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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

FIVE TIPS FOR SELF-PUBLISHING

Hello all. And thanks for stopping in.

I've been collecting some of my favorite tips for self-publishers. I've probably mentioned some of these insights in previous posts. But there's some new stuff here, too. And we can always use a reminder to help refocus our thinking.

So here are today's five tips"

1. If you’re in the U.S. and plan to publish a paperback, print your book through CreateSpace. Their inside connection with Amazon, and low up-front costs, make them a compelling choice as a POD printer. Costs for author copies are also among the lowest in the industry. So you can warehouse and sell your books through any channel you wish. Here’s a link to CreateSpace.


2. Publish your eBooks through at least the following channels: Amazon Kindle. Barnes & Noble PubIt. Smashwords. Kindle is still the best selling outlet for eBooks in the U.S. Don’t forgo the chance to tap into this vast market. It costs nothing to have your book available in Kindle format. And royalties are up to 70% of the list price of the book – which you set! Check out the details here.

Barnes & Noble’s PubIt gives you access to another excellent market. It’s not quite as big as Amazon’s. But there are lots of B&N devotees out there who will still look for eBooks at B&N first. Once again, there is no up-front cost to list your book. And author royalties are up to 70% of the list price. Here's a link to the Pubit site.

Smashwords doesn’t sell tons of books directly. But it does make your book available through iBooks, Sony, Diesel and Kobo. Smashwords will also convert your Word document to all the major eBook formats for free – .mobi (Kindle); ePub (Sony, Nook and others); PDF; html and plain old text. When Smashwords resells your books to these retailers it takes a fee. On the other hand, it does make your books available to all these outlets for free. In my book, that’s too good a deal to pass up. Check out Smashwords here.

3. Make sure your paperback is for sale through multiple online channels. Even if you don’t plan to sell many books through B&N Online, or through ABEBooks, etc., some of these other retailers will price compete with Amazon. Since Amazon refuses to be outbid for lowest price, it will beat all other prices. This makes your books cheaper for your readers to buy at Amazon and still nets you the same percentage of your LIST PRICE.

4. Don’t spend money on blog book tours. If you want to organize your own, great! They take a lot of time and research. But they can get you good exposure if done properly. I paid $500 for a blog tour through “Pump Up Your Book.” They came highly recommended. And it wasn’t worth the money. My book didn’t get the individualized attention it needed to expose the book to my audience.

5. Get as many “independent” book reviews as you can. Nothing gives a self-published better bona fides than a nice set of well-written, independent book reviews. Friends and family reviews are okay. But many shoppers will ignore these as inherently biased. You can get free reviews from bloggers in your genre, from Amazon Top Reviewers, from BookPleasures.com and numerous other sources. Seek out unbiased reviewers for your book. It’s well-worth the effort.

That wraps up your five tips for today. Five more coming in my next post.

Thanks for stopping in.

Cheers!

John

11 comments:

  1. Hi John,

    Another great post!

    More great info for those interested in self publishing and for those already in.

    For those not in the USA Smashwords is an easy way to get your book on B&N NOOK!

    Looking forward to the next 5 tips!

    WRP

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  2. Wonderful Quick and Dirty list to get the Self Pubber started.

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  3. Thank you William and LM.

    Quick and Dirty is the goal this week. I'm hoping to dish out as many simple lessons as possible over the next few posts.

    Plenty of time for more detailed discussions when this mission is done.

    Cheers!

    John

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  4. Thank you for this great information. It feels like stepping into an ocean when trying to understand the option of getting my work in the world. This helped provide much needed clarity on some options. Many thanks! C Rose

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  5. Thanks, C Rose.

    I hope to have at least two more pithy posts within the next week or so. Not much in the way of explanation -- just straightforward steps/actions I have found to work.

    Stop in again soon.

    Cheers!

    John

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  6. Hi John. Great and useful article. Don't forget about us - we're launching our new community/platform soon for writers' to upload and sell their work. We're building constructive feedback and a social experience into the core of our site. Not long till launch now...!

    All the best
    Adam
    www.iwritereadrate.com

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  7. Thanks for your comment, Adam.

    I don't mean to exclude the many helpful and innovative websites that can benefit indie authors. Your site may very well be one.

    I'm trying to stick to my own experiences on this blog. It makes the blog more credible and easier to follow -- but of course, I can't be a comprehensive resource.

    All the best to you.

    John

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  8. Hey John,

    Just wanted to let you know that I linked to this post in my latest blog update. I really enjoyed it and wanted to share it with my readers.

    Here's the link if you want to check it out:
    http://the-open-vein-ejwesley.blogspot.com/2011/03/machines-are-winning-vol-7-epublishing.html

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  9. Thanks EJ.

    Check back for a couple similar posts over the next week.

    Cheers!

    John

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  10. Helpful post. I was intrigued by the Amazon Tope Reviewers. I didn't see a way to solicit reviews from them, so how is the list helpful from an author standpoint?

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  11. Hi Cyndi,

    You have to do a little legwork to find the Top Reviewers who have posted their email addresses or websites with their Amazon Profiles.

    Realistically, you can only contact the ones who have made themselves available for contact - which is actually quite a few.

    Thanks for stopping in.

    Cheers!

    John

    ReplyDelete