Ten years ago, self publishing carried the stigma of being the ugly step sister of the Random Houses of the world.
But today, self-published books have an almost 45% share of the market (growing from 27% since February 2014), while the top five traditional publishers have fallen from 39% to 23%. It’s a numbers game: like it or not, independent publishing already gives almost half the ebook unit sales of the market and seems unstoppable.
It is possible as a self-published author to not only get read by the masses but to also make money doing it.
Here are 7 solid tips for self-publishing success:
Identify your target reader.
As a writer, before you begin to pen your story, you need to determine who is your target reader. Who do you want to share your story with? You may be tempted to say “Anyone who will read my book,” but who are you really trying to help, impact, or influence with what you have to say? Is your target readership toddlers you want to help develop a love for reading, young adults struggling with the new journey of adulthood, middle-aged professionals making a career change, or men and women overcoming traumatic experiences? Clearly identify who you desire to attract to your book to determine your target readership.
Create a marketing strategy.
Similar to point 1 above, creating a marketing strategy before writing your story is crucial to determine how you will attract your target readership. Find out where your target audience frequent (online and in-person) and develop a strategic approach in meeting them there. Figure out how you’ll introduce them to your work and entice them to your book (snippets, sample chapter, giveaways, free downloads, and so on). Create a buzz around your book to increase its visibility in the marketplace.
Create a website.
Create an author website where readers can find out more about you and your book. This allows your book to be easily discovered, as well as allow your readership to feel connected to you. Include a link to where your book can be purchased, as well as your contact information where you can be reached. Readers want to feel that their support of your work is valued, so provide them with a community where they can express their views and share your work with their networks.
Hire a professional editor.
Nothing is worse than a reader investing in a book they thought was a great choice, only to find it loaded with numerous errors and inconsistencies. Never try to cut corners with your book’s editing process, as this makes or breaks the quality of the story you present to readers. Hire a professional editor to review your work from an un-biased perspective and help resolve the issues (errors, sentence structure, inconsistencies and story gaps) that you can’t see on your own. Not only will this save you money in the long run, but readers will not regret their decision to invest in your book.
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Determine your book’s format.
As you develop your book to share with the world, determine the format(s) in which you will present it for your readership to enjoy. Figure out which format your audience prefers and make readily available for them. Many people love e-books as they’re easier to access on-the-go through their digital device, but many people also love the feel of a physical book in their hands. Additionally there are others who prefer to listen to a book while they go about their day in their efforts to be more productive. Give readers the option to choose their preferred format so you can reach as many readers as possible.
Develop a quality book.
Show readers the hard work you’ve put into your work by providing them with a quality book. From your content, to front and back covers, to interior design, to blurbs – show them that your book is worth purchasing. When a reader discovers an amazing book, they’re excited to share it with others and spread the word about your work.
Determine a competitive price.
Assess the marketplace to determine the price at which books in your genre are sold so as to figure out a competitive price your book. You may be tempted to set it a very low price to attract readers, however you don’t want to price it too low where you won’t be rewarded for your hard work. Keep in line with the prices of similar titles, but be strategic in your pricing to entice readers to choose your book.
If you are looking to write your book, leverage your position as an author and design a profitable career, but want a blueprint to follow, let me and my SUCCESSFUL line up of experienced authors, professionals, speakers, media personalities and coaches guide you through the entire process.