YBR Publishing's Tips of the Trade
Truths About Self-Publishing
YBR recently received a solicitation email about "7 reasons why you should start self-publishing today" with lots of information about "why you should". The YBR founders began as self-published authors, were picked up by a publisher and were stuck in limbo when that publisher went out of business, and finally started their own imprint to continue their writing projects. So when we say that "we've been there, done that" you can take that to the bank.
We're printing the non-solicitation parts of that email with our replies in bold text below:
Self-publishing. It’s all the rage right now.
And for good reason.
Ever since this pandemic hit, people have been gravitating toward ebooks. And the self-publishing industry is booming because of it.
The publishing industry is experiencing serious growth. This recent Technavio market report predicts the publishing industry to grow by $23.7 billion during 2020 to 2024...fueled by indie and self-published authors, according to Yahoo! finance.
In many ways, today's self-publishing market feels like the Kindle-gold rush days of yore (i’m talking the reeeeeaaaally early Kindle days, more than a decade ago...uh oh, now I’m aging myself again...).
If you missed that early wave, you don’t remember how easy it was to self-publish and make an impact (and a profit).
Well, good news.
The ebook industry is booming, and because the market is more mature, it’s never been easier (or more lucrative) to start self-publishing.
REASON #1. You don’t have to be an experienced writer to self-publish your book. While this is true, it does also allow one to learn from the many inevitable mistakes associated with publishing your first book. We ourselves learned them, very expensively so.
Derek Doepker was a broke car valet with no writing qualifications who became a multiple time bestselling writer.
He did this by writing a book centered around his passion.
Derek wasn’t expecting much from it, but then…
Readers loved it. It sold like crazy. In the first week he made $6,000.
‘How to Stick to a Diet’ was a self-publishing passion project for Derek that turned into real passive income (and allowed Derek to quit his job)
This book allowed Derek to quit his job to become a full-time coach, live life on his own terms, and spend his time helping others do the same.
Best of all, Derek teaches his bestseller secrets inside his 5-star rated self-publishing ecourse: Author Archetypes.
This is a rare result, compared to the vast number of first-time self-publishing authors.
REASON #2. Lockdowns are driving more and more customers online, which means even more hungry readers eager to buy your latest book.
Between April-June, during peak pandemania, Amazon’s sales skyrocketed by 40%.
That’s $89 billion.
In THREE months.
And for authors?
Nielsen US has reported massive increases in ebook sales across the board, including:
• Adult fiction ebook sales surged by 23%
• Adult non-fiction ebook sales jumped by 36%
• Children’s fiction skyrocketed by a whopping 78%!
All of this growth = more 💰💰💰 for self-publishers.
If you have something to say...NOW is the time to say it (in book format, of course).
Again, this is a rare result. Yes, online shopping is at an incredible high, but just putting a book on Amazon does not guarantee sales. You still have to do a lot of self-promotion, the book has to have proper metadata setup for best exposure.
REASON #3. Your story can help people transform their lives.
Coaches, speakers, consultants, and freelancers...
The world needs your knowledge, experience, and ideas.
Especially right now, during these tumultuous times when readers are hungry to learn new skills, habits, and success strategies to improve their lives.
Business coach and speaker Honorée Corder was motivated to write her books when Mark Victor Hansen, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, presented this challenge. He said:
1. Take any presentation / coaching you have given.
2. Write it out like a book.
3. Hit publish.
She took his advice, published a book...and sales started rolling in.
Honoree has since sold more than 800,000 books, empowering readers with life-changing habits and routines for success.
What started as a simple challenge - to publish a book in its most basic form - has led to more than 800,000 book sales for Honoree.
It is not that simple. It takes time to learn how to properly apply keywords, metadata, BISAC numbers, and more to reach a target audience. Then one has to have great book reviews for more exposure, pre-sale marketing and promotion long before the book comes to print.
REASON #4. You can start earning big royalty checks from Amazon, fast.
Fact: Indie authors earn 5x more than traditionally published authors.
Fact: Amazon KDP pays out a whopping 70% of royalties to authors who self-publish their ebooks with them, and it costs no money out of pocket to get started (and takes less than an hour to upload and publish a book on Amazon).
Fact: If you sign up with Amazon KDP Select, you can enroll in Kindle Unlimited and every page read earns you money. All you have to do is hit publish and watch that passive income roll in…
At $32.3 million, Amazon’s Global Payouts Fund keeps getting bigger and bigger...and with COVID-19, subscriptions to Kindle Unlimited are soaring, which means month on month you get paid more money for your book’s reads!
Want to boost your Amazon sales even higher?
Look no further than Kindle Ranker.
This super sweet software will have you climbing amazon bestseller charts like a boss.
These results are not common. There are dozens of preparatory step an author must do to get noticed, even in a sellers market. Be wary of big promises too. No amount of time, effort and money will result in mega-sales if the story is poorly written, poorly edited, and improperly marketed.
REASON #5. Share your passion, make an impact (and a profit)
One of the best reasons to start writing is because your words can make an impact on people around the world.
And that’s true for fiction authors as well.
Mark Dawson followed his passion for writing and published his first book from his John Milton thriller series in 2014. This series now earns him a staggering seven figures a year.
Mark turned his passion into a self-published book series that have been downloaded well over 1 million times.
While Amazon is the largest international online sales operation, it's not the only one. Books published exclusively through Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing (formerly CreateSpace and Kindle), those books do not get to other book retailers, like Barnes and Noble or Booksamillion or independent retailers).
REASON # 6. You’re the Boss.
Being a self-published author is more than just writing books, it’s creative freedom fuelled by purpose (and hot beverages)...
• Choose your hours, and work where, when, and how you like
• Write what you enjoy, inspired and free of deadlines
• Have the time and energy for the important people in your life
• Enjoy success and profits 100% generated by you
• Wake up each day filled with purpose and motivated by meaningful goals
Write where you want, with the coffee (or tea) you want...just like JK Rowling.
While all the laid-back permissions sound really good, the truth is; writing is a big job if you want to find that elusive pot at the end of the rainbow. Self discipline, training, patience, attention to details, and realistic goals are often more than the part-time author can deal with. IT AIN'T EASY!
REASON #7. Your self-published book can become a major movie
E L James’s 50 Shades films grossed more than $1 billion worldwide.
Lisa Genova’s Still Alice bestseller became an Academy Award winner.
And The Martian grossed over $630 million, starred Matt Damon, and received 7 Oscar nominations...
...from an ebook self-published on Amazon by Andy Weir, an introverted software engineer/space nerd.
It soon hit the bestseller lists…and in 2015...blew up the box office.
"A story in your head isn't a story. It's just a daydream until you actually write it down. So write it down."
Though anything is possible, there are over a million manuscripts produced by authors in the US every year. Only ten percent are successful as books from which movies get considered. The money numbers can be big but so are the costs associated with agents, editors, screen writers, lawyers, producers, and on, and on. If this is your goal, you'll learn more from talking to those who failed than those who will tell you what you want to hear. Then write your heart out!