Quill On Old Book - Self Publishing Tips by Jill Hughes

Marketing – let the real work begin?

Oh dear, to continue the equine theme – this is one of those cart and horse, which comes first things isn’t it? And just when you’ve dedicated months/years to finishing your book you’re expected to switch from flat racing and pace to plot arcs and hurdles – whoa! So, the finish is just the beginning? Yes, it’s a two-circuit track, like the Grand National. Really there’s a school of thought which says that it’s advisable to start building your Author Platform before you write your book – or at any rate at least begin thinking about it. So, where do you start?

Try running a Google search on Amazon top 100 bestsellers, pick some authors that resonate with you and check out their websites and blogs. This way you can glean lots of ideas and see what works and what doesn’t. Then you can start thinking about developing [having it developed?] your website and starting a blog. A good place to start with your website would be an author website e.g. Jill Hughes Author, where you can add your books as and when they’re released. The observant amongst you will have noticed, no doubt, that I did not follow my own advice – my own website has a wider focus and includes Wealth Mentoring, amongst other things, my books are on the Books By JJ Hughes page.

Then, just when you thought it couldn’t get any more complicated or time consuming you enter the realms of Social Media marketing, at which point I switch from being a hot-blooded thoroughbred to a cold-blooded cart horse. When it comes to Social Media marketing I proceed not at a brisk trot but a staid old plod before grinding to a halt. But I have an idea – yes, you’ve guessed – out source it. Now you are no doubt beginning to realise how the self-publishing budget stacks up, and up. I guess you’re wondering, is it really worth it? In pure financial terms, perhaps not, most writers don’t hit the big bucks – but an increasing number of Indie and self-published have and many more are on track. So, if you’re still reading this you’ve decided to hang on in there. Great.

Calling all aspiring/improving self-help authors

First I’d like to look at the self-help market which is a great place to start and as some of you will be aware I write both fiction and self-help books. Personal development and self-help is a big and booming business, just check out this section in your local book store or on line. Do you have some expertise, are you a specialist? Don’t undervalue your own expertise, and wouldn’t you love to get the book that’s bubbling up inside you out into the world? How about all the benefits that would start to flow your way if your book hit the best seller slot? Your credibility would take off and open the door not just to royalties but more income from clients, speaking engagements, consultancy, workshops, events and on-line programs?

Interested in learning how to write and publish and market a best-selling self-help book? Great, as that’s Geoff ‘s area of expertise and success – he got ‘Inspired by the Passion test’ to the No 1 best seller position on Amazon, and as luck would have it he’s offering some amazing free online training. To find out more Click Here.

That’s all for now as I’m signing off, leaving you with plenty to be thinking about I trust. More about Marketing in the next blog.

In love and light.

Jill Hughes Wealth Coach Signature

Girl Writing in Notebook - Self Publishing Tips by Jill Hughes

Do you have a deep aspiration for expression?

Many of us do apparently, and indeed my own self-publishing journey began with the bright idea of entering an Amazon story telling competition on Kindle Direct with a publishing deadline in May 2017. This effectively gave the writer’s block a good kick up the butt and because of the short time frame [relatively speaking after five years of impressive procrastination] I set about finding an experienced professional Editor who worked on the novel in sections – bearing in mind that the MS wasn’t yet finished! Before long I twigged that I’d have to allow a further two weeks post editing to have the MS formatted and ready to upload, then there was the cover design – luckily my Editor recommended someone based in Los Angeles who did a great job with quick turnaround. So far so good – then I found a reasonably priced formatter who promised quick completion, terrific. Along the way I had to research many different types of formatting – mind boggling, my formatter uses E-Mobi…yawn. Somehow, [techie-illiterate-nitwit-me] I managed to follow his instructions and downloaded Kindle Reader [or something] onto my PC [Mamma-Mia, am I pleased or what?] so I can get a preview. I read through the novel, and find some errors – argh, so back we go round the circle with the clock ticking trying to correct them. The E-Mobi file goes back and forth, and meanwhile the bill goes up. Then somewhere amongst my searches I stumble – literally like Alice in Wonderland down the rabbit hole – across the vexing issue of copyright and intellectual property rights – have my characters recited lyrics? You bet – the hero recites an entire b-poem. Not advisable this, so tick-tock, time and the file is flying. Then I have a light bulb moment and carefully check the competition terms and conditions – no news is good news as they say, as it transpired that I was also required to make the novel available in print-on-demand format as well. At which point, panic well and truly set in. Enter research about Lulu.com vs CreateSpace and so on, and the White Rabbit is checking his pocket watch. What’s a girl to do?

Give up – tempting, with another file conversion required it seems highly unlikely now that I’ll meet the submission deadline. Still determined, I start sourcing CreateSpace formatters, only to find on re-reading the entry small print that finalists would be chosen not on originality as I’d believed but on Amazon sales, reviews and borrows – so this massively disadvantaged debut novels and newbie authors like me and mine. To get shortlisted you needed previous novels already published plus a marketing campaign that was already up and running, an audience and heaps of readers and followers. The race horse equivalent of falling at the Canal Turn and failing to finish. So, I decided to pull together my take on beneficial short cuts and pitfalls to avoid and help you to complete the course with considerably less stress and over load. Here goes:-

  1. EDITING – can be expensive but it’s essential. After your friends/family/expert readers have run through your MS and you’ve digested the feedback and made corrections, it’s time to find 2-3 editors who are experienced in your field/genre/niche. Phone or email them to talk about your book and discuss their schedules and fees. Ask for a free sample edit of a few pages, then select the best fit and have fun. Here’s to a long and productive relationship.
  2. PULLING A PRO-TEAM TOGETHER – realistically unless you’re a die-hard DIY techie sort you’re going to need to replicate the production team and back up that a traditional publisher would provide, namely a) an editor, b) a professional cover designer, c) book formatter[s], d) marketing/PR consultant[s]. Da-da! Now take a sharp intake of breath as you are going to need a budget ranging from $/£2,500 to $/£15,000 for this little lot. Poor quality finish, bad formatting, typo’s, errors and omissions will cost you dear by generating bad reviews – and bad reviews will hang around out there in cyber space like a bad smell wafting in. Don’t let that happen to you!

If you’d like my personal referrals including an incredible value, great quality one-stop-shop to save you time, effort and money sign up here:

More to follow….soon…..

In love and light.