With the year quickly coming to a close, your mind is probably swirling with thoughts of all the delicious holiday meals you’ll enjoy, spending time with your friends and family, setting your new year’s resolutions and perhaps even renewing your gym membership to address the aftermath of all that yummy food.
But, as a self-publisher, have you started to think about what the new year holds for the prospect of taking your business to the next level?
It’s natural to want to take a break to enjoy the holiday season and relax a bit. After all, you’ve worked hard throughout the year so having a week or two to yourself won’t hurt anything. In fact, you’ll probably return to your writing refreshed and ready to charge into the new year with gusto!
With all that said, if you really want to make the most of the coming 365 days it’s important to focus on methods of building your business that can help to make your journey to success a faster, smoother and more enjoyable ride.
Here are some of the best tools, resources and tips available to help you make the most of the coming year.
Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select
Since its inception just over ten years ago, Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing tool has caused quite a bit of controversy in the self-publishing community.
For some authors, KDP has been a blessing that has made the process of self-publishing fast, simple and cheap. On the other hand, many authors find themselves struggling to make a respectable amount of money after they’ve poured all of their effort and energy into publishing books on Amazon exclusively.
The truth is that unless you’re a very high-volume book seller, even at 70 percent, the royalties paid out by the KDP program are notoriously low. But here’s an important fact – Amazon has the lion’s share of the online book selling market.
Approximately 70 percent of book buyers visit Amazon when they are ready to make a purchase. This means that if you want to make the most of your book selling efforts, it’s time to give Amazon and KDP an honest try to see if it’s a good traffic generating fit for your business.
One of the easiest ways to test the waters is to publish one of your more enticing offers on KDP Select. The benefit of doing this, is that Amazon subscribers who have enrolled in the Kindle Unlimited program get access to your book for free.
If the word “free” sends a chill down your spine, it’s important to remember that the right way to use a free offer is as a springboard for all of your even more enticing paid offers.
Put links and teasers into your books that point back to your author website where interested readers can sign up for your email list, find out more about you and your books and where you can introduce them to more of your book offers.
Resources to Explore
2018 is all about getting your books out there and in front of as many eyes as possible. Achieving that goal means thinking of yourself as a brand and building your business accordingly.
Promotion is the name of the game, and in the new year you have several new and interesting resources to help you along the way. Here are some of the best options to check out.
Cross promotions are quickly becoming a popular way for self-publishers to boost their visibility and expand their audiences. By partnering with other writers, you can provide more value for your prospects and customers while benefiting tremendously from each collaboration.
A service provided by https://bundlerabbit.com/ has made it very easy for authors to collaborate and cross promote their books to readers in virtual “box sets” of titles they can enjoy in their leisure time.
This resource is particularly useful if you are a newer self-publisher who doesn’t have a lot of name recognition as yet but want a quick way to become more well-known by partnering up with more popular writers.
The Fussy Librarian
With hundreds of new books being released every day, it’s easy to find yours getting lost in the endless sea of offers.
While you can’t do anything about the amount of competition you face, there’s a lot you can do to help your book stand out and get noticed.
Enter The Fussy Librarian, a recently launched website that acts as a “concierge” for avid book readers, making it much easier for them to discover books that they would most likely enjoy.
Readers enter their email address as well as their criteria for the type of books they are looking for. Options include items such as genre, writing style and even whether or not the book features steamy romance themes or adult language.
When the software finds a match (or several matches), it sends an email to the subscriber providing them with more information about the new book offers that fit their desires perfectly.
I bet you can already imagine the potential that a service like this holds for self-publishers (like you) who want to get their books discovered and build their audiences.
What else should you focus on for the coming year?
Yes, it can be a pain in the you know where and an almost impossible task to find the time and inspiration necessary to keep your author blog updated on a regular basis, but dig deep and keep on writing anyway.
Studies show that blogging is still one of the best ways to grow an audience and to provide readers with content that they find valuable and helpful.
If you’re having trouble staying on track, consider outsourcing your blog writing to a freelancer.
For just a few dollars a month you can have your blog posts prepared and ready to publish without writing a single word.
Whether you choose do-it-yourself or you need a little assistance to keep the blog posts coming, staying on top if your blogging schedule is a must for continued success with growing your audience and subsequently your bottom line.
Brand Marketing and Promotion
It used to be that the only path to publishing success was writing a killer manuscript, pitching it to various publishing houses and praying that one of them picked it up and took it all the way to best seller status.
Even though times have changed dramatically and you have the power bring a new book to market at any time you choose, one thing that hasn’t changed is the fact that a solid marketing plan is essential if you hope to see any form of success with your book selling efforts.
Producing a high-quality offer is only the first step in achieving your book-selling goals.
It is your marketing efforts that determine the visibility of your brand, the scope of your reach and ultimately your conversion rates, which all contribute to the number of books you end up selling.
For your best chances of success, plan to spend a lot of time honing your lead generation, SEO, email marketing and social media skills.
The truth is you can write the best book in the world and it will make no difference if no one ever sees it. On the other hand, even if you’re not the next Earnest Hemmingway you can still make a respectable income by marketing your brand and books effectively.
As you celebrate the holidays and your mind fills up with thoughts of taking your self-publishing career to greater heights in the new year, its important to remember to focus on the handful of activities that will play the biggest role in helping you to achieve your goals for yourself and your business.
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