I’ve been researching these topics for several years in preparation for the launch of my first self-published book. This guide will save you hundreds of hours of research if you’re just entering the self-publishing world. When going through this guide, remember the basics: 1. Write the best content possible. 2. Get your book professionally edited. 3. Get a book cover professionally created. 4. Don’t be boring. 5. Go for it.
HOW TO WRITE
Problem: Your writing sucks. People don’t understand what you’re trying to say because it’s so bland and lacks clarity.
Answer: Read James Altucher’s 33 Unusual Tips To Being a Better Writer:
Main takeaways: 1. Bleed in the first line. 2. Don’t be afraid of what people think.
WHAT TO WRITE?
Problem: You want to write books and be successful but you’re not sure what kind of books to write.
Solution: Learn about Steve Scott. He teaches people to be authority writers: http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2014/10/14/non-fiction-success/
Main takeaways: 1. Create micro topics from big topics. 2. Focus on the genre and niche. 3. Make writing your habit.
PRODUCTIVITY: SOCIAL MEDIA FASTING
Problem: You spend so much time on social media and browsing the web, you barely have enough time to write a book. I also struggle with this issue.
Solution: Go on a social media fast. Here’s how I solve it: in the mornings on my days off, the first thing I do is write. I don’t check email or Facebook until I’m done writing. In this way, I force myself to accomplish goals before rewarding myself with social media. Here’s an example of what steve corona experienced during his Social Media fast: http://lifehacker.com/5918784/how-30-days-without-social-media-changed-my-life
SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT FOR WRITER’S STRUGGLES
Problem: You hate your guts because you’re in the middle of writing a book and now you’re beginning to think it sucks. Self-doubt has taken over your brain and you need a helping hand or a caring writing coach to guide you out of your internal murky writer’s doom. Most of the self-made types out there don’t give a shit about you. All they want is your email address.
Solution: Ani Alexander is the savior you’ve been missing. She’s a writer, too and has been where you are. Above all, Ani cares about writers and is authentic. Listen to her soothing words of encouragement from her podcast: http://www.anialexander.com/category/inspiration/
Main takeaways: 1. Don’t listen to people when they say you can’t do something. 2. You already have self-confidence within you, so tap into it.
Problem: Should you self-publish on platforms besides Amazon?
Solution: Read this article by Clarisse Thorn to decide what is best for you: https://medium.com/tales-of-self-publishing/amazon-smashwords-oh-my-where-and-how-to-sell-ebooks-38080f2dded2
Main takeaways: 1. Self-publish in as many places as possible. 2. If you’re not detail-oriented, hire someone to format your ebook files.
BUILD YOUR EMAIL LIST
Problem: You’re dragging your feet and haven’t started an email list. How do you start? Many people have not started their lists because they thought social media had replaced emails. However, now social media has become noisy plus crowded and it’s difficult to have sustained contact with your fans. Building an email list solves that problem. Also, each time you write a new book, you’ll want your fans to have immediate access to it via your email newsletter.
Solution: Learn from Sean Ogle because he started an email list from scratch without even having a website: http://www.seanogle.com/entrepreneurship/build-an-email-list-without-blog
Main takeaways: 1. Use Mailchimp: http://mailchimp.com/ 2. Create a smore account to create beautiful newsletters: https://www.smore.com/ 3. Write killer content that gets your blog posts visibility by big people.
USE MEDIUM TO WRITE BLOG POSTS AND GAIN FOLLOWERS
Problem: You don’t have a blog or website.
Solution: Don’t worry, Medium https://medium.com/ is the hottest thing right now and is actually better than your own blog. Medium is like long-form Twitter. It’s more enjoyable to read stories and posts on Medium than anywhere else. You can start posting there today.
Main takeaways: Start posting.
THE BUSINESS SIDE OF BOOK CREATING
Problem: You are a delicate flower. Your soul is deep and easily shatters. The thought of you pimping your own book makes you shudder and crumble into ten thousand tiny pieces.
Solution: Read about Jyotsna Ramachandran’s ability to build a home business from creating ebooks. She didn’t even write her first books. Instead, she hired ghost writers: http://jyotsnaramachandran.com/importance-of-passive-income/
Main takeaways: 1. Take a big gulp and harden your delicate flower insides. 2. Put your moody brain in a jar for a few hours and follow Jyotsna’s methods. 3. Don’t let your brain out of the jar until you have finished following her steps.
MARKETING: VIDEO BOOK TRAILER
Problem: You want to make a video book trailer but have no idea what to create.
Solution: Watch Tim Ferriss’ video book trailer: https://youtu.be/_KFPHmPoPlY
Tim explains his process in a blog post: http://fourhourworkweek.com/2013/04/10/how-to-create-a-viral-book-trailer-or-get-1000000-views-for-almost-anything/
Main takeaways: 1. Storyboarding 2. Assembling a team to create the video. (Tim has a budget but my free solution would be to go to a local art school and find film students to create your video book trailer).
MARKETING: RELEASE CONTENT ON BITTORRENT
Problem: Your book doesn’t reach enough eyeballs on Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
Solution: Release your content on BitTorrent:
Here’s what BitTorrent did for Tim Ferriss:
Tim Ferriss has a big following and that’s the main reason he was successful on BitTorrent. However, I challenge you to try releasing your content on BitTorrent so you can learn for yourself how it could benefit you. You just might be the next big thing, who knows?
BEFORE YOU HIT THE PUBLISH BUTTON
Problem: Your title might not be as good as it could be.
Solution: Use James Altucher’s method of testing out possible titles in Facebook ads. Whichever ad gets the most clicks determines your title:
Main takeaways: 1. Test out titles 2. Build your platform with an honest voice.
MARKETING: TRY SOMETHING NEW & EXCITING TO MARKET YOUR BOOK
Problem: You have no idea what to do for marketing your self-published book.
Solution: Try something new and exciting like hiring an Indian news anchor to announce your newly self-published book on a video. This is what I’m planning to do: https://www.fiverr.com/ashwanithakur/be-your-indian-breaking-news-anchor
Or make tiny book art and leave it in public places.
Main takeaways: try out new methods to market your book and repeat whatever works. Use your imagination and come up with your own ways to market it. There are no rules for book marketing. Make up your own! Let me know what you come up with. Send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
There’s still a lot more I did not cover in this post but my goal is not to overwhelm you. If you’re a novice writer, there’s never been a better time to self-publish. Take your book seriously, do the hard work and go for it. I wish you the best of luck! Final note: get proofreaders who are not your friends!
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