If you’re self-published, you probably already know what the secret is. Ready for it? Self-publishing’s dirty little secret is that you might not sell very many books. In fact, you might not sell any books, period.
Wow, that’s a sad, sorry statement, isn’t it? Unfortunately, it’s true, and I don’t hear a lot of people in the self-publishing industry mention this. They’re happy to tell you how much their services will cost, and where your books will be listed, but not how many you might sell.
Here’s the truth: if you’re willing to work at it, your book has a fighting chance. The beauty of digital publishing is that everyone can publish…the drawback is that everyone can publish. The key is to make sure your book can be found.
I’ve compiled several different marketing methods that might work for your book or ebook. Some things (author signing at Barnes & Noble, PR release) are easier done by the publisher. Other things (author central, author blog) are much easier for the author to do. Some things you can only do if you have a print book (author signing). Other marketing methods will work regardless of whether you’re digital-only or if you’re in print and ebook.
Marketing is the critical skill that no one in the publishing industry is addressing. It’s even worse if you’re trying to sell ebooks. Publishers don’t have the time to address marketing for every book (and expect authors to do a large part of the markting themselves), while authors want to understand but can get caught up in the “if you build it they will come” mentality. The truth is that you might build it, but if no one knows where it is, they can’t find it.
Have you tried these methods? A combination of these methods? What worked & what didn’t? I’d love to hear your feedback.
As an author (or publisher) you have options in choosing a formatting expert, whether you’re needing an ebook or print book, or both. You could post your project on a job site like Elance, work with a large conversion or design house, or find a small boutique operator like me. The experience you’ll have is different with each option and it can be helpful to know who you’ll be working with before you make your decision.
Although I’m convinced that you’re more interested in your book project than you are in me (as you should be!), I’ve been told that sharing my story is something I should be doing, so here goes!
Right now, I am blessed to have businesses in 2 areas – book formatting and quilting. Since I was a little kid, books have been important to me; I had a part-time job in high school at the public library. I was the kid who would stay up all night to finish reading a book…the one who had her head under the covers with a flashlight, excited to finish the latest “best” book she had ever read. (The book I am currently reading has always been my favorite…whatever it is!) After college, I went to work in Christian publishing, stayed at the publishing house for 13 years, and then struck out on my own.
Quilting is both my passion and the thing that helps me to relax. I now have a quilting machine – it’s as big as a car and just about as expensive. I use it to finish other quilters’ projects. I love it!
So that leads me to what I do best – I finish things. I can’t say that I always finish a project on time, but darn it if I don’t do whatever I can to make it happen. Who needs sleep, after all. (Kidding! Sort of.) The way I see it – I help creative people, whether in quilting or in books, take their project further along to “finished.” Sometimes creative types don’t have the right set of technical skills to finish what they’ve started. I get it. Who wants to learn a typesetting program like InDesign if writing is their true passion? Who wants to learn the intricacies of HTML to create an ebook? There’s kind of a lot to it, if you do it right.
So, if you’re interested in finishing your book, I’d love to hear from you. There are some very exciting opportunities right now for authors who want print and/or ebooks. The TLC is included in every project I do. : ) Contact Lisa at 918-232-6155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.