From events, to emails, Skype calls and Facebook messages I receive many questions about self/independent publishing. I use this blog to write actionable articles I hope you find useful and can put into action with your own publishing goals.
Which I hope you’re kicking in a big way!
Bigger articles allow me to go deeper on a topic, but I thought, how about consolidate some answers to some of the frequent questions I receive in a Q & A post. So here we go.
Q. I’ve heard about these other self publishing companies like Trafford, Archway Publishing and Author Solutions. Should I use them?
A. Absolutely not! These companies have ridiculous, inflated service prices that produce very average results at best. These companies prey on the naive writers who haven’t informed themselves enough or know any better. They pull people in, take $7000 – $10,000 from them, only to kick them out with a sub par book that is priced outside the competitive market. Please stay away from all of them. If you get stuck you can always email us at Book Cover Cafe with your question.
Q. How much should I sell my eBook for?
A. By in large, I’ve found $2.99 to be a sweet spot. Pricing your Kindle book on Amazon between $2.99 and $9.99 means you can receive 70% royalties rather than 35% for any lower than $2.99. This also allows your book to be an easy consideration for readers trying out a first time author, while avoiding the 0.99c throw away, bargain bin stigma. Any higher than $4.99 and you’re starting to go outside the realm of being competitive as a new author. This can depend on your genre or book topic, so be sure to observe what other books are selling for in your genre or category.
Q. I heard someone talk about a squeeze page and landing page, what are they?
A. Often they are both referred to as the same thing. These are simply a dedicated website or blog page that is focused around one thing, like a product, a book, or an event. The page is stripped of all your common website or blog attributes like sidebars, menus and links to avoid all distractions. This helps focus the reader on the main offering and call to actions. It’s a common and powerful tool businesses and online brands use to convey the value of a piece of content or product offering. Many non-fiction authors that are online savvy with good platforms use these well for selling their books and consulting services with excellent results.
Q. What does P.O.D mean and how does it work?
A. P.O.D stands for ‘Print on Demand’. It’s a print process that has come along way in the last few years and has helped fuel the growth of independent publishing. Unlike offset printing where large print runs into the thousands is required in order to keep print costs to a manageable level, P.O.D allows publishers, authors, printers and retailers like Amazon to print books one at a time as they’re ordered. It’s a cost effective way to have print books available without having thousands of print books blocking fridge access at home, while reducing the need for publishers to pulp unsold books.
Q. What should I use for setting up my author website and blog?
A. Use WordPress.org as your software of choice. This can be used for websites and blogs, due to it’s versatility. Unlike WordPress.com and Blogger.com, you’ll own control, your content and have the ability to setup things like email lists effectively with your own ‘AuthorName.com‘ domain and an installation of WordPress.org. All you need is a host provider, your domain name and a good premium theme design. That’s it. The core WordPress software is free.
Q. How do I stop people pirating my eBooks?
A. You can’t completely, but this isn’t what you should focus on. If someone wants to pirate your book, take it as a complement, because only products with a level of notoriety or market visibility are pirated if pirates think there is a demand. Pirating is not something you should spend energy concerning yourself with. Obscurity, not piracy is what you need to overcome as a new author.
Q. Do I have to do all the marketing myself?
A. Your platform building and ongoing promotions is up to the author, whether you independently publish for profit or go through a traditional publisher. How much or how little you do, will largely depend on what genre or topic you’re writing on and the time you allow. Here’s an article with 7 book marketing plan strategies to get you started. Just ask yourself; how hungry are you to receive some income from readers enjoying your writing?
Q. Will I need a barcode for my print book?
A. Yes all print books require an ISBN and a barcode, which is derived from the ISBN. Most printers will give you a free barcode for your ISBN.
If you have any questions send them in and we’ll be happy to answer them and help you get past any sticky points. Just use this contact form or simply reply to any issue of the Book Cover Cafe newsletter.
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