Ten Things I've Learned About Self-Publishing in 5 years of Podcasting
1) You’re going to need more than one book!
2) What I thought I was doing at the start looks very different now and will probably look very different in future
3) This is not a full time job for me
4) I prefer to be a lone ranger
5) I love creating stuff
6) Some things just need paying for
7) There’s no job like it
8) After all those books, I still haven’t found that magic ‘something’
9) I’m ready to change things up after my next thriller trilogy
10) We are masters of our own destiny
10 x Quickfire questions after 5 x years
Q: What’s your core self-pub formula?
A: FB ads + BookBub featured deals + trilogies/series
Q: What can’t you do without?
Q: What won’t you do again?
A: Collaborations – unless there’s an upfront payment involved
Q: What won’t you rule out?
A: Traditional and/or hybrid publishing
Q: What would you change?
A: Nothing – I’ve tried lots of different approaches and figured out what works for me – it’s been slow & frustrating at times, but there were no deaths along the way
Q: What’s your self-pub dream?
A: A TV series or movie based on one of my stories
Q: What could you do better?
A: Esp. Marketing and writing craft – I believe self-publishing is a constant iteration process
Q: What have you learned from COVID?
A: It’s great to work for yourself and control how/where/when & if you work
Q: Advice to new writers?
A: Take care that you don’t turn writing into a job you hate as much as your day-job! Beware of burn-out and try to set up a writing schedule that allows you to enjoy the journey. Also – write in series or trilogies and get decent covers.
Q: What’s coming next?
A: Final MB trilogy, then a period of review and reflection about what comes next. Enjoying the best of both worlds with books listed wide and in KDP Select. Focus on setting up my assets so they can create ongoing income for me in the long term.
10 x Fast Tips I’m Confident In Sharing
1 – Use Vellum for formatting if you’re intending on publishing 3 or more books
2 – Always get your book professionally edited
3 – Never use the default covers in the KDP dashboard
4 – Don’t pay for an audiobook until you’re making great money from the ebook or paperback versions
5 – Don’t worry if a book launch doesn’t go well – it really doesn’t matter if you’re in this for the long term
6 – You don’t have to be on social media and it’s unlikely you’ll make sales on those channels unless you experience a big break-through as an author
7 – You’re going to have to pay for some form of advertising if you want to move the needle on book sales
8 – You’re likely to consider throwing in the towel on more than one occasion
9 – Everybody’s word count is different – don’t be intimidated by word count folklore of authors who can write thousands of words each day. Find your own pace, by all means work on increasing it, but don’t burn yourself out
10 – It helps to hear how other people are doing it – read books about writing, listen to podcasts, watch videos and webinars – take what’s useful, jettison what’s not and find your own preferred path through the self-publishing jungle.
Fast Access Links
You can access every episode of Paul's Podcast Diary, in chronological order, here.
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My parkrun updates here