20. Beware of dishonest publishers, the vanity publishes and the ego trip
The last thing you want is to spend weeks and months, years even creating this amazing book to hand over cash to a publisher who then rips you off, taking your copyright with them and you never see a penny. Read the contract, the small print and get copyright smart! This is business and if you are not ready to go into business, reconsider whether you should be publishing a book
21. When self-publishing, understand everyone gets paid before you do
a. Whether it is Amazon for print on demand or the typesetter, the graphic designer for your cover design, or even the software company you use to do it all yourself (I highly recommend against this btw) they will all need paying before you see a penny or a cent of your royalties. It is simply the way it is, and one of the reasons so many authors who are not entrepreneurially minded choose agents and traditional publishers – and then end up facing rejection, self-doubt and delays in getting published.
You may get an advance upfront with a traditional publisher, but if your agent is handling that, they will also get paid before you do, and the future royalties from franchising your book will go to the publisher first, you will get a percentage, normally between 5 and 15%
b. Self-publishing is simply the entrepreneurial version of traditional publishing with the Top 5 and is no different to setting up your own business as opposed to getting a job working for someone else.
22. Set your book for pre-order well in advance
a. A great way of building sales and gaining awareness of the books imminent release. Just don’t set it too far ahead in the future or too soon. Your excited readers will get annoyed with waiting and if you do not meet the deadlines of pre-order there are some hefty penalties in place from the publishing platforms who can prevent you from publishing for up to a couple of years.
b. Email your contacts with the news your book is on pre-order and get others signing up to your email list to get the goodies you have on offer in the run up to the launch.
23. Market, marketing and marketing
a. This is the key to success with any product or service not just with your books. No business can survive without marketing, whether that is word of mouth, social media marketing or good old-fashioned press releases to news outlets. If you want to make money from your writing, then you have to market and sell your book. If you are not willing to shout about your own work, how can you expect others to?
b. Get yourself on different platforms such as other people’s blogs, write articles for publications or at least on your own LinkedIn profile. You might even want to create your own Medium Profile and write on that platform – getting paid every time someone reads your work.
24. Hire the professionals
a. Invest in the essentials and focus on your own area of genius. No one can edit their own work, and if you are like me, leave the design work to the professionals!
b. Hire a coach, hire proof readers instead of friends and hire a PR company to at least send out a launch press release.