Thursday, January 8, 2015

Your 15-Step Self-Publishing Strategy

Dear Fellow Writer,

The Xmas and New Year break is finally over - and I'm BACK!

This may sound rash but I decided that this year I would not make any Resolutions. As an experiment, for once, I want to have no expectations whatsoever for the coming year.

Just going to carry on writing, as always, and see what happens...

Talking of that, I have a new book (on special of course) coming out in three or four days time.

Coming soon, to an inbox near you!

Keep writing!

Your 15-Step Self-Publishing Strategy
Self Publishing Strategies

It can be very tempting to release to the world your very first writing effort because the Net makes it so easy for you to do so.

 However, releasing - and promoting - a substandard book manuscript to the public could turn out to be a costly mistake in the long term.

 You know the old phrase: you only get one chance to make a first impression.

 This is as true on the Net as anywhere else. It may not matter that much if very few people get to see or buy your book but Amazon in particular is a very public forum - and a sloppily put together book will sink quickly - and your reputation may be tarnished.

 It's then difficult to pull back from this disadvantaged position.

 If you require long term success, you need to hit the ground running – by releasing your best shot first time out.

 Many factors come into play simultaneously when you release a book on Amazon.

 When you capitalize on the initial rush of sales from your fan base, the Amazon algorithms work in your favor.

 Sell 50 to 100 books within the first day or two of release and you will hit an Amazon chart – and likely place yourself in the Hot New Sellers category. This will cause Amazon’s robots to qualify you for extra promotion.

Also, hits on your book page will have the same effect in the long term because Amazon 'remembers' when people check out a book and will cleverly remind visitors of their casual interest in the future. 

 Positive reviews of your book content will also place your work in Amazon’s Top Rated box – and this too will help sell more copies.

 Combine these factors with your ongoing social networking and you can see how momentum can be acquired that boosts your visibility – a crucial component of author success.

 In a previous post I recommended that, if you’re self-publishing, you should train yourself to think like a publisher.

 Plan to write books that will have commercial appeal.

 To a publisher, often the writing of a book is seen as a 'necessary evil' that sits between identifying the market and fulfilling the needs of the customers within 
that market.

 As a writer, this is probably not how you'd like to think of yourself: as a necessary evil.

 But if you're ever invited to a trade publisher's conference, you'll witness the truth of this phenomenon in action.

 Indeed, you'd be forgiven for thinking that publishers would rather not use writers at all if they could possibly avoid it!


 Let's assume you're motivated enough to write a book length work and that you're sufficiently convinced of your ability to know that you can finish a book manuscript.

 The good news, as far as Amazon is concerned, is that book length is not a pertinent concern for many Kindle readers.

 True, if a book is very short, a reader may feel some reluctance to purchase if the price is too high, say about $10. However, a 30,000 to 50,000 word novel is not always considered too short.

 In the real world, it can be, simply because offline readers expect a certain 'weight' to a book.

 Over the last twenty odd years, we've gotten used to buying 200,000 word door-stops because they appear to represent good value for money. 

This is why, in recent times, the format that was previously reserved for the sight-impaired - the large format paperback - is now the most common new-release type, even when the word count inside may hover around the 80,000 mark  - which is still thought to be the 'right' length for a first-time author's novel.

 It's possible to write and sell much shorter novels on Kindle that are still commercially viable, if the prospect of writing a longer work is too daunting for you.

 Let's look at the typical process a publisher might use when preparing a book for publication.

 You might like to refer to this list when self-publishing your next book.

 There are, of course, many variations on the following 15-step process but the principles behind the listing will illustrate to you just how complex simply releasing a book can become.

 The important thing to remember here is that, as an independent publisher, you too should follow these steps.

 Publishing Strategy / Checklist

 1.       The Writing

2.       The Editing

 3.       The Strategy Meeting

 4.       The Publishing Schedule

 5.       The Marketing Strategy

 6.       The Re-writing based on the above three steps

 7.       The Re-Editing

 8.       The Cover Design

 9.       Market Testing (Beta readers, etc.)

 10.   The Polishing

 11.   The Proofing

 12.   The Initial Promotion (Buzzing, pimping, etc.)

 13.   The Release

 14.   Quantifying Feedback

 15. Ongoing Assessment / Review / Promotion

 As you'll no doubt appreciate, attaining success as a digital novelist or nonfiction e-book writer on Amazon is not just about the writing. It's about taking responsibility for the entire publishing process - and making the best possible decisions, consistently.

Keep Writing!

Rob Parnell

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