101 For 1st Time Indie Authors
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The first rule seems obvious, in my 101 For 1st Time Authors; write a book! Okay, so I hear you. You’ve done that and now you want to publish. The idea that you can get an agent to take on your work and sell it for mega bucks is sadly a misnomer. The publishing industry has taken a hit in recent years. They share the market with the on-line stores where Independently published authors reign supreme. And of course, if you get your distribution and marketing right, the profit margins are far higher.
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So why do authors take on so much work? After all, who wouldn’t want an agent to take up the slack, a publisher to do the marketing? This is where the 101 for 1st time authors begins to make sense! When you realise that in today’s market they still expect a traditionally published author to push their book and grow their audience, it doesn’t feel quite so exclusive, because now you are doing far more work for far less of the returns!
Hang on though: This post isn’t about the percentage of royalties earned by either self-publishing or going down the trad route, there are plenty of great articles already out there. But do the math and when you come up for air (because yes, there is a shocking difference) you can decide. This post is about how you sell those books once you decide to publish, so let’s crack on with the rest then.
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One word of warning, once written, your book still requires significant input from you and many hours of hard graft. Ensure it is edited, and I don’t mean a quick once over with WORDs spell check. There are some great ways to accomplish this yourself using something like ProWritingAid, or Grammarly, but a word of caution; you will NEVER pick up everything and then there’s the line edits… Let me send you to REEDSY.com where you can garner as much information as you’ll need. But even asking friends and family is not going to pull your masterpiece into shape unless they are fully fledged professional Editors, and mistakes, even little ones, put readers off, it looks like a sloppy job! It’s not something to be taken lightly.
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Cover design. If the cover isn’t appealing enough, amateurish, or not suitable for the books genre, it will impact on sales. However, there are many great readymade covers available from professional graphic designers at great prices; google them. Or, for the wealthy, you can commission something bespoke, but whatever you do, make it special.
So, you’ve written your book, decided how and when you will publish it, you’ve edited it and chosen a cover; great, you’re almost there.
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Most new authors, go to the biggest retailer Amazon, they have an application you can download onto your computer to get the manuscript formatted and into a professional looking eBook, but when it comes to the paperback version (a must if you want to sell more copies) then you will need to master margins etc in word after deciding what size you want your paperback to be. Lots to think about there and it requires some research to make the best out of it.
Of course, there are lots of different options for self-published authors, again they are well documented and a google search with bring them up instantly, but for the complete beginner you need to understand that each listing requires you to do the same repetitive stuff. Write your blurb, choose your format, upload your cover etc… The list is extensive. But there is an easier way, and I wish I’d known about it at the start of my journey.
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Now, you didn’t believe I had 101 things to say about self-publishing did you? But this is MY 101 for 1st time authors, and it’s a gamechanger! There are companies that can take this process to a whole new level. One upload, all the details, one dashboard for sales reporting and excellent eBook and paperback formatting all from a pdf or Word document with nothing more than you having to organise your manuscript into chapters (which you should have already done), then with one click, yes, I said ONE click, your book, your baby, goes WIDE! Now, you have a publication going out to Apple users, Barnes & Noble readers, Kobo, on-line libraries and more! Just think how many people there are in this world. Believe me. You want to go WIDE! I found this company and you can too, D2D (Draft2Digital) and it’s been a great experience, with books selling all over the World in countries I’ve never even visited.
I saw a 300 percent increase in sales; no advertising, it just happened organically. Now, I’m not promising you the same increase, but by taking a leap of faith into a wider market it is a no brainer; the more people who see your book, especially if sold on multiple sites, the more exposure it will get and the higher the chances of a sale become. Multiple sales; now how good would that feel? There are other companies who do the same, but many don’t give the choice of paperback and with D2D’s print offering, you can double your chances with each book you have for sale. Take a look at my Portfolio and you will see the links for my Amazon listed books and my D2D listings, so readers have a choice where to view; and readers like choice!
I hope this insight is a useful reminder that there is never just one way to do something. We all want to get our books out there, but without a huge following, lots of reviews and a large marketing budget we have to use what works for us and build on it. Now with your books going wide you can TAG them and use a unique link generated for each individual book. Use them on your social media posts, use them far and wide (see what I did there?) And if that isn’t enough for you, readers get an email when you release a new book, when a reader follows you; it couldn’t be easier.
For anyone aspiring to write in the future, please visit my page again as I will cover beginning to write at a later date. For those of you with a book written and published, consider if it is getting the exposure you need and once you’ve cracked that, get on and write your next best selling novel!
If you are still wondering how other authors sell across so many different platform, with just one upload, read on…
To take advantage of a distribution model that takes the emphasis off you the author uploading to multiple book sites, try D2D and upload once! It allows you to see all your sales from one website, making everything so simple, from formatting to publishing CLICK HERE and see how your books look across multiple sales platforms without having to worry about checking each individually!
The above views are mine and reflect my own experiencs and make no promises as to the returns made on the sale of independantley published books or those sold through a publishing house. The contributer may recieve a small renumeration for new business between authors and D2D.