Tips from a Self-Published Author
Our September speaker was Romella Jones, who has been practising as a holistic therapist for 10 years, her business is Create Family Calm which supports frazzled mums and their children. http://romella.co.uk/.
Romella loves writing and has written several books which started out as word documents she circulated to friends, however, with her business head on, Romella knew that publishing books would establish her as an authority in a niche area.
After giving away free content in the form of blogs, newsletters and videos, books, which cost under £10, allow people to engage with Romella at a low cost. They are an important part of her sales funnel showcasing her products and services and therefore act as leverage for her business.
Selling books on Amazon also brings in a residual income – but you do need to promote the books in order to get people to buy them.
Getting Started in Self-Publishing
In the beginning, Romella worked with Sue Miller at Team Author UK (www.teamauthoruk.co.uk), where a dedicated team supports indie authors with editing, proofing, PR and design service – the costs are around £100 per book.
Romella’s books are created on the Amazon platform www.createspace.com (which is moving over to Kindle Direct Publishing https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US). The platform provides free tools to help you self-publish, market and distribute your books, DVDs, CDs, and video downloads.
The whole process is very simple and works off a serious of templates, you choose the size and layout, number of pages etc. and you will be guided through the process. You literally write your book in word and then copy and paste it into the template and you will automatically be issued with an ISBN number.
You can choose how your front and back cover will look and upload your own pictures or use their free resources and after proofing on-line your book will be published within 24 hours!
Profit from Your Books
Books are printed on demand, so neither Amazon nor you have to hold stocks and there is no upfront cost. Romella broke down the costs for us – on a book that retails at £7.99, Amazon takes £2 as a fee, £3 goes towards the printing and distribution leaving around £3 profit. You can obviously buy your own books to keep in stock for selling at events.
You can also create a Kindle version of any book and as there are no distribution costs so there is more profit in this format.
Top Tips for Self-Publishing
One great tip that Romella shared was that if you write over 100 pages you can get your title on the spine which obviously looks more professional on a bookshelf
Another top tip was to choose your category carefully so that you can become a best seller in your niche category rather than competing in something broad like ‘self-help’ and pre-order some ahead of your launch to improve your rankings.
Other resources Romella recommended were:
www.lulu.com – a self-publishing platform with templates that allows you to Create, publish and sell your book, e-book, photo book or calendar for free.
www.balboapress.co.uk – the self-publishing arm of Hay House Publishing that specialises in self-help books.
www.smashwords.com – a site that syndicates your e-book to all e-readers across multiple retailer platforms!
Our discussion finished with thinking about ways we could repurpose our existing content and use this in new formats such as putting your blogs together into an e-book or converting your FAQ’s into a serious of videos.
Another successful WiRE meeting where we learn, share and support each other.