Sunday, May 23, 2021

What I've Learned on My Self-Publishing Journey So Far

 


I'm not a self-publishing guru, just someone who decided to jump in with both feet and give it a try.

In October of 2019, I self-published my first book on Amazon. The book features a collection of 50 years of my personal poetry.

After that, I went on a tear and self-published seven more books in approximately twelve months; two are sayings for cards, and the other six are personally written riddle books. I'm currently writing my seventh riddle book. When I look back, I still can't believe I accomplished all that in such a short time. I get tired thinking about it!

My self-publishing journey involved teaching myself every step along the way. It wasn't easy. 

A Quick Summary Review of What I've Learned About Self-Publishing Non-Fiction Books So Far:


1. Pick a Niche

After writing a poetry book and two books about "What to Write in Cards," I decided that I needed a niche topic. Since I have this crazy ability to write riddles, I decided riddle books would be my niche. However, if you're a fiction author, you can write a series or individual books. 

2. Why I Wanted a Niche Topic for my Books

Of course, you can write on any topic and self-publish on multiple topics. That's perfectly fine. However, I wanted to select one area to build a website and social media platform to tie into that topic. For fiction writers, an author website is all you'd need, no matter the variety of topics you write about.

3. Pick a Name for Your Niche Topic That Can Tie Into Your Social Sites, Books, and Website

I chose #Stumped Riddles, which I use in some form or another on all social media sites. I found it best to tie everything together.

Check out the links:

StumpedRiddles.com

Facebook.com/stumpedriddles

Twitter - @stumpedriddles

Instagram.com/riddlechallenge

4. Set Up Your Amazon Author Page

Here's the link where you can set up your Amazon Author page. You can take a look at my completed Amazon Author page here.

5. Market and Advertise Your Books

Unless you already have a huge fan base or following, you'll need to advertise. I use KDP Advertising and Facebook Advertising at the moment.

6. Set Advertising Goals

Do you want to build traffic to your website or simply sell books? I send my advertising links to my website, and from there, customers can link over to the associated amazon page. I choose not to link directly to Amazon as my goal is to build authority and traffic to my own site.

7. Converse With People On Your Social Media Posts

I post individual riddles on my website and all my social media links. The riddle answers link back to my site. When people take a guess at the answer, I always respond to each person who posts. When the volume becomes too much, I plan to get a helping hand in that area. 

8. Check the Negative Reviews on Other Books Similar to Yours

I read multiple negative reviews on books like mine. Those comments give me ideas on what to avoid and add to my books to make them better. 

9. Don't Be Afraid to Change the Design of Your Book

Based on input from others, or sales volume, don't get stuck with a design that turns out to be ineffective. I redesigned my books at least three times before settling on the final layout and content structure. I'm currently revamping all of the riddle eBooks. 

10. Your Book's Cover Design is Key

Pretty much all the gurus stress one particular point over and over ... 'Hire a professional to design your book cover." Of course, I didn't listen, lol.  However, I did re-do my covers multiple times and do have a knack for creating graphics. If cover design is not your thing, consider paying a professional to do it.

11. Watch Self-Publishing Tutorials on YouTube

There are many self-publishing gurus (actual gurus) who create useful instructive videos. I've probably watched 35 videos or more. You'll pick up little tidbits here and there from each one of them. 

Additional Self-Publishing Articles:

Basic Tips for the Newbie Self-Publisher

Matte or Glossy Book Covers

Confessions of a Newbie Self-Publisher

5 Helpful Self-Publishing Tools

3 Tips for a Newbie Self-Publisher

How to Get Started on Your First eBook





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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10 comments:

  1. These are all most excellent tips for anyone planning a self-publishing journey, Barbara. I know others doing or planning to do something similar will appreciate these Tips for Writers you have learned and put into practice throughout your self-publishing journey.

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  2. Every hopeful self-publishing author will be grateful for your helpful advice! I doubt I would have considered reading the negative feedback that similar books have received, but I can certainly see how it would help you avoid the same pitfalls. You are a true inspiration and we all appreciate you tips for self publishing.

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  3. Barbara, your self-publishing journey and accomplishments in such a short period of time are incredibly impressive! Thank you so much for your generosity in sharing your lessons learned and success tips, which will be valuable to anyone thinking about publishing their own written work,

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  4. Barbara, I hadn't known, or didn't remember, that you had published that many books. That is amazing! That is dedication. Thank you sharing these tips.

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  5. You are the boss! So impressive. If you ever want to write an eBook on self-publishing on Amazon - just expand the part on FB and Amazon advertising, and go minute to a step by step analysis of how you did everything. The technical parts are bothersome to me. I know I can blog and publish on Webnuggetz , but I don't the technical stuff of Kindle and KDP. But don't worry having competition from me - I could not not write a riddle if my life depended on it. :)

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  6. You amaze me with all you have done over the past while. I am in awe of your talents and think that you are on a tear! Keep up the good work, you are rocking this Barbara and sharing how to succeed for those willing to try!

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  7. Thank you for all your tips on self-publishing. Looks like you are a prolific writer!

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  8. Congratulations Barbara, on accomplishing so much in so little time. Thanks so much for these helpful tips and sharing your knowledge.

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  9. Thank you everyone for the kind words, and all your support over the years. I'm lucky to know you all.

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  10. These are brilliant tips for anyone considering self publishing. You are so talented and have done an amazing job with your own work. Lovely that you are sharing your personal experience with others now :)

    ReplyDelete

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