May 2019

I am an avid reader of the comics.  I get a few laughs and start the day in a good mood after reading them. The other day I was struck by the comic strip called Baldo. The family was celebrating the birthday of Gracie, the super smart sister of Baldo, and encouraging her to make a wish before she blows out her candles.  She responds, “If it’s all right with you, I’d rather set a goal.”  

That got me thinking about the theme song from Disney.  The lyrics of the first stanza are:

When you wish upon a star

Makes no difference who you are

Anything your heart desires

Will come to you

And the last 2 lines of the last stanza are: 

When you wish upon a star

Your dreams come true

Whether you make a wish or set a goal, when you make your desires known, you are more likely to achieve them.  Penny Zenker explained on the April SkillBites Show that goals are about 40% more likely to be achieved when they are written down.  The process of writing them down causes the mind to become more focused, and activates the “reticular activating system”, which causes you to recognize opportunities to make the goal happen that might not have occurred to you otherwise.  If you want to achieve more in your professional or personal life, define what you want to achieve, and listen to my interview of Penny to learn more of her tips, or read my blog post of the interview, the links to both of which are listed below. 

Automatic Book Sales System

Last month, my friend and 7 times bestselling author Derek Doepker gave a webinar on how to do less promotion and sell more books on auto-pilot.  The webinar was recorded, so if you were not able to register for the webinar and would like to view the recording, let me know and I’ll send you the link.  Just email me at

1. The SkillBites Show

Each month, we bring you an expert to help you get your book done, leverage your book, grow your business or improve your life.  The shows are recorded, so if you can’t listen to one live, you can listen to the recording by clicking here

Our next SkillBites Show will be held on Wednesday, May 15 at 1 pm ET.  Our guest will be Jerry Rosenthal, published author and lean six sigma master. Jerry will talk about the intersection of process improvement, leadership and life in a way that can benefit anyone, personally and professionally, to be able to manifest improved outcomes and turn common sense into common practice.

To listen to the live presentation, you can call in at (641) 715-3660, Access Code: 467398

Last month we heard from Penny Zenker, an international speaker, business strategy coach and best-selling author.  Penny shared several tips to increase productivity, eliminate distraction, and get more of the right things done.  If you missed this presentation, you can listen to it by clicking here, or you can read a summary of the show on the SkillBites blog at

Do you have expertise that you believe would benefit the SkillBites community of entrepreneurs and authors?  If you would like to be the guest on the monthly SkillBites Show, contact me at or 610-783-4519.

2. In the News

Last month, I joined Chris Spurvey for his podcast, It’s Time to Sell.  Chris asked me to share tips for writing and publishing a book. To listen to the podcast, click here.

Last month, I attended Marc Bernstein’s book launch at the Blue Bell Inn.  His book, Fiscal Therapy Solution 1.0, came out just in time for Financial Literacy Month in April.  The photo was published in the Jewish Exponent on April 16, 2019, gaining him greater exposure.

3. It’s About Time

Earlier this year, I ran a 4 week workshop on book writing.  The reviews were so favorable that I have decided to run the workshop again.  As one participant exclaimed, “Wonderful program and enjoyed the group energy!  Gets the momentum going!”  If you’ve wanted to write a book but are struggling with finding the time, or aren’t sure what topic you should write on, or don’t know how to proceed, this would be a perfect program for you.  The workshop is virtual, so you don’t need to go anywhere.  If you miss one of the sessions, you can listen to the recording.  The fee for the 4 one-hour sessions is just $197.  To sign up for the upcoming workshop, contact me at  Only a limited number of spots still available.

4. Tip of the Month:  Amazon Ads – Part 3 

In my March newsletter, I explained some of the advantages of running an Amazon ad campaign to promote your book, and some of the elements of the program, such as choosing between sponsored product ads and product display ads.  In the April newsletter, I reviewed 6 essential elements to have in place before conducting an Amazon ad campaign:  book cover, title, description, “Look Inside” sample, price point and reviews.  In this newsletter, I cover the initial steps for creating an Amazon ad campaign.

If you have self-published your book on KDP, log in to your DKP account, go to your dashboard, and to the right of the book you want to advertise, click on the button “Promote and Advertise”.  On that page, click on “Accept and create an ad campaign”.  Next, select Sponsored Products.  Then name your campaign, set the dates and set your daily budget, which can be as low as $1/day.  It’s recommended that you set a floor of at least $3/day so you can obtain enough data to evaluate the effectiveness of your ad.

You can select automatic targeting or manual targeting.  When you select manual targeting, you can add the key words that you feel are appropriate, which is generally more effective than using Amazon’s automatic targeting.  Likewise, for the Ad format, choosing ‘custom test ad’ is usually more effective than choosing ‘standard ad’.

In the bidding area, select ‘Dynamic bids – down only’.  For the default bid, you can use the suggested bid that Amazon suggests, or anything in the range provided by Amazon.  That is the amount you will pay whenever someone clicks on the ad for your book.  If you price this too low, your book will not be placed as prominently, and thus most people won’t see it.  If priced too high, you will reach your daily limit more quickly.  Using Amazon’s suggested bid rate is a good starting point.

In next month’s newsletter, look for a description of more steps and tips on running an effective ad campaign.

5. How to Get Your Book Published

I have recently completed the development of an online course called Publish It!  This course provides guidance on the steps needed to go from manuscript to publication, how to get your book on Amazon, and how to promote and leverage your book.  I am seeking beta testers to review the course for me and let me know if there is anything in it that is confusing, or that I need to explain better, or that is missing that should be added.  If interested in being a beta tester, email me at, and I’ll fill you in on the details.

6. Earn Commissions For Referrals

Do you know anyone who has been wanting to write a book but has been stalling?  Let them know that SkillBites offers a variety of services to make book writing and publishing easy, quick and convenient.  When you sign up to be a SkillBites affiliate, you can get a commission for each person who signs up to purchase SkillBites services through your unique referral link.  

Thanks for supporting SkillBites.  If there is anything you think we ought to be doing better or anything we should be doing that we’re not, please let us know.  We value your input.