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DIY For Inquiring Minds

Self-Publishing: The New Gold Rush

gold_rush_flyer

On January 24, 1848, one lucky fellow named James W. Marshall found gold in California. For the next seven years, hordes of hopefuls flocked to the West Coast state in hopes of striking it rich with a pickaxe and just a bit of luck. For the vast majority of them, that never happened. What did happen was thousands of opportunistic entrepreneurs making a fortune selling gold seekers the tools they needed for forty times the actual price.

While self-publishing is by no means a new idea, it follows a similar trend. According to Wikipedia (so take the info with a grain of salt), in 2008, there were more books self-published than published by traditional means for the first time in history. For those who got into the eBook publishing game that early, the following handful of years were truly fruitful. The eBook market expanded rapidly as people not only accepted digital books, but embraced them with amazing enthusiasm. Those authors made tidy little fortunes, some even went full-time or built up enough status to rival traditionally published bestsellers, and like James W. Marshall, those early success stories had budding authors all over the world flocking to self-publishing in droves.

But that growth stage of endless opportunity is over now.

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The 10-Step Checklist for Self-Published Authors

Dear aspiring authors,

This post is for you. This post applies to especially those of you who are considering self-publishing your book. I write it, because it needs to be said, and because I want you to avoid the frustration, upset, and anger I see boiling up in the Indie community every day.

For those of you who don’t want to read through the entire list, here’s the main idea: Do your homework. It’s not just about putting your book out there; it’s about doing it in a manner that will reflect well on you as an author and publisher–because that is what you will become. It’s not just about the art of creating something out of nothing; it’s about conducting your business professionally–because that’s what it is: a business. It’s hard work, and it doesn’t stop when you hit the Publish button. Are you ready for that?

If you’re planning to self-publish, you should be. By going this route, you are taking on the responsibility for everything you put out there, from this moment forward. It’s all on you. Even if you hire professional editors, cover artists, formatters, etc., the final published product is yours, and no one else’s. Readers won’t see what you intended, or what you wanted to do. They won’t see your financial or personal struggles–and they shouldn’t. Your readers are your customers; they’re paying for a product that has your name on it, and you owe it to them to give them the best product you are capable of producing.

For those who want more details, here’s my little 10-step decision tree:

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Facebook Advertising: The Second Wave

CatchMePopUp

For those of you following my marketing hijinks, you might have seen this post from last year, detailing my first attempt at running a Facebook ad. This year, I decided to repeat the experiment with slightly different parameters. Instead of advertising a single retailer purchase page, I directed people to sign up for a free novella. Everyone loves freebies, right? So here’s how it went…

Unlike last time, I only had one ad in my set, and it looked something like this:

CatchMeAd

Note the # of people reached… My FB Ad manager gave me different numbers. But I’ll get to that…

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DIYDay Lesson 23: Facebook Advertising – A Case Study

Marketing, marketing, marketing: the life of an author when not writing, writing, writing. Like it or not, if you want your books to sell, you have to tell people it’s out there. Sometimes, Lady Luck smiles down on you and you strike gold. Most of the time, however, you just keep trying different things, repeating what works, dropping what doesn’t. This cycle has recently led me to try out the Facebook advertising option, and I decided I might as well share the results with all my lovely author friends. This will be a brief walk-through of how to create a Website click Facebook ad campaign, and an overview of the results I got from mine. Be warned: lots of text and numbers follow. Hopefully, it helps someone, since it didn’t do all that much for me… (spoiler alert)

 

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DIYDay Lesson 22: Formatting Books for Print – How Not To Lose Your Everloving Mind

Hello all my fellow authors and followers! It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, so I thought I would post about something that is of immediate relevance to me, as I am formatting an entire series for print. By myself. It’s going very well, though, thank you for asking. =) But it wasn’t as easy the first couple of times I’ve done it, so I thought I would share a few helpful tips and tricks on how to make the process quicker and much less painful.  So, here we go! For the purposes of this post, I will be using MS Word 2013, but these same tools are available in all versions of MS Word, just in different places. If you’re unsure, Google where to find them. 😉

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DIYDay Lesson 21: Graphics Editing – The Evolution Of A Book Cover

There are gifted individuals out there who can sit down at a brand new task and instantly excel at it. The rest of us learn by trial and error. And if we (yes, I’m mostly speaking about myself here) insist on going it alone, there is a lot of trial and error. What I’m sharing today is the evolution one of my self-made covers has gone through. It wasn’t the only one, by any means, but it was the one with the most revision. I do this to show you that sometimes stubbornness, perseverance, and versatility pay off. Most of the time, actually. Sit back, relax, and watch me screw up.

A lot. And then finally get it right. I give you…

 

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Author-y Stuff

Happy Friday to all! I write to you today for a couple of reasons. The first is to give you an update on Wolfen. Which is that I am about ten chapters away from finishing my first self-edit. And that means… Read More »Author-y Stuff