Helpful Places You Should Know About

Self-publishing is more than a notion.  You can make it harder than it needs to be, or you can make it much easier for yourself.  Begin by keeping at your fingertips basic guides like www.google.com.  I think you already know you’ll get a world of knowledge here, including Wikipedia.  But I cannot caution you enough to check everything  thoroughly by cross checking your information.

Of course, Google is one of a kind, but it also can be amazingly helpful to log into publishers that want to help you do what you’re doing, self publishing.  Most have good websites, and you can pick up a lot of useful tips about self-publishing, marketing, editing, what makes a good book and other helpful resources.

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Self-Publishing: A Market Analysis

Corner Building

I’ve shared a little marketing info with you, and I will share much more, but I haven’t really gone into the usefulness of getting a market analysis of your precious brainchild, your book.  Please believe that this, your editorial analysis and your edit are every bit as important as writing your book.

A market analysis will save you time, effort, money and tears.  A good one does many things.  It gives you five or six comparable books and tells you how they’re selling, how many copies sold, how long on the shelf.  This helps you to know what your competition is and what you’re going to have to do to measure up or beat it.  A good analysis will astonish you with the books it compares yours to, but delve into it and you’ll find they’re usually right.

You’ll get a long — or maybe a short — listing of the people likely to be interested in and to buy your book.  This is something you really need because there are likely to be audiences you hadn’t thought about.  People who do these analyses have tools that aren’t available to you as a novice and the best ones are really good at what they do.

Extremely important also is that a market analysis gives you a listing of places that will — and will not — carry your book.  If this isn’t worth its weight in gold, I don’t know what is.  Let them do it for you with their expertise, and save yourself time, money and shoe leather.

A good market analysis will run you about $200, cheap at the price.  Two places I know of do them best: Wheatmark.com. and Writersinthesky.com.  I’m publishing my book with Wheatmark, so I can vouch for their excellence, and I’ve heard good things about Writers In The Sky.

I pray you take this message to heart and you’ll be far ahead on your road to marketting a successful book.

Self-publishing: Marketing

How To Realx

When do you market this gem that you’ve written?  As soon as it’s finished?  Wait for reviews?  Neither.  If you’re wise, you’ll begin your marketing even before you start your book.  Once you’ve designed, outlined and pretty much know what the book is about, start marketing.  Bear with me while I explain why.

It’ a big help to blog when you’re a writer.  Your readers so often have the best ideas imaginable, and they can help you avoid expensive mistakes.  By discussing your book, you’re getting a feel for what others like and will buy and enjoy.  Don’t let their ideas substitute for yours, but listen carefully, exchange ideas and don’t forget to  compliment.  Okay, you’re writing all the time you’re doing this.  You’ll find it’s much easier to write.

In time, your book is finished, revised, and you feel it’s the best you can do.  Now is the time for a market analysis.  Google it for good leads.  The one I used to extreme satisfaction is Wheatmark.com.  They’re inexpensive at about two hundred dollars and worth their weight in platinum.  You’ll find a listing of similar books, how well they sold, for how long, and for how much.   They’ll also make suggestions for exactly where to market.  Who will carry your precious book and who won’t.  This way, you won’t waste your precious money pitching toward readers who couldn’t be less interested.

It’s not a concept I wrote with before and it sounded foreign to me, but I tried and now wouldn’t be without it.  I will be writing more about marketing when you really get into it.  Believe me your work will be far easier and far less expensive.

Later:  More marketing tips.  The value of a superb edit

 

Self Publishing: Do Your Basics

Wondrous Sunset

Ask yourself if you really want to succeed.  Stupid question?  Far from it.  Success means many things to many people.  Webster’s definition that I like best speaks of being favored.  Not an exact quote, but that’s one of the deepest meanings.  To be favored is often to meet with hostile envy.  Can you take it?  Think about it long and hard, because it’s an emotional basic of self-publishing.  Not everybody can do it and some will be envious if you’re successful with it.

Now, to the nitty gritty.  Not enough of you who are interested in self-publishing are willing to do the basics.  Study the market for your book — first.  Sound crazy?  Greedy?  It’s not.  Why spend a big chunk of your time, emotions and energy on something that a little spadework will show isn’t going anywhere?  I can hear you groaning that you write from the heart and that’s what matters, isn’t it?

Indeed it is, so why not consider tweaking your treasured baby so it’s what you want it to be and it fits what the reading public wants.  For that, you’re going to need a  market analysis that will tell you who’s reading what, what’s selling, where, and for how long.  Anybody who writes a book and doesn’t get a market analysis is cheating him or herself.  Like love, you have to be involved with it to appreciate it, and like love, it grows and develops as you put yourself into it.

I thought it was crazy to get a market analysis at the beginning.  I’ve learned better and I think you will too.  They aren’t expensive.  You can google it or you can contact Wheatmark.com.  It’s much to your advantage.  Try it.

Self-Publishing: Make It Your Business

Nature At Her Best

If you hope to succeed with self-publishing as with anything else, you’ve got to get your act together. First, relax and use your noodle.  As I’ve pointed out here, study the field thoroughly, take the time to familiarize yourself with the good guys and the bad guys.  Make use of your Better Business Bureau; they’ll point out the rotten ones.  Go to your library, google, check out Amazon, but somehow get the so-called bibles of self-publishing.  There are few, but they’ll save you a lot of trouble.

An excellent place to start is with Wheatmark.com.  That excellent  publishing company offers you a free series of pamphlets for downloading.  Reading them, you’ll find out if self-publishing is for you.  Better to find out early than late.  And too, they have an excellent book for free downloading called Marketecture.  That one book transformed my life, and I’ve been a published writer — by good publishers — for 20 years.  It is well written, clear, concise and to my mind, one of the best I’ve read.

Too much information and your mind is going to sleep.  Please mull this over and come back for more which I’ll share with you often.  I just wish I’d had someone to offer me more tips in a blog, but little was available when I became hooked years ago.  Now you’ve got me and I’ve dug deep and found much.  I’m willing to share because I want your ideas and your experiences. So, stay tuned!

Happy self-publishing!