Are you an author and you wonder how to make money from your writing?
Self-publishing has changed the game for writers, allowing them to publish their books on their own terms. But with so many self-published books out there, how do you find success?
You just need to know the right steps and have some patience.
The following tips are tested methods that will help you to make money faster with self-publishing:
- Create A Website
- Digital Publishing Platforms
- Marketing Strategies
- Social Media Platforms
- Affiliate Programs
- Writing Reviews
- Selling eBooks
- Selling Audiobooks
It’s not enough of course. The first step in self-publishing is coming up with an idea for your book that people will want to read.
You might be thinking: “I don’t need a blog post about how to come up with ideas!” But this article isn’t about coming up with ideas—it’s about making money from those ideas!
Stay with us and you won’t regret it!
1. What is Self-Publishing and How Does it Work
Self-publishing is a way to write and publish your own book independently.
Self-published books are usually created by independent authors, however, they can also be written by traditional publishers who want to release their book without the restrictions of a contract.
These authors have to do all the work themselves, from finding editors and designers to getting distribution and marketing set up. The upside is that authors are in control of the process and can make as much money as they want.
Generally speaking, here’s how to self-publish a book:
- Find an editor. Editors will help you fix up your manuscript, follow standards for grammar, syntax, punctuation, etc., and prepare you for ebook and print formats.
- Find a designer. Designers will create your book cover, layout the interior of your book so it looks great on every screen size (remember that computer screens are getting bigger), produces images for social media posts, does marketing graphics, and more.
- Create an author website or blog to promote yourself and your books. Use this site to make announcements and insights into future projects you’re working on.
- Set up distribution through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing service (KDP), which gives authors access to readers around the world in over 190 countries, Apple iBooks store, Google Playbook Store, Kobo Writing Life bookstore, Barnes & Noble Nook Bookstore, and many others! The most important thing is to make it as easy for readers, whether they are in Australia or Argentina, to find and download your book.
- Put a price on the product that you think makes sense. Consider how much time went into writing this book and editing it. You want to offer something people will be willing to pay for. Amazon pays author’s a royalty of 70% for books priced between $0.99 and $200, and Royalties only decrease if you set the price higher than that range!
2. How to Get Your Book Ready for Publishing
Many different steps need to be completed for a book to be published, and the first step is getting it written!
Write the Book
The first thing that needs to happen before someone can publish their book is writing the manuscript. This may seem like an easy task but it can take years or months depending on how much time one has available.
It’s best not only to write down what you want your readership to know but also think about the layout of your work: what font size and style should you use? How many pages should it be?
Make sure you edit as well as possible so you avoid any embarrassing mistakes from being published.
Steps for Editing
- Read it out loud. If something doesn’t sound correct, fix it! Add a comma here or there to make sure the sentence is clear and concise.
- Let someone else read through your work. Friends are great for this because they know you best but if not, you can always hire an editor.
- Run spellcheck. It may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s best to be safe than sorry!
Contact your Printer
The last thing you want is to go through all of this work only for the printer not to have enough time to get it accomplished in time for distribution. Plan ahead and schedule accordingly!
3. Tips for Marketing your Book
Writing a book may seem like the end of your journey, but it is just the beginning. The real challenge comes in marketing that manuscript for success.
To do it correctly, you should:
- Keep in contact with your readers.
- Be creative and think outside the box to make a marketing plan for your book.
- Provide great customer service, not just while they’re reading your book but also after its release (e.g., sending them an email thanking them or giving out freebies)
- Be persistent with your marketing campaign.
There are many ways to market your book, but the most important thing is to not give up! Don’t be afraid of rejection either because it’s normal.
It can take a while before you find someone who will buy and read your book; however, with perseverance, you’ll eventually find success!
4. How to Make Money with Self-Publishing
Self-publishing is the best way to make money with writing and publishing.
The following tips are all about how to self-publish and get your book out there in front of an audience, for a low cost or even free.
Create A Website
Setting up your own website is the best way to promote your book and make sales. If you have a blog, you can use it instead of setting up an additional site.
You may want to consider hiring someone to design or update your site for added professional quality that will help in marketing.
Digital Publishing Platforms
Create a profile on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Apple’s iBookstore, or Kobo Writing Life. You can also sign up with Draft to publish your book for free and then list it on all these platforms later.
Promote yourself as an author by building a mailing list and marketing your book through Facebook ads or other social media channels such as Twitter.
Share excerpts of the first chapter to generate interest before you release it so that readers are more likely to purchase the whole story when it becomes available.
Social Media Platforms
Use any of these popular sites – LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest – to build connections with others who share common interests about books or writing in general.
Utilize every opportunity to network with other authors and book editors in your field, even if it means traveling for a conference. The more people you meet, the more collaborations you will get (hopefully!).
Check out programs such as Amazon Associates or Ebates where you can earn money by recommending products from these sites on your blog or social media profiles.
Include links to related books that are available on these platforms so readers can purchase them easily while they’re browsing around your content – this is also an effective way of generating affiliate income without having to write any additional posts about specific products.
If you’re an avid reader, consider writing reviews of self-published books on your blog and linking to the author’s website from it so they can purchase their book through your link as an affiliate marketer.
This is also a great way for readers to find new authors that share similar interests without having to browse through the entire Amazon store.
Consider selling your own self-published books on platforms like Smashwords or Draft to Digital, which will distribute them through other vendors including Kobo and Barnes & Noble.
This is a great way for readers who have devices that don’t support Kindle formats to enjoy their work as well. You can also sell your own print-on-demand titles on sites like Lulu.com and Createspace.com, which will distribute to Amazon as a third-party vendor.
If you have a story that would translate well to the voice, consider selling your audiobook on Amazon. You can also sell them through Audible’s site and iTunes.
It’s important though to make sure they are of high quality (appropriate recording equipment) as this will be one of the deciding factors in how much your audiobook sells.
Last but not least..
Simply writing good material, and linking to it where appropriate, is still the best way to make money through self-publishing.
Quality always wins over quantity, never forget!
5. The Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing
If you’re considering self-publishing your book, there are a few things to consider before diving in.
You’ll need to decide what kind of publishing deal is best for you and your work: traditional or independent publishing? Do you want help with editing, marketing, distribution? How much money do you have to spend on this project?
Self-publishing doesn’t mean that no one will know about it if it’s not marketed well, but don’t expect someone else to do all the work on this front.
If you’re serious about selling books and making money as an author, then marketing should be part of your plan from day one.
Generally speaking, these are the main advantages and disadvantages of this method.
- You have full control of the publishing process and the final word on everything from the cover design to content.
- Your book is automatically available to purchase in all online stores, such as Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble (in most cases). Gone are the days of trying to get a bookstore owner’s attention at your local bookstore to get your book on the shelf.
- You have complete control over pricing and discounts, allowing you to set a reasonable price or offer it at an affordable rate without any restrictions imposed by third parties for people to purchase your work.
- There are no guarantees that anyone will find out about your book if you don’t market it yourself – which can be expensive and time-consuming, with little guarantee of success. Without someone else taking care of distribution and marketing, these tasks fall squarely on the author’s shoulders (if they’re not already busy enough). If this is too much for one person then a team effort may make more sense given all the moving parts involved in getting books into readers’ hands from the initial, but that’s not a guarantee of success either.
- You don’t get the professional editing and formatting that are provided by publishing houses, so your book will need to be edited before it can even come close to competing with books from major publishers in terms of quality (unless you’re willing to spend more money hiring an editor). Books published through traditional channels have gone through this process already.
Self-publishing is an excellent way to make money. It can also be a great hobby and creative outlet for those with the skill set to do it well.
We’ve shared a lot of tips on how you can make money, but we want to end with the most important piece.
If you truly want to succeed as an author and create financial stability for yourself or your family, then be consistent! Write every day if possible.
Keep improving by reading books about writing craft and story development. Join social media communities where other writers share their successes and failures so that you can learn from them too.
And don’t forget this one-word truth – patience is key! Give it time before expecting any major results; there are no overnight success stories in publishing these days because everyone wants instant gratification, but great things take work overtime.