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Blogging Advice

What Nobody Tells You about Publishing eBooks

By 03/06/2012January 28th, 201756 Comments

With all the information on the wild, wild, web, as I went through the process of writing and publishing my eBook there was so much I didn’t know and I was surprised at how hard it was to find the information I needed.


You Spend a Lot of Money on Consultants

If you are someone reading this who is blogging and social networking, do you ever get tired of all the things you DON’T KNOW about it all?  I do.  The following story is a very good example:

When I finished that photoshop course last month, I came home and started working on changing the rotating image on the front of my site.

I took the course so I could be more independent and save the monthly maintenance of paying someone to change the images every week. The one thing I needed to learn I could not remember. So I had a meltdown.

In case you don’t know this about me, I don’t suppress and push down my feelings. I talk (sometimes loudly) about it until I feel better (much to the chagrin of people closest to me). But this time I was alone in the house.

Then I called Brian Liu, my awesome eBook designer and found out that I was using inches to try and crop the image when I should have been in pixels. Crisis averted (well not really, but you know what I mean).

An eBook in PDF format is available for anyone with a computer.


So after my eBook was ready to be laid out, I just assumed that it would have to be sent somewhere to get formatted so that you could turn the pages like the on-line magazines. Then I thought only someone with an iPad, or eBook reader could buy it. We were delayed an entire month because it was only when  I had one conversation with an eBook designer that I realized what a PDF eBook is.

It’s like any document that you receive that has been saved in PDF. You can’t make changes to it. And that’s it. It means anyone that has a computer can buy one. It just needs to be laid out so it’s pretty and you’re done. That’s what Brian did for me.

You won’t get rich from writing an eBook.


Anyone who wants to get their book published gets this advice, “Start a blog, get a twitter account, build a large following. You are much more likely to get a publisher to publish your book if you already have an established following. Or, if you sell it on your website, you will have a fan base already with readers that will buy it.”

And I have all that [a large following] so I thought, “At least I have this part down.”

You’ll laugh when you read this but I truly thought that once I published my eBook–you know the one that people kept emailing me asking when it would be ready–I would finally have made it! I would be able to buy a house in the city (which has just been named the #1 most expensive city to live in the world) and feel like a normal person.

I naively thought that at least 1% of my readers would buy my book. With 140,000 readers per month I generously rounded it off to 100,000. That’s 33 books a day at $30 each, well you can easily do the math.  That did not happen, far from it.

Here I have written a book, saying something NEW about colour, with a system no one else in the world has that makes it so much easier to save you and your clients a lot of money by choosing the right colours and finishes in the correct undertones. Well I was convinced the planet would beat a path to my store. Haha, well not yet anyway.

How much should your book cost?


Here again, we were in a dilemma. If the book is too cheap people won’t think it has value. If it’s too expensive, the professionals would buy it but the design enthusiast or DIY reader might not. Again, we consulted with an ebook professional and he deemed $30 to be a good price. Not too expensive, not too cheap that it would be perceived as not having value.

Also you can charge more for how-to books (we were told) because learning how-to do something you didn’t know how to do yourself before, immediately saves you money.

So far 75% of people who have bought my book are professionals so again it became clear to us that $29.99 was probably too much. It doesn’t matter that people tell me it’s worth every penny.

What about interior design books? They are even more expensive. And I know you get to hold it in your hand, big difference.

But do you know what it costs the designer whose beautiful pages you are looking at? $150,000 on average. They have to pay for the photography, layout, etc, etc.  And they sell an average of 5,000 copies if they’re lucky for a profit of $2 each.  So it’s really a very expensive way to show your portfolio to prospective clients.

How much Time does it take to write?


If I had not found Irene to help me I’d still be talking about it. Without her help, 3-4 months of doing nothing but blogging and writing would have turned it out. But I wouldn’t have been able to do any other consulting or decorating at all.

Of course it depends on how big the book is, etc. Also you have to own the rights to the photography which means you either have to use all your own images or buy ones you find from istock, etc.

Here’s the thing about my ebook. Yes you can probably piece it together from reading my blog but it will take time to read all 700 posts I’ve written. Information on the internet is largely free but free takes a lot of time and time is money. My ebook takes the system that has taken me years to develop and lays it out in an easy to read, step-by-step process. So even you too can eventually call yourself a True Expert.

Bottom line, if you are writing a book and don’t have a blog yet? Start there first.

Related posts:

How I Became a True Expert

ebook Cover Photo Shoot – Sneak Peek

Launch of my ebook: Read the First Chapter

Download my eBook, It’s All in the Undertones. If you have a computer, you can download my book!

If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact me.

To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!

If you would like to learn to how choose the right colours for your home or for your clients, become a True Colour Expert.



  • Marion says:

    HI Maria:

    Really interesting set of reflections on e-books. I didn’t understand your bottom line comment. If you are writing a book, and you don’t have a blog yet? Start there. Start with the book? Start with the blog?

    By the way, I bought your book, and I”m not a design professional! I read it at Christmas and I want to re-read it again, only this time with my Benjamin Moore paint sample palette.

    Loved the layout. Your designer showcased your words beautifully!!!

  • Maria Killam says:

    Hi Marion,
    Start with the blog! Otherwise you will have no one to sell the book to, and even then it’s a lot of work promoting and getting it out there!
    Thanks for your comment!

  • leslie says:

    Marie –
    I am sorry that your initial foray into e-publishing has been frustrating but I am so glad you wrote your book. It is wonderful.

    I bought the book as a stop gap until I can afford an actual consultation. It presents the information in a way that a non-professional can understand. I feel that I finally have an understanding of undertones and am in a much stronger position to make design choices.

    The layout is beautiful – not what I expected from an ebook and I really like the pdf format (since I have neither an ipad or a kindle.) I hope that it is eventually published in hardback because it is such a lovely book.

    To anyone considering purchasing the book it is well worth the price and a pleasure to read. Thank you again for generously sharing your years of experience. I feel so lucky that all of us who have wanted to attend your classes but can’t now have a chance to learn from you this way.

  • Maria — I feel your pain. My experience has been similar with the two ebooks I’ve written. One explanation I’ve heard for decor ebooks not selling well is that decor is all about pretty images, and color images on a computer monitor are just not as compelling as high quality, pretty pictures printed on glossy paper. This could be especially true with colors and their true nature — the very thing your book deals with. So, maybe that explains followers’ reluctance.

  • Louise says:

    I hadn’t considered the book because I’d assumed that I wouldn’t have the eye to see undertones no matter how well it was explained. This post and the comments have me thinking maybe I could see the colours…. hmmm…

  • Mira Crisp says:

    Hi Maria! I am a loyal reader but I rarely comment. I am not designer or into design but I love your blog and the personally behind it. That’s why I read it. Thank you for this post! I am currently preparing an ebook on Photoshop and I know it will be a struggle to sell it. However, I know that people don’t really get rich from writing even though that’s possible too. The way I see it is that authoring books helps us add creditability to services we offer (and that bring in more income than an eBook ever will) and that is way more important than earning a few bucks of an eBook. For me, eBook is a way to promote your business and services, not the other way around, unless you are a writer who lives of writing. I hope that makes sense. 🙂

  • audrey vernoy says:

    Hi Maria,
    I love your blog!
    When I read “perceived at having value” I cringe and think tmi you are so open and sharing. For what its worth to me that fact should only be expressed to people in the trades or after your sucess not used when trying to sell product. For myself a weekly Homesense shopper who loves the deal as much as the product maybe mentioning a higher price was suggested but you lowered for whatever reason short term would help in future.sales.
    I’m still on the fence on purchasing would of course prefer it in hardcopy for coffee table.
    Hope the sales pu.

  • Brenda Adams says:

    Always remember,you are wonderful at what you do,I have talked to alot of interior designers,looked at their blogs,I understand you and what you write,you have a special talent,
    I went to a retailer for paint,I asked them,what color does the paint color pull?I was talking about undertones,the answer was………..what ever color you want it to,with your help I now understand undertones,it is something the layman people need to know,but don’t,it helped me,I changed all my paint color in my house,
    Thanks ,

  • As a non-professional who bought your book, I can tell you that it was the best $30 I spent on decorating ever. I’ve learned so much from your blog and now your book to help me make some solid choices while refurbishing our home.

    As a blogger who sometimes dreams of writing a book with recipes and home-keeping tips, the shake of reality was a good one.

    Terrific post. I’m just sorry that you are not getting rich from your work. You should be, because what you offer is priceless.

  • Rebecca says:

    I also read your blog every day – I read others too, but yours was my first and my favorite! I also bought your ebook and had a phone consultation with you about a year ago. For someone who is not a designer and can’t afford to hire one (at the moment!), your advice is so valuable to me. Initially I thought the cost of the book was high, but now I understand why. I agree with your statement that someone reading your blog could piece together some of the advice in the book, but the book puts it together in a step by step way and goes into detail and gives examples about why some colors work together and others don’t. The “why” is the most important piece because that’s what makes one better at choosing colors. One of your guest bloggers posted about how the more you do it, the better you get and the ebook improves on and speeds up that process. Thanks for all your advice Maria!

  • Liz says:

    I am one of those who really, really wanted to buy the e-book but was stopped by two things: price and ease of buying.

    You’ve already covered the price issue, but for me, I wasn’t sure how much more info I would get in book form than in blog form. I’m willing to take a chance on that kind of thing, or even to reward an author whose work I’ve enjoyed for free, but more around the $10-$14 price point. If the information in the book is too high level to be priced in that range, I assume I’m being indulgent thinking of buying professional materials when I’m just a design enthusiast.

    That said, if the book had been buyable with Paypal or through Amazon (I looked), I would’ve been more likely to give in to the impulse purchase. May sound silly, but that extra step of fishing out my credit card is just the amount of time I need to stop myself from buying things I want but don’t actually need.

    I hope this perspective helps in some way. I do appreciate the info in your blog and am still open to purchasing the book at some point, especially if I end up painting again.

    • Carol says:

      For me, Maria’s e-book felt like an indulgence, until I started reading. It may be some of the same info you can get from older blogs, but it is a format that is completely different and is so enlightening that light bulbs would go off even though I had read ALL her earlier articles. I think the difference is entirely in the presentation of the information. It really isn’t bloggy, and as you know Maria’s style isn’t dry, so it’s not a stuffy tech book either. I am not a professional, I am just a like you. But I will tell you that the $30 that I almost kicked myself for spending when I hit that “Buy” button, has become inconsequential. Going to the movies with my husband costs about the same. Maria’s e-book is truly worth $30 and more. And as far as the convenience, if you enjoy design, go that extra step. Some things are worth it. Just my thoughts, for you and others who may be wanting but waiting.

      • Liz says:

        Thanks for the nudge. I went ahead and bought the book. (Paypal is a payment option now, so that helped too!)

        • Toni says:

          Classic! Love the conversation between Liz and Carol.
          Way to go Liz for buying the book. I have no affiliation to Maria, just enjoy her blog.

  • So here’s the thing. I’m guessing that most who see your ebook, like me, get totally excited about getting more of you and your fab advice and experience, say “I gotta get that” and then for one reason or another, get distracted, and don’t do it. And then, we see it again, and say the same thing. (Today is the day, I’m commenting then buying). I also do a lot of blog reading from my iphone, so I don’t have the opportunity to download it when I get reminded. Just my thought on the whole thing.

    Thanks for the insight, too. I have been toying with writing one about window treatments, but have wondered if the effort involved would be worth it. Now I really question it, and I appreciate that. Great post, as always! Off to buy the book…

  • Once again, thanks Maria for your candid information. I have previously posted before that if it weren’t for your clear cut advice I never would have started my blog. Now it looks like I have gotten another “Maria Push” to go on with an e-book! (which was my original target anyway)
    Thanks so!

  • Melissa D. SC says:

    Hello Maria,
    I stumbled across your website, I read, I subscribed, I followed, I bought!! And this was as of two weeks ago. Your site came to me when I am in the midst of trying to get my house sold and yet still do all the updating myself to make it saleable.

    I was going to paint my kitchen a sage green and now I know I have pink-beige tile with blue-gray laminate counter tops, yellow-brown cabinets and what was once a white tile floor but is now rust-red from the red clay dirt outside…..Sooo the sage green is out and a white is going to be painted for all the cabinets and the walls and we will re-do the linoleum as well so that it does not pull out the pink in the beige of the tyle but more of the brown and complement the blue in the gray of the counter top!!!

    Thank you for sharing your information and teachings with us, I can now feel somewhat knowledgeable when looking at paint colors and now as I read the articles, etc. I am teaching my husband!! It most often comes out as “Look honey at that picture, what other color do you see besides brown” and then he responds with what he thinks and I get real excited because he sees the right color….so we’re on the same page!!
    God Bless~~~

  • Thank you for your honesty in this post, Maria! My husband has been pushing me to write an ebook for some time now, and he acts as if it’s “no big deal”. Ha and double ha. I can even barely manage my consult/design schedule as it is, and writing a book requires lots of focus and time that would take away from the time I have for the other. I think a lot of us dream of writing a book someday. You should be so proud of what you’ve accomplished with your wonderful e-book, Maria!!!

  • Miki says:

    Perhaps it would help to see a few pages of your book on your blog. Although I’ve been using an e-reader for some time and am finally getting used to it, I’m really having difficulty imagining studying reference information, photos, and colors in an electronic format. I’m not a fan of the e-magazines I’ve seen online. I read design blogs everyday so that’s not new but they are free and I don’t go back to refer to them.
    Maria, you bring a unique and valuable perspective to design. The world will be a more beautiful place when we all stop making so many mistakes with all those tricky undertones! Be patient with those of us who are slow to come to the party.

  • Susan Seale says:

    Dear Maria,
    I am not a designer (I’m a music and movement teacher for really little kids!) and I bought your book. I love your book:) I know it was a lot of work…and I think you could write another.

    About what? You’ll figure that out. You have more than one book in you…I’m pretty sure…so write another.

    I love reading your writing and I’m not convinced anyone gets “rich” from an ebook. (You certainly made some money…more than you would have if you hadn’t written the book and now it’s available…just available!)

    Just keep writing. Every time you “create” you have, well, created. Some of us have to create a lot before the masses find us:)

    I encourage you to keep creating your wonderful work! I’d love to see a pile of amazing-maria-killam-books on your site for all to choose from. The Maria Killam Bookshelf: How-to’s, before and afters, in conversation with…, bathrooms, bedrooms, entrances, using artwork, etc…

    Just write, write, write, write…you’re good at it and some of your audience has not yet found you.

  • Andrea Brooks says:

    Our loveliest Maria,

    It WILL come back to you. Maybe not in the way you expected but even bigger…it’s just that good!!
    Thanks for opening our eyes and minds to the way we see and “read” color. It’s a game changer!!

    Xo Andrea–proud to be a TCE

  • Laurie says:

    I agree with Carol. I think many people, like me, are planning on getting your book. I have other projects I am involved in at the moment, but at some point in the next year will be turning my attention back to my house. And when I do, will be purchasing your ebook. I just prefer not to buy it ahead of time – that’s the way I am. If I am that way, there must be many others out there like me!

  • jan says:

    I agree with the comment above! You are a gifted writer and designer! After reading this post, I now know that I can purchase the book, and it will be readable on my computer! I am going to order it today! Thanks for you! I love this blog…

  • Beth says:

    I bought your ebook and it is in pdf form.

    I had to print it out because I am one of those people who must have the book in hand. I am taking it to FedX to be bound so it is easier for me to read and not lose any of the pages. It cost a bit more than the price due to using up the ink in my color cartridges and getting it bound, but completely worth it since I live far away from you and can’t take your course.

    I am looking forward to reading it and putting it to use!

    Thank you so much!

  • Wendy says:

    I’m another non-professional who bought the book. I thought I’d share the thoughts going through my head as I decided whether or not to buy it, in case that’s helpful…

    (voice inside my head)
    $30? That’s a lot!! I was hoping it would be in the $10-20 range. I’m frugal. My decorating budget is small. I don’t even buy pretty hardcover coffee table books that cost that much. I’m a regular e-book reader, but I’ve never paid more than about $15 for any e-book on any subject.

    BUT, this e-book would sort of be like a distillation of the important info in Maria’s blog and I’m unlikely to ever be able to take one of her workshops. As Maria says, choosing the wrong color or finish can be an expensive mistake to fix, whether you are a DIYer or a professional. The knowledge about color that I’ve gained just from reading her blog over a few years is worth well more than $30 to me. I’ve become completely fascinated by color and how good and bad color choices affect me emotionally.

    So…even if the book was just a well organized rehash of the information in her blog, I would consider the $30 well spent for all the knowledge I’ve gained in training my eyes to see undertones and the money I’ve saved and will save by making better color choices. Sold.

    I guess the bottom line is that I thought the price was high for an e-book, but I bought it anyway because having your expertise on undertones all organized and in book form was worth it TO ME. There are very few bloggers or even famous authors who could get me to pay $30 for an ebook, but Maria, you evidently are one of them. 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    I’m not a professional. I would have bought it for $15 but $30 was too much. I still may buy it at a later date when I need to renovate.

    You could also divide it into 2 or 3 sections and charge less for the sections ($10 for each of 3 sections). Once somebody bought the first one and really liked it, they would probably buy the next ones.

    In the future, you could do several smaller ebooks for $10 and have more sales vs. one larger book and more expensive book.

  • Claire says:

    Hi Maria

    I bought your e-book and your large paint samples. I am a design professional and for me $30 was reasonable and well worth it.

    Colour use to scare me but after buying your large samples (and realising that I had already recommended nearly a dozen colours without knowing they were the popular ones) I realise that I do actually know what I’m talking about – most of the time! But am still amazed at how complex colour can be, especially the undertones!

    Your samples have been a great help, I use them in every consultation and they give the client a better idea of how the overall design is coming together with fabrics, flooring samples etc. Now when I have to bring out my other BM samples for other colours I realise just how ridiculous it is to expect these to be helpful.

    So, with that said, when are you bringing out your next large samples of popular bold colours? lol I guess I might just have to do those myself!

    Great post, love reading.

  • Janet says:

    I’m another one who plans on buying your ebook, because I LOVE everything you do but I was waiting to see if it comes out in hard copy. I feel like I’d want to print the PDF just so I wouldn’t be tied to a computer and wondered would the colors print correctly. Is it even legal to print an ebook? Is there a way we can order with check by mail? I prefer not to put my credit card on line, and internationally at that. I’m in the US. Thanks for posting on this. You are the best!!

  • Kristin says:

    Hi Maria,

    I’m a regular reader of your blog and have considered buying your e-book, but I usually base my buying decisions on other people’s reviews. I think the upside of having your ebook on Amazon or something similar is that a)you can have reviews, b)you might have an even larger audience than what you have on your website and c)I think you can have specials, so maybe you discount the book for just 1 day to sell more & get more reviews.
    In any case, I love your blog and always find it very informative so I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before your ebook is a bestseller!

  • Maria,

    Thank you for your transparency and honesty! The endeavors that we think will be the ticket to finally making it often aren’t the ticket after all…as an artist, designer, and singer/songwriter my life is full of thoughts like “this (album, painting, business concept) is great, if only people would discover it and buy it!”

    All I can say to you is, you HAVE made it in my eyes- maybe you’re not financially able to buy a Vancouver house yet, but you’ll get there! You are wonderful- I love your book and your blog, and dream of taking your True Colour Expert workshop someday.

    Jill 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    I work in marketing in the publishing industry and, to me, this article the Guardian wrote really sums up a lot about e-publishing:

    And…the price does seem a bit much, even though I respect that we need to value your expertise. The margins are much greater with an e-book, though, and there should be a price difference.

    Also, out of curiosity, were all the content/photographs in your e-book owned by you? Or do you use other photos, like in your blog? How do you go about getting permissions if they are not in the Creative Commons?

  • Maria, I so feel for you. I know this was a surprise and shock. Having a friend who went through the same thing publishing a hard copy book, I was not surprised.

    Publishing and selling books is very hard in our market today. I see gorgeous books selling for $5.00 that were originally marked at $35.00 to $50.00. I remember thinking how painful that must be to the writers.

    That being said, offering the book as an alternative to attending a workshop would be a great option. Because that’s why I bought mine.

    Your book is really and truly unique and informative and not just a light hearted casual blog chat. It is well worth the money.

    Like the songwriter above, I sympathize. We made a CD of my music and paid what was for us and astronomical cost of$1000. (cheap by a from home studio). We sold about 20 of the hundred..and gave away the rest. Still, I recorded a CD. It has a cover..and a picture of me and MY kids, uses four tracks, and we paid both a photographer and percussionist. How many people can say that? Not many. 🙂

    How many people have produced an eBook of your quality? As far as I can tell, very few. I’ve yet to see an ebook that was worth even $10.00. Yours was a REAL book..just not on paper.

    When the pain of the cost is over, I do hope you will celebrate the HUGE accomplishment of writing YOUR book. It is a VERY good book and if you market it, with your connections..and magazines..and most certainly Amazon, I think your sales could pick up. Shona, of The Artistic Mother, sold tons of books, just because it was on Amazon. Instead of a 100,000 people being advertised to, it was millions.

    Once you get it out there, it will sell, but even she has to work work work to get it out there, get it in magazines..etc. SHe finally decided it wasn’t worth the effort. (She has five kids at home.) Still..her book is Fantastic! Nothing can change that. It’s her Magnum Opus….and this eBook is yours. I can tell from reading it. Truly lovely and ground breaking at the same time.

    This Ebook is a special creation of your genius and your gifting and is worth celebrating! Here’s hoping and praying the best book on Color builds momentum and blows the world away! 🙂

    Love you,

  • Roberta says:

    Hi Maria, The 30 dollars was very well spent on your e-book and I highly recommend it to anyone sitting on the fence. I placed all 91+ pages in plastic sleeves, placed those in a 3 ring binder and have everything in one place. (color wheel, swatches, notes etc). It is now open on my dining room table as I prepare for a color consultation this weekend. Thanks so much for sharing what you learn with us on a daily basis. Your e-book is not overpriced at all. It’s filled with valuable information! Good luck and thanks Maria! xoRoberta

  • Liz says:

    Maria, could you clarify something in your book? On p. 24, you show an example of cooler (a peachy tone) and warmer (a cherry red). I would have thought the peachy tone was warmer because it’s on the red-yellow scale as opposed to the cherry red, which is on the blue-red scale.

  • Debbie says:

    I want to buy your book, but when I went to order it I discovered it is a PDF and so far have not been able to open PDFs on my IPad. I know there must be an app for that. I did have my husband order your paint samples as my Xmas present and have had a lot if fun with them. I discovered that color I spent months selecting was so NOT the right one and have two good alternatives now so it was well worth it.

  • Julie Donohue says:

    I’m not a designer or decorator by profession but I just got hooked on Maria’s blog because I could finally see where I was going wrong when choosing colours for not just paint but clothes too. I couldn’t wait to buy the book and it is worth every cent of the $30. I have wasted a 100 times more than that buying paint, clothes, and decor items for my home that were all wrong.
    The ebook is very classy too am very impressed with it…thanks so much Maria!

  • Maria Killam says:

    Hi Liz,
    Red is the hottest colour and the bluer red is closest to a true red.
    Thanks for your comment.

  • KJ says:

    I love, love, love your blog (and your personality and writing too!), but I haven’t bought the book yet either. I was a bit nonplussed by the cost as I had assumed it would be more in the $10 range. Of course you have the right to set the price, but you didn’t have to absorb the “traditional” costs of paperstock, binding, transportation, agents, publishers and retail mark-up that make up a “traditional” book so the cost was surprising to me. Also, you are selling the e-book direct so you don’t even have to give a “slice of the pie” to Apple or Amazon, again making the price a bit shocking. But I may still buy it!


      Have to agree with KJ. Love your blog Maria but with knowledge of the publishing business I concur that there are many costs that you have not had to absorb so I was very surprised at the price…when one can buy a ‘real’ hardcover for not much more. Who knows – if the price does go down then will definitely consider it.

  • Maria Killam says:

    This book cost $40,000 to get to where you could buy it, not to mention the time that I spent writing it that I was not working with clients on consults or decorating projects. So not $150,000 but what I spent is not nickels and dimes either.
    Thanks for your comments,

  • Maria Killam says:

    Also for the person that asked about images. Yes all images are owned by me or I received permission to use them.

  • Maria Killam says:

    Also the $30.00 price tag was ‘perceived value’, the advice I received (wrong or not) was that if you sell it for too cheap people will think it doesn’t have value. Maria

  • Liz says:

    Thanks for answering about the warm/cool thing, Maria. It looks like this is a common color argument! I had always learned that orange was the warmest color, opposite the coolest color, blue. A color without blue (or therefore green or purple) was always a warm color, with the reverse also being true. Sounds like just different ways of looking at things though.

  • LauraC says:

    Hi Maria, I enjoy your blog and appreciate the work you put into it. I was prepared to buy your book as soon as it came out, but am afraid I experienced some sticker shock. I understand you had lots of expenses and your advice is worth $$. But when I’m used to bestselling ebooks (think Kindle) selling for $10, I had to pass. I would rarely spend $30 on a hardcover book, but I’m not a professional, just someone who loves design and color. I’m wondering if a lower price would translate to higher volume sales, thus making up or surpassing a higher price with lower volume. I know I’d snap it up in a sec if it were $15; may not be possible, I understand.

  • Joy says:

    Hi Maria,
    I am sorta like Janet. I would be willing to purchase a loose-leaf paper copy from you rather than putting it on our 1 computer that our entire family uses. If this is possible, contact me by email.

    I am not a design consultant or near to that, but for those of you who say that it is to high priced- I say where else can you find the free advice that we have gathered from Maria’s blog over the years or where can you purchase that info? Who has the time to pour over design books and pay huge $ on those DIY books from Lowes etc? My budget is limited and cannot afford a consultant when it comes to lots of decisions on paint, furniture, flooring, lighting… with our recent house purchase. Still have a house to sell. I rely on Maria’s blog and the help of the people I come in contact with in the stores I visit.

    Maybe Maria, there is a market to “wet someone’s taste” in a brochure format in paint stores across the U.S. that sell BM paints. Make the brochure free and just start with a few local stores to see the response. “How to choose correct undertones”. Just giving basic info and then direct them to your blog/eBook for further info. Also what about having a commentary section of magazines/newspapers that would pay dividends and increase your clientele. I don’t know what you have already researched -just a suggestion.

    Having not seen your book yet, I feel the $30 is a good price and agree if you made it $10 people would see it as not quality.
    The saying-put something free in your front yard-no one takes it-put a price tag on it and it’s gone.

  • Kim says:

    Hi Maria,

    When your book came out, my initial reaction was that the price was a little high for an ebook. Plus I had concerns about the colors holding true on a monitor as well as what printed copies would look like if I wanted a hard-copy for reference.

    My second thought was this: based on what I’d read on your blog, I realized (or rationalized) that $30 is less than the cost of one gallon of paint. So, if your advice saved me from buying even one gallon of paint in the wrong color — let alone the time and hassle — then it would be worth the investment. And it is.

    Consider your first publishing venture a valuable lesson, and know that your product is both informative and beautifully designed.

    Someday, you wil publish a traditional, hardbound or quality softcover book, and I’ll buy that, too.

    In the meantime, be proud of your product and promote it every chance you get. If you haven’t already done so, send copies out for reviews. Use it as a “thank you” for good clients. Give workshop participants one chapter (your designer can extract specific pages from the pdf). Word of mouth is still one of the best and cheapest forms of advertising. And keep plugging it on social media, your blog, and in interviews.

    All the best.

  • Julie says:

    As a design enthusiast, but non-professional, I’m very interested in buying your e-book. All the comments here, just reinstate that desire. For me, and probably for many others, it’s the economy. I’m unemployed at the moment, and until that changes, anything but getting by, is on the backburner. But, believe me, I have a list of things I have to get when I start getting a paycheck, and this is high on my list. $30 seems a very reasonable price. If it were $10 or $15 cheaper, that wouldn’t matter. Non-essential spending is just out of the question at the moment. So hopefully, for you, as the economy improves, so will the sales, for what clearly is a valuable product. Soon, I hope!

  • Maggie says:

    Hi Maria,
    Like others, I also thought that the price was high….but I’m a faithful reader (even went back and read ALL your old posts when I found your blog) so I knew that the information would be excellent. However, I’m not very price sensitive when I want something that is not very expensive (under $50).

    I have had to price items for sale— and the sad reality is that people don’t know (or care) what the cost was to MAKE the item but they base their purchase decision on what they feel that the perceived value is.

    When you can buy some hardcover books for $30 and most other eBooks are for sale in the $5-15 range then people feel that $5-15 is the value for an eBook. Maybe if the book was priced at $19.99 people would see it as a little more expensive but still in the teens (under $20).

    The other thing you need to think about is that even though it may have started a little slow you will be selling this book for a long time, and if you do other books they will feed off of each other. I would suggest using PR to get the information of your books out to more than your blog readers—there are lots of people that need your help.

    Have you considered doing a book from all your great old blogs –explaining your system from the beginning (This book is targeting people that know about your system). That might be a less expensive book to put together. I think if you have more books you will get more sales of all your books.

    Don’t give up! You have a valuable product (your system) and as time goes on more people will find you and your books.

    Love the book and still love your blog!

  • Love your honesty and openness! I’m travelling a bit down this same road (in my case, ebook = downloadable pattern for a bag I make that everybody loves) and I too was overwhelmed at how much work and research it took to make it happen, and disappointed in the sales. My next dip into the selling of information e-pool was a online dyeing course, and had MUCH better results and am totally loving this format! I don’t know if you’ve been thinking about doing something like this, but if you are, feel free to shoot me some questions about how I made it happen.

    In the meantime, heading over to buy your book…hopefully I’ll be able to do some painting this summer!

  • Erin says:

    Honestly, I think you should have held out for a hard copy book deal with a publisher. I have to think that would happen eventually and given the subject matter and the importance of colors showing up the right way (and the only way to make sure the colors are accurate is to print them on a page and have them matched), I would think a hard copy book would work better. And I may be a traditionalist on this, but for some reason I feel like I will get a better product with a hard copy book because you know it’s been through a publisher’s hands. I realize that’s flawed thinking, and obviously your book is great judging by the reviews here, but it’s something I need to just get over I guess.

    Best of luck with the book … you have LOTS of time to keep selling it so don’t give up hope.

  • Shannon says:

    Maria, just wanted you to know I bought your e-book right when it came out, love it, and am eagerly awaiting your next ones! Can’t afford your classes yet, hope to be able to someday. The price is perfectly fine.

  • CairoGirl says:

    Hi Maria
    I’m sorry your eBook didn’t sell as well as you had hoped. Frankly, I didn’t buy it because there is no way I could do as good a job as you do when I consult with you! (Two so far). And I would not have consulted with you if not for your blog.
    I wish you every joy in your new home and life

  • julie frost says:

    Perhaps a number of your readers are not US based Maria? I would have loved to buy your e-book but you use BM paints for your references & we don’t have them in Australia unfortunately. I have thought of buying their fandeck so that I can see your examples but it was a bit expensive at the moment & then I would have gone crazy trying to match them to Dulux, Wattyl, Taubmans, Porters, Resene, Murobond etc etc which are all popular brands here. I love your blog & it is interesting to try to predict which trends will make it over here. Julie

  • Jody Lutter says:

    I’m glad that you succeeded in your goal of publishing your book, Maria. Thank you for the advice- needing a following before publishing. Working on it!

  • Kenneth says:

    Have you purchased Scrivener? All the formatting you’re talking about paying someone for can be easily done in that program, and it’s simple to use.

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