50 Things You Need To Know About Self-Publishing
Get your copy of The 5-Figure Fiction Formula here: https://viewbook.at/5-Figs
Note: These thoughts are based upon my own experiences, other authors will differ in their opinions, these lists do not make up a ‘rule-book'!
1 – Start yesterday. If you can’t start yesterday, start today. If you can’t start today, start tomorrow. In a nutshell- get started asap.
2 – There will never be a best time to start. There’s never a best time to get married, get divorced, start a family or lose a job, so you may as well get started now. Don’t wait for perfect conditions. Now is the best time.
3 – There are always easier, time-wasting things I’d rather be doing than sitting down and writing for 4 hour stretches, and it never gets easier to push through that. But push through the inertia you must or you’ll never write books.
4 – There are no excuses. I’ve met authors who write books against all odds – with health difficulties, family difficulties, work difficulties. I have none of those disadvantages, apart from my own inner resistance, so it’s best to just get on with it and write whenever you can for however long you can.
5 – A book is made up of one word written after the other. If you don’t keep adding to those words, the book won’t get written. Keep the momentum going, however slow, however hard. Always keep moving forward.
6 – Get used to making projects work. Push through the pain barrier, come up with solutions, be a problem solver. I’ve painted myself into a corner on many occasions, but I’ve always figured it out. I’d rather find a solution than abandon a project, I think it improves my writing and my stamina as an author.
7 – Writing is very much like taking part in a parkrun … when I’m running, there are people who are way faster and better than me, there are people who are about the same as me – and we see each other every week – then there are plenty of people behind me. I got faster by turning up week after week and not giving up. However much faster I get, there are always people ahead of me and people behind me. We’re all running – at our own pace. Even the same people don’t come first and last every week. We only fail if we stop turning up to do the running.
8 – You’ll frequently feel like giving up. You’ll wonder why you carry on with it, when nobody seems to be the slightest bit interested in what you’re doing. The truth is – they’re not – most people don’t care what you’re doing … not at first, anyway. Don’t give up – your dreams of being a writer only come to an end when you stop typing one word after the other , however slow you go. So long as you never give up, it’s all to play for. Things can fire for you at any time – and when they do, you’ll have a lovely back-catalogue all lined up and ready to be read.
9 – Don’t rule anything out. I made an early decision to go it alone and I don’t regret that for a moment. If somebody came along and offered me a sweet deal, would I take it? Of course I would! If a traditional deal came along and was structured correctly, I’d take it. I’m an indie author now, but that’s not written in indelible ink, if it ever made more sense to pivot, I would.
10 – Treat your writing like a business. If it’s not running at a profit, it’s a hobby. Making profit is my number 1 aim – of course I want all the arty things like reader approval, but if I can’t make profit from my work, it’s just a hobby not a business.
1 – Scrivener
2 – Vellum
3 – K-Lytics & Publisher Rocket
4 – Mailerlite
5 – Novel Factory
6 – Siteground & WordPress
7 – BookBrush
8 – Canva
9 – Genius Link
10 – MyEcoverMaker
1 – FreeBooksy & BargainBooksy
2 – BookBub – ads & featured deals
3 – BKKnights on Fiverr.com + BookDoggy
4 – Facebook ads
5 – Bookfunnel + StoryOrigin + Prolific Works
6 – BookSweeps
7 – ReaderLinks
8 – Facebook ads – promos and lead ads
9 – Email & list-swaps
10 – Social media channel promos
Tips & Hints
1 – Forget the launch, it doesn’t matter. You can revise, revamp, re-edit, deconstruct as many times as it takes to make it sell
2 – 10% plotting is better than 100% pantsing
3 – Listen to podcasts – constantly
4 – Beware rapid release hype
5 – Join the 20Books Facebook group & Self Publishing Formula group & attend their events
6 – Be wary of collaborations … it might seem attractive, but you lose too much control for my liking.
7 – Writing to market is essential
8 – Unless the conventions of your genre dictate otherwise, write books at 75k words – I believe this is the optimal length based on pricing potential, editing costs, time vs output
9 – Write in trilogies, they’re easier to market … if you can write an ongoing series as a sequence of trilogies, even better
10 – Marketing is what makes the difference … you can write the best book in the world and be as literary as you like, if nobody reads it, you’ll have the best book in the world and no money. You can have a mediocre book and sell it by the bucketload, and you can make a lot of money. The book should always be of a certain quality threshold – of course – but it’s the marketing that makes the biggest difference.
10 Things You Need To Know About Becoming A 5-Figure/Month Author
1 – Use a credit card – the expenses are relentless
2 – Facebook ads really work
3 – Consider targeting only women
4 – Give advice on how to read without a Kindle (share video)
5 – Put in for a BookBub once you’ve got great traffic
6 – Create a ‘no-brainer’ deal
7 – This might not work with everything (sci-fi)
8 – Use K-Lytics & Publisher Rocket to select your categories
9 – Check your FB stats – I had one graphic which completely out-performed the others … I made sure it was also on my Amazon listing page so as not to waste that data
10 – Take plenty of screenshots to record those lovely chart positions
Finally, Facebook can – and have – take it all away in an instant. It’s a very precarious way to sell books – I rely on FB running my ads and Amazon paying me a reasonable rate for the reads. I am extremely vulnerable and aware that this is a model built on quicksand.
Fast Access Links
You can access every episode of Paul's Podcast Diary, in chronological order, here.
You can access my email archives here
My parkrun updates here