Coronovirus has caused me much deliberation this week. Was the slight tickle earlier in the week just a regular cough or something more sinister? (the former). Do I want to be in a large crowd? (there were only 40 attending and a nice big space to spread out in). Do I want to travel on the tube? (my lovely husband drove me door-to-door). I decided to attend the Self-Publishing Course run by Jericho Writers. I was so pleased that I did. Great sessions by Melissa Addey and Harry Bingham.
Here are a few key points:
Read, read, read – everything about self-publishing – particularly Mark Dawson, Joanna Penn and David Gaughran.
Treat writing (and getting published) like it’s a job.
If you have a choice, write in popular genre areas – not obscure. Readers always want more books like their favourite novels.
A series works better than stand-alone for self-publishing.
Build your writing CV – any relevant past experiences, writing successes, education and courses in creative writing.
Write a Business Plan – what do you want to achieve in six months/one year? Create opportunities and stalk your prey.
Go narrow – exclusive to Amazon as it also gives you Kindle Unlimited (together they make up 80% of book sales) and it’s worth more £ than going wide (Kobo, Apple, etc).
Your email mailing list is absolutely crucial.
You’ll need a ‘reader magnet’ (something specific and exclusive) to giveaway to your ‘reader club’ – a prequel to your novel works well.
The text of your book matters more than anything else.
The cover is the first key step in your conversation with your reader. The cover, title and blurb must all define and solidify the theme/genre of your book.
Don’t start traffic to your book until everything is perfect – text, cover, book description, genre and sub-categories, keywords, e-book, reader magnet and website.
Use links in book one to direct readers to your next book and also to a page on your website where they can order ‘my free e-book’ in exchange for their email address.
Reviews – don’t cheat and get friends and family to write them. If reviews not written by actual readers of your genre, it messes up the system. Amazon needs to learn who your real readers are so it can recommend your books to them.
Outsourcing – self-publishing can be supported by companies like Bookouture.com (via submissions) or Sam Pearce at Swatt-books.co.uk – package costs £3800 for 80k book (not including marketing).
Phew – plenty for me to get on with during Coronovirus self-isolation if it comes to that!
Stay well everyone.