A Beginners Guide to Self-Publishing (and Other Avenues to Sell Your Books)

Book signing for “Courageous World Catalysts” in Paris, France September 2017
Book signing for “Courageous World Catalysts” in Paris, France September 2017

Writing a book and getting it published used to be a huge endeavor. You had to pitch it to a literary agent who would then pitch it to a publisher and it could sometimes take years to get it accepted. These days, with kindle and the online world at everyone’s fingertips, getting your book out to the world is quicker and easier than you might think.

If you’re an entrepreneur, having a book for your business has many perks such as the added credibility, expert status and the ability to use that book to attract your ideal clients. Some even say that a book is now like a bigger, better business card.

Used correctly, your book can help you attract your tribe for years to come (so long as you continue to market it, but that’s not what we’re talking about today).

So first, Why self-publish?

For one, YOU KEEP ALL THE CREATIVE RIGHTS. You have the freedom to do what you want with the title, the cover and the content of your book. Why give that away?

Secondly, while it may seem enticing to use a publisher because you think they would promote your book, that’s just not what happens. They don’t promise to sell any copies of your book. In fact, when you pitch to them, they want to see how many people follow you on all your social media channels and they want to know how many books you think YOU’LL sell.

Lastly, self-publishing means you can get your book out faster. The exact day you’re done writing, you could upload it to amazon (though I wouldn’t recommend that – you might want to let it sit a couple days and do some editing …. But that’s totally up to you).

My expertise is in Amazon, so let’s talk about what you need to get your book uploaded and available to the world via Amazon.

Here’s a quick self- publishing checklist to have ready for kindle:

1. Your finished ebook 😊

2. Interactive table of contents

3. Cover in kindle size

4. Description

5. Keywords

5. Title

6. Subtitle

7. Pricing

Once you have all those things, you can go to Amazon KDP and upload your book. You’ll need an Amazon KDP account at minimum - this is where you are directly uploading your book.

Optionally, you’ll want an Amazon author central page. Many new authors forget about the author central page or they plain just don’t know it’s available to them. The author central page allows you to share your photo, bio, your blog, your upcoming events, your videos, etc. Again, totally optional, but highly highly recommended if you want to be taken seriously.

(click the video below for my free, live training https://youtu.be/WUFQozFJry8)

Avenues to sell your book.

Now let’s talk about different places you can sell your books. I want to preface this with the fact that I teach my clients to use their book as a marketing tool. The book is not the end product that they’re selling. They are UPSELLING and using their book as a door-opener to new prospect and clients.

If you’re looking for purely book sales … we can go there for a little while because I was asked to include it in this article.

1. On your website – you can have a website dedicated to your book, or a page on your business website that has your book on it

2. In your shop –with your other info products

3. Subscribe and pay for book promotion services. You can even look on fiverr. Please do your due diligence on any of these services.

4. Book signing tour

5. Amazon promotional opportunities:

Createspace (owned by Amazon) – you can select to have your book available at Barnes and Noble, along with other online retailers

Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) – you can create your own ads to appear in Amazon.

Amazon KDP Select – you can use this service to promote your book 5 days out of every 3 months. Please read the rules for this program because if you use it, you’re obligated to be in it for 3 months and you may not sell your book anywhere else for less than what you have it listed for on Amazon.

6. Social Media – create a Facebook Fanpage specifically for your book

7. Facebook Groups dedicated to kindle readers - Just search “kindle” and you’ll find a plethora of groups that promote books. Read the rules for each group to see how often, what price, when and what genre you can promote.

8. Local mom and pop book shops

9. Get creative – Find other ways to get the word out. Look what other authors are doing ….YouTube, contests, referrals, etc.

The main thing about selling your book is to be proactive rather than sitting around waiting for something to happen. This is a sure fire way to have nothing happen at all.

Again, I want to go back to my philosophy for business books – my clients are generally entrepreneurs and coaches who want a book to help those who are struggling like they once were. They are looking to create impact and change in the world, get their message out to a larger audience, and they have coaching products and packages that they promote from the 100’s of dollars to the 10’s of thousands of dollars that their readers will advance to purchasing.

Mathematically speaking, book royalties and direct sales is a hard gig for you to make even $10k or more per month.

Most entrepreneurs who are successful with making money from their book, make it on the backend. They’re happy to give their book away for free or offer it at a low cost to get that new lead in so that they can nurture and then upsell them into a bigger package that would better serve that client.

To an entrepreneur, the book is not the end product. The book is the hook product. It’s a lead magnet.

So with that said, the best way to sell your book so you can sell your other bigger packages, is to use a BOOK FUNNEL! Use it as opt in lead magnet. Then nurture that reader like I just said and turn him or her into a higher paying client.

THAT is the best way to be profitable with your book.

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