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Black Women Talk Politics – Season 2 Ep 1

May 3 2018 – Sheila and Sabriya are back for Season 2! Listen in as they discuss the hot political topics of the week.

5 Simple Ways To Market Your Book

Simple Ways to Market Your Book That Work For Successful Self-Publishers


Okay, so I read somewhere that about 500,000 books are published each year. That is a half a million books! And that are books that are published by publishing houses!! Throw in all of the of the self-published works and I certainly would be surprised if that number creeps upwards of 700,000! That’s a whole lot of competition!

So what do us little old self-publishers need to do to be heard above the noise? Oh, you already know the words to this song, so sing it with me…Market, Market, MARKET!

Before I go into some basic ways to get publicity, let me tell you what NOT to do. Forget about getting in national magazines or television shows! It’s okay to work towards that goal, but don’t expect that you will go from unknown to celebrity author in three months. If you do all of the little things right, the big things will fall right into place. Do NOT skip the little things!

Friends and Family


Okay, with that said the most obvious place to start with your publicity is with those closest to you – friends, family, and colleagues. Send them an email letting them know you’re working on a self-publishing a book. Then when you are ready to release it, give them (at least some of them) a free copy of the book. Be direct with what you want from them. Ask them to review your book on Amazon.com. Ask them to tell their network of friends, family, and colleagues. Heck, make it easy for them and give them an email that they can send to their network.

Get Social


Next you want to venture outside of your backyard, but still in your neighborhood, your social network. If (and by “if” I mean “you better!”) you have Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube accounts, make sure you publicize using those avenues. The simplest method is to post on your status, tweet, and create a video, all of which will be broadcast to your friends and followers. Here’s the thing, you will have to be consistent with publicizing your new book, BUT you don’t want to turn into a spammer or a used car salesman. The basic rule is 1 of every 4-5 posts should be about your book. Go ahead and post that funny meme, the inspirational quote, and the ghetto video from World Star Hip Hop, THEN post something about your new book. And once again, direct folks to your website or wherever your book is available for sale.

There are more advanced methods to utilizing Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, etc., but those are topics for other posts, just know that you should (better) be on social media publicizing.

Offline Networks


Don’t forget to publicize at your offline social networks. Are you part of a church, mosque, or synagogue? How about an alumni association? What about a rotary club, or a chamber of commerce? Whatever social or professional organization you belong to be sure to let the other members know. You may need to create a flier to hang in and around the meeting place, or to pass out to members. Or you may even want to create business cards specifically for your book to give out.

Your Website


Meanwhile, back in the cyber world, I hope (know!) you went ahead and create a website (or blog) about either your book, or yourself. This should be the primary place where you are telling people to visit for information about your book. It is okay to send folks straight to amazon.com or wherever your book is being sold, BUT you really (REALLY!) should be directing people to YOUR website where YOU can engage your audience and hopefully you will capture their email addresses, so you can stay in contact with them in case you write another book or two or three.



One final (at least for this post) source of publicity can be reporters and your local newspapers. As I stated in the beginning, don’t expect to hit the big times and have your book listed in the New York Times, but you it is very possible that your local newspaper may do an article on you. Newspapers are always looking for content, and if you can provide them with an interesting (and I stress “interesting”) story, this may be the start of something big for you. Research your local newspaper (if you live in a big city, find the smaller papers, most likely a weekly paper or a niche paper, NOT the LA Times, Miami Herald, or New York Post), find out which reporter(s) do literary articles and send her/him a copy of your book with a letter explaining who you are. You never know.

Also, in the same realm, try using sites like www.helpareporter.com and www.reporterconnection.com. These are sites where reporters frequent, and YOU may be the subject of their next article or television story.

This is really only the tip of the iceberg, but if you start with these things, you will be well on your way to making all of your hard work worth the effort.


Market Your Business With A Book

Market Your Business With A Book


Can a book help to market your business? The short answer is Yes!

As a business owner using a book to share information and expertise with your potential customers can be a valuable marketing tool.

In many cases, a book is akin to having a more glorified business card! Only people won’t crumple it up and throw it away when you turn your back.

But seriously, how much more do you stand out when you have a book and your competition is still handing out fliers and brochures?

And your book is more cost effective and lasts longer than a radio or television commercial.

Writing a book will help you to gain (almost) instant ”street cred”. What do I mean by this? Well, if you are providing some sort of helpful information or pulling back the proverbial curtain on your business, people will generally appreciate you for your candor. From this you will help to establish (or further establish) your company’s brand. It could then lead to speaking engagements at local events, on radio and podcasts, and maybe even television appearances. Talk about a boost for business!


Of course you won’t just snap your fingers and a book will be written, you still need to honor the procedure and follow some basic steps:

What is your “Why?”



WHY are you writing the book? To use a free gifts? To use as your new calling cards? To sell and make some profit? To establish yourself as the subject matter expert in your area?

Where is the content coming from?


Do you have enough knowledge on the subject? Will you have to do more research? Can you get content from your clients?

Who will do the writing?


Are you going to write? Will you need a collaborator? A ghostwriter?


Be professional!


Make your book as polished as financially possible. Remember, this book will not only represent you, but also your business. You want your book to be as professional looking as possible. Hire the right people where needed. Will you need a proofreader? A copy editor? A book cover designer?

Market your book!


How will you let people know you have a book? Are you giving them away at a trade show or convention? Are they available for the taking at your front desk/counter? Are you selling them on your website? Amazon? Itunes? Does your Facebook fan page know (do you even HAVE a Facebook fan page?).


Done right, who knows where this can lead you and your business! Done “wrong”, well, you can always make corrections. If you don’t do it at all, then you will never know….

20 Best Places To Sell Your Ebook

The 20 Best Places to Sell Your eBook


You’ve spent months (years?!?) writing and editing your book and now it is time to sell it to the world! But how will you do that? How will people actually be able to get their hands on your masterpiece? Fret not my friend because you actually have quite a few options.

While getting 1,000 books printed up and selling them out of the trunk of your car is certainly an option, we’re not going to discuss the hand to hand method in this post.

What we DO want to talk about are the options you have to sell your book online, in eBook format and in print on demand (POD).

I know everyone is self-publishing for her or his own reason, but no matter why you’re in the self-publishing realm, you should probably ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the easiest and most cost-efficient way to get my book ready for sale?
  • Where can I sell my books?
  • How much money would I like to make from selling my books?

Well, sometimes easy isn’t cost efficient, and sometimes cost efficient isn’t exactly easy. But truthfully this isn’t rocket science, so once you look through the options, you will find which solution is best for you.

Give It Away


If you are writing a novel, or a short story that may become a novel, you may want to consider allowing people to read your book for free. “Why would I want to do that??” you ask… well maybe you plan on writing more than one book, and you want to get this thing I like to call “publicity”. Giving your book away for free is GREAT publicity, but making it available on the ‘the largest community of readers and writers’ is a great platform. What is this platform I speak of? It’s called Wattpad (http://www.wattpad.com/) and it is a social network for readers and writers. Check it out.


So where can you sell your ebooks. Check out the list below. Remember, sites come and sites go. These sites were active at the time I wrote this, and I do NOT receive any compensation from any of the sites listed.

Do It For You Services

If you really don’t have the time to do it yourself, then there are do-it-for-you services available. The following companies will gladly take your manuscript and provide you with a host of services.

iUniverse – http://www.iuniverse.com/


With packages starting at $899, iUniverse  will provide you with an assortment of editorial, publishing, and marketing services.Our online self-publishing book packages offer various combinations of our self-publishing, editorial, and marketing services for a truly customized self-publishing experience. With iUniverse, you can choose the self-publishing package that best suits your publishing goals. Our online self-publishing book packages offer various combinations of our self-publishing, editorial, and marketing services for a truly customized self-publishing experience. With iUniverse, you can choose the self-publishing package that best suits your publishing goals. Our online self-publishing book packages offer various combinations of our self-publishing, editorial, and marketing services for a truly customized self-publishing experience. With iUniverse, you can choose the self-publishing package that best suits your publishing goals. Our online self-publishing book packages offer various combinations of our self-publishing, editorial, and marketing services for a truly customized self-publishing experience. With iUniverse, you can choose the self-publishing package that best suits your publishing goals.Our online self-publishing book packages offer various combinations of our self-publishing, editorial, and marketing services for a truly customized self-publishing experience. With iUniverse, you can choose the self-publishing package that best suits your publishing goals.

AuthorHouse – http://www.authorhouse.com/


AuthorHouse in addition to traditional publishing services available for use, they also offer three packages ‘Books to Bookstore’ (self-explanatory), Books to Network (they offer to obtain radio interviews for you), and Book to Hollywood (they offer to create an industry standard synopsis for you)

Major Ebook Sellers
(in alphabetical order)

Apple iBookstore – http://www.apple.com/ibooks/

Want your book on the gazillions of iPads and iPhones, then you want to have your book in the Apple iBookstore. One way to do this would be to use their app iBooks Author – http://www.apple.com/ibooks-author/ . This app is especially good for ebooks that are rich with graphics, but either way, Apply gave authors an “in” to the iStore. Otherwise, you will have have to fill out an application, and they don’t make it easy peasy to get in via their applications.

Amazon.com – https://kdp.amazon.com

We all know that Amazon is the largest online book AND ebook seller, so it should go without saying that you should seriously consider getting your book on Amazon. It is actually fairly simple to do this. Visit the Kindle Direct Publishing site and they will show you exactly how to get your book in front of the gajillion Kindle owners.


Barnes & Noble – https://www.nookpress.com/

You may be thinking “Barnes & Noble, the bricks-and-mortar bookseller?” Yeah, they have survived likely because they were actually able to adapt with their NOOK ereader/tablet. So if you want folks with NOOKS to hav access to your book, visit the site.
Copia – http://www.thecopia.com/home/index.html

While I wouldn’t really call the Copia a “major” ebook seller, you may still find an audience here. What the Copia does to separate themselves from everyone else is their app allows the reader to “write” in the margins of the ebook text and then ‘share’ with their social network.

 eSentral – https://www.e-sentral.com/

Have dreams of selling your book in Malaysia? Who doesn’t!? Well, if you really do, eSentral is an ebook seller serving Southeast Asia. (And all jokes aside, this could be a HUGE market for you!)

Google Bookshttp://books.google.com/

Google is in every content market, so it only makes sense that they have their book division. And since their Android market is humongous, you should definitely think about getting your books in Google Books.

Kobo Writing Life – http://www.kobo.com/writinglife

As an independent author, maybe you want your book in independent bookstores. Sounds like a marriage made in heaven. But how would you go about doing that? You could drive around to every single independent bookstore in the country…OR…if you want your books to be available through participating independent booksellers, then give Kobo a look. Yeah, it’s not an “ebook” site per se, but if you want to argue with me about that be my guest.
Scribd – http://www.scribd.com/publishers

If your work of art is something other than a book, then you should definitely check out Scribd. They publish all sorts of literary works including essays, white papers, and short stories.
SliceBooks – https://slicebooks.com/

Why get the whole pie when you can just get a “slice”. SliceBooks allows readers with an option of either buying a whole book, or just “slices” of them. Why? Well, lets say you are on a plane and you know all you will really read is a couple of chapters of a book. Well, now you can just but two chapters and the world is happy.



BookBaby, the baby sister (or is it brother?) site of the hugely successful CD Baby (an online store for independent musicians). BookBaby offers a host of services for independent authors including conversion, print services, ebook cover design, webhosting, and more. In regard to your eBook they offer three ‘services’ — Free – you give them an epub file, they distribute, you get 85%; Standard ($99) –  they do the converting, they distribute, you get 85%; and Premium ($249) – they convert, they distribute, you get 100%. It’s worth checking their site for the complete run down of their services.

 Booktango – http://www.booktango.com/HowItWorks/


Booktango offers a myriad of services including publishing, publicity, promotional, and video priced from FREE to $359. One good (great!?) thing about Booktango is they offer you 100% of your royalties whether you sell your books on their site or on other retailers. They distribute through the big boys e-book stores, including Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iBooks.


This is the site that I use for most of my eBooks. Smashwords is considered one of the e-book pioneers and is the largest distributors of self-published e-books. And yes, they too are a DIY operation. You can download their “Style Guide” to help you format your book. Once you have your file ready, you’ll simply upload it into their “Meatgrinder” tool, and in a matter of minutes, barring any errors, they will convert your Word file into a format for just about all of the major eBook sellers. You can then choose to have your book solely in their store or you can go “Premium” and get your eBook placed for distribution in Barnes & Noble’s eBookstore, Apple’s iBooks, Sony, Kobo, and Baker & Taylor’s Blio and others.

Print on Demand


CreateSpace – https://www.createspace.com/

Createspace is a print on demand affiliate of Amazon, which is a wonderful thing. With Createspace you have the option of selling your book on the site they provide you (in their Createspace store) and in Amazon. And who doesn’t want their physical book on Amazon.com!?

With a number of guided steps, Createspace makes it fairly simple to create your book on their site. Once done, you can order a proof of the book, set your own price, and order your book at wholesale prices. They even offer you the option of turning your physical book into an ebook and have it published via Amazon’s KDP.


Lulu – http://www.lulu.com/               

When you publish a print book at Lulu — and a lot of people do — you also have the option of just publishing an e-book. Lulu e-books are distributed to Apple’s iBookstore, Lulu.com, and Barnes & Noble (Nook). LuLu is similar to Createspace in what they offer you, however the biggest difference, outside of who they distribute their ebooks through, is the choices in book covers. LuLu offers hardcovers, Createspace doesn’t.


Xlibris – http://www.xlibris.com/


Created for authors, by authors, Xlibris is a print on demand site that also offers a few packages including:

Title Pitch Publishing – They will pitch your book to 25 library systems

Poetry Publishing – Provide you with “full support” throughout the production process.

Children’s Publishing – Will help create a children’s book, including illustrations.

Christian Book Publishing – Helps you reach out to fellow Christians to tell them more about your book.

Sci-Fi Publishing – Help you publish and distribute your book with targeted marketing services

Last, but certainly not least, you can always sell your book on YOUR WEBSITE!


Ultimately you want readers to come back for more and more and more. Capturing their email address is the best way to do it, and since the 19 sites listed above probably won’t give you that information, then it’s up to you to do it on your website. You may use one or more of the above services and utilize their widgets to place on your page, but remember from other posts that all traffic should come through or at least come back to your website.


So there it is. Maybe I forgot a service or two, but this list provides you more than enough information in order to get your book from your computer into book stores both virtual and real.

How Much Does Self Publishing Cost?

I’m forever encouraging people “You should write a book about that!”. And in return I am usually asked “How much will self-publishing really cost me?”

A plastic calculator showing the words How Much to figure the amount you can save or afford in a financial transaction such as getting a mortgage or spending on

What’s the number one reason people don’t write their books? No, it’s not the money, it’s because they are usually too afraid (or lazy) to write! Oh, they (you??) will give you all sorts of reasons for not doing it, but more often than not, they are scared to fail.

The number two reason, money. This one is more understandable to me, BUT while it may prevent you from actually releasing your book, it should not prevent you from writing the book.

Why is money a hindrance? Honestly, while the book industry continues to go digital and certain costs are coming down, it can still get quite expensive to self-publish.

Writing, releasing, and marketing a good book involves quite a few steps, and at each step along the way it is possible that you may pay someone for their services to help you help yourself.

Before I go into the most common things you may pay for to produce a professional book, I want to say that while “You Get What You Pay For” is the usual song I sing, do NOT be afraid to use low priced services, including services you may obtain on a site like fiverr.com. Times are hard for some people, and they will charge you less for their services, but that doesn’t automatically mean that they suck. Whether you go with a high priced service or a low priced service, ALWAYS ask for examples of their work.

Anyhow, here are some of the more common things you will pay for, and the ranges of the cost of those services.

Turn-key solutions.


The easiest way to go would be to use an all-in-one, or turn-key, service. These are services available that will allow you to just provide them with your manuscript and they will do all of the other leg work for you. This can run anywhere from a couple of thousand up to as much as $20-25,000. You need to make sure you understand exactly what services they will provide for you, AND you want to check the company out. Do a Google search for reviews of that company and see what pops up. If you see too many negative reviews, move on.

You may decide to just hire a freelancer to help you with bits and pieces of the process. If that is the case, here are the areas you may consider hiring someone to help you with…



You will get sick of “editing” popping up in almost every post, but the truth is editing MUST be done. Well if you have been paying attention, there are different types of editing that you may decide to go with.

First up is PROOFREADING. This is usually the least expensive form of editing you may get done, and that is because it is the most basic form of editing you will have done. The proofreader will assure that no typos exist in your document. While it is the most basic, it is a very critical part of the quality control process. What should you expect to pay for a proofreader? Between $25 and $35 per hour.
Next, you could decide to go with a COPY/LINE EDITOR. A copy editor (sometimes called a Line Editor) will go over each sentence in your manuscript checking for grammar, punctuation, spelling, consistency and word usage. The line editor may also assist with rewriting/rewording sections that need help. They would generally run you about $25-$50 an hour.

There is your DEVELOPMENTAL EDITOR. You will hire a development editor if you feel you need someone who can help you flesh out your book more. They may rearrange sections, add or delete characters, and basically help your book move along. How much would one expect to pay for these services, oh anywhere in the neighborhood of $45 – $75 dollars per hour.

Okay, I know you may be wondering,” if they are charging by the hour, just how many hours will they take to work on my book?” And the answer is…it depends. It depends on 1) how long your book is, and 2) how proficient is the person(s) you hire.

Let’s say you hire someone who is pretty proficient at their job (regardless of which form of editing it is), and they can complete 5 pages an hour, well if you have a 300 page book, then that person could spend 60 hours working on your book.

Let’s continue…



Readers judge how a book looks on a shelf and how it looks on an iPad or black-and-white Kindle. For iPhone users, a thumbnail of the cover is probably the first thing a reader sees. It’s important that your cover design be optimized for print, digital, thumbnail sizes, and how it looks on an e-reader or mobile device. You might have your own images, or you might need to buy a license to use the images. Some designers even sell premade cover designs for as low as $50.

But if you want to hire someone to make a custom cover design, you can expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $3,500. The higher end is for award-winning designers who have done Random House- or HarperCollins-type covers, according to book design maven Joel Friedlander.

Low end: $150
High end: $3,500



If you’re tech-savvy, you can set up your book on your own for free using programs called Sigil, Calibre or Pages. If you’re looking to hire an expert, you can find someone to do the print-on-demand conversions for as little as $150 or as much as $2,500 to convert from Word or InDesign. The costs will usually be $200 for a text book that’s less than 400 pages. The higher costs are if your original file is in PDF, has a lot of pictures, or is highly illustrated. PDFs are much more complex to convert.

Low end: Free
High end: $2,500 or more based on interactivity and pages, according to book design maven Joel Friedlander.



An ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is recommended if you’re doing a print book or want it placed in a library. A lot of third parties sell ISBNs, but if you don’t purchase your own ISBN you may not be listed as the publisher of your own work! Not everyone believes you need an ISBN. If you plan on only selling your book in e-book form, then you do have the option of skipping the ISBN and using the default numbering system for Amazon, iBooks or BN (or whoever else you may use).

$125 for one ISBN
10 ISBNs for $250
Bowker is the authorized ISBN retailer in the U.S.



You no longer have to pay upfront for printing costs because now there are so many print-on-demand options. With print-on-demand services like CreateSpace  (I usually print through them) or Lightning Source, the book only gets printed when someone buys it. It’s also not recommended to print books if you don’t already have a distribution deal in place. Otherwise, you might end up housing 1,000 books in your garage.



There are many resources for authors to get professional reviews. Sites like Kirkus, Blue Ink, and Publishers Weekly all sell review packages for indie or self-published authors. There’s also a great list of bloggers that you can reach out to for reviews for your book.

  • Cost of review from Kirkus:$425
  • Cost of review from BlueInk Reviews: $396
  • Cost of review from Publishers Weekly PW Select: $149



This is probably the toughest part after you’ve written the book. You can pay someone to help you market and set up blog tours for $10 to $40 per hour on BiblioCrunch. For $10 you can get a college student, for $40 to $65 an hour you can get a professional marketer. We recommend you pay someone at least 10 hours to market and on the high end 40 hours. If you have the time, you can do a lot of the marketing yourself. Also, good book publicists can get you radio spots and press pickups for anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 per month.

Low end: $100
High end: $5,000 and up.

It’s a lot of information, but spending money on quality editorial services will set your book apart from the sea of books in the marketplace.


Ghostwriters! Don’t Be Afraid!

I Ain’t Afraid Of No Ghost(writers)!



Do you want to write a book? Doesn’t matter what kind of book, what the topic, niche, genre. Do you have a killer idea, but you just “aren’t a writer”?

Is that your situation?

Don’t be scared. You can admit it. And if you do admit it, guess what? You are NOT alone. There are plenty of people, even people in “high” places who “aren’t writers” so guess what they do? They use Ghostwriters!


What is a Ghostwriter?

Basically, a ghostwriter is someone who will write for, and in the name of, someone else. They get paid, but they don’t get the ‘credit’ for the writing. It is typically associated with the writing of books, but ghostwriters are used in many other situations including speechwriting (you didn’t really think the Presidents of the United States sat down a slaved over their speeches did you?) and corporate communications such as “white papers”. People even have ghostwriters for blogs and social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (yup, some of your favorite actors, sports figures, and companies have people tweeting for them!).


The point being, ghostwriting is much more common than you may imagine, so there is no need to be ‘embarrassed’ if you need to hire someone else to pen your book

So How Does This Ghostwriting Thing Work?

Well, like I said before, if you decide to hire someone, you will come to an agreement. What you want them to write, how much you need them to write, and who you get to do the ghostwriting will play a part in how much you will have to pay the ghostwriter.

If you hired someone who is fresh out of college, no ‘real world’ experience writing, to write your entire book from start to finish, that will certainly cost you less than hiring a seasoned professional of 20 years. But you also will get what you pay for. Just be sure that whoever you hire, you understand their rates, and that you are clear with them about what you will need them to do for you. The more you ask them to do, the longer it will take for them to complete your project, and the more it will cost you, no matter who you hire.


Here’s the thing, when you hire a ghostwriter, you should expect to work very closely with this person. After all, this is YOUR book, and it is based on YOUR ideas. While the ghostwriter may be good at putting the words together and making it sound good, YOU have to be there to provide them with the proper guidance.  Your best bet is to be as open with your communications with them as possible. After spending some time with the writer, s/he may begin to get a good sense of what it is you want, but in the beginning be prepared to answer a ton of questions.

Once all is said and done, they would provide you a finished product, you will pay them, and the most they will get is a “Thank you” in the credits.

So Where Can You Find Ghostwriters?

One is probably hovering right above you as you read this. Just kidding!


You should look online in places like Elance, Craigslist, Backpages, and Mediabistro. You should even try to see if you can find someone on Fiverr (you’d be surprised what you find on fiverr!).

When you are picking from a potential pool of writers, make sure you know what your budget is. This will have the biggest impact on the level of expertise of your ghostwriter. It is very possible to get lucky and hire someone who is a young, up and coming, excellent writer, so don’t think you have to go with someone who has been writing for 50 years. You will want to get writing samples for your potentials so you can see how they write. It would be best if they have experience writing the type of book you are seeking to have written. And here is something that should NOT be overlooked, you want to personally speak with them. Remember, you may have to spend a considerable amount of time with this person, so you should see just how comfortable you are speaking with them. If your book is a research-based document, then personal connection won’t matter much, but if it is a memoir or biography, you should definitely get to know them.

Those are the basics of ghostwriters. If everything goes well, you will have a great new book, and maybe you and your ghostwriter can collaborate to create a few more masterpieces. So you see, there’s no reason to be afraid of ghosts

The Ugly Truth About Self Publishing

The Ugly Truth About Self Publishing


Regardless of what you may hear or read elsewhere, self-publishing is here to stay! Independent authors are finding a lot of success self-publishing, and the entire field of self-publishing seems to keep evolving. A field that was once ruled by the big publishing houses, is now being more and more even thanks to internet marketing, eBook publishing, and social networking sites that have allowed self-published authors to get their books in front of potential book buyers.


But alas, everything isn’t all unicorns and rainbows in the world of self-publishing. You should be aware of the pitfalls that are around so that you can do as well as possible. When self-publishing, your success is squarely in YOUR hands.

So instead of sugar-coating everything, here are some of the things you should definitely be aware of…

Self Publishing Is Easy!


What’s so ugly about “easy”? Well, it’s so easy that everybody, and their momma, is doing it. This means that you may face a ton of competition in whatever genre or niche you enter. It also means that there are a huge number of crappy books out there as well. But that may actually be a good thing for you if you take the time to polish your book and give it enough shine to stand above the trash.

It’s a Numbers Game…And The Odds Are Against You


So while there are all of these bad books being put out every second, there are also a lot of good ones that you will have to compete with. And just because a book is good, this includes yours, it doesn’t mean that it will become an international best seller. Everyone won’t become the next 50 Shades of Grey. It’s more likely that you may sell less than 50 books.

Just know that it isn’t a matter of how good the book is. There are very bad books that sell 10’s of thousands of copies, while excellent books toil in obscurity. The main thing what will help turn the odds in your favor is MARKETING. Remember, you are a MARKETER who just happened to write a book. You need to make sure that you are constantly finding ways to publicize your book. Books do not just sell themselves.


Self-Publishing Can Get Expensive


If you decide to self-publish and you find that your skills are lacking in certain areas, you will probably end up hiring someone else to do it. What is “it” that you are hiring people for? Well, maybe you want to hire a ghostwriter because you don’t have the time to write. Or maybe you need a developmental editor to help your book along. There is the copy editor who you need to go through your book and make sure everything is formatted appropriately. Let’s not forget the proofreader to catch all of those typos. Did I mention the graphic designer for your book cover? There are fees for ISBN and copyrighting. Once all that is done, you probably want to pay folks to review your book (yup, people PAY to have their book reviewed), and of course we have to pay for marketing and advertising. I think my calculator just exploded.

Okay, let me not get carried away. While many of those things are necessary to put out a good product, if you do your research you can find low cost/high value ways to get them accomplished. You can end up paying a few hundred dollars to get your book out up to tens of thousands. If you have more time than money, do your research and you will come out on the low end of the scale. If you have more money than time, then you can pay to get the best services available to you. Just know you will pay one way or another.


Let me reiterate, none of this is meant to scare you, it’s meant to inform you. The better informed you are the better you can prepare yourself to enter the world of self-publishing.

Top 10 Tips For Self Publishing


If you want to be a successful self-published author, here are 10 tips that you should pay close attention to. Most, okay ALL, of these are mistakes that I have made along the way, so please learn from my mistakes!

  1. In addition to following this site, join self-published and/or Indie writer’s groups both on and offline. Go to your favorite search engine (notice how I didn’t automatically assume you ‘Google’ everything?), and type in “Independent Writers Group” or “Self Published Writers Group” and watch the world come alive! These are the ‘doers’ of the world, and you can get plenty of advice on anything and everything you ever wanted to know about self-publishing but were afraid to ask. And you don’t need to wait until you have a book out to join! Join now…watch, ask, and be informed. joker
  2. I know this is subjective, but please write a good book! There is too much crap cluttering cyberspace as it is, so put your heart into your book. If you feel you have done your best, then that is all a man can ask.good
  3. You need to have a good title and a good cover. Remember that last comment about cybercrap? Well if you want to stand out amongst them, do yourself a favor and create an eye-appealing, professional-looking cover. Your cover should not only look good large, but it should catch the eye when it is set as a thumbnail, because if you sell online it’s likely that people will only see a thumbnail of your book.title
  4. Have your book proofread! You can have a great book, but if it is filled with typos and grammatical errors, guess what comments will be left on Amazon, B&N, iTunes, etc.? Do yourself a favor, even if you can’t afford to pay a lot for a professional, you should be able to 1) use spellcheck and 2) ask a friend or family member to take a look. A new set of eyes will go a long way.           editor
  5.  BEFORE you hit the “go” button to get 1,000,000 copies printed, be sure to get a proof of your book first! Getting a proof is different from having it proofread. Once your book is finished and at the printer of your choice, request or purchase a copy of it before it goes into full production. When your proof arrives give it a thorough looksy. This is your labor of love, if something doesn’t look right, change it. Better make those changes now than having a garage full of books with your name spelled wrong.   proof
  6. Make sure the Price is Right! No, I’m not talking about the television game show with Drew Carrey. It’s important to make sure that your book is priced appropriately. If you are using a Print on Demand service such as CreateSpace, they will kind of force your hand by telling you the minimum price you can sell your book for. Anything about that should become profit for you. But don’t get crazy.
    If you are selling an eBook, keep in mind that the “sweet spot” for eBooks is usually around $2.99. You may consider starting at .99 cents, letting your book get a little momentum then gradually increasing it to $1.99, then $2.99. If you are selling on Amazon, familiarize yourself with their Royalty policy since they have 35% and 70% rates.   isbn
  7. Unlike at a bookstore or in a library, online potential buyers can’t thumb through your book so they will rely on other people’s reviews. Solicit reviews on Amazon.com. How? Easy, send free copies to anyone who may have an interest in your genre or topic (including family or friends) and ask that they write a review at Amazon. Getting reviews will help with your book ranking. If Amazon sees that people are reviewing your book, they will rank it higher.   review
  8. And no matter what site you use to sell your book, make sure that your book description and your publisher’s comments are well thought out. Potential buyers will also look to these areas to decide whether they will buy your book or not. If the description doesn’t provide them with enough information on your book, they may likely pass on it. This is especially true when you don’t have many reviews.  description
  9. Create a website for your book (or publishing company, or better yet, yourself!), and link it to any of the places that you may sell your book. Now that you are a self-published author, you are a brand, and no brand is complete without its own website.   website
  10. Market, Market, MARKET! How can you sell your book if they don’t know it exists? There are 1001 ways to market, so find the best ways for your book. And don’t just think online, think offline marketing as well! We will have quite a few posts about marketing, so stay tuned.   market

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