SPS 040: What I’ve Learned from Writing 10+ Books with Joanna Penn

Fiction writing is fun and creative, but it has it’s own unique set of challenges. Things like character, plot, dialogue and more can trip up new fiction writers. Today, we have NY Times and USA Today bestselling thriller author J.F. Penn here to explain the nuances between writing fiction and nonfiction.

Joanna Penn is a creative entrepreneur, podcaster, professional speaker, and travel junkie who has broken the code with writing fiction and nonfiction and is an expert in the publishing and self publishing industry. She shares the importance of choosing a genre, finding good editors, setting deadlines, research tips, her favorite tools, her favorite books and all kinds of knowledge that will help first time and more experienced authors.

You can find Joanna here:
The Creative Penn
J.F.Penn on Pinterest
J.F.Penn Books
Joanna on Twitter @thecreativepenn

Show Notes:
[01:56] Differences between writing fiction and nonfiction. There are skills that you need for fiction that you never needed before.
[02:19] Point of view. When writing fiction you can choose a first or third person point of view.
[02:50] Dialogue. This is a skill unto itself.
[03:05] Story structure. If you have read thousands of books it may be embedded, but this is where the craft comes in. There a quite a few things you need to learn to make a reader feel satisfied.
[03:31] You can get some of this through osmosis by reading the genre in which you are going to write, but these skills also need to be honed.
[03:47] Joanna’s first fiction book process. She also blogged about it. She discovered genre and that she loved super natural thrillers. You need an idea to sustain you through the tough times.
[05:05] Her first novel took 14 months. You need to be so excited about your idea. Joanna has been journaling since she was 15. The seed for her idea was from 10 years before. Put everything in your head, so that it can come out in a story.
[06:11] The first book was based on her travels and put into a framework of a story.
[06:47] Sustainable idea? Believing that you are creative enough There is a creativity muscle. Any skill that you use, you can learn more. Look into things you are curious about.
[08:12] Build an audience over time by writing a series.
[08:45] Research and get ideas. Joanna travels a lot. Read other books. Put it all in your head, so that it can come out again. Follow your curiosity.
[10:09] People who like similar things to you will be interested in your fiction.
[10:55] Use Scrivener for your first draft. Often in fiction you don’t write in order. You can write in scenes.
[11:54] Put everything into Scrivener and flush everything out or just start writing. Use timed writing.
[13:22] First drafts for fiction writers are really bad. When you discover you need to learn something learn it by taking a class on dialogue.
[13:51] Hire a ton of editors. Your first book will be the most expensive because you have the most to learn.
Structural edit – story structure etc. Line edits and proof readers. This teaches you how to write.
[15:23] Find an editor that likes your genre. It’s unlikely to find a perfect match on the first try. As you change, your editor will change.
[16:14] Your editor needs to understand your genre. You want one that will fix you and make you better without changing your voice. It takes about 5 books to find your voice.
[17:10] As we become better writers it is ok to rewrite. Your voice comes out when you write what you really think.
[18:00] Joanna uses beta readers for expert suggestions to critique and their expertise and make the book more accurate.
[19:17] Writers groups aren’t really the best place for a critique. Pay an editor.
[20:52] Network with groups of authors online that are in your genre.
[21:48] Joanna goes through every edit manually because she is always wanting to learn.
[22:37] How it feels to get the edits. It can be brutal. Don’t look at it immediately. Give yourself time to read it. Then wait before making changes. Then go back and try to see with different eyes.
[24:03] Series are easier because you already have the characters and a design. HEA happily ever after. Once you understand your genre think about what you need.
[25:21] Destroyer of Worlds based on a statue in India. Brainstorming and Hindu mythology and Oppenheimer then start researching and reading books. Create questions and notes. Maybe spend a month on this part. Create characters, setting, and then start putting scenes in Scrivener. Have a plot because something needs to happen.
[28:06] Joanna has a Pinterest board for each book. Learning and going down rabbit holes can help flush out the book.
[28:43] How much research is enough? Joanna keeps her research in Scrivener. Set a deadline to get it done.
[29:42] Look at your schedule and work out how much time a day that you can spend writing. You can research more as you write.
[31:10] How fiction uses a different part of your brain. Stuff can just come out. It’s stuff you put in your brain at some point. Filling the creative well.
[31:57] Joanna now dictates her books. She also listens to rain and thunderstorms when she writes.
[32:57] You need structure in order to let your creativity out.
[33:25] Joanna writes between 2000 and 4000 words a day. In the morning at her desk or outside as she dictates.
[33:59] Fiction writing is tiring. If you use your willpower early. Fiction writing requires making decisions for your characters which makes it tiring. Writing a novel is hard work.
[35:45] After the first five novels, you get more relaxed and trust yourself more. What comes into your head tends to be the right structure.
[39:03] Carrying over subplots keep notes or have a series.
[40:10] Use brevity to reintroduce characters.
[40:35] Write in areas that you are interested in. How AI will help with book discovery.
[42:14] Deconstructing a novel to learn how to write. Using this as an outline to model.
[43:37] Finding story and plot in the real world. 95% truth and 5% fiction.

Links and Resources:
self-publishingschool.com
Spsfreetraining.com
Joanna’s Blog About Her First Novel
Scrivener
The Story Grid
Bird by Bird
First Blood
Save the Cat Moment
The Creative Penn
J.F.Penn on Pinterest
J.F.Penn Books
Joanna on Twitter @thecreativepenn
SPS 016: My Exact Process for Writing 16 Books with Joanna Penn

How Long Does it Take to Write a Book self-publishingschool

How Long Does it Take to Write a Book?

The biggest question new writers ask is “How long does it take to write a book?” And the common answer normally is: “It depends”.

According to this article that interviewed famous authors, when asked how long it took to produce their debut novels, the answers ranged from four years to a decade. In other words, a very long time.

While it’s nice to be able to take your time honing and polishing your new book, a rough draft sitting on your hard drive isn’t doing anything for you. It’s not building your author name, spreading your message, or growing your audience. Moreover, it’s not earning you a single cent.

But there is amazing news: Writing your book can take far less time than you think. You just need to have the right mindset and stay motivated.

Here at Self-Publishing School, our goal is to improve this arduous writing process. Right now, we coach our students to routinely complete a new book in just 90 days, finishing their first draft in as little as 30 days! They are able to accomplish this by following a simple step-by-step guideline that we’re going to share with you today.

This guideline covers:

  1. Establishing a Strategic Deadline
  2. Prioritizing Your Writing Into Tasks
  3. Creating Word Count Goals
  4. Finding Your Accountability Partner
  5. Setting Challenges for Yourself

Follow these guidelines to supercharge your own writing process, and you’ll become a published author faster before you know it.

1. Establishing a Strategic Deadline

Deadlines are designed to help you inch closer to completing your book. It also encourages you to work everyday hitting both short term and long term goals. However, you won’t find success by setting arbitrary due dates. They must be set up for your book’s success.

Here’s 3 ways to establish strategic deadlines:

  1. Define realistic deadlines. Set short term and long term deadlines for each portion of your draft that breaks down your entire book.
  2. Set honest expectations. If you’re only able to write 500 words a day, so be it. Don’t push yourself into thinking that you can complete an unrealistic task. Be honest with your abilities and align it with your deadline.
  3. Implement rewards. Don’t make writing a book feel like a tedious job. Reward yourself for achieving your goals! Attaching rewards to each accomplishment will make finishing your book much more aspiring to complete.

Action Plan: Before writing, set your first draft time frame between 30-90 days and set target dates that tackle both short term and long term goals for your first draft.

2. Prioritizing Your Writing Into Tasks

What separates those who can write multiple books to those who can barely write a page is the ability to prioritize. Because there are so many competing factors that pull away our time and energy, prioritizing is actually a very hard concept to implement.

But in order to write your book, you need to establish clear priorities to get anything done.

Here are some ways to prioritize your work:

  • List out every detail of your book and turn them into tasks
  • Assess each task to identify what carries the biggest value to completing your book
  • Order tasks by its immediate priority and length of time to complete
  • Anticipate unexpected changes to your schedule, and plan an alternative schedule to stay on track

Action Plan: Make the effort and spend a few hours prioritizing your writing process. You will be surprised with how much writing you can accomplish with a well thought out task plan.

3. Creating Word Count Goals

One of the best ways to accelerate the writing process is to set word count goals. Like training intervals, setting up word count goals will pace how many words to write a day. By establishing these parameters for your own success, not only will you be more likely to accomplish these goals, you will also notice improvements to your writing.

We recommend writing down your daily, weekly, and monthly word count goals to not only show your current progress, but to keep you motivated until you reach the end. It also helps to include rewards for every new milestone!

Action Plan: Start your daily word count goal to 500-1,000 words per day. By completing 1,000 words per day, you’ll be looking at your completed 30,000 word first draft in one month!

4. Finding Your Accountability Partner

A supportive partner can be a great sound board, a first pair of eyes, and a protector of your sanity. They can also be the extrinsic motivation you need to meet your own deadlines and word counts.

When you have an accountability partner backing you up, it makes it harder to procrastinate because they expect great results from you!

At Self-Publishing School, we believe in the accountability system and pair our students up with other like-minded students to encourage one another and hold each other accountable for reaching goals and deadlines. It’s a great motivating tactic and helps our students complete their books on time.

Action Plan: Find an accountability partner who is willing to encourage and hold you accountable to meet your deadlines!

5. Setting Challenges for Yourself

Following the same routine can get old quickly especially for something lengthy like writing the first draft of your book. To combat the fear of boredom and add more spark to your writing project, we encourage you to set challenges for yourself!

Here are some simple challenges to set:

  • Double the word count you’ve originally set daily, monthly, yearly
  • Purposely tighten deadlines to increase pressure
  • Ban the use of your phone or all forms of distractions until you’ve completed your task
  • Read your unfinished draft out loud to someone new for feedback

Action Plan: Include a few of these challenges every so often to increase the intensity of your writing. You may tack on even better rewards for each successful challenge you’ve completed.

If you ever dream of becoming a self publisher, now is the time to finally make it a reality. By following these guidelines on how to develop a robust writing process, you will have your first book ready to publish in no time.

Like what you read and want to learn more? We’re holding a FREE online workshop where Chandler is revealing the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row… and use them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years. Click here to save your spot now!

How to Be an Author: 5 Personality Characteristics You Want to Nurture

Becoming a new author requires a unique fortitude and strength of character.

Writing a book forces you to plan, write, and edit between 50,000 to 100,000 words!

It also requires working with an editor, a publisher (or self-publishing), a design team, and developing a book launch strategy to get readers to see your upcoming bestseller on Amazon. This amount of work can feel overwhelming and can easily crush your confidence.

But what makes new authors become bestsellers like Stephen King comes down to one factor: hard work.

Writing takes tremendous effort, but more importantly requires a strong mindset. Having coached and taught so many successful writers ourselves, we’ve studied and compiled all of their strongest personal qualities that you can adopt and apply to your life to become an author.

This guide covers how to:

  1. Exercise Patience
  2. Apply Consistency
  3. Practice Optimism
  4. Value Criticism
  5. Be Empathetic

Let’s reveal how these qualities can shape you to become a published author.

1. Exercise Patience

Writing a book is not an overnight process. It takes a lot of time! Part of learning how to be a professional writer means that you have to cultivate not only discipline and focus, but patience.

The good news is that patience is something that can be developed with practice. Suzannah Windsor Freeman, author of The Busy Mom’s Guide to Writing, discovered that “infinite patience” was the key to her success.

Freeman also famously said, “If your dream were to be a concert pianist, you wouldn’t expect to sit down and just play. You’d take lessons for many years, practice every day, and sacrifice a great deal in order to achieve that dream. So, why do we expect ourselves to be able to write well without the same level of commitment and patience?” Her words advocate that the more time you spend practicing your craft with patience, the better writer you will become.

Action Plan: Cultivate patience by practicing your craft everyday. Whether it’s creative writing or creating short stories, experiment with any form of writing to improve your skills and develop great ideas.

2. Apply Consistency

To become a professional writer, you must treat writing like a serious job. This means that you must commit to a consistent schedule and adhere to a writing process in order to develop good habits and not waste time.

Consider the following strategies to make yourself more consistent as you start the writing process:

  • Emulate the “Calendar Strategy.” With a calendar, mark an X for each day you write and make it a goal to not break the chain.
  • Find your creative space. Find and create your own space where you’re most comfortable and creative. Whether it’s your office, a coffee shop, or even your kitchen, use it as your place to write everyday.
  • Create a writing schedule. Writing at the same time everyday will develop a consistent writing habit. Consistent writing actually creates a muscle memory, triggering your brain to turn on creativity when you sit down to write.

For more writing strategies, check out our guide on 7 Strategies to Start Writing Your Book Today.

Action Plan: Experiment with these methods to optimize your writing process. Following a consistent plan will easily double your output and complete your book in no time.

3. Practice Optimism

Psychologists say that practicing optimism can help you be more productive and live a happier life. It can also help you overcome inevitable pitfalls like writer’s block. The best part is, you can train yourself to think more positively and take on even the worst events that can negatively impact your life.

Here are a few ways to practice optimism:

  • Anticipate a positive outcome. Our realities reflect what we think, making our perception of reality the mirror of our thoughts. So having a positive attitude will always increase your optimism, even at your worst.
  • Share your optimism with others. Optimism is a contagious attitude powerful enough to shift the momentum of any negative situation to a positive one. So share your  positivity with others and build that unshakable force to complete your goal.
  • Remove all negativity. Negativity will bring you down, and surrounding yourself with it will encourage more pessimistic thoughts and self-doubt. Avoid it at all cost.

Action Plan: In your writing process, come up with both negative and positive outcomes for any given situation. For each negative situation, try to look for positive outcomes and work towards turning it into a favorable result.

4. Value Criticism

No matter how amazing your book is, there’s always someone who will harshly criticize your work. Instead of viewing it as a humiliating remark, learn to apply the feedback to your writing.

Developing a thick skin is one the hardest things to do, and like many of the other characteristics, takes time to build.

When writing your book, you can build resilience to criticism by practicing the following:

  • Anticipate harsh edits and rearrangements across your entire book.
  • Prepare to cut out your favorite paragraphs or sentences.
  • Count on reading plenty of negative reviews on Amazon, social media or by the press.

Action Plan: Try to find positive feedback from every negative criticism or review on your book. Make it a goal to develop enough flexibility so that one day it will no longer bother you.

5. Be Empathetic

Know that by sharing your story, you’re helping someone else. Your unique experience will empathize with readers and they will draw strength from the words you wrote in your book.

Here are two successful authors whose work has touched many readers:

  • Professor Randy Pausch, author of The Last Lecture, was faced with a terminal illness at a young age. Rather than wallow and fade away, he used his last days to create his masterpiece. His book wasn’t about death, but rather short stories that advocated the importance of overcoming hurdles and capturing every moment you have to live for. His generosity to share his life resonated with readers as a tale of courage and inspiration to anyone facing similar adversities.
  • Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love, wrote her memoir while going through a devastating divorce that left her full of anxiety and panic. She stressed the importance of discovering the best version of herself by leaving behind her previous life to set out to explore the different aspects of nature within food, travel, and love. Her painful story of loss and regrowth profoundly connected to readers so much that it eventually became a movie.

Action Plan: Make the effort to write down the biggest obstacles you’ve encountered and explain how you have dealt with them. You will be surprised to see how meaningful your story is to your readers.

Adopting these characteristics can mean the difference between seeing your name on the best-seller list and never publishing your first book. Applying these practices not only help you become a published author, but also a better person.

Like what you read and want to learn more? We’re holding a FREE online workshop where Chandler is revealing the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row… and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years. Click here to save your spot now!

SPS 039: 80/20 Book Sales & Marketing with Perry Marshall

Perry Marshall has turned 80/20 into a verb. It’s an action you take on your business. It’s the central lever to any great strategy. Perry’s book 80/20 Sales and Marketing is mandatory reading in many growth oriented companies. It’s also one of my favorite books of all time. After reading it, I started giving copies away like I was Oprah. The book is legendary.

He also is a pioneer in web advertising, as the author of the Ultimate Guide to Google Adwords, he laid the foundations for the $100 billion pay per click industry. He is one of the world’s most expensive and sought-after business consultants. He has consulted in over 300 industries and even was an expert witness for Google AdWords litigation. He is a man that actually doesn’t need an introduction. Today, we talk about his book, marketing, advertising, and more.

You can find Perry here:
Perry Marshall
80/20 Sales and Marketing
Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords: How to Access 100 Million People in 10 Minutes
Books by Perry Marshall
@PerryMarshall on Twitter
Perry Marshall Facebook Page

Show Notes
[01:58] Perry’s first book evolved organically. In 2002, he went to a seminar and started using Google AdWords.
[02:48] Perry discovered Google AdWords should be the first marketing step for testing. He was invited to speak at a Ken McCarthy seminar So, he made an ebook to sell at the seminar and on his website in 2003.
[05:15] AdWords became so popular that Perry had to work to stay current with his knowledge and ahead of the competition.
[06:09] The snowball effect of his testimonials worked for him, and it became a self-publishing success story prior to the Kindle.
[06:56] He was selling half a million dollars a year of ebooks.
[09:04] Wikipedia flagged Perry as a non-notable person. To have real longevity Perry needed to engage with the rest of the world.
[11:01] He went to an agent speed dating seminar and found an agent and got a publisher.
[11:58] He makes less money with the published book, but he is established as an expert. It is a long-term play to be a number one author on Amazon.
[13:24] How there can be good reasons to go the traditional route, but there are trade-offs.
[14:11] His first book was about beginner to advanced intermediate PPC or Google AdWords.
[15:28] The seminar got him great customers and testimonials.
[18:19] If you can become the number one expert, you can make a good living.
[19:02] 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.
[20:21] There is an 80/20 inside of every 80/20.
[21:03] 50% of customers comes from 1% of your business.
[21:50] In Google AdWords it’s closer to 90/10.  Perry cracked the code on AdWords using 80/20.
[23:14] 80/20 became a staple of what he taught.
[23:52] Perry decided to write an 80/20 book because this was the secret to everything. He wrote the book that he wished he had years ago.
[25:23] 80/20 applied to book marketing. Purchasing a book is like racking a shotgun.
[27:40] Playing poker with marks or guys who are going to lose.
[29:05] Everything in marketing is like racking a shotgun.
[30:33] 20% of people who buy your book will actually read it. 20% of them become your customers.
[32:53] The penny book offer is like the Columbia record and tape club. He makes money off of the backend. The penny won in Columbia’s marketing tests.
[35:03] The advantage of reading a book over looking at a computer screen.
[38:10] How buying Perry’s book is a lesson within a lesson.
[38:35] The average person who takes up his offer spends about $25. You can learn a lot about marketing technique from how they sell the book.
[39:54] Perry is a legendary copywriter.
[40:46] Copywriting is the art and science of saying things so that people want to take action.
[43:03] How to make your book twice as good for $500. Go on Fiver and find candidates for reading your book. Pay 5 gigs or $25 to get them to read the book and answer questions. This can make your book twice as good.
[46:41] Write for an hour everyday, first thing in the morning.

Links and Resources:
self-publishingschool.com
Spsfreetraining.com
Ken McCarthy
Andrew Goodman
Perry Marshall Round Table
The Jeff Herman Agency
Entrepreneur Press
The 80/20 Principle
The Marketing DNA Test
Fiverr
Eat That Frog
Perry Marshall
80/20 Sales and Marketing
Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords: How to Access 100 Million People in 10 Minutes
Books by Perry Marshall
@PerryMarshall on Twitter
Perry Marshall Facebook Page

self publishing on amazon

The Definitive Guide For Self Publishing on Amazon

Publishing a book today is easier than ever. You no longer need to go through painstaking efforts to land a book deal which locks you into unrealistic deadlines and cuts you out of most of the earnings. You can now have complete control of your book, and its revenues, by self-publishing.

But many writers get overwhelmed by the abundance of information about self-publishing. It can be intimidating for first-time publishers. So we created a step-by-step comprehensive self-publishing guide for you to follow in order to get your book published on Amazon’s Kindle (KDP) Network.

This guide will cover:

  1. Creating a Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Account
  2. Crafting Your Book Title/Subtitle
  3. Writing Your Book Description
  4. Choosing the Right Keywords
  5. Selecting the Right Categories
  6. Utilizing the Preorder Option
  7. Uploading Your Manuscript
  8. Creating a Book Cover
  9. Pricing Your Book

Let’s begin!

1. Creating a Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Account

Amazon has a platform called Kindle Direct Publishing that can create and manage your Kindle eBook, paperback, and audio books. It’s widely used to build books from the ground up. Fortunately, setting up your KDP account is easy, and should be the first step you complete.

  1. Go to https://kdp.amazon.com and register with either your Amazon account or with your email address.
  2. Next, click “Update” in your account information and fill in your tax information. It’s important to note that you need to complete your tax information BEFORE you can publish your first book. So don’t skip this step!
  3. Once your tax information is complete, click “Finished” and return to the main page.
  4. Your profile is complete!

With your KDP account setup, proceed to setting up the details of your book.

2. Crafting a Book Title and Subtitle

In your KDP profile, you need to fill in the title and subtitle of your book. While a subtitle is optional, having a good subtitle is something you should definitely consider.

Here are a few tips to crafting a great book title:

  • Use a Book Hook: Your book hook should speak to the reader in a unique voice that grabs their attention and feeds into what they are looking for.
  • List the Benefits: Your potential readers want to know what they will get from reading your book. One technique is to deliver the benefits in the subtitle,providing enough tantalizing information to further attract readers.

For more book title strategies, check out our guide on How to Choose the Perfect Title for Your Book.

3. Writing Your Book Description

Here’s what people notice first when seeing a new book:

  1. Title
  2. Cover
  3. Book Description

A book description is essentially a short written narrative that illustrates what your book is about. It should be written like a sales page to capture the interest of your reader. This is crucial because the description, in many cases, is the final factor that determines whether the reader will read your book or not. Done correctly, a well-written book description can practically sell a book on its own.

Here are some strategies to help craft your perfect description:

  • Make your first sentence as enticing as possible  
  • Write your description like a sales page or advertisement, not a dry summary of your book
  • Have the description feel personal and empathetic
  • Detail the benefits your reader will gain by reading your book

Here are our favorite books with great descriptions:

Spend some time crafting your eye-catching book description. It will make your book stand out to your readers and motivate them to purchase your book. For the best results we recommend using the Free Amazon Book Description generator at kindlepreneur.com

4. Choosing the Right Keywords

If you want your book to show up in Amazon and Google search engines, you’ll need the right mix of keywords. Since Amazon allows only seven keywords per book, keyword selection requires strategy.

You can research the right keyword phrases by using search tools such as:

  • KDP Rocket: This is a great tool for comparing Google search results to Amazon. It gives you a competitive score from 1-99, keyword results from both Google and Amazon, and how much money other books are making.
  • KW Finder: This tool gives an analytical view of the keyword popularity using a competitive ranking. You can search five keywords for free per day.
  • Amazon’s Autofill Function: Take advantage of Amazon’s search box to find good keywords. Amazon’s suggestions are based on search history so you want to search for words that are high in demand with little competition.

Make a list of possible keywords for your book, then leverage the tools above to test your keywords. Putting in the time to get keywords right will have your book rank higher and appear more frequently to readers.

5. Selecting the Right Categories

Amazon provides a collection of categories and subcategories to choose from. Like keyword selecting, your goal is to look for trending areas that don’t have tons of competition. You can also check the rankings of the top three books on the first page of each category.

Amazon sales ranking measures how well a product is selling compared to its competitors. All books that are ranked 2,000 or less are considered to be highly purchased products in that particular category. Unless you have an established audience with significant downloads and reviews, try to aim for categories with books that rank between 10,000-30,000.

Do you want to know how to rank for ten categories? Check out our blog post that details How to Get Approved for More Categories on Amazon.

6. Uploading Your Manuscript

To upload your manuscript, it first must be saved in a supported kindle format. Once that’s complete, you can upload your book very quickly:

  1. In your KDP account, go to “Your Bookshelf”.
  2. Locate and click on “Kindle eBook Actions” next to the title of book.
  3. Locate and click on “Edit eBook Content”.
  4. Click on “Upload eBook manuscript”.
  5. Upload your manuscript file on your computer.
  6. Upload complete!

Once Amazon finishes uploading your file, a confirmation message will be sent and you can preview the uploaded file to check for any errors. You can upload the manuscript as many times as you want and the new version will override the existing.

It’s important to check how your book looks using the “Look Inside” feature once the book is live on Amazon. This feature is often the first thing your prospective readers will click on when checking out your book. If the formatting is off here, it can deter readers from picking up your book. Take this extra step to make sure your formatting looks good here too.

7. Creating Your Book Cover

When it comes to publishing a successful book on Amazon, having a perfect book cover is one of the most important aspects to get right. Your cover is exactly how your book will be judged on first glance.

So you must make sure that it is created professionally and that it will stand apart from the rest of the books in your genre or category.

You can find cover creators on freelancing sites such as:

Prices will depend on the level service, but these sites will give you plenty of amazing graphic designers to choose from! It’s a great investment that will make your book stand out perfectly.

8. Pricing Your Book

A question often asked is: “How much should I be pricing my book at after the initial launch is over?”

This is up to the author, but generally the best range to have your book priced is between $2.99 to $9.99.

The royalty payments vary depending on the country, but you can learn more on KDP Select pricing page.

One popular strategy for beginners is to price your book at $2.99 and gradually increase it by $1 per week. At some point, your sales will begin to dip. And while that’s normally a negative statistic, for this case, it confidently tells you the perfect price of your book that guarantees profit.

Here are the 4 main pricing strategies to consider in order to be competitive and sell books:

  • Know the price of your competitors. Compare the list price of your book to the books around you and determine if you would be able to sell your book for a higher price.
  • Know the size of your followers. Famous authors can charge a lot for their books because they have a big following. If you’re not in this category, your book should be priced lower to encourage new readers to your work.
  • Determine price based on size of your book. Size makes a difference when it comes to books. Don’t charge $20 for a 75 page book. Customers will immediately be turned off with the lack of content at that price point.
  • Measure price based on reviews. Reviews carry a big weight on influence, and is social proof that your book has been read and well received. Therefore, a book with higher reviews (1000+ reviews) can be priced higher compared to a book with fewer reviews (30+ reviews).

You can get legitimate and honest reviews from:

  • Your personal launch team
  • Amazon’s top reviewers
  • Fans of your social media page
  • Personal email list

Experiment with these strategies to pinpoint the price for your book, it will drive long-term success.

If you want to become a self-publishing author, you must be fluent with platforms such as Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. Use these guidelines to self-publish your book, and it will appear on Amazon’s bestseller list in no time.