How To Be Creative In Lockdown

How To Be Creative In Lockdown

 

Despite all the negatives associated with lockdown – uncertainty, loss of income, fear, physical separation from loved ones, lack of social interaction, losing freedom, and the inability to lead a normal existence, let’s see how lockdown in this pandemic can be used creatively.

Lockdown could be the perfect opportunity to do all the things you never had time to do before. If you are a writer or artist, or some other kind of creative, count yourself lucky.

 

Creative

If you like to be creative maybe writing a book, self-publishing, making artwork, writing an article, building a website, anything of a creative nature – means that you have a project that you can throw yourself into. In a lockdown, there is every chance that you have more time on your hands.

You could be so busy that you wouldn’t have time to be lonely or bored.

Using time productively

 

You may very well have more time but are you using it productively or creatively?

Perhaps the temptation is there to stay in bed for another hour or two. Perhaps you are lacking the motivation to do anything, or perhaps you just don’t feel like doing any of the things you think you should be doing. You just procrastinate.

A common challenge for many aspiring authors and self-publishers is time – just not having enough time. If you want to manage yourself better in this regard

  • get some clarity on what it is you’d like to achieve.
  • examine what you are doing with the extra time you now have available.
  • do a time audit.

Time

Time audit

 

With TIME there are 24 hours day 7 days a week. That is absolute.

If you are challenged by time and find yourself frittering it away in lockdown identify the things you are doing that drain your time.

How does time get away from you?

Do you know what you are actually doing with your time?

If you are struggling because you are losing time do a time audit. This means tracking what you do each day over a 24 hour period and breaking this up into 30-minute time slots.  

This is a brutal exercise but it helps you to be honest with yourself. It gives you a baseline of how you are actually spending your time, and you may not like the results.  

A time audit can pinpoint those areas of your day that you need to work on and then you can plan ways in which you can generate more creativity.

Once you have completed the time audit analyse your data. What things have you been doing that have actually been stealing your time?

Did a family member distract you? Was there something on the television you just had to watch? Did you get sidetracked by doing a bit of housework? Did you start reading all your emails? Were you surfing the net?

Identify the pattern in your day to day activities and see where you are losing time.

Move forward and manage yourself more effectively. You will find more creative time by examining your activities and ranking them.

  • Identify the tasks that should take up most of your time
  • Identify tasks that are important but which are not a top priority
  • Identify tasks or activities that blatantly waste your time.

When you manage yourself and your time successfully and practise it, you will find more time to be creative. You will still fulfil life’s obligations and have the time for some rest and recreation.

The top-secret to time management rests in understanding why you are pursuing a creative goal like producing a book, and then learning to prioritise tasks. It is this ability to prioritise and select the tasks that will drive you forward to your ultimate goal.

Apply these methods to living in lockdown and make the best of your extra time. Take advantage of this and tap into your creativity. 

Eliminate what is not necessary and arrive at a mental space in which you can move forward in your quest to achieving whatever it is you desire. Let lockdown be rewarding for you. 

Most importantly keep safe.

Marji Hill

Author and Coach

 

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Suffering From Lockdown Blues?

Suffering From Lockdown Blues?

 

 

If you are an author and are in lockdown, the challenge is to keep not only physically active but to ensure your brain is mentally active too.

Lockdown trauma

 

We live in an era of terrible uncertainty. For many lockdowns mean the trauma of losing income, not being able to connect physically with loved ones, being unable to engage in normal social activity, and not knowing what the future holds.

It’s a time when fear can take its toll.

Unfortunately, there seem to be no real answers; people are afraid and anxious.

Lockdown means you cannot physically connect as you would normally because of social distancing.

There is the challenge of loneliness which is not good for mental health. While physical contact is not an option in lockdown areas, it is possible with technological advances to connect with others through other means than just the telephone. 

Zoom, Facetime, and social media allow for a degree of connection and making contact with family and friends this way is preferable to having no connection at all.

Creative activity

 

Write a book

Count yourself lucky if you have a creative disposition. A project such as writing a book, an article, painting a picture, making jewellery, or some other kind of creative pursuit – means that you have a project that doesn’t have to start and finish all in one day. 

In the lockdown days ahead you have something to look forward to and which can absorb you.

I’ve spoken with a number of writers about their experience with the lockdown. Writing is a solitary pastime the implication being that for some lockdown is no real issue. Life in lockdown is not very different to their norm.

If you feel low because of self-isolation and are lonely, perhaps it’s possible to find comfort and satisfaction by becoming involved in some television episodes, or reading a book, or watching a movie that you can escape into.

Lockdown is the perfect time to do many of the things you never had time to do before. You probably find that you have more time, would I be right?

If you find that you have more time, lockdown may be the perfect opportunity to do all the things you never had time to do before. Doing that household chore like cleaning out the cupboard, rearranging a room, making a painting, learning a new language, writing the book you’ve always wanted to write, taking up a new hobby, putting together a jigsaw, reading a book could mean becoming so busy that you wouldn’t have time to be lonely or bored.

While the pandemic may be forcing us to be physically apart from loved ones and friends, in other ways, it has us coming together to support and encourage one another through other means like more telephone calls, WhatsApp, and Zoom. 

Lockdown can be a time in which you can unleash your creativity and use these tough times as a stimulus to get that book written and do all the things that you have spent years simply dreaming about.

 

Marji Hill

Author and Coach

 

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Amazon Or IngramSpark?

Amazon Or IngramSpark?

 

 

If you are planning to self-publish your book you may well ask: “Should I publish with Amazon or IngramSpark?”

In the world of independent publishing, dominant industry players are Amazon and IngramSpark. 

Some self-publishers take the Amazon route while others go with Ingram.

This raises the question. Which is better? Amazon or IngramSpark? 

Offerings

 

Both Amazon and IngramSpark offer:

  • Print On Demand (POD)
  • eBooks

While publishing on Amazon is free and there is no charge for revisions, IngramSpark does cost. On IngramSpark you pay $49 to publish and there is a fee for revisions.

Three common elements in both platforms are:

  • As the author, you are the publisher
  • Amazon and IngramSpark are the printers 
  • Distribution channels include the Amazon online shop, online stores, bookstores, libraries, and academic institutions

With Amazon’s KDP if you choose to expand your reach into other online booksellers, bookstores, libraries, and academic institutions that are not part of the Amazon ecosystem you can do so by selecting “Expanded Distribution”.

At one level IngramSpark is just like KDP, but it doesn’t have or own its sales platform like Amazon. But it does help you to reach bookstores and libraries.  

A major benefit of using IngramSpark, says Karin Wiberg, is that bookshops and other brick-and-mortar retailers are already used to buying books from Ingram. They are used to the distribution channel that is available.  

This brings us back to the question: should you as a self-publisher use the Amazon platform or IngramSpark?

Use both platforms

Print On Demand 

The solution is to use both. They complement each other. Not only that, but both platforms have a collaborative relationship.

In an IngramSpark blog Robin Cutler says “Ingram and Amazon enjoy a very collaborative relationship where human beings on both sides work tirelessly to improve the experience for our collective publisher and author content providers.”

Where the Amazon model is based on the classic direct sales method and facilitates the author-publisher selling directly to its customers IngramSpark is more traditional involving a middle-man who buys from IngramSpark and distributes to customers.

The benefit of IngramSpark model

 

The real benefit of IngramSpark is that libraries and bookstores will buy through IngramSpark whereas they are unlikely to purchase from Amazon.  

Booksellers get a wholesale discount when buying through  IngramSpark and there is a returns policy. Wholesale discounts and a returns policy are not offered by Amazon.

By using both platforms self-publishers can maximise their marketing reach.

When starting out as a self-publisher keep things simple. Do your apprenticeship with Amazon and publish both Kindle eBooks and paperbacks.

Down the track, you may very well want to widen your distribution channels to maximise sales and profits by having your book distributed to libraries and bookstores. In which case use the IngramSpark platform as well.

If you plan on using IngramSpark as well

  1. Purchase your own ISBN from My Identifiers
  2. Set up your book on Amazon’s KDP but do not enable Expanded Distribution
  3. Then set up IngramSpark

As I mentioned earlier these two giants have a collaborative relationship so if you want to maximise your reach and maximise your potential market throughout the world you should think about publishing with both Amazon and IngramSpark.

How To Become A Self-Published Author Program

If you want to write a book within 30 days, publish it without breaking the bank, get it to market within 24 hours, and launch it successfully then this subscription program of 28 weekly online lessons may be for you. 

Learn every aspect of the self-publishing journey with the How To Become a Self-Published Author program.

 

Marji Hill

Author and Coach

 

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Market Your Books To Libraries

Market Your Books To Libraries

 

 

 

Market your books to Australian libraries

 

Does the concept of earning a passive income from getting your books into Australian libraries interest you?

If as a result of your marketing efforts you succeed in getting your books into public and educational lending libraries it is possible to generate a substantial, passive income that can go on for many years.

The Australian government has a program that compensates authors, publishers and other creators in recognition of income they lose when their books are borrowed in public and educational lending libraries.

 

market to Australian libraries

Public Lending Rights

The program is Public Lending Right (PLR) and Educational Lending Right (ELR).

These two programs are also designed to support the enrichment of Australian culture by encouraging the growth and development of Australian writing.

As an Australian book publisher or author, and this includes self-publishers, you may be eligible to be a recipient of the PLR and ELR programs.

Assuming you qualify, it means that every year you can receive a payment from the government for having your books in libraries.

Eligibility

How do you know if you are eligible? You need to visit the Public Lending Rights website.

Check your eligibility to receive PLR/ELR.

If you are eligible, your payment will be based on:

  • the estimated number of your books held in public and educational lending libraries;
  • the proportion of the royalties you receive for your books;
  • and the applicable rates for PLR payments and ELR payments.

This program applies to print books; as yet it does not include eBooks.

Before you attempt to claim PLR/ELR for your books there are certain pieces of the jigsaw that have to be put together before you make a claim.

Steps to making a claim

 

1. First of all, you need to buy an ISBN and register your book with an ISBN with Thorpe Bowker at My Identifiers.

Complete the registration and put the ISBN on the back of your title page, also known as the copyright page, of your forthcoming book.

2. Go to National Library of Australia and provide the details of your upcoming book with the Prepublication Data Service.

3. When the print version of your book is published send a copy of it to the National Library of Australia for Legal Deposit.

Australian publishers and self-published authors are required to send a copy of their print books to the National Library and relevant State Libraries for legal deposit. The legal deposit ensures that a comprehensive collection of published material relating to Australia and its people is preserved for the community and future generations.

Once you’ve got an ISBN for your book with My Identifiers, completed your Prepublication Data with the National Library of Australia, and sent a copy of your book to the Legal Deposit at the National Library of Australia, you can then proceed to claim your book for Public Lending Right and Educational Lending Right.

Just doing a claim for PLR, though, is not enough.

You will need to market your books to Australian Libraries.

If you want to understand more about getting a long term passive income from having your books in Australian libraries then schedule a complimentary strategy call with me.

 

Marji Hill

Author and Coach

 

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How To Sell Books Offline

How To Sell Books Offline

 

 

In this digital age, there is still marketing power promoting books offline. While the focus for launching your book these days is online an author can get fast results when they learn how to sell books offline.

There is a multiplicity of strategies to market and promote your book offline! A little bit of creativity adds to the effectiveness of offline strategies.

Make sales fast

 

Promoting your book offline can actually generate fast results and what does every author desire? Sales, of course – book sales.

There are unique, cost-effective and advantageous ways when marketing offline for getting in touch with potential clients.

Book launches, book signings, author talks, author interviews on radio and television, newspaper articles, a speaker’s circuit, flyers, and personal networking are proven and tested methods for marketing your book. These strategies can be leveraged to your advantage once you focus on your target audience.

Book launch party

 

Book launchWhen I self-published my first book on Amazon – both as an eBook and as a paperback – I organised a physical book launch. My venue was the Resident’s Lounge in the Q1 Tower on the Gold Coast.

In readiness, for the launch, I purchased a number of author copies of the paperback and had them shipped to my Australian address from the United States. This was long before Amazon started printing books in Australia.

Launch party mechanics

 

Once those books actually arrived here I started planning my book launch party.

An influential businessman agreed to be the guest of honour and his role was to officially launch my book. 

I sent out email invitations to the book launch and I made sure there was an RSVP date on the invitation. A friend did the catering and there was a delicious array of canapes, cheese and wine.

At the entrance to the launch room was a registration table supervised by a launch team member. As the guests arrived they would register their name, email address and mobile number the purpose, of course, being to grow my email list.

There was a sales table displaying my books. I wanted to facilitate immediate sales and made sure my merchant facility was available for credit card transactions. Another launch team member was responsible for “manning “ the sales table.

About 30 people attended the launch. The end result of this launch party was book sales and lots of promotion. Among the guests were people that I’d never met before so I was expanding my personal network as well.

Book launch

A reporter was present and I remember her providing me with quite a lot of online publicity about the event.

This book launch achieved its purpose: books sales, overall promotion and a wonderful personal networking opportunity.

Book launch venues

 

I’ve done a lot of book launches in my publishing career and some of the venues have included

  • Sydney Opera House
  • National Library of Australia
  • Parliament House, Canberra
  • a Sports Club
  • Art galleries

Various high profile personalities – government ministers, distinguished academics, Indigenous leaders – have launched my books.

Not every book launch has been a high profile event. There’s been room for low key events as well. Often I’ve done small, intimate launches with just a few people in the home. 

It doesn’t matter what kind of launch you have. The bottom line is – will your book launch event result in sales and good promotion.

Flyers

When you have a book launch or book signing or any kind of promotion create an attractive flyer. You can do this for free in Canva.  

It really doesn’t take a lot of effort or money to create an attractive flyer for your book. The flyer must be eye-catching and should include pertinent details such as your name, a reproduction of the book’s cover, details such as your website, email address and mobile number together with the date, time and place of the event. And don’t forget an RSVP date.

Flyers are then placed in strategic places where your target audience hangs out. Bookshops, libraries, churches schools, other appropriate places.

Combine offline methods with online strategies

 

While there is great merit in exploring offline opportunities to launch and promote your book there is even power when you combine offline marketing methods with online strategies.

Facebook Live is very powerful. Your physical book launch can be promoted online as a Facebook Event. Author interviews can be turned into YouTube videos. And of course, there are promotions that you can do on various social media platforms.

At the end of the day with selling books offline I encourage you  – just be creative and think outside the box.

Marji Hill

Author and coach

 

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Learn Self-Publishing Fundamentals Fast

 

Learn Self-Publishing Fundamentals Fast

 

 

Self-publishing on Amazon is easy. The challenges lie in getting lost in the detail and not being able to see the wood for the trees.

Fast Track Learning Curve

 

Learning curve

 

 

 

 

 

 

In essence you

A method for fast-tracking your learning curve for understanding the steps involved in self-publishing a book on Amazon is to create a short read Kindle eBook on Amazon and then complete the project within 30 days or less.

The preparation of the manuscript involves having it edited and formatted. It is then uploaded to your KDP account.

The easiest way to create a book cover is to use the FREE KDP Cover Creator. List your eBook on KDP by simply following the prompts, and then hit the Publish button.

If you take on this challenge your learning curve will increase dramatically. And once you’ve done this for the first time, the next time around is easy.

You’ll quickly become a veteran.

Speed Up The Learning Curve

 

Low content book

If you want to speed up your self-publishing learning curve even more consider publishing a low content book?

Don’t assume that when someone talks about books, you think of a book in terms of written content. You associate a book with having text.

But what about books with minimal text or no text?

 

Low Content Books

 

The low book content industry is popular and it is a thriving business model for many self-publishers.

Those wanting to earn an income from book publishing are benefiting from creating low content books because they require minimal to zero original written content.

They include publications like:

 

  • Notebooks
  • Journals
  • Guest books
  • Colouring books
  • Word games and puzzles
  • Prompt books
  • Planners
  • Diaries
  • Activity books
  • Sketchbooks
  • Children’s books

The Benefits

 

Low content books are:

  • Quick and easy to create
  • You get a lot of experience in self-publishing fast
  • You learn the art of creating book covers that convert
  • Develop mastery of all the fundamentals for successful selling: market research, title, keywords, categories, book description 

Thousands of self-publishers have joined the low content book niche. Jumping onto this bandwagon creators have pumped out millions of publications to the extent that they have possibly even saturated the market with low-quality journals.

If you want to speed up your mastery of self-publishing on Amazon then experiment with publishing low content books. They are a fantastic stepping stone to self-publishing your mainstream books.

  • Low content books are fast and easy to make
  • Learn what’s involved in the self-publishing process
  • Build your confidence

Start with Journals

 

If you decide to dig deeper into the low content book industry you might start with notebooks or journals. After developing mastery here then experiment with more complex interiors like colouring books, logbooks, daily planners, or children’s books.

Publishing low content books, particularly ones like notebooks and journals, is a way of doing your self-publishing apprenticeship.

Quickly learn the fundamentals of self-publishing and apply these to publishing your own mainstream books.

 

Book a FREE Discovery Call (Strategy Call) with me if you’d like to learn more and discuss your ambition to write and self-publish a book.

 

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Marji Hill

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8 Reasons Why Authors Need An Email List

 

8 Reasons Why Authors Need An Email List

 

Email marketing

Any writer serious about their career as an author will need an email list as part of their marketing strategy. This list would have to be the most important asset they could have.

I’m sharing eight reasons why an author should have a list because email marketing is a proven marketing method and it is an excellent way of engaging an audience so that your book sells.

Not only for sales, but email marketing is also an effective method of creating exciting anticipation about the books you are planning for the future.

In the past, the precursor of the email list was the names list and this was a central marketing feature of most businesses. Then along came the internet and email marketing.

Here are 8 reasons for having an email list.

Build an email list

1. Direct contact

Sending an email to a person puts you, the author, into direct and immediate contact with them. Rather than connecting with someone via a third-party platform such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn an email gives you direct access.

2. Control

You as the author are in control of your marketing when you send out email messages. You are not dependent on the distribution system of a traditional publisher. Nor do you rely on anyone else to do your marketing for you.

Most people check their emails each day so it’s your opportunity to send them your message straight into their inbox.

3. Regular contact

With email marketing, you connect with your subscribers on a regular basis. This is critical for your success.

Over time you message your subscribers about that new book you are launching, the manuscript you are currently working on or letting them know about a new blog post. The idea is to engage your followers with your brand.

Sending out emails on a regular basis keeps your subscribers informed about what you are doing as well as providing them with valuable content. 

4. Subscribers

The people that follow you are known as your subscribers. These are the ones who could be interested in buying and reading your book.

If these people have given you permission to contact them then when you release a new book you’ve got a list of potential raving fans to whom you can promote your book.

5. Build relationships

Build relationships with your subscribers. As this author-subscriber relationship evolves it eventually becomes a relationship of trust.

You keep these people up-to-date with your latest happenings and you share fresh ideas or tell them anything else that is relevant or of value. Over time this audience gets to know you, and to like you.

6. Increase income

Increase income with email list

An email list will help sales and so you will increase your income. Just imagine building a large list of subscribers of around 5,000 or 10,000 people.

Don’t you think there would be every chance that you would sell many copies of your book? Think of the difference if someone was trying to sell their book but they had no email list; they would most likely struggle.

However, with a large email list that you’ve been nurturing it’s a no brainer – you would inevitably be successful.

7. Ownership

As an author, you benefit from owning your email list. Even if you have large followings on social media platforms you still need to build your own email list.

The problem with having a large following on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest you don’t own those lists. How often have you heard that accounts have been blocked or suspended and you find that you have no access to your followers because you did not abide by their rules – you did not play their game and you’ve been relying on these platforms for your success.

As a priority, you need to direct your contacts to your email list the list that you own.

8. Reviewers

With an email list, you can build a list of reviewers. These become your review team – the people to whom you can send Advanced Review Copies (ARCS).

Whenever you release a new book you can tell the review team about your latest book. Those readers who receive an advanced copy of your book prior to its publication can then post a customer review on Amazon.

For these reasons then, if you want to develop a career as an author and do your own marketing, building an email list is such a valuable asset.

Book a FREE Discovery Call (Strategy Call) with me if you’d like to discuss your ambition to write and self-publish a book.

 

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Marji Hill

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How To Find The Time To Write

How To Find The Time To Write

 

 

Are you struggling to find the time to write? If time is your enemy then would you like to know how to find the time to write?

I recommend that you analyse what you actually do every 30 minutes over a 24-hour period. This is known as a time audit and is a time management strategy.

Time audit

 

Time management for authors

A time audit tracks what you do throughout the day or even for a week. Its purpose is to ensure that you are not fooling yourself into believing that seductive dream world where you think you are doing your best is actually real.

From time to time, create a 24-hour chart and break this down into 30-minute time slots. Document what you are doing every 30 minutes.

If you don’t want to do it the old fashioned way by drawing up a chart listing 30-minute time slots do it on an app.

Fill in the 30-minute time slots with your activity. Do not leave anything out.

Be brutal.

  • How long were your meals?
  • How long was it between sitting at your desk and then actually starting to work?
  • How long was your coffee break?
  • How many coffee breaks did you have?
  • How many toileting breaks?
  • Did you time your phone calls or just make an estimate?

Track EVERYTHING you do over a 24 hour period. 

Do this for a week. 

Boring?

Yes.

Essential?

Yes. Yes. Yes.

People say to me that they are so busy – busy, busy, busy – and that they work very hard. But there can be a very big discrepancy between what they think they do and what they actually do. 

It is essential to identify the things in your daily life that are eroding your time. 

What’s draining your time? 

Who or what’s stealing your time? 

Is it your family pouring through the open door into your workspace? 

How many calamities did you have to deal with?  

Were you distracted by a news event on television? 

Or a sporting event? 

Do visitors drop in unannounced?

Are you always surfing the net or getting distracted by social media? 

Learn to say “No”. 

If social commitments become a pressure and shrink your time, learn to say something like “Let me take a look at my diary and I’ll get back to you”. 

Classic time-wasters

 

  • Emails
  • Meetings
  • Perfectionism

I’ve come across a number of authors who want to produce a book but they let their need for perfectionism get in the way of their productivity. By trying to be perfect they set very high standards which they can never attain. 

  • Facebook  

Facebook would have to hold the current time-honoured position for being the most effective distraction to steal your time. 

  • Others making demands on your time 
  • Other people demand attention which can encroach upon your time. 
  • There are the visitors who decide to drop in and absorb your time. 
  • There are the household members, your family, who claim your attention.

The possibilities are endless unless you do something about it. 

It doesn’t stop there.

In addition, there are many other time-wasters: 

  • organising files on your computer, 
  • television, 
  • watching movies, 
  • YouTube, 
  • televised sporting events…

By doing a time audit it will become very clear to you where your time is going. If time is being wasted what can you do to rectify the problem? You have to set the boundaries for when and how you will allow the distractions to impinge on the one precious commodity you can never replace, and that is your time.

If you want transformational results, focus on how you are spending the time you have available. If you master your time well, you will be able to create a life balance.  

It won’t be always about sacrificing the activities you like to do. Your book will get written when you achieve time mastery.

 

Time management for authors

Productivity 

 

When you manage your time successfully and practise it, you will make time to pursue your creativity. You will become more productive and you will still include your life’s obligations and have time for some rest and recreation. 

Learn to eliminate what is irrelevant in your day-to-day and you will find that you have more mental space to move forward in your quest for productivity. 

If you fail to do this you will likely feel “busy” all the time. Many activities may not align with your ambitions so it’s possible to waste much of your valuable time on petty matters that do not move you forward on the path you want to travel.

Your life goals are important to you.

Don’t let anyone or anything steal them from you.

If you would like to book a Strategy Call (Discovery Call) about your self-publishing interests then press the green button to schedule a time. 

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Marji Hill

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12-Point Action Plan For Self-Publishing Success

12-Point Action Plan For Self-Publishing Success

 

 

1. Profitable niche  

If you publish a book you’d like it to sell, wouldn’t you? The very first step on your journey to success is to write in a niche that is popular with your market. This means researching your market because you want to publish a book that people want, not a book they don’t want.

Publish a book that has some chance of selling.

Find out if other books in your niche are selling and get an angle that’s a bit different to your competition. Even before you start writing your book doing your market research helps you to achieve your goal of publishing a book that’s going to be profitable.

2. Quality  

Create a quality book. Ensure that you are putting quality content out into the marketplace.

A good book will always be around. Ask yourself – does your manuscript have a pleasing interior, has it been professionally edited and proofread, and has the formatting been done by a professional?

3. Cover

Book cover

A book’s cover is the first thing a customer sees so an awesome cover helps a book to stand out in a crowded marketplace. Because the cover is the first impression a customer has of your book the cover can influence buying decisions.

The decision to buy is frequently made on how a cover looks.

The cover profoundly affects the ultimate success of a book.

4. Optimise Metadata  

Optimise your book’s listing on Kindle Direct Publishing(KDP) for success. Before you put pen to paper work out your metadata.

If you are clear on this in advance of publishing your book you will be maximising your chances of having the book discovered in the Amazon marketplace.  

By metadata, I’m referring to the title, categories, keywords and the book’s description. When talking about optimising your book’s listing I am referring to building the sales page which happens when you are listing your book on KDP.

5. Price 

As a self-publisher, you decide the price. You can keep changing your price.

If publishing an ebook, you may launch it at $0.99 and then later increase the price to $2.99 or more.

Pricing is something you can play with strategically depending on what it is you are trying to achieve. 

6. Multiple books/series

Produce multiple books in different formats – ebooks, paperbacks, audiobooks. Not only that make these multiple formats available in the various marketplaces around the world.

If you create a series of books you can have your books drive readers from one book to the next. At the back of each book, put links to your other books.

Customers can then be driven from one book to all the others.   To produce a series is a sales strategy because customers can become loyal not only to a series but to you as the author.

7. Reviews 

Customer Reviews, together with Editorial Reviews, provide credibility to your book and social proof. Implement a campaign to generate as many reviews as possible.

Reviews carry a lot of weight with Amazon. Amazon likes you to get reviews so work on a plan to secure them. 

8. Amazon’s promotional tools

Amazon offers a whole suite of marketing tools ranging from paid advertising to free promotional options that help authors reach their target audience on the Kindle store. These include Author Central, KDP Select, Kindle Countdown Deals and Free Book Promotions.

9. Author Central   

Amazon Author Central is in effect another author website. It gives you the opportunity to share the most up-to-date information about yourself and your books with millions of readers. It is a one-stop-shop for all information about you and your books on Amazon.

10. Author Website 

Your own author website, or blog, needs to be a focal point of your book marketing strategy. This is your primary online presence.

It’s your hub. From here you will connect with your readers and prospective readers.

On your website, your target audience will learn about you and your books. This audience will see your bio, your books, get an insight into the way you think, have links to your social media platforms, and be able to access the valuable content that you distribute in the form of blog posts.

11. Email list

In addition to your author website, build an email list. This list is your database. You own it.

The email list together with your author website would have to be one of the most valuable assets any author could have. 

Nobody, and no social media platform, can take it away from you. It’s yours and it’s your audience to keep and grow.

12. Marketing strategy 

Marketing involves both paid and unpaid strategies to promote your work and there are a plethora of methods that you can use ranging from online marketing to offline.  In the current world, a social media presence is essential for all authors.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Goodreads and YouTube positions you on the map and they help you to boost your audience. 

While online marketing is the primary focus for your marketing activities there is still marketing power in doing offline promotions particularly if you have published a paperback.

 

self-publishing successThere you have it: a 12-point action plan for self-publishing success.

 

If you want to learn how to become a self-published author, have access to tips, information and advice on getting your book written within 30 days, publishing it yourself without breaking the bank, and getting it into the marketplace within 24 hours even if you’ve never done it before then visit my

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Marji Hill

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Author website

Is An Author Website Necessary?

Is An Author Website Necessary?

 

 

Author website

 

Any author planning a career as a writer will be faced with the question – should they have an author website? The answer to this question depends on how serious they are about having a career as an author.

If planning a career as an author and wanting to publish books then clearly the answer is “Yes.”  An author does need to have an author’s website or blog.

Why have an author’s website?

 

An author website is fundamental to establishing an author platform. It’s from here that you tell your story and communicate to your followers information about you and your books.

From your website or blog, you will project your brand. Basically, this means the way you will present yourself and how your followers will perceive you.

Your author platform will lie at the heart of everything you do as an author and will be central to your marketing strategy. It’s a hub – your hub.

You the author are at the centre of your hub and your hub is like a wheel from which all things radiate.

Having an author website, then, is the starting point for building your author platform. From the website, you will communicate information about yourself, your images, books, reviews and testimonials, and sales pages.

The website will become your hub. From here you will communicate with your target audience promoting your book/s, selling your books, and advancing your career.

Author website

You the author will own and control it. The website is your vehicle where you will have all information about you and your books, the links to your books, perhaps even a shopping cart, and there will be a lead magnet to attract followers who will become part of your database.

You can create valuable content in the form of blog posts that are disseminated to your subscribers, and these blog posts will get indexed and ranked on search engines like Google.

You will be seen as an authority in your field of expertise.

From the links in the social media icons on your website, you’ll be able to connect to your various social media platforms allowing for an even wider distribution of your valuable content.

In addition, if you so wish, you may want to monetize your website with affiliate links to generate extra income.

How should you structure an author’s website?

 

An author’s website will be structured with various pages. There will be a

  • Home page
  • About page
  • Contact page
  • Promote your books page
  • Blog page
  • Legal pages such as the Terms & Conditions and Privacy pages
  • Lead magnet
  • Links to social media

When starting out just build a basic website. Don’t have all the bells and whistles or anything too high tech or fancy. Regard your website as a work in progress. Start simple and as you grow and develop as an author so too will your website grow and develop.

WordPress website

 

There are many other website platforms available but WordPress is recognised as the best and easiest platform to use.

And when I refer to WordPress I mean WordPress.org which is the most popular and the number one platform in the world.  WordPress has two platforms (1) wordpress.org, and (2) wordpress.com.

With WordPress.org you own and control it. This will allay any danger of losing your site just because someone else decides that it is against their terms of service. With wordpress.org you can choose your own hosting, you can customise it by choosing powerful themes and plugins, and if you want to you can monetise the website.

Learning curve

 

Author website

If all this is new to you there will be at first a steep learning curve but despite this, you can easily learn to build a website yourself and manage it yourself.

Start out by learning the basics, build a simple website,  and get it up and running. That’s all you have to do.

I did, and I’m not a techie type person.

How do you start?

  1. If money is no issue you can hire a web developer which means you’ll be investing anywhere from $500 to thousands of dollars.
  2. You can hire a low budget web developer on Fiverr
  3. If you are the techie type you can DIY
  4. If you want to learn yourself enroll in a course
  5. Find a mentor who can guide you

If you’d like to learn more about what is involved in building an author website, how to establish an author platform, how to outsource, ways to market your book, and in fact, if you want to learn every aspect of the self-publishing journey then consider joining the monthly subscription program How To Become a Self-Published Author.

ACCESS HERE the How To Become A Self-Published Author program. 

 

Marji Hill

Author and coach

 

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