Naked Self-Publishers and Other Tales

I haven’t been feeling very well this past week (maybe it was the psychological after effect of having to do a photo-shoot on Tuesday that involved standing against a wall balancing a pile of books on my head…?) so the blogging schedule went a bit awry. Also, I haven’t been able to drink coffee for the last forty-eight hours so who knows if there’s even a coherent thought left in my head. We’ll soon find out, I suppose. Anyway, there’s three things I’ve been meaning to tell you, lovely self-publishers, so today I’m going to lump them all into one post.

The Naked Author: A Guide to Self-Publishing

If you’re still undecided about whether or not you should self-publish or if you can handle/be bothered with all that’s involved, Alison Baverstock’s new book The Naked Author is the best place to start. As well as offering practical advice (like the difference between editing, copyedited and proofreading—something all self-publishers should know), The Naked Author addresses the psychology of putting your own book out into the world. I think in the rush to publish, many self-publishers—and the guides written for them—forget to ask themselves if they’re ready for what it’s going to feel like, which isn’t always rainbows and sunshine. You need a thick skin to write, and a titanium armor to self-publish. Filled with inspiring stories from successful self-publishers, including Mark Edwards and Louise Voss whose stellar sales secured them a six-figure deal in the UK, and with a foreword by Smashwords founder Mark Coker, The Naked Author would be a great addition to any self-publisher’s library. You can find it on The Book Depository here.

The Taleist Self-Publishing Survey 2011

In January 2012, Taleist is going to survey more than 1,000 self-published authors to find out the answers to the self-publishing questions we’ve all been asking. What makes a successful self-publisher? What number of sales puts you in the top five percent? Are the names in the headlines just outliers? What would be “doing worse” than the average self-publisher? What’s normal? I for one would be fascinated to find out the state of self-publishing today, especially after the year we’ve had, and of course the data will help us move forward in the future. Steven of Taleist is asking for your help with three things:

  1. Sign up on this page to respond to the survey
  2. Spread the word about it to your fellow self-publishers
  3. If you have a question you want answered by, leave a comment on this post.

Also, Steven has used Andrew Brown of Design for Writers—he of Mousetrapped, Backpacked, Self-Printed and Results Not Typical cover fame—to create a jacket for his new book, Hot Silver. Read his recent post on the subject, 6 Things To Tell Your Cover Designer.

Are You Ready for an E-book Christmas?

Amazon has sold 1,000,000 Kindles each week for the last three weeks. Assuming we’re talking about Christmas presents, that means that come December 25, three million new or upgraded Kindle owners will be sliding their Kindles awake, making their way onto the Kindle store and looking for something to read. Have you done everything you possibly can to ensure that they find your book?

Now is the time to check that you’ve:

  • made your product description (blurb) as enticing as it can be
  • added editorial reviews (from book blogs, other authors) to your Amazon listing
  • got reviews
  • got the best and most attractive cover you can
  • put previews of your other books inside each of your e-books, if applicable
  • priced them to sell, even if you intend on raising the price again after Christmas.

The key selling period last year seemed to be Christmas Eve right up until the end of January, so keep an eye on your sales data to see if you get a bump. Twelve months ago I went from selling 200 e-books a month to selling over 400 in December, and then almost 1,000 in January—without doing anything extra! Let’s hope it’s as easy this year.

Can I also ask a favor? If you’ve read Mousetrapped, Backpacked or Results Not Typical and you haven’t written an Amazon review, please consider taking five minutes to scribble even just a couple of sentences. They really, really help when it comes to customers deciding whether or not to buy.

So, that’s it for another week. Have a good weekend!

4 thoughts on “Naked Self-Publishers and Other Tales

  1. Elisa Michelle says:

    Thanks for this! I’m definitely surprised by all the Kindles sold. I guess it shows how ebooks really are shifting things, for better or worse. As a soon-to-be self publisher (who sadly can’t get my stuff up by Christmas), it’s very exciting.

  2. shah wharton says:

    Several members of my family have finally caved in to my incessant nagging and bought kindles – two of which are stashed under Christmas trees awaiting Amazon purchases. I’m gutted I didn’t get my first book publishable last year ready for this season but next Spring will have to do. All those with Kindles will need their stash refreshing in regular chunks – I know I do 😀

    Your photo shoot sounds interesting 🙂 And gasp – No coffee? Are pregnant? Withdrawing? Ill? Nothing should come between a gal and her caffeine fix! X

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