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Simple Self Publishing for Authors

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest !

Interact on all of the other major social networks.

I often post my blog posts on Facebook first. This helps me see which ones will get the most engagement. Create a fan page for your blog. If people like them and that draws them to one of my fan pages, then all the better.

Never buy Likes. But when you can get Likes organically by using your content, then that is value you grow forever.

With Twitter, it’s hard to non-stop engage in conversations. You would never have time for writing.

This entire strategy: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, guest blogging, is about building your name to an audience that might be unfamiliar to you, as well as driving distribution to your posts while at the same time delivering real value to your readers. You have to do all of that: distribution, name-building, value, at the same time, to make these platforms work for you.

Marketing

Note that publishers do zero marketing for you. This is not a knock on publishers. The great thing about publishers: they will write you a check and get you into bookstores. These are two really good things. But they will not do marketing.

If you don’t do your own marketing and promote yourself, then nobody else will. This should be your mantra. The one area where I will fault publishers is that they will claim to do marketing for you.

Self-publishing

You can craft a Microsoft Word file of your book, upload it to Createspace, and they will format it for you, publish it to Kindle, and you are now a published author on Amazon. You will get 30-70% royalties depending on how you price (above $2.99 you get a 70% royalty) and you can do paperback and Kindle version.

This is not a bad choice. I did this with several of my self-published books. I’ve sold more copies of those books than my five books published with traditional publishers combined. Createspace even helps you design a cover, and you can pay for copyediting.

By Shashikant Nishant Sharma

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How To Make Money on Ebooks

1. Write a damn good book. This should be your main priority. It’s also one of the hardest things to do, and the hardest things to judge for yourself if you’ve done it.

The problem is, most writers believe their books are good. Even at our most insecure, we believe complete strangers will enjoy our scribblings enough to pay for the privilege.

I recommend joining a writers group and getting feedback. Seek criticism, not praise. Praise is like candy; we love it, but it isn’t good for us. If you want to bulletproof your manus

2. Price it right. I believe an ebook should be priced at $2.99, because the Kindle royalty rate is 70% for books priced between $2.99 and $9.99. Above or below that, it’s 35%.

Three bucks is a more than fair price for a full length digital book. (Full length is over 50,000 words.) If it’s under 50k words, go ahead and price it for less. Or put a few short pieces together to make a long piece.

Even with short pieces, make sure they are good enough. I’m selling quite a few short stories on Kindle, but they don’t sell nearly as well as my novels. Also, the short stories I’m selling have all been published before in print magazines and anthologies, so I’m pretty sure they’re good.

3. Format it correctly. If you know HTML and MS Word very well, you can probably do this yourself. But you’d get more professional results using someone who knows what they’re doing.

A poorly formatted ebook will get bad reviews, and ultimately it WILL NOT SELL.

4. People judge books by their covers. Make sure your cover is professional, not something you slapped together with an istockphoto image with some Arial text laid on top using Photoshop.

5. Write a great product description. If you want to know the format for this, read back jacket copy of books similar to yours. Your description should include:

● Genre

● Word count

● Author bio

● Reviews (if applicable)

Other ways to publicize your ebook include:

● Trading back matter excerpts with other ebook authors

● Searching online for various Kindle and ebooks groups

● Putting your ebook link in your email signature

● Developing an online presence by participating in blog comments and forums

Q: Do I need an agent?

A: You don’t need an agent to publish your own ebooks. But I recommend getting an agent. Mine is invaluable. She’s currently shopping my self-pubbed titles to foreign markets and audio publishers, and is essential for negotiating contracts for film rights and print deals.

Q: How can I get an agent if I self publish my own ebooks?

A: The old catch was “You can’t get a publishing contract without an agent, and you can’t get an agent unless you have a publishing contract.” With the rise of self-publishing as a viable alternative to regular publishing, it becomes “No agent will want to represent a self-published ebook unless the book is no longer self-published.”

Print publishers WANT erights, and I doubt any will give them up. That means agents won’t be interested in representing you unless you give them the opportunity to sell all of your rights. If you sell a ton of ebooks, you might interest an agent in repping your book, but you’d have to stop selling ebooks.

Q: Should I forsake selling ebooks in order to try and land a print deal?

A: Let’s look at the pros and cons of both sides.

Traditional Publishing Pros

● Wide distribution and more exposure

● Most offer an advance, sometimes a large one

● They do the editing, formatting, cover art

● Marketing power

Traditional Publishing Cons

● Take six to eighteen months before publication

● Price ebooks waaaaaay too high

● They have power over cover art and title

● Don’t use the marketing power they wield effectively

● Pay royalties twice a year

● Don’t involve you in many of the decisions regarding your book

● Difficult to implement changes

● Lousy royalty rates, between 6% and 25%

● Very hard to break into

Self Publishing Pros

● Paid once a month

● You control price and cover

● Publication is almost instant

● Easy to implement changes

● Every decision is yours

● Great royalty rates

● Anyone can do it

Self Publishing Cons

● No free professional editing, formatting, or cover art

● Fewer sales

● Less than 10% of current book market

● Greater potential to publish crappy books