Being a self published author means you’re not only a writer but you are a small business. You are responsible for the success of your writing career and need to manage each aspect of it.
Last month I asked the question if you’re a career writer or a hobbyist.
If you want to be a career writer then you need to do more than write. You’re juggling a million different aspects of promoting your book, finding readers and also producing a quality read.
My advice on being successful is that you should outsource whatever you can and focus on what you do best. Writing and promotion. Only you can write your story and you will promote yourself best.
I recently heard of an author friend who’d spent days creating her own book cover. Really? Why? There are heaps of fantastic pre-made covers at very reasonable prices. I can tell you that I could be very productive in a few days, either writing my latest book, sending out promos or engaging with my readers. The life of a self published writer is too busy to be worrying about making their own covers.
The only exception is that you’re an artist or have a fine arts degree and can do them.
Check out my latest cover, which was pre-made and I just looooooove it. I’m still deciding which to use, the one with the hearts or without. Any votes or feedback on the cover you like best would be appreciated, thanks!
I have a new novella and didn’t spend time on the cover, I wrote it. I can’t do art but I can write about the characters I have created.
The other imperative area you must outsource is to an editor. Self publishing your book with sloppy editing is lazy and rude. Why should readers pay money for your book which hasn’t been edited? There are so many good books out there and if you’re trying to attract new readers, you really need to put your best writing out there.
Typos still can still slip through whether you’re traditionally or self published. But it should be occasional not on every page.
And then there’s promotion. There are plenty of companies and people who’ll offer to promote your book. They’ll claim to have a large number of subscribers etc etc…. Consider what they’re offering and how much it will cost.
One early mistake I made was using a company to promote my book for one day in a newsletter. It cost me $70 but I only made 10 sales. The cost of sales did not even cover what I paid.
My advice is to build up a loyal group of readers who love your writing and promote yourself to them. When I say promote, I do not mean send them “buy my book” emails all the time.
It’s a bit like dating. Get to know them and share bits about yourself, what you like to read, how your latest book is coming along.
Until next month, happy writing!
Joanne Dannon is an Australian author who writes to give her readers the experience she loves to savour–indulging in a sigh-worthy-happily-ever-after, being swept away from the everyday by diving into a delicious romance novel.
Joanne’s latest romance about second chances and falling for your best friend’s brother, Together At Last, is now available as both an e-book and paperback.
Joanne is a happily married mother of two heroes-in-training who loves spending time with friends and family. She can be found on Facebook and her website www.joannedannon.com chatting about reading, writing, cooking, vintage-inspired dresses and all things romantic.