Saturday, March 3, 2018

4 Common Questions Authors Ask About Self Published Books @kayelleallen #MFRWauthor #Author

I am often asked about self publishing. Since I have 13 self published multiple books, it's easy to see why. I also lead Marketing for Romance Writers, so I get certain questions on a regular basis. Based on my experience, here are the answers to four of the most common things authors ask.

Should I put my self published ebook in print?

Definitely. You don't have to pay to have your book printed. Use CreateSpace which will allow you to make POD versions (Print on Demand). This way if you need 10 copies for a book signing, you can get just 10 copies. CreateSpace costs you nothing. They make money when you sell a book. Because it's digital until it's ordered and printed, they can afford to keep books "in print" far longer than a traditional publisher would. The biggest reasons to have your book in print: 1) some people will only read print books, 2) The difference in price between a print book and ebook often drives sales of the ebook. If you can get an ebook for $2.99 or a print book for $8.99, which would you buy? 

How should I price my book?

Amazon suggests a range depending on your book. When you go to your book's detail page on KDP, look at the pricing section. Click the link and read everything. It's helpful. If you charge under $2.99 or over $9.99 you will get 35% royalty. Between those ranges, you get 70%. The BEST way to determine your price is to study the competition. Look up other books in your genre and see what the top 10 are doing price wise. CreateSpace will give you a minimum price - the price which they must charge to cover their costs. I make my print books as low as possible. For every print book I sell, I sell 500 ebooks. Print is nice, but it's not what sells and they are extremely expensive to pre-print and distribute. If you use CreateSpace, you can match it to the book on Amazon and sell it there too. 

Should I use social media?

Social media is for being social. You can meet people on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest etc. that you would never meet otherwise. People buy from people they know. Be on social media to be seen, not to sell books. Yes, you should post about book stuff. But share other material as well. Offer things of interest and people will follow you. The goal is to reach more people, not sell books. If people know and like you, they will buy your books. 

Do I need to buy an ISBN?

The site you upload to (Smashwords, Amazon, CreateSpace) will provide one at no cost. Save your money for more important things, like marketing. All the ISBN tells people is a number for your specific book and which service you used to print/publish it. They are a legacy of the old publishing system. The Libary of Congress uses them, but since you can get one for free, why spend a fortune? They are not cheap. Here's a good FAQ page from the only place where you can buy an ISBN. They own the system.

If you have questions about self published books, please leave a comment below. I'll do my best to answer or to point you toward someone who can.

Kayelle Allen writes Sci Fi with misbehaving robots, mythic heroes, role playing immortal gamers, and warriors who purr. She's a US Navy veteran who's been married so long she's tenured.
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