Five Fast Secrets to Self-Publish a Book You Won't Believe
How many times have you had an idea for a book?…Now how many times have you actually finished that book and gotten it published?
In this video, I’m going to show you the five hurdles that will stop you from finishing your book and reveal the five hacks that will help you overcome them. I’ve used these very same tricks to self-publish 12 books on Amazon and I know they’re going to work for you!
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The Problem with Self-Publishing
Self-publishing is easily my favorite passive income source. I know those of you in the community are tired of hearing me say that but it’s the truth and if I could just get you to get started, I guarantee you will be amazed at how much you can make and how this cash flows every month.
I’ve been self-publishing books on Amazon since 2015, writing 12 books in the last four years, and have made almost $108,000 through Kindle, paperback and audio versions. I’ve got three books approaching $20,000 in sales and average just under $2,200 a month.
Everyone has a book idea in them and this is so easy to do.
The problem is, there are five roadblocks that will stand in your way. Hitting one of these is why so many would-be authors give up or never even get started.
In this video, I’m going to show you each of these hurdles to self-publishing your book. We’ll talk through each and I’ll reveal how to defeat it to get your book written and published fast.
Now I want to get to those five quick-start tips but I’m also going to be linking below to a free handout, the nine steps I used to self-publish 12 books. You’ll find everything you need in these nine tips to be successful self-publishing, to get your book on Amazon and start making money.
Making Self-Publishing a Business
The first hurdle to self-publishing is that people just don’t understand how much really goes into this business. They underestimate the number of roles you play.
Not knowing all the steps is excruciatingly frustrating and then it feels like they’ll never get done when every new task pops up at the last minute.
So first is understanding what all goes into self-publishing from writing to your launch and beyond. First you’ve got the idea development and book research. Here is where you’re going to think of the transformation you want to deliver in your readers, maybe help them realize a transformation you achieved. Then you develop your idea, working backwards through every step they need to follow to get to that end goal.
Once you’ve got your idea developed, you write out the main topic or step for each chapter and then develop each chapter separately. So this means that same process, thinking backwards from the end result to everything they need to learn to move on to the next chapter.
With your chapters outlined, you can move on to actually writing the book. Take it one chapter at a time, maybe one chapter a week.
Then you need a developmental editor and this is one most self-published authors miss. You are too close to the topic. You’ve written the book and there’s a good chance you’re glossing over details because you know the topic so well.
What a developmental editor does is check the book for ease of reading and flow of information. They’re going to make sure the lay-person that knows nothing about the topic can go from page one to page 100 and achieve that transformation.
So the editor here is going to give you feedback on the book and you’ll rewrite parts, maybe clarify some sections. Then you’ve got the proof editor or grammatical editor that’s going to check the book for errors.
Now a lot of people are going to be turned off by the potential cost of hiring two separate editors or are just going to skip over these parts.
Editing your books doesn’t have to be expensive but it’s absolutely not something you can skip. The easiest way to do this is to find a few friends or family that can help out or barring this, check Craigslist or local colleges. You’re going to be making hundreds a month on your books so don’t be afraid to spend just a little to do it right.
After both types of editing, you’re ready for formatting your book and this is actually easier than it sounds. You’ll need to format your book in a 6-by-9 layout and format for Amazon Kindle as well as paperback. This takes all of a couple hours to learn how to do so don’t be scared away by this step.
You’ll also need a cover design including a square formatted image for an audio version.
Now even if you’re used to making images for social media, I’d highly recommend finding someone on Fiverr or another site to give you some ideas for cover art. Like it or not, people do judge a book by its cover and this first impression will make or break your sales.
Once you’ve got your book formatted and the cover done, you can publish on Amazon but there are a few things here you need to pay attention to as well. You’ll need to write up a book page for Amazon, pick some keywords and categories for the book. These are more important than you might think so really spend some time to write up a persuasive description that gets people to click the buy button.
A good launch is one of the most important things you can do for your book. It’s going to build up those initial sales to rank your book and get the first handful of reviews to act as proof for more potential readers.
Finally, and this is the one most often missed by self-published authors, is a book marketing plan. I love Amazon self-publishing and it can be about as passive as it gets after your launch but you still need a plan for driving some sales each month to keep your book ranked.
How to Stay on Schedule to Publish a Book
Now once you know all the roles and tasks in putting your book together, the next hurdle is actually implementing this and staying on schedule.
I get so many emails from people starting out with their book and unfortunately I think maybe less than one-in-ten ever finishes.
For most people. Life just gets in the way. They get side-tracked for a week here and there. Maybe a task or two takes longer than expected. Whatever it is, they just get to a point of frustration and desperation. Their book doesn’t seem to be moving and they just give up.
That’s why this second hack is so important, making a strict plan, mapping out each week and a hard deadline for when you’re going to publish.
This means taking each task and mapping it out. How long each will take and what you need to do to get there. You’re going to plan out what you’re doing every week and you can adjust this a little as you go but I also want you to make a hard deadline for publishing.
This deadline is the day you’re going to hit publish whether you think you’re ready or not. You’re making that commitment to get your book published and not take no for an answer!
So to help you with this, I want you to make that hard deadline now, right here. Pause the video if you need to and think through how long it’s going to take for each task. For someone working on it full-time, it might be six to eight weeks. If you’re planning on 5-10 hours a week, you might plan for 18 weeks.
Make that commitment to yourself by telling us in the comment section below the video, what’s your deadline for publishing your book. Scroll down and make that commitment by writing it in the comments.
What to Write about for Self-Publishing
Hurdle #3 here and this is another one that keeps people from even getting started, not thinking they have anything to write about.
You don’t need to teach readers how to change the world. Your book doesn’t have to promise people they’ll be self-actualized Buddhas after reading it.
Pick one thing, one transformation you can drive in your readers. That might be something as simple as creating a budget, it might be how to stop smoking or how to meditate. Pick just one thing that you’ve done and run with that.
Once you’ve got the transformation you want to offer, again work backwards through each step the reader needs to achieve it. Look at your list of steps forwards and backwards and really make sure even someone with no knowledge at all in this topic, make sure they could follow it to that transformation.
How to Make Your Book Interesting
This next hurdle is one that might not keep you from making your book but will definitely keep you from making a good book and that’s making it entertaining and relatable to your readers.
This one is really for the non-fiction writers. You can give readers every step to that transformation but if your book is as dry as the instructions to my toaster, I’m going to have a hard time finishing it.
You want at least one personal story or anecdote in each chapter, something to give the chapter that human feel.
This is going to do two very important things for your book. First it’s just going to make it a more enjoyable read. Nobody wants to read an instruction manual. That’s why nobody reads instruction manuals and why nobody sees all the little things that void your warranty.
Adding stories from your own experience or others’ will keep your readers turning the pages and make it much more likely they’ll achieve that transformation.
Second here is that adding personal stories helps your readers see how they can accomplish that journey. They’ve seen how you did it, how others have achieved the transformation through the anecdotes, and it becomes possible for them to do it as well.
How to Make Self-Publishing a Legit Income Source
Now after all this; understanding the different roles, making a plan, knowing what you’re going to write about…people still don’t seem to be able to publish their book. And it’s because they’re not treating it like a job.
I don’t mean dragging your ass out of bed every morning, dreading the blinking cursor on the computer screen like you dread going to the morning meeting at work. I don’t mean treating it like THAT kind of job.
What I mean is making the commitment to spend a certain number of hours per week on your book. Going somewhere where you can work without being bothered and doing it no matter what.
I understand that we all have responsibilities with family and things come up but if you’re ever going to finish your book, you need to treat it like a no-excuses commitment. Plan out which hours and which days you’re going to work. Sit down and cut out all distractions from your phone or the internet. If you can’t work without distractions at home, find someplace you can. Get this done and get published!