This the 9th in a series of 99 Questions, ideas, and tips intended to help authors make the right decisions writing and self-publishing a book to build their personal brand.
Addressing the opportunities offered by self-publishing as early as possible helps you make the right decisions and take maximum advantage of the new opportunities self-publishing makes possible.
Evaluating self-publishing opportunities
It’s not enough to recognize that self-publishing has changed the book publishing landscape. The key is writing and publishing success is to identify the best ways to take advantage of the new opportunities that self-publishing offers.
There are 4 ways to approach self-publishing’s benefits. These include:
- Control. Self-publishing offers you more opportunity to base title and content ideas on testing rather than experience. Trade publishers often base decisions on previous experience and the experiences of others in the industry. For example, publishers often turn to book buyers from the major retail booksellers for advice about forthcoming titles, even though more and more books and ebooks are sold online each year! You may be more comfortable with the results of your own online testing and test marketing.
- Speed. Self-publishing can potentially get your book published a year, or more, earlier than a trade published book. So, how are you going to leverage this speed advantage? One opportunity might be to emphasize the latest opportunities and trends in your industry. Another opportunity might be to time your book’s publication to events, like conferences or conventions, occurring in during the next 6 to 9 months.
- Marketing. Marketing–in particular–promoting your book before it’s published, is a major benefit self-publishing offers. This is particularly true if you want to blog your book while writing it. Many trade publishers may be uncomfortable with this now-common approach to building a market for your book as you write it. These advantages continue after your book has been published. Self-publishing your book means you own the copyright to your book, so you can distribute as many copies of your book as lead generators to build your mailing list and attract prospects for your business. You can also include as many references to your website and business as you desire in your book.
- Profits. Self-publishing profits permit you to take home more of the selling price of your book than publisher’s royalties, and you get the money immediately–not 6 months to a year after your book appears. But, that’s not the key benefit! The key benefit is that you can use the content from your book in information products like audios, e-courses, franchise programs, membership sites, reports, subscription newsletters, videos, workshops, and yearly updates. You can also sell customized editions of your book for corporations to distribute to clients or prospects.
In short, the ultimate profit benefits of self-publishing may not occur until after our book is published, and they may not reflect sales of your books, but profits generated by using your book as your personal business marketing tool.
Additional self-publishing perspectives
Here are a couple of recommended resources for those considering self-publishing their book:
- Does Self-publishing Make Sense. This is an early guest post on Dan Schawbel’s Personal Branding Blog. This post summarizes the different responsibilities and tasks required of authors who self-publish.
- Find out if Self-publishing a Book is for You. This is a review of Joel Friedlander’s Self-Publishing Handbook, now available as a Kindle ebook.
- View each new book you want to write as a new business you want to start. Discussion of Jay Conrad Levinson and David Hancock’s The Entrepreneurial Author: Achieving Success and Balance in the 21st Century.
Choosing between trade and self-publishing is just one of my 99 Questions to Ask Before You Write and Self-Publish a Brand-Building Book workbook.
It provides a step-by-step guide to the questions you need to address before writing and self-publishing. It’s a place to record your decisions as you address your goals, analyze your readers, choose a title, create a platform, and begin to promote & profit from your book.
John Fox, www.venturemarketing.com, author: The Marketing-Playbook–The Definitive Guide to B2B Marketing, recently wrote:
It’s like having the best writing coach in world in the room with you. Roger’s 99 Questions take you through the publishing process–from planning and writing to marketing & profiting–one question at a time. Before you know it, your book is ready to go to work as your personal brand ambassador.
Download a free copy while it’s still free. Use it to create a personalized writing, marketing, and profit plan for your book, based on making the right decisions at every step. After you’ve worked with it, share your experiences as comments below. I also invite you to send me your writing questions using my online form. And check out earlier posts, here.