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Thread: KD Suite Review

  1. #1
    Publishing Mentor dsieg58 is a Premium Member
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    KD Suite Review

    It's been awhile since I posted and I've got a nag screen telling me I better post something. The truth is, while I've been lurking but I haven't had that much to add, or say, about anything.

    I just purchased this product and I've been going through it today. So far, I'm going to say it is first rate. I'm going to give it 2 thumbs up.

    http://kdsuite.com/ (not an affiliate link)

    The easiest way to describe it is what Market Samurai did for online marketing, this software suite is doing for Kindle and Amazon.

    OK, backstory: We all know Google ain't giving out much love anymore. So this has meant, for me anyway, a search for new markets, and new methods of marketing. I like writing ebooks, I like the passive (yeah, right) nature of it. But lately it hasn't been paying the bills like it used to. I made a foray into Kindle and Amazon once, but the system was far from ideal, so I got out of it. Making $0.99 to $2.99 isn't exactly something which excited me a whole lot. Not after making much more selling products from my own website anyway. Still there was a lot that I DID like about it. Also there wasn't a way to truly figure out good niches. (After using Market Samurai, you know what I mean) But the good things about Amazon and Kindle are...

    • No customer service issue. Amazon deals with the idiots and freeloaders.
    • Never a problem about getting paid.
    • No shipping hassles, PayPal hassles, etc.
    • No SEO
    • People go there to BUY, not like Google where people go for free info.
    • It is TRULY, passive.

    The worst thing about being on Amazon however was that I never got a buyers list, or email address. Amazon doesn't give them away since they own the traffic and they are just as valuable, or even more so, the the original sale.

    Anyhoo...

    If I ever found a decent system, I thought it would be a good market to expand into. I've noticed now, when I type in my main keyword into Google, where I used to be number 1-3, now Amazon occupies that space, with my book. If you can't beat them, join them.

    Anyway about this product. Right now, it is $47 for a software suite of programs which look at various aspects of marketing on Amazon, including sales numbers and sales figures per month about what books are selling. This immediately lets me know if a niche is even remotely worthwhile.

    There are 2 upsells, and I admit, I bought them both. But now I have a complete and total suite of software, including researching, building, marketing, graphic design, templates, and all things Kindle and Amazon. There are also a number of excellent bonus materials that go with this. In fact, it took close to an hour to download everything. Dozens of videos.

    So far, going through the material, it looks like it is everything the sales page promised. I spent $150 (But I didn't have to) but I think I got more than my moneys worth. The guy is actually doing it himself, shows his products, his niches, and sales. They could be faked of course, but I don't get that feeling. He's walking the talk.

    Of course, proof is in the performance, and that I can't comment on...yet But for me anyway, it is time to break into this market. (Amazon and Kindle) and try to master it. One thing I really like about this system, which I didn't like about Amazon before, is with this system I get a list of BUYERS into an email list. Having a buyers list makes all the difference in the world. Their method is a good one and I'm going to change all the paperback books I have on Amazon now to reflect it.

    I hope this helps you,

    [[This post has been promoted to being an article on the EP Front Page. Kay]]
    Last edited by Kay; 14 June 2013 at 2:24 am. Reason: Promoted to front page article

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  3. #2
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    Hi David,

    Good to see you joining in again. Your posts are always useful. I'll give this KD Suite thing a try since you're recommending it.

    We have some travel and business books on sale. The travel ones sell reasonably well but the business ones don't. It's not that they're useless books - many people have praised them. I suspect that the books have been ripped off, copied, and distributed for free elsewhere. You can kinda tell sometimes by the refund figures that the person bought the book, copied it, and got their money back. Well, if it's someone in a low income country who can't afford to buy the book, I guess I don't grudge them reading it for free. But equally I need to earn money from my work or I won't be able to pay the bills. It's a difficult situation.

    We've been working on a big project and will soon be ready to publish. I'm concerned that as soon as we publish it, there'll be some people who get it and distribute it to all and sundry. It seems a bit unfair that we'd slog for a couple of months to create this work and then receive no reward. I don't know what we can do, if anything, to prevent that from happening. Any ideas?

    KD Suite is an interesting domain. Funnily enough, I have a few KD domains. I couldn't get the generics of what I wanted so I used the prefix "KD" (Kay and Dave). The domains are currently parked, but perhaps I ought to get at least a page onto them to avoid being accused of squatting.
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

    The joy of Internet delivery - the cartoon illustrating this will make you laugh!



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  5. #3
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    What fun. I asked Dave to go and buy it for me. (I keep my own credit cards in the safe.)

    Meanwhile an email came in from Chris Guthrie raving about this product. I clicked through out of curiosity, and discovered that if I bought using his link I could get $7880 of extra bonuses. Oh wow! That sounds good. LOL. At the same time, Dave was attempting to buy via the direct link to KD Suite. And... drum roll... he was offered $7880 of extra bonuses. I wonder how many more emails I'll get from all the usual MMO 'gurus' recommending this thing.

    Ah well, I'll give it a go anyway. It'll give me something to blog about.
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

    The joy of Internet delivery - the cartoon illustrating this will make you laugh!



  6. #4
    Publishing Mentor dsieg58 is a Premium Member
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    Hi Kay,

    Good to see you as well. Yes, I got it from an affiliate link as well and by judging from the website, it looks like a big box launch. I won't hold it against them they want to make money, as long as they deliver. Market Samurai came out the same way, and as far as I'm concerned, it is still the best online marketing software there is.

    The travel ones sell reasonably well but the business ones don't
    That's kind of interesting because was one of the first books I put through the analyzer yesterday were travel books. Because I would love to get into the travel niche as well. Even Lonely Planet (China) wasn't making that much. ($2500 a month, I believe) LP (Thailand) $1351/month with 88 books sold. Lonely Planet (Vietnam) only selling $929/month. My point is, if LP is selling that many copies, with their huge staff, and PR machine, don't feel bad. I was also beating myself up over my Amazon sales until I checked out what my competitors were selling and I found I was blowing them all out of the water.

    I can play with the software forever (Just like Market Samurai) Now for giggles, do some searches over in the fiction category. Fiction blows non fiction out of the water by a magnitude of 10. Just checking "travel" in fiction (no filters) "Wild" (Oprah's book club) sold 59K per month, Dan Brown is selling 10's of millions/month it looks like off Amazon. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle...is still selling a consistent 8K a month, after how many years? On the fiction side, the worst performers are selling 2K a month from 0.99 Kindle editions. This guy, (writing the course) is selling 6K a month from Kindle doing "Fart" books for 9 year old boys. I have a 7 year old and I have to admit, that was brilliant. Dan Brown is selling close to 59 MILLION dollars a month on Amazon. (Is that even possible? A Cartel drug boss would envy that.)

    This is a total turn-around to everything I've been taught. I always thought non-fiction reigned supreme. But maybe not, and I've been banging my head against the wall all these years. I recently wrote 90K word novel set in SE Asia, (Want to read one non-stop action, rocking, good yarn set in Thailand and Burma?) which I finished last month, so I'm also going to try this system with that.

    Off topic: I was going to try and get this published through a traditional agent/publisher. Two dozen queries later, Guess what? All the biggest want you to have your own "Platform" they call it. basically a website built, an email list, and a marketing plan, and ALREADY making money or they won't take you on. So here is my question: If I'm going to write a book, build a website, market it, build a list, whatever the #$*#% do I need a publisher and agent for???? Talk about an industry doing everything possible to make themselves irrelevant. Rant over.

    I suspect that the books have been ripped off, copied, and distributed for free elsewhere.We've been working on a big project and will soon be ready to publish. I'm concerned that as soon as we publish it, there'll be some people who get it and distribute it to all and sundry. It seems a bit unfair that we'd slog for a couple of months to create this work and then receive no reward. I don't know what we can do, if anything, to prevent that from happening. Any ideas?
    I can pretty much guarantee that. No anti-theft software to speak of on Kindle either. Speaking of which, I made a post about a year ago of publishing only paperbacks and adding bonus material in PDF. That seems to work pretty well. No complaints at all. Completely eliminated my refunds too. I upped my price, and only sell paperbacks with tracking on shipping. I'm switching all my books over to this system. If they're going to copy it, might well make them work at it. Now if they send out the .pdf it has my brand all over it, and it is obvious they are missing the main part of the book. I'm not sure how you can do that with a travel book. Maybe make the .pdf part some sort of monthly update, so the info goes stale, so if anyone gets it free it is already outdated. I do have some software vendors that do a pretty good job (posted already in past threads) but it is only good on PC's and Macs. But it flat out won't work if it is transferred to another hard drive. Gets people screaming though...legitimate customers and thieves alike. Ipads (.mobi format) are making big inroads and so far I haven't seen any reasonable anti-theft software for them.

    Truthfully, from a publishing perspective, eBooks suck big time.

    Another thing you can do is completely bar certain countries from buying the ebook. Something else I've been doing lately. Discriminatory as hell, but I'm not writing 1600 page books to make friends in Yemen and Nigeria. #%&* em. They created the problem, let them suffer for it by not having anyone want to sell to them. PayPal is doing the same thing, banning accounts in certain countries known for fraud. Since actual sales from many of these places is only to rip it off anyway, you're aren't losing that many sales. E-Junkie allows you to do that for that reason.

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  8. #5
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    There are so many interesting points in your post, David. Thank you.

    My travel book about Cambodia is doing the best of ours - about 500 since its publication as an eBook last September. It's not a bad reward for my work I suppose. It didn't take long to write but the info was based on many years experience. The business books are going nowhere fast. You're right:

    Quote Originally Posted by dsieg58
    ...eBooks suck big time.
    Yes, they do, and as soon as you publish then some *$x^& rips it off. As I mentioned, we have a major one behind the scenes which is almost ready for publishing. I am extremely reluctant to publish it as an eBook only to have it stolen and redistributed for free elsewhere. The content is evergreen so it's not time critical. Maybe I should go for the paperback option.

    Our business books don't do well at all and it's not because they're not good books. One is even recommended reading for a university-level course. That book has made about 30 for us. Pathetic, huh?

    I started writing a sit-com a couple of years ago. Maybe I should resurrect that project as a novel. Hmm. I prefer to write non-fiction - research the facts and write it up. Writing fiction seems like a dull occupation, yet I do read it. I read fiction in bed because it helps me to sleep. (There's an author of romantic fiction with the same name as me and it's sometimes embarrassing when I have to explain that I didn't write those books. It's just another author with the same name. LOL)

    Yep, I would certainly consider banning some countries from buying the books, they only want to steal it anyway. But you've been an expat too - it's tough not to get what you need and are willing to pay for just because of where you live.

    In theory, eBooks sound like a terrific option - instant gratification, no shipping costs, etc. As always, there are too many cheats online who spoil a marketplace which would otherwise be a great benefit for many people. I don't know what to do next, but you've definitely given me a lot of food for thought. One thing, though, I'm pretty darned sure that I'm not going to sell this latest one as an eBook. Maybe a paperback with online support or something.
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

    The joy of Internet delivery - the cartoon illustrating this will make you laugh!



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  10. #6
    Publishing Mentor dsieg58 is a Premium Member
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    Truthfully, I'd like to get completely out of eBooks. But I can't. From a business perspective you can't ignore the instant gratification, or the mobile reading aspect. It is now established, and pervasive. It isn't going away.

    I am extremely reluctant to publish it as an eBook only to have it stolen and redistributed for free elsewhere. The content is evergreen so it's not time critical. Maybe I should go for the paperback option.
    This is a tough business decision. I don't know the book or the content so it is hard to say. If it is evergreen, I would definitely figure out a way to make updating a critical feature of it somehow. It may be an idea of having a (free, or paid) membership site that goes with the bought copy, in which it is updated every week, month, etc. The problem with that, of course, is it puts you on a treadmill. Kiss the passive aspect good-bye.

    Hmm. I prefer to write non-fiction - research the facts and write it up.
    I agree, I like it too. But at least now, with this software, I can make an informed decision (before writing the book) and have a way of measuring my success (or failure) Before, I wasn't able to do that. You wrote your heart out, then took your chances. This isn't to say there aren't some well paying niches in the business/non-fiction section, there are. Besides, (as you know) book writing, and writing for a living is a marathon. It's not about making a killing with one book. (although that's nice, but it is the exception, not the rule for most writers) It is about the accumulated monthly sales of MANY books. I wrote 8 books (or more) before I finally found a niche that made money. (Then I wrote 8 more in that sub-niche) That is just the way it is. As a writer, you either love to write, or get out of the business.

    Yep, I would certainly consider banning some countries from buying the books, they only want to steal it anyway. But you've been an expat too - it's tough not to get what you need and are willing to pay for just because of where you live.
    Same, same, preaching to the choir. I even specifically wrote one of my best books (on bio fuels) so it could be implemented in developing world countries, to get the ideas out to the people that needed them most. Now I'm having second thoughts about that philosophy. The plain fact of the matter is, (I realize I'm being politically incorrect by stating the obvious out loud, but you know this is true.) A lot of these places haven't had an original idea of their own since Buddha blessed us and walked the earth. Do you think for a minute, if THEY DID have an original idea, one that could help other people in other countries, that they would share it with the rest of the world? They would keep it internal, and screw everyone else.

    But blanket banning of countries, while it offends the "American" in me, makes a whole lot of business sense. Or maybe I'm just getting too old, and have been ripped off too many times, but my altruism is wearing pretty thin. Of course, it is the "in" thing now to blame and hate Americans and the (UK) West for everything that is wrong in the world. It makes stealing from us "OK." Maybe it is time to start a little healthy xenophobia on our part they love to practice so much. Just sell the the US, Canada, UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and select countries in South America. It wouldn't hurt my sales that much. (if any) Besides, almost all expats have bank accounts and credit cards from their home countries. But I would do it on a country by country basis. You could also have an "Ex-pats" page and say "Due to the rampant thefts in certain countries, (yada, yada, yada) contact me here on a case by case basis." Practice a little reverse psychology and "Ban" the books and certain countries, sales might go through the roof.

    Oh wait! I have an idea!!! How about double (or triple) tiered pricing???? (I'm LMAO) Publish only paperbacks to certain countries and charge them triple the price you charge to other countries. How long do you think before the native language forums would be filled with how "unfair" and "discriminatory" (let's not forget "racist" I LOVE that one coming from certain countries) Of course, they will still rip them off, but you'll feel so much better about it. I could probably do that on e-junkie. On the other hand, there is probably a law against it somewhere. But as long as you were doing it on a country-wide basis, and not an individual one, it might not be. I can certainly ban people from buying who have proven to be frauds in the past. Hummm...it might work.

    Here's a good one: In a certain Asian country I won't name, seems to have bought a credit card list from some of the big thefts (hacks) lately from banks. The scam is they become an affiliate and then set up dummy email accounts, then they buy your most expensive products, hoping to get the affiliate commission (in my case it's hefty, a months pay in these places) on the sales. You pay them at the end of the month, and the next month you're hit with a "Unauthorized" charge back and/or dispute. Of course, now you have lost the entire amount of the sale as well as the affiliate commission, and are paying for it out of your own pocket. Once you know what to look for these guys are pretty easy to spot. Unfortunately, when you don't pay them they get snotty and fill the web with trash about you, your product, and business. So along with the above, I would also ban affiliates from the same countries as well.

    My, my, aren't I nasty today. LOL. Now that I have pissed off 75% of the world's population, I'll go back to playing with the software.

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  12. #7
    Publishing Mentor dsieg58 is a Premium Member
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    BTW, the scam in the last paragraph is almost worthy of a thread all of its own. I'm seeing a lot more of this lately, and it really sucks to lose and sale AND pay out a 50% commission to a thief. It appears this is on the upswing and certain countries are "laundering" their scams this way.

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  14. #8
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    Kay, David, have you read any of Mark Coker (smashwords) guides, blogs and observations about e-books? One thing that surprised me was that the most successful authors publishing through them are making their money from really big (140,000 words) fiction.

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  16. #9
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    @Chabrenas Yes, I've heard of SmashWords - and blogged about it several times. We pulled our books out of it because we didn't make any sales for months. It wasn't worthwhile for us.

    dsieg is an expert in this area (publishing) - I think that it's worth listening to what he has to say on the subject. There are plenty of marketplaces to sell your books. It's making money from them that poses a much more difficult problem.

    Have you tried Mark Coker's advice or used SmashWords, and can you share your experience of it?
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  17. #10
    Publishing Mentor dsieg58 is a Premium Member
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    Thank you for the kind words, Kay. I'm sure I deserve them though. I'm an ordinary wordsmith pounding on the keys like everyone else, hoping someone buys them.

    I've also heard of SmashWords. For a while it was a flavor of the month, so I ignored it to see if it would crash and burn. (I probably shouldn't have)

    You have a lot of "boutique" marketplaces out there, Lulu.com is another big one. But nowhere matches the reach of Amazon. It's the 5th largest search engine. But the difference is, and what makes it unique, is it is a search engine of BUYERS. These people have their credit cards out and are ready to buy. Think about that for awhile and the implications become clear. Also no one matches the trust Amazon has built. Another aspect which shouldn't be ignored with Amazon is once you built a buyers list from there, (even a small list) you have an entire world of options open to you in terms of other books to promote, or even better, expensive tangible goods you can promote to your list. This ONE FACT ALONE, beats all other marketplaces. If people like your book, and you're giving good value, and see you as an authority, then you have a trusted voice in that marketplace. It took me years to build that, and I could have done it in a few months with what I know now.

    I'm not trying to be a shill for Amazon, but if you're going to go the trouble of writing, then marketing a book, why not put it on the biggest, best platform you can to insure the widest possible distribution. (assuming it's a book you're proud of) having said that, Amazon takes their cut. (30%) but still, that's 70% in your pocket. In traditional publishing, where you have to write, and now market your own book anyway, you'll get 11%-15% and that is minus all the refunds, remands, and what have you.

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