Self-Publish a Bestseller On a Budget
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In this course, I will show you step-by-step how I created and marketed bestselling books on a shoestring budget. Each lesson will include screenshot tutorials in addition to tips and tricks not found anywhere else. You will also get recommendations of the best sites to use to outsource any work, specific people I have used in the past for the job and so much more. Most of the course is via video, but occasionally I will add written tutorials or include links for further information or study. This course is intended for any author who wants their self-published book to rise beyond the expectation of only friends and family purchasing their books to establishing a readership.
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Introduction and Overview of the CoursePreview
|Section 1: The Business of Writing and Publishing a Book|
What are the differences between self-publishing and traditional publishing? Which one should you choose? Included is a video from my YouTube channel about some of my experiences.
ACTIVITY: Make a list of what your publishing goals are after you have watched this video to help you figure out if this course is right for you or not.
Make sure to watch in HD, otherwise it is a bit blurry.
This course isn't necessarily about writing a great novel, but here are a few tips and tricks I've learned along the way.
ACTIVITY: Make a list of things you can do to improve your writing after watching these tips.
|Section 2: Making Your Self-Published Book Look Professional|
In this lesson, I teach you to make a professional looking cover on the cheap.
ACTIVITY: Create a cover in Canva or PicMonkey to get some practice before doing the real thing using their stock images. Give it a try after this lesson.
In this lesson, I go over formatting your book for Kindle and very briefly give you an overview of how to use iBooks (bare bones for iTunes, be warned!).
ACTIVITY: After this lesson, attempt to format two chapters of your book. Message me with any questions if you get stuck!
The bare bones of formatting a good looking paperback on the cheap. Resources included: templates and how to pick the size of your book.
ACTIVITY: After this lesson, play with the format of the first three chapters of your book. Try to download a font and include a glyph for practice.
I skip over the "upload to Kindle" option at the end. You certainly can upload directly, but I prefer to do it separetely. We will discuss uploading to Kindle in the next lesson.
ACTIVITY: Create a test book for Createspace in order to mess around with the settings and get familiar.
|Section 3: Uploading Your Book and Metadata|
They changed the layout of the Bookshelf literally the day after I recorded this! But no worries, everything else is the same and the procedure is the same. It just looks a little different.
After you watch this lesson, make sure you write down the keywords and categories you have used and others you can use. If you don't use the categories right away, then try to juggle them up and see what works best.
Your Author Bio, Photo and Book Blurb
I forgot to mention that the pay per KOLL book (borrowed book) will vary from month to month depending on their funds which are split between all authors. This averages about $1.38 per book, but may vary.
|Section 4: Marketing|
With your giveaways, you can also do a Kindle Countdown Deal, in which your book is as low as $0.99 and increases in price over several days. Only one of these OR one giveaway can be done per 90 days in your Kindle Select contract. I would advocate giveaways first, but it is up to you.
When doing KDP Select Giveaways, some people feel that doing all 5 days in a row isn't a great idea or that you should do them on specific days (typically recommended a Tuesday through Saturday). It is up to you, however, as for me these have varied in results.
Hashtags to use for giveaways (on ANY platform--independent, goodreads, KDP Select, etc.) include: #giveaway #freebie #amwriting #amreading #win #giveaways #books #mustread #freebook #bookgiveaway #freedownload #mustread #Kindle #Nook or hashtags specific to your genre such as #YA #YALitChat #Dystopian #SciFi #MGLit #Historical #HistFiction
https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/60696-making-connections (also a great place in general on Goodreads!)
https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/51445-uk-amazon-kindle-forum (Under free books section)
There are also many Facebook groups you can use to promote, but I find they are quickly drowned out by people simply shouting over one another. I find Goodreads to be a better bet!
Connecting with your audience is essential to building a community and turning those connections to sales!
Hootsuite is also a great way to schedule your tweets and Facebook posts if you are going to be away. Don't be shy about tweeting, even if you're tweeting the same message 4-5 times per day. Unless someone is literally only following a few people, they won't actually notice and it will increase your chance of having your tweet seen.
Using hashtags is also important to getting your tweets seen, so I will include a list of hashtags for authors.
You should also always include a link to your mailing list somewhere on your blog...incentivizing joining mailing lists with a giveaway is a great way to get people to sign up!
You can always attempt to guest post with other bloggers, and ALWAYS submit to StumbleUpon and BlogHer. You can also try to post on websites like Huffington Post, etc.!
ACTIVITY: Create a Facebook fan page, twitter account and start a blog. Mess around with the settings on all of them for a bit to get to where you like. If you already accounts, try incorporating hashtags or tweeting multiple times in one day using Hootsuite and see what is working for you.
When approaching bloggers and YouTubers, make sure to keep it short, sweet and simple....and have something in it for them. Remember to do your research on the blogger or YouTuber before approaching and see if it is something that may interest them. A simple and quick email with a link to your book on Amazon or Barnes and Noble usually does the trick!
ACTIVITY: Write a practice email to a blogger or YouTuber ensuring you are conveying as much information in a short paragraph as possible. Once satisfied, you can use this as a jumping off point to contact other bloggers and YouTubers.
Keeping the Momentum Going After Your Book Has Been Out for a While
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Anna Scanlon has successfully self-published three novels, which have all frequently been listed as bestsellers on Amazon alongside some of the genre's most respected authors. She has learned, from scratch (and a very tiny investment), how to create a consistent passive income stream with her novels, some of which have been purchased by bookstores for sale alongside traditionally published books.
Anna Scanlon holds an MA degree in Holocaust and Genocide Studies from the University of Amsterdam and is currently a candidate for a PhD at the University of Leicester in Holocaust Studies. Anna has taught several courses including those on the Holocaust, writing and English as a Second Language. She has been awarded the Amsterdam Merit Scholarship for 2011-2012 for excellence in her field and was an European Holocaust Research Infrastructure Fellow in the summer of 2013. In 2014, she was a Fellow at the Auschwitz Jewish Center.