Selling Your Self-Published Book

Selling Your Self-Published Book

By Rebecca A. Emrich

When self-publishing a book, there is an emphasis on building more relationships, teams, and networks that you might not have needed in comparison to traditional publishing. People do want to help, but most are either afraid to criticize or are willing to destroy your dreams in an effort to make themselves feel better. Either way, don’t be afraid to use this in terms of improving your writing- if it’s too good- or too bad- to be true, it’s somewhere in the middle. The same holds true for selling your self-published book.  One way to sell your book is through your blog.  You’ll need to post a lot more, and have links to your book from there.  There are also online writing sites you can visit. Writing online works well in terms of getting readers to both see and find your writing, and a well-written blog is instrumental to this. You can improve your work before you self-publish a book, and also find potential readers to your writing where you can build upon your knowledge of marketing something on a small scale. You can also read and review other books on your site, and develop relationships with other authors this way.  This improves the chances of your self-published book reaping more sales and earning more money.  Selling is about marketing yourself as an author, and as someone who will continue to write. After you have published your book, there is a readership, and other networks, who know your writing style and will feel more comfortable purchasing your book.  Two major points you’ll need to consider about self-publishing: Having a completed book: Any professional writer will tell you if you want to increase the potential for success in the writing world, you need to write a well-edited, completed manuscript,  or in laymen’s terms, a book which has the potential to be published.  This means that while you could self-publish a draft of your book, no one will buy it, and if they do, it’s going to be illusion-shattering for you.  If you choose to self-publish your first draft be prepared for some bad reviews by potential readers. The biggest problem independent publishers and professional self-publishers face is the lack of care some other authors have toward their books. Amazon and Goodreads will not take down bad reviews, and this will hurt your chances for more sales- learning from your mistakes is one thing, but it’s best to accomplish this before you self-publish.

Everyone has a personal life, and this generally means you won’t have as much time to write, or edit, without distractions.  It is worse if you have plans to self-publish within a certain time-frame. You need a good team and that team needs to allow you to focus on what you do best, in this case writing.  However, they also need to be honest and tell you when something isn’t working, all the while showing you how to sell your book better.  Case in point for my own sales was when one of my blog writers pointed out I never include links to either my book or other books I’ve reviewed – along with completing my book this was going to be a challenge.  With my lack of time, this took weeks to fix, but it was worth it.

Even if you decide that you want to self-publish, you need an edited book. Self-published books need the same care as any other book. You will also need to build your network. You’ll need to have a few social networking sites up- my book- In Search of The Lost Ones
suffered an estimated loss of 70-100 potential book sales, because of the lack of networking I deemed was necessary before self-publishing.  I did do one important thing, and this was finding a good editor.

A Good Editor: Anyone who can edit a book is great, except your relatives or friends, as they often will not want to give constructive critiques, and you won’t like to hear it. Relatives can’t see everything with you nearby, and most writers can make people feel nervous. A professional editor will look at everything from spelling and grammar to what should be in the book, they will offer suggestions on how to improve the overall manuscript. A good editor will see things you have missed in terms of plot or of character development.  They can help you sell your book better because you include some stronger points or plot lines.

It’s also good to have an editor on your blog by this point, and one who is willing to tell-you-off as a writer.  My own editor for this blog does this, and all too often, he is right.  With his help, I’ve been able to repair this blog, and I’m pushed to maintain it because he isn’t afraid to tell me I’m wrong.

Then, there is the great editor.

A great editor will tell you when the book is not working for them, and why. A great editor will work with you to make your book better, and point out errors which can harm your sales overall.  The difference between a great editor and a good one is the great editor will force you to push yourself harder. Once you push yourself, and work out the time commitments with day jobs, and family, and writing, you can focus on selling your book.

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