Founding father Ben Franklin put it best: “An investment in knowledge
always pays the best interest.” So this morning I’m urging you to make a
small investment—of time, not money. In return you’ll learn some of the
most important information available about self-publishing.
We already know self-publishing has been the answer for millions of
writers-turned-authors. Thanks to the advent of eBooks and digital services
like Print on Demand, aspiring writers can transform themselves into
published authors with just the click of a button. Complete creative
control, speed to market, and enhanced royalty percentages also make
self-publishing an enticing option for authors.
Yet getting published is only half the battle. Promotion and marketing is
the self-published author’s next mountain to climb—and it’s largely
uncharted territory. What are self-published authors doing to market
their books? What works? What isn’t working? And at the end of the day,
are self-published authors selling books?
I’m happy to report that all these questions—and much more—have now been
answered. The BookBaby 2017 Self-Publishing Survey results are in! You
can download them for free here.
This study was the largest self-publishing survey ever conducted, with
information shared by nearly 8,000 aspiring and published authors
collected and analyzed in this white paper. Focusing mainly on book
marketing and promotion, the survey revealed fascinating data on
self-published authors’ tactics to attract readers in the crowded
marketplace. We even drilled down to compare best-selling authors’
strategies vs. less successful authors to provide insights about how best
to spend promotional time and money.
So clear off a little time this weekend to have a look at this surprising survey. It’s our hope that our
findings will educate the self-published author community about the state
of indie book marketing, and help them make more informed decisions
regarding their own promotion strategies.
little-known fact for aspiring self-published authors: The holiday
season is not the best time to publish for new, self-published authors.
Here’s when you should really publish your book. Read
Owens is a first-generation college graduate and the self-published
author of Things I
Wish Someone Had Told Me Before I Started College. Listen
to her story in our exclusive video. Read
Last weekend I shared posts on some writing basics to help you start your
next book. Today let’s talk about the other end of the process—after
you’ve finished and published your book.
That’s where BookBaby author Cynthia Gallaher was last July. She had just
published her book, Frugal
Poets’ Guide To Life. Gallaher describes her book as “part
personal journey, part life-coaching for poets (or those who’d like to
live like one), part creativity guide, and part reference.” Her book is
available on her own BookShop page. Take a look.
As all self-published authors know, promoting books can be a daunting
task. Gallaher saw a BookBaby blog post on entering book contests and
decided to enter a few contests, including the prestigious National Indie
Excellence Awards. Read it here.
“When you self-publish, it makes it that much harder to get attention,”
said Gallaher. “As I come from an advertising/marketing background, I
understand the need to get the word out there to as many potential
readers as possible, but the word often needs to be backed with some
clout, i.e. a blurb from a well-known author, an excellent review, a high
number of Amazon reader reviews, and having your book be an award winner”
I’m pleased to report her book was one of the 60 top books of 2016 produced by small presses,
mid-size independent publishers, university presses, and self-published
“Because my book is independent/self-published, I felt that the National
Indie Excellence Awards was a good fit,” said Gallaher. “The entry fee
wasn’t too expensive–remember, I’m a frugal poet! I entered this contest
basically to see what others thought. As a result, I was fortunate that
National Indie Excellence Awards chose my book as one of its winners. Now
I wish I would have entered more contests, but it’s a little late for my
It’s not too late for self-published authors to enter this year’s
contest. Submissions for the 12th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards
will open on August 1st, 2017. Here’s the entry form.
Getting the word out about your book is never an easy
task. You have to consistently message readers on Facebook, reach out to
bookstores, and simultaneously manage a number of other tasks.
That’s why BookBaby has partnered with Smith Publicity—the public
relations agency dedicated to authors—to provide a personalized book
marketing service designed to help authors of all experience levels
achieve their book marketing goals.
Choose from two categories:
Consultation: Learn the basics to gaining traction with
your website, on Amazon, and in local bookstores.
Consultation: Learn how to effectively optimize your book
marketing on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Goodreads.
Start growing your reader base with help from a professional book
marketing consultant today.
conferences are valuable because they immerse you into your art. They
can make you aware of how much you don’t know, how much you need to
know, and expose you to things you need to succeed. Read
Two of the
classic story shapes are “the fall” or “the rise.” In these story arcs,
the main character climbs to a peak of happiness, falls from one, or
does a round-trip for maximum emotional impact. Read
When you are
able to control the pace of your story, you’ve mastered one of the more
important skills in writing. Use pacing to set up key moments, ratchet
up the intensity, and improve your storytelling. Read
demanding self-editor is a must if you want to be the best writer you
can be. What’s the point of pouring weeks, months, or years into a
manuscript, then settling for something other than your very best work?
This morning I’m going to share with you the absolute best part about
working for BookBaby. I’d like for you to meet Andrea Bull and her
younger brother, Robert, who was diagnosed with autism at age 4. The duo
teamed up to create a very special project.
“Autism is something that I’m very passionate about,” said Andrea. “I was
always looking for creative ways to help him overcome some of the
challenges that he faced growing up and continue to work on developing
ways to help him reach his true potential.”
Andrea noticed how Robert expressed himself through art. She saw an
opportunity to share Robert’s talents and so the duo created a very
special book entitled Animal
Appetites: A book of unusual ABCs. The siblings collaborated
to make this book project a reality. “I wrote each letter of the alphabet
and Robert independently illustrated each scenario according to his own
interpretation and imagination,” said Andrea. “We had an incredible
designer (Elisa Gutiérrez) design the layout of the book and used
BookBaby’s printing and binding options to really bring it to life.”
Andrea wants the book to help promote autism awareness and to showcase
the vibrant talent and potential of autistic individuals. “I wanted to
highlight that autistic individuals are more than just their autism,”
said Andrea. “They can be illustrators, artists, anything—they are
unique, talented, and creative people with great potential. We wanted
this book to act as an example of what can be achieved with the right
support systems, regardless of the challenges someone may face.”
The Bulls helped produce a video that describes her self-publishing
process. Watch it here.
I welcome you to enjoy the video. I implore you to support Andrea and
Robert’s cause by purchasing their book. Find it here.
A personal note: This project tugged at my heartstrings as my own younger
brother was diagnosed with autism during his too-short life. Andrea and
Robert’s book reminds me that of all wonderful things about
self-publishing I espouse every weekend, this is the very best:
inspiration and motivation can share their stories with the world and
make a difference.
I’m thrilled that BookBaby can help folks like Andrea and Robert make
their dreams come true.
about structure tend to offer formulas, which can lead to formulaic
stories. But an understanding of narrative structure is important: you
have to know the rules before you break them. Read
eBook stands for
“electronic book,” which consists of text and images and can be read on
most mobile devices, including smart phones, tablets, and eReaders.
It’s like taking a library with you on the go. Read