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“Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries.” ―James A. Michener
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This month: Getting Started with Self Publishing

  • Don't wait until your book gets done to start marketing. Do it now!
  • Be patient. Everything happens at its own pace.
  • The first year is the learning year. Read, ask questions, and absorb everything you can as you work on your first title.
  • Don't rush the process. There's a huge learning curve, and you need to take your time to figure out the process. You won't learn everything in that first year, but soak up as much as you can.
  • Treat it as a business instead of a hobby.
  • Research everything.
  • Learn advertising.
  • Hire a mentor.
  • Know your metrics.
  • Learn, grow, try things, then do what works for you. This is a marathon not a sprint. Go easy on yourself. Don't compare your results with others.
  • Do 3-5 things every day to market your books. Over time a good book with good marketing will sell.
  • Take the full year to learn, research, talk to other authors/printers/artists, ask lots of questions and start to sketch a plan. Sometime in this year, write your first draft, stick it in a drawer and come back to it after you let it marinate.
  • Research research research and build your audience way before you make any big decisions. Pay for the things you are not an expert at (illustrating, editing, typesetting). Creating a book is only half of it, then you have to sell it. Find your niche platform and run with it!
  • Research topics or subjects that are in demand in schools and at home. If you know what the market needs it will make a difference in how you are received.
  • Join Facebook author groups. Sit on the sidelines and take it all in.
  • Once you're approaching publishing time - don't set arbitrary deadlines for a release date. It's great to have goals but everything WILL take a lot longer than you anticipate, and there will be delays. It's okay to push the release date back for your own sanity.
  • You can never learn enough. Read and research constantly.
  • Do your research and ask more questions.
  • Collect emails.
  • Learn more about promotion. Start an Instagram account.
  • Nothing is personal. Don't let a rejection dull your spirit and vision.
  • Keep networking and learning strengths from others where you have weaknesses.
  • SUPPORT other authors/illustrators. Share their info or help support by commenting.
  • Don't let someone else's accomplishments make you feel jealous/envious etc.You are running your own race! Don't compare yourself, your work or where you are in your journey.
  • Do something every day for your book, whether it’s 5, 10, 15 minutes or more! One thing a day!
  • Build an audience as early as you can.
  • Read, research, absorb information.
  • Don’t rush into it- it’s a lot of money.
  • Don’t spend too much money on influencers, features on blogs, etc etc. a lot of this stuff you can get for free.
  • Support others. Not only authors and people in this industry, but just be a generally supportive person. If your friend is raising money for charity, donate if you can. If someone starts up a small business, purchase something if you can. If you can’t, share their social media and help them spread the word. Encourage and support others when they release a book and if you have some knowledge to impart, try to be a mentor to someone else who is starting their journey.
  • Don't launch until you have a solid marketing game plan. Also placing your book on Amazon is like finding a needle in a haystack. There is so much more to marketing than just publishing on KDP.
  • Take time to learn what you can.You can learn a lot by reading and responding and sharing. You get to see some bits about how others work, gain from what they’ve learned through trial and error. Eventually, the time will come when you have to apply that learning, put it into practice, and continue to learn the things you can only learn by doing, failing, and hopefully, eventually succeeding.
  • Trust yourself.

**If you ask independent (self published) authors, the majority of them will tell you that marketing is the hardest and most time consuming part of the business.
So- marketing is what you should start with if you're thinking about writing a book.

1. Think about your book idea- is it marketable? Will people buy it? If you're not sure, post your idea in some author/parent/teacher Facebook groups and ask them!
2. Once you have your idea, start creating a marketing plan! Yes- I recommend doing this BEFORE you publish your book!
**Things to think about:
-Do you want hardcover books or paperback?
-Where do you plan on selling your books? (Amazon? Your website? In person events? School visits? All of them?)
-How do you plan on selling them? (Amazon ads, social media, booking school visits, attending events etc)
-Who is your audience? Find them and start building your social media following. I just hosted a webinar about this. Find out how to watch it HERE.
3. Once you have your marketing plan ready, start writing and working on your book. TAKE YOUR AUDIENCE ALONG WITH YOU! Post in progress illustrations, behind-the-scenes photos of you writing/illustrating and anything else you can think of! Poll your audience about book titles, book cover decisions, and back cover blurbs. The more involved they feel, the more invested and excited they'll be about your book launch!
The writing process:
*Write your rough draft.
*Search for an illustrator. Ask other authors for recommendations or find them in author FB groups.
*Send your rough draft to beta readers (people in your audience who will read it and give you immediate feedback). Find them in Facebook groups! Don't ask family or friends.
*Send your rough draft to a professional editor or two.
*When your story is ready, your illustrator can get started.
*While illustrations are being done, you need to:
- file your copyright
- buy ISBNs from BOWKER
- request your LCCN
- write your back blurb, dedication and author bio.
- decide on your title.
*Decide how you're going to print it (on demand or off set printer).
*Hire a formatter to get the book ready for print.
*Figure out your launch plan. (I can help with that)
*Continue marketing!
What are the best ways to market my book?
Everyone's book is different and everyone does marketing differently. Here are some different marketing strategies you can learn about and explore:
  • Amazon ads. I first learned about them through KINDLEPRENEUR's free course. I also do Amazon ads coaching. SIGN UP HERE.
  • Facebook (and other social media) ads
  • School visits: I just ran an awesome and informative WEBINAR about this. Find out how to watch it HERE.
  • Local events
  • Selling to local stores
  • Getting them into libraries
  • Guerilla marketing: A car bumper with QR code, placemats for restaurants to hand out etc. Maximum exposure, innovative, outside the box.
  • Targeted event marketing. Call library, school, or scout troops and do an in-person reading. Add a giveaway (coloring page or something the kids can take home). Have a sign-up sheet for parents to add their name to your email list.
  • Influencer marketing: building relationships with people who have a following and asking them to post about your book.
  • Email marketing
  • Creating a "buzz"- word of mouth.
  • Using your website.
  • Contacting the media: read my newsletter all about it HERE.
  • Social media marketing- posting and building an audience.
I just don't have enough time! What are some shortcuts?
  • Let people help you! Delegate. Hire out work that you're not good at. I hired someone to create my website and someone to help organize my finances, because those are two areas I'm not great at. I also pay someone to help with social media posts. That's something really anyone can do once you train them and it frees me up to do what I NEED to do: write and sell books and coach authors!
  • Schedule posts. I connected my Instagram and Facebook business pages (you can connect Twitter too!) and I use Facebook creator studio to schedule posts.
  • Involve your family. The photos show my 8 year old son Wyatt putting postcards in my neighbors mailboxes, while I drive along side him like a creeper and my dog whines anxiously the entire time. Maybe you're thinking, "my kids are too little to help like that!" Go live with them if they're awake and hanging around you! Take photos of them with your books! Bring them to events if you have to! When my kids were small, I had to bring them to school/daycare visits. Not ideal, and they were distracting, but you do what you have to do! People understand.
  • Multi-task. I always keep books, business cards and postcards in my car. If we're running errands or going on a little road trip and I see a place that might be interested in selling my books (last weekend it was the apple orchard), I bring one copy of each and ask! My kids are so used to it, they don't mind anymore. Throw a few postcards in mailboxes every day while you're running errands. Give out bookmarks/business cards to people your chatting with at your kids' school or place of business if it comes up that you're an author (make sure it comes up).
  • Work when and where you can. If that means, you bring your computer/phone/notebook with you and work while your kids are at piano lessons, that's what you do. Check emails while waiting at the doctor. Do a little Amazon ad marketing while the TV is playing in the background at night. Keep a marketing book in your car and read it while at the stoplight. I do all of these things!! Maximize your time.
  • Know when to opt out. Sometimes you need to skip that offer to sign books for one person at a coffee shop or sit all day a festival that cost more than your time and book sales.
Where can I learn more?

I coach authors in ALL of these marketing areas! SIGN UP HERE to meet with me. I'd love to help you on your marketing journey.

Read my blog. I have many posts about marketing.

Visit my online author school to enroll in my marketing course! I have created a special $100 off coupon just for you!! Enter 100OFF at checkout to get this GREAT deal for a limited time! Once you enroll, you will have lifetime access to the course. This course covers everything from social media marketing to Amazon ads to school visits and more.

"Such a great program! The Amazon marketing section was particularly helpful, for me! Navigating the tech world is somewhat of a foreign language and displaying your own screen during the lessons made everything discussed make so much more sense!"
— Rachel L.

"I highly recommend Stacy C Bauer's course "Marketing Your Children's Book". I found the classes informative, yet down to earth. She discusses the topics as a colleague rather than talking down to you. Her Amazon lesson helped me understand how to navigate something so huge. I also loved the Canva lesson! I'm already getting better use of it. I thought this was definitely worth the time and cost."
— Jennifer G.

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