Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

Amazon Kindle Sales Ranking Takes Off

Filed under: I'll Do It Myself: The Book — by Glenda at 4:53 pm on Friday, January 27, 2012

I'll Do It Myself on the KindleBREAKING TRIVIAL NEWS…in the past couple of hours, the Amazon sales ranking for my autobiography I’ll Do It Myself shot up from #67,557 in the Kindle Store – after being at about #797,998 for weeks – to #41,004!

And I have screenshot to prove it:

Screenshot of Amazon sales rankings

I usually don’t pay much attention to the sales ranking; ranking does not not necessarily equate to dollars, which, really, is the only one number that really counts But when it jumps 26,553 points in an hour, that caught my attention!

Thank you to the Kindle readers who made that happen.

In the next hour, my book dropped slightly to #44,297 in the Kindle Store.

Did you know you don’t need a Kindle device to read Kindle ebooks? These ebooks can also be read on your PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone and other devices.

My question is: do we, together, have fun with this and see how high we can get the sales ranking? Is there anything better to do on a wintry weekend? What do you think?

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Amazon Kindle: Still Believing Great Opportunity Exists for Self-Published Authors

Filed under: I'll Do It Myself: The Book — by Glenda at 7:01 pm on Monday, January 23, 2012

I'll Do It Myself on the KindleLast month Amazon announced Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select – "a new option dedicated to KDP authors and publishers worldwide, featuring a fund of $500,000 in December 2011 and at least $6 million in total for 2012! …"

Understanding that early adopters would have a greater chance of substantially gaining from this opportunity, I opted in right away by making my autobiography I’ll Do It Myself available through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, which allows eligible U.S. Amazon Prime members to borrow the book. I would earn a royalty – based on a percentage – for each book borrowed.

December’s results

The numbers for December on now in: based on the number of total books borrowed and the month’s available fund of $500,000, each eligible borrow earned a royalty of $1.70. My sincere thank you to the lone Prime member for borrowing my book. It’s a start!

For fun, I did the math…doubling the number of borrows each month for a year, the royalty cheque for November 2012 would be $3,4581.670…and that doesn’t include any book sales. Now we are talking!

Of course, that number is purely hypothetical because as more authors opt in and as more Prime members borrow books, the available fund – increased to $700,000 for January – will be divided amongst more eligible borrows. The royalty earned per book could drop significantly from the initial $1.70. But seeing the potential income generated is exciting and shows me that promoting this revenue stream may be well worth the investment of time.

Now save 25%

Keeping a closer eye on the Best Seller in Kindle Store list for the last month, I realized my ebook was over priced, particularly for an unknown author. Taking a gamble that a lower price would increase sales, and, hence, increase royalties, I have dropped the price by 25%. $6.49 seemed a lucky number! We’ll see how that goes.

Requesting a favour, please

If you have purchased I’ll Do It Myself from Amazon, first, thank you. I do appreciate everyone who takes a chance and spends their money on my book when there are thousands to choose from. Thank you.

Second, if you enjoyed the book and found some value inside the cover, please consider writing a review. This may encourage other Amazon customers to also buy it.

ORDs still available

Stack of I'll Do It Myself booksFor those who prefer ORDs (old reading devices), there are less than 150 autographed paperbacks left. Once they are gone, they are gone. I likely will not have another print run done. An empty corner in the living room might motivate me to get going on my second book!

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Amazon Kindle Increases Opportunities for Self-Published Autobiography

Filed under: I'll Do It Myself: The Book — by Glenda at 1:44 pm on Thursday, December 15, 2011

I'll Do It Myself on the KindleI am loving how the Amazon Kindle ebook reader is opening opportunities for those of us who have self-published. In addition to being available on Amazon.com, I am excited to announce that my autobiography I’ll Do It Myself is now available from the Amazon stores in:

Newly Created Opportunity by Amazon

Last week I received an email from Amazon announcing Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select – "a new option dedicated to KDP authors and publishers worldwide, featuring a fund of $500,000 in December 2011 and at least $6 million in total for 2012! KDP Select gives you a new way to earn royalties, reach a broader audience, and use a new set of promotional tools."

By opting in for this, my book is now available through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, which allows eligible U.S. Amazon Prime members who own Kindle devices to borrow the book. I earn a royalty based on a percentage.

The example given by Amazon: if total borrows of all participating KDP titles are 100,000 in December and my book is borrowed 1,500 times, I will earn $7,500 in additional royalties from KDP Select in December. (Doing the math: 1,500/100,000 x $500,000 December Select fund = $7, 500)

Obviously the key here is the number of times my book is borrowed in relation to the total number of books borrowed in one month. And figuring out how to get the word out to the U.S. Amazon Prime members – those who can borrow from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library at this time (of course that could potentially change) – will require some work.

Of course, there are a couple of catches:

  • Amazon requires exclusivity to sell the electronic format. This means my book cannot be available for sale on the Nook, iBooks and other ebook reader platforms. This is not a loss to me because I had yet to upload my book to the other platforms; I just hadn’t gotten that far down my to-do list. By opting in to KDP Select (for 90 days at a time) I can focus my time and energy on the Amazon platform and, hopefully, make my efforts worthwhile. However, this also means I can not sell the PDF format on my own site.
  • “We will determine in our sole discretion the criteria for determining which borrowing events qualify for this calculation. A maximum of one borrowing per customer will qualify." I interpret this to mean that if an U.S. Amazon Prime member is an avid reader, only one of his/her borrowed books will count towards the monthly calculation. If I’m interpreting this correctly, that sucks! Which borrows will Amazon deem countable: the first borrowed in that month? the most popular? the one  quickly climbing the charts? a random choice?

Despite those two catches, I figure it is worth a shot to roll the dice and see what happens in the first 90 days. I can always choose to opt out after that time – with other catches to navigate.

Stack of I'll Do It Myself books(For those who prefer holding a real book in your hands, there are less than 160 autographed paperbacks left. I am undecided whether I’ll have another print run done once these are gone. An empty corner in the living room might motivate me to get going on my second book!)

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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The tour continues…Come on along

Filed under: I'll Do It Myself: The Book — by Glenda at 10:52 pm on Thursday, August 18, 2011

On Monday I welcomed you into my bright corner office and showed the essentials in my work day.

Glenda's work tableToday I’d like to continue the tour of my office, which encroaches upon the living room. In this area of my extended office, I package copies of my autobiography I’ll Do It Myself to mail to buyers.

  1. Robert, the Ficus: Why Robert? Robert Plant, of course! We’ve been together since moving into university residence on January 1, 1988.
  2. A partial full box of Glenda's bookBoxes of books: From the print run of 500 copies, there’s only 160 left. Except for a small percentage I have sold face-to-face, the rest have been been mailed to individuals across Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, and even as far away as Chile and Japan. I cherish the connection I have with each reader by personally packaging each book.

Glenda's work table for packaging books

  1. Paper cutter: Handy for slicing off the instructions from the shipping label created in PayPal.
  2. Weight scale: Used when calculating the postage for multiple-book orders.
  3. Business cards: I tuck a business card with “7 Tips for Communicating with People with Disabilities” into each book.
  4. Teddy bear: While at Circus Circus in Las Vegas, Darrell and I watched a Dad win a carnival game and then give the prize teddy bear to his daughter. As they were walking away, she turned around and gave her prize to me. I keep the bear here as a reminder of how kind people can be.
  5. Mailing supplies: Padded envelopes, glue sticks and packing tape – everything I need for when a book is ordered.
  6. A framed photo of Grandma: She loved words and she loved reading. i like to think that she’d be proud her granddaughter had a book in Library and Archives Canada.
  7. A stack of books: Ready to go! The cover itself tells the story of my life.

And that’s my office…both parts of it. Thank you for stopping by.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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My Oprah Moment, My Way

Filed under: I'll Do It Myself: The Book — by Glenda at 6:35 pm on Monday, May 23, 2011

Oprah’s final show is fast approaching. One of my dreams, at one point in my life as an ultimate Oprah fan, was to be interviewed by this self-made woman. While I was once pretty close to achieving this milestone, realizing this dream looks less likely as the hours tick by…so I have decided, instead, to imagine what might have been:

Oprah: Today I have the pleasure of interviewing a remarkable woman who, in spite of her parents being told to institutionalize her when she was a small child because she was too disabled to amount to anything, has proven all of the naysayers wrong. She has lived her life to the fullest and with meaning, which she shares in her autobiography I’ll Do It Myself – a humorous and inspiring read. Please welcome author, blogger and speaker Glenda Watson Hyatt.

Glenda: Thank you for this opportunity and for making my dream come true today.

O: The back cover on your autobiography I’ll Do It Myself reads, in part, “Glenda intimately shares her story to show others cerebral palsy is not a death sentence, but rather a life sentence.” Cerebral palsy is a life sentence, not a death sentence – can you explain what you mean by that?

G: When most people first see me, they see my chair, my jerky movements, they may hear my apparently unintelligible speech – and they tend to assume that I can’t do much, that my life isn’t meaningful or fulfilling. That, in a sense, I have been handed a death sentence, trapped inside a body that doesn’t work. When, in reality, nothing is further from the truth. Yes, cerebral palsy is a lifelong condition, but it hasn’t stopped me from living my life to its fullest, whether that was horseback riding and camping as a child, spending seven years at university getting my Bachelor degree, or more recently, ziplining across Robson Square in downtown Vancouver during the 2010 Olympic Games and traveling solo across the continent to give presentations, recently in Chicago, Alexandria (West Virginia), Austin and San Diego.

O: When one finishes reading I’ll Do It Myself, you want them to come away with what?

G: I am not looking for them to compare their situation with mine – that really bugs me when people measure their struggles against mine or someone else’s. I’d rather they put things into perspective within their own lives, within their own world. I want them to come away with hope, that amazing things are entirely possible and within their reach.

O: As you may know, I had a book deal to write my autobiography when I was about 40. But I decided against it because I felt I hadn’t lived enough yet to warrant an autobiography. Instead I ended up doing a cook book or something like that. Why did you write the book when you did?

G: I was 10 years old when the dream struck to write a book about my life to help others. For the next 30 years, I daydreamed, learned, took publishing courses, wrote, edited, asked a ton of questions and procrastinated a whole lot. Finally, in October 2005, after listening to messages from both you and Reverend Robert Schuller – at that time you both were saying things like “Live your best life”, “Follow your dream”, and “Live your passion” – I publicly announced that I would launch my book on my 40th birthday, a little more than a year away. That definitely kicked my butt in gear! I actually launched in early December 2006, only a few weeks after my birthday.

I felt that point in my life was the right time to put out a book; that kids and young adults with disabilities could benefit from my experiences to date, rather than waiting until I was a more “appropriate” age for writing an autobiography (whatever age that is). I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to reach those people now. And, I figured it would leave room for writing a sequel—

O: Will there be another book?

G: Quite possibly. One idea has been niggling me for a while; a more focused look at one aspect of my life. The challenge is finding even more time to write, on top of writing for my two blogs. But, yes, I’m getting closer to giving the idea more attention, somehow.

O: You are such an inspiration to others. What inspires you?

G: Thank you. I am inspired when I witness others living their passion. When they so love what they are doing, when they are so driven and focused on what they are doing that their passion is oozing from them. That’s what inspires me.

O: What do you know for sure?

G: So much human potential is wasted because people fail to look beyond the disability to see the ability, the drive, and the insights. This is inherent in the education system, the social services system and the corporate world. Rather than discounting and devaluing based on disability, if every individual was encouraged to rise up to meet expectations, imagine all that may be accomplished, the ideas conceived, the secrets of life revealed.


Glenda’s autobiography I’ll Do It Myself is available as a paperback or an ebook, and is also available on the Amazon Kindle.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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