To be honest, I didn’t plan to be a self-published author. It’s something I stumbled into after several years of writing novels, seeking a publisher or agent, and being rejected. This was after my first novel was published by a small press that went out of business nine months later. And after I had a stroke that caused me to develop dystonia, a movement disorder that can drain my energy and motivation considerably.
My point is that if you’re going to self-publish, you should go into it fully informed. Self-publishing success doesn’t come from simply putting a book out there and waiting for readers to notice. You have to do some kind of marketing and promotion, if you wish to make a career out of self-publishing your work.
To have a sustainable career as a self-published author, you not only have to put in the time and effort to write your books, but you need to use every available resource to maximum advantage. This means creating a marketing plan. One that squeezes the maximum benefit out of each effort you engage in.
I know what you’re thinking. Not another social media marketing technique! But the truth is that it is a good idea for authors to have a Pinterest account. In fact, Pinterest has become (in effect) a search engine for people to find products. And your book is a product, after all.
But, you may ask, how can I sell books on Pinterest? It’s not a terribly interactive online space. How will I interest readers in my work there? Here are some statistics from SproutSocial that may convince you.
Would it surprise you to know that millennials use Pinterest as much as they do Instagram? In fact, half of adults aged 18 – 34 use Pinterest at least once a month.
If you’re going to take the indie author route, it’s essential to understand your rights under Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) contract.
When you self-publish your work through KDP, you are signing a contract with Amazon.
You’ve probably seen it on Twitter or Facebook or in your email box. The 30-day money back guarantee offer that you can make boatloads of money if you just follow this or that program. It’s guaranteed or your money back. If you cancel within 30 days. Ahem!
The truth is you don’t need anyone’s
overpriced advice. Or if you do decide to shell out the bucks, you’d best be prepared to wait more than 30 days to see results. Kind of makes the 30-day guarantee a bit of a joke, doesn’t it? 🙂
I’m going to make a big assumption here (which is no doubt foolish) and start with the idea that most creative professionals are a bit daunted by the notion of dealing with the technical aspects of owning your domain name. You do know what a domain name is, right?
Okay, let’s start with that. A domain name is that part of your website that comes after the “www” part. Simple, right?
In my case, the domain name for my author website is debbimack.com. Just [myname][dot]com. This is the way most authors do it, anyway.
Now, here’s why it’s important to own your domain name.
When you create your own content, that material has intellectual property (IP) rights attached to it. You, as the creator and owner of these rights, can exploit them or license them as you see fit and earn income from that.
Therefore, if you’re an indie author or indie creator of any sort, you should become familiar with your IP rights and explore the various ways to generate income streams from them.
In the case of books, this can include creating various formats, such as print (hardcover, paperback, large print, etc.), digital (i.e., Kindle .mobi, everyone else .epub, PDF), audiobook, and different adaptations (film, podcast, radio, graphic novel, etc.).
I’ve blogged here about my own fitful ventures into the field of indie films. However, today on this blog, I’m featuring an awesome Q&A with talented indie filmmaker Cassiah Joski-Jethi. She’s currently crowdfunding a new short film, Kindling. You can check out the campaign here or click on the above photo. Cassiah recently completed another short film, Woman of the Night. And, for what it’s worth, I’ve previously mentioned Cassiah’s film, Polly, on yet another blog.