Have you ever dreamed of writing a book and adding “author” to your list of accomplishments? 📘 Or maybe you already have a book under your belt and are wondering whether self-publishing is the way to go for your next one?
Zoetica Media founder Kami Huyse and eCommerce business consultant Veronica Jeans have answers! Both have used self-publishing to establish their expertise, increase their visibility, and build powerful networks.
They shared insights gleaned from co-authoring The Most Amazing Marketing Book Ever and writing the bestselling Shopify Made Easy series, respectively, during a recent Houston Social Media Breakfast.
People are eager to learn from you
“If you are in business you have knowledge, you have expertise. Somebody out there wants it,” says Veronica. “A lot of people want to read, they don't want to just go to webinars…they don't just want to watch videos.” Kami advises making sure you’re clear about the exact reason you’re writing a book: “It may not be that you're trying to be a bestseller or sell a bunch of books, it may be you're [using a book as] your calling card when you go somewhere.”
Use tools to help you along
Veronica recommends using Scrivener to write your book and Vellum to format it. Meanwhile, she suggests using Get Covers as an affordable book cover design service. She also cautions people not to forget to regularly back up what they’ve written. “Back it up online because if something happens to your computer, then you can't get to your book because it's obviously gone.”
Know your e-book and physical book release dates
If you choose to publish both an eBook version and a physical copy of your book, know that the release dates are different. On Amazon, “you’ll upload [the files of] your Kindle book and your [physical] book, and the Kindle book will go live much faster,” explains Kami.
Market your book with the right categories
When releasing a book on Amazon, authors have a choice of two categories under which to market their book. Veronica recommends using the more popular one, even though there will be a greater number of competitors, because it will get the book in front of a larger audience. Later on, there’s an option of adding more categories. “You can ask Amazon to add eight more categories, so you're going to have 10 categories for your book, which is a huge deal,” she says.
Budgeting for advertising
Veronica recommends setting an daily upper limit on advertising, noting that her Amazon limit is $5 USD per day. She pays about 25% of her total sales amount on ads, adding. “I’ve never spent more than $250 a month.”
Getting paid takes time
When selling on Amazon, authors don’t get paid until 90 days later. If they also sell their e-book as a Kindle Unlimited version (Amazon’s Kindle subscription service), the size of payments varies based on how many pages readers actually consume, Veronica explains.
Sales rankings shift up and down
Amazon sales rankings are continuously updated, so Kami and Veronica advise taking a screenshot of a high ranking to use as social proof that the book performed well. “I literally have been in the top 100 [in sales in my category], and I go up and I go down,” Veronica shares. Online reviews have a major impact on sales, so it behooves authors to ask their fans to write an honest review and share it online. However, as Kami points out, Amazon will reject a Kindle review if the buyer hasn’t read at least a part of the book.
Market your book before it’s released
One of the biggest mistakes Kami sees authors make is not thinking ahead. “You would just go in and write your book, and labor away at your book, and work really hard at it, and get it edited, and then all of a sudden [say] ‘here's my book’ and people are like, ‘who are you?’” Instead, she says that “whenever you're putting the book together you need to talk about it, you need to be showing people different parts of it.”
To hear more of Kami’s and Veronica’s tips and insights, watch the replay of the livestream.