Updated November 28, 2013:
I assume, as you are reading this because of the title, that you’re a writer, a wannabe or already a self-published author and you think I might have some valuable information you can use to help you produce and/or market your book(s). I suppose this is true because I have learned an immense amount of information over the past 13 years. In that time, I became the publisher of my husband’s bestselling and popular novels and, as time allows, I will share some of the things I learned.
Does the thought of having a skid of books, like that in the photo, arrive at your door, scare the living daylights out of you? Well let me first say that you don’t start with anymore than 500 books and a smaller order with POD would be much less risky. That skid holds approx. 1000 books. We began with 500 copies in 1998 but Robert turned into a great salesman and our orders became greater. So began our adventure of a lifetime. This scene has happened almost a dozen times in our driveway and yes, some sell more than others and sometimes we make a mistake and order too many! Thankfully, soon after this photo was taken, POD and ebooks almost solved this problem for others … but not for us as we have too many fans who still want print books.
Self-publishing is definitely not complicated, as a matter of fact, it’s a whole lot easier now than when we began, but it is VERY TIME and LIFE CONSUMING if you care enough to get it right. And if it means that much to you, YOU SHOULD CARE … I am shouting this out so you get the message. You will learn from this blog,our website and the internet, that successful marketing is an ongoing project. Any self-published, or otherwise, author can do it with all the help available to you today but there will be many challenges. I don’t want to sound crass, but in a nutshell … you simply get out there, in their faces so-to-speak, and promote, promote, promote. If you’re not prepared to do that, don’t expect that allowing your book to sit on a shelf in a bookstore or at Amazon or on the Kindle Store that they are going to sell it for you. This is a hugely competitive business now. And when this promo thing gets so tiring that you begin to hate your job, it’s will be time to sit down, take a deep breath, and assess why you feel that way and what your course of action will be! Yes, I even reached that point for a while myself.
Do you know why it is called self-publishing? It’s because YOU fund the book yourself. Even if a wife publishes her husband’s book (like I did), yup … it’s still classed as self-publishing by all those high and mighty people (read publishers who want an exclusive on the term) who want to give out awards only to their ‘class’. Why? because they are still in the dark ages and figure a wife is always financially dependent on her husband. In publishing, we are still in the dark ages it seems?Okay, enough said. It’s a common argument in publishing circles. Just to think about it frustrated me so much in the early days despite being told (by the staff of publishing houses and published authors) that we had sold more books than most Canadian published authors ever hoped to sell. Fans have told us for years that our books are the best and that’s good enough for us!
I have no doubt spent a hundred hours or more working on our webpages over the years … do you have one yet? That’s a must to start with and one way to start is with a WordPress blog or a website from Author’s Den. Let me tell you about the latter as it is slightly different from a blog (which you are on right now): At Author’s Den you can add your stories, poems, books, blog, newsletter, etc. It has stats so you can see how many people are visiting; you can entice people to request your newsletter and you can sell your books there as well (it hasn’t helped us but you never know! It’s an invaluable site and thousands of people visit it every day. You’ll find Robert’s site at Author’s Den here.
Have a great day!