There are a lot of misconceptions about being an author. The most common one is that you have to be published by a big publishing house in order to call yourself an author. This is not true! In fact, there are a number of benefits to becoming a self-published author.
For starters, you get to keep a larger percentage of the royalties. You also have more control over the final product, and you can market your book in any way you choose. Becoming an author is a great way to share your knowledge and expertise with the world!
Compared to even 5 years earlier, becoming an author and reaching a worldwide audience is infinitely easier.
First, let’s question the benefits of becoming an author in general and then, think of how you can become a self-published author.
Becoming an Authority in the Field
There are a number of benefits to becoming a published author. The first, and most obvious, is that you become known as an author. This carries with it a certain level of authority in the field. People will respect your knowledge and be more likely to listen to what you have to say.
Learning the Topic Thoroughly
Additionally, writing a book allows you to thoroughly learn and question the topic at hand. You become an expert on the subject matter, which can be extremely valuable in today’s information-saturated world.
You can publish your book on Amazon, iTunes, Google Books, Ingramspark, Draft2Digital, and Smashwords in as little as a week reaching a worldwide audience of over a billion people.
Writing the book and publishing it is just the first half of catching the potential of what your book can do. You then need to market your book to get the first 10 reviews, which is a deep topic by itself and it’s best if you do it with experts. We will delve into this topic later in this post.
Sharing the Knowledge
Finally, writing a book is a great way to share your knowledge with others and help them learn and grow.
How to Self-Publish Your First Book
Now that we’ve looked at the benefits of becoming an author, let’s talk about how you can self-publish your first book.
Step 1: Write the Book
I wrote 5 books in a year. They are all about innovation. One of them took 2 months and that’s the least selling one. One of them took 10 days and that’s the most selling one.
Writing the book is going to the gym. You need to be consistent and systematic. You need to plan and make a schedule of the content and how much time you need to finish it.
The pressure you put yourself into is the way to create the inner discipline since the returns are uncertain and most probably, there isn’t anyone or business pushing you into writing your first book. You just need to love what you do and stay curious spending at least 1–2 hours a day scratching and writing your book until you see the big picture of the book. The more we walk, the more we see what’s on the horizon. So, we need to walk (write) consistently and enter a zone where we think nothing else in those few hours of the day especially when we write our first books.
When you see the light in an idea, question it, Google it, ask people about it and discuss the topic with your friends. After a few days or weeks, when the picture is clear and when you are certain that you feel passionate about it while seeing that the topic and content will surely be extremely beneficial for a wide audience, get to work.
Make a stretch goal of writing e.g. 10 pages a day and keep your schedule serious about it. In the end, writing cannot be a hobby that you can just do when you feel like it. It needs a certain discipline of sparing the time and effort to do it every day if you can. The more we do a thing, the better we get at it.
My best selling book
I spent less than 10 days, 70% of my time writing this book and it was actually my first book. The reason why I wrote it was because I was extremely interested and curious about the topic. I learned so much that I wanted to write a book and share it with a global audience. When I was first writing the book about a year ago, there were about 35,000 Helium miners and now, there are over 750,000. The extraordinary success of the Helium platform was inevitable and this way, I became a part of it sharing the know-how with anyone who is interested.
My least selling book
I spent 2 months writing about Climate Crisis and how we will tackle it using. innovation, collaboration and upcoming technologies. I was honestly expecting a lot more demand for the book since it is the biggest existential threat that is important for everyone and I believe I wrote a well-written book with innovative ideas and the description of the technologies as well as the science behind climate change, but maybe it wasn’t meant to be or people don’t really care about Climate Crisis since it doesn’t affect their day-to-day lives.
You can read the sample and buy the Climate Crisis book here.
Using an AI Writer as a Personal Assistant
You can also write books with the help of AI Writers. In my case, I wrote two books, one about AI and the other about the NFT art world.
One of them took me 2 weeks and the other took me a week to finish using Jasper AI. Jasper AI doesn’t write for you. It becomes your personal assistant who is an expert on almost any topic since it read 10% of the internet and it is also surprisingly creative in ideation and strategic thinking meaning if you know what you want, it takes you there using alternative and creative ways that you would otherwise not be able to think of.
Try out Jasper AI, a top-rated AI writing tool with a 4.9/5 Trustpilot rating and is used by 50,000+ companies and content creators including Google and Airbnb.
The 2 Books I Published Using an AI Writer as an Assistant
Step 2: Publish your book
The best place to start publishing your book is Amazon. As in everything, it has a learning curve, but that doesn’t mean you can’t master it in a few weeks. What you need to pay attention to:
File Size. You need to make sure the sizes of visuals are as small as it can get without sacrificing the image quality. This is because Amazon’s pricing is heavily dependent on the file size.
Table of Contents. You can simply create the Table of Contents using Word or Google Documents using the Insert > Table of Contents menu for both ebooks and paperback.
Download KPF. KPF stands for Kindle Publishable (or Package) Format and you can download it as you log onto Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). As you download, you can upload your word file into KPF and check the format along with the Table of Contents. Then, you can upload this file to Amazon KDP.
Design Your Cover Design. You can simply hire someone from Fiverr or hire Awaynear / me to create a professional design. You can also hire 99designs for your design needs.
Submit to Amazon KDP. Now that you have your KPF file, you can upload it to Amazon KDP. If there are any errors regarding the format or design, KDP will notify you. If not, then, you will be able to submit your book and it normally takes at most about 2 days for your book to be published.
Apart from Amazon, there are also other alternative publishing platforms such as Google Books, iTunes, Draft2Digital, and Ingramspark, however, compared to Amazon, all these solutions are secondary and normally all of them together wouldn’t have a share of more than 20% of your sales. Therefore, Amazon KDP needs to be your main focus.
Translate Your Books
Another way to boost your sales while publishing is that you can get your books translated. I translated all my books into Spanish since it’s a main market and 10–20% of the sales come from the Spanish-speaking markets.
Regarding the pricing, there are 70% and 30% options. If your book is less than $10, then, you can have 70% of the sales, if more than, $10, or if you want wider distribution meaning book stores, etc., then, again, you would receive 30% of the sales.
You can also have your books narrated and publish audiobooks, which I did for 3 of my books. Audible (of Amazon) is the most dominant player in the field. It’s best if you give them all the rights of distribution and they will also distribute it on iTunes.
Audible is as popular as KDP and it’s definitely worth having your book published there financially if you want to reach a wider audience alternatively.
How to Market Your Books
It’s best if you initially check if your topic is in a high competition area. Book is an intellectual product, however, it’s still a product, and to make sales, you need to be ahead of the competition one way or another.
Reviews are the most important parts of marketing because they are social proof and it also gets your ranking higher once you reach a level of 10 reviews. It’s almost like SEO. First, you need to invest, but then, that investment returns to you as consistent traffic and sales of your product.
How to Gain Reviews
Getting the first 10 reviews is challenging, but there are a number of ways to approach it to make it happen.
Amazon has its own marketing and promotional tools such as KDP select, making your books have gradual discounts for a while, and giving away your books for a limited time. You can boost your sales when you give away your books for free and this will initiate the process of your reviews.
It is also key to write a great product description with the right keywords and engaging content for your target audience.
Outsourcing the traffic is another way. You can submit your books to Goodreads and other sources and give away your books to your followers. This will increase traffic and sales.
Work with influencers. If your book is in a special niche, then, you can collaborate with social media influencers and give away your book to their followers or you can pay them a fee for them to post your book on their profiles.
Amazon ads are most effective once you have a few positive reviews. A few reviews will boost the confidence your target audience will have in your book.
When you are ready to post an ad for your book, you can start with a small daily budget of $5 to $10 and keep your targeting is automated so that you can analyze the results and sales to see which keywords make the sales. Automated Amazon ads make the promotion using the category and the keywords within your product description.
As you have results from the automated campaign, you can move onto your custom campaign after analyzing the results.
You can also add your content to your Author page and Author Central building a relationship with your audience.
Writing a book is not everyone’s cup of tea. It requires discipline and willingness to spend many hours on one topic only. However, if you love the topic and writing, it’s a very rewarding product to achieve since you become a published author, and an expert in the field while increasing your credibility as a professional and a human being. In the end, everyone is able to write, but not many people do.
You just need to make a decision and start writing your book not thinking of financial awards in the beginning. It is fun to learn and dive deep into a topic you love knowing that anyone in the world who is interested in the topic can read your words and apply your wisdom. Now, it’s easier than ever to write a book and share it with the world while having the majority of the revenue to yourself thanks to Amazon KDP sort of services. You can start the process and spend maybe 20% of your time writing your first book following the steps summed up above.
If you need any help writing a book, you can simply email me and I will do my best to get you there in the most productive and creative way.