In the three years since I’ve been in this industry, I’ve heard/read a LOT of advice. Advice from people who know, and people who don’t know, how to sell books. When I was a new author, I relied on other published authors (who had actually sold books) for help (and still do). This post is dedicated to self published authors (who wear every kind of hat there is) everywhere!
THE BEST ADVICE:
*Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone is on their own journey.
*Who is your target audience? Who will buy your books? Where and how can you find them? This is what you need to figure out. Click here for a webinar that can help.
*Don’t join EVERY single social media platform, you’ll wear yourself out. Choose a couple to focus on- the ones you’re comfortable with and where your audience hangs out. Click here to learn more about an upcoming social media webinar I’m hosting.
*Your family/friends and other authors are probably NOT your target audience. Stop spamming them!
*Learn Amazon ads. Click here to watch the Amazon ads webinar I just ran.
*Never stop learning. Social media and Amazon are constantly changing.
*Build relationships and support other authors. Some of my best friends are my author friends I’ve never met in person! No one quite knows what it’s like besides other authors.
*Spend time doing the type of marketing you love (social media, events, school visits, Amazon ads, your website etc), delegate the rest.
*Join Facebook author groups, ask questions and read the posts! Free education! Here are some great groups I recommend:
*Put yourself out there. Do you believe in your book? Find your audience and get it in front of them in a “nonspammy” way!
*No self published author makes a profit. Not. True. Read this post to see my profit from 2021.
*Your book cover MATTERS! This is the first thing people see. Don’t skimp on the illustrations!
*Keep going. One step at a time. One day at a time. Ask for help. You can do this!
*Need help? Need an editor? Illustrator? Book formatter? Get recommendations from other authors.
*There is no “one way” to do it.
*Timelines are subjective.
*There is more than one type of editor and the first and last are equally important (proofreaders save lives).
*Write about what you know and are passionate about.
*You have the rest of your life to figure out how to do this right for you. Breathe and have some fun with it.
*Know how to recognize red flags–both from vanity publishers, and from “illustrators” recycling stock images.
*Ask for help, but do your own research. What worked for one author may not work for you, especially if you want a quick fix or answer. That other author may have spent hours researching the topic for themselves and putting in the time.
*This is a business, expect to invest in your business.
*Spend as much, or more, energy on marketing as you did writing the book. I highly recommend this book.
THE WORST ADVICE:
*Learn to edit and design to save yourself money. NO! Leave it to the pros!
*You can design the cover yourself. Nope. Same as above.
*You must do (XYZ) in order to be successful. Not true- there isn’t just one way to sell/publish/write books.
*You can/should do it all yourself. Letting things go is hard, but it leaves so much room for growth when someone else carries your load with you. Let the pros handle what you’re not a pro at.
*You don’t need a professional editor, just have your mom read your story. AHHHH!!!!
*Your family and friends will support your book business.
*You don’t need social media at all.
*Do a follow train on Instagram (you might end up with more followers, but the chances of them actually sticking around, engaging on your account and buying books are slim)
*You can start an Amazon ad and just leave it. Nope. You will need to check in at least once/week. I highly recommend using Publisher Rocket– a tool that makes finding categories and keywords quick and easy! I love it so much, I’m an affiliate. It’s literally the ONLY thing I’m an affiliate for. Try it here.
*If you’re not making profit, you’re doing something wrong.
*You can pay someone to publish your books for you! (VANITY PUBLISHER)
*You can do EVERYTHING! (Yeah, if you want to burn out)
*Expect other authors to buy your books.
*Write your book and publish it and it will automatically sell!
*Publish your books as fast as you can. Don’t worry about quality.
*Self publishing is too hard.
*Introverts can’t sell books.
*Exchanging reviews with other authors is a great way to build up reviews on Amazon. NO! This is a great way to get your Amazon listing taken down, PLUS other authors are not the people you want Amazon thinking are your target audience. Want info about how to get reviews? Click here to see my course all about how it!
So there you have it…
the best and worst of the self publishing world. In conclusion…find author friends who’ve been successful, ask for help, learn from them! That’s who you can trust.
If you want to schedule a coaching session, I’m here!
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