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:
4. Set Up Your Amazon Author Page
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.
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