June 22, 2018, 12:40:42 AM

Author Topic: Why I don't generally recommend self-publishing.  (Read 10462 times)

Offline WilliamRay

Re: Why I don't generally recommend self-publishing.
« Reply #60 on: January 19, 2018, 05:25:34 PM »
I'm in the same position—still working on recovering the outlay on editors and cover designer. Intrigued by your cover and the 'look inside' on Amazon, I bought a copy of your first novel. Probably be a month before I read it with all the other books I'm reading.

How did you get a copy of your cover in your signature? Perhaps I should do the same.

My mantra has become, "I am not the thunderbolt; I am the unrelenting sea. My tides will rise and fall, but mountains are not worn away in an instant."
Whenever self-publishing feels utterly Sisyphean, I just repeat it to myself.  Sometimes just getting to 'thunderbolt' is enough to remind me that I have a plan, and that the plan is workable, and is working, but just slow.


And thank you for giving my book a try!  If it catches your fancy, there's a second novel in the same setting out now as well, which is more of a mystery story.  I'm actually quite proud of having swapped story style and structure within the series to create a second book very different from the first.  :)

tebakutis gives good instructions on putting stuff in your signature, so I won't bother to repeat them, but I will say you totally should get a signature banner.  I had my cover artist design some for me, and I use them on Facebook, Twitter and various other forums I visit.  It feels far more professional to me than just a picture of a book, or mis-fitting vertical rectangle.  The big thing with self-publishing will always be that credibility gap, so anything you can do to overcome that is going to help.


Also, I should say more enthusiastically that I absolutely love the wide-open market of self-publishing.  I'm not competing with anyone.  If someone only reads one book a year, they're going to read GoT or something else they see on TV.  If they read just a few books, I might have an entry-point, but really it's not a sure enough thing to scramble after.  The literati who buy the most books read them far faster than I can write them and therefore, as a marketer, everyone else's rising tide raises my boat too.  If Bancroft does well, then it draws in more fantasy readers, and more readers means more who are likely to read my work too.

As a modern self-publisher, I don't have to worry that someone else gets better awards, and thus better shelf-space, or whatever; I can just do my best work and I get to cheer enthusiastically when I come across someone else whose work I like.  Sure we're paid peanuts, but we don't really have to fight each other over those peanuts, which is a rarity in any business, and one I greatly appreciate.  I get to go on Twitter and wish other authors well, and mean it, and openly celebrate work I admire because the other people who like things I like will probably also like the things I write, and celebrating helps us find each other.  It can be a great, positive world.

Offline NedMarcus

Re: Why I don't generally recommend self-publishing.
« Reply #61 on: January 20, 2018, 02:21:27 AM »
I like the mantra and enjoy many of things about self-publishing you mention.

And using a banner looks better than a book cover image. I'll have to play around with Canva and see what I can come up with.

Offline jjwilbourne

Re: Why I don't generally recommend self-publishing.
« Reply #62 on: April 15, 2018, 12:56:14 AM »
Over the past few years since this was originally made, I've met so many authors absolutely killing it by self-publishing. I even make extra income by working with some of them (Sterling & Stone - sterlingandstone.net).

So many authors don't understand how to sell a book, how to market a book, and what their key conversion elements are. You have to write an excellent book, and then put on your publisher hat and then think like a publisher.

From the six and seven figure authors that I know personally, their best advice is:

1. Build a mailing list (using best practices and a good cookie), and understand how to build a proper sales funnel.

2. Write in a series. It's much easier to get a reader to pick up your next book if it's in a series because they're already invested in the characters. Writing standalones makes it much more difficult.

3. Don't cheap out on your cover. Covers sell books. It's the number one conversion element, followed by product description and reviews. Also, make sure your description is actually a product description, not a book report. You're writing sales copy, not art.

4. If you can, write multiple books in your series, but don't release them until you have at least three written, then start releasing them in relatively quick secession. On Amazon there are 30-day, 60-day, and 90-day cliffs where the algorithm stops selling your book as much and the novel will need to float or sink. Staying ahead of these cliffs will give you a huge boost.

Lindsay Buroker has been killing it and has been for years, but wondered whether or not her success was more or less a fluke. So a few years later, she started a pen name and used the best practices that she learned over the years (and didn't tell her fans about it). Here are her results one month after launching and 10 weeks after launching.

http://lindsayburoker.com/amazon-kindle-sales/pen-name-launch-first-month-earnings-marketing/
http://lindsayburoker.com/amazon-kindle-sales/pen-name-update-at-10-weeks/

Doing well as an independent author is not only possible, but you can do it. Lindsay proves it here because she did it twice. And the second time (being smarter than she was when she first started), she earned more in one month than most writers earn in a few years.

It's never been a better time to be a writer. Your options are wide open compared to what it used to be. Learn your craft. Pay for quality editing. Pay for a quality book cover. Make smart marketing decisions. Be patient, and focus on building up multiple streams of income. You can do it. It's not an overnight success career, but neither is traditional publishing.

Fantasy-Faction didn't ask for permission from a corporation to build this website write. Authors don't have to ask either.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2018, 01:04:57 AM by jjwilbourne »
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Offline NedMarcus

Re: Why I don't generally recommend self-publishing.
« Reply #63 on: April 15, 2018, 04:12:14 AM »
Of course many authors don't know how to sell and market books; they're new skills to learn. It takes a bit of time—maybe a lot of time. Writing several books is my next aim, and I think that many marketing methods are wasted until an author has 3-5 books for sale. I will, however, just release them as they're finished.