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My Freedom Flame

Motivating Writers Worldwide

Category: Write for a Living (page 2 of 6)

Five Simple Ways to Sell Your Books

Notice that five simple ways are just that, simple. But when it comes time to sell your book, especially as a new author, it’s going to take something called time. How much time? I don’t know, but it probably won’t happen in 2019 if you haven’t published yet.

Will it happen in 2020?

Maybe.

2021?
That’s a better guess.

2022?

If you’re the fittest and most patient individual out there, 2022 would be a decent guess that you’ll be free from the Dreaded Day Job (DDJ) and make a living writing, but you have to follow my steps from the get-go.

Let me be the first to tell you that I’m not making a full-time living off my writing. Not even close. However, I have made strides over the course of my first five months as an indie-published author.

Why?

Because I spent months doing the dirty work and researching the hell out of how to make a living as an indie-author.

Why not go traditional?

I have an entrepreneurial mindset and I’m also a free bird, so traditional publishing would never work for me. Maybe it works for you if you want an editor telling you which characters to keep, cut, and which scenes to keep and cut, while also recommending which way your story needs to go.

If you want that, take it, but the route isn’t any easier.

So, without further ado, it’s time to buckle down and get patient while following my easy steps.

Again, this isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme, so don’t think for two seconds you’re going to score big within a month or so. However, there is a shot one of you reading this might hit it big and great, you earned it. Most of us won’t, but the good news is we will if we do what any other business owner does: Persevere.

Persevere through the fire, flames, turbulence, trials, tribulations, heartache, loneliness, and sacrifices.

And to think the Communists and Bernie Sanders’ of the world all hate those of us who either are or will one day become successful by taking financial risks and investing in our own businesses.

In the passive income world, those making six to seven figures deserve every penny of it, because this is a gauntlet few are cut out for.

Now, if I haven’t scared you away I’ll reveal how you can become, in time, an author who can make a full-time living.

 

Covers and Descriptions Matter

A $95 investment in a book cover goes a long way.

I’m rehashing the same hash, or I guess a more relevant term is information rather than hash, though it comes out as hash for new authors or aspiring ones looking for an excuse to not invest $80+ into a professional book cover.

You need a cover that captivates audiences, or at least your own target market—at least.

Pick something that will make a reader do a double-take, and you’re on your way to finding a readership.

This means investing in a professional cover that has good color contrast between your title, author name, and any other written elements on the cover and the cover itself. Make sure the cover looks good in thumbnail, or when displayed in a minimized version of itself. Make sure the cover hints at your story and fits the genre you’re writing in.

Also, don’t just pick a book description and make one up on the fly. For instance, I’d never write, ‘This is a book where an arrogant college athlete sparks a societal uprising.’ That’s called an elevator pitch, as if I were describing my book to someone just asking what it’s about.

A book description should have the keywords you chose at Amazon flowing through them, but not too much, over three-hundred words if it’s the first in a series, is told in present tense, and hints at the finer points of the plot without spoiling anything important.

The underlying rule here is to never underestimate your book cover and description.

 

Have a Blog

My Freedom Flame is the name of my writing blog and I post to it often. 

I’ve stated this so many times throughout my own blog. Even if you’re getting 100 new users per week, that’s 100 new sets of eyes on your blog.

See the right-hand side of this article? I have both books linked to Amazon. That’s 400 new eyes per month at this current traffic rate and 4,800 eyes per year.

Now, if your blog is more mature and you gain 1,000 new visitors per week, that’s 4,000 per month, and 48,000 per year.

If your blog is gaining 2,000 new visitors per week, it’s 8,000 per month, and 96,000 per year, and so on.

Now, imagine that in a few years you continue the blog you started this year in January and hit 10,000 new users per week, 40,000 per month, and 480,000 per year.

Imagine if one in every one-hundred in your audience was interested in your book.

That’s 4,800 sales per year, and if your average e-book price on Amazon is $4.99, that’s $16,766 your blog just made you. That doesn’t count other ways to sell your books. It’s one hell of a side income.

Even at 400 visitors per month, with 4,800 per year, you’re looking at 48 sales, where if your book at the same price sells 48 copies, you have $167 per year, meaning the money you’ve invested in a book cover just paid for itself. And even if your book contains a sequel, that book cover just paid for itself.

If you doubled this, both your books and your blog paid for themselves.

 

Offer Freebies

Fighting Tyranny is one of a few novelettes I offer in the Neo Skyehawk Series.

Oh, the power of free.

Yes, free works.

Yes, free will entice people to pay their hard-earned money for your products.

But how do we utilize free?

There are two ways.

1. Offer a free series starter, but since Amazon is stubborn these days when it comes to freebies, it might be a little tough to offer a free series starter on Amazon—but if you wanted, you could create a free series starter, upload it to Prolific Works, offer it for free, and link that book to a second book on Amazon. However, maybe the freebie book is a prequel to the series itself, meaning Book II on Amazon is really Book I in the series.

2. Create a novella or novelette series, based around one of your characters. This is my entire purpose behind the Neo Skyehawk Series, which is also slated to contain several books in addition to the four I already have on Prolific Works.
It’s important not to think of free as giving your books away. Instead, think of free as a sample, as a test drive, where the purpose is if the reader likes that they’re reading, they’ll want more.

 

Write a Series

I plan on writing 13 books in the Lord of Columbia Series.

Yes, if you want to sell a bunch of copies and make a true living as an author, writing a series isn’t a half-bad idea.

In fact, think of it this way.

I have Northern Knights for sale for $3.99.

Swords of Destiny is $4.99.

If the reader liked Northern Knights, it’s likely they’ll buy Swords of Destiny. If they wanted more after Swords of Destiny, they’ll buy Missing in Columbia, and so on.

I came to the conclusion there will be four trilogies in the Lord of Columbia Series:

1. The Original Trilogy.

2. A Sequel Trilogy.

3. A Prequel Trilogy.

4. A Golden Age Trilogy.

5. A Series Finale, which will be the 13th book.

What if some readers loved the series so much, and every series has its readership, I truly believe that, that they’ll buy all thirteen books when it’s all said and done?

And what if each book is sold at an average price of $4.99?

It’s around $45 in profits—per fan.

Persevere through the fire and flames and build the fan base, well, rewards come.

This is why a series will work for you. imagine inventing plots, and not characters. You save time, you have a readership who are fans of the series (YES, IT MIGHT TAKE SOME INVESTMENTS ON YOUR PART!), and with each new book you’ll have sales.

 

Paid Book Promo

Yep, none of us like hearing it, but paying for promotion works wonders, especially in the early days as an author.

Look, you’re going to have to prove your credibility early on, so paying for promotion, even if you have to promote your books during their five free days in KDP Select if you decide to take that route, you’re going to be rewarded for your efforts.

Why?

Early on, you just need one thing: Reviews. Reviews, reviews, reviews, and hopefully they’re good.

If not, don’t sweat, because you can always take the book down and repackage it under a different title after making modifications to it. Change everything in it and enhance the story, republish under a different name, even a different author name.

And that’s all you need to do, but don’t be afraid to pay for promotion. Once you garner enough reviews or enough positive reviews, Amazon will reward you by raising your book through the rankings, making it more visible to readers.

Also, by promoting during its free days, such as paying to expose your book to email lists, and some places like Freebooksy have hundreds of thousands on their list, you will gain exposure that will lead to sales that will lead to higher rankings that will lead to higher credibility that will lead to—me losing credibility by repeating the phrase ‘that will lead to.’

 

A Review

Okay, so in review, the five points are:

1. Covers and Descriptions Matter.

2. Have a Blog.

3. Understand the Power of Free.

4. Write a Series.

5. Understand Book Promotion.

If you have a homemade cover, invest in a premade one. Self Pub Book Covers is a great option and my favorite if you wish to go premade. They also modify covers and make custom ones.

Take your book description seriously and not as an afterthought. Work on and make edits to it as if you were your own book.

Have a blog and make sure the niche is somewhat relevant to your book. If so, you can do what I do and place the cover of your books in the sidebar of your site.

Give away a few freebies so readers become familiar with your work. If they love it, they’ll pay for more.

Write a series, because when readers wonder what’s going to happen next, they’ll stick with you until the very end.

Promote your books and do so when they’re free or at a discount, especially early on. This will grant you a serious readership early in your own indie-author career. Promote regularly and INVEST IN IT! People can’t read your book if they don’t know it exists.

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Free E-Books and What They Can Do for You

It’s no secret that by now I have four free e-books out, one of which is only available if you join my email list. It’s also no secret that some of the most successful indie authors gave a lot of free e-books away early in their careers, and I’m no different.

How many free e-books have I given away thus far?
Almost 800.

And that’s with small and no promotion.

How many will I end up giving away by the end of the first quarter in 2019?

I’m hoping a few thousand. Out of those few thousand, I’m hoping for about one hundred reviews, though fifty would be nice.

Let me stop talking about myself and start talking about reviews because this is the underestimated power of free and what it can and will do for you: Force Amazon to notice you.

Now that I have your attention, allow me to explain why that’s the case before for some odd reason the memories of a time I once knew back in the summer of 2014 strike the emotional chord with me.

No, it literally just invaded my mind as drove into the sunset that year, still wondering to this day what could’ve been—we’ll leave it to the creative nonfiction piece I’m working on.

Okay, where was I?

Oh, the power of reviews.

 

Amazon’s A Business

Click the image to download Fighting Tyranny.

I’m sure you know that, but I wanted to reiterate it because here in 2019, I’m not sure everyone knows how a business operates.

Businesses have one common goal and that’s to make money.

Sound greedy?

Sure.

But you need to make money to live, so don’t blame people for wanting to make money.

Just like you want to sell your books and make a full-time living doing so.

For that, Amazon will promote the hell out of books that garner good reviews and a lot of them.

Why?

Because they know they’ll sell.

So you can thank Amazon one day when they’re promoting your books.

Which means it’s a good idea to put your books up on KDP Select for free during the five-day promos, especially if you’re a new author.

No, you won’t make much money early on, but that’s beside the point. The key to passive income is that the money comes later and after you manage to sell few-thousand free copies of your debut novel, reviews will roll in.

Click to download Fighting Treason.

Rule of thumb is to expect one review per one-hundred sales, so ten reviews per one-thousand, meaning five-thousand sales should give you roughly fifty reviews.

Not bad, huh?

Want to know a secret?

Amazon loves fifty-plus reviews, especially if they’re higher than three and a half stars.

And that’s the power of free.

 

Authoring Platform

Did you read the article I posted two days ago regarding this?

You should, but I’m going to rehash on something here because it’s that important.

Funnel this freebie book that you put up for free on KDP Select to another freebie book readers can download for free if they join your email list.

Sometimes, they might be hesitant to do so especially if they just bought one of your books.

However, however, however, here’s a trick I learned from Nick Stephenson and his free e-book, Reader Magnets.

Place the ad for such a product in the front AND back of your e-book.

The Eurean Kingdom serves as my reader magnet.

Why?

If the reader loved your book, it’s now likely they’ll download the freebie and give you an email address.

This means you’ll have readers you can alert when your books are set for free on Amazon, or if you’re like me and your series progresses, more books you’ll have available on Amazon….and don’t set the newbie books for free.

But do you see the power of free?

Especially for rookie authors?

Yes, if you’re new to the game and offer some freebies, it’s like taking a car for a test drive, and nothing more.

They’re taking your e-books for a test drive, and if they like them, they’ll purchase them.

I plan on writing at least ten books in the Lord of Columbia Series, and as many as thirteen.

There will be three trilogies and likely three in-between era books, so we’re looking at potentially twelve as a safe bet.

Which means when Missing in Columbia comes out, I’ll set it for free for five days, along with Swords of Destiny, and especially Northern Knights.

 

Author Business

But again, we are in business to make money off our books, and that’s what I’m doing here. After I lead another huge promo for Northern Knights, the free promos of Swords of Destiny and Missing in Columbia will be not only unadvertised but will likely cease after just one or two promos.

Only then is it likely I remove my works from Amazon exclusivity and open publishing, as now I have enough readers from the large promo I’m planning with Northern Knights that will reach thousands of readers.

That means reviews, and that means sales.

Better yet, it means income, and hopefully a good deal of income.

Northern Knights, Swords of Destiny, and Missing in Columbia will all open publish after their final rounds in KDP Select, with Northern Knights going first followed by the other two.

The money will come, but it’s a slow build.

 

Why is Income Slow in the Indie World?

My latest book in the freebie Neo Skyehawk Series, click to download.

It all has to do with risk, and something cool about online businesses, especially that of being an indie author, is that the costs are low.

What do you need to succeed as an indie author from a costs standpoint?

A domain name, which runs between $13-$15 a year unless you’re buying a flipped domain, which is pricey but will make you money.

Web hosting.

Site security packages.

An official email. For instance, on my other blog, my email is support@getprofootballapparel.

Paid promotion, as they can reach thousands of readers.

A book cover. Do NOT make one yourself if you’re selling for profit.

Perhaps editing or copywriting, but both editing and writing courses are available which run cheaper.

It’s only four-figures, or a few thousand dollars of startup costs.

Also, you can keep and work a full-time job while you build your writing career.

Compare this to someone looking to start a bricklaying business, where startup costs might be in the six-figures.

The difference online is that money doesn’t come fast and neither do royalties. The average time it takes between starting up a business online and making a full-time income online is 2-4 years and that’s if you make it a second full-time job on top of your first full-time job.

But again, the startup costs are low, which means the risk is low.

The higher the risk, the more likely it is you make money in business early, but look at how much debt you’re starting in.

With online and indie author businesses, especially if you work full-time, there’s often zero debt.

But the tradeoff is the fact you won’t see money pouring in immediately, and that’s okay.

The strong and truly committed will survive to see this through, and they’ll be the ones rewarded.

And part of this process is to allow readers to ‘test drive’ your work, which will pay you dividends down the road.

Success in Writing: The Most Successful Blog Topics

Success is overcomplicated, and I’ll be the first to tell you so. Why? Because many combine success with the number of dollars in their bank account and while successful people do see a nice paycheck week in and week out, I have news for you: money isn’t success, value is. So when it comes to the most successful blog topics that will make you the most money, anything will do.

Now that you know any blog topic is successful, it’s time to show you why the most successful bloggers succeed.

Why?

Because it’s all about providing a service and value behind that service.

Put it this way, I’ll never get my oil changed at Wal Mart ever again.

Why?

They nearly killed my car back in October 2017 when their “techs” forgot to replace my oil cap.

If you received bad service from anyone, are you going back?

I wouldn’t think so.

See, success is all about providing a service, so for instance, if you want to make a full-time living writing like all of us do, are you going to provide poor service to your reading audience?

I sure hope not.

What are you going to do?

I advise you read blogs in the same writing niche you’ve entered and look at how their authors communicate with their audience.

Today, I’m showing you how to succeed in writing by creating a blog which is the hub of your own writing success, especially if you’re an indie author.

 

A Prime Example

Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn has an active blog with over 80,000 visitors per month.

Why is Penn so popular and why does she succeed in what she does?

It’s because of the value behind her blog. She gives readers, who are trying to solve a problem, a solution to that problem.

So, if you’re an indie author just starting out who has no idea where to go or who to turn to, as I once was for about three-quarters of 2018, who are turning to?

A blog that just has some information here and there, or a well-formatted blog that is going to help you get to where you need to go: to make a full-time living as an indie-author.

Maybe you, as I did, discovered Penn’s blog via another blog source. It’s what I did, via Just Publishing Advice by indie author Derek Haines.

Now I had two helpful blogs to turn to, both of whom are successful indie authors who make a solid income from their books.

Amazing how it works.

 

Real Life Examples

Okay, now I’m going to lay out some real-life examples.

How many of you know people who talk exclusively about money?

I know about 90% of my social network correlating money to success. I know people who’ve all but sold their souls to the devil because they thought the highest paying job equated success.

It doesn’t, it won’t, and it never will.

In fact, aren’t those the same people complaining about the Holidays being over?

Of course!

Aren’t those the same people complaining about the weekend going too fast and the weekdays going too slow?

Yep.

What about the nights going too fast?

Again, yes.

But it’s worth the 90k salary a year, right?

If I can locate my ‘Pepsi Guy’ blog series from last year, I’ll have to share them with you because they’re a perfect example of what I’m talking about and it’ll give any writer an idea that money doesn’t equal success.

Money comes when is successful at something else first.

What is that something?

 

Selling a Service

There are no bad salespeople on this planet because we all live by selling a service. We don’t live by droning; we’re still selling a service.

I worked for e-commerce once, and while I wasn’t involved in selling, I was still involved in handling packages…or in other words, other peoples’ stuff that they ordered online.

What if the box was damaged?

Would they trust the e-commerce company ever again or try to find another one for business?

Probably the latter.

So, the service you’re selling is your paid works, your paid writings, whether they’re on Amazon, Nook, Kobo, or a combination of different outlets.

None of us will have much of an immediate reputation early, but we will have one in the long run, and this is where having a successful blog comes in.

We want our paid works to be the way we monetize a blog, which we can do via Amazon Associates. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you should. Notice the two book images on the right-hand side of this blog; they’re affiliate links.

However, they’re also my own products, so I’ll earn a 70% royalty on the product from Amazon. The fact you can monetize a blog via your own works and services or affiliate links means that you need to sell something to get the money: high-quality service.

 

How to Sell Services

Most people fail when it comes to blogging because they love to talk about themselves. They talk about their own life, their day job, their future ambitions, their pets, everything they shouldn’t be talking about.

When they wonder why they aren’t even seeing a decent traffic flow, they get hung up, dejected, and blame everyone but themselves as to why they’ve failed.

What’s wrong with people?

Nothing is wrong with me or you, what’s wrong is they didn’t provide high-quality service. Am I going to read and follow a blog where the author talks about their own life?

Of course not.

Which is why my pop culture knowledge is one level below basic knowledge.

If people like me don’t care about what’s going on in a celebrity’s personal life, I’m sure as heck not going to care about what’s going on in your personal life, so don’t bother writing about it.

If you have a writing blog and I need to find an answer to a question, I’m not hanging around if the blog is all about you. Blogs need to be about your readers.

My blog shows you how to succeed in writing in both the blogging and indie author sectors. I might use my works as examples to get a point of across, but when was the last time I asked anyone to buy my books?

Actually, I did do this when I first published a few months back until I saw how much it scared people away, so I don’t bother.

 

Passion Precedes Success

If you fail to put passion into your services, you’re going to fail. If you succeed at putting passion into your services, you’re going to succeed.

I’m not writing this blog because I have to. I’m not helping you succeed in blogging because I’m obligated to. No, I have a passion for writing and I want to help those succeed in writing as a pay it forward method to those who helped me get on my feet writing.

If a reader can see the passion you put behind your work and if your passion matches theirs, you just earned a repeat customer. If your books are visible on your sidebar or somewhere on your site (and they should be), you might have earned a customer.

Or, if you’re an affiliate marketer, you might do a product review, as I’ve done a few times on here before. If you gained trust with your readership, you just earned a customer via affiliate marketing.

In reality, creating a successful blog is easy but you have to resist the temptation to make it all about you.

You can use yourself in examples if need be, as I do, but if your blog is even twenty percent about you and eighty percent about your readers, it’s going to be hard to woo them.

Add quality and value behind your service, and you just might have earned another reader. Success in any field takes time, but if you have the passion, work ethic, and desire to succeed, for all the right reasons, you will find success, especially in writing.

How Rookie Indie-Authors Gain Credibility

Hi, my name’s Todd Matthews and you’ve probably never heard of me. That’s because I’m a rookie indie-author still very new to the game with two published works. Well, you can say I have five published works if you count my reader magnets, two of which are hanging out on Amazon for 99 cents but you can get them for free by following the links at the bottom of this article.

Today I’m talking about how rookie authors gain credibility in what’s supposedly an over-saturated book market. But to tell you the truth, the market might contain millions of books, but it’s not over-saturated.

In fact, the market will only become over-saturated when there are millions of authors vying for the same target audience.

At this point in world history, there are only millions of authors, over half of which upload books to Amazon and think royalties will pour in like magic.

Then they wonder why nothing’s happening and blame successful authors for being “lucky” without even having read up on their stories.

Joanna Penn, Mark Dawson, Nick Stephenson, anyone?

They all make six and seven figures doing what they love, but guess what?

Not one of them saw overnight success.

Penn spent three years building an author platform before she made a dime.

I can’t remember which, but either Dawson or Stephenson brought home an astounding $10 (I want to say 10 pounds, but I’m an American isolated from the rest of society) in his first six months.

For some strange reason, indie authors forget the fact they need to market their work and market it well.

When they’re angry that they haven’t seen the green fly in as the passage to quitting their day job, they get hung up on the false claim that they’re not destined to succeed.

We’re all destined to succeed, I love to break the good news to ya!

But, to succeed we need to work as if our author career is our full-time job.

Yep, we get to work two full-time jobs, aren’t we lucky?

I feel lucky, because I want this to be my full-time job along with being part of the Wealthy Affiliate Community, which if you haven’t checked it out, follow the link below where you can sign up for zero cost to test drive the system…no credit card required, either.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand, how indie authors gain credibility. Below are four ideas so if you’re hooked by my rambling, keep reading.

 

Enter KDP Select

I know two things:

1. KDP Select grants authors five free days every ninety days to gain a readership but the catch is one must remain exclusive to Amazon or face deadly consequences (like a permanent ban).

2. Open publishing is nice but can be self-destructive in the short run, so I wouldn’t open publish any paid works; only my freebie e-books are on Nook, Kobo, iBooks, etc., with every single one (except iBooks) containing a link with my paid works to Amazon.

If you have three or fewer books, KDP Select is for you. Heck, some authors like it so much they remain enrolled in KDP Select.

I was on edge about it at first, but in the end I’m glad I’m enrolled. This past week I set my five free days and bought a small paid promotion for $18 that’s given me decent results, selling 110 copies of Northern Knights on Monday and 24 copies of Swords of Destiny.

Days Two and Three were slower, with only 34 total sales, which is typical with this particular promotion.

Yesterday, I garnered 52, with 27 sales from Swords of Destiny and 25 from Northern Knights.

Today, 23 so far with a few hours to go in the promo.

Overall, I’m happy I did a simultaneous paid promotion even if my books were set to free along with my five KDP days. I gained almost 250 new readers and I’m sure to gain a few reviews from the work.

Actually, on Goodreads, someone reviewed both works at 5 stars at the time of this writing, so I can attest this method works wonders. Just make sure you have the right people reading the work.

If a Steeler fan reads Northern Knights and Swords of Destiny, they might not take kindly to the allegory of the antagonists dressing in black and yellow and one of the main antagonist’s name being King Rooney, but hey, it’ll happen.

 

Blog, Blog, and Blog

Yeah, if you’re an author right now and you don’t have a blog, I suggest you stop reading this, log onto WordPress and create one.

Create a blog that can get indexed by Google, so don’t do a free WordPress.com or anything like that. My Wealthy Affiliate link can give you up to two sites, both subdomains, but you have complete access to WordPress.org with it, so you can always build content the way you want it and pay for the actual site hosting later.

If you don’t have a blog, you aren’t gaining exposure, plain and simple. You need to have exposure if you plan on selling your books.

You can also blog about anything you want, as long as it’s in a narrow niche.

Maybe your book contains messages that you’re passionate on. You can blog about those.

You might model your blog after mine and help writers.

You can talk about the writing process, how to market books, whatever you want, just stay in your niche.

 

Link Your Blog

We all have social media, so creating a Facebook Page, Twitter Page, Google + Page (for now), and Pinterest should be a must.

Also, if you want to treat your writing like an actual business and connect with other writers, linking your blog to a LinkedIn page isn’t half-bad either.

Some people prefer to receive a blog via email, so always have an email signup sheet on your blog, too.

I make sure everything is shared on these social media sites.

I don’t spend too much time sharing my blog to social media; maybe one or two shares throughout the day blog-wise, because it won’t work miracles. It will, however, give you a few bonus readers.

 

Make Your Product Professional

Look at my covers; they’re both professionally designed.

I did that on purpose.

My product already looks higher-quality than half the books over at Amazon because I took the time and spent $85 and $95 on the covers of Northern Knights and Swords of Destiny, respectively.

I researched and even bought a course in self-editing which also enhanced my writing tenfold, called the Jerry Jenkins’ Writers Guild. Excellent tool and enrollment is always limited. It completely changed my once amateur, and I mean amateur, writing style within six months.

The product works wonders and I advise you all to invest your money into writing courses. You’ll thank yourself one day when you do make full-time income writing.

If you look in my books, there may be a typo or two, as even traditionally published bestsellers contain them, but there aren’t many.

I took the time and edited my work. Months. In Northern Knights’ case, a couple years since it was my first work and I made more mistakes than one can count to infinity.

I formatted my work, double, and triple-checked to make sure it was correct.

I took my time, knowing I’d rather upload a high-quality product as opposed to a low-quality one.

I didn’t make the mistake most rookie indies make and rush to publish as those mistakes can be fatal to a career before it even begins.

No, I spent about nine months reading up on the entire publishing process the second I decided to publish the work myself and treat my books like a business.

 

Sink or Swim?

It’s true that most indies will ultimately fail, but the ones who fail wouldn’t have had they taken their time to build credibility.

The reason why most indies average $500 in royalties per year is because they refuse to do anything beyond uploading a book and watching a blank sales report page.

They fail to underestimate that this is a job and must be treated as such. Put it this way; if you went to your day job and just sat there would you succeed?

Of course not.

Some might argue that they took a lot of time writing their work and getting it published so they deserve to make money, right?

If you’re an indie-author, you’re a business owner, like it or not. Business owners invest a lot of money up front into their businesses. They work twelve to sixteen-hour days in that first year and many times into their second year. They invest a lot of money and they lose even more money.

Heck, many might be teetering on bankruptcy.

All those successful people some of us hate on, most of them lived on a prayer once upon a time.
But they built their credibility and ultimately their business empire.

Building a business and succeeding in your own business is something ANYBODY can do, but you have to be willing to put in the work most don’t want to do.

And that will be the deciding factor on building your business; on building your credibility as an indie-author.

Invest, invest, invest, and create the highest-quality product you can and succeed even if it means sacrificing a once healthy bank account or shortchange yourself and watch your dreams slip.

The choice is yours and I want you to take the high route.

I want you to enjoy success in this field for years to come.

WA Link: https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/toddmatthews/blog/the-shades-of-our-journey-await/a_aid/d52c980f

Author or Authorpreneur? Forge Your Path

 

It’s time to forge your path, authors, and the time’s come to decide whether you’re an author or authorpreneur.

Do you have an entrepreneurial mindset?

Because if you do authorpreneurship is for you.

What is authorpreneurship?

Well, you know how an entrepreneur owns and operates their own business?

Yep, an authorpreneur does the same.

BUT!

That also means you’re investing your hard-earned money in your author business.

Yep, any business owner will tell you that if you want a successful business, you must invest in it.

Look at the Pittsburgh Pirates, who refuse to invest in their own players.

Pirates fans recently started a little mantra stating, “if you spend nutting, you get nutting,” a nod to Pirates’ owner, Bob Nutting.

Ditto for your author business.

 

What is Your Author Business?

Well, like any business owner, it’s anything you want it to be.

You can decide to run your own show by writing, editing, copyediting, proofreading, the whole nine yards or you can outsource, as some businesses do.

Since I’m young and don’t have a lot of extra cash on hand, I decided to only outsource my cover and learn to edit and proofread, which has its own technique.

Now, much of what I write on my blog is spontaneous, meaning I’ll do a quick proofread here but nothing else, the opposite to the number of edits I do for my full-length novels and novelettes. For my novels, I can knock out a dozen edits, but it’s a craft I decided to learn.

You can do the same to save costs, especially if you’re just starting out.

Now, if you’re not an authorpreneur and just an author, everything except your own writing will be outsourced.

The cool thing about authorpreneurship is that your author business is your business and you can do whatever you want with it.

 

It’s Clockwork!

You all know me, as I’m an upfront and blunt kind of guy.

If you’re an authorpreneur, especially if you’re starting out, you’re working day and night like it’s clockwork because it’s likely you have at least a part if not a full-time job as well.

You need something called discipline and if you lack it, your author business isn’t going to happen.

Now, the costs of running an author business can be minute, especially if you choose not to outsource additional work, but keep in mind the time investment is going to be much greater as well.

For instance, it took me almost three years to write Northern Knights because with it being my first work, I made about a thousand mistakes. Okay, I’m being generous with myself; I made about two-thousand mistakes.

The upside is the costs of your business can be minimal but the downside is if you don’t invest the appropriate amount of time to make up for the lack of costs should you go this direction, your business will progress at a snail’s pace if you’re lucky.

 

Early Mornings and Late Nights

Yep, take your pick. I like to do both at the moment, meaning I’ll wake up earlier than others to get about thirty to sixty minutes of writing or editing in before heading to work. Once all my daily commitments are finished I’ll stay up sometimes until midnight if not later to get my writing or editing in.

Get used to it, because this is a second full-time job for those of you already working full-time.

And again, if you wish to outsource your work to an editor you can, but keep in mind most editors would appreciate it if you at least did a round or two of editing before sending in your first draft.

Like any new business, you’re the owner and the owner is working early and late. If you dislike waking up earlier than your neighborhood and staying up long after they’ve gone to bed, well, your only option is to invest in outsourcing to editors and others.

 

You’re in Control

Do you wish for higher royalties on your work from a percentage standpoint?

If so, authorpreneurship is for you.

For instance, Amazon gives self-published and indie-authors 70% royalties on works priced over $2.99 while handing the author 35% with works under $2.99. For first time authors, this is substantially more money than any traditional publisher is willing to dish out.

You control pricing in all regions, what categories your book is under so long as it’s relevant to the genre and the keywords.

If you wish to enroll your work in KDP Select, you can and if you wish to open publish, you can. Everything is in your control and for some, it’s peace of mind.

But you’ll need a marketing plan.

What is yours?

Book promotion?

Ads?

Do you even have a budget, bro?

These are questions the authorpreneur must ask themselves and both promos and ads always cost money, especially if you wish to have promos and ads that reach enough actual readers.

Oh, and you should identify a target audience, too.

Are you willing to do all this?

Well, these days it matters not as both traditional and indies need a solid marketing plan.

Most publishers want to see two things: 1) an author platform, and 2) a marketing plan.

 

Take Your Pick

So, author or authorpreneur?

Are you willing to invest money in the business? If yes, authorpreneur wins.

Do you wish to have full control over your business? If yes, you’re an authorpreneur.

Would you be willing to work full-time on a business while working full-time at a day job? If yes, authorpreneur is your path.

Do you wish to work early mornings and late nights? If you’re cool with that, you’re cool with authorpreneurship.

Would you like to earn higher royalties? If yes, authorpreneur is where it’s at.

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