Congratulations! You’ve independently published your new book, and now it’s time to kick back and wait for the royalties to roll in.
If only. For most of us, writing those eighty-thousand carefully crafted words feels like the easy part, after watching our Amazon sales rankings languish week after agonizing week.
The problem is that while producing a really good book is an art, publishing is a business. And businesses – at least, the more successful ones – don’t just offer a product or service and hope customers will simply whip out their credit cards.
Smart business folks realize that sales – the final scorecard – can rarely be controlled directly. They can, however, control many of those things which lead to sales. By setting objectives of these controllable activities and working toward achieving them, they can impact sales in very positive ways.
What are some of the things you can control as an independent/self publisher? Here are a few to consider. As to how you go about accomplishing them, there is no one-size-fits-all method, so you will have to do your own research, trial and error. Setting and hitting these objectives, however, should enhance your indie publishing business. Please note that the following numbers are mine. Your mileage may vary.
1. Develop a starting advertising budget and accumulate the necessary funds. Let’s say you set a beginning ad budget of $500.00. You can begin socking away money while you’re still in the process of writing, editing etc., so that when you’re ready to launch, you‘ll have a few bucks available to help send it on its way.
2. Reach the 20+ positive review mark as soon as possible. This is important because many of the better promotion sites won’t take your book seriously until it has at least twenty positive reviews. I recommend having a strong advance review version formatted a few months before the book’s official release date.
3. Build your email list to 1000 interested readers and prospective readers. You may be able to share lists with other authors of similar books.
4. Put your book in front of 5000+ readers. Whether through sales, giveaways or a combination thereof, make sure thousands of people have seen and, ideally, read your book. The more people who have experienced it, the more reviews, word of mouth, newsletter subscribers, etc. to help get your message out.
There are, of course others. But hitting these metric goals will be a pretty good start for any independent book publisher.
Joel Bresler is the author of Bottomless Cups