You Asked Me: How to Make a Profit With Writing and Self-Publishing
March 3, 2011
This is a fun way of going about a how to- a while ago I asked people to send some emails as to what you wanted to ask me about writing. Several of them came in asking about self-publishing and creating a profit with the books that they have.
Self-publishing a book at its core is about making money with your writing and making it as independently as you can if you have the time and the means to do so. In this case we are talking about self-publishing a book through either your own company or through a small print press, but not with a vanity press. Since this is a topic that I am currently dealing with, I felt that I could write the “how to make a profit with your writing and self-publishing” blog post.
I’ve also put a few pointers as to what you can expect with this method and one a person needs even if they have a traditional publisher.
1) Know when to speak up: Some people will simply not care about you or your book. They will say they would love to read a blog, your writing and anything, but they often will not find the time to do so. Actions speak volumes, when it comes to money, most people don’t want to spend it especially on a new author. This is fine, but don’t waste your efforts on them
Other readers or potential readers simply need a gentle nudge: sort of a “help me” nudge works best. Ask them for input, get them interactive and involved, and they will often purchase something from you.
2) Tell people about your writing: This is a harder one, but you have people you see everyday, and you would be surprised to find out that they simply do not know what you are doing. You actually have to tell them. (Did you know that I have a blog?– Have you seen my Facebook posts about it?)
We are so caught up in our lives, a simple point of I am so excited (Insert thing) will let people know. Don’t go overboard. One of the main complaints I have, and I see that most others have about people trying to make a “profit” is the pushy style of asking. Tell people about your writing, and don’t give up, but don’t irritate or push them.
A good way to earn a bit of extra money is to write on other online websites about your book, with a link to your book on Amazon.com. This will take people directly to your book should they click the link.
3) Give them options: Some will say that you should have books on your website, and I agree, it is another option to earn money, and sales on your slef-published books.
Others will suggest having a book with you, at all times so that you can give this book to people. This is a great idea, but like anything it needs to be used wisely. I would estimate only about 5% of the books you give away will be read or most importantly, reviewed. Some authors will assume, wrongly, that family and friends will do a lot of word of mouth for you.
The best thing is to give your friends and family options, and never assume that they will do this for you, not for your first book or the tenth book. It is your book, but you need to let them know about it. You also need to leave them to choose what they want to do with it.
A great option is kindle. I’ve known of several authors who send out complimentary copies to people, just so that the word is out there. It makes a difference, but there are challenges to this one, if you use Kindle, you will need to make sure that the “gift” is taken, or this will not help you in terms of either profits or reputation.
The best how to advice for profits and self-publishing is getting the word out before it is published and after as well. Being careful about how people see you is also important. Your writing is a means to speak to them. Use it with care.