Has Anyone Found Success With Self-Publishing?

Has Anyone Found Success With Self-Publishing?




The other day I came across a post in a Facebook group in which an author asked the question:  “Has anyone found success?”

The author, who had self-published on Amazon, said she did everything she was meant to do in the self-publishing process. But she was not making enough money. 

This author was only making US$100 month and she was wanting to make a lot more. Some of the things she had done included:

  • building an email list of 6000 people with a 50% open rate    
  • setting up an ARC (Advanced Review Copy) team so that she had plenty of positive reviews    
  • online book promotions 
  • professionally designed covers  
  • carefully optimised book listings
  • a profitable niche
  • 12 books published on Amazon

So where was this author falling down? What was she not doing right?

Her mentor analysed the publications and this is what he found:

  1. In the Descriptions on the listing pages, there were Warning Disclaimers which prospective customers may have found off-putting.
  2. Each of the multiple short books were stand-alone copies which would have been much better presented as a series.
  3. There were no links in each book driving the reader to the next book. 
  4. The email list needed to be cleaned up to get rid of the inactive users.
  5. The titles were long and contained too many words.
  6. Release dates were inconsistent – some were 3 weeks apart while others were just one week.
  7. There was no brand consistency – all the books were going everywhere and nowhere.
  8. Each book cover looked different as if the books had been written by different authors and even belonging to different genres.
  9. Books were not in the right categories.

It’s not always easy self-publishing your book, is it?. There are so many moving parts, and somehow, you have to get them all moving in unison.

Here is what you can learn from this analysis.




Master how to optimise your book’s listing to ensure it is optimised for success. Even before you write and publish your book a sound idea is to work out all the metadata you need to maximise your book’s discoverability.  

  • Use keywords in your title but make sure you do it in a way that sounds natural and that you are not criticised for keyword stuffing
  • Come up with multiple keywords that relate to your book idea choosing high potency keywords ie. words with high search volume and low competition. Use long tail specific keywords and fill in the 7 keyword slots that are available for your book’s listing.
  • Choose 10 categories. While you’ll only choose 2 categories when you first list your book you’ll eventually choose another 8 categories
  • Write a compelling description which at the end of the day is really a sales page for your book. Try to use HTML formatting as this helps the customer read through the Description more effectively.




A strategy for promoting sales is a series. Customers can become loyal not only to a series but to you, the author. 

Create multiple, short books which would be suitable to be part of a series.  Use the first book in the series as the lead book and keep referring customers back to that first book. 

After you’ve published other books in the series you might drop the price to .0.99c for that first book. Keep on promoting that first book.




Create brand consistency. You may do this by having a common element in the title. 

For instance, there may be one word that you can use in each of the titles, for example, “In Paradise,” “Naked in Paradise” Buried in Paradise.”

The book’s cover can have a similar style and maybe with linking colours. Make it easy to see that each book belongs, or is connected to the others.

You can do this with fonts, colours, and where you place the author’s name. There are lots of things you can with the covers to create stylistic unity.




Plan in advance the timing of your book releases. If you have 5 books in your series decide if they will be released every month, every three months, or twice a year.




Have your books drive traffic from one book to another. At the back of each book have links to the other books in the series so that you are driving your customers from one book to the next one and also, always to that first book in the series.




To have an email list would have to be the most important asset any author could have, and this would have to lie at the heart of any author’s marketing campaign. Keep building your email list and keep it up to date.


At the end of the day, never stop learning. Keep on learning to be a better writer and mastering the craft of writing. And remember if you are planning to write fast, and produce lots of books to publish on Amazon, don’t sacrifice your writing quality for speed.

For more tips on how to self-publish on Amazon join the Facebook group – Fast Self-Publishing Online.


Fast Self-Publishing Online

Marji Hill

Author and Coach

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