Are You Considering Publishing a Book?

The first self-published author I ever met in person was in the mid-1990s. At that time, becoming an author was one of the items on my bucket list. I was open to exploring all possibilities to make this happen.

Publish Your Book Affordably Cover 2

I inquired of this gentleman how much self-publishing his book had cost him. Fortunately, he was gracious enough to share this information with me. He told me that for $15,000, he had 3,000 copies of his book in his garage. When I heard this figure, I just about had a heart attack. Immediately I ruled out self-publishing as an option for me.

Fast forward ten years to about 2004. The publishing landscape had drastically changed due to rapidly advancing technology. No longer did it cost thousands of dollars to publish a book. Thanks to print-on-demand, publishing a book had become within the reach of most people—including me.

The self-publishing field has grown drastically in the 21st Century. In 2015, author-published books accounted for 18% of the entire book market in the United States.

Consider these additional statistics on independently published books in a recent Author Earnings report:

  • 33% of all paid ebook unit sales on Amazon.com are indie self-published ebooks.
  • 20% of all consumer dollars spent on ebooks on Amazon.com are being spent on indie self-published ebooks.
  • 40% of all dollars earned by authors from ebooks on Amazon.com are earned by indie self-published ebooks.
  • The Big Five traditional publishers now account for only 16% of the e-books on Amazon’s bestseller lists.

Amazon is the biggest player in the author-published market. Between its three publishing platforms—CreateSpace, Kindle Direct Publishing, Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX)—Amazon produces an estimated 85% of self-published titles.

Publishing a book today is within your reach. The self-publishing stigma has faded. Self-published authors now land on the best-seller lists regularly. While publishing your own book can now be done with ease, you do need to educate yourself on the process.

To help aspiring authors who are considering publishing their own book, I have created a FREE online on-demand seminar. You can access this seminar anytime it is convenient for you. You can even watch the seminar multiple times if you need to refresh your memory on any of the information given.

To watch this informative seminar, DIY: Publish Your Book Affordably, simply CLICK HERE. Anyone considering publishing their own book will benefit from this information.

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Publishing Success

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The eBook Subscription Model is Still Alive

Movies have Netflix and Hulu. Music has Spotify and Pandora. Audiobooks has Audible or Audiobooks.com. eBooks have Scribd and Amazon Kindle Unlimited. Subscription (or streaming) services have become popular for digital media.

Playster

However, these services have been fairly segmented. There are services for movies, music, audiobooks, and ebooks. Except for Scribd, which provides both audiobooks and ebooks, most subscription services focus on one type of media.

Enter a new type of subscription service, Playster. Playster is a subscription service for all types of entertainment: books, music, movies, and games. Subscribers have a choice with Playster. They can just subscribe to one type of media like movies, or they can purchase a bundle and have access to all types of media. Single-type media subscriptions start at $3.95 per month, while a subscription for the bundle of all types of media is $24.95 per month.

With the demise of ebook subscription services Oyster and Enrich last year, one of the questions that has plagued the ebook subscription service model is whether it is sustainable. Playster believes that by providing all media types on a truly unlimited basis, they are able to offer something unique while still operating a sustainable model that benefits anyone.

In particular, Authors and publishers receive an extra revenue stream all the while the all-in-one model helps them to expand their reach to audiences that they would not have been exposed to before. Unlike Scribd, where authors must use an ebook distributor like Smashwords or BookBaby to be part of Scribd’s ebook subscription service, Playster will work directly with independently published authors.

This is great news! You can benefit from having your books part of a subscription service. Subscription services pay authors a royalty when a book is read via their service. These services provide another avenue for you to become “discovered” by readers. Research shows that readers are more likely to read a free or cheap book by an author they are unfamiliar with. However, if after reading the book, they like the story or content, they will often purchase and read other books by that author.

If you are interested in placing your book in the Playster subscription service, visit their website for more information on how to do that. After all, you can’t be discovered if you are not visible.

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What’s Holding You Back?

One of the questions I often ask aspiring authors when I speak at writers’ conferences is “What is holding you back from taking the next step?”

HOLDINGBACK

This question is an important question not just for writing, producing, and promoting a book or expanding your publishing business, but for any area of your life. What is holding you back? What is keeping you from taking that next step toward your goal or dream?

Whether it is penning a first book, publishing a first or next book, writing another book, or engaging in marketing and promoting a book, I have found that the answers most aspiring and published authors give fall into one of the following five categories.

1. Fear

Fear is a powerful emotion that can hold you hostage. This can be fear of failure, fear of looking ridiculous, fear of ridicule, or fear of not measuring up. Often aspiring authors feel like there are numerous people more talented than they are or better able to complete the job; so they stay stuck.

Most people don’t feel up to a task that God calls them to do. After all, when God told Moses that he was to go to Egypt and free the Israelites, Moses asked God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt?” When God insisted he was the man, Moses told God that he could not do the job since he was “slow of speech and tongue.”

God sees the bigger picture. If he has called you to do something, he has already uniquely gifted or prepared you for the task. If God has placed it on your heart to write a book, then you are the person he has chosen for that task. Don’t let fear hold you back from experiencing God’s best.

2. Time

“If only I had more time.” I hear this phrase a lot. I think I even say this more than I should. We all lead busy lives. Many authors and aspiring authors are waiting for things to slow down or for a day in the future when they will have the time to work toward their goal.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but reality is that such a day is not coming. There will always be urgent and pressing matters that need to be taken care of. We are all given the same amount of time to spend. We can’t save time up in a bank to spend on an activity to reach our goal.

Instead, we have to make the next step in our goal or dream a priority. We must schedule time into our day for it. Maybe this means that you get up thirty minutes or an hour earlier each day to spend time writing. Maybe it means you give up watching a TV show a couple times a week to work on promotional activities for your book. Don’t wait to have the time. It won’t happen. You must carve the time out of your existing schedule.

3. Knowledge

Sometimes the lack of knowledge holds us back from obtaining our dream. Fortunately, this is the easiest of all the impediments to overcome. The antidote for lack of knowledge is to educate yourself. There is so much information available to help you become a better writer, to teach you how to publish a book, or to provide you with the steps you need to take to promote and market the book you have published. Don’t let lack of knowledge get in your way. Read a book, become involved in a writers group, attend a conference, watch a webinar, or listen to podcasts. The information you need to grow your knowledge is at your fingertips.

4. Money

Money is another common obstacle people cite for not moving forward to take the next step toward their goal. Money is similar to time. We fritter time away, and we squander our money. If God is calling you to take the next step toward your dream, then pray that he will provide you the finances for it. After all, God is the ultimate owner of the money of this world. Then, think about your spending habits and find ways that you might be able to cut back to begin saving money for your goal.

Sometimes, authors think they need more money to accomplish their dream than is really needed. There are very affordable ways to publish and market books. Again, a little education in this area can save you a lot of money.

5. Vision

A vision is a picture of the end result, or where you want to be. When you lack a clear vision for your dream or goal, you can’t move toward it. If my vision is to be an author, that is not clear. To have a clear vision, I must make a decision about what type of book I want to write. When the vision becomes clear, the steps to reaching your goal also become clear. Without clear steps, you can’t move toward your dream. With clear steps, your actions become congruent with your goal, leading you to attain it.

What’s hold you back? Identify it; and then take action to rectify it. A parked car doesn’t go anywhere. The same is true for inaction. At the heart of all personal or business development strategies is the idea that to realize a goal you have to do something.

Did any of these obstacles ring true for you?

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Interesting Data on Reading

Data has been collected from the beginning of time. After all, a census is data collection. It is collecting data on population size. We can benefit from good data. Good data can help us make informed business decisions.

man readingOver the past couple of years, I have written a few times on the data that digital reading provides book sellers, authors, and publishers. Sellers like Amazon and Kobo that have proprietary readers can track users reading habits. This compiled data can be extremely beneficial to authors and publishers.

Amazon does not share much readership data. Kobo shares a little. The one entity that is sharing the most data is Jellybooks. I have previously shared data from Jellybooks on this blog. Jellybooks provides readers with ebooks free of charge in exchange for tracking and sharing their reading data. The company embeds a piece of Javascript software into the ebook file. The software records the readers’ data when the users click a button at the end of the chapter.

Most recently, Jellybooks explored whether gender affects reading. As you probably already know, 58% of book purchases are made by women. So, it is not surprising that the Jellybook readership is made up of 80% women and 20% men. Jellybooks looked at their data to determine who was more likely to finish a book: a man or a woman.

Interestingly, Jellybooks is finding that gender does not make a difference in book completion rates. Both sexes have equal probability of finishing a book they start. This finding holds true across all genres.

Jellybooks did find one interesting gender-specific difference in reading. They discovered that men decide much faster than women if they like a book or not. In a previous post, I reported that Jellybooks has found that most readers decide in the first 10 to 40 percent if they like a book enough to finish it or not. Looking at gender specific data, Jellybooks has found that men give up on a book much sooner than women do.

As I have said before, having a strong beginning to your book is essential for hooking readers. This is especially true if you have a book for men. This new data from Jellybooks shows that you must capture a man’s attention quickly, or you will lose him. Get to the point right out of the gate, don’t ramble, and build suspense early to keep your male readers hooked.

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