Is it really worth it?
I didn’t know that if you include self-published titles, somewhere around 3,000 books are released every day. Bestselling authors are the equivalent of making it to the Football Premiership. So, I know I am on a hiding to nothing, and I have to set myself realistic standards. At the moment I write about my passions which are History and Music. I cannot follow the latest craze like making cupcakes, or self help books. Frustratingly, publishers sometimes give in to these trends, and the market is awash of similarly titled books. (ugh)
There are a lot of several learning curves when starting out especially for non-fiction. I have found that research is an art form by its self, and trying to master social media has its moments. I use Adobe Indesign for laying out and formatting the book, sorry you Microsoft Word fans, and I know worked in conjunction with Scrivener, it is getting better, but as an old-time printman, I like the flexibility it gives me. But now the book is finished, I want to bring my work to the widest possible audience and try to establish myself as someone who is half knowledgeable about his passion.
I would like also to help and share as much knowledge as possible to meet as many fellow authors and readers as possible. It’s not that easy though.
I want to be successful as an author and it would mean a great deal as I am basically nearing the end of my working career. I wrote “Making a Difference” whilst working full-time in a completely different industry, so the satisfaction of publishing my work not only gives my self-esteem a boost,as i am now unemployed and the scrapheap beckons, but I need to focus on who I want to be as an author and how serious to take the job in order to give me the best chance of making that dream a reality. (thank you GQ for a great record Arista 1980)
I want to achieve small goals at first, and if I sell 100 books which is the norm for a first time publisher, I will be over the moon. In order to try new skills and I am doing a short speech and Q7a session to promote the book at my local library on October 2nd. Its something that I have never done before and nervous is an understatement. I’d would like to build up a healthy readership ready to purchase my next book when it comes out but here lies another problem as it will be a different genre, so marketing might have to start from scratch again. But once I pass that first bar, I can give myself another small mile-post to keep me on the right road.
I am not going to lie this has been a major problem, and I have been helped by a couple of people who have polished my manuscript. I can’t afford a publicist to help me market my book. I have done a lot of the groundwork creating original content, doing events like the one I have just mentioned and being active on social media of which I am still learning. Even when your manuscript is finished and uploaded, the writing might be done, but your job as an author is just getting started. The two roles are separate, and if you don’t have any desire to participate in the former, you are only dipping your toe in the water and your efforts at putting your words down on paper will go to waste.
I try to do 5 hours every weekend and I am just realising how much room you need for book promotion. I have not got a name or a million followers on YouTube / Instagram / so no one will care about my book if i don’t put the work in.
I didn’t consider this when I was laying out my overall budget; Please as a word of warning to all self publishers, put money aside when starting your book otherwise you’re investing a lot of time and money in producing a book that no one will ever see. It takes both money and time to successfully launch a book. If like me your budget is low then don’t fret; you just have to make up in persistence and hard toil to make up what you lack in pound coins.
Reaching the right audience?
No book is for everyone, and my job is to reach as many people in my genre as I possibly can. I made the mistake of casting too wide a net in selling my first book which got me nowhere, especially now I know the deluge of new books that become available to readers on a daily basis. I am still trying new ways to find those who have the best chance of becoming my readers. I am presuming my audience will be between the ages of thirty-five and sixty-five who love any sort of history being political or local. That’s what I am honing in on these exact details, when starting to use Facebook and Twitter advertising. Although My budget is not very big, and I don’t know if it will make a big difference.
OK that’s where I am at now on this self publishing journey. Please feel free to comment on any aspect of a book you have just published.