1. Kstaraga

    Kstaraga Member

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    Has Anyone Here Marketed Their Book 100% Themselves?

    Discussion in 'Self-Publishing' started by Kstaraga, Feb 24, 2021.

    I'm kind of curious. I'm looking and considering self-publishing options for my book. When it comes to self-publishing, it seems that Amazon is in the limelight among other options out there, but I've also heard a lot of negative about Amazon self-publishing, too. I'm not sure if that's what I want.

    I have heard of authors making it their responsibility nearly 100% to market their book. From what I understand, this is having a website to sell your book on. I would assume you would need your own ISBN and bar code as well. Not to mention a platform where you can make copies of your book. Then, the marketing is of course another thing to worry about.

    I'm pretty much stuck between options because it sounds like more money would be needed up front to sell your book completely on your own, but then again, if the financial aspects are done right, I would assume you get more of your money's worth than you would through a third party marketing your books.

    What did you do for self-publishing? What are your experiences with it? Thanks!
     
  2. Cephus

    Cephus Contributor Contributor

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    Virtually all self-published authors do it 100% themselves. That doesn't mean you sell it on your own. That would be a disaster.
     
  3. Kstaraga

    Kstaraga Member

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    I'm new to this so I'm looking for what my options are so I decide which one would be best to take. What is something that you recommend? Something that you have had success with?
     
  4. Lifeline

    Lifeline South. Staff Contributor

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    You might ask @Catrin Lewis . She set up her own publishing business.
     
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  5. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I'd tend to suggest selling it on all the major market places including amazon.. (amazon has between 70 and 80% of the market ... why would you decide to turn you back on all those customers ?)

    The problem with selling it from your own website only is traffic... its possible to take payments with payhip and deliver ebooks with book funnel... but how do you get the customers (once you've exhausted family and friends)... that means advertising... and you'll get a much lower click through rate from adverts to your own website than you would to an amazon (or kobo, B&N, apple books, Google play etc) page

    The two exceptions are

    i) if you have an established business that allows you to sell books via talks and workshops... if people regularly pay to see you speak and your book links in to what you are talking about then direct sales to that market are a possibility

    ii) If you write in a genre which amazon (etc) regularly dungeon... erotica, porn, fet, extreme politics etc... in those cases you pretty much have t host the book yourself and rely on advertising it through groups dedicated to that interest, since you won't be able to use mainstream advertising either
     
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  6. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Publication and distribution is a separate thing from marketing. You can have your book available on (distributed by) Amazon without buying Amazon advertising. And they won't market your book if you don't.

    There are other platforms you can distribute books through, like IngramSpark and Kobo. But Amazon is the biggest, and the one where people will expect to find your books.

    Having them available through your own website is a good thing, but you still need a server where the ebook files are stored. Which takes you back to Amazon, IS, etc.

    If you're talking about print books and you don't want to go with Amazon or IngramSpark as your print-on-demand distributor, you can always, if you have the cash, go to a local printer, have them run off a few dozen or hundred copies, and sell them through your website. Meaning you get to do all the fulfillment (wrapping, addressing, taking them to the post office, etc.). And might end up with an attic full of books.

    But again, marketing is a different thing. I haven't done a lot of it lately, because I have only one book out and I'm taking forever on the next one. And it's pretty well been proved that paying for ads for a solo book isn't cost-effective.

    By a "third party marketing your books" do you mean a traditional publisher? Guess what, they'll expect you to do most of the marketing yourself. What they're good at is getting books into physical bookstores. But if you mean one of those outfits like Author Solutions that want thousands of dollars up front to supposedly market your book, run away. Fast. They're sheer scams.
     
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  7. Kstaraga

    Kstaraga Member

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    I guess part of this is hard for me because I hate ebooks with a passion...it has never been my thing and I struggle because that's where a lot of the self-publishing and reader market is. I like reading a book that I can hold in my hand, not so much on a screen. I know it's not the same for other people.

    I figured that traffic to the website would be harder unless the writer has a huge following, it's not easy to get the right traffic or the amount of traffic desired to keep coming.

    I'm thinking if maybe Lulu would be worth the time. I only had one writer friend praise it so I'm a bit hesitant. I know they distribute to multiple markets, but I don't know if their formatting and self-publishing tool is as informative as Amazon's since I haven't tried them yet.

    Thanks for your response.
     
  8. Kstaraga

    Kstaraga Member

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    I don't even remember what I meant by third party marketing, sorry :(

    Thank you for your informative response, I appreciate it. I will use it to help me weigh my options.
     
  9. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Ebooks are a vast chunk of the self publishing market ... about 80% of most authotrs income... so thats a problem

    however if you are determined to do print only you can do print on amazon through kdp print and print into bookshop catalogues through ingram spark (lulu use ingram spark for their printing with an added margin so.. yeah)... there are always codes online to negate the set up fee on IS by the way... last i checked both GETPUBLISHED and NANO2020 were working
     
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  10. SapereAude

    SapereAude Member

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    How does having the same book available through two printing sources work? Do they share the same ISBN and LCCN?

    Barnes & Noble does print-on-demand. I don't know if that automatically makes the print version available through their brick and mortar stores. And if I read the web site correctly. Draft2Digital (to which you referred me in another thread) is now doing print-on-demand as well as e-books.
     
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  11. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Yes, if the size, binding, and formatting of the book are the same with all distributors, it would have the same ISBN regardless of who printed it. And (though I haven't gotten into it), the same Library of Congress number. In fact, that's one of the biggest reasons to assign your own ISBN, so your book can be tracked, requested, and accounted for across multiple distributors.

    (The other is to establish yourself as the publisher, not Amazon KDP or anybody else.)

    Haven't worked with them, either, but if you go to them for POD, I'd assume it would be. You can investigate and see what they offer.

    My novel is available through IngramSpark, and I had the clerk at my local Books-a-Million check see if their customers can order it. Yep, it's in their digital catalog. I just checked on the B&N website and it's there, too.

    But as you have written, the operative word is "through." Physical shelf space is at a premium, these days especially.
     
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  12. Cephus

    Cephus Contributor Contributor

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    Anyone can order your book through B&N, but they are not going to carry it in their stores. No self-published books will ever appear in a chain bookstore. It just doesn't work that way.
     
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  13. Kstaraga

    Kstaraga Member

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    I didn't know there were codes online to negate the set up fee there. Good to know, thanks :)
     
  14. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    My wife and I publish on KDP Amazon, and if you are starting out that is the path I recommend. That will get your book out on both Kindle and paper format, with excellent tech support. About 80% of my sales are Kindle. As for advertising, I recommend Facebook boosted posts. See https://www.facebook.com/TheEagleAndTheDragon/ for examples. Since December 30, my post has reached 175,000 people and generated respectable sales. It's not free. I budget $200/month for FB boosts, but for the past several months, I have actually broken even. You can also advertise on Amazon, as a sponsored product. See "Amazon Ads for Authors" on Amazon as to how to do it. I am still learning. The advantage of Amazon ads is that you know how many clicks actually resulted in a sale. In FB, I only know how may I reached, and how many of them clicked through to the Amazon book page.

    Anyway, congratulations on finishing your baby. Good luck and be sure you edit it thoroughly before you hit the "publish" button. If you think it's good enough, it's not. If you think it's perfect, it's still not, but you can always upload a corrected manuscript later
     
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