A few days ago, I attended an online conference through Writer’s Digest, where industry expert and self publishing company executive, Keith Ogorek, shared some of his observations about self publishers. I have listed those observations that I felt were most important with some of my own thoughts thrown in.
- Have a business plan. I have heard this from many sources, and in fact, give this advice to every new author/publisher I talk to. If you want to sell your book, you have to have a plan. It is easy to write a book and get it printed these days. Finding people to buy it is very challenging.
- Understand your core audience. ‘Everyone’ is not a core audience. Everyone will not buy or read your book, but there are particular groups of people who are more likely to pick it up. Who are they? Where are they? Are there easy ways to reach them? Do they already follow you?
- Be passionate about your topic or story. If you aren’t excited about it, how do you expect others to buy into it?
- Understand the challenges of traditional publishing. For many, the ‘dream’ of traditional publishing is now being replaced by other options. Successful self publishers, however, don’t necessarily abandon traditional publishing, but may instead work self publishing in order to have new opportunities arise in traditional publishing. One can lead to the other.
- Draw a line in the sand and ship your book. Without a deadline, it becomes increasingly difficult to get a book ready to ship. Of course, if the book doesn’t ship, the reality of selling it is nonexistent.
Have you observed particular traits or practices that publishers, whether they are traditional or otherwise, practice that make them successful?