Hi. Today I’m going to try to share some of the information I’ve learned through webinars and so forth. This is the last thing I’m going to be doing on self-publishing, I have to tell you, because self-publishing has turned into such a racket now that I can’t even keep up.
So having said that, I will say that I was listening to a session put on by Sisters in Crime, Chesapeake Chapter that went into self-publishing. It was really geared toward people who have never done it, but I thought it was very interesting. There were a few interesting things that came up. Somebody used a thing called PublisherRocket. I dunno. It’s to help generate, I guess, keywords that people use to search. Well, I don’t know, maybe stuff like that is good. I’m just mentioning it because she mentioned it. PublisherRocket, whatever. [You’ll notice it costs something after a 30-day trial, so you eventually have to pay for it] The other thing somebody mentioned was, oh, BookVault.
Yeah, I thought that was interesting. I’ve seen that. Somebody [Joanna Penn] had mentioned it in another thing I read, and I thought that’s kind of an interesting place to go if you want to do something a little bit different other than the standard ebook, print book, fiction-type stuff. Anyway, having said that, BookVault. Yeah, that might be worth looking into if you’re really into this. Here’s a comment I thought interesting in terms of marketing. Somebody said, we need to be more human. Ta da! How much more human does it get? Okay, this is just me talking, going through my notes and yeah, somebody had a small press. I have a small press. A lot of people really love looking at their stats, almost obsessively. I was like that with my Amazon rank. Let me tell you, it will drive you crazy fast. So I recommend not going crazy over this stuff.
Although some people apparently love to, I dunno, not me. I don’t even look at my Amazon rank anymore. I don’t care. Number one, it’s not about rank now for me, it’s about income. Plain and simple, simply getting paid. And Amazon isn’t doing me any favors since I’m not exclusive to them. So what do I care what my Amazon rank is at this point? Let’s see. Oh yeah, they [Amazon] had a Breakthrough Awards contest. That’s how one person got involved. Oh yeah. Here’s another thing I thought was funny. I think the question posed was what made you decide to self-publish? Hmm, as if we had been getting numerous offers from … numerous publishers were beating a path to our door to get our stuff. No! Publishing was a very hard, arduous process back in the old days when you had to rely an agent to go to a traditional publisher, or you could go to a small press that would accept over the transom.
And before those days, there were the days when the big presses, when the traditional Big Five, so to speak, were taking submissions over the transom. But then you ended up in what they called the “slush pile.” I’m going way back in history now. Anyway, having said all that stuff, yeah, we were very grateful for Amazon to do all these things, but our gratitude has limits. That’s all I’ll say. And there are limits to how much you can game Amazon.
So having said that, having said all of that, there was a question I posed to the group, to which one person answered privately. I said, there’s this, okay, this expensive course you can take, and I guess it’s supposed to be good. I keep hearing how good it is. So I said, what were your takeaways, your biggest takeaways from this course? And the answer was, have a mailing list, have a freebie, and run ads.
Okay, well, I do two of those and I’m not going to run ads. I mean, I have no plans to run ads. Let’s put it that way. At this point. [Some of the authors run ads that cost five dollars a day.] Five dollars a day is actually [way] more than I make from my books. Another piece of advice given was don’t spend more than you can realistically recoup on anything, whether it’s a promotion or ads presumably. And it’s like, okay, how can I be sure these ads are actually going to produce enough? I guess you have to experiment with them. Well, if I ever get to that point, maybe I will, but it’s just not a priority for me right now. And maybe I’ll have to rethink that. You have to, as they say, be agile in this business. So I’m doing my best. And so on that note, I’ll just say, I can probably figure out the ads myself without paying for the expensive course, because the rest of it I already do.
In any event, that’s it for me. And this is the last I’m going to talk about this subject because I’m sick to death of it, frankly. There, is that being authentic and human or not? Alright, thank you. I mean, I love books and I think self-publishing is a very valid way to get your work out there. I just think there’s an awful lot of advice. Wrong advice. Oh, that was the other thing I was going to mention. Oh gosh, this is running on longer than I’d hoped. I’m sorry.
The things they didn’t talk about, the things they didn’t talk about included Substack. They included Patreon. One person had a Kickstarter. I was impressed. Seriously impressed by that. So consider those alternatives. There’s Medium. There’s not that I’ve made a lot of money off of Medium, but then I don’t really put my stuff behind a paywall, so gee, what would I expect? Right?
So anyway, having said that, there are all these other things. What I think Jane Friedman had called “social publishing.” I think that’s kind of like an up and coming thing and something worth thinking about, especially if you’re just starting out. The earlier you can get started on things, the better. But you have to do it with intention. You have to know what you’re getting into a little bit and kind of think about, is this the way I want to go with my work? Is this where I want to put my time and energy? That is the real question here. What do you want to do? What are you willing to do in order to get your work out there? Noticed, have people reading it. It’s that simple and that complicated. So in any event, sorry to ramble on like this, but it just happened that way. I’m just having a conversation with myself or you. I’m hopefully talking to somebody. And that’s it for now. That’s all I can say. Thanks for listening.
PS: It’s still Dystonia Awareness Month. Just saying. 🙂
Self-care before self-publishing! Get your priorities straight, kiddo! 🙂
PPS: If I ran this through ChatGPT, what do you suppose would come out? 🙂
I likely drew that image as part of Creative Sprint! I’m signing up. How about you?