Self Publish: Are you intrigued by the idea of being a self-published author? Credibility and prestige will flow to you and your business through your self-published book. Perhaps you WANT to self publish a book, but you DON’T want to actually write it because:
- You hate writing.
- You aren’t a good writer (or don’t think you are).
- You don’t have the TIME
So what if you TALKED your book instead of WRITING it?
Self Publish Your Own Book
The average person can write about 250-500 words per hour. We have a bad habit of self-editing everything we write. We write, then edit. Then we write a little bit more, then edit again. It’s a slow and agonizing process.
The average person can talk about 5,000 words per hour, ten times the speed they write!
The average book is about 40,000 words. If writing, expect to invest between 80-160 hours. If talking– about 8 hours. Now, you can write your bookand self publish in less than a week. If you are really working, you can write your book in less than a day.
Your target audience determines how your self-published book is written. A target audience is the specific group of people whom a book targets. Knowing your target audience will help you develop a powerful message, streamline your marketing and distribution, and guarantee the book’s success.
The more specific you are in addressing your audience, the more book sales you will generate. Because we live in an age of specialization and target marketing, it is best to have a clear picture of your most likely reader.
To reach your target audience, you must have a good USP (Unique Selling Proposition). Your USP is a one sentence description that defines how you are different from your competitors.
Domino’s original USP was, “Fresh, hot pizza delivered in 30 minutes, guaranteed. They didn’t say “good pizza” or “delicious pizza.” They said, “fresh” and “hot.” But what made this USP so compelling is the last word – “guaranteed.”
Once your book is composed, you – as does every author– need an editor. As the writer, you are too close to your subject to be objective.
Grammatical and punctuation errors make your writing seem less professional, especially if you self publish. If your writing doesn’t flow well, if the reader has to work hard to grasp your point, if your pace is slow then your message won’t carry the impact it deserves. You need a professional editor who is trained to help you say what you want in the most effective and professional way possible.
To self publish your book you must have an eye-catching cover and the cover’s text must be alluring. If you don’t captivate the reader with the outside, they’ll never look at the inside Endorsements from renowned authors (or other prominent people) help to establish credibility. The synopsis of the book on its jacket must lead potential customers to want to read more – and to become buyers.
Learn How To Self Publish Your Book
Inside, book titles and subtitles should clearly define for the reader the purpose of the book so the consumer will know what they will get from reading it. Let’s look at a book title and subtitle to analyze why they zing before you self publish your book.
Ann McIndoo wrote a book titled So, You Want to Write! This is a good, short title, but it doesn’t clearly define the purpose of the book or the specific benefit of the book to the consumer.
A subtitle’s purpose is to pick up where the title left off. Once we add the subtitle “How to Get Your Book Out of Your Head and Onto Paper in 7 Days or Less,” the message becomes more focused. The consumer now knows what is being offered to him in this book – and he wants it.
A common mistake is to think your book will sell itself after you self publish.
More than 110,000 books are published every year. Making your self publish books stand out from the thousands of titles published every year is not an easy task. You have to be prepared to do the marketing and promotional work yourself. If you don’t make the effort to sell it, nobody else will!
One way to compete is with a title so off-the-wall that it grabs people’s attention. The book title by Lynne Truss – Eats, Shoots and Leaves – leads one to assume it is a mystery – but the subtitle is The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. The cover features two panda bears: one walking away with a pistol in its paw, and the other on a bamboo ladder painting a comma after the word “eats.” There’s a big difference between “The panda eats shoots and leaves” and “The panda eats, shoots and leaves.” This book completely grabs potential buyers with its title.
Promotion of your self published book requires expenditures. Gear your marketing mediums toward your target audience, and invest your marketing dollars where you can realize the most return. You have to spend money to make money, but choose which mediums best fit your target audience and budget before you self publish your book.
Identify what sales platforms you already have access to – such as corporate clients or professional associations – for help in distribution.
Press releases are inexpensive to write and take very little time.
Try running print advertisements in newspapers or magazines. Your target audience will dictate the regional scope and type of periodical (as will your budget). Radio and television offer another form of advertising, but they can be more expensive if you self publish your book.
Secure interviews. Perhaps your community news weekly would love to interview you and discuss your book. The same often holds true for local radio and television programs.
Use the internet. If you have a website, you should post your book on it. If you don’t have a site yet, consider getting one. The cost ranges from $10 a month for web hosting for a basic site to $5,000 for professional design. Remember, the internet is about information – not award-winning design –but don’t settle for something jumbled and impossible to navigate.
Up-front print runs for a self publish usually involve a minimum of 2,500 copies, requiring the author to pay for the product before customers agree to buy it.
A lot of time is involved in marketing and managing the sales of your book. From the minutia of order fulfillment to the grand scheme of distribution, selling a self-published book can use up inordinate chunks of time. That brings us to a more stream-lined method of publishing that can be used—E-publishing!
If you do not understand Adobe Acrobat, don’t try to create a document in it. Create your book in your word processor. It’s a lot easier that way. You can create a book in Microsoft Word and make it really pretty and complete with page numbers and headings. Then just click one button to convert it to PDF, the form in which you will deliver your book to the customers.
Don’t write a book to become famous, make money, or gain credibility in a market – these things may happen and are not bad reasons to write a book; but if they are the only reasons you write a book, you may not achieve success. Write your book for the right reasons. Write to help people. The money will follow – and probably lots of it!
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