When I published my 1st book “Self Medication” I was wet behind the ears. No clue, I just joined a site called Lulu.com and allowed them to push my book to many outlets. BOY was that a terrible Idea. The middleman is so unnecessary for someone like me, when Self Publishing. They send your little eBook to every outlet you could reach out and touch, yourself. Meanwhile they get a percentage, just because A. you’re lazy and/or B. you were unaware that you could actually reach out to Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble etc. to publish your book, yourself. I don’t have all the answers, but here’s a few useful tips to help you maximize your impact.
1. Amazon.com Should Be Your Starting Block.
Amazon makes it easy for a self starter to jump out to a favorable lead. Ebook residuals typically range from 50-80%. My second book I gained a publishing deal so mine vary. However here is a tip start with the eBook to gauge interest and take advantage of their offer to create physical copies for you. It will pay off in the long run. The royalty rates are favorable and you’re open to an international marketplace off bat.
2. You CAN Maximize Profits No Matter Your Budget.
Often times people wonder “How can I mass press on a limited budget”.. I honestly didn’t know and my budget isn’t limited. I prefer not to have product on hand that I can’t sell so I like to order according to demand. Here’s how. Amazon has a company called CreateSpace. Let’s say you’re selling your book for $19.99. CreateSpace will create you book in a physical form. YOU can buy 1 or 1 Million of your books at cost to create +Shipping. We’ll say CreateSpace is creating your book for $3.18 with shipping per you maybe add $1 round up to $5 to be safe and now your profits are $14.99. You can either incur your consumers cost to ship or pass it down. If you charge a flat $5 to ship your profits are back at $19.99 to ship, $14.99 to hand deliver your book to barbershops, salons, etc.
3. Book Clubs Help You Circumvent Traditional Routes
You think Barnes & Noble will just up and allow you to have a book signing in their store and you’re nothing special? Think again. Look up book clubs online. Message boards, twitter, facebook other places of social media & pitch your book to them. Many will meet in the privacy of a home OR Barnes & Noble. Sell you books to the group ship a more to have on hand and turn a typical book club meeting into an impromptu book signing. Talk about your book over coffee and scones, as you speak more people will gather around, find intrigue and want copies. (NEVER EVER sell your book right then and there. Don’t disrespect the Establishment). Offer to get them some out of your car once the meeting is over. The idea of the book not being on hand and everyone has one, creates an image that its hot and a must have. Hustle smart. “As soon as I get them, they’re gone. I may have a few in the car. I will grab them once I’m done here.”
4. You Can Independently Publish on iBooks without the Middleman
One of the mistakes I made at first was due to my own laziness. I was approved by Apple to be an independent distributor. However I was casting for a few movies and didn’t have time to execute things with submitting my book in a timely fashion so I chose Lulu. By the way, nothing against Lulu, If you rather pay to not deal with the tedious things, go for It. I personally prefer to do it myself and maximize profits. Contact Apple (Google Is Your Friend) and sign up to sell your products via iTunes or iBooks. You will need a Tax ID so be prepared also you will need an ISBN. Once you have the technical things down, you will be good to go.
5. Don’t Be Afraid of “The Giveaway”
I gave away my 2nd book on Amazon for free, for 24 hours. It had 14k downloads. Next Day 1200+ people purchased it, the day after 783, the day after 566. The commoner would say “But you missed out on 14k!” No, I didn’t I gained thousands more. Those same 14k people would have never purchased my book. They only picked it up because Amazon advertised it as Hot Book that’s free. That ad draws eyes, those people drew more people. I can’t lose something I wouldn’t have had otherwise. AND Keep in Mind, that was 3 months after the book was released. I sold more books 3 months later than many people sell in their lives. Where exactly did I lose? This was a tip I learned from other Amazon publishers. I will say my results may not be normal because this particular book Debuted at #1 for it’s entire first week on Amazon.
I hope these tips help a few of you looking to take that leap into being an author. I’m always open to assist with marketing concepts and more, not everything can be given away for free. Tweet Me @PhillyTheBoss and good luck Self-Publishing.