The process of self-publishing is very close to me because it’s something I have tirelessly worked on, tweaking and perfecting over the last 18–24 months. Thankfully, I’ve reached a stage and level of success where I think I can offer some helpful advice.
Now my advice is based on my own experiences only so it might be contrary to what others say. I can’t help that, nor do I make any apologies coz I can only say what’s worked for me and, just as importantly, what hasn’t. And I will talk about the process of self-publishing online in the form of eBooks. So with the niceties out of the way, let’s dive in the process of self-publishing.
You may b interested to read: What You Should Avoid in Self-publishing?
What To Publish
I can’t really guide you specifically on what to actually write here because your writing and your areas of interest will likely be different from mine. Don’t fear. Why? Coz anyone can publish whatever their whims may fancy.
Do you like something? Write about it! Then publish it online. Super simple. You just gotta know how to get your published work out there in front of people.
But, you do need content that:
- People want to read
- Has a high demand
- Isn’t horribly boring
- Doesn’t have a time-limited shelf-life
- Can be updated with new editions
- Has lots of pictures
Outside of that, all you literally need is a finished written product that you can save as a PDF. Once you’ve got that, you can publish to your heart’s content.
My First Self-Published Book
My first self-published book was an Instagram guide. As a photographer, I built my Instagram accounts to 70,000 followers in 12 months. I am up near 140,000 total followers now. So many fellow photographs kept asking me how I did it and what my secrets were and I kept answering them with the same info.
So I turned all those answers into a 100-page e-book. Thus far it’s sold nearly 1,100 copies online and generated over $17,000
My answer is an emphatic NO! I have had my Instagram guide on Amazon since I first completed it. In almost 2 years, it’s sold 1 copy. For $9. And Amazon kept 35% of that. So through self-publishing without Amazon, I’ve made over $17k. And publishing with Amazon I’ve made less than $6. I laugh at it every day. So, um, yeah, I don’t recommend Amazon.
If Not Amazon, Then Who?
There are literally dozens and dozens of companies out there that publish online manuscripts for you. Some examples include, but are not limited to:
Just do a Google search for “online self-publishing companies” and you’ll see the almost endless list of options. There’s so many it’s intimidating! Where on earth do you start?
Which Self-Publishing Company?
Basically, there is only one major thing to take into consideration and one the thing that separates almost all companies into 2 categories:
- How do they take commissions?
There are 2 ways companies do it:
1. Per-sales commissions where you only pay commissions on sales you make but pay zero monthly fees
2. You pay a monthly fee but no per-sale commission
What Commissions Should You Pay?
At first glance number, 1 option looks the best. No monthly fees? Sweet! Tiny commissions per sale? Sweet! Count me in. Forget it. This is a trap. If you have any visions of successfully selling your work (and you should) then per-sale commissions add up to be way, way, way more expensive than a flat per-month fee. Believe me, I tried both.
The Company That I Use
I tried various self-publishing sites and settled on one very quickly, so I use DPD. I pay a flat $10/month fee every month and that’s it. No commissions on any sales. I sometimes makeover 90–100 sales a month so that’s a massive bargain. For that I also get:
- 30GB storage (my 100 page PDF is 8mb..)
- Storage of all email contacts of purchasers (perfect for contacting about new ebooks/new editions)
- Up to 20 products (books) included
- 24/7 Help and support
At $10/month it’s hard to beat. I tried a few others and to be honest, many are quite similar. I’m not criticizing any here (except per sale commission companies).
But DPD was so easy to use for a total newbie like me at the time that I really had no need to try anything else once I started making sales with them. And funnily enough, I soon found out a lot of other successful artists also use DPD for their ebooks and digital products.
In summing up, you can self-publish anything. Literally. If you’ve written it, you can publish it. You don’t need to pay extortionate commissions like those demanded on Amazon. You have to compete with too many others anyway.
Just write it, convert it to PDF, upload it to a site like the ones I mentioned it above, then start promoting the hell out of it.
How To Promote?
That’s a completely different topic and something beyond the scope of this answer. I used Instagram initially and all the followers I’d built up. But there’s definitely an art form to it.
If you’re interested in building Instagram accounts with highly targeted followers I’ve written lots of helpful articles on my website.
You can also do promotion through things like:
- Paid advertising
- Guest publishing
The list’s almost endless on how you can promote. I recommend you get yourself up online and published with your ebook first and then get onto the promoting part second.
Good luck in the process of self-publishing!!