Self-publishing: What I Will Do Differently Next Time

I loved my experience with self-publishing, from start to finish.¬†I enjoyed seeing all of the different pieces, knowing what I did and didn’t do, and being able to look back and make things better. My 46 day break-neck pace was a great learning experience, but not something I will shoot for in the future.

I’ve been enjoying bullet point lists lately, so please excuse my indulgence in this post. ūüôā

Things I will do differently next time:

  • Write a much longer rough draft. When panning for gold you have better chances with more raw material.
  • Do more rigorous self-editing. I heard this just recently from someone: “First, edit for yourself – it has to be fun for you. Next, edit for your audience in order to provide them something of value. Last, edit for your critics. What might they say to pick apart your argument? How can you preempt them?”
  • A/B test book titles and covers. I plan on doing some Google AdWords campaigns and looking into some testing sites.
  • Marketing.¬†The best book in the world doesn’t benefit anyone if they don’t hear about it and feel compelled to pick it up.

Other thoughts:

  • I don’t think I will do an e-book again. As an author, I know that when people purchase a book, they are buying ideas, insights and wisdom. The form those things take shouldn’t matter. But it does.¬†The most popular price for e-books on Amazon is $3.99. Much like Walmart, Amazon subscribes to a volume-based approach to sales. They wants a plethora of cheap products and make money by moving large amounts. This doesn’t help out authors, however. Amazon also forces you into certain programs in order to get the highest tier royalty package. While great for Amazon customers, this undermines sales for authors.
  • I’m still not going to build an email list. It seems like all of my Facebook advertisements now are for how to build an email list in order to distribute products. I didn’t do one for my first launch, and I am hesitant to ever do one. I have a junk email I use for all of the websites that ask for my email before they give me the things they promised. This, along with drip marketing campaigns, leaves a bad taste in my mouth. So after thinking about it for awhile, I ultimately rejected the idea.

I think self-publishing is valuable. I’m even working on another book. However, I’ve become much more interested in Amazon’s¬†Create Space company rather than¬†Kindle Direct Publishing. Create Space allows for a wide range of art to be produced. I’m looking forward to exploring it more.

Thanks for reading,

Ben

Self Publishing School

I’ve¬†wanted to be an author¬†since my mom first read me¬†The Chronicles of Narnia when I was in third or fourth grade. I marveled at how words could conjure up images and emotions and communicate ideas. When we first got an in-home computer, one of the first things I learned to do was use the word processor. I’m pretty sure my first book idea was a series called¬†The Unicorn Chronicles. I don’t think that is ever going to make it to print…

Since that time, the idea of being a writer has always bubbled in the back of my mind. Starting this blog was one attempt to satisfy that desire, but it didn’t quite hit the spot. Then I stumbled across¬†Self Publishing School¬†on Facebook.

For the price of my email address, I received an ebook called Book Launch and a four-part video teaching series designed to help me write and self-publish an ebook. I listened to the first video and read the book in an afternoon. I was so fired up afterwards that I started typing that same evening.

Chandler Bolt, the founder of Self Publishing School, made writing and publishing simple and clear. He broke down the different phases into the perfect size Рnot too small as to seem tedious, and not so large as to discourage execution. He made the whole process seem entirely doable. And it was.

I wrote the rough draft for Doing Good While Doing Well: Where Faith and Finance Meet in 10 days, from Nov. 17 through Nov. 27, 2016. Start to finish, from blank page to available in the Amazon store, the whole process took 46 days. Now, I will be the first to admit that my book is not the most amazing book you will ever read. But it is short, actionable, and filled with information that has been transformative for me.

My goal in writing DGWDW was to build my writing chops and demystify the whole self-publishing process. Chandler’s book was a great help with that. The quote that stuck with me and helped push me through such a blistering pace was “Done is better than perfect.” As someone who has dreamed of becoming an author for a long time, this was the perfect set up for me to succeed. Going through the process has only increased my desire to write because I now know how easy it is to get books out and in circulation.

For anyone who dreams of becoming a published author, Self Publishing School is the way to go. While I did not pay to go through the 90 course, I think it would be valuable if you feel like you need someone to help you clarify your ideas and hold your hand through the process. If you have a pretty clear idea of what you want to write about, and have the self-discipline to make yourself do it, the ebook Book Launch is enough.

I loved the process and am eager for more.

I look forward to reading your work soon.

Ben