graduate and most students did it their freshman year. After hearing that my friends were working 100+ hour weeks on Wall Street, I decided there was NO WAY I would ever work like that. I wanted to be in control of my financial future so I decided to start a business and avoid the corporate route any way I could. I soon realized that it didn’t matter how good my product was if no one knew about it – so I started reading every book I could get my hands on about marketing. I’ve read over 1000 books on business, marketing, personal development and psychology since then.
After awhile, the knowledge just sinks in and becomes a part of who you are. Marketing is in my blood now because I spent so many hours studying it. A lot of people think studying ends when you graduate from college. And those people tend to stay broke, in my personal experience.
Q: What are 3 tips for authors to apply for better online marketing success?
A: Start small and implement. The internet is changing so fast and no one knows everything. The difference between people who make a serious income online and those who can’t earn a dollar online is that the successful people treat it like a business. If you’re an author, realize that marketing is 80% of the formula for success as an author. The other 20% is how well you write. So you’ve got to either treat the marketing side like a serious business and spend a lot of time studying it or find a partner or publishing company who can do that for you.
I’d love to be able to give you the secrets to success in 3 simple steps but it’s not that easy. Success takes a lot of hard work. The key is to just take that next step. If you haven’t published your book, go publish it. If you’ve published it and it’s not selling, start a new marketing strategy. Then another. Then another. Just keep that process going of continual improvement. That’s how you succeed.
Q: What 3 social media should authors partake in – for example should twitter be part of every author’s marketing plan online?
A: Facebook is the #1 social media site right now. Any really successful blogger will tell you that most of their traffic comes from Facebook, with only a few exceptions (like fashion blogs who get tons of traffic from Pinterest). Twitter is also useful, but I would personally focus on building up a Facebook fan page of readers and then use Twitter to target influencers. For example, if you’re doing a KDP Select Free promotion, there’s a huge list of Twitter influencers who will retweet and promote your free book to their followers on my blog here.
I would use LinkedIN if you market to business owners or professionals and I would use Pinterest if you market to women who are into fashion or food.
Q: I want to know more about Tom the person. Tell us what you like about writing books, marketing, being successful. In other words what drives you to succeed.
A: What drives me? Freedom. It’s my highest value. I want to be in control of my life and be able to do what I want, when I want, wherever I want with whoever I want. I think that’s a great gift we have as entrepreneurs/authors. The challenge is that it takes a lot of work to get to that place. But it’s not the kind of work you might expect. A lot of people think the secret to success is working 100 hours a week (like my friends on Wall Street). But it’s not! The secret is to “work harder on yourself than you do on your job” as Jim Rohn said. What holds most of us back from the success we want? It’s our old habits and old ways of thinking. It’s those instant reactions we have to stressful situations or new opportunities that keep us from moving forward.
I actually started writing my first book at age 19 as a tool to clarify my own philosophy of life and success. At first I never even thought that others would buy it. I learned more from writing that book than I did in 4 years of business school. Today, I still write for myself to some extent. For example, doing the research for a book is a great way to learn even more about a topic or issue I already love to learn about. But I also write to help others. I want to leave a legacy with my life. I want to help others succeed like I have and save themselves a lot of the time and struggles that I went through. When my books help readers in some way, it makes all that effort and work worthwhile.
Q: Also your books are full of actual information people can apply. Why are you unselfish with this information? By the way thanks for that, your work has helped me a lot.
A: You know, it’s a funny question because when I first started writing books about marketing, I noticed very few other marketers were doing what I was doing. I literally put everything I know into my books – at least all the stuff I know that works. There are a couple of reasons. First of all, I just want to create the best book possible that actually helps people. I can’t even imagine writing a book about a topic and then leaving out my “best ideas” so that I can keep them to myself. I also learn a lot from writing my books, as I said before. But it’s not just about learning something – it’s about doing it. Oftentimes, I’ll notice I’ve written something in my book and look at my own actions and notice I’m not doing what I recommend or I’m not doing it as consistently as I should be. That inspires me to improve my own efforts.
There’s another reason, too. I believe if you’re greedy or stingy with your knowledge, you cut yourself off from opportunities to learn more. A good example of this is my book The Amazon Analytics Bible. I stumbled on this strategy by complete accident that lets me track the exact number of visitors to my Amazon book page. It was a complete accident, but since I had been blogging from years and understood how important analytics were for testing conversions and making small tweaks that increase sales dramatically, I instantly saw the potential of all this new data. I think a lot of people would keep it as a secret, but I decided to share it in my book. Since then, I’ve received dozens of emails from people who have given me ideas of ways I can further improve my Amazon Analytics – ideas that I could never have come up with on my own. And because of those emails, I’ve been able to come up with new strategies that help me sell even more books. That’s the power of sharing information and knowledge – the more you share, the more comes back to you.
Personal Note: I have personally read Tom’s 3 books featured here and have found them useful and beneficial for my own marketing needs. I am not affiliated with Tom and only make a small percent on sales of any books bought from my site. I just wanted to share the information with other authors as a helpful suggestion.
Other Books by Tom Corson=Knowles