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How to be successful in self-publishing

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http://www.TheCreativePenn.com
How to be successful in self-publishing. Top tips for making the most of your author career. Joanna Penn's seminar at the Kobo Writing Life booth at the Frankfurt Book Fair in Oct 2014. Covers: your definition of success, writing more books, using a great cover and specific meta data, using keywords, algorithms, your website and email list, book reviews, promotional tools like BookBub, experimentation with price and length, exploiting all rights, considering the global market, content marketing and connecting with readers, and characteristics of successful self-publishers as well as resources. Thanks to http://www.kobowritinglife.com

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How to be successful in self-publishing

  1. 1. J.F.Penn - NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author The Creative Penn Ltd Over 250,000 copies sold in 58 countries. Ebook, print & audio format. German, Spanish & Italian. * Professional speaker * Non-fiction books, courses, audio * Entrepreneur Left day-job as IT consultant in Sept 2011.
  2. 2. But back in 2008 ...
  3. 3. (1) Define what you mean by success ! * It’s my life goal to write a book * I want to be on every bookstore shelf in the country ! * Make 10,000 EUR per month ! ! ! ! * Win a literary prize ! * Give up my day job * Make readers happy ! What you decide will shape the book you write, how you publish and market. 5
  4. 4. (2) Write more books that people want 6 * Most authors need 5+ books before they build enough of an audience to make a decent living ! * More digital shelf space, more chance of discovery, more reader word-of-mouth. Ability to play with pricing. ! * More fans, wanting more product * Use editors to produce the best books you can
  5. 5. (3) Use a great cover * Resonate with your target audience and genre. Research in your niche. * Work with professional designers * Change covers if they don’t work ! * Link series books
  6. 6. (4) Use Keywords, Algorithms, Metadata * Optimize your book title, description and keywords for search (meta-data) * Use the Amazon drop down to find usable keywords.
  7. 7. Different types of metadata
  8. 8. (5) Own your hub, own your list * Don’t build your platform where it can be taken away, or disappear when the rules change ! * Use a self-hosted Wordpress site, even for for static sites !
  9. 9. 11 Email List * Permission marketing ! * People ready to buy when you launch ! * Link at back of your existing books and on your site
  10. 10. (6) Get Book Reviews * Social proof * Feeds into the algorithms * Grow your email list & ask them * Identify book bloggers in your niche * Free books help get reviews http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2012/05/17/marketing-amazon-bestseller-rachel-abbott/ 12
  11. 11. (7) Use Promotional Tools 13
  12. 12. Schedule promotional lower price - or free - for a period 14
  13. 13. (8) Experiment with price & length * Novella vs full-length vs box-set * Set higher price & then discount in sale. Kobo runs lots of these opportunities! * Non-fiction at higher price 15
  14. 14. (9) Exploit all rights * Check what rights your publisher owns. ! * Exploit the rest yourself. http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2014/01/07/know-your-rights/
  15. 15. (10) Consider the global market My Kobo sales globally = 58 countries (available in 190) ! iBooks = 51 country stores Amazon Kindle = 171 countries Plus Google Play & Nook, Smashwords & other stores ! + print on demand for global reach with print Kobo also works in local areas on merchandising in German, French, Italian as well as English
  16. 16. (11) Attract & connect with your readers They see a tweet, blog post, video, audio, FB pic, LinkedIn QA, Pinterest pin They like it => follow you, subscribe to your blog, like your page, connect somehow They’ve been reading your blog for a few months now, they’ve listened to an audio interview/ watched a video. Your book has just come out & sounds interesting. They know you, like you & trust you - because you have earned it. 18 Attention Interest Desire Action They buy your book/ product and recommend it to a friend
  17. 17. 12. Use Content Marketing Information, Inspiration, Entertainment https://www.youtube.com/user/thecreativepenn http:// www.thecreativepenn.com /podcasts/ Text, Audio, Video, Images
  18. 18. Choose. ! ! Stick with it! http://www.flickr.com/photos/hillarystein/ 2751693052/
  19. 19. Characteristics of successful self-publishers * Positive, pro-active * Not afraid to experiment, risk and play. Resilient. * Hardworking over the long-term * Entrepreneurial & financially savvy * Collaborative and supportive ! * Understand writing is just the start. You need publishing AND marketing http://janefriedman.com/2013/05/17/should-you-self-publish/ 21
  20. 20. http://www.selfpublisherbibel.de/ 22 More Resources http://www.selfpublisherpodcast.de/
  21. 21. http://kobowritinglife.com/ Any questions? joanna@TheCreativePenn.com @thecreativepenn

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